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First Look? Think About It!

LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE, THERE WILL BE DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON WETHER OR NOT YOU SHOULD DO A FIRST LOOK. I WILL TELL YOU ONE THING THOUGH, THAT EVERYONE WHO DID DO A FIRST LOOK, DID NOT REGRET IT AFTERWARDS. THERE DEFINITELY ARE A FEW BENEFITS OF DOING A FIRST LOOK, AND THE PICTURES AND VIDEO THAT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER (IF YOU HAVE ONE) WILL CAPTURE, WILL BE STUNNING.

ONE BENEFIT IS FOR YOU GUYS TO BREAK AWAY FROM THE CHAOS FOR A FEW MOMENTS, AND SOAK IN THE LOVE AND JOY OF YOUR SPECIAL DAY IN A QUIET, SECLUDED PART OF THE VENUE THAT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WILL TAKE YOU TO, TO DO YOUR FIRST LOOK. YOU CAN ALSO INCLUDE YOUR BRIDAL PARTY IN THIS MOMENT TO ENHANCE THE PICTURES AND INVOLVE THOSE WHO ARE CLOSE TO YOU. OR MAYBE EVEN NARROW IT DOWN FURTHER BY BRINING IN THE BEST MAN OR MAID/MATRON OF HONOR.

ANOTHER HUGE BENEFIT IS, COCKTAIL HOUR! I KNOW COUPLES WOULD LOVE TO ATTEND THEIR OWN COCKTAIL HOUR, AND SO WOULD THEIR BRIDAL PARTY AND CLOSE FAMILY MEMBERS. BY DOING A FIRST LOOK, YOU CAN HAVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER TAKE ALL OF THE FORMAL PICTURES BEFORE THE CEREMONY, SO ONCE THE CEREMONY IS OVER, YOU CAN ALL JOIN IN ON THAT SCRUMPTIOUS COCKTAIL HOUR!

THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWER, JUST DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT AND REMEMBER, NO PRESSURE! IF YOU ARE FEELING STRESSED JUST STEP BACK, RELAX, AND THINK ABOUT IT AGAIN...MAYBE OVER A GLASS OF WINE.

Slow Down Your Big Day!...Literally.

    HAVING EXPERIENCED BOTH SIDES OF A WEDDING NOW, BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY, I WANT TO HELP ALL OF YOU OUT THERE WHO'S BIG DAY IS APPROACHING. SLOW DOWN TIME AT YOUR EVENT! THE DAY GOES BY SO FAST, ALMOST INSTANTLY, THAT I WISH I STAYED IN THE MOMENT LONGER THE WHOLE TIME AND HAD MORE QUALITY EXPERIENCES WITH MORE FRIENDS AND FAMILY THERE. IT'S HARD TO SPEND TIME WITH EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY A 100+ GUEST WEDDING.

     ONE TIP I RECOMMEND DURING YOUR RECEPTION IS TO HAVE SOME FORM OF A PHOTO BOOTH, AND MAKE SURE YOUR GUESTS KNOW TO SNAP PICTURES ALL NIGHT LONG. TO GO ALONG WITH THE PHOTO BOOTH, A SIGN IN BOOK IS A GREAT THING TO HAVE, SO ONCE THE WEDDING IS OVER, YOU WILL HAVE AN EVERLASTING BOOK OF MEMORIES, FAMILY AND FRIENDS FACES, AND BEST WISHES ALL IN ONE PLACE.

     IF THE PHOTO BOOTH, OR SOME FORM OF IT, IS TOO FAR OUT OF YOUR BUDGET, THERE IS ANOTHER ROUTE TO TAKE. YOU CAN PURCHASE A DISPOSABLE CAMERA FOR EVERY TABLE AT YOUR EVENT, AND MAKE SURE GUESTS KNOW TO USE IT UP DURING THE NIGHT. THIS WILL GIVE YOU HIGHLIGHTS AND PICTURES OF PEOPLE HAVING FUN AT THEIR TABLES, THAT YOU WOULD NEVER GET OTHERWISE. (NOT EVERYONE SENDS ALL PICTURES THEY TOOK FROM THEIR PHONES).

