Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter: Blog http://kporterphotography.com/blog en-us KP Photo BFS Key West info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:10:00 GMT Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:10:00 GMT http://kporterphotography.com/img/s3/v24/u559315390-o928268849-50.jpg Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter: Blog http://kporterphotography.com/blog 95 120 Couple Kicks Off Custom "Happy Ever After" in Key West Engagement Session http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/6/couple-kicks-off-key-west-wedding-with-custom-engagement-shoot Dionicia and Derrick celebrated their recent engagement with a trip to Key West.  Arriving with custom shirts expressing their "Happily Ever Moite" (Derrick's last name) hashtag, and Dionicia's awesome #Feyonce shirt (a play on her newly engaged status while channeling that inner-Beyonce all powerful women have inside them!) :D.

Couple posing during Engagement shootCouple engaged in Key WestPhoto taken in Bahama Village, Key West Florida

We started the session with some classic studio portraits, going with our taupe-ish-gray background to accent the black-and-white ensembles, Dionicia even kicking up her heels to flash those to-die-for Louboutins as well!

Engagement session in Key West studioStudio portrait of Engaged CoupleCouple snuggling on gray background in Key West photographer, Karrie Porter's, studio. Engaged couple girl flashes louboutin shoesCustom shirts and Louboutin shoes!

Heading outside into Truman Annex, we got to incorporate an amazing Banyan tree that I had come across during a recent stroll.  I'm always looking for new places to shoot, so I was excited to get the opportunity to try out a few poses in this spot. 

170613-3263Fixing her fianceEngaged couple under pink flowers Couple posing by banyan tree in key westNew Banyan treeKey west has banyan trees all over the city, but this one is a little more tucked out of plain sight.

We then made our way into Bahama Village, incorporating the colorful backdrops of Blue Macaw, Blue Heaven (why is everything in Bahama Village named "Blue" something?...anyway...I digress...), and Petronia Street.  

Couple at Blue Mackaw Key West for engagement photosGorgeous old house turned into Blue MacawBlue Mackaw engagement session in Key West Couple walk down Petronia St during Key West engagement sessionWalking down Petronia StCouple walk down Petronia St during Key West engagement session

Finally, we wrapped up with a bold blue sky at Fort Zachary Taylor, getting the best of the waves that kept trying to wash away our sand-written wedding date the couple have planned!

Key West engagement session on beachBlue skies at Fort ZachBy the ocean in Key west

Couple getting engaged in Key WestWill you marry meCouple getting engaged in Key West Wedding Date written in sand in Key WestSave the DateCouple saves the date in the sands of Key West

It was a great day and we really enjoyed being part of their special celebration.  Congratulations Dionicia and Derrick on your engagement, and thank you for coming to Key West to kick off a new exciting chapter in your lives!

 

Check out their SNEAK PEEK GALLERY from this Key West Engagement Session.

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) beach engagement shoot custom shirts for engagement engagement session key west engagement key west engagement shoot http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/6/couple-kicks-off-key-west-wedding-with-custom-engagement-shoot Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:09:36 GMT
Magaly and Ryan - Big Day Brought to the Beach http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/6/magaly-and-ryan-big-day-in-paradise-getting-married-in-key-west Ryan and Magaly met while he was working as a bartender at Jays Elbow Room. He was serving drinks all night and before you know it, they were making conversation about how to properly pronounce Magaly's name ("muh-gal-ee").  :)  At the end of the night, he walked her to her car, they exchanged numbers and kissed good night. After that, they never stopped talking and eventually made it official a year later!

bride and groom next to foliageRyan and Magaly during their Key West WeddingBride and groom happy on their wedding day

The couple love to travel to new places together, enjoy taking cooking classes, and spending time with their daughters.

Daughters laughing while bride and groom kissKissing with the KiddosBride and groom kiss while their adorable daughters smile for the camera

Ryan proposed on December 5 2015. The couple were taking a trip to see Rockefeller tree and he asked a by stander to take their picture. As Magaly was posing for the picture, Ryan got down on one knee under the tree and proposed in front of a lot of people!!

Heels with satin straps for wedding dayPrincess shoes for a brideWedding shoes with ivory satin Karro events flowersGorgeous island wedding bouquetBouquet of flowers for wedding day in Key West by Karro Events

We caught up with them once their travel brought them to Key West, Florida!  Magaly had originally planned for a big city event, but upon the arrival of their second daughter, they decided to keep things more laid back and traded the East Coast for the Gulf of Mexico.  Their ivory and tropical color palette looked gorgeous against the blue skies of Key West as they exchanged their vows under a beautiful arch designed by Karro Events, overlooking Key West Harbor from the shores of the Pier House Resort and Spa

Bridesmaids laughing with brideThe bride and her girlsBridesmaids and best friends laughing together on the wedding day

Groom in khaki linen for his Key West weddingGroom looking handsome as he waits for the brideRyan looking so handsome Pier House beach weddingThe KissKissing under the beautiful arch designed by Karro Events

Dancing with momGroom dancing with momMother son dance Dancing togetherBride and groom dancingSwaying in the summer breeze

The day went off without a hitch, we got to spend some time capturing photos around Key West at the nearby marina and boat docks, grabbing images with colorful scenery and a vibrant sunset on the beach. 

Bride and groom posing by the turtle museumHappy couple during Key West weddingPosing by the Turtle Museum Turtle Museum wedding photosKissing on the Key West docksCouple grabs a smooch leaned up agains the Turtle Museum wall

Bride swaying dress by the sunsetSwaying the dressBride swishes her white wedding dress against a blue and orange Key West backdrop Bride and groom cozying up during sunsetSunset loveSnuggling at sunset

Cakes by Karol photo by Karrie PorterWedding cake at sunsetAfter nightfall, wedding cakes looks even more delicious Kissing bride and group silhouetted by sunsetSilhouette SkyBride and groom kiss as the night wraps up on their gorgeous day

Kissing at sunset on wedding dayKey West sunset wedding kissKey West couple kisses on the beach while the sunset goes down on the horizon behind them

We were so happy to have the opportunity to work with this beautiful couple (on the inside and out!) and their family!  Thank you to the team who made the planning, decor, ceremony, and evening so effortless.  

Check out their Sneak Peek Gallery HERE!

 

Wedding Planner: Kayla Rokowski from Say Yes in Key West
Hair and Makeup: Elena Southcott from Key West Hair and Makeup Artisty
Videography: John and Iris from CineaVerde
The Dress: Hayley Paige from JLM Couture
Dress Boutique: Bridal Garden
The Suit: Men's Wearhouse
Flowers: Karro Events
Officiant: Patti Flowers
Her Ring: Steven Singer
His Ring: Jared the Galleria of Jewelry
Cake: Cakes by Karol
Music: SoundWave Productions
 

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) island wedding key west wedding magaly and ryan pier house wedding http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/6/magaly-and-ryan-big-day-in-paradise-getting-married-in-key-west Tue, 20 Jun 2017 02:10:47 GMT
Erika and Romel - Bringing Family from Near and Far for a Key West Wedding http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/6/erika-and-romel-pier-house-resort-key-west-wedding When Erik and Romel met through a mutual friend in New York City, they were surprised to find they were also neighbors AND they worked for the same company.  It was obviously meant to be that they would find one another!  

Puppy waits patiently while bride and groom kiss in Key WestPooches and SmoochesKey West couple getting married with their cute puppy celebrating with them!

As their relationship grew, they spent their time together exploring Miami, going boating, and hanging out with friends.  One of their best friends, by the way, is their adorable puppy Brandi, who also got to hang out with us during our Around Key West photo shoot after the wedding!  ;)   

Fuchsia wedding bouquet by Flower Trend Bouquet by Flower TrendSumptuous arrangement of pink peonies and fragrant flowers in fuchsia and cream accent colors. Palm frond accent wedding invitations for Key West weddingInvitations by MintedGorgeous palm frond style wedding invitations featuring classic sans serif typography and silver foil accents

Romel proposed to Erika on a trip to Hawaii, and they have since enjoyed lots of exotic destinations together.  Their MOST exciting destination, if I may be so bold to assume, would be Key West, Florida, where they celebrated their wedding day with family from all over the world!

bride and groom kiss between cheering family in Key West cathedralA Church full of Cheers!Bride and groom kiss as family look on and cheer inside Saint Mary's Cathedral, after their wedding in Key West.   wedding dress hanging in window at Pier House resortThe DressMermaid style train with sheer lace bodice, perfect for a light and airy look for a Key West wedding shadow lines leading toward groom in key west wedding photo All Lines Lead to LoveRomel the groom hanging out under the atrium of Pier House Resort's main entrance, while a water themed artwork and shadow lines from the glass ceiling create a unique balance. Bride posing on steps inside Key West hotel Pier House ResortStunning EntranceBride Erika stops for a moment on the grand staircase inside Pier House Resort's entrance before walking down for her ceremony on the beach.

The wedding day began at the Pier House Resort in the large comfortable bridal suite.  Erika got ready with Bella Luxe Hair and Makeup, giving the perfect complexion that dewey glow every bride dreams of, while her mom, sister, and other attendants enjoyed some pre-wedding pampering as well.  The girls looked stunning, and Erika was able to relax and enjoy the morning.  

Bride and Maid of Honor Sisters Forever!Erika with her sister Jenna. Hair and makeup by Bella Luxe Beauty

Groom surrounded by groomsmen in Pier House Resort Key West FloridaReady Set Groom!Groom Romel looking so handsome in his blue-gray suit with his closest male family members serving as groomsmen.

Bride entering Saint Mary's cathedral on her wedding day in Key WestHere She ComesErika rounds the corner of the Basilica Star of the Sea cathedral on the arm of her father. Groom sees his bride as her father walks down the aisle with herA Real "First Look"The couple did not see each other before the wedding, so this is truly the first time he has seen his bride as she walks down the aisle.

The ceremony at Saint Mary's Star of the Sea was absolutely beautiful, with readings by family members and a lovely service by Father John Baker, whose warm and welcoming personality and witty humor make for a great way to celebrate an already holy union. 

Father blessing wedding couple at Saint Mary'sWhat Man Has JoinedLet no one separate. Erika and Romel receive a blessing by Father John Baker at Saint Mary's Star of the Sea Bride puts ring on groom's fingerWith this RingI thee wed. Erika slips the wedding ring on Romel's finger with a smile. Happy couple married walking down aisleRevelrie Has No BoundsThe couple come down the aisle to raucous applause and lots of selfies!

After the ceremony, the family gathered for portraits in and outside the cathedral, while guests took a trolley ride over to the Pier House for cocktail hour.

St Mary's wedding key westStunning Steeple ShotErika and Romel enjoying a moment after their wedding day in front of Saint Mary's Cathedral Bride and groom by green buildingGoing GreenStanding near a funky green building in downtown Bahama Village in Key West

bride and groom walking on dockA Walk on the DockKey West Marina photos with bride and groom

We managed to sneak in several stops around the island to capture some photos of the bride and groom in the natural Key West surroundings.  Boat docks, old colorful buildings, and 

Bride and groom pose with their dog in bicycle basket by wine store in Key WestBuvez du Vin BicycleGorgeous shot of Erika and Romel with the "bicyclette" in front of this pretty yellow wine shop in Bahama Village. Notice Brandi the dog hanging out in the basket! Married couple walking on Key West dockside restaurantShall We Head Back?Walking hand in hand along the Turtle Kraals dock by the Key West Bight marina

Once we got back to the reception, we were greeted with gorgeous purple uplights and a fun Photo Booth by Prestige Party Rentals, sumptuous tablescapes and floral displays by The Flower Trend, and a funky "fusion band" by LR Entertainment who incorporated DJ sounds with live musicians.  

Wedding tablescape at Pier House Resort by Flower TrendCascade of OrchidsWhite orchids float romantically from clear tall vases Fusion band by LR EntertainmentSax and SoundsA Fusion band incorporates live musicians and a traditional DJ keeping the beats going

wedding cake at Pier House wedding in Key WestTop Tier Love!Elegant cream colored sleek cake design with swirl icing base by Publix Groom giving speechA Multi Lingual WelcomeGroom Romel gave a heartwarming bilingual speech and welcomed his family and guests from all over the world, conducting the speech in both Portugese and English so everyone could enjoy

Bride puts cake on groom's faceCake FaceErika gives Romel a little extra cake after they cut their beautiful three tiered dessert

The night concluded with lots of dancing, boisterous family swirling about the dance floor, the happy couple enjoying every moment, and wrapped up with one final photo cutting a rug on the checkered floor in the ballroom of the Pier House Resort and Spa.

Married couple on dance floorIt Was a Great NightFinal celebrations on the dance floor with family and friends around them

What was your favorite part of Erika and Romel's wedding day?  Leave a Comment below!

And check out their Highlights Gallery HERE!

 

 

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) fusion band key west key west wedding pier house resort saint marys key west wedding wedding photographer http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/6/erika-and-romel-pier-house-resort-key-west-wedding Thu, 01 Jun 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Key West Photographer's Best Tips for a Beautiful Bridal Portrait http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/4/key-west-photographer-shares-how-to-take-a-beautiful-bridal-portrait After getting every hair into place, slipping on the dress that was truly "the one", and matching it with the perfect shoes, you want to take a few minutes on your wedding day to let your photographer capture some stunning bridal portraits of you. 

Gone are the days of stuffy poses and dead stares.  Today's bridal portraits are fresh, romantic, and sometimes even a little sexy.  So before the tears start rolling, here are a few tips on how to look your best in your bridal portrait. 

 

1) Kick everyone out.

Yes....everyone.  You're already nervous, watching the clock, trying to remember your vows, and keeping your emotions in check.  The last thing you need is everyone staring at you.  

