9 reasons your wedding needs a timeline

Well, in my last post, I said your wedding needs a timeline and the reasons could write another blog. So here we are.

What is a timeline, anyway? Sometimes as professionals we use terms every day and maybe as a potential client you don’t even know what we mean. A timeline is a schedule of what’s going to happen on the day of your wedding.

It seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve been at weddings where there wasn’t any sort of schedule. If you’re a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person, it can work. Even if you are super adaptable, your vendors and guests appreciate a schedule too.

In no particular order, here’s a bunch of reasons to have a timeline:

  • It’s helpful to have a realistic estimate of how long things will take. Estimate how long you think it will take and then add more time. It will take longer than you think.
  • You’ll have time for things you wanted on the day of because you had a schedule. If you don’t have a schedule, then you’ll end up having to skip things you wanted on the day of because there’s no time left after everything takes longer than you thought.
  • You’ll be able to enjoy your wedding more because less people will be asking you what should happen next.
  • Vendors will know what to expect and where to be at what time.
  • Your ceremony will be more likely to happen on schedule.
  • Vendor mix-ups will be less likely. If you only scheduled your photographer for 6 hours, and they’re leaving but you haven’t cut your cake yet, a schedule would have helped you see that you needed more hours ahead of time.
  • You’ll know how much time you have for portraits
  • Your guests will appreciate being taken care of and knowing what’s going on. They’re super happy if you’ve sent them on to cocktail hour while you have photos. People like appetizers and drinks.
  • And finally, a wedding is an event. Events need a plan to keep them on track.

“Ok! I need a timeline! How do I do that? Help me!”

I got you. I’ll write about that next.

Have a question about weddings that you think I can answer in a blog post? Send me a question!

It’s that time of year!

Pumpkin everything, a chill in the morning, hot air balloons on the horizon while you wait at the school bus stop, and the leaves in the bosque are turning yellow.

It’s time for a family photo session! I mean, you can do this any time of year, but a lot of people wait for the fall because it’s gorgeous here. And it’s not a million degrees. haha

Don’t you love those notifications that pop up on social media to remind you of last year’s photo of your kiddo doing something cute? I love those too. Will those images be there in 20 years?

It’s time for new photos of your kids that you can see whenever you want in your home.

You know, as a mom, I know that if I don’t do something when I’m thinking about it, I put it in the pile. Then, if it’s not something on the top of my mind, it gets buried. So I’ve made it really easy to book family sessions, because…I know how it is.

Go here and click on “Book your family session”.

fall bosque family photos albuquerque New Mexico

Victorian Mansion wedding – Michelle + Scott – Albuquerque Wedding Photographer

It’s about time I get some weddings on the blog, don’t you think? I re-did the whole website and blog when we moved. I’ve decided to make collages of full wedding days. So here we go…

Sometimes you meet a couple and they are just so adorable together. When we met for a beer to talk about their wedding they were so sweet to each other. You can tell when they look at each other that there’s so much love, but they’re also best friends. I knew their wedding was going to be so good, you guys.

Their wedding was at Gibson Mansion in Missoula, MT, which is a gorgeous victorian mansion and I was beyond excited to photograph a wedding there finally. I had been by it so many times and I was dying to get in there.

Michelle and Scott are so obviously loved by wonderful, fun, and hilarious friends and family. They had a snow cone machine, outdoor summer games, and lots of costume props and games for kids. It was a perfect summer day and it felt like we stepped back in time with the backdrop of the big victorian garden and gazebo.

I think I loved their wedding day as much as they did. They are surrounded by love and happiness and it was awesome to be a part of it. I know they will continue to be so happy and loved.

We’re moving back to Albuquerque, NM!

Well, Corrales, really.

If you know me, you know that I went to college here in Missoula and I met my awesome husband here. He’s from Montana and he went to high school here in Missoula. In 2003, we moved to Albuquerque together. We went to grad school, made a bunch of friends, got married, and had both of our boys there. We were there for nearly 12 years. We made it our home.

