Posts tagged tips
How to Batch Edit and Delete iPhone Photos
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If you want to clean up your camera roll to prepare for a new phone, or if you get the dreaded “not enough space” message - here’s a short and sweet tutorial on how to batch edit, save, and clear out your iPhone’s camera roll using your mac (sorry Android friends, you’re not invited to this party!)

First a little humor: I love my husband dearly - but he has a severe case of butterfingers when it comes to his phone. A few weeks ago, he dropped and smashed his phone (a loaner phone from a friend because he dropped and smashed his previous one…), so we took it to a local place to be fixed. I think he had it for about two days, when he purchased a screen protector (because, track record) and dropped it as he was pulling it out of his pocket to apply the glass. Smashed. Good news for me though - I always get the new ones when he smashes his to smithereens!

How To:

  1. Plug your iPhone into your Mac and use the spotlight search (magnifying glass at the top right of your screen) to find “Image Capture). You can also find this via your Applications folder.

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2. Now you can see all photos and videos on your camera roll. You can click to highlight one, and then shift+click the last photo in the batch if you want to move or delete all photos between the two you clicked on. (*hint: once they are all highlighted, you can command + click to “unselect” photos.)

3. To delete the photos you highlighted, click the delete symbol on the bottom left (pictured below)

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4. To save the photos you highlighted, click on the drop-down menu next to “Import to” on the bottom left (pictured above).

5. Create or choose a folder on your computer where you would like the photos to save (pictured below). I chose “other” so I could create a folder wherever I wanted - like on my external hard drive!

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6. Click “Import” and the highlighted images will save in the folder you just chose. Now you can repeat these steps to delete them off your phone!

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Best of 2018 Wedding, Engagement, Family, and Senior Photos
From our incredible time in Waco, Texas shooting my first destination wedding!

From our incredible time in Waco, Texas shooting my first destination wedding!

Here you’ll find all of my favorite images from the 2018 season! There’s no better way to get a good look at the scope of a photographer’s work than by cruising through their top picks for the year! Read on for a snapshot of the people and places that helped shape my year, OR just skip on down to the galleries!!

This year was iconic for me in starting to realize my dream of being a destination wedding photographer! Cody and Faith were so kind to invite us to Waco Texas to shoot their incredible wedding in June, and while nothing else can really beat that, a few venues back here in Pennsylvania came close! 2018 took me to weddings at PNC park, the Renaissance Hotel, Jumonville, a city rooftop, country clubs, beautiful local barn venues, a private horse farm, a sheep farm, a cattle farm (lots of farms this year!), and a romantic outdoor campsite just to name a few! How incredible it is to be a photographer!!

I was so blessed to shoot a total of over 40 family shoots, 8 senior sessions, and 22 weddings, some as a second shooter with amazing local photographers like Karen Plate Photography, j.jae photography, Carolyn Renee Photography, and Sparks Ignite Photography. I got to attend two workshops, one right here in Indiana PA hosted by the awesome Jon Blanchard, and one in New Jersey hosted by the girls of NJ Spark!

This was a big year of knocking out some big personal projects like creating a wedding magazine chock full of advice just for my brides, converting to all digital contracts for the convenience of my clients, a styled shoot in coordination with j.jae.photography, and over original 30 blog posts! While it’s certainly a struggle to keep the momentum going in the off season, the sheer volume of exciting people, experiences, and images that I’ve had this year make me fall in love with photography over and over again! I can’t wait for 2019 and some of the incredible places (Lingrow Farms!! South Carolina!!) that it will take me!!

WEDDINGS

ENGAGEMENTS

FAMILIES

SENIORS

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Wedding Day Time Wasters
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

The thing that contributes most to a stressful wedding day is not having enough TIME!! I’m sure you’ve planned out all of your events and your timeline is perfect (still need timeline advice? Click here for this freebie timeline tool download!), but that doesn’t mean time won’t be wasted on your wedding day! Wasted time can put a lot of pressure on you, your vendors, your bridal party, and your spouse! It can mean that photos get cut short, dancing gets cut short, people have to rush to get ready, or guests have to wait longer, just to name a few. Have I scared you yet? Not my intention!! Your biggest asset will be having a calm, collected attitude, and the ability to roll with anything that comes up definitely means that you will be totally fine! So if knowing event times and details stress you out, don’t worry - share this post with your maid or matron of honor, your mom, or any other trusted friend (but not someone that will turn into a drill sergeant!) to watch out for these minute-hogging pitfalls and to steer clear of them to help keep things moving along.

