Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Backyard Wedding

    Many couples are considering getting married backyard style, especially in The Phoenix Arizona and Southern California areas where the weather is almost always sunny. Backyard weddings are intimate and at times extremely beautiful. There are so many reasons why backyard wedding are a great idea, here are a few tips to help plan a successful backyard wedding.

    Backyard Wedding Planning
      Backyard Wedding Planning 
  • Location and Space. If your backyard is big, beautifully landscaped and you have plenty of space for guests, you should definitely do it. 

  • The Details. Details make a backyard look amazing. I love when good china is introduced, rather than paper plates. But if china is not on the budget, go with a higher end disposable tableware. Check out: www.eventswholesale.com 

  • Flowers. If you can splurge on flowers, I say go for it. I recommend Costco, Sam's, local farmer market, or a flower broker to save money. Having real flowers gives your backyard a gorgeous touch. To create your own stunning DIY flowers, check our Pinterest for great ideas. Just make sure you don’t over do it. 

  • Tables and chairs. You can contact a local company that rents furniture. Check out http://www.forgetmenotvintageinc.com for awesome ideas and prices. Here’s a great idea for you. Make it a long table, Tuscan style. It really helps with people interacting with each other. 

  • Lighting. Okay here’s the big one! Lighting! Basically if you've hired a professional photographer, they need light to create beautiful photos. Call around for companies that rent and set lighting for you or go to Target and save. Wrap every tree and line the fence. My personal favorite is hanging lamps and lanterns. 

  • Tents or not. Tents are real nice if you're planning a formal style wedding 

  • Music. Hire a professional DJ, you won’t regret it. 

  • Beverage. Having a bartender is a great idea, but if the budget does not allow it, line up metal buckets and designate each for alcohol, water and sodas. 

  • The food. If your family wants to handle the cooking, that’s great, make sure they have plenty of help. You want them to enjoy this day with you as well. 

  • Neighbors. Don’t forget to let the neighbors know that you’re getting married and that cars will be lining the street. Send them an invite... Better than a visit from the local police. 

  • Wedding Party. One big stress for the bride and groom is having too many people getting ready at the same place. Sounds like fun, but in the end, the space is a total mess and the bride and groom end up stressed out. 

  • Last but not least, hire a professional photographer. Amazing photos on your special day are a must. Arrange for a park or beautiful location near your home for the bride/groom photos.
Check out our Pinterest board for more great ideas!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How to Help Your Wedding Photographer When Planning Your Big Day

Phoenix Wedding Photography Planning
Wedding Photography Planning
For as long as I can remember, hiring a professional wedding photographer has been a "must do" to guarantee great images of your special day. A professional wedding photographer should know your wedding day timeline, but more importantly, should know how to anticipate key moments and be ready to capture them. This somewhat "psychic" skill only comes with experience. By seeing and doing often enough, a well prepared photographer should come to know what to expect on your big day.
As a wedding photographers, I can tell you that there are many things that can make or break your day when it comes to photography. A beautiful image takes time and much effort. It requires thoughtful composition and correct lighting. A little cooperation and trust (from a client) helps a lot too.

