Monthly Archives: January 2014

Hiring your wedding photographer is a two way street. Obviously, you want to choose a photographer whose work, style, and personality reflects the kind of photos you want from your day, but your photographer also has to also choose YOU as well. The photographer-client relationship goes both ways.  For me, accepting a wedding commission is quite an undertaking. It’s a big investment on my part, in terms of time, energy, creativity, time….. oh yeah, and did I mention? TIME.  So basically, if I’m going to spend as much time on your wedding as it deserves, it’s because I WANT to, and I’m excited about it. I actually turn down many more weddings than I accept, because I’m looking for nice, friendly couples who are getting married in unique places with lots of details and personalizations, and I want my clients to have the absolute best experience and the best of my work. Here’s how to make sure yours  is one of the weddings I accept.

shattuck wedding jaffrey NH (8)

1. Please complete my contact form with specific details.

The contact form on my website is our very first introduction. You’ve read quite a bit about me  on my website…. my style, what kinds of weddings I shoot, how I work…… so here’s your chance to let me know how your  wedding will fit into those preferences.  I ask for your names, your date, your venue, and a little bit about your wedding. That’s because I want to know all of these pieces of information.

I clearly ask for your venue, location, and its website (if any). You’d be surprised how many people respond with nothing but “NH” or just a town name. Photographers are very excited and inspired by good venues. We squeal when we we get inquiries about venues that we’d be excited about shooting at. Longlook Farm? OMG! A sweet rustic country bed & breakfast? Hell yes!  Sooooo….. when you start out our interactions with giving me no kind of idea of the wedding you’re planning, I have sort of a lackluster interest from the start.  Answering your venue location with “NH” feels rude and secretive to me. NH is not a venue.

canterbury shaker village wedding (21)

 

2. Review the information on my website and make sure we are creatively a right fit.

I am a little bit different from other photographers in my area in that I put everything on my website. I put my prices, my style, my policies allll out there so that you can read it all thoroughly before you ever make the decision to contact me.  When I have a bride fill out my contact form, and ask for basic information like pricing, I know right away that she hasn’t even looked at my website. Because it’s all right there.  I’m not out to waste anybody’s time, so I provide all of that information.

When brides email me and explain that they’re having a church ceremony and  a reception to follow at xyz country club, that’s a red flag right there that they haven’t done their homework about the services I provide. I’ve tried to make it abundantly clear in both photos and text that I’m focusing on outdoor weddings, and rustic venues like inns, bed and breakfasts, barns, etc.  I kind of think that brides should be looking to hire photographers who frequently work in the types of places that they’re having their wedding, so hiring a natural light outdoorsy photographer to shoot your indoor church wedding doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Hanover NH bride 2

 

3.  Let me see your personality.

I know, it’s hard to really let your personality shine when all you’re doing is completing the umpteenth vendor contact form this week. You’re just looking for some dang information about some wedding services. Florists, caterers, bakers, yadda yadda yadda…… But I highly suggest that you write in a cordial fashion, something friendly to set yourself apart. Introduce yourself, be friendly, perhaps indicate what about my work caught your eye. I will bend over backwards to work with brides and grooms who are really excited about my work and want to work with me. That’s a win-win relationship. Photographers love that!

One time I met with a couple and asked them “So was there something about my work that you especially liked?” And the bride looked me straight in the eye and goes “Yeah, you were in our price range.”   Ouch.

So yeah, the more you can let me know about YOU and your personality, the more I will be excited about it. I will be excited about YOU when I know that you are, in turn, excited about working with me.

castle in the clouds waterfall wedding photo 2

Let’s work together!

Hiring a photographer involves some soft skills….. we are not a commodity that you buy off the shelf. We’re people, and we’re artists……. who get emotionally invested in our work. It’s in your best interest to get your photographer creatively excited about your wedding!  Start that relationship off on the right foot by

  • reading the website thoroughly before you even decide to contact (educate yourself),
  • make sure your wedding is creatively a right fit for the photographer and provide specific information,
  • and finally, show your personality and enthusiasm when you make that initial contact.

First impressions go a long way.  When I choose to work with a couple who are stylistically and personality-wise a good fit, magic will happen. 🙂  Hopefully these tips will help you understand what a photographer is looking for when we try to find couples who are a good match.

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I was so privileged to take part in this amazing styled mock wedding photo shoot for Lakes Region Bride magazine along with the most jaw-dropping wedding & event space, La Piece / The Room in Tilton, NH.  Other local wedding vendors that contributed their time, talent, products, and services to this feathery, blush, uptown themed shoot were:

photo shoot coordination, Lakes Region Bride magazine
venue and event design by La Piece/The Room, Tilton NH
flowers by Mountain Laurel Flower Shop, Ashland NH
cake by Ooo La La, Meredith NH
wedding gowns from A Day To Remember, Concord NH
hair and makeup by Korbells Salon, Tilton NH
and of course our gorgeous model bride Kayla Layton
photography by Erika Follansbee Photography

The concept was an elegant, glittery, uptown affair, and it was brought to life with white, silver, and blush accents, accessorized with crystals, mercury glass, and darling pink damask place cards. Sheer white panels  flanked the head table, creating a sense of intimacy and whimsy.

