Do This-Tattoo Booth

Do This is a weekly blog series created to be a super quick read, highlighting awesome wedding ideas that you may want to incorporate into your own event!  Got an idea for our Do This readers?  Email me at mmcclainphoto@gmail.com with your idea! 

I can’t tell anymore if photo booths are still hot or starting to dissipate, but one step higher on the coolness scale has to be the Tattoo Booth.  Borrowed from the wonderful Offbeat Bride Blog, this wedding couple (photo cred- Tino and Pip) offered guests the choice of 10 fun temp tattoos to wear for the night.

 

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Do This- Metallics

2016 is going to be filled pastels according to Pantone. My thought- we’re still in love with the warm hues of metallic color trend, especially in the gold spectrum.  Bring some metallic inspiration into your day by going for bridal party dresses, linens, or metallic centerpieces (centerpieces designed by C&J Catering [top] and Splints & Daisies [bottom].

 

Pros To Know- Klock Entertainment

Pros To Know is an ongoing blog series featuring the best of Central PA wedding vendors!  See his/her perspective on emerging and popular trends, tips on wedding planning, and what they love outside of the wedding industry.

Klock Entertainment is one of Central PA’s leading entertainment options, implementing the latest in technology, multi-media, music, and talent.  This group of highly trained entertainers specialize in providing a unique, memorable, and individual experience for your special event.  Klock Entertainment continues to win Couples Choice and The Best of the Knot awards year after year!ProsToKnowKlock_0001_MMP

  1. What makes Klock Entertainment Unique?

What makes Klock Entertainment unique is the dynamic in talent bundled with us being a full-time engine and licensed business.  With these two things, it allows us to properly produce and execute our couples’ wants, loves, and needs for their special event.  Another thing that makes us unique is our staff who work with their heart and work events because they love doing it.  Everyone I hire and including myself has a true passion for helping our clients maximize the celebration of life’s moments. 

  1. What are the popular entertainment (and/or design) choices 2015 couples are making?

In 2015 we are seeing many couples create an elegant light package that can still progress with the energy of the event.  Instead of just place some up lights around their venue space, we are working with couples to create a programmed lighting experience to help enhance their special moments such as first dance, parents dances, and opening the dance floor after dinner.  The term used for this is “Programmable Intelligent Lighting”.  We are also seeing many of couples choose to pin light certain objects in their venue space such as their cake, picture table, or dessert table. Up Lighting is still extremely popular and can completely enhance any space.  We are finding it is becoming more what we can do with the Up Lighting or Programming of other types of lighting, which is what truly adds a proper design for each individual reception space. 

  1. What is your best piece of advice for couples on the hunt for the perfect wedding DJ?

The best piece of advice is to make sure you like the person you’re hiring.  I know that may sound silly, but regardless if they are a DJ, Photographer, etc.  you have to spend time with that vendor during very important moments of your life.  Additionally, I highly recommend going with somebody who is operating a licensed business.  Whether they are a solo-opp or Multi-Opp that doesn’t matter as much as them being able to prove legitimacy through a strong track record, reviews, and longevity.  Our Event Specialist and Full Time DJ, Nick Fortini has recently written this blog on choosing the right DJ for your needs.

  1. Outside of the entertainment industry, what brings you the most happiness?

When I’m not working for Klock Entertainment or working an event, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Jess and our twins Avalyn & Elijah (who just turned two).  We also have a third on the way due around Christmas!  I also try to spend an hour a day or so doing some sort of personal fitness to keep the mind cleansed and fueled for the next opportunity life may bring!

Where can people find you online?

Website: www.klockentertainment.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/klockentertainment
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KlockEnt
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/klockentertainment

Want Great Getting Ready Images? Here’s How!

Not every gal wants getting ready images but for most brides after a photojournalistic (story telling) wedding portfolio, the ceremony pre-game is a must have.  If going the family heirloom route, starting your album with gorgeous images of final touches, dressing, and details are pertinent to recanting your wedding day and sparking those fun memories.

Cantarera_0147_MelissaMcClainPhotographyFrom the photographer perspective, I love capturing this part of a couple’s wedding day.  It’s the anticipation, catching natural candids, nervous expressions, and emotions that can make this small part of your wedding day that much more special when looking back years from now.  Although not hard to capture great images during this time, there’s always a few things to keep in mind if getting ready images are important to you.  Not to neglect the gentlemen, but as Jason describes to almost every couple, Bride getting ready shots are always fun, elegant, and beautiful where for the men… it’s basically putting on another pair of pants!  Yes.. we gals are super jealous that our grooms can roll in two hours before the ceremony and still look like rock stars while we’re up at the crack of dawn getting primped and prepped:)

Here’s a few food for thought items on achieving kick ass getting ready images:

*No Junk in the Trunk– Okay a total expression, however getting ready images are much more elegant when bags, trash, and other must have prep items aren’t scattered in various places throughout the getting ready room.  cohen_0122_mmpAs a gal, I completely understand us ladies have baggage and NEED a ton of products and things to feel our most glamorous, however asking your maids to sequester their items to a specific area of the room can take your prep images to the next level of photojournalism.  I usually recommend, depending on the location, to “junk” areas farthest away from natural light windows since the majority of getting ready images are captured in that vicinity.  Along with the amazing images, keeping things orderly will make the end of night departure so much easier instead of scavenging for your items in a potential drunken bliss.

