COVID has completely changed the wedding industry (and others) this year. Just about every wedding I had scheduled for 2020 has been moved to 2021 but many have decided to still celebrate with a small and intimate wedding with their closest friends and immediate family. Since May I have had 4 weddings and I have another one coming up this weekend second shooting with one of my second shooters, Lisa!
While I am at weddings, if I have some time, I LOVE sharing with you all some behind the scenes on my instagram stories. Some of those behind the scenes are selfies of me doing something, or with my second shooter… lots are just showing the details of the day and how amazing everything is. Since we are right now in the middle of a world wide pandemic, the selfies you see are of me wearing my mask. I’ve had so many photographers DM me asking me about my mask- Can you breathe? Is it comfortable? Where did you get it? So, since I’ve had lots of questions about it, I decided the best way to share my thoughts on the mask is to give you a little review of it here.
In March when we were all ordered to stay inside, my husband went on a search to find me a mask that I can wear for weddings. One that will allow me to be safe, comfortable and allow me to breathe. He found The Urban X Mask and we ordered 2 of them to see how we liked them. Well. Since we ordered these right when the stay at home order started at the end of March, we did not have them until the end of June. The shipping took forever! So while I was not going to link their webpage because their customer service was not helpful in the shipping process and the amount of time it took for the masks to arrive, I checked their site today to see that they are closed. I am guessing many people had the same issue with receiving their mask in a timely manner and not getting help from customer service. So, with that said. I do NOT recommend getting it through the site we got it from. This is the only CON we found with it.
I looked up a few different sites to find something similar for you guys which I will link at the end and to give you the PROS about the mask.
The mask is one size fits most. There is a velcro back to it so there is zero pressure on the ears which I really like. That makes it very comfortable. It has a filter on the inside with small clip filters (which you need to make sure you snap on tight or they will pop off) on the outside that you wash separately. While you do sweat with this on, it’s much more breathable than the cloth masks. You can feel new air entering and it does not fog up my view finder in the camera or glasses. I find that with any other mask I use, it fogs up and I can not see anything I am shooting. This mask is not an issue with that. If I need to pull it down, I can for a minute and pull it back up. I also have had times where I took it off when I am not near anyone and I attach it to myself with the Velcro which is good so I know its on me and not on the ground somewhere. There is a nose clip so that keeps the mask in place and its black design is modern and “nice” for professional purposes.
I do think that I sound muffled in the mask when I am directing the wedding party, family where I need to be a little louder for everyone to hear me. ( I think this with all masks, it’s hard to hear if you do not speak loudly and clearly). With that, I will move the mask so I can direct then put it back on. I do this stepping far back so there is a safe distance.
I have not tried this yet, but I plan to… maybe this weekend… but my sister had gotten me a megaphone since I told her I feel like I sound muffled!! Yes, you read that right! A megaphone! It arrived in the mail after the wedding I just had so I am curious to see how that will go soon. I think its hysterical so I am hoping I get some great laughs with it and everyone can hear me! I will link it as well incase you too want some laughs and fun with having a megaphone to talk to people at a wedding!
Now I am sure you all know that when wearing any mask, it gets hot. You sweat, you touch it… So I bring 2 of these masks with me and I also carry disposable masks as well just incase it is so hot and I start to feel really gross wearing the same mask for a 12 hour day. I have a box of 50 and pack a handful in my camera bag for those “just in case moments”.
At the start of this, I was not sure about touching other peoples things for detail photos. I do not need to touch anything other than my camera on the wedding day except for when I style wedding details in the beginning! It was unknown if the virus could be transmitted through touch and excessive hand washing had been suggested. For this, I have disposable gloves. I have not needed to use these. I am very careful with washing hands and using hand sanitizer, but I do have these as well in my camera bag for those moments where I feel unsure.
Something I have not gotten but I was thinking about was a face shield. I have seen a few photographers use these and shoot with their live screen. I prefer not to use the live screen option if I don’t have to, so unless something occurs and I need the shield, I think I am okay with what I am doing so far.
I also have 2 large gallons of water in my car with hand soap and paper towels. This has been a game changer. Each time I have an opportunity to wash my hands and not just with sanitizer, I will stop at my car to wash my hands ( if I am close to it). It’s amazing what soap and water feels like when you are working with your hands all day holding a camera. I also have this in my car not just for weddings, but for when I am out with my kids. We wash our hands this way several times while we are out and it’s been great not needing to go to a bathroom because….germs.