Bride Ocean Key ResortGive Yourself Some SpaceBride taking a moment to breathe on her wedding day Bride posing for portrait outside in Key WestBride in outdoor bridal portraitOutdoor Bridal Portrait in Fort Zachary Taylor

Unless you're a professional model and accustomed to someone pointing a giant lens in your direction, having your portrait taken is a little intimidating.  This is likely the first moment that you and your photographer will be interacting in a more direct way, as they will have spent the morning quietly documenting the behind-the-scenes of all the preparations as it unfolded without much direction.  Now, they'll be asking you to adjust "just so", turn your head this way, move your shoulder that way, and you want to be able to focus without feeling self-conscious.

 

2) Beauty Inside and Out

Plan to capture some of your bridal portraits in the comfort and air-conditioning of your suite, but also get a little adventurous and go outside as well.  A good photographer can find amazing images in the most unlikely of places.  Parking garage?  Outhouse?  Rusted bridge?  Street graffiti?  Patch of woods on the side of the road?  All of these can be potential portraits.  Trust that your photographer sees something, even if you don't quite get the vision yet.   

Elevated bridal portraitGorgeous BrideBridal portrait using window light Bride on stairs in parking lotBacklit location bridal portraitCan get great photos anywhere

Bride between bird paintingsBride in Audubon House GalleryBride posing between the birds Bride looking up at cameraInside portrait of EricaFlawless bridal portrait

3) Get ready for a little interior re-decorating

When your photographer walked into the room for the first time, they looked around and their mind lit up with possibilities.  Wedding photographers are unique in that they have to create beauty in any space, no matter the size, lighting, or decor.

Key West wedding bride at DoubletreeBridal portrait using furniture moved from another roomMoving furniture and lights to create the perfect bridal portrait

Fashion photographers can build a scene from scratch; portrait photographers have a studio space dedicated to its purpose; outdoor photographers have wide expanses of space to work with.  But wedding photographers get a 12x15 foot room complete with suitcases, furniture, half-eaten food trays, and what always seem to be the most gigantic lamp shades the hoteliers can possibly find in every corner of the room.  [can you tell I have a love/hate relationship with lamp shades?].  So don't be alarmed when your photographer starts hauling in adirondack chairs from the balcony, moving entire tables, and unplugging things so the cords don't show in the background.

 

4) Where There's a Window, there's a Way

The best lighting for portraits is soft, directional window light.  Most windows are big and have some sort of diffusion material (sheers, blinds, etc) that can be used to modify the quality of the light.  

Key West wedding bride between shuttersBride in double door backlitBacklit portrait of bride between two shutters Bridal portrait in window lightWindow lit rembrandt style portrait of brideRembrandt style bridal portrait in Islamorada

In the studio, your photographer could set up a giant soft box to emulate this effect, but working on location means working with what's there, so wherever the window is, that's where we'll be starting.  If it's a full length sliding door, it can be used for full length dramatic backlit silhouette photos.  If it's a smaller window, it can be used in a more directional pattern to stream light onto the face and bodice of the dress.  If it's an overhead skylight, the options are more limited but it can be used to create a dynamic "fashion-esque" type portrait.  

 

5) Flowers are your Friend

Ever been to a party and felt awkward not having a drink in your hand yet?  We are hard wired to want some form of comfort with us when we are in uncomfortable situations.  And let's face it, when are your nerves more on "high alert" than on your wedding day?  While it's not absolutely necessary to have a bouquet to take great bridal portraits, it definitely helps give your hands something to do, gives you something to "hide" those troublesome areas (we ALL have them!), and of course, they look beautiful and accent the dress perfectly!  

Key West historic venue bridal portraitRound window light behind brideCircular window light source illuminating Key West bride from behind Bridal portrait in Key WestBride standing in patio window

 

6) Embrace a Little Mystery

In addition to the classic softly lit portraits, don't be afraid to get a little more edgy with your portraits.  A low-key, dimly lit room with just a single light source can make for a very dramatic look.  Looking at the camera for some portraits is a great way to connect with the viewer of the portrait, but looking away invokes a sense of mystery and gets the viewer thinking and imagining what thoughts you were thinking and what emotions you were experiencing, and can make for a very powerful portrait as well. 

Key West wedding bridal portraitBacklit curtain shot of brideBrial portrait in window Overhead lighting for dramatic look

7) Do What I Do

If you're not naturally accustomed to striking poses for photos (most people aren't!), then you'll want to look to your photographer for direction.  The easiest way to do this is to mirror them as they demonstrate the pose and look they are going for.  For starters, always have your weight on the foot that is farthest from the camera.  This shifts your hips back and away, and makes you look slimmer.    

141108-076_2507Slight bend in the elbowBrides look best when their limbs are straight

Second, always have a slight bend in the elbow.  Straight arms look limp and unengaged.  The best way to fix this is to rest your palm on your upper thigh and draw your elbow along your waist almost as if you were tucking it behind you.  It gives a slight bend without looking forced.

 

8) Let it Shine

Try to put everything else out of your head for just five minutes and focus on feeling gorgeous.  This will naturally allow your forehead, eyes, mouth, and cheeks to relax and generate a more genuine smile that allows the real glow to shine through.  Don't like the way you smile in photos?  The best remedy is to think of something funny.  We all have inside jokes or things that amuse us.  Have a store of those thoughts ready to bring forward, and you'll get a "real smile" every time.  A little bad photographer-provided humor doesn't hurt, either.  :D

And remember, your real smile doesn't have to be a big gregarious grin.  Some people naturally smile more demurely, and that's okay too!

Bride close upGet in closeUp close outdoor bridal portrait Bridal portrait during key west weddingNatural smile during bridal portraitBride getting married in Key West smiling for camera Bride smiling at camera with flowersSweet bridal portraitBeautiful bride Jasmine getting ready for her wedding day Bride connecting with cameraConnection with bride in cameraBridal portrait with blue and yellow background

9) Let's See A Show of Hands

In professional photography circles, there is a comment often given during critiques that revolves around the placement of the hands.  You know you've nailed a great portrait when everything comes together and the hands are the icing on the cake that finishes the whole look off.  

Bride handsBride's hands on her wedding dayGently clasped hands

So, let's give your hands some "go-to's".  Hold your flowers, play with the back of your hair (underneath the hair if it's all down), trace your decollatage with your fingertips, wrap one arm across your body to create a "resting spot" for your other elbow and bring your hands gently to your cheek or chin, place one hand softly over the other one on a knee or across your waist, and if you're feeling fierce, go ahead and pop both hands up onto the hips with a full "wonder woman" stance! 

Wonder woman brideBride with hands on hipsPosting with fierce wonder woman stance tree lines bridal portraitBride holding flowers with treesBig sky little bride 090516-2_214.jpgNight time portrait bride holding dressHolding the train during bridal portrait
As you can see, there isn't much required to get great bridal portraits.  

Whether the photographer puts the window behind you and shoots into it, to the side and uses it in a Rembrandt effect, or puts it behind her and creates a soft milky flat source that evens out the skin tones beautifully, and whether it's a standing, seated, camera-aware, or more distant thoughtful expression, there are so many ways one can create multiple looks during your Key West wedding bridal portrait session.

As long as you have time to take some photos without rushing and a little creativity on the photographer's part, you can create gorgeous photos of you in your wedding dress before the day gets underway.

 

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) bridal portraits how to get great bridal portraits key west brides look great in your wedding dress preparation photos wedding day ideas http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/4/key-west-photographer-shares-how-to-take-a-beautiful-bridal-portrait Sat, 15 Apr 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Putting A Face With A Name: Virginia Panico, Key West Chamber of Commerce Director http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/3/headshot-session-with-virginia-panico-key-west-chamber-of-commerce-director If you own or work at a business, or are in any way involved with city, tourism, or other issues on the island of Key West, there is likely one name that you have heard:  Virginia Panico.
 

Event candid of Virginia Panico

However, unless you are an active participant in those arenas, you might not necessarily know her if you ran into her in the grocery store.  

As the long time Director of the local Key West Chamber of Commerce, Ms Panico has been at the forefront (and in the trenches) of all matters related to living, working, and visiting Key West for over 20 years.  

Just check out this interview by Britt Myers of The Keys Weekly newspaper in 2015!


She knows her stuff, is well respected, and plays a big role within the community.


I had the honor of being chosen to photograph the annual Key West Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, where I was able to grab the above quick image of Virginia as part of a lineup of past Athena Award recipients.  


But if you were to do a Google Images search for her name to try to associate it with the person, you would be served a mish-mash of poorly-lit indoor action shots, quick 'get together!' group photos from various events, and, ironically, a slew of photos in which Ms Panico is not even present!  

Searching for Virginia Panico in Key West photosWhere's Virginia?Searching for the well-known director of the Key West Chamber of Commerce on Google, ironically, you're served up a variety of photos, many of which do not even have Ms Panico in them!

One might expect someone like that to have a highly curated collection of images, amassed over a long career of activism, events, speaking roles, and board memberships.  


But Virginia is a woman of action, getting things done, and staying involved.  I would imagine that staying busy with two decades of official duties did not leave much time for stopping to schedule a formal portrait of herself, which I can totally understand as well!


Virginia Panico VIRGINIA PANICODirector of the Key West Chamber of Commerce. Photo Credit © Keys Weekly This image, taken by the Keys Weekly staff photographer to accompany their interview when it was published, is one of the few decent publicity photos I could find of Ms Panico.  


It's a nice-but-flatly-lit snapshot with a casual look to it, but as the original version from which it was cropped also incorporated the Visitor's Center sign as well, it served mainly as a visual for the story, not necessarily ticking any boxes for a great portrait.  


So, when she called me and told me she needed to update her headshot, I was of course delighted to be the one to provide it!  After all, this is someone who has been in her position, leading the local business networking organization for over 20 years!  


I needed to make sure I did justice to her position, showcased her professionalism without coming across as stiff or overly-corporate, and also conveyed an approachability as well.  I admit, I was feeling a little pressure, but up for the challenge to deliver. 

Virginia Panico HeadshotVirginia PanicoHeadshot for Virginia Panico, Director of the Key West Chamber of Commerce

The bright tangerine/coral color of her shirt, which complemented her skin tone and hair color perfectly.  We went with a neutral white background so that she could use the image as a transparent PNG cutout if needed for future marketing materials, and to contrast nicely with the brightness of the clothing.  

Karrie Porter headshotsKarrie Porter Photography HeadshotsBright and vibrant headshots by Key West photographer Karrie Porter

 

One common thing I hear with headshots, from both men and women, is the desire to look "fresh and a little more youthful".  Of course we want to look like ourselves, so while we want to retain the shape and overall appearance, there is no harm in putting forward an image that appears rested and vibrant.  

 

To achieve this, I use a lighting technique specifically designed to reduce the appearance of lines (effectively, reducing the shadows), which has the bonus side effect of brightening up the eyes with a little sparkle, and helps minimize skin tone variations as well.  

 

What couldn't be achieved with lighting alone, we took care of with post-production retouching, delivering several iterations of the requested edits before settling on the final version.  

 

Being a lifelong entrepreneur myself and having a long background in marketing, I find professional headshots to be one of my favorites types of portraits to do, because not only can it help a person feel good about themselves, it actually has the power to help them succeed in their business and professional life as well.  

Retouched headshot photoRetouched portrait of Virginia PanicoImage delivered after slight retouching

I'm quite proud of the images Ms Panico and I made together, and am happy to have been selected to help her share her image with the world.   

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) corporate headshots headshot photographer key west chamber of commerce director key west photographer professional headshots http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/3/headshot-session-with-virginia-panico-key-west-chamber-of-commerce-director Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:41:27 GMT
Behind the Scenes During a Casa Marina Wedding Setup http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/2/behind-the-scenes-during-a-casa-marina-wedding-setup It was a beautiful day to have a wedding in Key West, as local wedding planning company, A Modern Romance run by Eric Baker and overseen by his fellow Planner Brittany, set up a stunning display for their clients.  

Casa Marina Resort walkwayCasa Marina ResortOne of the most beautiful venues in Key West, Casa Marina Resort welcomes you in style with a grand walkway that leads from this iconic building out to the beautiful beaches, lined with palm trees and reflection pools High heel shoes in sand at casa marina resort weddingShoes In The SandIt's bare feet only when you're saying your vows with your toes only feet from the ocean. Tray of champagne glasses Bubbles A MustLeave it to the attentive staff at Casa Marina Resort to be at-the-ready with a tray of champagne as the wedding party makes their way to the beach.

I was on scene to capture the setup and details of this small family gathering, with Chip Willis from PSAV getting the beach chandelier just the right height, musician Brian Roberts arriving and getting his equipment tuned for the evening's entertainment, and Casa Marina's food and beverage Director / onsite wedding coordinator, Carina, overseeing the crew as they got the table set.   

Brian Roberts musician, photographed by Karrie PorterPlease Don't Stop The MusicLocal Key West musician, Brian Roberts, arrives with his equipment to the beach to set up before the ceremony. Casa Marina Resort crew behind the scenes wedding setupTable for TenCasa Marina crew get the wedding reception table into position Beach bar setupRaise the BarA full array of wine, beer, liquor, and all the necessary incidentals.

One common misconception with island weddings is that just because there are not often as many guests, that the weddings have to be basic setups.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, there are often more options with smaller groups, because more time and effort can be focused on a setup that doesn't don't span an entire ballroom.  This beautiful centerpiece and carefully arranged decor is one such example.

Crystal chandelier hanging above the beachA Certain Pop Song Comes To MindWhen Sia proclaimed she wanted to party all night ("I want to swing from the chandelier"), I wonder if the one she envisioned was held aloft amid swaying palm trees and the sound of the ocean? Flower centerpiece by Milan Event floralsFloral DecorMilan Events brought out these white beauties to adorn the table for this Casa Marina wedding Chevari chair on beach for Key West weddingSun Kissed ChevariThese classic wedding chairs aren't just for ballroom soirees. They make an elegant seaside choice when your wedding reception is under the blue skies of a Key West afternoon.

Before the ceremony, the team joined together to get every grain of sand and piece of decor into perfect position.

