Inspirational Musings

Lessons in Second Shooting {Part One}

No matter your age, or level of experience, I believe there’s always room to learn new things... this applies to everything in life. So, even though I own my own photography business & stay plenty busy, I won’t ever pass up the chance to second shoot for another photographer if the opportunity presents itself!

There are so many reasons I love second shooting. For one, even though you’re responsible for capturing certain images and assisting the main photographer, you don’t feel the same amount of pressure. As the second, I’m able to “slow down” and see things from a different perspective.

It’s also fun to shadow another photographer, because we all have our own flow & style of doing things. Whether it’s how we direct our clients, what kind of equipment we use (and when), and/or certain “rules” we apply to our professionalism… I’m always intrigued to see what I’ll pick up from others.

Kari Otero Photography, who is based in New York City, flew out to Northern California to photograph her client’s wedding at the historic Hotel Petaluma this past July, and had me along to second shoot with her. I was really honored to work with Kari, she’s got a successful business and beautiful portfolio. I had never met her before, so it was awesome to make a new connection! Kari was warm & kind from the start, and I was in awe of her use of off-camera lighting (which is something I’m not used to, since I specialize in natural light photography). To be honest, I was a bit intimidated… but she showed me how easy it was to use, and gave me some great tips. Although I still prefer bringing a “lighter load” and working with natural light & minimal on-camera flash, I can see the benefits of using off-camera lighting for certain occasions & am considering investing in one to use for darker receptions, or studio portraits. Kari helped me see how off-camera lighting can expand my creativity & style.

Kari’s clients, Bill & Rachel, were extremely down-to-earth & sweet. I loved their classic & beautiful wedding style, and sheer enthusiasm for taking portraits. They dedicated a good portion of their timeline to formal portraits, and were always up for suggestions… like when Kari proposed that we go a few blocks away for a river-side location, they agreed without hesitation. During the family portraits, Kari set up an area in the hotel courtyard with her lighting, and while guests mingled around them, efficiently checked off their list of groupings. While I typically shoot family portraits away from guests because I find I can get it done faster, Kari made it look effortless & I was super impressed.

All in all, I learned a lot from Kari and loved her positive & confident “lady boss” demeanor. I’m glad I was able to see what it was like to use off-camera lighting, and work with new people, at a venue I’ve never been to before. Thanks again, Kari, for having me!

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Next time, on “Lessons in Second Shooting,” I’ll be sharing my amazing experience with Athena Kalindi Photography. Stay tuned!

Published! Real Weddings Magazine

Hey everyone! My apologies for being so quiet on the blog the last couple of months… I’ve been busy getting in the swing of my 2019 wedding season & Spring sessions! Despite the unpredictable weather we’ve been enduring (yes, I said enduring… the struggle is real!) in Northern California, I’ve been fortunate to have some incredibly gorgeous sessions, and I look forward to blogging them soon.

In the meantime, I’m SO excited to share some BIG news that I’ve been holding onto (as patiently as possible!) for a while now, and that is… I’ve been published in REAL WEDDING MAGAZINE again!

I had the chance to work with Real Weddings Magazine & photograph the cover of their Summer 2018 issue, and it was such a fun experience that when they asked me to be a part of this Summer’s issue, I jumped at the chance! I was especially excited when they let me know I’d be photographing a styled shoot at Heavenly Mountain in South Lake Tahoe. Let me tell you... this venue definitely lives up to it’s name! I also had an amazing group of vendors to work beside, and the Mid-Century Modern/Southwestern flare really came together thanks to Danielle from Omni Wedding & Event Planning. I loved all the bright colors, and attention to detail.

Here’s just a sneak peek of some of my favorite published photos from the shoot, but for the full spread, be sure to pick up the latest issue (or see the online version here!)

