Las Cruces Bulletin

Photography Interview for Las Cruces Bulletin's Perfect Southwest Weddings

photographers-in-las-cruces-8.jpg

Avra Elliott asked me a few questions for her article on wedding photography in the 2018 Perfect Southwest Weddings magazine from the Las Cruces Bulletin. You can read the article on page 20 of the guide. I thought it might be helpful to post my full answers to her questions. I always like being asked about wedding photography. It's a topic I can talk on and on about. 

Have you noticed any new trends in how couples are choosing to record and preserve memories of their wedding day or the events leading up to it?

Showing off the proposal is super popular right now and more and more couples are choosing to photograph their proposals. There are even websites (like HowHeAsked.com) and Instagram accounts who exclusively feature proposal moments. This means whoever is popping the question has a little more planning to do to make sure the moment is “picture perfect”.

Another trend gaining popularity among brides is a “First Look” with their father. The “First Look” between bride and groom has been a popular option for several years but many brides still want the electrifying experience of their groom seeing them for the first time as they walk down the aisle. The daddy daughter spin-off of the First Look gives brides that special “Wow!” moment with the man who “loved her first”. As a photographer, I love this idea, because I can capture emotionally rich and even tear filled moments of the bride and her father.

More than ever, brides and grooms are looking for photo products that don’t make them feel bad about their production. The “Guilt Free” movement focuses on supporting fair labor practices in your purchasing decisions. Brides and grooms are looking for locally made items, like frames and albums made in the USA instead of countries with unknown labor standards.

photographers-in-las-cruces-6.jpg

Do you have any tips for couples on how to choose a photographer and the correct package for their wedding?

First, make sure you love their photos and second, make sure they know how to photograph a wedding. Creating a handful of beautiful photos at a wedding is easy when you take a 1000 photos, but it takes experience to create hundreds of beautiful photos on a wedding day. You can’t redo your wedding photos.

photographers-in-las-cruces-7.jpg

Look for packages that include plenty of coverage time on your wedding day. From getting ready photos to a sparkler send off from the reception, you will want your photographer there for all the important events.

photographers-in-las-cruces-5.jpg

What is your personal goal or favorite moments when photographing a wedding?

When I photograph a wedding my goal is to create artistic and authentic photos that will help the couple remember the biggest moments and the smallest details of their wedding.

Weddings are full of emotional moments and each wedding has its own personality and dynamic so it is hard to pick a favorite one size fits all moment. But if I had to, I would say my favorite moment is when the bride and groom walk down the aisle as husband and wife. The expressions and smiles on the bride and groom’s faces are so genuine and unguardedly joyful that this shot always makes my top 10 from any wedding.

Las Cruces Wedding Vendors

We are excited to have our work featured in the Las Cruces Bulletin's 2017/2018 Wedding Guide! This is the third year in a row we have had one of our couples snag the cover! But hey, who's counting?!

We love showing off our amazing couples and the beautiful weddings they have planned. Besides highlighting our New Mexico brides and grooms, the wedding guide also features the talent of other Las Cruces wedding vendors and the many gorgeous photo locations the southwest has to offer. I want to take a moment and give the vendors we work with a shout out because we believe in cultivating our local community. Luckily for us, we get to work with SO many talented people. Somehow, just posting  the hashtag #shoplocal doesn't cut it.

Here are some of the fabulous local wedding vendors behind the scenes of our featured photographs. If you are planning a wedding, this is a great list of wedding vendors to reference!

Allison and Justin's October 2016 wedding at Josefina's Gate in Old Mesilla, New Mexico

Ben and Dom's bridal session

Photo location: Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument

Vince and Megan's November 2016 wedding, Photo location: Basilica of San Albino

Cake and cupcakes by Deliciously Creative Cakes

Hotel Encanto ballroom

Tiffany and Zach's September 2016 wedding

Venue: Josefina's Gate in Old Mesilla, NM

Hair and Make Up: Brenda Tarango, Makeup by Brenda

Cake and Cupcakes: Let Them Eat Cake

Dan and David's January 2016 wedding at St. Clair Las Cruces

Linens, Chair, and Tent: Enchanted Occasions Event Rentals 

Cupcakes by Stephanie at Let Them Eat Cake

Catering and reception venue: La Posta de Mesilla

Danny and Alejandra's September 2016 Wedding at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum

Invitation suite by the Funky Olive Design

Music and party shenanigans by Grupo Classe

Photo Location: Mesilla Valley

Derrick and Jackie's October 2016 wedding at Red Hawk Golf Club

Custom invitations and wedding planning and coordinating by Elegant Events

Suits by Renee's Bridal 

Chairs, linens, dance floor and bistro lighting by Enchanted Occasions Event Rentals

Cake by Simply Sweet

Trevor and Annie's June 2016 wedding

Chair and ceremony set up by Enchanted Occasions Event Rental

Dress by Ella Blu

Photo location: the desert at sunset with the big beautiful New Mexico sky :)

To help you plan your wedding, we thought you might be interested to know some of the wedding vendors behind the scenes of our featured photographs.

