April 17, 2012

Pancake Session: Girls Getting Ready

Good morning & Happy Pancake Day!

The pancakes came a little early this week because we have some fun things coming your way later this week, and we decided to shake things up!!

So as you can see, I took my own advice on handling setbacks and decided to give this whole video blog thing another try. Let me tell you, it went MUCH better this time….this time, it only took me 37 tries until I got a take that we could keep! :)

In this uhhhhh…(I guess we’re calling them epidsodes??)…..episode, I talk about our approach to the girls getting ready part of the day. For those of you who are reading this at work :) and won’t be able to watch until later, here’s an overview of what we’re going to cover:

* The way that Justin, Julia & I come into the day
* The key first thing I do that comes in handy throughout the rest of the day
* Who shoots what as far as the details go
* What lens I’m using 99.9% of the day
* Our detail lens
* What I’m saying to my brides to keep them near that great window light.
* The correct plural usage of “shoe”

** with HUGE thanks to The Music Bed for providing the music, Disarm

Well, we hope that this was at least somewhat helpful and if not helpful at least entertaining! And hey, at least now you know that you need to shoot both the left and the right shoe. Soooo…..that had to be worth it right there! :)

In honor of this being our first real grown up video blog, we thought we’d run a little contest to celebrate! You can enter in one of two ways: just leave us a note below in the comment box with either a question/suggestion for a future Pancake Session topic OR if you don’t have one, just tell us where in the country/world you are. And we’re going to pick one lucky winner to receive $50 to Starbucks! Because let’s be honest, what good are pancakes without coffee? :) And….GO!!

  1. Abby Grace

    I’ll do you one better and tell you where I love as well as a suggestion! I’m in the suburbs of Washington, DC :). Suggestions for a future post: I know you covered this in the Lightrom LiveChat, but for anyone that didn’t tune in, I know the tutorial on how you use your simple lighting set-up was REALLY helpful. The umbrell + lightstand + flash + PocketWizards one. Hope yall are having a fan-freakin-tastic day!

  2. Lexi

    Awesome vid! I’m from Virginia. :)

  3. Michelle S

    I am in sunny San Diego. ;)

  4. Kris Rae Orlowski

    So, in the next episode, JUSTIN will be on camera? Can’t wait! :) (P.S. I don’t drink coffee, so don’t enter me!)

  5. Dede Edwards

    You are so Pretty! Wear did you get the dress?

  6. Alicia White

    I would love to hear you talk about shooting reception and reception details. When is this typically done on the wedding day and who in your "team" captures these details. Also, what equipment is key for these shots? :-) And starbucks? yes please!!!!!!

  7. Jil

    i am literally inside a small closet, in the federal courthouse building right next to foley square in downtown manhattan (this is my judge’s "intern office"). :o) because of that i can’t watch the video until i’m home later (bummer) but i’m sure it’s awesome!!

  8. Faith

    I live in Fayetteville, NC! :) All of your Pancake Sessions are great, so please keep them coming! ;)

  9. Cecilia B

    am in Long Island, NY : )

  10. Sarah Wamuhiu

    I hope I’ll get to watch the video. I’m in Kenya is my internet operates at elephant speed rather than cheetah speed :D I wouldn’t be able to use the gift card for myself but my mommy would love it…she takes a night alone every Friday and treats herself to a Starbucks Chai Latte when she can. I would love to know more about how to do your bride and groom portraits, its area I really struggle with. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Sarajane Case

    I’m in Asheville, NC! Also, I’m so glad you talked about this. I’d also love hearing more about dressing for your brand!

  12. Naomi Elle

    I want a Pancake session about the proper use of coffee as a business tool… ;) And I’m from central Pennsylvania!

  13. Nancy Mitchell

    Great job Mary! I can’t wait to find out more information next week! EEK! I can’t believe in one week I will be in CT! xoxo~nance

  14. Rachel McCloud

    I love the video idea. :)
    How do you run your business and not let it run you?
    Thanks :)

  15. Irina

    I am in the city in the forest, Atlanta, GA!