Raking sand in front of wedding ceremonyGetting The Sand Just SoA Casa Marina team member rakes the sand in front of the wedding ceremony before the beginning of the event. Musician setup on beach for weddingMusic SetupBrian Roberts Music getting set up on the beach of Casa Marina resort in preparation for a wedding.
Wedding table setupTable setupPlates and silverware being placed by wedding team Florist arriving with wedding centerpieceFloral GloryMilan Event Florals arrives with the crown jewel of the wedding centerpiece, a magnificent arrangement of flowers and perfectly placed greenery.

Milan Event Florals brought in the beautiful floral designs and centerpieces.  There were two big flower arrangements at the altar in silver vases atop white columnts.  For the reception, a tall center clear glass vase meant guests across the table could still see one another, and look up in admiration of the crowning glory of roses and other floral beauties above them.

Ceremony meets ocean Milan Event Florals by Karrie Porter PhotographyMaking A StatementFloral arrangement by Milan Event in Key West, accented by the splash of a wave coming in off the Atlantic Ocean on the shores of Casa Marina Resort Simple floral arrangement on white linenSmall but PrettySmall white flowers in a simple clear glass make a lovely understated but classy look

The couple and their small group traveled all the way from Norway to enjoy a destination wedding on the private beach of Casa Marina Resort, and had a lovely evening to celebrate.

  Key West wedding beach setupHow It All Comes TogetherThe work of planner, venue, florist, and lighting teams to create the perfect look for this destination wedding client at Casa Marina resort in Key West, Florida Table centerpiece setup by A Modern Romance and Milan Event FloralsA Beautiful Way To Close The DayIt's exciting enough to look across the table and see the love of your life staring back at you, but when that view is adorned with roses and crystal and candles and the deep blue of the ocean, you realize the perfect moment has come together at last.

I hope you liked this Behind-The-Scenes peek into the work that went into creating this fabulous look.  To view the full gallery, CLICK HERE

Planner: A Modern Romance 
Venue: Casa Marina Resort
Florals: Milan Event
Lighting: PSAV
Officiant: Family Member
Hair and Makeup: Unknown
Photos: Karrie Porter

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) a modern romance beach wedding casa marina resort destination wedding intimate wedding karrie porter photography key west key west photographer key west photography milan event florals photos of casa marina wedding small wedding wedding photographer weddings at casa marina http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/2/behind-the-scenes-during-a-casa-marina-wedding-setup Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:31:49 GMT
What Size Digital Files Do I Need? http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/1/what-size-digital-files-do-i-need When hiring a photographer for your upcoming Key West wedding or beach family portrait session, you will likely be offered the option to receive digital copies of your photos, in addition to the prints, albums, and other products you'll be ordering.  In our studio, we have three versions of our digital files, to suit all budgets and needs. 

 

DIGITAL PROOFS

These are your standard screen-resolution digital files, suitable for viewing in your online gallery, watching your digital slideshow on your tablet or Smart TV, and posting to social media.

Digital proofsDigital ProofsThe digital version of old fashioned "contact sheets", digital proofs are meant to display all the images from your shoot. You select your favorites from the proofs.

Similar to "the old days" when printed contact sheets (thumbnails lined up 9 to a page for review) were how photographers shared a set of images, digital proofs are how you review the images from the session.   Digital Proofs in online galleryDigital Proofs delivered in Online Gallery

It is the full set of images, culled down to the best versions from those captured, so you'll usually have several versions of each pose/scene to choose from.  Proofs are edited for basic adjustments such as color, crop, contrast, and exposure corrections if needed.  They have little to no retouching done to them, since they are just for previewing and selecting your favorites.

 

Digital Proofs are automatically included in the cost of the session.  They are delivered either via online gallery or on screen during your in-person reveal appointment.

 

MEDIUM-RESOLUTION DIGITAL FILES (AND DIGITAL ARCHIVE)

They are the most versatile files because while they offer a lot of printed product options, the images are not so huge that they take up a ton of storage space on your computer's hard drive, and they are still small enough to upload to websites and social media without running into any issues.  These files are delivered to you unwatermarked with a release for personal use.  

You automatically receive a retouched Medium Resolution digital copy of everything selected for your order.  So, any photos that go into an album, a wall art, matted print, or other products created and delivered by us, the retouching is included, and you get the benefit of receiving the retouched digital file as well.

Medium Resolution File BeforeMedium Resolution File BeforeImage from Digital Proofs set, before retouching for the client's order.   Medium Resolution File BeforeMedium Resolution File AfterImage after removal of people in background, and enhancements made to colors and crop.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some packages include a full Medium Resolution Digital Archive, which will be all the images you saw in your Proofs, but delivered in a larger format that you can print from.  

Medium-Res' files are suitable for printing wallets, 4x6's, 5x7's, 8x10's, 10x12, for creating wedding and portrait albums up to 12x12", for purchasing photo products such as keychains, mugs, and tote bags, and for creating Save the Date cards, Thank You Cards, and Christmas Cards.  

Print Sizes on Side TableProduct Sizes with Medium Resolution Files

Printing larger than the recommended size will result in pixelation and very blurry, low-quality images.  Not to mention the fact that, doing so technically puts you in violation of your license agreement with your photographer.  :(

Medium-Resolution files are a moderately-priced upgrade that allow you to create some of your own products and have a higher-quality archive of your session, but without the added cost of full resolution files.

 

HIGH-RESOLUTION (aka "Full Resolution") DIGITAL FILES

These are the "digital negatives" of the modern photographer.  Purchasing the High-Res' files is equivalent to having a full size negative of the image(s).  While you are not buying out the copyrights (meaning the photographer still retains ownership of the images), High Resolution images give you the ability to create prints and products in any size, even large 40x60" canvas portraits, if you choose.  

Wall Art above CouchHigh Resolution File Sizes

The file sizes take up a lot more space on your computer, and may not be up-loadable on some web applications, but give you the most "digital information" in your image files as can be saved.  

Similar to with the Medium Resolution Archive, if your session includes a Full Resolution or High Resolution digital image set with your package, any of the images that were retouched as part of your print order, you will also receive the retouched version of the photo, but in High Resolution format.  

High Resolution files, because of their premium size and the fact that they negate the need of clients to order Wall Art from the photographer, often come at a higher price point.  With my studio, clients have the option to upgrade their entire session, or just individual images, in a High Resolution format. 

One thing to note.  "Resolution" does not mean "Quality".  The High-Res files are of no higher 'quality' than the Medium.  Both are saved at a substantial 240 or 300 pixels per inch (PPI), which is the industry standard for high quality printing.  The difference is in the physical dimensions of the photos, which is what determines how large they can be printed.  

Hopefully this is helpful in determining your file size needs, as you make a decision on which Key West photographer to hire for your upcoming session or event!

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) digital digital files digital images digital proofs high resolution key west key west wedding photo sizes medium resolution photography portrait sizes http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2017/1/what-size-digital-files-do-i-need Sun, 15 Jan 2017 21:30:00 GMT
Why Can't I Just Have The Disc? http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2016/12/why-cant-i-just-have-the-disc "Shoot and Burn" is not Service

Square Cameo 2Square Cameo 2 You wouldn't be happy paying someone to design and build your dream home, but walking away with nothing more than the blueprints, content to figure it out on your own.  

You wouldn't be happy going to an exclusive restaurant, paying for a premium meal, and having the chef bring out all the ingredients on a plate and leaving you to fend for yourself.  

And you aren't going to be happy if you pay a photographer to create images you love, then have to spend the next several months or years waiting until you have time to learn Photoshop and InDesign before you can print your first portrait. 

The Cost Is Not In The Spark Plugs

It's easy to think that "if I'm not getting prints, then the package will be cheaper".  Mmm...not quite.  

It's kind of like taking your car to a mechanic, paying them to tune up your vehicle, but telling him "we really just want you to dig in there, find the problem, give us the spark plugs, and we'll finish the rest of it ourselves".  

He can give you the spark plugs, sure, but he still has to charge you for the time he spent, the electricity the work used, the opportunity cost associated with taking your car over someone else's.  The $5 spark plug is really irrelevant in that equation...all those things have a cost associated with them, which adds up to basically the same as what you'd pay for him to just finish the job.  

We Made Something Beautiful Together

As the "digital revolution" took hold, we have taken our most cherished possessesions - our memories - and reduced them to a cold flat soul-less piece of hardware, one that many admit years later, aside for some pictures they posted on social media, they never looked at ever again.  

That's sad.  I don't want that.  We worked hard to get those images.  I pulled out all the stops, pulled out an extra lens for a special shot, brought the extra doo-hicky-bobber just in case, we hiked 3 miles by the time it was done, I left with bruised knees, your sides hurt from laughing, and I had sand in my tripod clamps, but we were both beaming from ear to ear!  

Karrie Porter directs model posing next to tree during photo shootBehind the scenes during portrait shootDirecting my model posing next to this killer tree we incorporated into her photo shoot. Tree with gnarly roots during model photo shootResulting "Gnarly Tree" imageModel Kylie in the final shot that we got during her session

 

 

And what about you!?  

 

You paid good money for those images.  

 

And they were awesome.  

 

And you left feeling good about this!

 

Life Takes Over. 

Think about it: you got your entire family together and traveled 682 miles to be together.  Your brother in law wore a collared shirt for the first time in 10 years, and your moody teenager smiled "for real" running around that beach.  You're going to leave them on a disc, or a USB drive, and not bother with them ever again?

USB drive flash stick on white backgroundSo Luxurious...not.The digital files are a means to an end. They are not the product. They are the ingredients in the chef's concoction, they are the blueprint for the architect's skyscraper, they are merely the bits and bytes in a photographer's toolkit that result in a finished photograph. Oh what's that?  You had every intention of making a book, but you couldn't figure out whether to go with Canva, SmugMug, or SnapFish.  You say you wanted to put some on the wall but couldn't decide between Fine Art Matte, Fuji Deep Matte, and True Matte, and finally got overwhelmed and too busy to worry about it.  I see.  And before you knew it, six years went by...oh what's that?...it was ten years.  Yikes.

Sad, isn't it?  I've now been around long enough now to have clients come back to me over the years and tell me this same thing over, and over, and over.  

A Turning Point and a MovementInternationally awarded and acclaimed portrait photographer superstar, Sue Bryce, my mentor and general industry ass-kicker, speaking at WPPI to the brightest names and shakers in the imaging community, talking about the demise of the "missing generation". I subscribe to the professional mantra that to call yourself a photographer is to believe that the work does not end until the client is holding a physical, tangible product that will last them a lifetime. This is how I was feeling as I was beginning to connect the dots of what it meant to have offered digital-only options to my clients for too long.  

The Missing Generation

The turning point for me was when I attended a workshop at Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) one of the megalith international organizations for professional photographers, and my mentor Sue Bryce got up and kicked us all in the ass.  

To a room full of the top minds in professional imaging, she laid into us up one side and down the other, like an auditorium full of school children getting called into the principals office.  

In her signature Kiwi accent, she made us realize that we were the reason that an entire generation of children are going to grow up without that self esteem that comes from seeing your photo framed lovingly on the side table, why family legacies now had gaping holes in their records, why sitting on grandma's couch flipping through photo albums will become a lost art, why and why when future populations look back on this time, they're going to wonder "where did everyone go?"  

hard drive on white backgroundReally?This is what you want to look at in exchange for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars? We have all taken the easy way out.  Consumers, content with an online-only existence.  And Photographers, relieved to be rid of all the work that happens after the shoot.  

So together we have contributed to "the missing generation".

We are now a culture that, when the drives crash, the internet "clouds" dissipate, USB sticks get lost, or better yet, experience the tiniest bit of static electricity and get wiped clean (true story), the CDs get scratched (or an ant farts too close to them and barely misaligns the surface, rendering them useless), or anything else happens to our current methodology of storing our memories, we will have nothing to show for it. 

So, myself along with many other professionals in my field, have committed ourselves to not only the art of making good images, but the craftsmanship that comes with delivering a product that will last.  

That's Great and All, but Seriously...Can I Just Pay You For the Disc?

If nostalgia and longevity are not enough to convince you that what we are doing here is meaningful (and therefore valuable), then perhaps a more business-like spin on it will help provide some additional insight.

There can sometimes be a disconnect between the easy perception of digitals being an "easy fix" for an inexpensive shoot, and the professional standard of providing a finished, tangible product, retouched and mounted so it will both look good and last a lifetime.  

 

People tell me "I don't want anything fancy", or "I don't need a lot of extra stuff".  I understand it's easy to think that because digitals aren't something we can pick up and touch, that they have no cost associated with them.  Actually, digitals represent the greatest cost of all the products a photographer can offer.  A print is only created because the client wants it, therefore it represents no long term cost to the business...no storage, no backups, no servers, no software.

Array of hard drives on white backgroundThis Is Your Brain...On ElectricityEvery thought, feeling, emotion, tear, memory, frustration, every inch of growth, every family outing, every loss, and everything that represents your visual history, now looks like this.

Digital files, on the other hand....well, we shoot 100 raw files, generate an editing catalog, store the sidecar files, store the exported 16 bit TIFF files for long term storage and the 8 bit High-Resolution JPG's for immediate use, the low-res web files for our website, and the watermarked versions for vendors and marketing.  

Most photographers can't bear to delete old shoots, so the hard drives pile up year by year, and because every good photographer knows that it's a matter of when, not if, a drive will crash, there has to be duplicates on another set, and a cloud backup in case the building burns down someday.  

So out of a set of 100 images on a small shoot, the client may select 10 for their order, but we maintain the full set for safe keeping, and now have a stock pile of 1800 files (Original Raw x 100 + Edited sidecar files x 100 + HighRes Jpg x 100 + LowRes Jpg x 100 + Watermarked x 100 + Archival Tiffs x 100 = 600 copies + 1 Duplicate Drive x 600 + 1 Cloud Based Backup x 600 = 1800).

Hanging photos on the wall.Go Big when you Go HomeHanging photos on the wall is scientifically proven to increase dopamine (the happy chemical), increase self-awareness and self-esteem, and is linked with happier marriages and more stable home life.

