The following are questions I get asked more often than not during client meetings and email correspondences. I wanted to share them with you so you can get to know more about me and more about the Love & Lemonade aesthetic. :)
How did you become a photographer?
I received my first DSLR as a Christmas gift back in 2008. I was freelancing in the fashion industry and in between freelance work, I had some extra time on my hands so I decided to teach myself how to use my DSLR. Soon I was taking photos of anyone and everything and fell madly in love with photography and eventually went on to shoot my first engagement session and then my first wedding. And I never looked back. (You can read a little more about me in my bio section here and I’ll be writing a more in depth post about this next week)
Did you go to school for photography?
No, I didn’t. I am self taught through a lot of reading, obsessing and practicing.
When did you launch Love & Lemonade Photography?
Love & Lemonade was born in August 2009. It was the biggest risk I ever took and the most rewarding. I have never regretted one minute.
How did you come up with the name Love & Lemonade?
When I was getting into photography, I was at a really low point in my professional life. I was very unhappy with the work I was doing and the industry I was working in. When I was thinking up names for my new company, the saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” popped into my head. Photography was my lemonade. I added “love” because it represented what I wanted to capture – LOVE. Thus, Love & Lemonade.
Do you blog every photoshoot?
No, I don’t, and usually it is because the clients have asked me not to and I respect their privacy.
Do you edit your own photos?
YES. And this is something I’ve struggled with – I toyed with the idea of sending out my editing to a 3rd party company (and I have tested some out). However, I haven’t been able to find one that can achieve my standards and my signature look (soft, vintage, romantic) so I prefer to do it myself. I personally go through every single shot, weed out the best ones, and edit each and every one. It is a lot of work but I believe my clients hire me for this kind of personal attention to their photographs and I wouldn’t want to give them any less.
How many shoots do you do a year?
Last year I did over 50 shoots. This includes weddings, engagement, family, boudoir, maternity, and baby sessions as well as a few commercial shoots.
How far in advance should we book you?
My weekends book up very quickly so I do suggest booking me (or any photographer, for that matter) as soon as you’ve locked down your date and venue. Also, your date is not booked until a contract and retainer is submitted.
Do you always have a 2nd shooter?
For weddings, yes. Always. Sometimes I will bring my 2nd shooter on engagement sessions or other sessions. I never bring my 2nd shooter on boudoir shoots because I would never want to do anything to make my client feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.
What gear do you work with?
I currently shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III and Canon lenses and a couple of film cameras.
How many weddings do you shoot?
I shoot 2 weddings a month. Very rarely do I shoot more than that. I prefer to only shoot 2 because this allows me to give each wedding and couple all my attention and focus they deserve.
Do we have to do a first look?
No, of course not! I let each couple decide when they would like to first see each other on their wedding day. Each couple is different and hold certain traditions close to their hearts and I will always respect that. I have captured weddings with first look moments prior to the ceremony and as the bride walks down the aisle. Both moments are beautiful and neither is better than the other. As a photographer, it is easier when the couple decides to do a first look before the ceremony since it opens up more time for us to capture portraits and it does make the couple a little more relaxed. However, with our experience, we can make it work if they choose not to do one.
Do we need an engagement session?
It is entirely up to you, but I do highly recommend it. Engagement sessions are more than just photographs of you and your partner in a beach or a field. Engagement sessions are a fun break from everyday life. It’s an excuse to take the day off from wedding planning, running errands, working…it’s a great excuse to go out and have some fun with the one you love. Also, you will have professional photographs of just the 2 of you – free of the stress and formality of a wedding day – where your personalities and identity as a couple really come through.
Do you choose the location for our engagement session?
Yes and no – it is a collaboration. I ask my couples what type of location they would like (beach, field, city, etc.) and I suggest a couple of locations that would fit. I also suggest that couples consider locations that are meaningful to them (i.e.: location of first date, where he proposed, favorite spots in the city, their home, etc.).
Do you provide props for your shoots?
I don’t and here’s the reason why – if I provided props for every shoot, then every shoot will look the same. My goal is to work with my clients to ensure their photographs are unique and meaningful to them. I suggest clients consider props that have meaning to them and represent them and not take the focus away from them. I am more than happy to collaborate with them and provide as much input as they need.
Do you book every wedding couple?
No, I do not. I make it a point to meet with every single couple (unless it isn’t geographically possible – then we set up a video chat meeting) so we can get to know each other. The one person and vendor you will be spending the most time with on your wedding day will be your wedding photographer. You want to make sure there is chemistry and you feel comfortable with the photographer because it will show in your photographs. If I feel the couple is not a right fit for me and Love & Lemonade, I will not book them. But more than likely the couple will feel the same way and continue their search for their right fit.
I hope these questions helped you get to know us a little better. This will actually be an ongoing series and I will soon answer questions regarding family sessions, boudoir sessions, and others. If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to comment below or email me at nina @ loveandlemonade.com.
Talk soon! :)