 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Pack Your Bags

If you’re the kind of person that often says “where’s my _____?”, this one is for you! Two nights before your wedding (yes, two), pack a suitcase of ALL the things you need to get ready for your wedding. Things like undergarments, toiletries (perfume, etc), cell phone chargers, special props for photos, hair accessories, gifts, tips and final payments in their own envelopes, and of course your emergency kit items must all be gathered up well in advance. This is also a great time to make sure all of your details that your photographer will want to photograph are in their own separate box or suitcase. Things like your shoes, jewelry, garters, and invite suite are a great place to start!

 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Transportation

It’s very helpful to figure out ride situations BEFORE your wedding day. I was guilty of this one too, so no judgement here my friend! Make sure each bridal party member has a seat in a vehicle to and from both the ceremony and reception. If you are doing a shuttle for your guests to arrive at your ceremony, give some extra time for your ceremony to be delayed due to late comers catching the last shuttle, or communicate well and early that 2:00 means 2:00, sorry not sorry!

 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Don’t Wander Off!

This one is especially important for weddings where the ceremony and reception are at the same location: if you want family photos done directly after the ceremony, let the people who are in them know well in advance. I tell my brides to talk about this with their family and bridal party at the rehearsal, that way, they are already in the mind frame of “sticking around” after the ceremony for photos because they saw and rehearsed it the night before. This is probably the BIGGEST time waster of all, and I would never want you to have to give up a photo because a family member has wandered off. Let them know early, and let them know multiple times!

 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Clean Up Crew

After you finally have Uncle Bob standing in place and the family photos are taken, designate someone that is not in the bridal party or a part of photos to come to clean up the church or ceremony site. Unsuspecting bridesmaids taking time to rip off pew bows and gather up your unity candle will just push the start of photos back. This is also a great point to remember at the END of the night too! Figure out who will gather up all your personal decorations and belongings like your champagne flutes, signs, etc.

 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Receiving Line

Don’t get me wrong - I love receiving lines! If giving your guests a hug or a handshake right after you say I do is important to you, then set aside at least a half an hour for it! As soon as the ceremony is over, the photographer’s clock is ticking. Help him or her along by keeping things brief and focused! If you need a restroom break, now’s the time to do it!

 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Table Visits

After you and your groom eat dinner, it’s normal for you both to visit each table and say a brief hello and thank you to your guests, but it can be really hard to tear yourself away from conversations and keep things moving so that your DJ has enough time to fit all your events in. A good strategy is to eat first and eat relatively quickly, so you can start your visits as your guests are just starting their meal. Another tactic is to play good cop, bad cop with your spouse. If one of you gets wrapped up in a conversation, the other can politely interrupt and say “we should probably get over to the next table.”

 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Let me leave you with this bit of advice: if you surround yourself with people you trust, feel comfortable with, and who are experienced, you will float above any small little ripples that come up during your day. Think of your bridal party, your family, and your vendors like your shield - you don’t have to feel, or deal with, any stressors as long as someone is aware they can happen, and you have breathing room in your timeline to let the day play out as it will.

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Is a Tattoo Right for your Wedding?
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I'm sure by now you have seen or at least heard of the new trend to skip the wedding bands and get a wedding ring tattoo. While it's certainly a cheaper alternative to shelling out $$$$ for a sparkly stunner, there are definitely some things you want to consider before getting inked. How do I know? I'm in the "ring of black" club myself. (It's not actually a club. I just made that up. I'm lame sometimes.)

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There are actually quite a few of our friends that have wedding ring tattoos. You can see Brian's diamond on the left, Brandon and I have the anchors, and our friend Dom has an "E" for his wife Emily. 

DECIDING ON A TATTOO

So why did we take the plunge? When we got married, Brandon and I were both about 50lbs heavier, and while I could get my beautiful rings (pic below) adjusted as the weight came off, his Tungsten Carbide ring was not able to be resized. (Did you know that TC rings can't be resized?! Because we didn't when we bought it! Don't say I never warned you!) For our 4 year anniversary, I rallied for tattoos instead of a hubby with a naked finger.