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Special thanks to the amazing vendors, and our model Amanda, who made this day so beautiful & fun.
Venue: Heavenly Mountain
Photographer: Kathryn White Photography
Design, Styling and Coordination: Omni Wedding & Event Planning
Styling and Floral Design: Wild Flowers Design Group
Cake Design: Frank Vilt's Cakes
Hair Artist: Alexis Reynolds of Halo Salon & Day Spa
Makeup Artist: Happi Ybarra of Happily Beautiful Makeup Artistry & Skin Studio
Gowns: Always Elegant Bridal and Tuxedo De La Rosa's Bridal Diamond Bridal Gallery
Jewelry: Macy's Style Avenue Studios
Paperie: Sayers & Co
Custom Decor: Swoonable
Rentals: Celebrations! Party Rentals and Tents
Videographer: JB Wedding Photography
Produced by Emily Peter and Wendy Sipple of Real Weddings Magazine

2019 Wedding Trend Predictions

Helloooo Spring! I woke up so happy because Winter is officially OVER, which means more light & warmth and of course… wedding season!

I love being a wedding photographer, you know why?! Not only do I get to meet amazing people and photograph some of their most joyful & unforgettable moments— but I also get the opportunity to indulge my senses with color & design that convey a certain feeling (unique to each couple) and fill me with inspiration. Over the years, I’ve developed a keen sense of what my couple’s wedding styles will be just by getting to know their personalities & taking notice of the times. So, today I’m going to be sharing some of the top trends I predict we’ll be seeing this year!

While there will always be traditional & classic elements incorporated into each wedding… I believe that in 2019, more & more couples will be opting for bold colors & statement pieces that differ drastically from the styles we’ve been seeing in previous years. Browse through, and let me know what you think of my predictions in the comments section below…

(Side note: none of these images belong to me, I’ve found them on Pintrest… and made an entire board dedicated to 2019 Wedding Trends, some of which are not mentioned in this post. You can check out the entire board by clicking here! Or, click on the images to take you directly to the source.)

Color Trends:

Over the last couple of years, soft pink has been the color I’ve most commonly seen incorporated into wedding fashion & decor. But in 2019, I believe we’ll be seeing less pink & more earthy tones. The top three color palettes that I predict seeing this year, are DUSTY BLUE, MUSTARD + GREENERY & SUNSET (rust, copper, dusty rose), and combinations thereof, like emerald & copper!

Florals:

Pampas grass everywhere!! Bouquets, alters, arrangements, even pampas grass hanging fixtures & backdrops. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of pampas grass in 2019… because who doesn’t love an airy, dynamic texture that can be incorporated in so many unique ways & is super affordable?!

Bridal Style:

I believe 2019 brides will be choosing gowns and accessories that command just the right amount of attention. I’m looking forward to seeing incredible headdresses, hats and embellished sleeves…

Jaw-Dropping Ceremony Alters:

In previous years, I’ve seen minimalist ceremony decor, but I predict many couples in 2019 will be getting married in front of awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping alters that are works of art. Whether they’re uniquely shaped, or covered in floral (or a combination of the two), they are sure to make a lasting impression.

So, what do you think? Do you love what you see… or hoping none of these predictions come to fruition? I’d love to hear your input!! xo

Until next time, friends!

Finding What Works... For ME.

Hey everyone,

I’m excited to be here with you after taking a hiatus from blogging over the past couple of years! 2019 will be my 9th wedding season as a professional photographer, but already, I feel like this year is profoundly different from the rest. Why? Well, I feel like I’ve finally found my “sweet spot” … as in, I’ve found a balance that works for me, and it feels wonderful.

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You see, for years I’ve been silently struggling, and comparing, and analyzing, and STRESSING… because I didn’t know another way. It all started when I began photographing weddings back in 2011. I only knew that I loved witnessing beautiful celebrations of love & commitment, as well as exercising my creative side. But, I had zero knowledge about running my own business. I literally jumped into my photography business as a means to have “something for myself” because you know, when you’re a 23-year-old stay-at-home-mom of two kids under three, it’s nice to have some time to cultivate your own dreams and purpose!

So, I took the plunge & began my photography business, but ended up juggling parenting with going back to school, and gaining photography experience by any means necessary. As a self-diagnosed perfectionist, this was no easy task. I felt like I was barely keeping my head above the surface, as I navigated the waters through trial & error (personally and professionally). I believed every door that presented itself was an opportunity to learn and further my success, so I just kept saying “YES!” and piling more and more onto my plate. This included opening another business (a storefront, mind you, which is on a completely different level of business know-how!) and, while it was an amazing adventure from which I gathered an incredible amount of knowledge, I quickly realized that the only thing I was mastering, was how to spread myself too thin.