  16. Tessa

    I love how so many of the photographers I follow are doing video blogs :)
    How long does it typically take from the time you arrive at the getting ready location to when you arrive at the ceremony location?

  17. kristin starcher

    Hi Mary (and Justin =)!!!!! Huge fan here <3

    I was wondering if you could walk us through your post wedding workflow (driving home, uploading images, what specifically you use to back-up your images, whether you use lightroom or photoshop, and (silly question) – what format you save your images as to store them away)? For example, I currently provide my bride and groom with jpeg images, burn a disc for myself and then store both the RAW and PSD (edited) files on a hard drive. Is there an easier way to do this than keeping all those files? PLEASE help =)

  18. Ahna Beth

    I’m a photographer in Virginia Beach & I would LOVE a pancake session on how you plan your time to get all the shots you need (bride & groom, bridal party, family members, etc) between the ceremony & reception as if there is no first look. :) Thanks!!

  19. Davenna Trahan

    Pancake session on working with groomsmen and different poses for men. I have problem posing men!

  20. Emilia Jane

    Love it! Mary, you’re a rock star :-)

  21. Stephanie Stewart

    So helpful! Especially giving the bride a goal in keeping them in that great window light! And love your dress, Mary, you look beautiful! Commenting live from Indianapolis, IN! :) I would love to see the simple lighting set-up in use during bride/groom portraits! Thank you!

  22. Taylor Jackson

    Ahhh definitely client emails :) that is my vice! I love to video post btw so nice to see your smiling face! :D
    Tay PS/I’m back in the land of the beaver now finally TORONTO!

  23. Elizabeth & Ryan | Elizabeth Ryan Photography

    LOVE this! Mary you knocked it out of the park! You look amazing, and your backdrop was 100% you! So happy that you took your own advice and gave the video blog another try!

  24. meg manion silliker

    fabulous! the ceremony – who shoots what – where do you stand? how to handle the non flash rules in the church – how do you move around etc…. thanks so much!!

  25. Sydni Jackson

    you mentioned getting the correct white balance setting. could you talk more about how you do that? do you create a custom white balance, use auto, etc.?

  26. ashley barnett

    How do you keep your hands so still?! I have thought about making my videos only from the chest up so you can’t see my limbs flailing hahaha. :) Awesome job!!

  27. Holly

    i’m in Moncton NB Canada!!!!!! :D :D

    just have to say I thoroughly enjoy your pancake sessions!! question: how do you two timeline your weddings?! thanks for all you do! xo!

  28. Jessica Frey

    Great vlog – glad you tried again!! It’s great reassurance that I’m already on the same page with the getting ready – although when I do have an assistant with me I often find I don’t have anything for them to do. Would you consider doing a pancake post (I feel you may have already) on the details of training Julia to work with you on a wedding day. Thanks!!!

  29. Heidi

    Love this Mary! Wow, great job! I’m always wondering how much time you allow for your getting ready photos? I find that most of my brides are rushed and we really can’t get all the good bridal portraits.

  30. Brenda Eley

    I am in Harrisburg, OR. : ) Good job on the video!

  31. Christina

    As someone who is trying to jump start an on- the-side photography business, I find your blog most helpful! Your blogs are inspirational, informative, and down right make me laugh !! Keep up the amazing work. I enjoy following you ! Greetings from North Branford, Ct ! :)

  32. Ginger

    I’m in San Marcos, TX! I would LOVE a Starbucks card. Your blogs (video and regular) are so inspiring and I love seeing what you are doing and what adventures you are on. Blessings from Texas!

  33. Breanna

    I love reading your blog! Thank you so much for the inspiration and advice!

  34. Clark Sanders

    Thanks for the great information and great new way to share with us all!

  35. Alison Mish

    LOVE for video! :) As for a Pancake Session topic, how about….posing and preparing your couples :) As for where I’m from…Pittsburgh! Woot woot!