 

Tungsten Carbide ring with abalone inlay and moissanite wedding ring set on the beach with seashells

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GET A TATTOO

I am obviously not a tattoo artist, so I preface this with a "Call and ask your tattoo artist first!"

  • What does it cost? I called a LOT of tattoo shops and most told me that finger tattoos would be charged "shop minimum" (to my understanding, it's the baseline fee that covers your needle, the time, etc.). It depends on the shop of course, but ours were $60 each at Ikonic Ink.
  • Did it hurt? Yep. But it's over so fast that it's no big deal. I have tattoos on my wrist and feet, and this one was the worst.
  • How well does it heal? My tattoo artist warned me about this (and some shops won't even do finger tattoos because of this), but finger tattoos often won't stand the test of time. Between hand washing, friction from gloves/rings/etc., and other ways we abuse our hands, finger tats often wear more quickly than other tattoos and will need to be touched up.

WHAT TATTOO SHOULD I GET

Of course that's entirely up to you, but something my artist told me, and I totally see why because of the healing process mentioned above, is to get something simple. We chose anchors to symbolize that we were there for each other to keep our marriage steady through the storms. Everyone say "awwwwww!!" Diamonds, crowns, initials, keys and locks, and anniversary dates are popular too. 
 

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I LOVE SHOWING OFF MY ENGAGEMENT RING!

Cool. Me too. Getting a tat doesn't mean you have to give up your rings. In fact, I still wear mine over top of my tattoo. Plus, it is a precious family heirloom that can be passed on to your children (and rings are REALLY fun to photograph!) 

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cushion cut engagement ring on top of a mini pumpkin in the fall with leaves
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Wedding Expenses You Might Have Forgotten
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Weddings are definitely an investment, and you might not even realize some of the expenses that contribute to your overall wedding cost right away. So guess what?! I'm here to help! Through planning my own wedding and being around hundreds of them professionally, I have seen lots of logistical details that get overlooked and under-budgeted. Read on to see a great list of things you can add to the "budget" page in your cute wedding planner you got at TJ Maxx and get ahead of the game! 

POSTAGE

Your amazingly bespoke, gorgeous, sparkly invites are done and in hand, but uh oh! You forgot to budget for the postage! Did you know stamps are now $0.50?!?!?! Your guest list of 300 just cost you another $150 to get your invites in front of them! I totally forgot to budget for this one too so don't feel bad!

MS. TO MRS.

List of things you will deal with to change your name, all of which cost money: changing your drivers license, marriage license, social security card, insurance cards, bank accounts, switching your utilities, finding a spotless lamb, erecting a golden shrine, giving up your birthrights, etc. Luckily, there's lots of online services that can help you with this, but surprise! They aren't free either. bummer. 

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SNACKS

A well fed bridal party is a happy bridal party! Food, amazingly enough, can be an annoying nuisance on a day when you are crazy busy, but if you have everything prepared ahead of time (including how to pay for it!), you can just sit back and enjoy! If you are getting ready early at a salon, plan to have some things on hand like muffins, fruit, and of course everyone's fav - mimosas! Fast forward to lunch where it's always a good idea to have some snacks hanging out in the rooms where folks are getting ready (I did a few subs cut into 3" pieces). Don't forget to pack a cooler and lots of ice for some beverages - especially if you are taking a party bus from the ceremony to the reception! 

 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

PAPER PRODUCTS

Most brides are more than excited to design their invites - but what about the other paper products you will need like escort cards, programs, menus, etc? It's also tradition, and a nice gesture, to send thank you cards out to your guests as well - which means, you guessed it, MORE postage!

TIP$

Although not necessary, you may want to budget in some money to tip your vendors providing a service for your actual wedding event, including your bartenders, DJ, videographer, photographer, limo driver and catering wait staff. Remember that song that came out in 2004 where everybody in the club was getting tips? It WAS tips there were getting, right? Everyone wants to get tips.