 

Consider the difference in intrinsic value from when you pick up an album, with thick pages and leather hand-stitched cover, or a canvas print carefully stretched over a frame and hung lovingly on the wall.  

 

There is almost no amount of money that you can put on the happiness, stress-relief, and relationships that are built on positive self-image and visual affirmation.  

 

"Shoot and burn" photographers cannot give you what I, and other professionals who operate like I do, can give you.

 

If you are wanting to work with someone for whom this is a full time career, there is effort, time, and money in education, insurance, taxes, staff, materials, and equipment that you expect when you give good money for a service, that affects the cost of the service regardless of the finished product.

 

Sure, some pricing is affected by location, and those intangibles like years of experience, creative style, and longevity (knowing that if you need to come back 5 or 10 or 20 years later, the liklihood that that person will still be in business), but in general, there are basic operating expenses that do not go away.

Because of that, the cost - from a business standpoint - is the same whether you receive 10 digital files, or 10 beautiful prints and their accompanying digital files. 

All other things being equal, why wouldn't you want both?

 

Portrait of couple in matted print.Is Everything In The BagThis is what photography looks like. Something you can pick up, touch, hold, kiss, love, display, and pass down to your kids when they are grown. Invest In Product, Not Pixels

I pose the question....if you are going to invest in the time and effort it takes to get your group together and capture some beautiful portraits, isn't it worth it as well to work with someone who is going to see the process all the way through to the end?  Someone who isn't going to leave you out in the cold, designing your own album, cropping your own photos, printing images on non-color-calibrated printers, and leaving it up to you to keep those digital files safe and secure. 

"Just getting the disc" might sound like a good idea right now, but 30 years from now, when your family can pick up and hold prints, or reach up to the portrait on the wall, or sit and thumb through old prints stored neatly in a box...that is when the value of what you purchased really hits you.

 

 

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) exist in photographs explanation of digital files explanation of printed products key west photographer missing generation why you should display your photos http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2016/12/why-cant-i-just-have-the-disc Thu, 01 Dec 2016 18:45:00 GMT
Destination Photographer versus Local Pro http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2016/10/destination-photographer-versus-local-pro A Photographer for your Destination Wedding: Hire a Local, or Bring One From Home?  
Finding great vendors for a destination wedding comes with its own unique set of challenges, from being able to verify their professionalism and reliability, to something as simple as communicating over different time zones.  Often, hiring local for most vendors is a matter of practicality.  Five-tier cakes and sumptuous floral arrangements don't take kindly to long-distance travel, so the chances are slim that you'll hire anyone other than who is locally available. 
 
But with photographers, their service is unique in that their "product" is essentially them - their creativity, personality, experience, and technical training - and the quality of those things does not change based on where they are shooting.  So, the thought may have crossed your mind "Should I hire a photographer locally, or should I bring someone with me from back home?".  
 
While both will be able to deliver technically accurate and aesthetically pleasing results, when making this decision, consider that a local photographer has a lot going for them that their out-of-town counterparts will not find so easy.
 

141011-090_1662141011-090_1662 1) They know the roads and can lead the way

 
A photographer who lives and works in the destination you're getting married is going to know the area geographically...without a GPS, without stopping for directions, and without the need for U-turns every few miles.  They know the side-streets when traffic is jammed, they can give your mom directions when she ends up at the wrong location, they know who's going to tow you if you leave your car too long, and they've already heard about the impromptu parade down the main drag, long before Uncle Jim calls that he can't get through.  And especially important on a wedding day when timelines are so important, they've lived there long enough to know exactly how long it will take to get from Point A to Point B, so you can be pretty confident in their scheduling skills. 
 
If you're getting married in a cool destination, it's unlikely you'll stay in one place with your photographer; you want to get out there and incorporate the location into your photos.  Having a local photographer who can get you around town safely and efficiently, and get you back to the ceremony on time.
 

160610-081_1692_retouchedB160610-081_1692_retouchedB 2) You get instant insider access

 
Destination weddings often take place in small towns, and it's amazing what kind of access you can get to places that would normally be off limits or require a lot of red tape.  No matter where you are, Locals like to take care of their own.  If you're wanting rooftop access at the fort that normally doesn't allow it, or maybe you've always dreamed of an Engagement photo on stage at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, or you passed that old abandoned Theater and wondered who you'd have to talk to in order to get in, you can probably bet that your local photographer knows someone who would be happy to make that happen.  That's not to say an out-of-town photographer can't do some homework and reach the same end result, but pulling permits, registering with the film commission, and paying reservation fees seems rather silly when a local can whip out her iPhone and send a quick text.   
 

Karrie and Jenn Perez at Mouer Wedding - Old Town ManorKarrie and Jenn Perez at Mouer Wedding - Old Town Manor 3) Your local photographer plays nice with others

 
No wedding vendor operates in a vacuum.  They all rely on each other to make your day a success, and when they work with each other every other weekend, root on each other's kids at soccer games, and run into each other at the grocery store, there's a level of comeraderie and symbiosis that doesn't happen otherwise.  That's not to say that an outside vendor is going to get the cold shoulder, but it's human nature to have more of a vested interest in those who are part of your regular network.  
 
The opposite can sometimes happen if your out-of-town vendor arrives with a slight chip on their shoulder, perhaps feeling a sense of privilege at having been 'flown in by the bride'.  While this is "back of house" stuff and should never affect your wedding day among accomplished professionals, the fireside chats about "difficult diva vendors" abound, and you don't need anything detracting from your day.   
 

IMG_6441IMG_6441 4) Summoning support is no sweat

 
We all like to pretend that nothing will ever go wrong and everything will be perfect on your wedding day.  But the reality is that sometimes, things happen.  An accident can shut down bridges and make it impossible to get from island to island.  A thief on the beach can slip away with an entire bag of gear.  Your photographer can be randomly walking down some stairs and fall and twist her ankle.  When these things happen, you want someone who can fix the problem, find a backup, and quick!  If you're getting married in a major metropolitan area...sure, your out-of-town photographer can call the local rental house and have a new bag of gear delivered.  But in a destination like the Florida Keys or Key West, those services aren't usually available.  Being part of the community means having an instant rescue network.  Whether it's an extra hand because the other one will be holding crutches, or an extra flash because your photographer just went for an unexpected swim, there's more of a safety net when working with a local professional.
 

141012-006_1903141012-006_1903 5) Give You a Unique Perspective

 
When your photographer has never visited a new place, they have to walk a fine line between explorer and tactician.  Traveling to a new location is exciting, but they have a job to do.  Everything is new, and because they haven't photographed something 37 other times, they feel good about even more "run of the mill" shots, simply because they don't yet have a frame of reference.  Because you're on limited time and they have limited knowledge of the area, they're going to play it a little more safe.  This isn't to say that those photos won't be beautiful, but you're not going to get that "level up" that a local can deliver.
 
When you live and shoot in the same destination all the time, you have to be constantly innovative.  A local photographer has a more limited palette of new places to work in, and therefore a much higher frequency working in the same space.  Any creative worth her salt is going to get bored shooting the same scene the exact same way every time, and if she is a quality photographer, her clients are going to expect that their wedding photos don't look like everyone else's.  Therefore, if a destination wedding photographer is going to stay at the top of her game, she has no choice but to think outside the box.  
 
There are many things to consider when hiring your photographer for your destination wedding, but the ultimate decision should be which of the local professionals has the best personality, style, and credentials to be the perfect fit for you, not whether you should bring someone from out of town.  
 
141012-369_8204141012-369_8204
If you're traveling for a destination wedding, consider the difference between bringing your own photographer and hiring someone locally. 
Locals
  • know the area
  • know the vendors
  • are familiar with weather patterns
  • can save time with secret shortcuts
  • have a network of support to call on should something go awry. 

But over time, working the same venues for many years, there is the risk of their work becoming very formulaic, so make sure to review samples of multiple weddings from the same venue to get a sense of how their creativity continues to expand even in a familiar space. 

Conversely, bringing your own photographer means you get someone you can connect with before and after the wedding in person.  This is a valuable asset in that your photographer will be the one person you'll be in close proximity to the entire day, and you want to make sure you are comfortable with them.  On the other hand, they don't know the local area and will have to be extra resourceful in making all the logistics of the day work out, and you should budget one extra scouting day for them, which can hurt the budget between hotel, per diem, and hourly non-shooting rates. 

If you're considering a wedding in Key West, reach out to local planners, or you are welcome to comment here on the blog, shoot us an email, or message us on social media if you just have a quick question about a venue, vendor, or varietal.  Good luck!

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) bringing an outside photographer getting married in Key West hiring local key west photographers key west wedding planning should I bring my own photographer http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2016/10/destination-photographer-versus-local-pro Sat, 01 Oct 2016 13:00:00 GMT
Hiring an Undercover Photographer to Capture Your Proposal http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/hiring-an-undercover-photographer-to-capture-your-proposal Feel like someone's watching you?  You should!

You've invested years into your relationship, learned her preferences and predilections, and decided she's "the one".  You shopped around and dropped a substantial sum on the ring of her dreams.  You planned the perfect getaway to Key West, using any excuse you could think of to justify the trip, and have been hiding the ring box in clever places, praying everything goes perfectly.  After all that effort, why let the moment unfold without anyone there to document it? 

Man proposes at Casa Marina ResortProposing to Girlfriend at Casa MarinaMan kneels on one knee to propose to his girlfriend on the beach of Casa Marina Resort.

An undercover photographer who specializes in proposals is the perfect final piece of a puzzle you've spent so much time and energy to put together. 

Beyond the photos...a Proposal Photographer helps:

  • Scout locations to determine the best options
  • Create helpful schematics of the space so you know exactly where to go
  • Coordinate with the venue to get the necessary permissions
  • Book your reservations, transportation, or any other pertinent details if needed
  • Clear the area before you arrive (if possible) so you have the space to yourself
  • Arrange any necessary seating, shade, or champagne, so you don't have to

Other qualities to look for:

  • Someone who will coach you through the logistics
  • Someone who knows the location, where the natural light falls, and will consult you on how to make the best use of the space
  • Someone who knows how to be discreet, but isn't afraid to rally for position when the moment arrives
  • Someone who knows not to text your cell phone and ask if you're excited about your proposal.  :)
  • And obviously, you want a photographer who is not only good at all these above items, but is also skilled and creative in their work!

 

 

Engaged couple portrait at beachCouple snuggling after proposalHaving a photographer at your proposal means you can immediately get some engagement photos taken Why It's Important

I remember the day my own husband asked me to marry him...he had planned an extravagant weekend to a place I had always wanted to go.  I thought it was just for fun, but when on the second day, I turned around to find him kneeling down, the world melted away, my mind went blank, and suddenly people around me were clapping and congratulating us. 

It happened so fast, and while the image of his face looking up at me will forever be ingrained in my mind, I would have loved to have some photographs of the moment to share with family and friends, and to make me smile whenever I looked at them fondly years down the road.  Since then, I have worked hard to provide this service to guys asking their girl to marry them.  And every time, the girls are almost as excited about having the photos as they are about the ring, and you'll be relieved knowing you've got someone there helping it all go smoothly.   

 

So if you're planning a trip to the Florida Keys with a special question to ask a special someone...

be sure to download the guide and put this unique service at the top of your checklist.
1-Cover1-Cover FREE DOWNLOAD:
Surprise Proposal
Photography Guide
 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

KarrieMugKarrieMug Karrie Porter is a
destination wedding
photographer based
in Key West, Florida.  


CONTACT KARRIE

 

 

 
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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) ask girlfriend to marry engagement hidden hidden photographer key west photographer pictures of proposal popping the question proposal secret undercover http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/hiring-an-undercover-photographer-to-capture-your-proposal Mon, 27 Apr 2015 01:29:04 GMT
The Essential Destination Wedding Photo Must-Haves http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/the-essential-photos-every-destination-wedding-should-have  

Traditional weddings tend to call for more traditional photos, modern weddings have more contemporary photos, and casual weddings have more laid-back, less formal photos.  But what if you're getting married in a destination like the Florida Keys, Key West, the Bahamas, or some other island getaway? 

Just because it's remote doesn't mean you're roughing it, and just because there won't be 300 people doesn't mean it's a low-key event.  A mixture of relaxed attitude, a flair for the unique, and keeping only the closest friends and family as part of the celebration calls for a unique set of images. 

So toss out that mainstream photo list you were given.  Here are the images every destination wedding should have.

1) Bold, Colorful Backgrounds

If your house is a normally neutral palette of tans and taupe's, the fastest way to spice up a room is with a splash of color.  If that color just so happens to be the wild mural your photographer found with pops of yellow and red, or a brazenly blue and turquoise building in the middle of a historic part of town, even better!  Plan to get out and explore a little, and come back from your trip slightly more psychedelic than you expected. 

Bahama village blue and green building with wedding coupleBahama Village bride and groomBride and groom pause in front of this brightly colored building in the historic district of Key West known as "Bahama Village"

Smooches in front of the Key West postcard muralKissing in Key WestColorful mural near the Key West Bight gives reason for a smooch.

 

2) Relish in the Resort

You probably looked at two dozen websites, spoke to multiple people, and considered many factors before booking the perfect place to stay.  Sure, photos in your hometown hotel on the mainland probably wasn't something any website ever recommended, but for a destination wedding, the accommodations are part of the entire experience.  Even if you're not getting married there, having photos around the beautiful property you're staying at is one way to add value to that likely-premium per-night rate you've booked.  
Diamond skylight above bride posing by angular railing.Diamond [Not] In the RoughResort builders go to great lengths to attend to unique details and interesting angles. Let your photographer stop you on the walk down to the ceremony to incorporate some of this well-placed architecture. Family on split levels at Ocean Key ResortSplit Level LayoutDon't be afraid to split up the group for a minute, and use your resort's separate levels to create a fun shot with everyone in attendance. Bride and groom pose by pillar in Hyatt Key West ResortLet the Light Shine DownWhere there is a pillar covered in teeny tiles and recessed lighting to make it shimmer, there's an opportunity to get some dramatic overhead lighting before stepping out into the sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Sand Between Your Toes

If you love the idea of getting married near the ocean, but are worried about your guests watching the ceremony through sunglasses or straining to hear your vows over the cawing seagulls, don't fret.  You can always have the ceremony elsewhere, then stop off at the beach for photos.  Get there early when the sand has been freshly graded by the maintenance crews, or hold off until sunset when the pretty evening lighting makes for sunkissed accents in your hair and dress.   

