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THE JOURNAL

the JOURNAL

It’s the season for meeting newly engaged couples, and I’m loving every second of it. If you’re new here and you have questions about what I do, here are answers to some of the most common questions past couples have asked.

Kate_Mannella_Photography_Questions_to_Ask_Your_Wedding_Photographer

1. How long have you been shooting weddings?

I photographed my first wedding as a lead photographer in 2014 and have focused primarily on weddings ever since. Although I studied commercial photography in college at Ohio University, weddings quickly became my biggest joy. I’ve spent the last 5.5 years learning how to photograph couples creatively in every type of lighting situation and environment.

 

2. How would you describe your style?

My style is classic, refined, timeless, and romantic. I consider myself a fine art photographer because making images beautiful and creative is a big part of what I do. I want my portraits to look like a work of art, evoking feeling and movement, but I always make time for traditional portraits as well. My editing style is light and airy, with a bit of a soft, dreamy look.

 

3. Do you do more posed shots or natural interactions on a wedding day?

Both! It’s my job to tell your story in the best light possible. Sometimes that means putting you in a location or pose that flatters you. I  know not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera, so I always give direction when it’s needed.  Other times it means stepping back to let the moment unfold naturally. I believe wedding photos should be equally beautiful and an authentic representation of the day as it truly is. After 5 years of photographing weddings, I’ve gained the experience and intuition to know when to step in and create moments or fade to the background when necessary.

 

4. What makes you a great wedding photographer?

Besides my experience and education, I think my personality lends itself well to wedding photography. I am naturally gentle and calm which allows me to enter a wedding day without overwhelming a couple and their friends and family. When nerves get the best of people (and that’s normal when photography is involved), I’ve been told I have a reassuring, affirming presence that puts people at ease. I’m also very relational. I care deeply for the clients who trust me to capture their wedding day. I care about all the details of their story and believe they should be celebrated well from the moment we decide to work together. That’s probably why so many of my clients go from strangers to friends by their wedding day.

 

5. Do you offer destination wedding photography?

Absolutely! I’ll photograph anywhere. Although I shoot weddings mostly in Ohio, I’ve had the pleasure of creating portraits all over the Midwest and in some southern states like Georgia and Tennessee. I’ll be adding New Jersey and Toronto to this list this year, and I’m so ready to explore those new places.

 I’ve always wanted to photograph some ultra-romantic portraits in Europe, so if you’re planning a trip across the pond soon, I’m your girl. I’d be so happy to create beautiful images for you to remember your time away together.

 

6. Is an engagement session worth it?

I could go on and on about the benefits of an engagement session, but to put it simply, “Yes! If possible, always do a session with your photographer before your wedding.”

 An engagement session not only allows you to learn how your photographer works, it creates an opportunity to get to know each other before one of the biggest days of your life. Knowing and trusting one another before your wedding is invaluable. Your photographs will be so much more authentic if your photographer understands your personalities and the way you naturally interact. It’s like a mini trial-run. You’ll feel much more confident if you step in front of the camera before your “I dos.”

 

7. What do you recommend we wear to our portrait session?

My primary goal is always that my couple feels confident and like themselves in whatever they choose to wear, so there’s no one right way to dress for your session. There are ways to elevate the look of your session, though, so here are some tips:

  •  Consider neutrals or muted colors over highly-saturated tones. Highly saturated colors can create color casts on the skin. However, if you’re being photographed in a location that’s mostly white and bright, a bold color could be just the thing to make you pop.
  • A man always looks more put together when he’s wearing dress pants, nice shoes, and a belt. As soon as he tucks the shirt in, you’ll create good proportions and crisp lines to make him look clean and sophisticated.
  • A long flowy dress is an easy way to create movement and romance. It’s a portrait session sure-thing.
  • Steer clear of t-shirts, especially those with graphics. They tend not to photograph as well.
  • Consider choosing complementary colors instead of colors that match completely.
  • Accessories are your best friend. Don’t be afraid of pretty jewelry or bags. An oversized hat or florals are also a fun way to add personality and interest to the overall look.

 

8. How long after our wedding should we expect to receive our photos?

I always say you will receive your full gallery no later than 60 days after the wedding, but usually it is much quicker.

 

9. Besides digital files, do you also offer tangible products like wedding albums or prints?

Yes. I offer print boxes and albums. Both are a great options to display your images in a way that’s personal and easy to share with others. Heirloom albums make great coffee table books that spark conversation when entertaining friends and family. A small parent album can serve as a way to thank your parents for all they’ve done for you during the wedding process. I also sell beautiful linen print boxes with room for your favorite wedding images and a glass flash drive containing your full gallery.

 

10. What other types of portrait sessions do you photograph?

When I’m not shooting weddings or engagement portraits, I also photograph family, maternity, in-home newborn, anniversary, and lifestyle sessions. However, those sessions are very limited because weddings take up most of my time.

 

11. What can we do to make our wedding photos amazing?

There are a hundred things you can do to elevate the look of your wedding images but here are 4 things that make the most impact.  

  • Choose a venue with soft, natural light. Big windows and light, neutral walls create the perfect studio-like setting for amazing portraits. Natural light flatters the skin. Orange-y tungsten or fluorescent light is the enemy of natural, creamy skin tones.
  • Invest in your dream bouquet. If you don’t have a large budget for florals, make your bouquet a stand-out. Not only will your bouquet be in almost every photo you’re in, I can also move it around to create pretty detail images throughout the day.
  • Create a gorgeous ceremony backdrop that will serve as a romantic place for portraits later in the day. If you don’t have a lot of resources for your décor, create one high-impact piece that will give your guests something to talk about. If it’s mobile, you can then repurpose it behind a cake display or as a backdrop for guests to take photos.
  • Lastly, take 15 – 20 minutes around sunset for romantic couples portraits. Golden hour is the softest light of the day and will create a lovely glow in your images. These will likely be the photos you want to print and frame.

 

 12. What’s the deal with the first look?

A first look is designed to give a couple special alone time to see each other before the ceremony. This is a fairly new tradition that gives the couple an opportunity to really live in the moment on their wedding day. During a first look, a couple has time and freedom to embrace, say what they feel, and be fully present without extra eyes on them. There are also perks of a first look. One big benefit is the couple can get almost all their portraits out of the way before the ceremony, so the remainder of the evening is spent enjoying their party and guests. The other huge benefit is the couple will receive about 30% more couple portraits.

 

13. What can we expect from working with you?

Besides beautiful images of your wedding day, you can also expect to receive an excellent and personal experience. When I was planning my wedding, I felt often overwhelmed and  lonely. My primary goal is to come alongside a couple in support, service, love, and friendship to make the planning period as fun and meaningful as the wedding itself. Over the past 5 years, I’ve turned my job into a way of building beautiful relationships that celebrate people and their stories. So many of those couples are still a big part of my life. I love showering them with encouragement. As a bonus, because I’m so grateful for the ways they’ve invested in me and my business, when I have a free gift like a portrait session I offer it to a past couples first.

 

 

**Bonus Question: Is your husband, Niko, really as wonderful as you make him out to be?

He’s better. He’s far better, sweeter, and more supportive than I could ever describe. He’s pretty handsome, too. You’ll see when you meet him.

 

2/20/20

13 Frequently Asked Questions by Couples

For the Bride

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