  36. Kate

    I’d love to hear you talk about what you wear to weddings! I hail from Bangor, Maine :)

  37. Jen Jar

    Mary! How about you do a pancake session on where you buy all your cute dresses!!! :)

  38. sharon elizabeth

    No gift card for me — but could you two right about Family Portrait Posing for weddings!!!! Things can get pretty stagnant if you have a group who doesn’t want to do anything ‘unique’!!! =) XOXO

  39. Emily

    Totally agree that it is easier to say so many of these things than to type them! Thanks so much for lovely Lawrence, Kansas. :)

  40. Ashley B

    I’d love to see a pancake session on dealing with the other vendors throughout the day when they aren’t the most "pleasant" to work with or have rules/requests that are difficult to follow or abide by.

  41. Stephanie Dougher

    Such a helpful post and great video too ;) Thank you!! I’d love to see you guys do a pancake session on how you tackle lighting setups at receptions!

  42. Emily K

    Great video J&M! A question I would love answered in a future vlog is regarding white balance. How are you setting your white balance throughout the day? Manual, auto, or custom? I’m really struggling with consistency in my white balance throughout the day. Sending hugs from Fargo, ND! :)

  43. Eryn Kesler

    Oh, this was such a great pancake session for me! I so appreciated you literally spelling out how you navigate this super important time! I’m heading into my 4th wedding next week, and I’m so excited…and now even feeling more confident in directing my clients towards a natural enjoyable time! THANK YOU!!

  44. Eryn Kesler

    Oh, I forgot to add my future pancake session suggestion:) You already said that you were going to hit the guys side of getting ready, but that would be SO helpful! Or also, family portrait time, including what lenses you use for that. I’m anticipating for my upcoming wedding getting stuck indoors for a rainy day…so I’d love suggestions on how you handle a rainy day family/bridal party formal time.

  45. katie s

    i am in little ol windsor va! born and raised! :) you guys are wonderful. thanks for the pancakes. <3

  46. Kathryn Denelle Stevens

    You look a-dorable! Thanks for sharing! For a future video pancake session, could you go over how you photograph a church ceremony? What your lighting set up is, and where you each shoot from. Also, do you get "safe" shots, or are you always going for the most creative images you can produce in that particular situation? You. guys. are. the. best!!! love, kathryn

  47. Sarah Wamuhiu

    ooo…I managed after like an hour of starting and stopping and buffering :) It was so neat to see your face and hear your voice. Thanks for all the wonderful info. Shooting Kenyan weddings, I don’t have much luxury of choosing where the bride gets dressed…I’ve managed in a 12×6 room with two beds, wardrobe, 4 ladies and a window covered with a curtain. Those are the days I thank God I’m comfortable with using my speedlight on my camera :) Really looking forward to the day when I can have a bride getting ready in a beautiful room with lots of light.

  48. ellie

    so fun! :) what do you do if the bride /mom of the bride doesn’t want to take your advice? i’m on the younger side for this industry and even though i have relatively good relationships with my clients, my age can be a hinderance for some people. thanks so much!

  49. kara abbey

    ::checking in from Sayre, PA:: loooved this :D can’t wait to see more video blogs from ya’ll :D

  50. Jena Alviti

    Video was super helpful! Keep it up :) You guys are great – coming from New Fairfield, CT!

  51. robin underdown

    Thanks for all the information you pass our way. I live in Kyle, Texas…just outside of Austin.

  52. Ursula Page

    I would love a few tips on getting a fabulous ring shot with the macro lens. What aperture is is it set on, always outside?, do you bring things to use for the ring shot or only use things there and last of all, I feel like I have to take 15 shots to get one sharp one and even then it is not as sharp as I would like and that is shooting it at 7.1. I would love a few tips :)

  53. Ashley Cochrane

    I would love to know what you guys do when the timeline is running really, really, REALLY behind due to bride taking a long time to get ready, ceremony lastif longer than anyicipated, etc and you have about 5 seconds to do all the family photos, bridal party photos, and bride and groom photos before you’re out of daylight/have to get them to the reception. How do you deal with the time and not let it negatively affect the portraits of the bride and groom once family shots are over. This is all assuming they didn’t want to do a first look or take any family photos before the ceremony.