Couple walks through sand leaving footprints on Smathers BeachTake a WalkMost beach communities take the time to grade (rake) the sand first thing in the morning. If you're an early riser, you get to lay the first set of footprints in the sand for the day. Couple walking toward camera on Casa Marina beachCome On Honey!When you've got a wedding ceremony to get to, you may only have 5 or 10 minutes, so hurry down the beach, and have fun while you're at it.

Bride smiling while walking barefoot in sand on Higgs BeachGo BarefootIf you're at the beach, forget the wedge heels and strappy sandals. Kick 'em off for a stroll in the sand. You can't help but smile in a moment like this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Get Your Groom Going

Is your man usually pretty mild-mannered, especially where photos are concerned?  You'd be surprised how much he'll open up when he's in a beautiful location with his best friend.  So don't be surprised when he takes a flying leap off a bench, or busts out with the air guitar in the middle of the day.   

Groom plays air guitar while bride looks on laughingShred It In SilenceIf your groom has a knack for music, the sounds of the live island tunes floating in from every direction may just inspire him to strike a chord on his own. Groom riding bike down path on wedding dayHuffy = HappyGive this boy a bike and there's no way he won't beam, especially riding past his pals through a path shaded by palm trees. Groom being goofy jumping off a bench in Key WestJump for JoySure, the pictures of the entire bridal party jumping in a row are a lot of fun, but if the mood strikes your future hubby to take a leap off a yellow street bench, tell him to go for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) Embrace the Unusual

Whether it's a funky stump painted by a local artist to resemble a sea creature, or a boat converted into a car to float your bridal party to your ceremony, being in a new location means doing things you would probably not normally do anywhere else.  

Colorful stump painted like an octopus in Key West.Octopus Stump? Why not!Being in a new place involves embracing the new and the unusual. So when you come across a funky octopus stump painted by a prominent local artist, embrace all eight tentacles. Groomsmen ride in pink floating cadillac Nautilimo.Yup...That's a Floating LimoIf there is one day in your life you can roll up in a pink floating Cadillac, your island-based wedding is it! The "Nautilimo", based in Islamorada, Florida, brings the bridal party right to the dock.

 

6) Remove the Rings

Gone are the days when the newlyweds hold hands over the bouquet to show off their shiny finger trinkets.  Wiggle off your ring and let the photographer create a sparkling scene with them.   

Macro image of wedding ring diamond with blurry fire in backgroundLet it GlowYou wouldn't know it at first glance, but that orange in the background is the faint flickering of a bonfire. Rings in champagne glassRaise A GlassIf your rings come back a little damp, don't worry. They were just getting their bubbly on like the rest of the guests. Wedding rings showing groom's fingerprint inside and sparkle background.Shimmer Me TimbersAn island affair doesn't mean everything has to be pirate ships and tiki torches. A sparkly purse makes the perfect backdrop for this stunning set. Wedding rings in beach with impressions left in the sandMake An ImpressionYour wedding day will leave a lasting impression on everyone who attends and is involved in making it a reality. Signify this by letting your rings leave a mark - in the sand - as well.

 

7) Bridal Party Antics

You'll be with them the entire day, but unless your bridal party are all members of a local theatre troupe accustomed to synchronized displays of expressive behavior, images like these aren't going to just magically materialize.  But getting the group of 10 or 12 exuberant friends away from the party for a few minutes doesn't mean the fun has to end.  Plan for some time to spend just with them, and your photographer can set up scenarios that look good and non-contrived.    

Bridal party in seafoam green dresses chat on the beachChat It UpThe best moments happen when you're not aware of the camera, so check each other out and talk about the day to come.

Guys coming out of Sloppy Joe's in Key WestA Stop At Sloppy'sNo need to rush to the altar. We've got all day, so plan for a little stop off at one of the iconic local saloons with the guys - like this group at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West - for a quick bit of revelry. Bridesmaids link arms and walk along Rest Beach near White Street Pier.Walk With MeYou chose these girls because they're the most important people in your life. Stay close, share laughs, and strut your stuff.   It's time for the reception!  Run!Run for the Reception!Something as silly as a run down the beach can really loosen everyone up and make them realize that they won't be forced to stand with stiff poses and forced smiles.   Bridal party forms horseshoe shape toward camera.Form a HorseshoeLow angles and a little sassy expression means the blue sky and those sweet suits get all the attention they deserve. Just curve toward the camera so no one gets left out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8) Don't Forget The Details

Pictures of details aren't a new thing, but when your tiny items have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to make it to your wedding in the Florida Keys or wherever else your wishes have taken you, they tend to feel even more special.  So, whether you're making a subtle case for marriage equality with some nicely printed wedding programs, showing off a hot new pair of shoes, or highlighting the "sheer" brilliance of your dress selection, detail shots add context to the entire day.

Sunlight backlit sheer dressLight Through LaceAnything sheer should be enshrined in light to give it a beautiful glow from within. Bright shoes hanging from white balcony railing.Fuchsia ShoesBold shoe colors were meant to be seen. Clever images of bright pumps dangling from gingerbread railings (yes, they're really called that) are a fun scene-setter for the entire set of "getting ready" photos. LGBT wedding card depicts subtle meaning of togethernessCards For HumanityThose subtle little touches distributed in print give meaning and extra context to the day. Just because they aren't tabletop show stoppers doesn't mean they don't have a quiet power that should be ignored.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9) Let the Veil Prevail

Lots of destination brides share that they are torn over whether or not they want to wear a veil.  After all, the laid-back atmosphere of a Key West wedding, for example, might make the veil seem a bit too formal.  I'm here to tell you that once you see the wonderful things that train of tulle can do when the ocean breeze gets involved, you might just change your mind! 

Bride's veil blowing in the wind.Tighten Your Clip!A long, luxurious veil is such a fun way to frame a shot; just make sure whatever you've got to hold it in your hair is very secure, as those Atlantic breezes can be a bit gusty at times! Bride stands on rocks by oceanOn The RocksA little elevation onto the coral rocks gives just enough lift for the Gulf breezes to catch the veil and show it off.

 

10) Sea Walls and Sunsets

This one might be a given, but since sunset can sneak up on you during the afternoon festivities, it's a good idea to plan around it so that it is an integral part of your wedding day schedule.  You'll have about a 15 minute window during which the light is perfect and the skies come ablaze with the dramatic pink and orange hues you saw in the travel mags.   

Bride swishes dress on top of Fort Zachary TaylorSunset SwishYou could just stand there, or you can grab the dress and swish it around. Married couple pose during sunsetWarm Skies, Cool ColorsThere is a period of time about 10 minutes before the sun hits the horizon and about 10 minutes after that the skies take on stunning hues of pink and orange, offset by a small bit of remaining blue.

 

 

 

 

So with these top ten image types, hopefully his helps in your destination wedding planning decisions.  Whether you're headed to the Florida Keys, Key West, or another island chain, you'll be well equipped to incorporate photography that makes the best use of the unique locale.  

In the meantime, share your thoughts, and your own photo ideas, in the comments!

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) checklist destination wedding destination wedding photographers key west wedding key west wedding photo ideas key west wedding photography photo checklist photo ideas photographers in key west photography planning http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2015/4/the-essential-photos-every-destination-wedding-should-have Sun, 12 Apr 2015 17:21:53 GMT
My Mission http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2015/2/Karrie-mission-statement  
Bride in window with orchidThe power of recollection I give people the power to recollect.  As someone who is very nostalgic, thinks deeply into the meaning of every little moment, and daydreams in great detail about the future, my mission is to create a world that people can draw on in moments of reflection, and be transported back in time to feel the emotions, see the faces, and be reminded of the love that made the event important enough to document in the first place. 
 
When life takes over and we start to lose perspective, I give couples the power to rediscover each other. For when they peel back the layers of stress and distraction, and stand up out of the fog, they can see the moments that brought them together, and move forward in greater love and respect for each other. 
 
Love is infectious. Kindness grows exponentially. When we feel the power of love, and are reminded of its beauty in the images we surround ourselves with, especially when we know - being human - we aren't always worthy, we rise to the occasion and we pass it on.  They in kind do the same.  
 
And so, in this way, my mission is to also improve the world by improving the thoughts and emotions we allow into our minds.  If an image can change one person's perspective, it can in actuality change 100 perspectives, which can then change 10,000.  That's a pretty powerful thing, and it's why I aim every day to be better than yesterday, to give more than I gave, to love more than I have been loved, and to be more than I ever was. 
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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2015/2/Karrie-mission-statement Sun, 15 Feb 2015 04:04:10 GMT
Don't Trust One Wedding Vendor to Hire Another http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2015/2/watch-out-for-shady-wedding-vendor-dealings-when-booking-florida-keys-ceremony Let me first start off by saying that I am not going to name names here.  The point of this post is not to draw negative attention (and thereby any attention) to specific individuals.  Instead, I mean only to inform brides planning to get married in Key West that there are a few things to keep an eye on when booking your vendors.  

Talking with photographer before the weddingGroom talking with photographer First and foremost, if you are talking to one vendor about a combined service, and they are saying they will handle the booking of the other service(s) for you, make sure you get copies of that vendor's contract WITH THE OTHER VENDOR.  Do not trust your wedding day to someone else.  If you hire a videographer, and they say they will handle booking your photographer, EVEN IF YOU SPEAK TO THAT PHOTOGRAPHER, do not assume there is a confirmed booking and a proper deposit paid until you see it in writing. 

Better yet, even if you're doing a combined vendor "deal" with two people who work together, simply request that you want to sign contracts with EACH of them, individually.  

Why am I telling you this?  Well...because this very situation happened to one of my brides, and to me, and I want to help prevent it from happening to others.  Because of the actions of one unscrupulous vendor, the bride almost lost her photographer and important members of her other vendor team (hair/makeup/etc) three days before the wedding.  

With this ring..With this ring.. At the request of a very prominent (but unbeknownst to me at the time, notorious) videographer in town, someone I actually considered a friend, I had a consultation by phone with a bride to provide the photography portion of a combined photo/video package.  She indicated to the videographer that she wanted to work with me, and (also unbeknownst to me), paid her deposit at that time (this was about 10 months before the wedding).  

Over the next few months, for about 5 or 6 months total, I would check in with the videographer on occasion and ask if the bride was booking and if she had paid her deposit.  He always told me she had not.  Come to find out later, he had actually been lying the whole time, as the bride HAD paid. 

Let me also add that this particular wedding was on a very popular wedding date.  I had roughly 7 or 8 leads for the date who would email in.  I would always mention that I had another inquiry on the date but nothing booked so far.  Each time, I would reach back out to the videographer about our mutual lead, and always he would say he'd get back to me.  In the meantime of waiting, I would eventually fall out of touch with the other lead, and they would book elsewhere.  I lost every other inquiry while waiting for an answer, and many of them for a larger package.  But because I considered this vendor a friend, I wanted to be there for him. 

Sunset behind silhouette couple in Key WestCouple stand together silhouetted against the sunset sky in Key West When I finally told him I would need an answer or book another wedding for the date, magically the next day he had a signed contract and a paid deposit, meaning, for me, a confirmed booking and I could stop looking to fill the date.  Great. At this point we were still a few months out, so I told him he could get me my portion of the deposit at his convenience.  (Big mistake on my part....but I really shouldn't have to track it down either).

A week before the wedding, I am getting emails and calls from the planner, the bride...we are talking and going over things, and in every way I am being consulted as the photographer for the wedding.  I get the planner's schedule, however, and it's the videographer's business listed as providing photography.  I sort of scratch my head, but don't think much of it.  After about an hour talk with the bride to go over logistics, we wish each other well and vow to see each other on Saturday.  This is when I mention to her my uncertainty of whether I am getting payment from her or from the videographer (I was never copied on any contracts, so I have no way of knowing, and the videographer wouldn't answer me).  She cheerfully says the videographer has been paid in full for the entire package "a while ago".  Keep in mind, this sum is not an insignificant number.  

1185320_645266782159536_778871400_n1185320_645266782159536_778871400_n But when I check in with the videographer, he balks at my mention of the payment.  He changes the number.  Not by a little bit.  By basically almost all of it.  He essentially wants me to drive four hours, shoot 8 hours, and deliver the files to him for only about 25% of what we originally agreed to.  After expenses...paying my assistant, my editor, my travel, and a few bits of rental gear, I will make nothing.  We go back and forth...me very polite and understanding, fully realizing that miscommunications happen, and offering options for how we can come to a resolution.  He gets angry, starts cursing, retorts that he had offered me a specific price earlier in the year (not apples to apples mind you, but that's a conversation for another day) and changes into someone I don't even know.  He tells me never mind, he'll find someone else. 

Except, it's now four days before the wedding, and I know that everyone is booked.  I call the coordinator, whom I've never worked with but I know has a good reputation.  I explain what's going on.  She tries to mitigate.  I even offer to renegotiate our terms to make it work for both of us.  He won't budge.  

So then I call the bride and tell her I'm very sorry, but the videographer will be finding someone else to shoot her wedding.  I try to keep the details to a minimum, but of course she wants to know what happened.  I tell her the whole story.  She is understandably upset with the videographer, who basically took a large sum of money for a photo and video package, but has basically failed to hire her a photographer.  Yup.  Pretty much. 

141213-526_0440141213-526_0440 When it turns out they can't find anyone else, and the videographer won't budge, and the bride tells me she still wants me there, I offer to shoot the wedding....for free.  Yes....free.  I figure if I'm going to work for someone else and be backed into an impossible corner, and not get paid, then I'm going to work instead for the client directly, handle things on my own terms, and not get paid.  