There you have it! These are all the safety things I am using right now that are working for me. If you have any questions or things that are working for you that I did not mention, please let me know! We are all in this together! 🙂 Stay safe and healthy, friend!
URBAN X MASK (from a new site….)
TOP 10 REUSABLE MASKS
We were looking at the forecast a few days before this session and my heart kept sinking each time I saw thunderstorms with a 60% chance of rain on and off all day. We had our session scheduled for 6:30pm, two hours before sun set and the forecast at that time was all over the place. It went from a high percent of rain to one where it would still be okay to have a session. We talked throughout the day and decided to go for it and man, I am so excited we did! While it down-poured driving through Boston, it stopped when I arrived at the Harvard Arboretum. With over cast skies, and zero rain the whole time we were together, we kept saying how happy we were not to cancel. I just love this location and I am so excited to share their photos with you!
Colleen and Keith have a really fun story to share about how they met! If this isn’t fate, I don’t know what is! ” We have a great story about how we met. I was studying abroad in Amsterdam and decided to visit some other friends who were studying abroad in Ireland during St. Patty’s Day weekend. When we were out one night I actually met Keith in a pub! After that weekend I flew back to Amsterdam and heard from my sister a few weeks later… she was asking if I met a guy named Keith while I was in Ireland? I said I did and it just so happens that Keith was a substitute teacher for my sister at the same place where I went to high school! So I eventually come back home and it turns out that Keith was living 10 minutes away from the house I grew up in. It also turns out that he graduated from the same college as me 2 years before (Stonehill College), we had the same major, same academic adviser and we just never crossed paths! Two and a half years later we’re engaged! :)” How amazing is their story?! I really do believe that things happen for a reason!
Colleen and Keith, I loved getting to hang out with you guys! I am so excited for your wedding day and I am also so excited to share this blog and your final images with you! Thank you so much for braving the rain and meeting with me! It was a perfect night and still can not believe we had zero rain! Enjoy this little sneak peek of your engagement photos! These are just a few of my favorites! xo.
Okay brides, listen up! I am going to let you in on a few of my little wedding day secrets to get those high end, elegant, gorgeous detail photos! Get your pen and paper along with your planning binder and here we go!
#1: THE RING BOX
Many images you see from a wedding day of the rings, is when the ring is inside or resting on a really pretty box! Guess what?? I bring my own ring boxes from The Mrs. Box. I have a collection of these boxes in popular wedding colors that I can use to match your wedding vision. I use these boxes for each wedding about 90% of the time, I just love them so much. Want to know something cool? If you were hoping to have a beautiful ring box for your wedding day and beyond, you do not need me to pick and choose the color/shape/look of it! Although I always have these boxes on me at all times during the beginning of the wedding day, I am providing you with 2 links where you can look to see if this is something you want to have as a part of your details and beyond.
THE MRS. BOX – These boxes are BEAUTIFUL! In real life, they are a lot smaller than they look but that is because they make the ring look even bigger! You can look to see if there are colors and styles you like here, but be aware, they range around $85+ depending on your wants/needs.
AMAZON DOUPE– Here is another beautiful ring box found on Amazon!! It has a similar look to the Mrs. Box and they range from $15.99-$25.99! The price difference is amazing and it will still give you that high end look to your details. You can add this to a wish list or even your gift registry if having your own box is important to you on your wedding day!
#2. Styling Ribbon
Another detail I love to add is ribbon. Sometimes I can find things in the room to use for an added pop to the image, but almost all of the time, I am getting out my silk ribbons from my styling kit. I carry with me on the wedding day 3 neutral popular wedding colors, just as I mentioned above with the ring boxes. These ribbons are so delecate that I need to have them wound and folded a certain way to look the way I want them to. Again, just because I have these with me on a wedding day does not mean you can’t have some too. You can get the exact color you want to have to match your details!
SILK AND WILLOW – These silks are amazing! They look gorgeous in photos and they even have ribbon spools that can make for cool photos if you add the spool into the frame. These range from $30-$90 depending on the exact look you want.
AMAZON STYLING RIBBON– If the Silk and Willow brand ribbon is not in the budget and you still want to have your very own ribbon, another great Amazon option is their ribbon! These ribbons range from $10.99-$20!
