Book your key vendors – without cutting corners!

“Planning ahead allows you more room to get vendors you want for your wedding day.”Image

I’ve had so many calls lately from people who had contacted me months ago about their wedding… and then call back only to find we have that date already booked.  My heart sinks, because some of them I would so LOVE to photograph their wedding.  I kindly hand them off to other photographers that I personally recommend – but hate the deep sigh I get from them when I tell them we no longer have their date available.

 I encourage anyone having a wedding to book your key vendors ASAP… especially ones that can only do one event at a time.  Wedding planner, photographer, videographer, DJ or Band… are mostly limited to one wedding a day – so make those your priority after you have your date & venue set.   This is such an amazingly important day and getting the vendors that you love can make a huge difference in how comfortable and carefree you feel on your wedding day.  Florists, catering, On-site MUAs, Stylists and cake should be next up – because although they may be able to do more than one wedding in a day, they still have limitations on how many they can do.

The “when to book” each vendor changes from year to year in your most loved wedding magazines (it almost changes as fast as your local weather forecast) and typically their ball park timeline only works if you have multiple choices that you love for each vendor.  If you have a specific vendor you want to work with, or an amazing vendor that does limited events to give you the best service and attention then you can throw all those timelines for booking out the window.   This is your wedding day – you deserve world-class vendors, and the memories of your wedding day are world-class important.

The DRESS… yes, that beloved dress that you want… can take months to get and even more time to get altered.  Many brides don’t realize how much time that can take… so find your dress with enough time – so you’re not cutting it too close to the wedding day!

Another great reason to book ASAP… is it gives you more time for financial planning for your event.  Many vendors will work with you on payment plans so that instead of “cutting” your budget and settling, it may allow you to get the vendor you want, the packages you want to make your day over the top amazing.

So get out a pen an paper and start making your priority list for your wedding day – make a wedding top 10.  Those top 5 vendors – book as soon as possible, and the the next five as soon as you can after too.

Don’t forget to follow our BLOG to get lots of great tips for your wedding day!

Things you may not know about me.

15 Things you may not know about me.

1. I was born a cheesehead – and that can be never taken away once given.

2. I have identical twin younger brothers.

3. Hate wine but LOVE champaign… gotta have the bubbly to make me like it.Image

4. I hate mushrooms 99% of the time

5. I started working at Godfather’s Pizza when I was 16 (almost 17)…  yes, I was too young… yes they still hired me – and I got heckled for not being able to use half the machines and mixers because of it.

6. My first medium format camera was an RB67 (first 35mm was some Nikon,lol can’t remember which one), 2nd was a RZ67, 3rd Bronicas (a hand full of them), and then Mamiya 645s… until I made the leap to digital… Canon every since.

7. I use to be a painter – all oils.

8. In addition to visual arts/photography degrees.  I also have a BS in Child Psychology and an MBA in Marketing

9. It has to be a good one, but my favorite pie is blueberry – and I’ll pass up about any other pastry or cake for a good pie anytime.

10. I am totally split personality…. 50% of me wants to sit by myself watch a movie, the other 50% of me wants to constantly travel and explore.

11. Favorite food: seafood… scallops, crab legs, lobster. 

12. I would take a warm cozy fire in a cabin over being out in the snow… but if I have to be in the snow – I will be the one stomping in water puddles and making snow angels.

13. I can cook… but unless someone will clean it up – I would rather go out for dinner.

14. I hate putting puzzles together.

15.  I LOVE people that know how to play, get dirty, and try to make everything fun.  I refuse to be an adult.

 

 

Photography forward project. Happy Camera Monsters 1.0

THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING GREAT.

My mind was a jumble of thoughts on my way home from the studio one afternoon.  I had a million ideas in my head.  One of which was some art that our very own “Jenny” had posted about a friend of hers.  Now, she has told me over and over how talented her friend was… and sometimes it takes the right time and place for that to connect to you personally or professionally.

Back to the drive home…. I had one of those awh haaaa moments when if I didn’t tell someone I would bust so called Ms Jenny to bounce some things off of her – particularly about her friend Karen’s art.

So it begins the Photography forward project.