It was a beautiful day, a beautiful couple, and the images turned out great.  The working relationship on the day of the wedding was fine, but internally awkward, and when it was all over, I lost a good friend and a respected professional colleague.  

Beyond that, it was a valuable lesson learned, and so I share it with you as you work toward booking your vendors for your Florida Keys wedding.  Maybe it's the hotel saying they'll book your florist, or your caterer saying they'll book your table decor.  If they themselves are not providing the service and are partnering with another company, make sure you speak to all parties, ensure everyone has a contract, and everyone has been paid.  And do this long before the week of your wedding, and you will have smooth sailing with no vendor drama affecting your big day. 

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) get in writing photo video package vendor agreements watch out for wedding vendor horror stories http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2015/2/watch-out-for-shady-wedding-vendor-dealings-when-booking-florida-keys-ceremony Sun, 28 Dec 2014 05:30:00 GMT
How Much Time Should I Book With My Photographer? http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/11/how-much-time-should-i-book-my-photographer  

You're pretty darn good at telling time...

As creatures of habit, we develop very accurate internal clocks for the things we do every day. Whether it's your commute, how long to cook your favorite recipe, or how much extra time to allot when your friend tells you they're “almost ready”. 

Whether it's...

CommuteCommute FishingFishing GuitarGuitar

Your daily commute: 20 minutes

Your favorite pastime: 4 hours

Your creative hobby:  45 minutes

With such repetition, you can see how it's easy to estimate time for different activities when you've had lots of practice.

Planning a wedding takes a little knowledge about how the day will go and how much time each of your vendors will be needed.Getting engaged means planning a wedding, but with so little experience at such a thing, how do you know where to begin? But your wedding...!?

Many of us have very little experience planning a wedding, so we have to rely on our vendors to tell us how long their service will take. Your hair and makeup stylist may ask for a head count and a few simple questions.  For the DJ, their schedule is going to revolve around how much time you've rented the venue.   

Telling time is not the same as planning for it. Here are some key questions to ask yourself when deciding how much time to book your photographer.
 
 

When it comes to photography, however, there are so many variables to consider.  

 
Combined with the fact that they will spend more time with, and have more access to, you and your guests than any other vendor, it's a good idea to carefully think through how much time you need before booking.
 
Here are the top questions I ask when discussing the amount of coverage needed to shoot a wedding.
 

They are more complex than this, but in a nutshell, it all boils down to three main things: 

• PERSONALITY

• VARIETY

• PRIORITIES

 
 

1) What types of images are most important to you? 

 
For example, are you hoping to spend some time going around town and hitting scenic spots around the island?  Or are you content to shoot just at the venue?  
 
Driving around town is a great way to add images you can't get anywhere else, but the driving, setting up, and shooting (at each location, no less!) takes time, so be sure to account for that if this is something you want.  Are you inspired by the creative detail shots you see in magazines, or will you be happy with just a quick single photo of the dress after you've put it on?   A professional photographer is used to working under pressure and on a time-crunch, but creativity tends to flow a little more generously when they know they've got an extra 15 minutes to spare.
 

How many family formal groups will you need captured? Keep in mind each group takes about 3 minutes to set up and shoot. 2) How many posed family groups do you need?

 
Setting up nicely arranged portraits with every family member in attendance will take more time than if you'd rather stick to just immediate family and a few close friends.  On average, it takes approximately 2 to 3 minutes to set up, shoot, and break down each family grouping, which I find is a helpful gauge when planning for these types of images.
 

3) Do you want your schedule to move along at a pretty brisk clip, or would you rather take your time and be laid back? 

 
If you are naturally efficient and move quickly in your everyday life, then you'll be fine having a schedule detailed out to the minute.  

Do you want to have time to play?

 
However, if you're someone who would rather take it all in, walk slow, take time to stop and chat, or are generally someone who needs time to pause and think, then you should plan to buffer your schedule so you don't feel rushed.  Think too about your family gatherings, and if you know some key players who have trouble with punctuality, then setting a tight schedule might make it hard for everyone to keep up. 
 
Whatever your schedule looks like, I'm going to make sure you stay on it.  Most of the time, that just involves my assistant reminding us occasionally how much time we have left throughout the day.  But sometimes that means cutting out the last stop from our around-town session because 3 groomsmen ran late.  Think about how much hustling you want to do, and how comfortable you will be with last minute changes if things don't go according to plan. 
 

How much variety do you want to see in the finished product? 4) How much variety are you looking for in your images?  

 
After 13 years in the business, I have a workflow and methodology that lets me produce high quality images regardless of how tight the schedule gets. But like any creative professional, the more time there is to take in the surroundings, look for unique opportunities, and take advantage of serendipitous moments, the more variety you'll see in the finished product.  For some people, this is very important and is what they look for in a photographer.  For other people, as long as they have a few nice shots in a single spot, they are happy.  
 

5) Are you open to seeing each other before the ceremony?

 
If you are, then it means we can spend some of the time beforehand capturing images of you together, with the bridal party, with family, or hit areas around town without the rush of knowing everyone is waiting for you.  As a result, less time is typically needed between the ceremony and reception, and it means you get the benefit of joining cocktail hour if you like.
 
Are you open to seeing each other - and completing some of the photography - before the ceremony?

 

 

 

 

 

 

"That's great and all, but I still have no clue where to begin."

No worries.  A professional photographer should be willing to help you write your schedule, or willing to discuss it with your wedding planner.  But if you want some general guidelines, here is what I suggest:

 

FIRST - Start with the one "set" time you know will not change.  If your officiant has set the ceremony time, use that.  If you're basing the entire schedule around something like a sunset, do a quick search to determine what that time is.

SECOND - Work backwards from your "set" time to determine when you need to start.  Use the answers to the questions above to help you determine where more or less time is needed.  If you're unsure, always assume you've calculated short and buffer in extra time.  

THIRD - Go back to your set time, and work forward through the rest of the day to determine what time you'll be done.  Again, keep in mind where you might need to be extra generous to avoid the stress of rushing.

Your photographer should be more than happy to help you with your schedule.

And if that wasn't enough, I want to leave you with one more helpful tool.  Use it to get a rough estimate of how much photography coverage you will need, based on the parts of the day that you know you definitely want covered.  

Timeline Builder Chart:

PREPARATIONS   BRIDAL PARTY  
Details (shoes, dress, flowers, etc) 30 min Photo with each bridesmaid  3 min/ea
Girls / Bride getting ready 30 min Photo with each groomsman  2 min/ea
Guys / Groom getting ready 15 min Posed group images 10-15 min
Moving between rooms (same location)  5 min Fun & playful group images 15-30 min
Moving between locations 15-30 min CEREMONY  
Portraits of bride alone 15 min Walking to ceremony (same location)  5-10 min
Portraits of groom alone 10 min Getting bride only to/from car  5 min
BRIDE AND GROOM   Getting entire bridal party to/from car 10-15 min
Moving into "first look" position    10-15 min Driving to ceremony location 15-30 min
First look moment                      5-10 min Lining up for processional 10 min
Posed / traditional images            20-30 min Processional   5 min
Fun & candid-style images           30-60 min Ceremony & Recessional 15-75 min
Loading/unloading into vehicle         5 min/stop Post-ceremony congratulatory moments   5 min
Driving to next location  5-15 min RECEPTION  
Walking to each shooting spot  2-5 min Grand entrances 15 min
Photos during each location stop     20-30 min Special dances & toasts 30-45 min
Returning to ceremony venue 10 min Scenery and decor photos 15-30 min
FORMAL / GROUP PORTRAITS   Bouquet/garter/other traditions 30-45 min
Gathering family for portraits 10 min Wedding rings and other creative photos 30 min
Posing and shooting small group  3 min/group Sneaking B&G away for sunset photos 20 min
Posing and shooting large group  6 min/group Cake cutting 10 min
Buffer time if "sideline shooters" distract groups 10 min Mingling and miscellaneous candids 45-60 min
Buffer time for missing guests 10 min Dancing and miscellaneous revelry 60-75 min

Keep in mind that these estimates are very general, and won't fit every wedding, but it's a starting point that I hope you'll find helpful.

Good luck in your wedding planning, and of course if I can assist in any way, please don't hesitate to CONTACT US.

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Weddings & Romance how many hours how to karrie porter photography key west key west photographer photography coverage photos planning questions to ask timeline wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wedding planning http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/11/how-much-time-should-i-book-my-photographer Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Extra Love: Retouching for Albums and Prints http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/8/extra-love-examples-of-retouching-for-album-images As I sit here working on the retouching for one of my latest albums, I thought it would be a good opportunity to show some examples of what goes into this "behind the scenes" step of the process.  I often get the question "What is the difference between editing and retouching?" 

Basic editing, which all images receive before you view them, is a faster, strictly objective process.  

Full retouching occurs once the final selections have been made for the album, or for prints that will go on the wall.  This level of work is much more time-consuming and extremely detail-oriented, which is why we reserve it for these images only.

Rough Draft Album Design Pages Rough Draft Album Design Pages Bride and Groom wedding album exampleBride and Groom wedding album example Series of images arranged in Key West wedding albumMultiple images laid out onto wedding album

BASIC EDITING (all images)

FUL SERVICE RETOUCHING (album/prints)

  • adjust white balance so colors render correctly
  • adjust crop to tighten the composition in a scene
  • cull out the "blurs, blinks, and blah's"
  • straighten horizon lines and architecture
  • correct image distortion caused by wider lenses
  • add the contrast that is indicative of Karrie's style
  • add vignettes to draw focus to center as needed
  • dodge and burn (brighten and darken) areas of interest
  • add detail back into sand and sky as needed
  • add minor teeth whitening and small blemish removal
  • sequence multiple cameras into cohesive story
  • renumber sequenced images
  • export raw images into readable format
  • uploading to client gallery and saving to client USB drive
  • sharpening eyes and shiny details
  • small skin blemish removal as needed
  • removing makeup smears and eye bags
  • removing stray hairs and "fly-aways"
  • cooling down redness in sunburned skin
  • smoothing harsh tan lines
  • retouching out garbage or other small distracting elements
  • removing outlets, exit signs, and other unsightly details
  • removing dirt, makeup stains, or sweat marks on clothing
  • straightening crooked necklace, candle, column, etc
  • fixing broken tile, missing patch of grass, scratches on car, and other "dangit"s
  • simple "vanity edits" like slight arm slimming and slight tummy tucking are included upon request.  
  • complex "vanity edits" are an optional upgrade at the rate of $120 per hour (billed in 10 min increments). Includes: 
       • double chin, love-handles, large tummy pooch
       • extensive arm tightening, leg lifting, shoulder bulges
       • extensive scene edits like cleaning up a messy room

Mouse over images to see "Before and After" **

**(viewing this page from mobile device?  Mouseover will not work, but we've included some handy animated GIF's, ordered in special from Windows '95.  Ha!  

SCROLL TO BOTTOM OF BLOG POST TO SEE MOBILE-FRIENDLY BEFORE AND AFTER IMAGES.

 

This image was originally taken with the idea of cropping it to a square, so I wasn't so much concerned about the items on the left and right edges.  When it came time to do the design, however, the square format just wasn't cutting it, so we decided to use the full horizontal.  That meant working some retouching magic to tidy up the room.  And if I do say so myself, that left end-table is looking pretty darn good.  Do you realize how many layers and out-of-box ideas that takes to pull that off?

 

While I would have much rather had the time to tidy the room beforehand, I will say that Photoshop challenges like this are really good for me.  I've been studying, using, and teaching Photoshop for about 15 years now, and enjoy stretching the creative and problem-solving muscles it takes to cleanly edit an image like this.  I'm always learning, of course, but projects like this put me into a bizarre zen-like trance.  I get completely absorbed, and obsess over ever little pixel.  In a world of constant interruptions, it feels good to get work steadily on one thing for 45 minutes.  

These two (above and below) are those candid type of "in the moment" images, that a photographer has to grab unscripted, without much direction or interaction with the subject.  

Can you imagine how annoying it would have been for me to go "I know you're about to have this really iconic moment on your wedding day of putting on your dress, but can you - half naked - kick your shirt to the side instead of it being at your feet?  Oh and you there...yes...can you reach down - while you have a dress over your head - and move the envelope and iPhone charger sitting on the couch behind you?  Oh and everyone, tidy your buns, smooth over your hair.  Yes perfect...now you may continue".  

Um...no...take the dang picture and move on.  

 

This image was requested by a bride looking for a little "slimming action", and we were happy to help her enjoy her ideal vision of herself.  :)


 

This image was taken from an upper-floor balcony.  I asked the bride to turn and look up at me. 

It resulted in a sweet image, but ideally, given my vantage point, I should have turned her left shoulder forward just a bit to avoid it widening the amount of horizontal space her body takes up in the frame.

I realized it instantly, but like many times during a busy wedding day, we had places to be.

 

Anytime we can take 30 seconds to interrupt a moment and fix something distracting, we will do that. 

But rest assured that your album and wall portraits will never suffer as a result of a wayward plastic bag, an unruly piece of hair, or a clumsy guest who steps on or stains your dress.  

 

Article by Karrie Porter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mobile-Friendly Before and After Photos of Album Retouching

Viewing this page from a Smart Phone or Tablet?  Sorry...mouseovers don't work for you.  But here are some handy animations to show you the "before and afters" discussed above:

Bride magically cleans the room around her while standing in front of the window in her wedding dress.

Two family members hold up the bride's dress as she gets ready for her big day.

 

Mystery artwork, hanger, and envelope rearrange while bride gets ready with her bridesmaids.

 

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) image editing karrie porter photography key west photography photo retouching retouching wedding album wedding photography http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/8/extra-love-examples-of-retouching-for-album-images Sat, 16 Aug 2014 23:53:07 GMT
Venue Feature: Pier House Resort in Key West, FL http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/7/featured-wedding-venue-pier-house-resort-in-key-west-fl

Here in Key West, one of the most popular wedding venues is The Pier House Resort and Spa, in the middle of downtown.  Combined with a great downtown location, luxury amenities, an onsite spa and salon, a spacious and beautiful beach (rare for Key West), waterfront views, and great staff, it's hard to beat.