We love Albuquerque. So much. But my husband missed his family too. We always kind of talked about coming back to Montana to be closer to his mom. Then, in 2014, I don’t know why, but I felt like it was more urgent…we needed to come back. Sometimes I just feel things and know to trust it. So we came back to Montana and not long after, we found out his mom was sick. We were here, and the boys got to be with their grandma for a while. Both grandma and her mom have passed since we came back. We are so grateful we were here to be with them. And we have loved being with our other family here too.

We needed to be here and now we need to go home. We love our family and friends here so much and Montana is a wonderful place. We will visit and we’ll love Montana forever. But the desert calls us back…we made a life and home for ourselves in NM and we miss it so much.

So a while ago I said that I didn’t renew my studio lease here and that I had an announcement. We’re moving back to NM!!! Yaaaayyyyy!

We will be in Missoula until about the middle of June. If you’ve been wanting to schedule a session, I will be available for limited sessions until we leave. We’re also packing, wrapping things up, and selling our house here and closing on the new one in Corrales…

I will be back for a couple of weddings in 2019. I do love travel and Montana. So if you wanted me to photograph your wedding and you’re super sad I’m leaving, send me a message and we can chat about that.

We bought a bit of a fixer-upper under asking price. It needs work, but we see what it can be. There is a studio space attached and I will keep you updated on the progress. It will be a combined art and photography space, because I’m going to be doing some different things there, which I’ll tell you about in a different post. Look at the awesomeness of this place though! I’m so excited!

To schedule a session here in Missoula until June, in Albuquerque/Corrales/Rio Rancho/Santa Fe starting in July, or to chat about your wedding in any of those locations or anywhere in between, send me a message here: contact me

A review! Sleeklens Forever Thine Wedding Workflow presets

A while ago, I was asked to review a set of presets for wedding editing that are compatible with Lightroom…the Forever Thine Wedding Workflow by Sleeklens.

First, I have never been asked to review anything before, so I feel pretty great about that. Thank you, sleeklens!

Second, I should note that I don’t regularly use presets in Lightroom or actions in Photoshop in my wedding editing workflow. I have some presets and actions I made myself of things I do to every raw image and I apply those to speed up my editing process so that I don’t have to do the same things over and over. Other than that, I do everything myself and by hand. I have tried presets and actions before though, so I have some previous knowledge to work with.

So…after saying that…This is a pretty great workflow set. It’s not just a set of presets. It’s a big set of presets AND a set of brushes. There are 11 SETS of presets and 5 SETS of brushes, with a bunch in each set. The presets: All-in-ones, bases, exposure, color, tone/tint, polish, vignettes, film, fashion, matte, vintage, and black and white. The brushes: color, face, haze, light, wedding.

You can start with a preset, tweak it how you like, and then use the brushes to do fine adjustments. They send you a PDF with a few recipes to do just that, to get you started.

I chose a few images from one of my weddings this summer to do a few examples.

First…This was my edit from this wedding. The one I sent my client.

This next one is the one I made using the Forever Thine Wedding Workflow:

This is “Base – warmer” with “Tone/tint – Fading Dream” with a bump in tint, clarity, and temperature. This formula is pretty much straight from their instructional PDF.

Honestly, I don’t love it as much as the one I sent my client. But I could probably tweak it a little more and get it there.

Here’s another of my own that I sent my client:

 

And one I made using the workflow:

This is “Wedding Film – Breakfast at Tiffany’s” with “Fix Over-exposure” brush on their bodies.

I know, they’re not the same. But it could be done. I’m trying to showcase what can be done with their presets, not my own editing.  This is more like an editing style that is popular right now. Muted greens and grayed tones. If that’s your thing, this set of presets has a few muted tone and film style looks.

And here’s a look at a raw version of another photo with my edit:

And two versions from the workflow:

This is “Wedding Film – Gone with the Wind” with the “Add Golden Sun” brush on the left and “All-in-One – Best Man” with the “Add Golden Sun” brush on the right.

These are both beautiful as well.

A black and white of my own:

Another popular style…the dark and moody black and white. This one is made using “Repulsion” (They may want to reconsider that name? haha), using the brush “Fix underexpose” on the face and shoulder area, and pulling exposure up a bit.