FEBRUARY 14TH, 2013… yes, we are starting this on Valentines Day.  10 custom created pieces of “domino art” will be dropped off at various locations in Denver & surrounding areas.  This each piece of art is called “Happy Camera Monster.”  Each piece of art is a little different, a very custom piece of art – and I have to say – they alone should make you smile.  They will all be numbered and will be attached to a card with exact details and information too.

In a nutshell.  On February 14th, 2013 I’ll post some hints to locations where they will be… or an un-suspecting person may just happen upon one.  If you’re watching our blog and facebook pages you may just get a jump on being the first to get to a location.

_________________________________

YOUR BONUS: If you are one that finds or is gifted one of our Happy Camera Monster dominos, call us at (720)566-9770 or e-mail jennyb@fototails.com and you will get a free 1 hour studio portrait session at our Denver, CO studio.  Catch is… to get the session you have to bring the domino to your portrait session so we can take one image with the domino.

CHILDREN’S TREE HOUSE BONUS:  If you choose to purchase any prints from your session, with your first online print order we will donate $10 to Children’s Treehouse Foundation of Denver.  To learn more about Children’s Treehouse Foundation please click here to find out what an amazing organization they are in helping families dealing with cancer.

THE PAY IT FORWARD BONUS.  At your portrait session we will take one image of you with the Happy Monster Art that you have.  Now… after your session, we will put that piece of art on a new card for you to pass along to anyone you know for them to use for a free portrait session.  The catch?  It always has to be someone new, you can’t use a Happy Camera Monster more than once yourself – but you can pass it to whomever you see or know that would love a portrait session for them or their families.

        ____________________________

Over the coming year we will be keeping track of our Happy Camera Monster dominos and are hoping that they make their way all around the Denver area or maybe even to people just visiting.

As you can see our Happy Camera Monster Art is currently in progress with the very talented hands of Karen Windness!  I can not WAIT until they are all complete with their cards, and I’m even more excited to start dropping them off at locations in a few weeks.

Every time we get one of our Happy Camera Monsters pass through the studio we will share a photo and blog post too!

Image

karenslittlemonsterslogo

PHOTOS in the love of food.

Muy Bueno Cookbook – available now at Barnes & Noble bookstores and online at Amazon.com

Food photography is an amazing thing that draws the viewers and makes them say yum… or not.  Do any of you have one or more cookbooks sitting on your shelf?  Now how many recipes have you actually made that DIDN’T have a corresponding photo?

It’s the law of averages – the more  photos that tell the viewer that it looks good to eat – the more likely they will come back to look at your blog, the more likely they will post it on their social media pages, and the more images they see they like in a cookbook… the more likely they will buy it.   There are a lot of wonderful chiefs out there, but some of us are just average mom, spouses, or even bachelor(ettes) that really just want to be able to cook a recipe without too much effort and make it look good.  Being able to compare what you have prepared from a recipe to a photo in a book can be the pat on the back you need to know you did it right.

I’ve been photographing small products and food for over two decades and how can I help but love it when someone looks at a food photo and you can see them with a slight hunger twinge in their tummy for it.

That being said… it’s time to spruce up your blogs and websites.  Why not push your food blog to the next level – and make it look as good as it tastes? Let me help you with your food blogs or cookbooks to be and make people drool.  For details please contact me at info@fototails.com for a brochure and options for making your blog pop!

Press

PRINT

The FEED Zone

CRAVE Denver

MUY BUENO Cookbook

       

ONLINE MAGAZINE / E-BOOK

    

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT

Recipes that feature products from IMUSA and Avocados from Mexico

GUEST POSTS

CONTRIBUTOR

ONLINE

GALLERIES

Wedding Inspiration: Vintage Romance

We all have vendors that we have worked with or just love, if you are in the wedding industry – you know exactly what I mean.  Your personalities click, each helps the other and you become in theory a dream team because you all have the same amazing goal to make a wedding perfect.  While we don’t always get to choose who we work with at a wedding, in about April this year I wanted to have a chance to work with some of my favorite people in the wedding industry and do an inspirational photo-shoot.