Here's a small list of wedding photography (do's and don'ts) you should considered.
  • Allow time for pre-ceremony portraits and details photos. This will free up (much needed and appreciated) time during cocktail hour. Consider a bride and groom "First Look". Plan a special moment to see each other before the ceremony begins and have your wedding photographer capture that special time. Also plan time for multiple locations and possible travel when planning pre-ceremony photos. 
  • Be on time! Go over the time line with everyone involved, including your wedding party, family, and makeup artist. Many times when things are running late, it's because of something that could have easily been avoided, like a makeup artist having no idea what time the bride and bridesmaids need to be ready.
  • Use time wisely. Meet with your wedding photography team and go over the timeline. If you are on a budget, we recommend using more of the daylight hours to capture your beautiful images. 
  • Take advantage of daylight. There's no denying that a "sunset ceremony" is beautiful, but unless you are planning a "first look" before the ceremony, there will not be adequate daylight time for bride & groom photos. Be sure to research the sunset time on your wedding day and plan your wedding timeline accordingly.
  • Unplug your guests during ceremony. Considered this... no cells phones, cameras or ipads during your ceremony. When you are getting married, I believe that everyone invited should be present and in the moment with you. You've paid a lot of money for professionals to take photos and you want your images to look clean and beautiful during your ceremony, not distracted by your guests phones in the air and in the isle. Ask your priest, officiant, rabbi, etc... to make that announcement. Trust me on this one... Imagine one of your guests blocking your photographer from getting your "first kiss" or your "walk down the aisle", just for that under exposed low resolution smart phone photo that you will never see anyway?
  • Family and wedding party portraits. This is where the timeline comes in handy for all parties involved. Use the wedding rehearsal as a time to let everyone know the wedding day schedule and the time/location for group photos. These groups typically consist of immediate family and wedding party only.
  • Bride and Groom "Couples" photos. Okay all you "brides to be"... VERY BIG DEAL HERE. During the most important couple's portrait time, your photographer should have zero interruptions. Having other people around is a major distraction for you and will disrupt the photographer's flow. Un-needed distractions will make it extremely difficult for the couple to focus on each other and will interrupt your photographer's creative time. In many cases the couple session gets cut short due to the wedding starting late and dinner service being on time, which makes it more crucial the photographer have uninterrupted time with the couple.
  • Last but not least, please relax and enjoy your day. Couples (at times) can be very nervous and/or distracted by the days event. It is so important (for you and your photographer) that you relax, enjoy yourself and have fun on the biggest day of your life
Happy Wedding Planning!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016



Here we go... 2016 is here!

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGE GIVEAWAYThis an awesome time to reflect on 2015 and set new goals.  I realized that goals are really important in order to accomplish greater things in your life. The key is to start with one or two goals at a time, this seems that works best for us.

After much thought about what our goals should be,  a couple of important things come in mind. This year we want to give back through wedding/photo session giveaways, as well as get our work out to the world by submitting to wedding magazines and websites that focus on what we love.

We also want to shoot more destination weddings. Places like Northern California, Beautiful Colorado, Seattle, Belize, Baja California, you name it. We love to travel and are excited at the prospect of working in new places.

This year we are doing both with our first ever wedding giveaway!


Ladies and Gentlemen...whoopie! 

If you are wedding planning, (or know a really deserving couple who is) be sure to carefully read the details below to get yourself entered.

The Prize

The winning couple will receive a $2500 Wedding Package, including: 
  • 8 hours of wedding day coverage (by Johnny and Taylor) from Studio 616 Photography
  • 600+ professionally edited images
  • DVD or Image Download & Print Release
  • An online gallery that will remain live for one year after the event
  • Custom Prints Package
  • A gorgeous 11"x14" wedding Album

Contest Rules
  • You can nominate yourself or someone else
  • Couple must currently be engaged and have a wedding date and venue secured
  • Location of wedding must be outside of a 200 mile radius from Phoenix, AZ
  • Travel Fee’s not included.  Winner will be responsible for airfare, hotel and transportation
  • Travel is to be booked by Studio 616 Photography
  • Couples may not have an existing contract with us or with another photographer
  • Winning couple will be chosen based on availability of date, wedding location and story.


How To Enter

  • Simply email us at photos@studio-616.com with the subject “Wedding Giveaway” and include the following info:
    • Full name of both bride and groom being nominated
    • The wedding date, venue, location
    • Contact info for the couple - email and phone number
    • The Story! tell us why this couple is deserving, and why they should win
  • Attach a picture of the couple that may be used when the winner is announced
  • All Submission must be completed by 11:59pm on March 31st, 2016!

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How To Hire A Wedding Photographer

How To Hire A Wedding Photographer
How To Hire A Wedding Photographer

How To 

Hire a 


Wedding Photographer

Should you hire a professional photographer or not? That is the question. Considered this, How important are photos of the most important day of your life?

There is plenty of info on how to find your perfect photographer on Pinterest.  As a professional photographer I’m partial with saying yes… you should!