 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)

MEETINGS

I loooove to treat my brides to coffee, ice cream, or a bite to eat when I meet up with them! But, not everyone is super awesome like that, so be sure to budget some money for when you meet with your other wedding vendors!

DRESS

I don't mean the actual dress - I'm talking about your bustle and alterations! Even if you don't think you need alterations, you probably do. Your dress was not MADE for your body, so budget just a bit more to get it to look absolutely perfect. And if you have a train, you WILL want a bustle. Pro tip: take along a bridesmaid or a mom to your last fitting and have them learn how to secure the bustle. Nearly every wedding I photograph, no one knows how to secure the bustle and it inevitably ends up looking sloppy, falling out, ripping, or some other not so fun thing.

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PRE-WEDDING FUN

Rehearsal dinners can be as fancy or as informal as you want them, but there WILL be an expense with it, whether its renting a room at a venue, tips or parking at a restaurant, paper products for a pot-luck style shin-dig, figure out your plan early and think through the details so nothing is a surprise expense! This also goes for your bach parties and showers!!

PERMITS

Sadly, not everywhere in the world is open for you to occupy, inhabit, trespass on, play in, walk through, or photograph in front of. I've learned this lesson (have I? lol) many, many times. If you have your heart set on a location for photos, the next step is to find out who owns or controls that location and see if they require a permit. If it's privately owned, chances are the want a permit and yup, you're gunna pay.

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FAVORS

Let's agree to not do the metal boxes of butter mints on each place setting, ok? I love butter mints, and I've repurposed those boxes into magnetic spice containers, but spend your money on something that people will be excited about! Favors have taken an interesting turn in weddings as of late. Some fun ones I've seen include: baby succulents, mini bottles of wine/champagne, custom printed paper bags for the sweets table, or my fav: a piece of paper indicating that a donation to a charity chosen by the couple has been made in the guest's honor. Where to start? With a budget, and then see what fits!

PARKING

It's likely that your venue will have a parking lot, but have you thought about any stops along the way in between the ceremony and reception? I encounter this a LOT when we travel from location to location for photos. If you are using a limo service, it's likely that they have special parking permissions - but you definitely want to check! If your bridal party is going to be driving their own cars to your photo locations, do them a favor and make sure everyone has quarters at your rehearsal dinner! 

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So He's Not Into Photos - This Type of Session May Be Perfect For You
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

If you have a grumpy groom-to-be that's not jazzed about engagement photos, a lifestyle session may be the perfect thing for you and your hubs-to-be. Picture this: you are recently engaged, and besides staring at your amazing bling and grabbing every copy of bridal mags out there, your are pinterest-obsessed with planning the perfect engagement photos to make it Facebook official. But what if your new fiancé is totally not into photo sessions? At all. Enter lifestyle engagement sessions. This is were a photographer comes into your home and photographs you doing everyday things, but cutely! They may be posed, they may be totally candid, but they will always be fun! Guys are usually much more comfortable in a familiar environment, and definitely more comfortable when they know what's expected of them and they have things to do or clear directions. 

What if we don't have a house together yet?

That's totally ok!! If you love the style and relaxed vibe of lifestyle shoots, your photographer can find a cozy living room, nice kitchen, and cute dining room for you to do photos in. My current house is perfect for this! It could even be at one of your family members homes or a friend who has a floorpan you admire. Most people will be flattered that you asked them to use their home because that says "I think your home is beautiful enough to photogrpah."

What do we do during our shoot?

This is where your personalities and preferences can really shine! A lot of couples opt for sharing a cup of coffee together with some cute pastries for props, playing a favorite board game together on the living room rug, snuggling together on the couch, jumping on the bed, pillow fights, 

What if my house is ugly?

Keep in mind that only a select part of your home will show up in the photos, so if you have a couch that you like and you don't mind the wall paint color, you will have some killer photos. Is there an area or room that you love? Incorporate it and plan activities that would make sense for you to be doing there. If you love your kitchen, you can do lots of photos making coffee, baking cookies, or just kissing on the counter :) 

How much do I have to clean?

You don't. I mean, minimally. Depending on the room you want to be photographed in, go ahead and run the vacuum, do the dishes, and make your bed. Look around at the "stuff" in each room too, and if you don't like it or it looks cluttered to you, chuck it in another room temporarily. As as far as the rooms you are NOT photographed in? Don't even think twice about them! You can also check out this sister blogpost about getting your house ready for an in-home shoot!

