Sunday, December 13, 2009

Centerpieces that grow. Literally

Last week was Melissa & Brandon's wedding out at South Seas.  Melissa made it a priority to make her wedding as eco-friendly and charitable as possible, and so I wanted to do my part too.  For her rehearsal dinner centerpieces I purchased these incredibly cute Bella Palms- tropical and tiny enough to be on a table top.

Of course, I find the fake (plastic) terra cotta pot they come in not so table-top-fabulous.  So I placed the pots into a glass cylinder filled with these red kidney beans.

What I did not expect is that when I got them home and removed them from the cylinder that they would get weeds while sitting on my lanai.  For those who don't know me...I am not the green thumb or dirt type.  Not even a little.  I was ready to just toss these cutie pie palms out when I looked a little closer.
Those aren't weeds...they're little Kidney bean plants!  They had managed to germinate in just one weeks time and are already a foot tall!  How funny.

 So does anybody want some Kidney Beans?  I have about 13 seedlings. HA!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Pro Series: Jason P Smith

Insanely talented.  That's what I emailed back to Jason after he shared these last images with me from our wedding just a week ago (click on featured weddings and then Melissa and Brandon).  While I was looking at his site, I also looked back to watch the slideshow from our 1st wedding together (Holly & Bradd) and wow did the memories come flying back.  Jason is the epitome of a true wedding photojournalist...he doesn't make pictures happen at all, he waits for the moments to arrive and captures them instantly.  In other words, "enjoy your wedding day as you will, I'll document it for you."

What is your company name and profession?
Jason P. Smith Weddings; I'm a photographer
What’s your name?
Should I know anyone else from your company?
Jason. Nope, it's just me.

Where do you do weddings?
 I've shot in a lot of places: Florida, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Maryland, etc. I really enjoy traveling, so I'm always open to new locations and destinations. I'm available internationally.
How long have you been in business?
I've been in business seven years

Why weddings?
I love to tell stories with photos. My background is in photojournalism, and that is what photojournalism is all about; weddings are a natural extension of this in many ways. It's a story that is only told once, so it's always very rewarding when someone asks me tell their story--from the little things they spent months planning to the things they never expected would happen. Every wedding has a unique story and personality, and I work to make all of that come together in my images.
What your clients most often commend you on?
I would have to say the one thing that most people mention is that they really didn't notice me much during the course of the day, which is a big compliment. I do my best not to interfere with the course of the day as much as possible. My philosophy on wedding photography is that if you are working as a photojournalist and capturing the day as it unfolds, you will come away with a more compelling and story of the day.

Oh, and people enjoy the photos as well!

Best piece of advice for brides & grooms?
he best piece of advice I can give is to just plan a wedding that fits your style, and have a great time doing it.
What is one thing that makes working with new clients easier?
It would have to be having a similar vision for how the day's story will unfold through photos. It is so important that couples not only look for someone who they would like to spend the day with, but also someone they can trust to tell their story in a way that will really help preserve the memories for their future.
Can I find you on Twitter?

What is the craziest request you’ve ever received? Or
What is the craziest thing you saw happen at a wedding?
Groomsmen burning money with their cigars at the reception
What is something you hope to do in the near future?
Man, that could be a long list. I always enjoy shooting in new locations, and places I've never been, so I hope to keep meeting interesting people and seeing new things. Both are a great source of inspiration.
Special just for you!
I'm currently offering a discount on travel rates.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Pro Series: AMC Video Productions

Nearly every single Wedding Budget planning discussion goes like this:
Me: Should we budget for video?
Bride: No, I'll never watch it.  Or I'll watch it once.
Groom: If we get HD video I have to get a PS3 so we can watch the Blu-ray disk.  Yeah, we want it.
Me: The most common "thank you for insisting Kelly" that I have received over the last 6 years is to get video. Have you seen a good wedding video; one produced in the last 2 years? Watch this and then let me know.
Bride: They're all cheesy and have country songs.
Me: Just watch.

Bride: Okay, we'll consider and let you know.
Groom: PS3.