Enjoy this visual tour of the Pier House, start to finish from the preparations, ceremony, portraits, and reception. 

PREPARATION AMENITIES

I have always found the rooms to be spacious, well decorated, spotlessly clean, and beautifully lit with sunlight streaming through the sheer curtains (this is something I personally like to see, as it makes the most flattering photographs that allow me to shape light on a subject without using artificial flash).  

Bridal suites at Pier House Resort are roomy and comfortableSweet SuitesBridal suites at Pier House Resort are roomy and comfortable

 

A bride's dress hangs elegantly in the window of her Pier House Resort suiteShow off the DressA bride's dress hangs elegantly in the window of her Pier House Resort suite

Soft lighting from a window at the Pier House Resort allows beautiful detail shots with lots of shape and detail.Details, DetailsLighting doesn't come to mind to most people when choosing a hotel for their wedding, but it does create opportunities for images that have a different look and feel than those created with artificial flash.
Bridesmaid wearing floral kimono wrap pops the cork on a bottle of champagne for her best friend's wedding in Key West.So Thirsty!Never worry that your champagne wishes will be ignored! Delivery to the room often includes everything from fruit, to mini sandwich wraps, and of course, your beverage of choice!

 

AN UNFORGETTABLE "FIRST LOOK"

When you see each other for the first time on your wedding day, the moment will already be special.  But since you will likely also have photos taken during this time, you want the surroundings to be stunning as well.  Thankfully, the Pier House has several nice places that allow you the space and quiet atmosphere that is perfect for this.  

Bride and groom see each other for the first time before their wedding at Pier House Resort.In the GardenPier House has a beautiful garden throughout the center of the hotel that allows snug little spots to see each other for the first time.
 
First look with LGBT couple at Pier House Resort, hidden among the foliage to give them some privacy.Privacy SettingsWith a moment like this, you want it documented, but you don't want your photographer to be in the middle of it.
Bride and groom exchange cards on their wedding day during a first look session.Happy ExchangesThe "first look" is also a great time to exchange cards or other gifts. The balconies overlooking the harbor make a nice area to do so. Bridesmaids sneaking a peek at a bride and groom seeing each other for the first time.Sneaking a PeekThe beachside covered patio area offers a shady spot where you can be perfectly alone...that is, until your bridesmaids find out where you are. :)
 

CEREMONY SERENDIPITY

People often think that getting married on the beach in Key West means you have to forego the amenities and full service of a resort.  With a wedding at the Pier House, you get the best of both. They have two primary ceremony locations on the property, both of which we see couples light up with delight when they see it all set up for the first time.  

The paved covered patio area leads out onto the white sand beach area, and offers a beautiful unobstructed blue sky background.Beach CeremonyThe paved covered patio area leads out onto the white sand beach area, and offers a beautiful unobstructed blue sky background. One area of their beach extends all the way to the water's edge, however because this is near the bar and the restaurant, and is where other hotel guests go to relax in their lounge chairs, it's actually better to have the ceremony a little further down, tucked in behind the beautiful sea-grape foliage, with a view of the blue water in the background.  

From a photographic standpoint, this site is actually the best because the setup allows the sunlight to come in from the side, which is a very flattering effect.  

This spot also has a covered patio where the ceremony musician can set up in the shade, and a walled-off "staging area" from which you can line up with your bridesmaids, and give your dad a final kiss on the cheek before you make your grand entrance.

The other thing I like about it is that you have the entire area to yourself.  Beach weddings on Smathers or Higgs require you to jockey for position when you arrive, and other hotels have beaches that are so small, you don't really have much separation from other guests.  Here, the only people surrounding you are those you intended to be present.  

A large group of guests cheer for the newlyweds at a beach ceremony at Pier House Resort in Key West.Invite Them AllWhether it's an intimate gathering of your 10 closest family and friends, or you've got people flying into town by the dozens, the beach ceremony site at the Pier House can easily accommodate.


In terms of size, the Pier House excels again.  You have so much flexibility with how many guests they can accommodate.  Not only is their resort large enough that everyone can have a room on site, but their ceremony sites both can scale both up and down.  It's very common for us to see very small weddings with 10 to 15 people, and you don't want to be getting married in a massive, expansive space that feels empty.  At the same time, you don't want a venue that is so restrictive in its capacity that you have to worry if extra people show up.

The Pier House gives you a setting that is intimate enough for very small events, but scales easily when everyone is attending. 

The waterfront terrace offers another beautiful spot to get married, especially if your guest list is very small.Terrace CeremonyThe waterfront terrace offers another beautiful spot to get married, especially if your guest list is very small.

On the other side of the resort is the waterfront terrace ceremony location.  This is a large private open balcony-type area that feels as if it sticks out over the water.  It has wooden pylons that accent the corners, and a clean white railing that borders the area.  

While I do find it to be a very pretty spot to have your wedding, there are  few things to consider.  Because it is not as "tucked away" from the water as the beach spot, you are more aware of the activity out on the harbor.  There is a jetski rental company that departs nearby, so occasionally you'll see them zoom by.  On the flip side, this also means you have a better view of the historic schooner sailboats as they float past, often waving and hooting in congratulations! 

My biggest recommendation, however, when choosing this spot, is to talk with the coordinator about how the chairs will be positioned, and to be aware of how this will affect the images your photographer can capture.  While the sun going down behind the altar area sounds like a romantic idea, this means everyone else will be facing directly into the sun.  Guests will need to squint or wear sunglasses, or at worst will be holding up their hands to their eyes.  

Be aware of how the positioning of your ceremony in relation to the sun will affect the style and look of your ceremony images.Sun SplashThe terrace location, while very beautiful, is going to give you a different look in your photos. Light flares and sun that spills in from behind can have a romantic look, but is not for everyone.

Your images will have to be taken in such a way that either allows sunlight to splash into the scene, or the photographer will have to position herself at angles that aren't always ideal.  If guests are against the right railing, it limits images from that side, which is the direction the bride is usually facing.

If you have your ceremony on the terrace, maybe look into positioning the "aisle" perpendicular to the sunset, as opposed to facing it.  You'll have a shorter aisle to walk down, but the positives may outweigh these considerations.  

 

PORTRAIT PARADISE

Whether you choose to have your bride and groom photos taken before or after the ceremony, one area that Pier House Resort really shines is its beautiful surroundings, lush garden walkways, and variety of scenic areas to shoot in, all of which are mostly devoid of people loitering in the background or disturbing the session.  

In addition, the hotel is so centrally located to downtown Key West, that it is very easy to wander off property and incorporate the funky and colorful Duval Street attractions - all within walking distance - into your portraits.

Pier House beach shoreline makes a great place for group photos with the bridal partyJump for JoyPier House beach shoreline makes a great place for group photos with the bridal party
 
Married couple take pictures at a Key West resort with a burst of sunlight coming in behind them.Beam of CreativityWith so many nooks and crannies to explore throughout the hotel, it's easy to pull out creative effects like this.
The gardens throughout the resort give your photographs a true tropical feel.Perfect FitThe gardens throughout the resort give your photographs a true tropical feel.
 

RECEPTION TIME

Once the wedding ceremony is over and all the portraits have been captured, it's time to party!  Here is where you'll have a variety of options.  While we have seen receptions take place in the conference center, most happen on the terrace, with select smaller weddings being hosted on the restaurant veranda.  

Cutting the cake at an indoor wedding reception at Pier House Key West ResortIndoor SpaceWhile not used as frequently, the Grand Ballroom at the Pier House Resort is a great indoor space to have your wedding reception. Veranda reception setup at the Pier HouseSmall Party. Cozy Setting.The veranda makes a nice comfortable setting if you are just celebrating with a small group of friends and family and aren't hosting a full reception. They can set it up with one long table, or a few round 8-Tops. The terrace reception area is the most popular and spacious spot at Pier House to have your post-wedding party.  Under the StarsThe terrace reception area is the most popular and spacious spot at Pier House to have your post-wedding party.

The terrace has plenty of space for the band or DJ, some open areas for dancing, pretty overhead strings of bulbs or lanterns, a full service bar, plenty of tables for family, gifts, guest book, and even room for a Photo Booth or a custom Cigar Rolling Station, if you're up for it! 

Another option is to have your reception under the beachside patio.  The layout allows for a grand entrance and plenty of "room to groove".Make an EntranceAnother option is to have your reception under the beachside patio. The layout allows for a grand entrance and plenty of "room to groove". Bridal bouquet of flowers sitting on a sweetheart table during a wedding reception.All Taken Care OfThe wedding packages at the Pier House mean all you have to do is choose your preferences, and they will order and deliver.
 
Danny DiFabio with Rodriguez Cigars specializes in bringing custom cigar rolling tables and supplies, and will even teach guests how to roll their own.  Roll Your Own Cigar!Danny DiFabio with Rodriguez Cigars specializes in bringing custom cigar rolling tables and supplies, and will even teach guests how to roll their own.

In addition to the space and amenities, the Pier House also wins in its delicious catering.  Be sure to ask them to include their delicious conch chowder!  The staff is always super friendly and attentive, and the receptions always run very smoothly.  I've never had a bad experience as a vendor at this location, nor have I seen my couples run into any issues either.  

A photo booth is a really fun way to create memories without everyone feeling so formal and stiff. 1, 2, 3, Smile!A photo booth is a really fun way to create memories without everyone feeling so formal and stiff. Junior bridesmaid dancing at Key West wedding reception.Room to MoveThe fist pumping, macarena, YMCA, and cupid shuffling can go on all night long.
Dad and daughter dance during a destination wedding in Key West.Dance with DadWith a large open space overlooking the ocean, dancing with dad (and anyone else, for that matter) is no problem.

While there are many venues in Key West that can deliver a great experience for your wedding day, I have photographed enough events at the Pier House to know it is a solid choice for couples looking for a place to make their planning easy, and their event unforgettable.

 

 

Author: Karrie Porter

Karrie Porter Photography
Key West, Florida

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Pier House Key West reviews getting married how to choose a venue key west wedding venue photos of Pier House pier house resort wedding ceremony wedding reception where to get married http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/7/featured-wedding-venue-pier-house-resort-in-key-west-fl Mon, 14 Jul 2014 03:44:00 GMT
Make Your First Year of Marriage As Beautiful As Your Wedding Day http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/6/make-your-first-year-of-marriage-as-beautiful-as-your-wedding-day From the moment he pops the question, you believe that it will be a fairytale wedding and you’ll live happily ever after.  But the truth is, you must put in a bit of work to have the story play out the way you intend.  Even though you may have had the most beautiful wedding ceremony, the first year of marriage can throw you for a loop if you aren’t poised and ready to deal with it effectively.  It is natural to have some misunderstandings as you learn more about each other, but knowing what to expect can help you live a happy and successful life with your new spouse.    

Bride puts ring on groom's finger during their wedding ceremonyBride puts ring on groom's finger as they start their first year of marriage together.

 

 

  • Commit to your partnership from the very beginning and make an effort to work on that partnership every single day.  Just having this mindset from the get-go will put you in a better frame of mind when issues do come up.

 

  • Encourage, be proud of and show support for your spouse by building them up and helping their self-esteem.  Always make time for each other and don’t let other activities keep you away from home for long periods of time.  Quality time will build commitment, love and mutual support for each other.

 

  • When planning for your wedding, it is important to plan for your marriage as well.  Discuss responsibilities with your fiancé, in addition to chore expectations, finances, children and other long term goals.  This is the opportunity to get excited about the great adventure with your new life partner.

 

 

Bride and groom enjoy a casual ceremony on the beach of Key West, with their wedding date written in the sand.All the planning and energy that goes into planning the first day should also be dedicated to the rest of your lives together.

 

  • Always be honest with your spouse.  Discuss your needs and problems openly without complaining, but instead be truthful and discuss how you feel specifically. 

 

  • Remember that your spouse can’t read your mind, and always try to keep your relationship on track.  Problems can only be fixed with communication and not by turning to other people for advice or to “vent.”  Keep your marriage issues just between the two of you.  

  

  • If you find yourself struggling during the first year of your marriage, sit down together and look through your wedding photos.  It will take you back to that special day and remind you of all the great reasons you decided to marry your best friend.  Flipping through the images in your album will help you relive that happy day, and will help you to keep the big picture in mind, help you rediscover your spouse, and also bring back all of those fun newlywed butterflies.    

 

 

The first year is spent getting to know each other on a closer level, loving and encouraging each other.  While keeping these simple points in mind, you can spend the first year of marriage enjoying being with your husband or wife, and looking forward to a wonderful life together.

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) advice for newly married couples big picture first year marriage advice tips for newlyweds wedding photos http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/6/make-your-first-year-of-marriage-as-beautiful-as-your-wedding-day Mon, 30 Jun 2014 18:00:12 GMT
Getting Grooms Going. Using Key West's quirky energy into great groomsmen wedding photos. http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/6/getting-grooms-going-using-key-wests-quirky-energy-into-great-groomsmen-wedding-photos Unless you have a groom who is really outgoing, photogenic, and has a big personality, most brides at some point will worry about their fiance's attitude or behavior during the photography session.  The top concerns are usually one of the following: 

Karrie Porter Photography's image of bride and groom snuggling.Couple snuggling near Le Creperie in Old Town Key West - Karrie Porter Photography

 

 

 

  • He will get impatient
  • He will feel awkward and uncomfortable
  • He'll be hot, hungry, and grumpy
  • He will be too self conscious to let loose and have fun

 

 

 

 

 

But fear not, my veiled taffeta beauty!  If you go about the photography session of the two of you the right way, it will be smooth sailing, and your man will be asking "Oh we're done already?"  The key things to keep in mind are:

Snuggling in the peace and quiet near the water's edge in Islamorada in the Florida Keys.Newly married couple finally get a few minutes together by themselves. © Karrie Porter Photography

1) He might not realize it now, but after the stress and hubbub of the preparations, ceremony and family formals, it's going to be a huge relief to finally get some time alone with you away from the attention and the activity.  If you decide to see each other before the wedding during a "first look", you'll find those nerves dissipate even more.