*Open the Curtains– Within reason of course!  If your getting ready room has the means, throw open the curtains and let the natural light pour in for the most beautiful light.

*Gather the Details- With months of planning out the details of your dress, shoes, and accessories, I want to make sure we’re capturing those special, well-thought-out items before you don that gorgeous gown if possible.  I usually recommend for brides who love details, to have your MOH or bridesmaid gather the items you want photographed into one location.  Upon arrival those are the go to items I typically will capture first and REALLY want to capture if possible as potential publishing opportunities on blogs and magazines will always want to see your well planned details.baughman_0025_mmp

*Everyone Dresses Before the Bride– Completely aesthetic and your bridesmaids might thank you for it, but consider having your dressing assistants in their gowns before zipping you up.

*RELAX! Your Face Tells All– Most brides during the getting zipped, fastened, tied into her dress beam a gorgeous natural smile or relaxed thoughtful expression.  In some not so perfect dressing moments such as the 32nd loop on the corset, it’s easy to hit that “OMG are we done yet” or “What do you mean it’s not _____”  expression which is captured on camera.  Take a breath and relax!Baranowski_0204_MMP

*Keep the crowd to a minimum– It’s easy to invite close friends and extended family into the getting ready room, however keep in mind that it can crowd up your room and make grabbing different angles and perspectives a challenge, not to mention potential added stress.  Either opt for a sizable getting ready area if expecting a large group or keep your posse to a few close important people.

What do you recommend for the best getting ready images on a wedding day?

10 Wedding Trends Coming Our Way!

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Weddings and the trends that shape them are every changing!  Just 10 short years ago mermaid style gowns and Vera Wang were the go to in wedding dresses.  Popular theme colors were chocolate brown with various shades of pastels (normally carnation pink) and don’t even get me started on the disposable cameras on every table (alright… which drunk college friend took a picture of his ass?).

Wedding Wire released their 50 Fresh Ideas for 2015 which is promised to not have been overtaken yet by Pinterest this week which made us drool at some prospects for the year into the next few years!  Here are our 10 of our favorites from the list!

1. Let the Bridesmaids Wear Skirts!  Such an awesome idea!  Shopping might be easier and you could get super creative with colors, styles, and patterns plus the wear again factor is pretty probable!

2. Change up the Bouquet Toss by attaching (or offering the recipient) a gift certificate, piece of jewelry, or lottery tickets and invite all the females out.. not just your single friends!

3. Commemorate Vows with a Beer Ceremony!  Seriously.. with all the micro and craft brews out there (including the local ones such as Troegs, Hershey, and Iron Hill) what groom would say no to this?

4. Make Grandma the Flower Girl!  Especially awesome for both sets of grandmothers to toss the petals together!

5. Throw Sprinkles After the Ceremony (or even after the reception)!  Edible, fun, and photographically awesome!

6. Hold your Ceremony Inside a Covered Bridge!  With the plethora of bridges in our area, this would make for a kick ass ceremony location!

7. Give Favors for Four Legged Friends!  Mix and match tables with both dog and cat treats.  Guest can trade around based off of their fuzzy family members.

8. Snuggle up in a Settee (aka love seat)!  Instead of separate seats for dinner, share a cute settee!  Rentals can be found at one of our favorite local businesses, Swoon Vintage Rental.

9. Serve Everyone a Late Night Snack.  When the bar closes, bring out the comfort foods.. think pizza, sliders or mac and cheese.  Bonus points for rolling up a food truck outside!

10. Offer Guests Champagne Before the Ceremony!  Not only a delicious way to start your celebrations, but an awesome photo op to capture guests clinking glasses at your first kiss!

What are some unique ideas you’re planning for your upcoming wedding?

Engagement Sessions- When to Schedule?

I’m pretty sure engagement sessions are hands down one of my favorite things to photograph.  Don’t get me wrong… I love a fantastic wedding, but with engagements we have ample time to work with our couples and can creatively control when and where images are captured.  One of the most common questions aside from what to wear (see this post for those details) is when to schedule your engagement session. 10506645_10152584097192259_4780065743080305203_o I personally REALLY like our clients to make the schedule decision based off of the time of year since well.. they’re your images, ones you’re going to look at far more regularly than myself and hopefully not punish to be kept on a computer or USB but proudly displayed in your home and on your walls (end soapbox) plus you guys probably know what seasons you enjoy the most.

10317572_10152503888162259_6265076660794116129_oSchedule wise, first the time of year should be chosen appropriately.  About 75% of our client family chooses to have their sessions captured between the beginning of April to the end of June also known as prime time Spring and early summer season.   The other 20% choose autumn months starting towards the middle of September into the end of October.  The remaining 5% are our gladiator couples opting for summer months of July and August or the winter months between December and February.  Scheduling also really depends on your location, such as a winery like recent couple Kim and Ethan chose for their late May session.  Kim and Ethan definitely wanted greenery and to have some open foliage on the vines to accent their backdrop, basically choosing the perfect time to capture this and not sweat it out like a 5K runner at the gym.