I swear this is true, nearly 100% of the time, ask any of my brides who said yes to video:

after the ceremony...before they're even at the reception...
Groom: That was so fast, what did I say?
at the end of the night...
Bride and Mother of the Bride: When do we get the video? I can't wait to see it.
and when they see the directors cut online...
Bride & Groom: This is the best thing ever.  We just keep watching it over and over.
and when they get the video...
Bride & Groom: Thank you for insisting Kelly.
Me: Did you pick a country song?
What is your company name and profession?
AMC Video Productions.  We film weddings and events.  We specialize in high definition and luxury event videos.  We love what we do and are passionate about our work in the wedding industry.
What’s your name?
Should I know anyone else from your company?
My name is AnnMarie Epple.  My husband Rob is my partner.   You might even see Lee, Matias, Jaron and Steven, our videography team.  Behind the scenes are our editors Christa, Shannon and Laura.  We are expanding all the time as our business keeps growing.
Where do you do weddings?
We capture weddings everywhere!  Most of the time you can find us in Naples, Sanibel Island, Captivia and Marco Island.  
Blog Title 
AMC’s Weddings and Events (
How long have you been in business?
11 years 
Why weddings?
Weddings are such a happy time!  We love to be a part of such an important event and watch the process unfold from the early planning stages to the wedding day. 
What your clients most often commend you on?
“WOW, your work is amazing”.  Many people think that video is what is was 10 years ago, long and boring.  (My own wedding video is like this!).  However video has come a long way and a good video company should be able to capture the day with creativity and tell a story that is different from any other.  Every day we hear from clients how they searched and searched for a video and how our work stands out above the rest.  That is what keeps us going.  The day we don’t hear those words, we know its time to find something else to do!
Best piece of advice for brides & grooms?
Take your time, and check out lots of vendors.  You will see a big difference in quality.  Shopping by price is not a good idea.  In the end, you will be disappointed if you do not find the right vendor for your big day! Ask to see a full length sample of a real wedding video.  From what we hear, this is a good way to see what you are actually getting, and you might be surprised at what you see.  Don’t settle for a one camera package, ask for 2 or 3 for multiple perspective, better creativity, and safety!  Is HD available?  We have been delivering HD for years now.  Everyone should be shooting HD.  The difference is amazing!  We are all ready taking steps to upgrade to the next big technological changes.
What is one thing that makes working with new clients easier?
It is always great to meet with a bride or groom and actually here what their vision of what they would like captured.  This way, we know what they are looking for in a finished product.  No two videos are the same.  Every person has a vision, and we like to customize video to exactly what our brides and grooms want.
Can I find you on Twitter?
Yes you can.  Rob twitters at amcvideo
What is the craziest request you’ve ever received? Or
What is the craziest thing you saw happen at a wedding?
Requests that we get all the time ---“Can you please remove all footage of the girl in the red dress?  We do not want to see her in our video!”  We have our local brides come to our studio for a preview before we make the final cuts – so we are hearing this more often then you would think.  Long distance brides get mailed a preview DVD before the finals are cut.  This way they are able to work with Rob on the final product and have exactly what they want.
Crazy stuff – we have seen lots of it!!  Belly dancers, monkeys, giraffes, sword cake cutting and brides and grooms jumping in the pool to name a few!
What is something you hope to do in the near future?
We are planning on doing a lot more travel beyond south west Florida, servicing discriminating brides who want more then just a video with a lot of coverage.

Special just for you!
Anyone who reads this blog post is eligible for a FREE upgrade to High Definition with Blu-Ray DVDS as long as we are available for your date!!!


Friday, December 04, 2009

This is how your wedding should end

I just love this picture that Michelle Reed captured of Clint & Lauren last month. In this one single picture you see the excitement, joy, and fun.
What a great memory this photo will evoke for each of the guests that experienced that evening. A few key things I'd like to point out that you might consider to get the same kind of picture for your wedding day:
1. Lauren changed into a "getaway dress" or "going away outfit" 20 minutes before the reception ended.
2. The photographer was scheduled to stay until the end of the reception.
3. Confetti was given to all the guests as they were ushered to the porte-cochere.
4. A "getaway" car was rented for the wedding day to use for all the arrival and departures. In this case we rented a white convertible; but an antique car is also a great idea.

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons