Dustin Thompson Photography: Blog https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Dustin Thompson Photography (Dustin Thompson Photography) Sun, 28 Feb 2021 21:10:00 GMT Sun, 28 Feb 2021 21:10:00 GMT https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u472210823-o863396936-50.jpg Dustin Thompson Photography: Blog https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog 74 120 Things to Do on Maui in October https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/9/things-to-do-on-maui-in-october Things to Do on Maui in October

Celebrating Halloween on the world-famous Front Street might be one of the biggest draws for visiting Maui in October.

 

But the autumn month is about far more than costumes and the Pacific’s iteration of Mardi Gras: Savvy travelers know that October means sparser crowds, cheaper accommodations, quieter flights—and just as much excitement as July.

 

Whether you’re Maui-bound this fall—or just dreaming up your idyllic holiday—here are 9 fresh ways to spend your island days:

 

Brunch at Paia Inn + Twin Falls

The leeward side’s tony resorts and posh landscaping are nothing short of spectacular (more on that later), but for a taste of the island’s carefree life, head to Paia. Often called The Windsurfing Capital of the World,” this former plantation town may have gone through major gentrification in the last decade but it still holds its kick-back surfer ethos. Enjoy its soul over cardamom French toast at Paia Inn, where the staff has been voted some of the lustiest in the world and Owen Wilson frequently stops in. After a walk along Baldwin Beach—where you can search for shells and see the stunning crags of the central coastline—stroll through a lush jungle on your way to Twin Falls: a pair of cascades just off Hana Highway.

 

Haleakala Sunrise + Spa Grande

No trip to Maui is complete without exploring the eastern bulwark that makes up three-quarters of the island. With a name that translates to “House of the Sun,” Haleakala has been the inspiration behind Mark Twain’s prose, Jack London’s essays, and myriad Hawaiian cultural practices (to natives, it’s considered the realm of the gods). At dawn, the summit—10,023 feet above sea leveldoes seem to hold the sun as it crests in splendid, otherworldly colors. See it with one of the top Haleakala tour companies on the island, Skyline Hawaii, whose sunrise and sunset tours include journeys through the neighboring towns, fascinating facts, and amusing camaraderie. Then, unwind from the early-a.m. wake-up call by spending the rest of your day lounging in luxury at the Grand Wailea’s Spa Grande. Here, you’ll find 50,000 square feet of opulence that include Roman-style baths, body care treatments, and a lomi lomi massage that incorporates healing Hawaiian plants.

 

Turtle Town + Willie K at Mulligans on the Blue

Otherwise known as honuHawaiian Green Sea Turtles are an emblem of Maui in themselves: gentle and giant (as in 3-5 feet long and up to 700 pounds), these beauties are the most common of the seven turtles found throughout Hawaii, and are frequently seen basking, swimming, and snacking in the waters off Makena. Hence the name the spot has acquired in recent years as “Turtle Town,” a section of the Pacific, favored by these goliaths, south of Kihei. Come early and beat the crowd with Kai Kanani’s signature Deluxe Snorkeling Tour at Molokini Crater then soak up the sun before the notorious Makena Cloud sweeps in. Wednesday evenings on the south side have become synonymous with the Willie K Dinner Show —a dazzling weekly event, held at Mulligans on the Blue, that features Grammy Award nominee and Maui-born musician Willie K. Arrive early for Shepherd’s pie and an Irish beer before the performance, then kick back as this local boy sings opera, cracks jokes, impersonates Michael Jackson—and plays the ‘ukulele like no other.

 

Dig Me Beach + Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

Lovingly dubbed Dig Me Beach, Ka’anapali Beach—the waterfront that rests in front of the West Side’s resort strip—has rightfully earned top honors on Best in the U.S. (and Best in the World) lists. Over a mile long, capped with glorious blonde sand, and featuring some of the best swimming opps on the island, this buzzy beach is indeed one for the books. Snorkel, sunbathe, people-watch, chill—and perhaps take a dive off the west end’s Black Rock—before rocking your finest for the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. The annual, all-star event takes place around all the major islands in the Aloha State; Maui’s version, Global Street Food, presents over a dozen culinary masters from around the world, gourmet food, craft cocktails, boutique beers, and terrific wine.