 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
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 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
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What Your Groom Wont Tell You During Wedding Planning
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There may be things your groom isn't telling you during the wedding planning process - opinions, preferences, concerns - and maybe just maybe, this will be a great spring board for some good conversations if you're in the throws of picking out cake flavors, napkin colors, and florals. After all girl, it's YOUR big day, right? In a recent survey I conducted with 20+ brides, some my clients and some not, they gave us the scoop about what their men were concerned about with the wedding. Some of it may just surprise you!

It's my hope that you can look through these things together and have a great time connecting with your groom-to-be to ensure that your best day ever is exactly what HE was hoping for too! And for the guys reading, don't be afraid to speak up! Marriage is a UNION of two amazing lives and people, preferences and tastes, and your loving bride will definitely want you to be excited and happy about the decisions you two are making!

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HE CARES ABOUT THE COST

Sure, both of you care about cost, I'm sure. But your Mr. may be a little more frugal than you realize. One bride disclosed that her groom wanted to make sure the purchases they were making were necessary. Ask your vendors if they have customizable packages to not only pare down on cost, but get exactly what you need. Many DJ's have the option to add (or take away) uplighting, monogramming, and games packages. Photographers may be able to give you a discounted rate if you only use them for the hours that you need. Maybe you can opt for the less expensive florals while still getting the same look. Just be honest with your vendors and ask! 

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HE WANTS TO LOOK GOOD

Nearly every survey response I got talked about how the groom wants to look good, dress nicely but be comfortable, and rock his photos. We fuss so much about the bride and her gown (as we should because gowns are EXPENSIVE), but the groom deserves just as much attention to look super sharp. Talk to him about details like cufflinks, belts, shoes and socks, suspenders, hats, suit or tux (do you know the difference? because I didn't! Comment below if you want me to explain!), colors, fabrics, etc etc etc. The fun thing about the grooms outfit is that there are so many details and layers to it. Your fella can literally design a custom look by layering fabrics and colors, and choosing details that he wants. The only thing my husband and I fought about during our wedding planning was his boutonniere, of all things, so trust me when I say your man will care about every last detail of his look! (We did paper flowers and he was convinced it was going to look like a clown boutonniere that sprayed water, LOL!)

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HE CARES ABOUT THE CEREMONY

Maybe your man isn't much for details with tablescapes and outfits, but there are many grooms out there that care about the ceremony. One bride told me that her fiancé had a lot of input with planning special elements about the ceremony. In fact, he wants to do a foot washing ceremony, which is a super special and tender act of service, imitating how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples before sitting down for a meal. Another bride said that her now-husband had similar concerns with making sure everything went right because "he is very religious." The ceremony is the part where you make a covenant with each other, and if this your belief, with God. You definitely want to make sure that your hubby is represented here! Also, be sure to talk about how your husband hopes to incorporate family in your ceremony. It's easy to look out for and honor your own family, but remember that you are now becoming one and blending your families into one as well. 

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HE WANTS TO KNOW WHAT HE'S IN FOR

Unless you are hiring an event manager or a crew to set up your venue, there's a good chance you are going to rely on the men in your life to build, transport, lift, and set up things for your wedding. Make sure to have the conversation early and fully with your hubby (and anyone else!) so he knows exactly what is expected of him day-of.

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HE WANTS GOOD FOOD

I mean who doesn't? But for the guys, it seems to be super important, according to my surveyed brides. Definitely allow him to come with you to taste test, and if you're budget allows, allow him to choose the "second option" for a meal. A few weddings I've been to had a catered BBQ with smokers and the whole deal, which is something the groom really enjoyed. If your man has a favorite type of food or dish, it is a really sweet way to honor him by pulling out all the stops and getting the food he loves. After all, the way to a man's heart.... 

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HE WANTS TO INCLUDE HIS FRIENDS

One bride told me that her groom asked specifically to have a head table as opposed to a sweetheart table. This may seem like an oddly specific thing for a groom to have a preference on, but it really makes sense when you think about the relationships he has with his groomsmen. This likely may be the last time all of them get together to spend an entire day making memories, so be sure to ask your groom how he wants to honor his friends.