  54. Caitlin Gerres

    I love your outfit! I would love to see a pancake session about what you wear on wedding days and how it incorporates your brand! Also, on how and when you switch out your heels. :-)

  55. cynthia michelle

    This is awesome!!!

  56. Stacey Trottier

    I am currently living in Guam! Tiny island in the middle of the Pacific and we have one place to get Starbucks on island that’s it!!
    Love staying up to date with J&M!

  57. Justine Cirullo

    this is so great Mary! Thank you so much for sharing! a quick question i have (which may not take up a whole pancake session) is, if at all possible, do you scope out the location you are shooting before the big day?
    Thank you again, this turned out so great!

  58. Cindy Habel

    Hi from NSW Australia!! Love your blog, and photography, and writing :)

  59. Katie Dickson

    Greetings from Winston-Salem, NC! I’m currently setting up my wedding business and I would love to know more about your packaging and how you deliver items to your clients.

    Thanks so much for sharing and supporting the community!

  60. Shannon Rosan

    Very nicely done!! Keep up the video blogs :)

  61. Becca

    One helpful pancake session would be shooting ceremonies – where do you, Justin, and Julia stand, how do you handle changing outside light, and how do you handle church lighting?

  62. Susan Evans

    Great post Mary – very helpful! I agree with Kathryn in that I would appreciate a pancake session about how you shoot the ceremony – specifically where you each place yourself at different points and what lenses you’re using. Thanks much! P.S. My Starbucks guy makes me a killer Almond Joy frappe. Yep, anything Almond Joy is on my favorites list.

  63. Rici

    Hey! thank you for your wonderful pancake session! I am writing from Tuscany, Siena (right now I am waiting in front of a professors office to do an exam ;-) Right now I am thinking a lot about how to built an internet page, how to organize it and maybe even about hiring someone to help me. Do you have some tips, about what I should think of first? Do you have tips about what I should be careful about when I hire someone?
    Thank you sooo very much! You are awesome! Saluti!!!

  64. Rachel Peterson

    Currently, I’m in Okinawa, Japan visiting a friend!!! :) But I’m from Camas, WA.

  65. Jaime + Chase

    Love this session! You guys rocked it!! We hail from OK! Thanks for all your giving…you both have an amazing heart. xoxo

  66. René Tate

    I’m in North Carolina seeing off my boyfriend before he deploys to Afghanistan!

  67. Chelsea

    Love the tips on shooting the girls. How about the guys? They aren’t always as jazzed about being in front of the camera. What do you say to get them loosened up and studly? You guys are super awesome, keep it up!

  68. Deyla Huss Photography

    You are adorable Mary! I’m writing from Portland, Oregon! woot woot!!!

  69. Erin

    This isn’t really so much for photographers as it is for the bride – and may not be good for a Pancake Session but maybe a blog post?! Or maybe you’ve done it and I missed it? Or maybe I should just tell you what I’m going to say!? How/what should a bride do in working with photographers (what things do they do that you absolutely love/and that absolutely drive you bonkers!). :)

  70. Joline Richard

    Hello! I am in Boston! I actually met you at the March boston PUG meet up! I would love to see a pancake session on the dancing part of the evening. That is where I feel I need the most help! Thanks and Cheers!

  71. Jane

    I agree with Ursula, I would love your tips on how to get good shots of the rings, and other close up details. Thanks for the great post, I am in Oxford, England! :)

  72. Karen Bonar

    On my own planet right now, thanks. :)

  73. Ginny

    Hi Mary! Love the video blog. I’m in Destin, Florida. ;)

  74. Sheaulee Ng

    Hi! I’m in Ashburn, VA. I would love to hear about your lighting set up at the reception and how you capture great first dance photos!

  75. Rhea

    These are great posts! I’m in Louisville, KY and would love to hear more about a basic flash set up for wedding receptions.

  76. Kare

    Love the idea of going in as a team and showing a united front. I get something good from each of your pancake sessions! :-)

  77. Paul Manke

    You three have been the best thing to ever happen to me and my business! I just got the most incredible rewrite up in our local paper! I’ve gotta say, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the three of you!! Thank you so much!!

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