 

Wai‘anapanapa State Park + Charles Lindbergh’s Grave

Rise before the birds and set out for the Road to Hana—a serpentine journey (and inarguably one of the most scenic drives in Hawaii) that takes you across stone bridges, past towering waterfalls, and over windswept bays. Frequent stops are irresistible; to truly stretch your legs, plan to spend a few hours at Wai‘anapanapa State Park. Here, you’ll find a beach comprised of onyx sand, a lichen-filled grotto steeped in Hawaiian myths, a natural sea arch, and a blowhole. After stopping in Hana for chili and rice at Hana Ranch Store (and a dip in the ocean at Hamoa), find your way to Charles Lindbergh’s grave in Kipahulu—the famous aviator is buried at one of the oldest churches in Hawaii.

 

Maui Golf & Sports Park + Maui Chef’s Table

 

No matter if you’re traveling with keiki or visiting with your college crew: Maui Golf & Sports Park delights any and every age with their mix of bumper boats, miniature golfing, rock climbing—and an X-treme Trampoline that’ll leave you, well, jumping for joy (as in 30 feet in the air). Best part yet? The entertainment center is set outdoors, allowing you to savor October’s brilliant rays and views of Maalaea Harbor. Come nightfall, head to the Maui Tropical Plantation for an event that will linger for decades: Held on select weekend nights, Maui Chef’s Table was conceived by ‘Aipono award-winning chef, Jeff Scheer, who wanted to pair fun-loving, communal dining with an open kitchen, the island’s freshest ingredients, and talking story. The result? One of the most coveted dining experiences on Maui, wherein Scheer and/or his carefully-selected team prepare a multi-course meal that encourages conversation and questions between cook and patron. The food is exquisite; the views—of the plantation’s verdant grounds, the Pacific in the distance, and the West Maui Mountains—add to the romance.

 

Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge & Maui County Fair

There are many things to do in Kihei, including in North KiheiKealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge holds a number of claims to fame: it’s one of the last remaining natural wetland habitats in Hawaii. It boasts 700 acres. It’s considered home to 31 species of birds and waterfowls, including the Hawaiian Stilt and the Hawaiian Coot. It provides shelter for the endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle. But you wouldn’t know it driving by: the modest though lovely area is often quiet, rendering a stroll along its boardwalk a tranquil way to enjoy what’s left of fall. Contrast it all with a night on the town—Kahului Town, that is, where the 96th Maui Fair will be in full flourish. Here, you can snack on Filipino donuts, eat cotton candy, ride on a Ferris wheel, shop Maui-made products—and see an orchid exhibit that’ll blow you away.

 

Launiopoko + Halloween on Front Street

The waves and wind on Maui’s North Shore may be picking up this time of year, but a few good days of pleasing waves still roll into the leeward coast. One of the choicest spots to learn how to hang (as in ten) is at Launiopoko on the way to Lahaina. With three breaks, calm swells, excellent views, and a shallow bay for keiki to play, it’s a popular place for those who are still green on their boards. Rent yours from Boss Frog’s (they’ll even deliver it to your condo or resort) or book a private lesson. Refuel at Aloha Mixed Plate—their ono grinds, all at economical prices, earned them the 2017 ‘Aipono award for the island’s “Maui-est” restaurant—before donning your mask for the wild and wonderful Lahaina Halloween Party. One of the most popular events in Hawaii, the annual extravaganza lures 30,000 people from across the globe, with its parade, street-festival, music, dancing, and, score, $1000 prize for best adult costume. Prepare yourself for astonishment: countless kama’aina start planning their (often outrageous) get-ups on November 1st.

 