How To Hire A Wedding Photographer

Here’s a list of things you should considered when hiring a wedding photographer:

  1. Not hiring a professional “Wedding” photographer could mean, you will end up with low quality photos or no photos at all.  
  2. Hire a photographer that has a style you love.  Johnny and I have a distinctive style, most professional wedding photographer’s do.  We love vivid realistic magazine portraits and a journalistic style combined.  I like to keep things simple and beautiful and our pictures reflect that. Other photographer love the high definition images and some like the very ethereal pale look. Find your style and you will end up loving the end results.
  3. Don’t waste your time if you don’t feel comfortable with the photographer/s you are considering.  The idea here is that you and the photographer feel comfortable with each other, it works both ways.
  4. When you start planning your wedding, ask friends and relatives about referrals.  I think it's one of the best ways to find a good photographer.  About ½ of our work comes from referrals. If you don’t care much for who they recommend it,  search online or try websites like WeddingWire.com. It's a great place to find wedding vendors.
  5. One thing we pride ourselves on is that we respond to our new and current clients immediately (in most cases).  We don't want you to wait for an answer or response. It also sets the tone for the entire wedding and the way we work.
  6. Also remember the busy wedding season when looking for your photographer. Let me give you an example... We are busiest (in the Phoenix area) during the months of October, November, February, March, April & May. Every month fills up, but the the beautiful weather months in the Phoenix area always fill first. If you are getting married on a weekend, during peak time, book at least 1 to 2 years ahead.  
  7. If you are sure you want to work with a particular photographer, here's what you will need to do.  If your date is available and you have done your homework,  first set a phone meeting to ask basic questions about pricing, payments and wedding package details. Then if you decide, Yep I want them to shoot our wedding, set up a face to face meeting. It’s also a great time to schedule your appointment for your engagement photos.  
  8. I’m going to point out that there are many questions you will want to ask.  “Pinterest” is a great place to find the right questions (for your situation).  Ask questions that will help you get to know what is truly going to happen on your wedding day.  Do your homework, and check out the photographer's website before heading out. Many questions can be answered by looking at the website and reviews.  
  9. Many photographer spend a lot of time and money adding info to their websites to help you. Check it out to get a feel for what they are offering.  Many of the questions we get asked are posted on our site, to make it easy for you!!  As a photographer, I like to know (if I’m sitting down with a potential client), they at least know what we do and like our photography style.
  10. One question we get asked is, do we give all images in RAW format? The answer is No. Giving RAW images is compromising the photographer and the work they do. Professional “wedding” photographers generally will not provide RAW images of the wedding, so please don’t ask.  It sets a tone to the photographer and you may lose them.  You should receive between 75 - 100 photos per hour, touched up and ready to print.  
  11. Prices! well in our case we post prices on our site, some don’t, call them immediately for info on that.  Simply put, if you can’t afford it and they are not willing to work with you, then it’s a waste of your time.

Check out our prices, to give you an idea.   As one of our clients said to us once, you are super affordable for the work you do.  We believe in being fair, not cheap, just right.

Check out reviews.

Listen... there’s so much out there about this subject and as a Professional Wedding Photographer I know its not easy, but you need to be super happy with your decision. Don’t settle for less than what you deserve.

Good luck!  

Friday, June 12, 2015

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

Windmill Winery, Florence, AZ... One of the best Phoenix Wedding Venues!

Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways.

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

Windmill Winery is one of those venues that enlighten your soul. From the lush serene grounds to the beautiful barns and lakes... There’s no way you will go wrong booking your wedding at this magnificent place.

We had the wonderful opportunity to work there for the second time, and when we received the phone call, we were super excited to return!

Here’s are a few reasons why we love Windmill Winery!

1.) The Lake House! It has a classic, rustic beauty.  It’s pure romance, from the outside to the beautiful interior.

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

2.) The Beautiful view from the deck! I love the chandelier at end of the ceremony deck overlooking the lake.  I also love that is so close to the Lake House.

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

3.)  The bridal suite! (Better known as the “Bridal Bungalow”) If you can get the bride and bridesmaids to keep it clean, you can actually get great photos of the bride getting ready. The best part is that there’s a balcony with a view to the lake!

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

4.) The grounds! Lush, lush lush! Perfectly beautiful and clean!

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

5.) The amazing staff! We had the honor of working with Karen and she was fantastic and super accommodating.

6.) Sunset photos by the lake house are just superb! I mean look at the water and that gorgeous reflection… Butter!

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

7.) Such of great variety of amazing rustic style photo backdrops

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

8.) Very peaceful and romantic

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery
Best Phoenix Wedding Venues - Windmill Winery

There’s so much more to fall in love with, you just have to pay them a visit! They also have a second location at the venue... "THE BARN", which is every bit as majestic and beautiful as "THE LAKE HOUSE"! The barn is next on our list!

If you are looking for a romantic gem in the desert... The Windmill Winery will win your heart!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Planning Your Wedding Guest List

The Wedding Guest List!

Planning Your Wedding Guest List
Planning Your Wedding Guest List

When you are planning a small gathering, one thing that can get out of hand rather quick is your guest list.  

I remember thinking that it was just going to be me and my hubby, then I realized how impossible that was going to be.  By the time I was done I had 8 people on my list.  You’re probably thinking, really Taylor? that’s nothing.  But when you are on a budget, whatever the size, is always too big.  Food and venue are not cheap ladies and this part of your wedding planning is crucial to either making or breaking your budget. 

Here are my tips on how to survive the “The List”

Planning Your Wedding Guest List
Planning Your Wedding Guest List

  1. Who do you truly want at your wedding (yes, this calls for a couple's meeting).
  2. Are you getting assistance from parents to create the list? Obviously if they are paying, you may need to allow for a few of their friends.  Stress to them the word “Small Wedding”.
  3. Are you inviting Children? This one is big, especially if you are paying per plate. Children get counted as part of list, so it can add up pretty quick.
  4. Friend or acquaintance? After you add all of your family to your guest list, you may not have much room left in your budget. Start with adding your closest friends who truly mean the world to you.
  5. Limits per invitation.  Listen... I know this sounds nuts, but I’m Latina, so if you don’t write the limit, they will bring everyone including their 98 years old Nana (which by the way, you’ve never met).  I see this happen all the time, where the brides tells me, she has no idea half of the people at her wedding.  We realized that the reason for this is because most of them are their parent's friends. Funny, but so true! Add this to your invite: Guest + 1

Planning Your Wedding Guest List
Planning Your Wedding Guest List

After you’ve gather as much info as possible (and your fiancee is equally happy with the list), then start sending invitations with an RSVP number or address. Repondez S’il Vous Plait!  Meaning, reply if you please...or “Please Reply”.

RSVP's are super important! Guests need to let you know if they are coming.
I understand that people get sick, plans change, etc. Having an idea of who is coming will make your life a lot less complicated. Include an email, phone number or a stamped envelope so that they have no problem getting back to you.

Another thing to consider is time.  You must give guest at least 3 months for planning, if you have guest coming from out of town, 6 months to a year is ideal.

A great idea:  When you get your engagement photos done, let the photographer know that you are using an image from the session for your “Save the Date”. Be sure to get those babies in the mail ASAP.  We take about a week to get photos back to our clients after your session!

Planning Your Wedding Guest List
Planning Your Wedding Guest List

Good luck friends! The “List” is a major undertaking, hope this helps a bit!


Monday, May 18, 2015

10 Great Tips For Brides To Be

Here are 10 great tips for brides to be.

10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
1.) Tanning:

Ladies, ladies, ladies... Stay out of the sun and by all means, avoid fake tanning 1 week before your wedding. Your skin will turn out looking very orange in pictures (a photographers nightmare). Just remember two words... Umpa-Lumpa! 

If you want your photos and your skin to look amazing (like this bride), skip the fake tanning and use makeup to bring a glow to your skin. Which... brings me to my next point.

10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
10 Great Tips For Brides To Be

2.)  Hair and Makeup:  

Many of my brides tackle doing their own makeup and hair. If that’s your decision, no problem, but one suggestions: I recommend using a setting spray staying power. My favorite is Urban Decay - All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray.  It rocks! Also, have lip-gloss and lip-liner handy for touch-up before photos!

10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
Hire a professional makeup artist. Listen... it's your day, so splurge a little! Just make sure you get a trial run and that you are super happy with the result! 
It’s also convenient if your chosen artist is mobile.  It’s not only convenient, but you will be more relaxed in the comfort of your home or hotel!

10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
10 Great Tips For Brides To Be

I personally love artists that do both hair and makeup! It will save you time and money!

Check out of my favorite: Bryanna Casey - www.bryannacasey.com

4.)  Sleep: 
I can’t stress this enough girls… get some sleep!  Whatever it takes get some z's. You don’t want to run out of gas right in the middle of your wedding day. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t get much sleep and then have a drink or 2 (even a glass of wine or champagne), I’m ready to hit the sack within about 30 minutes! Get your ZZZ'S ladies!

10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
5.) Alcohol: 
This is a interesting subject because I’m all for a glass of wine before you get married!  In my case I had a shot of tequila, which helped cut the jitters in a heartbeat!
Here’s the deal... Be smart! If you are having a glass of wine with your girls or while having your makeup done, that’s great! Just make sure you drink lots of water in between! Which leads me to the next point.

10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
6.) Water/Food:

Drink lots of water before, during and after! That’s all I’m going to say about that.  

And... Don’t forget about food!  I’m not asking you to have a big lunch or breakfast (I know that's not possible). At least have some protein. A power bar, a piece of fruit, nuts… you gotta eat! You will feel so much better and you'll be nicer to your guests if you do. I promise!  

Tell you what... perfect job for the maid of honor! Make sure she gets you something to drink and eat!

10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
10 Great Tips For Brides To Be

On the day of your wedding, the best way to do this is to assign someone to handle any misc. items, especially taking phone calls! 

Leave a message on your phone to have any callers contact your assigned assistants for the day. For some reason, family & friends forget that you are busy on your wedding day... HELLO, you're getting married!!! But for some odd reason, they think you are the best person to answer their silly questions. (Where’s the ceremony again? I’m running late, I'm lost, Where do I go for the reception? Can I bring my friend).  Your phone will not stop ringing and this will add even more stress to your day. 

You don’t have time for it and who wants to deal with that craziness! Plus... believe me, you didn't pay a photographer to be there to takes photos of you on your phone! Release the electronics ladies!

A must do… under no circumstance should you skip you ceremony rehearsal! It helps everyone, plus it gives a chance for both families to become acquainted with each other. Most importantly, it's impossible for your bridal party and family to know what to do, know what you're thinking or how you envisioned it.  

When you hire a professional wedding coordinator they will help you with this. If not, you need to organized and make sure everyone knows their place. Make a dinner out of the occasion as well.

10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
9.  Shoes: 

I love shoes! 

But when it comes to wedding shoes, by the end of the ceremony, (like clockwork) the bride wants to toss them in the garbage.  I don’t care if they are Jimmy Choo or Payless. The best thing I can recommend is to break in the shoes weeks before the ceremony, or get some truly comfortable shoes to put on when you are ready to scream!!  

I personally love cowboy boots, but that's me... I would wear them to bed.  Do what's best, but be comfortable! You still have walking, dancing, posing and... more dancing to do!

10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
10. Last but not least:

Prepare for photos! I hear this all the time... I’m not photogenic, I hate taking photos, are we almost done? Ladies and Gentlemen, this is all you are going to have left after the day is over.  If you are not cooperating, they simply won’t turn out.  If you are not one to be in front of the camera, check out our websites and social media pages like Pinterest & Facebook for great ideas on how to pose.

My best advise is: Relax, smile and laugh! Please don’t fidget... subtle soft movement work best. You also don’t want the fake smile and to be staring at the camera the whole time. When you work with our studio www.studio-616.com , I normally put the camera down for bridal shots and help the bride and groom flow, while my hubby takes the photos.  

10 Great Tips For Brides To Be
10 Great Tips For Brides To Be

Trust me when I tell you... You won’t regret just relaxing, enjoying and letting your photographer do her/his job.  It’s your time, don't waste it!  

AND PLEASE for heaven's sake don’t tell the photographer what to do on the day of your wedding! You hired them for a reason, so allow them to be creative and do what they do! 

Meet with your photographer before hand to give them some direction and ideas. Start a Pinterest board of shots you like and share it with your photographer. This will help give them some insight as to what you're looking for.