Videography Interview for the Las Cruces Bulletin's Perfect Southwest Weddings

Today the Las Cruces Bulletin released their 2017-2018 Perfect Southwest Weddings magazine, and once again I am honored to have been interviewed for one of the many articles found within. I think writer Adam Palomino did a great job curating three interviews, between myself and two other local vendors, into an easy to read article so if you haven’t seen that yet be sure to check it out. It is on page 20, titled “Treasured Moments: Photography, Videography Packages Preserve Precious Memories”. This time, due to scheduling difficulties, I was interviewed via email rather than in person. Fortunately, that means I have a copy of the questions and my answers behind the scenes. So without further ado, here are the questions I was asked accompanied by my full responses.

1. What’s trending in wedding videography?

Wedding videography in Las Cruces is kind of like chalk paint. Chalk paint started trending in other parts of the country about three years before it was even available in Las Cruces. I feel like Las Cruces is finally starting to come around on wedding videography. Brides are really starting to see the value in having a motion picture as opposed to just still photographs. Same day edits, super 8mm film videography, and 4k are trending in other parts of the country right now, but in Las Cruces the value just isn’t there yet. I had one groom ask me “Why don’t you shoot in 4k?” I asked back “Oh, do you have a player that can play 4k video?” To which he bowed his head almost in shame and said “No”. I would love to shoot a wedding with a super 8mm film camera, it would give an organic vintage film look that digital videographers do their best to mimic, but it just never quite looks the same. But convincing a bride to want a 3 minute un-editable highlight video with no audio is a hard sale in Las Cruces. It’s sad really because anything on film will outlive digital data.    

2. What options are offered locally?

Locally, couples are starting to see their friend’s wedding videos on Facebook and Instagram, and that sparks an interest in having a highlight video from their wedding day as well.

Highlight videos, full length edits, and I have even heard that some videographers in town offer the raw video files. The last option is insane to me. I would never hand raw video files over to one of my clients and essentially say “Here you go, good luck!” I don’t expect my clients to have the software or experience I have with color grading, cutting, and audio editing, to make a full video that would be enjoyable to watch as opposed to short video clips they would have to open one at a time to view.

In my public accounting days, I had a co-worker show me videos from her daughter’s Quinceañera. She popped a DVD in her PC and showed me the highlight video. Her face lit up as she remembered the event. After it ended, she said “Then they gave me all the video files too”, with a disgusted smirk on her face. She opened up one so I could see, and yeah it was awful. There is a reason why not all of the videos shot that day didn’t make the highlight video. Videographers include their best video clips in the highlight video. Don’t talk yourself into thinking there is more value in having the files that didn’t make the cut.

3. What are the different types of packages one could get; engagement + photo session only? Photo + Videography? And what are the price ranges for packages, generally?

Taylor’d Photography is a family business, husband and wife photography and videography team. My wife is the lead photographer, and I am the lead videographer, and I use two of my brother-in-laws to second shoot video for me at weddings, who I trained personally. So we do offer both photography and videography to our clients. And we give a discount for booking us for both. Ultimately, we are trying to help our couples tell the story of how and why they decided to start a family together.

Pricing and packages are something we discuss with our clients when we initially meet them.

4. Digital only or prints? What other options, if any?

We deliver wedding videos to our clients on DVDs, Blu-Rays, USBs, and also make them available for digital download and viewing online. We also post sneak peek previews on YouTube at our client’s discretion.

5. What’s the process like? How early would you recommend a couple meet with the videographer? What considerations are there when deciding what’s right for a client? When and how often do the couples meet with the videographer to discuss plans/themes/pricing, etc.?

The first thing couples should do when looking for a videographer is watch videos from different videographers in town and determine which style they can relate to. The one that feels right to them is the one they should book for their wedding.

As far as timing, once you have decided which videographer you like best, book them as soon as you possibly can. We met with a couple that was getting married in 9 months. After meeting us they said they would let us know in a week whether or not they were going to book us. That same week another couple contacted us for the same date. They ended up booking us for their wedding, putting down a retainer to reserve the date. A couple weeks later, the first couple called us and wanted to book us. Sadly, we weren’t available for their wedding date anymore. With that said, if possible, couples should try to book their videographer six to twelve months out. I know for us (Taylor’d Photography), August, September, and October tend to fill up fast.

Since we do charge a nonrefundable retainer fee, it is better to lock in a venue or venues if different locations are going to be used for the ceremony and reception, before locking in a videographer/photographer.

Since we are a family business, we like to meet our clients, and get to know them before we just show up on one of the most memorable days of their lives. So the first we thing we require of our potential clients is to meet us to see what we offer and ultimately to see if we are the right fit. After they have booked us, we hash out more details of their wedding, help them with their timeline for the most photogenic experience possible, and keep in touch up to and after the wedding. We want our clients to feel that we are approachable, and we end up becoming good friends throughout the process.

6. How do couples help the videographer shape the narrative of their wedding video?

When a couple gets married they are really starting a family. Our approach centers on what that family is going to want to see. We tell the story of the wedding day for someone who wasn’t there, but wishes they could have been. And the best way we could tell that story is by knowing the couple. When I edit wedding videos I am thinking about what I would want to see if it were my parents’ wedding. I want to see the younger version of my Dad with the same mannerisms, looking at my Mom the way he still does with that beam of light in his eyes. And I want to see the younger version of my Mom shine like she did at their golden anniversary. I want to capture the bride and groom’s personality for their posterity.