     ANOTHER GREAT WAY TO GRAB MORE MEMORIES IS TO HAVE A #HASHTAG PREDETERMINED AND SOME INSTRUCTIONS AT EACH TABLE FOR YOUR GUESTS TO USE IT. AN EXAMPLE OF THIS WOULD BE THE NEWLY WEDS MR. AND MRS. SMITH. SO THERE WOULD BE A PRINTOUT ON EACH TABLE THAT STATES. (DO YOU INSTAGRAM!?!?. PLEASE USE #THENEWSMITHS2015 SO WE CAN SEE OUR NIGHT THROUGH YOUR EYES! THANK YOU!) ... AT THE END OF THE NIGHT OR THE NEXT DAY, YOU WILL HAVE A LOT OF PICTURES TO GO THROUGH. AGAIN, MAKE SURE YOUR GUESTS ARE INFORMED OF THIS PLAN.

     ONE LAST TIP I GO BY WHEN FISHING FOR MORE MEMORIES, PHOTOS, AND VIDEOS OF THE SPECIAL DAY IS WHAT I CALL THE DOMINO STRATEGY. SOMEONE, AT LEAST ONE PERSON, IS GOING TO SEND YOU A VIDEO OR PHOTO THEY CAPTURES WITH THEIR PHONE. IN THE BACKGROUND OF THIS VIDEO OR PHOTO WILL BE OTHER BE USING THEIR PHONES AS WELL. ONCE YOU SEE AND RECOGNIZE THOSE PEOPLE, MESSAGE THEM FOR WHAT THEY CAPTURED! AND SO ON AND SO ON! BY THE END OF THIS MEMORY LANE, YOU WILL HAVE A LOT MORE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS IN YOUR MEMORY ARSENAL THAT YOU WOULDN'T HAVE RECEIVED OTHERWISE!

     SO REMEMBER TO SLOW DOWN! AND GRAB AS MANY MEMORIES AS POSSIBLE, BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY, AND TWENTY YEARS LATER, THOSE MEMORIES ARE ALL YOU WILL HAVE LEFT OF THAT DAY...EXCEPT MAYBE THE PRESERVED DRESS THAT YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH NOW!

When Choosing Your Vendors

Choosing the right Vendors; and the one OVERLOOKED credential

When choosing a vendor for you Wedding or Event, there seems to be two credentials that people look for, in this order too. Price and the quality of work they do. Unfortunately, the quality of work is rarely used as much as the first credential, price. There is one more piece to this puzzle that usually gets tossed away, or never brought up in the first place. Motivation.

Remember your school lunch lady? She hated what she did and we knew it. Now maybe there was one year when they changed staff and we happened to have a nice person slopping our sloppy joes onto our trays, but for most of the years, she was a miserable woman who hated us, and the food she gave us. This is because she had no motivation to be in her position, and she would much rather be anywhere else, and doing anything else.

So, what’s my point? My point is that there are many among many vendors out there who have this lunch lady attitude and state of mind, and hate what they are doing. To have a spectacular event, we must have spectacular vendors. Negative unmotivated people are far from spectacular. Sometimes I would even prefer motivation over quality of their work, or at least put them on the same level, with price just under the two. These three credentials is what truly makes your day, whether a Wedding, Sweet 16, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or even Birthday, an amazing one.

Vendors who are motivated and love what they do, bring a special element to your event. They all seem to enhance everyone’s experience at the event, and they all form together to create amazing synergy among your whole party. Always look for people who absolutely love their industry and line of work, no matter if they are in the business for three or for thirty years. Make sure they talk about it with enthusiasm and excitement, and they actually WANT to be there and WANT to make you happy.

Remember the three ingredients and credentials when you book!

-Quality of work and Motivation

-Pric

 

-Matt

Starting as a Staten Island Photographer

Want to be a full time photographer?

Maybe I can help...

This post is to help those photographers out there looking to start their own business and finally make the huge leap into pursuing professional photography, full time. This will be a short intro to the 'mini book' I am creating to really ignite those dreams of yours and help you along your way as a kind of , business road map, or recipe if you will. The book will be much more in depth and I will go into complete detail on how I started, and how I am going right now. Marketing and Accounting, Post Production and more.