Along with the time of year, the time of day is equally crucial and in most cases when scheduling with our couples I will do a quick internet search to see what the proposed sunrise and sunset times are versus the chosen location.  Valleys or tree covered areas I want to get a start time sooner in the evening versus a mountain top or open field area to capture the right lighting based off of the couples preferences.  For morning sessions I want to start a bit earlier in the day to avoid heavy face shadows around the eyes if possible.  10383755_10152541664577259_3430027562085323212_oFor Jocelyn and Brandon, whom we captured a few weeks ago, grabbing key images around the “golden hour” was key to starting the session at a certain time based off of their covered bridge preferences then to an open field where sunset was approaching, making way to some stunning colors as a backdrop.

In closing, your preferred look, theme, or outfit should also be taken into consideration when scheduling.  Having a gorgeous summer dress would look a bit.. odd in October, as would sporting a long sleeve button down and a vest for the guys in the heat of summer.  1548202_10152540280607259_3258425399173538759_oWhen it came to pairing an outfit with the time of year, Dana and Stephen hit it perfectly for their late May session.  Dana chose a very classy blue and white a-line dress while Stephen chose khaki pants and a classic green button down making this perfect pair look as if they stepped off a Ralph Lauren catalog and right into their engagement photos.

There’s a lot of food for though when working through your who, when and where’s of your engagement session, but start basic.  Choose the time of year first, then the type of location you prefer, and work around the best timing for the lighting you love and when all else fails contact your photographer, most have seen it all:)

Time to Ditch Your Pinterest Account?

Take a break and think about how well connected people are to social media these days… Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.  All are great tools when planning a wedding or could be if used correctly.  Lately I’ve noticed a decline in Pinterest fandom among professional creatives and although some valid points were made, I have to agree with NOT using much of pinterest in wedding planning.  Before bringing out the pitch forks and torches.. let’s discuss.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 10.00.54 PM*It’s Recycled Ideas.  I’m all for inspiration however it should be taken lightly in planning.  The best weddings photographically in my opinion are those with a touch of the couple’s personality more so than handfuls of pinterest recreations.   I still remember weddings where the couple made DIY items or creations that may have had some pinterest inspiration, however they twisted it to fit their wedding design dream which made their celebrations even more personalized.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.48.05 PM*Stylized Images.  Okay hope you’re sitting for this one, but a lot of those pinned couple images are stylized sessions.  Stylized shoots are fantastic for inspiration, but should be known that it’s designers, photographers, or publishers who are setting these up, gathering every detail surrounding the couple and the photographers have hours to shoot with perfect light.  Not every image is from a “set up” session thankfully but be aware that some are and although can be “inspiration” for your own images, will take time to set up, so plan accordingly for your timeline if that’s a heart set item.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.37.28 PM*Backfire on Trying to be Unique.  Although I don’t believe that every plan in a wedding needs to be unique, I do feel the couple IS unique and shouldn’t aspire to recreating poses in images that may not fit the personalities of both you and your spouse.  If you’re a fun and goofy couple, pulling off that sensual pose you pinned months ago is going to be more work than one would think, especially to make it look natural and “fitting” for who you guys really are as a couple.

*Out of Date Boards or Unrelated Pins.  I tend to look up pinterest boards of our clients to see where your image preference is more so than the details planned.  Like your guests, I want to be a little surprised when I walk into your reception to enjoy my own personal ‘Oooo’ and ‘Ahhh’ moment.  Don’t laugh.. I seriously love this part of the day:)  The hardest part of scoping out boards is that preferences and poses may change over time and with trends (i.e the jump shot.. hated personally but done upon request although I’ll sigh internally as I shoot it).  Also pinterest is tricky and it’s so darn easy to pin tomorrow night’s dinner recipe up with your wedding inspiration boards. Although I love new recipes, I’d rather just cruise your inspiration on it’s own.  Keep it clean and keep it up to date.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.56.48 PM*Does it Match?  There are tens of thousands of wedding venues all across the nation and most rarely look the same.  Pinning a grand ballroom photograph of a couple’s first dance in NYC doesn’t really match your chic rustic B&B style wedding here in central PA.  When looking over boards as a viewer, it’s hard to see why a couple may have pinned an image that isn’t the same “feel” as what was described for their wedding venue, especially if the pin remarks at the bottom of the image are passed along from pinner to pinner.  Best recommendation, if you’re going to pin and have others ogle them, make appropriate inspiration remarks such as “Love the lighting, love the pose, love the dress” to avoid that ‘Say wha…’ moment to your viewers.

So to ditch or not to ditch is up to you, however when it comes to wedding posing, inspirations and creations, trust your professionals such as your wedding planner, DJ, or photographer… after all, they’re typically at a wedding almost every weekend in the spring, summer, and fall months.