#3. Wooden Hanger
There is nothing like getting to a wedding where everything is exactly as you imagined it would be. Your Kleinfeld dress still in the garment bag… when it’s time to open it up and get some dress detail shots… what happens? The dress is on a plastic hanger! This always makes my heart sink when I see this. The dress is a HUGE investment along with the rest of the wedding…. The dress NEEDS a nice hanger! It does not need to be a hanger with a new last name, Mrs. or even Bride. It can be plain! It just should NOT be plastic.
Just like the details I mentioned above, I carry a hanger with me! It’s amazing how many times I have needed to use to too! Which is fine! Thats why I have it with me. I bet a hanger is the last thing on your mind during your wedding day… so don’t worry… It’s one of the top things on my mind when it comes to details which is why, I got you.
Feel free to get a hanger with a cute saying on it! Those make for wonderful photos! I love them! You can find those on Etsy. If you wanted to get hangers incase you decided you wanted not only your dress photographed but you want your girls dresses too, then invest in a pack of wooden hangers. I always will have 1 hanger and if you remind me and request that you want the brides maid dress shot with your dress, I will do my best to bring matching wooden hangers, but I can not guarantee I will have enough of them for all of the dresses. Enter… AMAZON!
AMAZON WOODEN HANGER– I suggest the shirt hanger where there is NO bottom bar to fold pants. The shirt hanger in the photo below is perfect for the dress shot. The bottom bar is not there to draw the eye to it. Imagine this gorgeous dress on a plastic hanger…. now click the link and get some wooden ones. 🙂
#4. Glue Dots
Why glue dots? I will tell you why! These are so amazing to give you those ring shots that stand up! You see, sometimes the rings just do not fit to stand up inside of one another because the bride and grooms fingers are all different sizes and causing the rings to slide, fall down, or just not sit the way I want them to. So, glue dots! These little bad boys do not harm anything! They are primarily used for scrapbooking so you can peel the photo off the paper if you decided you did not like it there. For a ring, it does what I need it to do, and then it peels right off not causing any stickiness to the rings at all. They are glue which means they are clear so when you take a photo, you can not see them at all. It’s magic!
GLUE DOTS- You can find these at any craft store in their scrapbook section. I included an amazon link for you since we can not really get to any stores at this time so Amazon is the best way to go! I always have these with me on the wedding day too! So if you do not get them, I will have them! Just a cool little tip and hack I can share with you while planning your wedding day.
#5. CLEAR THE CLUTTER
I am not sure if this one is a hack, but it involves your bridesmaids! Whatever room you decide to get ready in, have someone go in and be sure there is zero clutter around the room. No trash, bags, luggage, clothes, etc. Make sure the room where you will be getting dressed in is clean and ready to be photographed. I am not shy to move things around that need to be moved for that perfect shot, however, I do not like having to move personal belongings if I do not have to. Setting this as a job for one of your bridesmaids will help take some stress off of you the day of. The room will be ready to be photographed in and your photos will be amazing!
ALI B AMAZON STORE FRONT PHOTOGRAPHY + BRIDAL HACKS
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I just LOVE LOVE LOVE it when families contact me year after year for updated family photos! These guys I met 2 years ago and I was so excited to see them again! I can not believe how big their littles ones have gotten! We had so much fun on the beach playing! Sorry for making you run mom and dad! 😉
Their session was at Sandy Beach in Cohasset, MA and I have to say I loved this location so much! Not just because I got to be there with this amazing little family, but I always need some vitamin sea and this beach had it all. The tall sea grass, large rocks, jettys, a stone wall, perfect sand and the most beautiful colors as the sun was setting!
It was so fun to see Kennedy and Connor’s personalities shine through these images! They were so much fun and had me laughing as I was editing their photos! Their holiday cards are going to be beautiful, I am sure!!! Merideth, Bob, Kennedy and Connor, thanks so much for having me capture these moments for you! I am so honored you contacted me again to update your family photos!! I hope you love these and I can not wait to see you all again soon! xo.
I have had a little break from blogging over the last couple weeks which I have to say, feels like its been an entire year! Between family sessions and weddings, I have been non stop with LOTS and LOTS of late nights editing. I have so many blog drafts almost ready to be published and I do not want to keep those blogs in cue anymore! I am so excited to finally feature this amazing family! I have been taking their photos since I started my business in 2012! It went from just a couple, to maternity, to family, to extended family and I am forever grateful for them all! We had their session in Wakefield, MA again this year and this time the littlest lady, Lilly is here! It is so fun to get to see these families grow and I love getting to be apart of savoring these moments for them!
Here is the start of my 2019 family sessions!! Get ready for more awesomeness! 🙂