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HE WANTS TO HAVE FUN

It's said that the ceremony "belongs to the bride" and the reception "belongs to the groom". While that may not be true (you just read why!), so many grooms definitely care about music. This might be a great responsibility to hand off to your fiancé, allowing him to talk with the DJ's and select the music that's important to him. A good DJ can make or break the reception, and if you're hosting your friends and family for the most epic party ever, your hubby wants to be sure that everyone is having fun.

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HE REALLY DOES CARE ABOUT EVERYTHING

You know why grooms actually DO care about most things in the wedding process, even if they don't vocalize it? Because they care about YOU. If it's important to you, the man who loves you will count it important as well. While it's really important to do as much of your planning TOGETHER as you can, plan to take some time AWAY from planning together too. Trust me on this, the rest of your life will be a struggle to carve out quality time and have conversations that aren't centered around what you need from the grocery store. Step away from the details and logistics every once in a while and just take time to connect. It's conversations like this that made you fall in love in the first place, after all.

Thank you to all the brides who participated in the bridal survey! The winner of the free session will be drawn later this week! And if you missed the entry period, don't worry. You can catch it again next year! Don't forget about the other special I'm running through March! Read about it below!


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YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD WITH A PHOTO SESSION! My sweet friend Jessie Duca is going Lilongwe, Malawi this summer to work with Mission SOS International! They will be preaching the gospel, healing the sick and sharing the love of Jesus with the people there through outreach, drama, dance, and festivals! When you book an hour session during February or March and you mention this post, 100% of your session fee goes to Jessie and her trip!


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Why Styled Shoots are Important For Your Wedding | Winter Wedding Styled Shoot at The Barn at Rayne Run, Marion Center PA
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

When planning your wedding, do you rely on your friends recommendations, a google search, local magazines, or maybe bridal shows to find the best vendors? How can you be really sure that you are getting the best of the best, while still getting a good price for your area? It's become more and more popular for photographers and other local vendors to participate in "styled shoots", that is, a fake wedding that pulls together the best local wedding vendors to show off their services in as "real" of a setting you can get!

Styled shoots are great for you to look out for and pay attention to because it literally shows you a "trial run" of all the best, hand selected vendors in your area. Who better to pick a team of super services that those that are in constant community with each other in the wedding industry? As wedding professionals, we have worked with nearly every local vendor there is and can recommend the best to you through our styled shoots - because we picked them ourselves! For the guys reading this - think of it like your fantasy football draft of all the best wedding vendors in town, and they are facing off to show you their stuff!

The idea is that local vendors all come together in collaboration, donating time and services, to show you, the bride to be, the best of what they can do or offer. It's better than a recommendation, search engine session, perusing a magazine, or waltzing around a bridal show because you can see exactly what your wedding would be like if you were to hire them.

My great friend Jackie and I have been planning this styled shoot for months! We were over-the-moon excited when vendors one by one gave enthusiastic "yes!"s to help us pull off an unforgettable day! Be sure to check out the local vendors, hand selected by us for their excellent services, for your wedding, and be sure to like them on facebook and give them a follow on Instagram!


Photographers: J.Jae Photography + Jill Gearhart Photography

Venue: The Barn at Rayne Run

Rental Furniture: Penn Rustics

Gown: White Lace Bridal featuring Stella York

Shoes: Jewel by Badgley Mischka

Tuxedo: The 700 Shop  featuring Stephen Geoffrey

Jewelry: Luxenberg's Jewlers

Florals: The Flower Gallery

Calligraphy/Invitation Suite: Wood+Grace Calligraphy

Hair: JC Penney

Makeup : Beth Arnold

Tablescape: The Gathering Co. by Carolyn Carey + Hollie Davis

Models: Adam + Tara Maruca

Evergreen Swing and overall awesome manly help: Ryan Anderson


 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
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 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
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Did You Forget to Tell Your Photographer Something? | Hippie Wedding at Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh PA
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Lately everything is "bespoke" (what happened to the word "custom"?), and weddings are becoming bigger and better than ever with curated details and surprise events that make it a truly unique and personal experience. But, in all that planning, did you forget to tell your photographer about any special details that are significant to your wedding? Not only is it really important to have great communication with your photographer because of personality (if you're a regular around here you know why!), but its also good to keep us in the loop so we can be prepared with the right gear (and literally be in the right place) to make sure every little detail and moment that is important to you is captured to the best of our ability.

