"This Spring, as the weather warms and wedding season begins to bloom, Lucky You Events is welcoming the arrival of something new—our first cross-Atlantic collaboration with the esteemed photographers of Gina Esposito, Inc. After a notable rise in couples turning from the States to the South of France to host their dream wedding, we too have broadened our vision and explored new ways to better accommodate our growing base of provencal dreamers, planning from across the pond.
Thus, the introduction of a new partnership with New York City’s premier photography boutique. Led by best friends, Gina Esposito and Sheena Meekins, the Vogue-meets-vet photography duo brings more than thirteen years experience capturing weddings for couples from Manhattan to the Middle East.
Now, by teaming up with Lucky You Events, this preferred partner is uniquely poised to serve U.S.-based couples, with unparalleled experience understanding, catering to and capturing the vision of hundreds of couples tying the knot at home or abroad. In honor of the collaboration, Gina Esposito Photography is now offering incredible incentives for couples working with Lucky You Events and planning a wedding for the 2017 or 2018 year.
We caught up with Gina and Sheena to chat destination weddings and the top questions couples ask (or should be asking!) their photographers prior to booking for their big day. Read on and feel free to chime in with additional questions in the comments below.
Destination Wedding Photography - FAQ’s:
Q: What matters most when selecting a wedding photographer?
The two things that matter most are style and chemistry. First, you have to like their work, then you have to like them. Start with their aesthetic, look for mood, versatility, detail and emotion. An experienced photographer should be able to capture all of these, while telling a comprehensive story of your day.
Pay close attention to their use of color. Do they seem to capture personality or do images feel forced? Remember that their website is likely to represent the “crème de la crème” of their work. If you don’t find this portfolio particularly appealing, continue your search, rather than settling on a vendor that doesn’t take your breath away.
Finally, read their reviews. It’s important that your photographer is not only talented and experienced, but reliable and personable as well.
Q: Why is it important to meet or Skype with your photographer prior?
If it’s possible to meet your photographer(s) in person, this will always be the recommended option. The photographer is the vendor who spends the most time with the couple during their wedding day—usually there from when the bride or groom are getting ready in the morning, until the end of the night. It’s important to feel comfortable with their personality and aligned with their temperament—they’ll be shadowing you all day long!
Also, we often find that the best photos come from the most relaxed environments. When we’re shooting with a couple, but it feels like we’re simply hanging out with friends. In those times, there’s a certain chemistry in the air and it’s something you not only feel in the moment, but also see it later in those amazing images.
Of course, a face-to-face meeting isn’t always possible, so be sure to set up a Skype or FaceTime session to ensure that you’re on the same page creatively and linguistically. It’s one thing to connect over email, but you’ll also want to confirm that verbal communication flows freely between you and those responsible for documenting your day. Plus, it will be nice to see a familiar face among the vendors there you with on your wedding day.
Q: Have you shot in this venue before?
This is one of our most frequently asked questions, whether shooting at home in New York City or abroad. Our answer is always the same—there’s comfort in shooting what’s familiar, but there’s curiosity in capturing the unknown. Couples are often urged to use a photographer whose shot in their venue multiple times. However, when it comes to creativity, novelty is far more valuable than familiarity.
As a photographer, your vision is never as clear, your senses are never as sharp as when you’re first introduced to a new environment. This novelty yields curiosity, and curiosity is a photographer’s best friend. So when the atmosphere is fresh, the experience holds as much wonder for the photographer as it does to the couple—it’s something you can feel in the photos. That no detail was counted mundane, no beauty considered routine, no texture unappreciated for its abundance to the native eye. It’s something we have to remind ourselves of when shooting at home in New York City—to marvel at the grandeur we’ve become so accustom to here in the beauty of our own backyard.
Q: Is it true that I only need one photographer for a destination wedding?