Helicopter Tour + Wailea Progressive Dinner

Exhilaration meets awe on Blue Hawaiian Helicopters’ island tours, which take flyers to Maui County’s secret gems—from the gem-green forests of Hana and the world’s tallest sea cliffs on Molokai to the lunar-esque basin of Haleakala. Guides provide fascinating exposition (as Frommer’s reports, they’re “part Hawaiian historian, part DJ, and part amusement-ride operator”) while the helicopters themselves—high-tech, top-of-the-line Eco-Star crafts—blend luxury with comfort and safety. For the ultimate experience, ensure that your tour will take you close to the Wall of Tears—seventeen slender waterfalls in the depths of the West Maui Mountains. Once you’ve come down—literally and figuratively—head to Wailea for a progressive dinner. Otherwise known as a safari supper, these ultra-fun meals—at least when spent at restaurants—include grabbing entrées at different venues. Start with an artisan cocktail at the Andaz’s super-sultry (and poolside) Lehua Lounge, bounce over to Spago in the Four Seasons for one of their famed ahi tuna poke cones, dig into a rack of lamb with Maui pineapple jam at Nick’s Fish Market in the Fairmont Kea Lani, then end it all with port wine and chocolate soufflé at the Marriott’s Humble Market Kitchin. Sauntering down the Wailea promenade is half the fun, while Maui’s starlit, palm-framed sky is pure magic—in October, and always.

 

Get Married on Maui!

 

There are many reasons why Maui is a world-famous wedding destination.  Tropical landscapes and great weather are a start, but reducing a guest list (and cost) by having a small beach wedding can relieve many headaches.  Or, if you want to give your family and friends a reason for vacation, have a large estate wedding. Anyway you dice it, a wedding on Maui is unforgettable.  That being said, having remarkable wedding photos to capture the event will help you and generations of loved ones cherish the memories for all time.   Dustin Thompson Photography has shot everything from real estate photos to maternity, and weddings have always been a favorite of his.  Take a look at his wedding photography portfolio and have him shoot your Maui wedding!

 

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(Dustin Thompson Photography) https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/9/things-to-do-on-maui-in-october Wed, 26 Sep 2018 20:46:57 GMT
14 ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Wedding Photographer. https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/8/14-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-wedding-photographer Lets be honest. Wedding days can be a little chaotic! But mixed in with the chaos, are tons of gorgeous moments that you want captured so you can look back on them lovingly FOREVER! I have come up with a list of 14 ways that you can get the most out of your photographer on your wedding day!

1. Get to know your photographer - This is definitely one benefit to booking your photographer early in the planning stages. Meet up with him/her either in person or on Skype. Your photographer will be with you all day, so it is so important that you get along great with them. I think it is great when you can be friends with your photographer. It will also result in better photos because you won’t have some awkward stranger staring at you through a camera during your wedding. Having your photo taken can be an awkward experience, You want to make sure that you find a photographer that you can relax with, and truly be yourself around!

 

2. Trust your photographer - This is another reason why it is good to get to know your photographer! Trusting their advise, recommendations and abilities will make for a much more relaxing wedding day! Photographing weddings is a huge responsibility. Be sure that you photographer will give your wedding 110%!

 

3. Have an engagement shoot - Not only will you get some beautiful photos to hang up all over your house, but it will help you really bond with your photographer. It’s your chance to work with them in a 1 on 1, “actually 2 on 1” basis, without all of the wedding craziness going on around you. This will help you be more relaxed on your wedding day to get those truly epic shots! It will also show your friends and family that your photographer is skilled as well. This will help since they will probably be photographed as well!

 

4. Do a first look! - This is purely a suggestion, but I highly recommend one. These photos can be incredible! The reactions are so raw and powerful. I have never had a couple regret doing a first look.

 

5. A wedding planner can definitely help! - Having a wedding planner to help wrangle guests, hold bouquets, style the veil etc. can save your photographer a lot of time. And saving them time means both more shots and better photos for you! A great planner will also make your day a lot less stressful by taking care of things, so you can just relax and enjoy your day that you worked so hard on.

6. Get ready in a nice bright room! - All cameras have one thing in common, they need light to operate. One of my favorite parts of the wedding day is the bright, airy prep photos of the beautiful bride getting ready. Find a spot with some nice big windows. The results will be amazing!

 

7. Keep it tidy - Keeping the room as clean as you can while getting ready, will enhance your prep photos. Maybe put all of the clutter in a back corner so you don’t have dress bags, curling irons and other undesirable items out of your photos.

8. Be sure to let them know if you have any huge planned moments! - This is mainly for things that aren’t “standard wedding” events. We already expect all of those. If you have a huge choreographed father/daughter dance, or if you plan on serenading your significant other, It is definitely best to let your photographer know, so we can be in the right place at the right time!