Each region of the country (and world!) has different wedding traditions, and while your photographer is prepared for the "normal" wedding day, you can generally assume that anything that makes this wedding unique to you is something that you need to tell your photographer. Is your dress your moms? Wearing grandmas ring? Do you have a crazy Aunt Betty who is a photo nut and will be at your photographers hip each moment? Grooms, are you planning a surprise fireworks show? Are you pulling a rubber chicken out of your bride's dress when you go all "Mission Impossible" under there for the garter? Do you have super cool food options like a food truck instead of the stuffed chicken a la buffet? Tell me! Part of the fun of planning weddings now is that literally anything goes. And I want to be ready to rock it so you can always remember it!

Here are 5 big areas you should cover when you sit down to meet your photographer:

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Family Photos

If it's important to you (or your mom, dad, stepmom - whoever!) to get a photo with a specific combination of family members, you MUST give your photographer a list, especially when blended families are involved. There's nothing worse that leaving someone out or hurting someone's feelings over wedding pictures. Sit down with your fiancé and your family AND his or her family and ask about any family photos they need to have. If the list gets out of hand, just pare it down. You and your fiancé are the boss! It's YOUR wedding! Your photographer will absolutely do everything they can as time allows to get all of the shots, but he or she has to know what shots to get in the first place. And trust me, don't wait until the day of the wedding to just shout out combinations of aunts and uncles. You will be distracted and pulled in a million different directions, not to mention timelines can be tight to fit in portraits and travel to the reception. Don't let that stress you out - let me handle it! 

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Time Line

Speaking of the time, it's essential you tell your photographer the timeline of your wedding. If you are doing a first look, getting ready in a different location other than the church, or if there is a good amount of travel time from location to location, these are all things that your photographer will be grateful to know ahead of time! If the logistics and scheduling of everything is giving you a headache, let your photographer and DJ help. We have been to hundreds of weddings and can tell you how much time things take, including those sneaky time-suckers like receiving lines that you may not have thought about. Just as important, if a time or location changes, even day of, your photographer should be in the know about that too. We are constantly keeping track of the time (I have a watch in my camera bag in case my phone dies) and trying to fit in everything you want to do while keeping a fun vibe (but on schedule!), so delegate that stress to us!

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Lighting

A lot of churches frown upon using flash, so be sure to check with the little old church secretary (I can say that because I'm basically my church's secretary lol), and see what the officiant's preference on flash is. If your photographer is used to using flash everywhere, it's definitely worth bringing up. Most photographers have lenses that are up to the job no matter what the lighting is like, but just make sure they know in advance so they can pack correctly.

Also. Sparklers. Please, please PLEASE tell us when you are using sparklers, or even glow sticks (that was a rad wedding!) for an exit. If there's fire or other low-light fun things happening, we've gotta know so we can be in place with the right gear. It's helpful, too, if you can take your time walking through all the beautiful sparks instead of sprinting the heck outta there! Your honeymoon can wait 30 more seconds, I promise ;)

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Special Details

One of the things that make weddings so dear and personal are details. It's really a great way to infuse your personality, family, history, and anything significant to you into your wedding. My rule of thumb when photographing weddings is that if you made it or paid for it, I'm going to photograph it! But if there is something very important to you that may not be on display or obvious, make sure to let us know so we can snap a pic!

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Surprises

I love it when grooms and brides surprise each other with things during their wedding. Be it a gift or prayer before the ceremony, a note, a fireworks show, a game during the reception, a choreographed dance, whatever, let us in on the secret! We promise we won't tell, and you can be sure that we will be in the right place at the right time!

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It's my goal to teach you that your photographer is so much more than a lady or dude snapping photos on your wedding day. Something that is so intrinsic to my personality and my only really true passion is service, and it's essential to being a good photographer. Your photographer should be there to calm you down, keep you on track, encourage you, direct you, create with you, laugh with you, and take care of you. The more information you can give us, the better we can serve you - and that's what it's all about!