Groom leads his new fiance in a silly frolic down the beach in Key West.  © Karrie Porter PhotographyNewly engaged couple run down the beach. The groom is having a great time!

2) This is only a short segment of the day.  You might be thinking "big picture" and how the schedule will play out with the photographer over an entire day, but keep in mind that most of that is documentary-style capture of the moments as they unfold.  It's only during the more directed portrait sessions that he will even be conscious of the camera.  So don't fret that "there's no way he'll last 6 hours", because it's really only about 30 to 90 minutes (depending on the wedding, of course) total that the photographer will be asking for his direct and personal attention.

If you'd asked this bride if her man would play air guitar for the sake of a funny wedding photo, she probably would have guessed not.  Groom plays air guitar for his lovely lady. © Karrie Porter Photography

 

3) He might not be normally that "into" pictures, but you'd be surprised how often grooms really amp it up on their wedding day.  Think about it...they're happy, they're excited, they feel good, they look good, they have people they love around them, they're in a beautiful space, they feel important, and they've just married the girl of their dreams.  All those endorphins have a way of energizing guys, and they often emote more readily, smile more genuinely, laugh more heartily, and play more enthusiastically.

Guys enjoying a float away on the Nautilimo in Islamorada, Florida  © Karrie Porter PhotographyHaving wedding activities that are different and unique is generally a sure-fire way to genuine enjoyment of the photography process. © Karrie Porter Photography

4) Finally, be sure to get buy-in from your fiance during the planning process.  If he's more of a "whatever you think" kinda guy, then just go ahead and plan for some fun activities for just him and the guys.  If you think he'll be stiff and awkward having preparation photos done at the hotel, schedule him to meet the photographer somewhere cool.  Tossing quarters over your head into a plastic fish's mouth hanging on the sign of Captain Tony's Bar will certainly make for some interesting pre-wedding photos!

Groom throws quarter into the mouth of the plastic grouper above Captain Tony's bar in Key West.Let the groom spend some time outside the hotel room before the day gets underway.
 
Groomsmen coming out of a Key West wedding on Higgs Beach in their linen slacks and coral bowties, holding custom engraved flasks.Let the groomsmen have a little fun on their big day, and they'll be much more cooperative.

If location or logistics won't allow for an off-property activity, then think about the kinds of things your man is into (short round of touch football with the guys during cocktail hour?), or maybe a gift he is giving to his groomsmen.  Something like custom-engraved flasks filled with a little "liquid courage" are a subtle but meaningful way to make the groom's photos unique and enjoyable to him.  

Groom jumps off yellow bench in old town Key West during wedding photo shoot.Groom like you've never seen him before!

 

It's very common for brides to express fear that their husbands-to-be will be cranky and uncooperative, but most of the time, that turns out to be a non-issue.  

If you're working with a professional photographer who is organized, thoughtful, and creative, they will help you come up with some great options to make the experience enjoyable for your guy, and they will have a way of making everyone feel comfortable, including people who don't traditionally enjoy being photographed. 

This in turn will translate into excellent images.  You never know, your man might just surprise you with how photogenic he can really be!

(PUBLIC NOTICE: NO GROOMS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS BLOG POST)

 

By Karrie Porter 

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Key West wedding couples Tips for better images of the groom Using an experienced Key West wedding photographer how to get groom to smile http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/6/getting-grooms-going-using-key-wests-quirky-energy-into-great-groomsmen-wedding-photos Fri, 20 Jun 2014 00:07:57 GMT
What to Expect During Wedding Day Preparation Photos http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/1/what-to-expect-during-wedding-day-preparation-photos  

What does it mean when the photographer says they will include "preparation photos"?

Preparation photos are the images your photographer will capture when they first arrive for your wedding day.  Often, these images are used to "set the stage" for the day's events.  They give the viewer a sense of introduction, and set the tone for the style, colors, theme, and overall mood of the wedding.  

Fish eye image of wedding dressPreparation photos set the tone for the style and overall mood of the wedding.

Why do I want them?

While not vital to every wedding, whenever your photography schedule can accommodate it, it's nice to have those behind-the-scenes moments captured before the event begins.  There is beauty and emotion in those subtle nuances.  The bride in deep thought, biting her lower lip while she gets her veil put on.  The mother standing in the corner, looking on with that unmistakable look of admiration in her eyes.  The well-manicured fingers of the maid-of-honor prepping the latch on the back of the necklace.  Those subtle hints contribute bit impact on the overall story.

Tidying up the room before the photographer arrives will maximize the time ($) you have them there.Stay refreshed, but hide the bottles when you're done! :) Do I need to do anything special to get ready for these images?

If you want to maximize the photographer's time once she arrives, it can be helpful to have unsightly things out of view:

• empty water bottles and beer cans
• shopping bags and receipts
• dress tags and laundry
• and other similar "unmentionable" items stashed into a closet or designated corner. 

That's not to say that the room needs to be white-glove ready, but it generally makes for less fuss later, since a good photographer will take the time necessary to remove the soda can from your background as as your mother is putting on your bracelet. 

If the general flotsam and jetsam can't be corralled, a secondary suggestion would be:

• keep at least one area, preferably near the biggest window in the room, clear of "stuff"
• if nearby garbage cans and chairs can be removed, that helps too. 
• this will give you an area for window-lit portraits
• stunning "dress in the window" shots can be composed with minimal fuss.

Now...of course this can all be done by the photographer themselves, but because many packages are based on time, it's probable that the preparation photos get the smallest allotment of that schedule, so every moment taken to clean up the area is less time she can be actually taking pictures.

Discussing the wedding day scheduleGoing over the rundown for the day. What should I do when the photographer arrives?

When your photographer arrives, she'll generally want to greet you and your attendants and family.  She might give a general introduction to the room, or she might address each person to start learning names.  She'll likely give you a quick recap/rundown of what she'll be working on. 

Because preparation photos tend to be more candid, your photographer will usually work her way around the room, taking advantage of whatever little activities are unfolding.  It's not necessary to look at the camera every time you see it pointed at you.  Just carry on and pretend no one is watching.

Adjusting the bride's hair accessoryLet your attendants and family know that they are part of the day and don't need to hide from the camera.

Is there anything in particular that should be shared with the family and bridesmaids?

Yes!  It's very helpful if they understand that a photographer will be coming for preparations.  Often, they are caught off-guard, and worry that their pictures will be taken while they are not yet "camera-ready".  This is part of the process, and contributes to that very "behind the scenes" feel referred to earlier.  Some people, generally relatives who happen to be in the room, get an instant sense of being "in the way".  It's good to reassure them that they are part of the day, and they should be in the pictures.

Those who are more shy may worry that the photographer will be getting them in their undergarments.  While most professionals are sensitive to this and will reassure them of what they intend to shoot (or not), it's good to state your preference.  Some brides will drop-trou' without any hesitation.  Others are so conservative that they prefer to dress in another room.  Either way, just express your comfort level so everyone is on the same page.

Window-lit portraits are a beautiful and simple way to create great images before you get married.The window will be part of the preparation photos, so let folks sitting nearby that, at some point, they'll have to relocate to a new seat. Referring back to the clearing of an area...sometimes guests may be seated in an area that is the prime spot for pictures.  In a small room, it may be the only viable "scene".  No one likes to be kicked out of their comfortable chair, and if your photographer is human, they will feel bad asking.  But there is work to be done, so inevitably someone might have to be relocated to get the images needed.  With this in mind, it's good to just plant that bug ahead of time.  If the cleared window area is decided on beforehand, this helps anyone sitting in that vicinity know to expect they will eventually have to move.

How long should preparation photos take?

It depends on the size of the wedding, and how much is going on.  It also depends on whether your and your fiance's room are in the same building, or for that matter, in the same location.   But in general, about 20 minutes for the guys, 10 minutes of walking back and forth if you're both in the same location, 20 minutes allowance if driving between two locations, 30 minutes for the girls, and 10 minutes for bridal portraits before leaving the room, is reasonable. 

This, of course, assumes everything runs on time, which often doesn't happen.  A hair style may be uncooperative, an earring may break in two and have to be super-glued to your ear (yes...that has happened!), the flowers may have gone missing, a hem has unraveled, and a whole host of other "Murphy's Laws" should be accounted for.  In other words, if you can, it's good to buffer in a few more minutes juuuusst in case.  If you're planning on doing a First Look session as well, then throw in another 20 minutes for that as well (5 min walk down and setup, 10 min shooting, 5 min return to rooms).     

Groom adjusting his tuxedo before the ceremony.The groom may have less to do, but it's important to get his preparations also.

What are some of the types of images I can expect to see from the preparations?

• Full length and details of dress • Groom "primping", brushing hair, etc • Bride and mom  /  Groom with dad
• Arrangements of flowers, rings, garter • Getting boutonnieres pinned on • Bridal portraits / Portraits of groom
• Touching up makeup and hair • Groomsmen helping with jacket, cufflinks • Silly/fun bridal party images
• Putting on dress, jewelry, veil •  Casual guy moments, joking, roughhousing • Details of room, champagne, hotel motifs

 

 

 

 

 

 

While it's reasonable to expect that not every wedding will have every single type of image from this list (and frankly, you want a photographer who doesn't work off a "shot list" but has a general template from which they start, building onto it with additional creative images and original ideas), and not all will follow these exact steps, this hopefully gives you a sense of what it means to include preparation photos in your wedding day schedule.  

 

Article by Karrie Porter

 

 

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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) getting ready groom getting dressed preparation photos types of images included in preparations wedding photography what to expect during wedding http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/1/what-to-expect-during-wedding-day-preparation-photos Sun, 26 Jan 2014 18:59:12 GMT
How 4 hours of Coverage Can Fly By http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/1/how-four-hours-coverage-can-fly-by

You might be thinking "I'm just having a really small Key West destination wedding; I could never use up 4 hours of coverage".

Large wedding party enjoying photos after the ceremony.Planning a big wedding is easy. You know you're going to need lots of time to include everything. Small weddings, however, can take more time than you think, so watch out for "little things" that eat up the day, regardless of how big the wedding is.

It's true, four hours does seem to be that magic starting number of many wedding photographers.  If you're planning an event with a handful of guests, it might be tempting to look past photographers whose packages start at four hours. 

Couple eloping on the beach in Key West.Elopement ceremonies are about the only weddings that can easily make use of only 1 or 2 hours of photography. Having photographed tons of "small weddings" (which are "average" sized for us here in Key West!), I can attest to how many brides struggle with this.  Sure, there are some events that really only warrant an hour, maybe two, but they tend to be teeny tiny, ceremony-only type weddings where it's just the bride and groom, the photographer, and the officiant.  Every now and then we'll see a few friends in attendance, but that's it. 

Beyond that, most weddings, even self-described "tiny weddings" (again, often "average" in Key West) can easily make use of the standard four hours of coverage.  I'll get to the breakdown in a minute, but in a nutshell, the timing blocks out into four major areas:

PREPARATIONS    |    CEREMONY AND FAMILY GROUPS

BRIDE & GROOM PORTRAITS     |     FINAL PARTY/TOASTS/COCKTAILS

In a very broad sense, each one of these makes up roughly an hour.  Now, before you scoff that there's no way you'll need "an hour" of getting ready shots, let me just say that I agree!  You don't need an hour.  But if you're going to have them, you will need about 30 minutes for the ladies and about 15 minutes for the groom.  And assuming you're not getting ready in the same room, you know that bipedal action it takes to get from one end of the hotel to the other...and back?  Yep...that's an easy 3 to 5 minutes each way. 

Okay, okay...so no, we aren't counting steps between rooms, but my point is that it is so easy to forget about all the little things that eat up the day.  Walking to and from, loading into the car, waiting for the elevator, and so on.  If 10 different activities each take "only five minutes", that's basically an entire hour right there.  And even if you are executing your wedding day with military precision, something will inevitably take longer than expected, so you have to account for some conservative "buffer time", just in case.

 

Cannon balls as part of your wedding portraits could be the next best thing.You chose a destination for a reason. Why not make use of it for your wedding photos? You can bet your best friend won't have cannon balls in her wedding album, now will she?

Here is one sample 4 Hour Wedding Schedule for a smaller event in which everything is taking place at a single location (assuming the couple are both staying at the venue where the ceremony will be held), assuming the bride and groom won't see each other beforehand, and aren't needing the photographer for a big reception.

20 min Check in, detail shots, makeup, flowers, and other "not-quite-yet-ready" preparation shots of the girls
  5 min Relocate to the guys' room.
15 min Preparations (guys)
  5 min Head back to the girls' room.
15 min Getting into dress / portraits of bride alone
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10 min Walk down and line up for ceremony
20 min Ceremony
10 min Well wishes / Photographer sets up for groups
20 min Family groups / Formal bridal party
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10 min Bride and Groom around hotel
10 min Drive to First Location
15 min Shoot at First Location
10 min Drive to Second Location
15 min Shoot at Second Location  *(times are estimated conservatively...often there is time for a 3rd stop, traffic and route permitting)
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10 min Drive back to hotel, head back in to reconvene with guests
15 min Introductions, Toasts
15 min Mingling, Candids
10 min Details, food, place settings, rings
10 min Cake, Informal groups and couples, final shot of bride and groom
 
As you can see, no one single element takes very long by itself to cover, but when lots of important little details are combined, it makes it very easy to use up a 4 Hour Wedding Package without hardly breaking a sweat.   Good luck in your wedding planning!
 
 
Article by Karrie Porter Bond
 
 
 
 
 
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info@kporterphotography.com (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) 4 hour wedding schedule getting married in key west how many hours do I need a photographer key west wedding planning ideas need help deciding ceremony time small wedding package wedding photo schedule wedding planning http://kporterphotography.com/blog/2014/1/how-four-hours-coverage-can-fly-by Sat, 21 Dec 2013 04:45:00 GMT