9. Have realistic expectations- Great photography can take time. Rounding up guests, arranging everyone, changing locations and posing. If you have a shot list with 200 groups and 15 minutes to get it done, the results will probably be rushed photos that aren’t as good as you or the photographer would have wanted them to be. Having an unrealistic expectation of how many shots that you can take will only lead to disappointment. Talk to your photographer, they should have a much better idea of how long everything should take. Which leads me to my next point.

 

10. Have a shot list- I can not stress this enough! Having a shot list for your group shots is critical! This can be one of the most chaotic and stressful parts of the day. Not only will a list help you move quickly and efficiently through the group shots, but it will also help you make sure that you didn’t forget anyone. Unfortunately, there are no do overs when it comes to wedding photos. I do my best to make sure that you get photos with everyone that looks important to you, but unfortunately, it is a pretty hard job focusing on getting great shots and thinking about every guest in attendance, and who you would want a photo with.

 

11. Where’s the beef? - Do your mom and aunt not get along? Is there tension between certain people that you would like in the group photos? Be sure to let your photographer know so that they don’t place them together. Dirty looks don’t make for great photos.


12. Feed your photographer at the right time- At weddings we don’t sit down and enjoy a luxurious meal. We usually devour something in a style that resembles something straight out of a discovery channel animal documentary. It is very helpful if during the planning, that you find a quick time slot that would be optimal for them to grab a quick bite. Possibly right before, or at the start of dinner service, before all the speeches start. Your photographer is probably starving at this point. I know that I usually don’t have time for lunch on wedding days, and a little food in my stomach keeps me energetic, focused and working my best!

13. Take a deep breath! - If during the portraits you feel like you are getting super rigid, take a nice deep breath and let it out. This will help you relax mentally and physically. We want you to lose yourself in the moment. You are marrying the love of your life!

 

14. Get lost in the moment - One thing I love shooting are those moments where the couple can forget that I am even there. I want you to be completely overtaken with how happy you are, how in love you are, and how amazing your significant other looks! 


Hopefully these tips will allow you to Make your wedding photos all that they can be and more!!!

Happy planning!

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(Dustin Thompson Photography) https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/8/14-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-wedding-photographer Sat, 04 Aug 2018 01:17:27 GMT
Real flowers Vs. Fake flowers https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/real-flowers-vs-fake-flowers Hello everyone!

I have been seeing a lot of people lately that are debating on whether they should get real or fake flowers for their wedding bouquet. There are pros and cons to both, and today I am going to go over all of them, so you can make an informed decision on which is best for you!

 

Real flowers

 

 

Pros

 

It is hard to beat the amazing smell of fresh cut flowers.

 

In my opinion, real flowers just plain look better.

 

Real flowers photograph better no matter how close you get to them!

 

There is just something about real flowers. The way they move in the breeze, the softness and the beauty is just really hard to replicate.

 

Real flowers can be pressed or preserved to make a gorgeous reminder of the day that you said “I do”

 

Cons

 

 

If your florist is late getting to the venue, it is a pretty huge deal! (do your research when choosing a florist!)

 

Real flowers are not huge fans of the heat. You will probably need to keep them in water and in the shade until right before it is go time!

 

You could be allergic to your flower of choice. You should probably spend some time around any flower that you are considering for your bouquet. 

 

 

Fake flowers

 

Pros 

 

Fake flowers are non allergenic! You do not have to worry about sneezing your way through your vows. 

 

Depending on the size of your ceremony, your guests may be between 8-70 feet away from you. At these distances, fake flowers would probably be pretty hard to spot.

 

Fake flowers can be bent around and arranged in ways that might be a little bit challenging for real flowers. If you have a wacky idea of what you want this may need to be taken into consideration!

 

You can get them in a variety of colors. If you need a teal flower to match your wedding colors it might need to be fake.

 

 

You can get flowers that might not be in season! If you are determined to have a specific flower in your bouquet, this may be the way to go.

 

With fake flowers, you can have your bouquet several weeks in advance. That means you have time to style it and make sure that it is as perfect as possible on your big day.

 

Having a summer or middle of winter wedding? You don’t need to worry about these bad boys wilting half way through the ceremony.

 

 

You don’t have to wait until the day of your wedding to see your gorgeous flowers!

 

Fake bouquets are usually quite a bit lighter. You are going to be carrying it around for most of the day. A heavy bouquet will give you quite a workout!

 

It can be one heck of a keepsake! Your bouquet will still look great when you celebrate your 50th anniversary!