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What Brides Wish They Would Have Known
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You are undoubtedly getting TONS of advice from family and friends about planning your wedding, but what do actual brides wish they would have known about wedding photography before getting married? I conducted a survey with real life actual brides, some past clients of mine and some not, and asked them "What do you wish you would have known earlier about wedding photography?" See what they had to say below, with some additional insight from yours truly.

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It’s important to do research and make sure that your photographer has a style that you like. I found one that has the style I wanted and wouldn’t break my bank. I consider myself lucky because some photographers will charge a small fortune!!

I tell this to my clients all the time and also include it in my contracts. With so many great photographers out there, there really is someone that can fit your needs. Determine if you like the clean and colorful, the bright and airy, or the dark and moody kind of style as you look through galleries. In today's age of digital editing and with awesome websites that are easier than ever to create, take some time to research a look you really love. While I CANT guarantee you will love your photos, you CAN make sure that you are likely to by picking a style you want.


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How early you should book to be sure they’re available! I’m so thankful we did this early—we didn’t realize how quickly people book. Thankful we got Jill!!

As a type A person, I am ALWAYS planning ahead. This can be overwhelming for some brides, but if you consider that there are only a handful of Saturday's in the year with ideal weather for a wedding, you definitely want to give your prospective photographer a shout-out sooner rather than later. I recommend booking about a year in advance, or even longer if you have your heart set on a certain person to do your photos. I've had brides book 2 years out, and I've had some lucky ones snag a date a few months away - the more flexible you can be, the more time you can allow to pass.


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How much time and effort goes into into it such as the hours spent at the wedding/reception!

The "Wedding Hangover" is no joke, and I'm not talking about anything to do with alcohol. Your photographer should work HARD for you. It's a very long, but very rewarding day. Be sure to remember your photographer when assigning seats and counting for meals.


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How colors and lighting affect my photos.

It's our hope that you choose colors for your wedding that you love, because they will be all over your photos. Also consider that when DJ's use uplighting around your reception, that they will likely pull in your theme colors. If you have red or orange dresses, be sure that you want your reception hall washed in red light all evening and that you want the background of your photos to be that color as well.


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Just have fun with the pictures and don’t stress over them. I worried about looking unnatural and forced. If the photographer will guide me to look my best (because I'm no model)! Haha

Good photographers will give you clear directions, encouragement, and positive feedback. I myself like to model what I'm asking you to do by doing it myself first. This seems especially helpful to the grooms. Don't stress about the pose, or sometimes lack thereof, either. Most of the times, photographers want you to forget that they are even there, but good photographers will give you something to say or do to get your mind off of being the center of attention. I ALWAYS recommend scheduling an engagement session so you can feel comfortable with your photographaer and familarize yourself with their shooting style and diretion giving.


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How to communicate what I want to my photographer.

This one is so important, I even modified my contact form to include it right off the bat. If getting every combination of family portrait is important to you, then ABSOLUTELY give your photogrpaher a list of who all you want to be photogrpahed together. If beautiful portraits are importatnt to you, then give your photogrpaher at least 45 minutes to work with just you and your groom (and it will help if you allow your photogrpaher to choose a location for your photos too!)


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How much time and effort goes into editing the photos after the big day.

Girl. Preach. We photographers love making you happy - its why we are doing this in the first place. But be gentle with us post-wedding: it takes several hours (1-3) alone just to go through and "pick out" the keepers and organize them. For my particular work flow, it takes about another hour after that to pick out sneak peeks, instagram posts, photos for your blog post, and a facebook album. After that, it's a good 8-10 hours of editing the rest (especially if there's something we need to "photoshop out" - add another hour or two for that), uploading them to your online gallery, writing your blog, creating a facebook gallery, etc. Gone are the days of shoot and burn (to a disc)!


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That good photographers are more available than I thought.

Don't be discouraged by anything. There are TONS of photographers out there. Lots of photographers that are just starting out have great talent and low prices. Don't think that just because you have a tight budget you can't have nice photos. Find a photographer with a style that you love, and if you can't afford them, ask them who they would recommend for a smaller budget. We all know eachother's prices. The best person to point you in the right direction is another (kind) photographer.


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