There are so many things you can do with these presets. Depending on your style, it would be really easy to come up with a formula and dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend editing. And for $31, it’s pretty much a steal to get this many presets and brushes.

Emily + Ron – Hamilton, Montana Wedding July 2017

Are you ready for some wedding blogs? The software I use to make albums has a blog collage feature! What an awesome thing! This is a fraction of the photos, but I can post so many more this way!

Ok. Enough about me…

Emily and Ron’s wedding, you guys! Not only are they completely adorable with each other, their wedding was super. It was on private property in the Bitterroot with a glorious view of the mountains and a private little field. They couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous sunny day (we could have turned the heat down a little…100 degrees most of the day) and during the ceremony we got some clouds which made for really nice light.

They had this RZR driving around that was super fun, and they had a horse and carriage! The guys rolled up on the RZR for the ceremony and the ladies were brought over in the carriage. So many cool details at the reception area too. There was a big sitting area with hay bales and a chandelier next to the dance floor and there was a sweet little family memory area.

And the most important part. All the love going around all day. So much love from friends and family and for each other.  Everyone should have someone who looks at them the way Emily and Ron look at each other. <3 <3 <3

Vendor information for their wedding:
Planner/Coordinator: Erika’s Event Planning
Catering: Caffe Firenze
Flowers: Flower Happy Florals & Gifts
Cake/Cupcakes: Petals & Pastries (Red Rooster Artesian Bakery)
Music: RMF Entertainment DJ Services (Jordan Waldo)
Horse/Carriage: Pioneer Carriage Services  (I don’t think they have a website, but they’re in Corvallis 😉
Rentals: Hamilton Party Rentals 

The Paige Marie Photography workshop!

I know I mentioned it before, but I absolutely love continuing education. For one thing, it’s important to remember that you can always learn something new. And it’s really fun to meet other photographers and see how they do things.

So, someone couldn’t make it to their spot at the Paige Marie Photography workshop at The Loft a couple of weeks ago and they posted it on Facebook. I snapped it up. Lots of fun things to talk about, a styled shoot at The Loft and in Greenough Park by Soirée 99 Events, tips from Brian Powers, a talk and Q&A session with Aimee Miklovic, an SEO guru who helped us with our Instagram accounts (seriously, check her out @assistantextraordinaire on Instagram).

The light at the end of the day was magical with cottonwood catching the sun (and my sinuses haha), so the styled shoot in the park was perfect. And we ended with dinner at Cafe Dolce, which is amazing. It was a very good day.

If you’re looking for a local workshop with a “rising tide lifts all boats” kind of feel, then I can’t recommend it enough. It’s so great when people work together.

Here’s a list of vendors for the day and styled sessions:

Venue: @theloftmissoula
Cookies: @upthehillcookiesbyjill
Rings: @rogersandco.finejewelry
Invites and Graphic Design: @heytayler
Floral: @soulandstemfloral
Dress: @velvetbride
Coordination and Tablescape: @soiree99events
Makeup: @skinchic406

Trying a new blog image layout…what do you think?

Booking for weddings and sessions is here. I’d love to talk to you!

Sunset styled shoot/workshop!

I strongly believe that once or twice a year, you should continue your education, even if it’s in small ways. I pay for yearly access to an online wedding school, buy classes on Creative Live, and take workshops when I can. Never stop learning!

And so last night I attended a sunset styled shoot/workshop given by Jackie Haugen of Jacilyn M Photography. The weather was uncooperative, to say the least. haha It poured! But the couple was gorgeous, the dress was seriously amazing, and the bouquet was one of my favorite ones I’ve ever seen…with CACTUS! I have such a soft spot for cactus.

The field was filled with flowers, there were dramatic storm clouds and occasional spots of light, and it was windy. You might think the clouds and wind would be bad, but wedding photographers shoot in all kinds of weather. I personally love dramatic and gloomy weather.

The dress was from Velvet Bride, the makeup was done at Skin Chic, and the oh so lovely bouquet was made by Habitat Floral Studio.