La Piece styled wedding shootelaborate table design by La PieceLRB photo 2

La Piece styled wedding shoot

Elegant Uptown table settings at La Piece The Room | Tilton, NH

La Piece styled wedding shoot

Exquisite wedding table settings at La Piece, Tilton, NH

La Piece styled wedding shoot

La Piece styled wedding shoot

Bride at La Piece holding wedding cake by Ooo La La Cakes

LRB photo 1

bouquet by Mountain Laurel Flower Shop

La Piece styled wedding shoot

Click  here to view the entire 2014 Lakes Region Bride magazine online, and to see how this photo shoot appeared in the magazine.

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Sasha contacted me about doing a love session for herself and her man….. and I was so touched by her story. She freely shared information about herself and Brian, and how they’ve found love and freedom in unexpected discovery, after each of them moved past previous marriages that weren’t quite right. I went into this shoot having the story already written for me, and I found out after the fact that the images we created illustrate her own words perfectly.

“We’ve renewed each other’s faith in the future and love. The trust I have for him – I’ve never had for anyone. For the first time in my life – I don’t feel like I need to be in the driver’s seat.”

manchester NH couples photos 3

“To be honest – every other photoshoot I did in my ‘past life’ – was so calculated…. posed….for show….planned….stressful. That was kind of the story of my past life anyhow. This time – I’m just happy to be with this guy, being us, and casual – and having you ‘capture it’.”

manchester NH couples photos 2

manchester NH engagement photography

“So you see – it’s more than just a love session – it’s a new love session! The non traditional way of doing things – which for me – who always wanted to do things the ‘right’ way, in order, by ‘the book’ – is new concept to embrace.  But, right now – we’re just loving being in love – and I’m throwing that ‘book’ out the window – because this way is working much better!”

manchester NH engagement session

New Hampshire engagement portraits

Beautiful words by Sasha…… and the most beautiful and important reason to have photos made….. just because there is someone you love.

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I’m thrilled, absolutely thrilled to have one of my photos selected as the cover of the 2014 Lakes Region Bride magazine. This photo of beautiful model Kayla Layton was taken at the styled wedding shoot that we did in December at La Piece.

Here is a photo of the cover of the magazine, as well as the spread of our Uptown Wedding Style photo shoot.
You can view the entire issue digitally here, and be sure to visit Lakes Region Bride.

Lakes Region Bride magazine cover by Erika Follansbee PhotographyLRB 2014 1LRB 2014 2

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Nicole and Bruce are an exceptional couple with a wide range of talents and experiences and a love of science. She is a chemistry professor; he is an astrophysicist. They had been engaged for quite some time, and never found the time to actually have a wedding and get married….. finally Nicole acknowledged, “There is no good time. We’re so busy. We’re just going to pick a time and do it. ”  That time was a snowy/rainy/slushy afternoon in January at La Piece in Tilton, NH. Their families drove to New Hampshire from places like Pennsylvania and Ohio, and made an adventuresome weekend out of it.

After an early afternoon of beauty at the salon, Nicole and her cousin got ready…. and looked amazing.

beautiful bride with gown hanging by window

bride gets dressed at La Piece
getting ready for wedding

la piece tilton NH wedding

Nicole and Bruce knew they wanted to go outside for some photos in the daylight if it was at all possible. A late-afternoon lull in the downpour gave us the opportunity to slip and slide our way over the ice to the little park next door and huddle under umbrellas to get these shots. They are among my favorite of the day, so I’m glad we were able to do it.  I’m happy to report that no wedding dresses or hair-dos were sullied in the taking of these photographs. 🙂

pictures of wedding party in the snowbride walking in the snow with boots

bride in snow with bootsbride and groom with umbrella

bridal party at La Piece, Tilton NH

The ceremony took place after dark, with Nicole’s brother officiating.  One awesome thing to note about the ceremony is that Nicole’s dad made the gorgeous mantle you see in the background, and Bruce and Nicole plan to put it in their home afterwards.  The beautiful bouquets all over the mantle did double duty as the reception table centerpieces afterwards.

wedding ceremony at la piece tilton NH

wedding ceremony at la piece tilton NH wedding ceremony at la piece tilton NH wedding ceremony at la piece tilton NH wedding ceremony at la piece tilton NH

And the reception!  It was amazing. This is why you have a wedding at La Piece, for the amazing event design and impeccable attention to detail that they provide. Bruce and Nicole chose a theme of rustic elegance, with a color theme of navy and copper, which you can find woven throughout their entire day. Everything from jewelry and accessories, to the copper fabric wrapped around the bouquets, to the gold-flecks sprinkled over their cupcakes, to the groom’s tie…. everything reflected their color scheme. The Room looked incredible.

Beautiful reception at La Piece

Beautiful wedding reception at La PieceBeautiful wedding reception at La PieceBeautiful wedding reception at La Piece

bride and groom wedding cupcakes

la piece wedding photos candy tablela piece wedding photos candy table

The dinner service was impeccably serviced  by Chef Joe’s…. here is some hot seafood chowder being served up, and below, an assortment of passed hors d’oeuvres.

chef joe's catering franconia NHchef joe's catering franconia NH

Preparing for the champagne toast….

chef joe's catering franconia NH

Thank you, Nicole and Bruce, for choosing me to tell your story for the day. I loved getting to know you and your families.  I hope you enjoy this preview of some of my favorite images from your day.  Keep that chemistry going!

Vendors:

Venue/Event Design: La Piece/The Room, Tilton NH
Florist: Simple Bouquets, Tilton NH
Cupcakes: Michelle’s Gourmet Pastries, Manchester NH
Hair and Makeup: Korbell’s Salon, Tilton NH
Musician and DJ: Jonathan Lorentz
Caterer: Chef Joe’s Catering, Franconia NH

 

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