Sunset

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Originally it started small, Melissa Schans (model/actress) was all excited and we were planning for sometime in May 2011.  I gathered a couple of vendors that were willing to work on this project, but as you can’t control everything that happens – if we would have done the shoot in May I would not have had Samantha Koch as my MUY/Hairstylist.  We decided to post-pone so that she could still be part of this production.  In the end, it was good that we waited – because good turned into great.

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Julia Kaaren, owner of Mulberries Flowers was in the group from the start.  She has amazing energy along with a creative eye – and well – of course I just love her dearly as a vendor and person.  I am forever grateful that she brought Jon Taugher into the shoot as he had some amazing Retro Bicycles that added some fantastic imagery.

Then of course there is Susan Dillon of Kitty Mae Millinery.  I had never met her personally… fb friends, and of course Melissa always spoke highly of her.  Above all, her artistry in hair pieces speaks for itself.  Then after some chats on facebook… there was not a doubt in my mind that our personalities clicked.

In July, after having a hundred dreams about what I wanted this shoot to look like; let’s be honest, I couldn’t make it all happen while working a full schedule and with two kids at home on top of it.  I put a post on ISES board for a wedding planner, and Isabelle and I met for coffee a couple of days later.  Loved her, and could tell she “got” what I wanted to photograph and she organized my mind for me along with every other detail.  We also brought in LeAnne to assist her in some of the details as well.

Katharine Salzgeber of BoutiqueDeBijoux jumped right in with her hand-made jewelry designs.  They are beautiful, one of a kind pieces that fit so perfectly with our look.

Then of course there is Blushing Bride Colorado.  Danielle has a beautiful little boutique dress salon in Windsor, Colorado.  I’ve known Danielle for many years and she jumped right in, providing us with dresses for our models to fit the look we were going for in this project.

Melissa Schans was in from the start.  She has done some bridal modeling for me before and she is an instant sell when it comes to bridal modeling.  She has all the poses, expressions – and best of all she makes everyone smile.

Brittany Quinn, I had the opportunity to photograph this summer and was so happy that she was able to be a part of this photo-shoot.  Fresh… just back from spending some time in China – I’m surprized that she didn’t still have jet-lag from such a long trip, and she looked amazing.

Kirsten Sletten, was the third model for our shoot.. and I so wanted to bring her on sooner but I had already had another model at the time and didn’t want to have too many.  But, the instant that the other model wasn’t able to make it – I couldn’t have been happier to have Kirsten come on!  What a beauty – and hope I get the chance to photograph her again – she is gorgeous.

Then of course comes THE MAKERY.  I was at the Grant Humphrey Bridal show when I first got to taste their cupcakes, and I’ve been sold on them ever sense.  Yum, beautiful, great to work with.  Will always refer them – love them and their creations.  Even my husband is completely sold on that they have the best tasting cake EVER as he would put it.

Pampered Passions also was kind enough to loan us a vintage piece for some shots.  Beautiful quality.

Then last, but certainly not least, Michael Sasser.  He was my wild-card.  I had never worked with him, never met him, and two days before the shoot he agreed to take some video and create a little vendor promo for us.  I’ll be honest, I’ve worked with a lot of videographers – and the talent really varies a ton, so I went by a referral from another photographer with my fingers crossed.  I can not say enough about how amazing the video he created was, and loved working with him.  Personality… love, video… love, and the simple fact that he pulled it together so quickly for me was amazing.  Many, many thanks to him and he has definitely made it to #1 on my referral list.


A little stress the few days before when the weather people were forecasting 30% chance of rain.  We ended up getting 100 degrees that day and sun… with the storm moving in just in time to give us some great images and give us a few sprinkles right as we were finishing the shoot.

In my mind – it went AMAZING… wouldn’t have done anything different and we have some great images, video and made a few more long-lasting friends in the process.

VENDOR LIST

KITTIE MAE MILLINERY  l  MULBERRIES FLOWERS l  LADYCHARM ARTISTRY l  ISABELLE KLINE l FOTOTAILS PHOTOGRAPHY l  MICHAEL SASSER VIDEOGRAPHY l BLUSHING BRIDE COLORADO l THE MAKERY l BOUTIQUE DE BIJOUX l RECYCLED VINTAGE BICYCLES

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston