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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.

What is selective color photography?

Posted in Our Wedding Photography, Wedding Photo Albums, Wedding Photography Tips on January 12th, 2009

answered by Chicagoland’s top album design artist & Jolie Images artist
– Vanessa Ferrera.

Selective color (also known as Colorization) can have a very dramatic effect when used properly. It basically starts with a regular photograph in color. The image is then converted into a black and white tone, while certain areas of the photo are brought back to color. This process is as simple or complex as the object being kept in color. For example, a simple rose or easily outlined object would be relatively simple to colorize. On the other hand, a group of people or complex bouquets may take hours! This also depends on the artist and how meticulously they chose to work. I personally take a lot of pride in my work and spend a ridiculous amount of time on detail. I have seen selective color images where obviously the designer was in a rush and it basically looks as if they ‘colored over the lines’, just as we learned not to do as children when coloring an image in a coloring book. In fact, that is exactly what they are doing. Even as a child this was not acceptable to me. Today, I make sure to zoom into the image, magnifying it 100% to make sure it is done as neatly and precisely as possible, regardless of how long it takes me. These selective color images can cost anywhere from $30 to $50. Anything more is really uncalled for unless it was a very big and detailed object. Jolie Images albums include 2 selective color images in their albums. This is perfect. Anything more can risk looking over done and take away from the impact it is supposed to have.

I usually choose the selective color image for the customer. However, if you are feeling artistic and would like to suggest one yourself, here are some helpful tips:

1. Do not choose a very colorful picture to convert to black and white. It is such a waste of so many beautiful colors. Fox example, we had a photographer capture some images of this bride and groom in the Botanic Gardens (a beautiful spot for photography if you happen to be looking for a spot in the northwest suburbs!) The image was full of greenery and flowers with them kissing in the center. They requested I convert it to black and white (such a shame) while keeping the brides bouquet in color. Her bouquet was white by the way! This image would have been much better in color.

2. After realizing their mistake, the bride and groom suggested that the beautiful background stay in color…and they would be in black and white. This is also not a good idea. While the backgrounds and foreground was stunning… they looked…well…slightly dead and ghostly with their skin in black and white! It was rather creepy looking, which they realized right away and told me to chose whatever I wanted at that point!

3. DO choose a mildly bland image where this is only one point of major color anyway. Like a rainy day with a colorful umbrella (handy thing to keep in mind ladies! Buy yourself a pretty colorful umbrella in case of rain on your wedding day. This makes a BEAUTIFUL image out of an otherwise gloomy looking day!) You could also use a champagne toast with only the champagne in color, the dance floor with only the bride and groom in color, or any shot with the bouquet where there is either very little background, or a very uninteresting background.

Again, this is for the people who are feeling artistic.

Most of the time, it is left for me to choose and I haven’t had a complaint yet!

So if you want one less thing to worry about,

just leave it to me!

How to choose a Wedding Photographer

Posted in Our Wedding Photography, Wedding Photography Tips on December 15th, 2008

Chances are if you are in the Chicagoland area or the surrounding suburbs you are expecting to have to fork up an arm and a leg for a local Chicago wedding photographer to photograph your wedding day. No matter where you are located, the decision factors should stay the same.

Today, there are many studios that specialize in event photography. They range from small one-man home studios to multiple franchise-type operations. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Your first decision to be made is if you want an individual photographer or a larger multi photographer studio to photograph your wedding.

One reason you may opt for hiring the independent photographer is because they are known to put personal care and attention to detail into their work. However this is not guaranteed to be the case. The best reason to have a one-man operation shoot your wedding would be because a friend referred him or her and you love his/her work. If a friend or family member did not refer this photographer for you, check for references or online reviews. The disadvantages of a one-man studio are that you are not guaranteed to have the security that a larger, more established studio may have. It is extremely important that you make sure the photographer has back-up equipment and a back-up photographer in case something unforeseen comes up and the photographer cannot make it to your wedding. It is very important that you read the contract to make sure that you will get all your money back in the case that no photographer ends up showing up.

The main advantage of hiring a larger, multiple photographer type studio to shoot your wedding is security. They have the experience of running a business to keep customers happy as well as the responsibility of their photographers. Your money is usually safer (larger business cannot just take off so quickly). They usually guarantee a substitute photographer in case something happens to your assigned photographer and should always guarantee that their photographers carry back-up equipment.

The quality of the photography itself, strictly depends on the photographer. It makes no matter if it is an independent photographer or a photographer from a large studio. You are never guaranteed to have a better one at either operation. Always ask to see a sample wedding of the work of the photographer you are hiring.

Never assume that the price you pay is in any way related to the quality of the photography. Quite often the most expensive studios are only so expensive because they have to pay so much in advertising to keep up their “high-end” photography business. They also have huge overhead costs as they have to pay for many employees and high rent. Keep in mind, it could very well be that the individual artist photographer will shoot weddings for a lot less because he is more interested in being an artist than in running a business. In other words, expensive does not necessarily mean better!

Recently, we at Jolie Images realized that we’re actually in a prime position to offer all of the advantages of both small and large studios! We wanted everyone to be able to afford beautiful wedding photography so we’ve strategically priced out our wedding photography packages to start at only $595.00 so that our brides & grooms get the most value out of our services. We hire the experienced artists that have a true passion for what they do. They don’t have high business expenses so they are willing to shoot for us for less. Our photographers are true artists. We do not dump tons of money into advertising costs or fancy brochures. In fact most of our brides are referred to us by their happily now married friends. J With no outsourcing and low overhead, we are able to bring you all the wedding products and wedding service at the lowest prices around (at least in the Chicagoland area). You can also expect the personal care and attention to detail that’s known to come with a family owned and operated business. You will get the best of both worlds…

We at JolieImages have a saying: “because memories should be priceless, not expensive…” If you are in the getting married anywhere in the Chicago metropolitan area and need a wedding photographer, check out our pricing page and portfolio on our main website at: www.JolieImages.com

Jolie Images is based in Illinois and serves the entire Chicagoland area.

Are Expensive Wedding Photographers better then Inexpensive Wedding Photographer?

Posted in Our Wedding Photography, Wedding Photography Tips on December 11th, 2008

Some people out there pay excessive amounts for wedding photographers. Especially here in the Chicago area.  We know of one guy that actually charges over $50,000 to shoot an 8 hour wedding. He sold the photos from the wedding at ridiculous prices to. Let’s just say a wallet sized photo was $60.00. And guess what??? The bride & groom and their family ordered tons of pictures at those bloated prices? Do you know what the photographer paid for the photo? Lets just say he made out like a bandit. Wow. So basically if that photographer shot only 2 weddings a year that would be a pretty nice income for most people.

So why did all these people pay so much money for their wedding photography? Were the photos better quality? Were they on diamond covered photo paper? Did he have a special camera? No, no and no. This “high-end” photographer actually used to work at just a regular priced photography studio. He left that studio and confident that he could get a high price for his work, began marketing himself in more affluent areas with very classy looking, artsy ads. That was it. He only needed one or two weddings a year to make a good living but what he did do was change his perceived value. Perceived value when it comes to anything is a funny thing. Was his photography so amazing? We didn’t think so. He wasn’t bad but he wasn’t any better than the art student that came in with photos he took from his cousins wedding. He definitely in my opinion was not worth 50k. He shot weddings in the same nice attire that all the other photographers shot in, he had the same photography equipment as most of them… so what it comes down to is how he marketed himself and what his perceived value was. Word of mouth among the affluent about this “high-end” photographer allowed him to do very well in his business but behind the scenes, he was laughing all the way to the bank.
So the question comes down to are expensive wedding photographers better than inexpensive photographers? Well this can’t really be answered accurately because price really doesn’t matter when it comes to the skill of the photographer; but we do know one thing, a good photographer is a good photographer. You can change his/her perceived value around with a twist of marketing and words. When we first decided to open our photography studio, we could have easily charged thousands of dollars for our wedding photography packages, printed up some fancy brochures and taken out full page ads in the most elite bridal magazines studio around. After all our work is beautiful, professional and high quality just as the expensive photographers are. The fact that our work is so amazing shouldn’t be what is surprising…after all, our photographers are not trying to be business owners. If they were, they would open up their own studios and charge whatever they like. Our photographers are true artists. They prefer to focus more on their passion of photography & shooting weddings rather than being businessmen & women. This I believe shows in their work. The only thing that should be surprising is our price. This comes back to our mission. We strongly believe that everyone should be able to afford beautiful, photographic memories. We know that not everyone out there can afford to pay thousands of dollars for wedding photography so here we are. :-)

You can view our prices here.

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!