I started out just shooting. Not a wedding, or a party, or a sweet 16. I just started shooting anything. This is when I truly realized I felt completely free and true to myself and I knew this is where I had to end up. The thing is though, I didn't get into this business with money on my mind. In fact, in the beginning, I didn't think of this as a business at all. I thought of it as a way to relax and keep busy at the same time, and also give out and share some of my creativity to my friends and family. Being an ex-guitarist and singer from my teenage years, I missed putting creative material out into the world, and just being me. This was definitely a perfect substitute for me when I retired my long, drawn out, dead-end music career!

So like I said above, just shoot. I walked around my neighborhood shooting pictures of flowers and trees, pets and people, cars and roadkill! (Just kidding about the road kill, but I did shoot squirrels; live ones!) People would eventually see me and my work and ask me to shoot for them. I shot for free at the beginning, even though most people were advising me not too, but again, I didn't care about the money! I did it because I loved it SO much! Emphasis on the SO!

After shooting people and some parties for free, something happened. Someone actually offered me money to do a shoot. At this point I couldn't believe I was about to be paid for something I was willing to do for free! I said to myself, "I must have something here". At that very moment, I quit my job. ( I do not advise you to quit your full time job if you are at this point! I would wait until you are either meeting, or exceeding, your currently monthly pay from your current job, and have a at least 6 months income saved). Either way, I quit my job at that point and boy did it light a fire under me! I said to myself if I can do this once, I can do this 100 times. To be paid and make a career out of something you were originally going to do for free, that is golden.

Think about why you want to do this and make sure it's for the right reasons. Until my mini-book comes out, please don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have! I am here to help! I was just a simple Staten Island Photographer by hobby, and now I have a career that I love and I can plan myself to spend time with my family and take great care of my clients in perfect harmony.

Matthew Gambino

 

Just Feel Like Writing!

Not sure who will read this but I just feel like writing today, on this Windy Wednesday. (That was almost Dr. Suessish)

I hope everyones 2015 is going as splendid as planned and everyone is staying happy and healthy. With the newest member of the Gambino family turning 2 months soon, I thought maybe I'd share a few pictures on here of her!

Zoe's First Easter (She's on the right)

This made me realize that I cannot wait for halloween! There is going to be a photoshoot in the Gambino household. May even throw us a little Halloween party and set up the photo booth with some fun props.

Well that's all for now. Thanks for reading, whoever you are!

 

-MG

 


Staten Island Photography

Even though everyone knows me for Weddings, Sweet 16s, and other events, I still want to share the beauty of our home town, Staten Island, New York. As a Staten Island Photographer here is a small sample of some of my favorite pictures from this island. Enjoy :)

The 8 Questions

Here are 8 Must Ask Questions to ask ALL potential vendors

1. How much experience do you have?  
This is an extremely important question. Ideally, your wedding professional should have ample experience specifically with weddings. Not only will they be more skilled in their craft, this also makes them a valuable source of information and ensures that your wedding day goes smoothly.


2. How much do you cost? 
Price is often relative, especially when you factor in experience, reputation and expert skill. Generally, the most talented professionals have a higher price tag because they are worth it.

3. How much is the deposit?


4.What specifically is included in that cost?
Because packages often vary, it’s likely that you won’t be able to compare one vendor exactly to the next without doing a little figuring. The lowest cost isn’t necessarily the best deal; some higher quotes include services that you have to pay extra for in other packages. Make sure you take this into account.


5. What happens if I cancel? What happens if you cancel?  
Find out if your deposit is refundable under any conditions. Does the wedding professional have a back up plan if something happens to them?


6. Do you use a contract?  
If the answer is No, RUN! A contract is designed to protect both you and the wedding professional. Don’t settle for a verbal agreement that won’t hold up in court.


7. Are there any additional fees? 
Taxes, service charges and travel fees can add up quickly. Make sure you understand exactly what is included and if there are any other fees you’ll have to pay. This should be clearly defined in your contract.


8. Do you carry liability insurance?  
The answer you’re looking for here is Yes. This protects you in case an unfortunate accident should occur on your wedding day. It’s also a sign that this is a reputable business, since most “fly by night” operations don’t invest in insurance.

If chosen wisely, with the right wedding vendors you get expert help and advice…for free!

www.matthewgambino.com

New York based International Wedding Photographer