I had to make some hard choices. I had to surrender what was no longer serving me, and take a good hard look at what I truly WANTED from my business, and my life. It started with being honest with myself.
What did I enjoy doing?
What could I let go of?
What could I designate to others?
If my wildest dreams came true, what would they be?

How do I want others to perceive my work?
How can I better connect with my clients?

How do I stay true to myself in my business, instead of following the trends?
How can I differenciate myself from other wedding photographers?

The answers were not simple, but have led me to great insight and profound clarity. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by everything, these questions have helped me compartmentalize & develop strategies to accomplish my goals and take my business to new levels.

Along with these questions, I’ve found certain “tools” have proven life-changing for my new business/life game plan. I definitely recommend the following to other photographers & creative business owners:

-The Passion Planner. I’ve never been one for lists or planners, but this amazing tool is different than the rest. With a passion roadmap that helps you narrow down your top priorities into short-term and long-term goals, as well as practical overall & daily calendars that help you focus on small tasks at a time, the Passion Planner has completely transformed the way I view my life, and has helped me implement positive change & accountability.

-Mentors. When I first started my business, I constantly browsed through photography & wedding blogs, soaking up every bit of knowledge I could. But reaching out to people (in real life) for mentorship has really proven fulfilling, personally & professionally. I’ve had several mentors throughout the years, who have taken me under their wings and shown me the ropes by helping me build a beautiful portfolio, and expanding my knowledge in areas of business marketing that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. The people I’ve been lucky to learn from have challenged & pushed me to grow, and I’m forever grateful.

-Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I laughed, I cried, I rejoiced. Reading this book literally felt like talking with a good friend over coffee; Rachel’s honest, relatable and motivating… with a no-excuse attitude. I’ve begun reciting certain passages from the book as my daily mantra & inspiration to keep going when I feel like giving in. It’s powerful, and I think every woman who picks this up will gain something from this easy-going yet powerful read.

-Photographer’s Edit. Ok, I’ll admit it: editing photos is not my favorite. But, it’s obviously a huge, important part of the creative process because it helps define a photographer’s overall style. That being said, spending hours upon hours staring at my computer screen, editing thousands of photos (when I also have a million other things to get done) feels daunting & counter-productive… always leaving me feeling drained. So, when I heard about Photographer’s Edit, I figured I’d give it a try. I signed up last year… but went the entire wedding season without sending in ONE photo (control issues much?!) So this year, I’m re-committing… knowing that the perks will far outweigh my control issues. For one, I’ll have the same group of talented individuals who will get to know my style, and edit using my favorite chosen presets. Also, they have a super speedy turn-around time… so I’ll deliver my images to clients in record time. It’s honestly a win-win for everyone… if I can just let go a little bit. Which I will. I swear!

-Useful Apps for Business & Life. Navigating social media for my business got a whole lot easier & time efficient when I found PLANN for Instagram & Tailwind for Pintrest (and Instagram). They allow me to edit and schedule posts so that my followers see new content… even when I’m completely offline. Also, I love that I can see what my Instagram feed will look like before finalizing my post; it takes the pressure of a “perfectly presentable feed” away, and makes social media fun again!!
As far as helpful apps for my life, a current favorite is the SWEAT app by Kayla Itsines (personal trainer & Instagram superstar). With a built in planner, daily circuit work outs & more, meal plans, community boards and educational reads, this app has it all & helps me stay accountable and focus on my long-term goals.

…I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but these five bullet points are noteworthy. If you’re looking to organize or implement some kind of positive change in your life, try these on for size. Also… stay tuned, because now that I’m blogging again, I’ll be sharing all kinds of fun stuff for clients, photographers and wedding industry friends, including... Personal Stuff… Educational Resources… Inspirational Musings… And of course, Recent WORK! So, let me know in the comments below what you’d like to see, and what you think of this post!

Until next time friends,

Kathryn White