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When You Should Start Shopping For A Wedding Photographer

Posted in General Wedding Tips, Wedding Photography Tips, Wedding Vendors on June 16th, 2010

If you are wondering when you should start your search for your wedding photographer, you are not alone. Wedding checklists can be helpful to an extent but they should only be used as a basic guideline. When you should start searching for your wedding vendors is specific to your personal situation and your unique wedding.We at Jolie Images recommend that you begin your search as soon as you set your wedding date. This is for a number of reasons. The most important being that you can lock down your date and be assured the wedding photographer of your choice. Another good reason is that you will get current prices of the services as most wedding vendors increase their prices every year. Lastly, you can check it off your list so you don’t have to rush as your date approaches(and trust me, it will come fast :-) . There are many more benefits to choosing your vendors right away as opposed to waiting. At Jolie Images, we only require a small down payment to hold your date, your photographer and of course, your prices.

We must warn you that if you choose an independent photographer, you make sure that he or she has good references and that they can guarantee you a backup in the event that they will not be able to photograph your wedding. We have heard horror stories of brides and grooms giving their money to a photographer only to realize a couple of days before their wedding that their photographer is nowhere to be found- with their money. When choosing a reputable, insured and established photography studio like Jolie Images, you will always be assured that no matter what happens between your wedding planning and your wedding date, you will have a photographer. We have back-up photographers for those unlikely but unfortunate case when a photographer cannot shoot due to injuries or (we hate to say it) death.

So in summary, shop ahead, don’t procrastinate, book early and do your research before you hand over any money. It is well worth the price and the peace of mind that you will get from doing so.

If you are interested in our services, please contact us and let us know how we can help make your wedding planning early.

Do I Need 2 Wedding Photographers To Photograph My Wedding?

Posted in Blog, General Wedding Tips on November 8th, 2009

If you have been wondering if you need a second photographer you are not alone. Initially we would say absolutely not; but there are more factors involved that need to help you make this decision. Any good wedding photographer should be able to handle up to a 250-300 guest wedding easily. When we hire photographers, we make sure that they are very experienced in taking large weddings. If you get an amateur photographer, you cannot expect to get the wedding photo coverage you deserve.

A professional wedding photographer knows how to move around and get the different angled shots he needs. He or she also knows all of the important shots to get. This includes the wedding party group, the parents, the cake, the bouquet throwing, the garter tossing, alter shots, wedding ring shots, etc. The only time that we would really recommend getting a second photographer at your wedding, is if you are very concerned about the amount of guest coverage you will get. Remember, one photographer is only one photographer. He can’t be in two places at the same time. This does not mean that he can’t get pre-ceremony wedding photos of both the bride and the groom before the ceremony. If a bride is getting ready in a hotel in downtown Chicago, he/she will be there first to get the pictures of her getting ready as well as her shots when she is done. This is also the time when he will get pictures with her and her bridemaids and family. Then he will go over to the church or reception hall (wherever the ceremony will be held) and round up groom and the groomsmen and his family for pictures before the ceremony begins.

Our photographers will always prioritize getting the important pictures of the bride & groom and their wedding party first. This means that while he/she is focusing on you and your family and your wedding party, he won’t be off taking pictures of your guests. After he gets the needed shots and and knows that he won’t miss anything important, he or she  can go get more pictures of your wedding guests. Don’t get me wrong, you will always have  wedding photographs of your guests no matter what. Even if it is just one photographer. In fact our single photographers are great at getting guest coverage. The question is; do you want more? If you want tons of pictures of your guests, then we would recommend getting a second photographer. Otherwise, one of our photographers will be able to cover your wedding perfectly. At Jolie Images ( a Chicagoland wedding photography studio) we have a $595.00 wedding photography package. This includes one photographer for the full wedding day, however if you want a second one at your wedding reception, your price will jump up to $895.00. That is a $300 difference and we are the most inexpensive Chicagoland photographers around. Most other photography studios here in Illinois will charge you a minimum of $1700.00 for 2 photographers! What I mean to say is, in the end it is up to you. How important is it to you? Do you want to pay the extra amount?  Can you pay the extra amount? After all, this is your wedding, your day & your money!

Either way, we can handle it!  CLICK HERE TO VISIT  OUR WEBSITE  to see if you date is available!

Free Complete Wedding Timeline & Checklist

Posted in General Wedding Tips on October 12th, 2009

Your Complete Wedding Checklist & Timeline

Here is a general wedding to-do checklist that you can copy and edit to your wedding. Every wedding is different but this should give you your basic outline and assures that you won’t forgot all of the important wedding stuff that sometimes slips the busy bride’s mind.

12-16 Months before your wedding

· Choose your wedding date

· Put an engagement announcement in your local paper

· Come up with your wedding budget

· Hire a wedding consultant (if you prefer)

· Select a ceremony location

· Select a reception location

· Select your wedding dress/gown

· Select your wedding party (the sooner you get them involved, the more involved and honored they will feel)

8-10 months before your wedding

· Reserve your date with Jolie Images Wedding Photography (the sooner the better, you will have more options and reserve at the best price)

· Reserve your date with Jolie Images Wedding Videography (the sooner the better, you will have more options and reserve at the best price)

· Hire a wedding officiate

· Hire a reception Caterer if your reception site will not be doing the food

· Hire a band or DJ

· Pick out the bridesmaids dresses

· Compile your guest list (names & addresses)

· Sign up for one or two gift registries

5-7 months before your wedding

· Order your wedding invitations. Jolie Images offers beautiful low cost wedding invitations and as a Jolie Images customer, you get 10% of the regular price!

· Shop for your wedding stationary (thank you cards) –Jolie Images offers photo thank you cards.

· Come up with honeymoon plans & book your trip (honeymoon registry)

· Select Your Wedding Cake

· Arrange Accomodations (some guests may wish to stay at a nearby hotel after the wedding)

4 Months before your wedding

· Book Your Florist

· Get your wedding bands

· Hire a hairstylist & makeup artist

3 Months before your wedding

· Send out invitations ( photo stamps with snapfish)

· Select tuxedos

· Finalize menu options and costs with your reception hall or caterer

· Arrange for the rental of items (if necessary) Arches, Chuppas, china, crystal, flatware, tablecloths, fountains etc.

· Book Limo or transportation

· Order Wedding Favors
-Personalized favors
-Unique favors
-Budget Favors

· Shop for bridal party gifts

2 Months Before Your Wedding

· Choose your wedding music

· Select a location for your rehearsal dinners

· Confirm with formal wear shop that they have all needed measurements

· Schedule fittings for the bridesmaids and flowergirls

· Schedule final gown fitting & alterations

· Choose all of your wedding accessories
-Ceremony Accessories
-Reception Accessories
-All Wedding Accessories

1 Month Before Your Wedding

· Design & Print your wedding programs

· Apply for your marriage license

· Have a final gown fitting

· Do a test run with your hairstylist and make up artist

2 Weeks Before Your Wedding

· Contact any guests that didn’t rsvp and find out their response

· Pick up your marriage license

· Confirm rehearsal plans with the officiant and wedding coordinator

· Create seating plan for the reception

· Write your vows (if you intend on writing your own)

1 Week Before Your Wedding

· Talk to your photographer (he/she should be giving you a call) about important shots & what you expect from him/her

· Pack for your honeymoon

· Confirm rehearsal plans (time and location etc.) with attendants

· Confirm reservations for rehearsal dinner

· Have yourself a massage & a facial (facials should be done at least one week before your wedding in case you have a break out or redness from it)

At the rehearsal dinner

· Check that everyone has their formalwear

· Confirm time that you want them to be there & where on your wedding day

· Give out your bridal party gifts

1 Day Before your wedding

· Get a manicure & a pedicure

· Put wedding attire and accessories together

· Give the rings to the best man

· Get a good night’s sleep

On Your Wedding Day…

· Eat a light breakfast that will provide you with energy but not weigh you down.

· Get your hair and makeup done

· Put on your gown

· Have candid photos taken with the family and some posed ones if you wish
Relax and enjoy your day

After your Wedding

· Honeymoon

· Write Thank you notes

· Change your name

Helpful Wedding Tips

Posted in Blog, General Wedding Tips on January 28th, 2009

Although we are first and foremost a wedding photography studio, we get asked for our opinion and advice on a lot of other areas because; well…we’ve seen it all! We are not just one aspect of the day, dropping of the flowers, selling you a wedding dress, baking your wedding cake.  We are there all day long. From the time you get ready to the end of the evening. We see every detail (because we must photograph it for you!) We notice from experience what works and what doesn’t. We know what photographs well, what is overlooked, and what doesn’t really matter that much. If you have questions, even if it’s not related to photography, you can and should ask us! We are so happy to share our expertise with you.

So at the risk of giving you unsolicited advice, we figured you may enjoy and benefit from a few of our top wedding tips (photography related and not):

1. Don’t wear glitter. I love glitter and it looks great in person, but in photographs it looks like little black and white dots, like pepper. It ends up all over the tuxes and looks like dandruff. Glitter does not photograph well.

2. Enlist the help of a bridesmaid (or any reliable person eager to help) and designate them to be the “make sure I get some of that” person.  The number one complaint we hear from brides and grooms is that they didn’t get to eat their cake, taste the appetizers, or take advantage of the full bar. This person should be on a quiet and easy mission to make sure that they get some of everything for you. They should make sure you get one of each appetizer (if the banquet hall fails to do so) and they should make sure that there is some cake and treats from the dessert table in a to-go box for you to enjoy later or the next day. Most importantly, they should make sure you always have a full drink nearby. So you don’t waste a single moment at the bar.

3. Be very particular with your roses. Roses are very beautiful and common but they wilt very quickly. We have seen countless pictures just after the ceremony where the rose boutonniere is hanging its head or has even completely fallen off! If you’re going to get roses (especially in the warmer weather) make it absolutely clear that you want them as fresh as possible and secured firmly on the bouquet and boutonnieres.

4. Make a list of important groups to be photographed and give a copy to the photographer and a reliable eager helper. Their job will to make sure the people listed don’t wander off near photography time. We like to take these ‘formal’ pictures as quickly as possible so you can get on with your day! But when Aunt Sarah is in the bathroom and Uncle Joe is taking a smoke break outside, the whole process is not only held up but they could even be missing from your pictures all together! Have your helper keep everyone around until after the formal group shots are completed. This is a very important job, so make sure you give it to someone outspoken and reliable!

5. Don’t tan too much before the wedding, the orange bride thing does not work well! Neither do tan lines, so keep that in mind when you’re out and about for the few months before your wedding. Also, if your groom is planning a last minute hair cut, beware of the “haircut tan line”.  This is the awkward white strip along the forehead and sometimes on the sideburns left behind when the overlaying shag is clipped.

More helpful tips to come! But until then, if you have any other questions give us a call or drop us an e-mail!

Why Digital Wedding Photography Should Save You Money.

Posted in General Wedding Tips, Our Wedding Photography on January 19th, 2009

If you are looking for a wedding photographer to shoot your wedding and are wondering if prices directly correlate to the quality of the photographs you are going to get then you need to read this.

Wedding photography has traditionally always been a large chunk of the bride & grooms wedding budget. But why did wedding photography prices start off so high? The answer is simple. It was because of overhead costs. Before digital wedding photography, the photographer would have to take their negatives to a professional lab. Any photographer that brought their work to a drug store to be processed was not considered professional. After all, one mistake by a drug store technician on a mini-lab and all of the precious wedding images would be gone. An experienced, professional lab was very necessary to trust that the super sensitive negatives would be processed correctly. Then after that, the negatives needed to be color corrected individually by lab technicians to insure accurate color, printed on archival professional grade photographic paper and often scanned into digital format if needed. This would normally cost the photographers hundreds of dollars in lab fees. The professional film alone cost $8.00 – $10.00 per roll. Therefore, these prices were worked into their package prices and these prices have been rising ever since. Well digital photography has almost completely taken over the wedding photography industry (not to mention almost entirely over all other kinds of photography.)

So the question remains; why are wedding photography prices rising? After all the savings of film and lab fees should be passed to the customer. Well in all fairness, most photographers still have lab fees but in actuality, the lab fees have gone down! There isn’t any film to buy, there are no negative developing fees, digital printing is easier, lower grade photography paper became better and software makes color correction fast and affordable. Therefore professional labs found themselves competing with the constantly lowering drug store prices. There is no good reason that wedding photography prices should be raising when they should be lower. When you pay for a photographer, you should mainly be paying for a service. Somewhere down the timeline, photographers did not even think about ever lowering their prices. After all, why should they when the high prices are already set and expected? Well in today’s competitive market, some photographers have actually realized that they can still get their photography service fees while lowering their wedding package prices. When you see a photographer that has beautiful work but charges only a fraction of what other photography studios are charging, then the obvious reason is that they are passing the cut overhead fees to their customers. It does not at all mean that their work is not as good as the photographer charging so much more. When choosing your wedding photographer, view samples of their work, their testimonials, make sure they are reliable and most important; do not assume because you are paying less that you are getting less!

We at Jolie Images are one of the studios that saw the value in lowering our prices to provide brides and grooms with beautiful, professional event photography. Overhead costs are tremendously cut and we pass that savings onto you, charging you only for the actual service that we are giving you. No longer do you have to pay for high lab fees that just aren’t there anymore. Check out our prices and see for yourself!

Welcome to our Blog!

Posted in Blog, General Wedding Tips, Our Wedding Photography, Wedding Photography Tips on December 7th, 2008

Hi everybody. Welcome to our blog!

As a Chicagoland wedding photography studio, we at Jolie Images have alot of information that may be useful to you brides and grooms out there. Throughout our 40 plus years in the wedding industry we have seen and heard it all ( If anyone sees it all it would be us wedding photographers). We would love to pass our wedding wisdom and helpful tips onto you. Congratulations on your engagement. Enjoy!