While the cost of one photographer is often more appealing than the price of two, the advantages of two photogs far outweigh the savings. For starters, two photographers are able to work faster and save you precious time—such as capturing his and her family portraits simultaneously, so you can get back to your guests sooner.
Also, keep in mind that one person can only be in one place at a time. So if a single photographer is busy capturing the main event (say, you and your partner exchanging vows) there’s no one else available to catch the father with tears in his eyes, or all the incredible reactions happening around the bride and groom. There are so many perspectives that couples tend to miss during their wedding, it’s better to have thorough coverage of these moments, than to tell a partial story of your day.
Q: Why work with a destination photographer vs. using someone local?
There are definitely major benefits to having a dedicated destination photographer. When we travel abroad for a wedding, we, like the couple, are stepping into a distant land and experiencing all the magic that comes with a fresh adventure. From the moment we arrive, our cameras are always snapping—capturing all the elements that surround the region, not just the venue. To us, a destination wedding is about more than just the day-of events, there’s an entire story to be told and the location itself is a character. We love to capture the atmosphere of the region, the people and all the textures surrounding the town. These all play a part in telling the complete story of where and why the couple is there.
Also, included in our destination packages is the option of a complimentary second-day shoot. These days, many weddings have become a series of weekend-long events, so this second shoot is something couples can use for a welcome brunch, rehearsal dinner, day-after wine tasting event or even a couple’s shoot in a separate location within the area.
For those adventurous couples, this is an amazing opportunity to take full advantage of the destination, either shooting in a nearby city or town, on the coast, in the mountains or anywhere too far to travel on the wedding day itself. It’s the perfect opportunity to wear that stunning dress once more. In fact, many couples take advantage of the chance to amend their look for a second day shoot. Say the bride went for a romantic updo on the wedding day—now’s the time to wear it long and loose. Or perhaps guys can opt for a untied bowtie or none at all. It’s truly a great way to have your cake and eat it too.
Q: How many photos should you receive from your photographer and should you expect them all to be edited?
It’s important to speak with your photographer about their post-production policy before signing an Agreement. Some photographers promise to deliver thousands of images, and it leads couples to believe that they’re getting more for their money, when they’re simply receiving a barrage of unedited images. Our recommendation is to beware of any photographer who simply slaps the images on a USB drive and delivers them without any proper editing.
Most photos require some degree of post-production work or color-correction to bring them to their best. This is actually part of the art itself—to enhance the emotion and pull forth all the details our human eyes perceive differently than a camera.
At the end of the day, there’s no specific number. You may receive several hundred or even 1,000+ images, depending on the length of your wedding day. The most important thing is to make sure that each photo has been reviewed and properly edited prior to delivery.
Q: Can you recreate a specific photo we found online?
These days, many brides approach their wedding day after having spent a year pinning their favorite images and Instagram shots into a wishlist for their wedding day. We often receive special requests to recreate specific images—and we’re always game to try! At times, the location, lighting and atmosphere will allow us to duplicate their vision perfectly. Other times, we’re shooting a winter wedding with a bride who wants to recreate a summer beach scene—not so easy.
Although there are many factors that contribute to replicating an exact shot, we always take the inspiration into mind and aim to deliver the same aesthetic, spirit and effect they originally wanted to capture. All photos are ultimately a collaboration between the photographer and the couples themselves, so we always welcome brides and grooms who arrive with their own creative vision.
Q: And finally, what are your top destination Do’s and Dont’s:
Do: Consider a mobile-free ceremony. There’s nothing that spoils the timelessness of a cliff-side chateau faster than an audience full of glowing blue screens. We often see guests spilling into the aisles, competing for the best shot and interrupting the atmosphere. Instead, we recommend inviting your guests to be present in the moment and leave the documentation up to the professionals :)
Don’t: Be afraid to get the bottom of your dress dirty. Sometimes a quick stroll through sand or stone is the only way to get to the heart-stopping photo location of your dreams. A little kiss from mother nature will wash away easily and we promise, it’ll be worth it."