 

 

Cons

 

At indoor ceremonies, the entire room can become filled with the amazing smell of flowers. But if you do all fakes, that will be missing unfortunately.

 

You can add scent to fake flowers but it doesn’t last very long. This means you will have one more thing to do in that last little rush leading up to your wedding.

 

Some fake flowers (especially cheaper ones) look really….. well… fake. You want to make sure that you can not see the texture of the fabric when looking at the flowers up close. Your photographer will be taking some pretty close detail shots of your flowers, and seeing that texture kind of spoils that shot.

 

 

Fake flowers will not be saving you a lot money (not good quality ones anyways). Look to spend as much if not more on those silk flowers! I would not recommend browsing the dollar store for your flowers unless your budget is just that tight. Remember, you get what you pay for!

 

You may need to check with your venue. Some venues do not allow fake flowers! There are venues on the ocean in San Diego that restrict the use of fake flowers because there is a chance that they could blow into the water and harm the sea life. Be sure to ask first if you decide to go this route! 

 

 

Well, I hope that this made your decision a tiny bit easier! Still can not decide? There is always a third option of doing a hybrid arrangement with some fake and some real. It is your wedding day, do what works best for you! Flowers are really important for your wedding and crucial for gorgeous photos. But don’t stress out either way! At the end of the day your guests will just be happy to share in this moment with you.

 

Happy planning!

-Dustin

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(Dustin Thompson Photography) 2018 california dustin thompson photography easy epic flowers photographer photography planning planning made easy real vs fake tips https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/real-flowers-vs-fake-flowers Sat, 05 May 2018 17:00:00 GMT
22 questions to ask your Dj in 2018 https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/4/22-questions-to-ask-your-dj-in-2018 Hello everyone! 

 

Today I want to talk a little bit about your Dj. I know you may be thinking, “This is a photography website, what does a Dj have to do with anything?”. But believe it or not, a Dj is huge when it comes to wedding reception photography. If he is not doing his job, your guests aren’t having as much fun. And bored guests make for boring photos! You want a Dj that will engage with your guests, make them laugh and get them out on the dance floor. And not only that, but you want to be sure that they have the needed experience! I have seen some complete train wrecks when it comes to Dj’s. They either showed up late, forgot some gear or appeared to not know how to use the gear that they had! I even had one Dj have a power button that should have been covered on the back of his mixer, get bumped by a guest. This resulted in about 10 minutes of silence while his system booted back up! So for this article, I joined up with my favorite Dj ( Mike from magnightentertainment.com )to come up with a list of questions that you should ask Dj’s that you are considering to cover your big day!

 

 

Be sure to do some research on any potential Dj.  The internet is a wonderful source for reviews and information about your prospective Dj.  WeddingWire, Knot, Yelp, Facebook, are all great places to see what people are saying about your Dj. 

 

The first thing you need to ask yourself is: Will I be hiring a Dj solely based on price? Or is training, personality, and professional equipment more important?

 

Questions to ask when interviewing a Dj:

 

Do they supply lighting? (See if they have any photos or videos of their lighting setup in action. Great lighting can really take things to another level!) There are several types of lighting: Dance Floor Lighting: (just for the dance floor, a way to liven up the party and bring some fun, colorful beams of light that dance to the music) Up-Lighting: (The lighting that sits on the floor, shoots up the wall ending at the ceiling. Up-lighting will transform your celebration space.  If they will be providing uplighting, is it wireless? In 2018, it should be! Wires are not pretty, and quality uplights are not only bright, but wireless. Can you easily change the color of the Uplighting if you do not like it? They should be programmed in a way that they all change together, and quickly for that matter. Will they provide a Monogram Projection Lighting? (the really pretty projection with your name in lights, NOTE* these are "gobo" lights, and a gobo is about $100 typically.  In total if they are not charging $200-$300 for the monogram projection, they most likely are not doing it correctly. 

 

How would you describe your style? (Do you want a Dj with a classic booming radio voice or do you want someone with super high energy?)

 

 

Can we watch you preform anywhere? If not, do they have any sample videos? Guests are not allowed to crash weddings, plus every wedding is different. But having videos of them in action is a PLUS!

 

Have they worked at your venue before? (This is good to know because if they have, they will know the layout. They will know where the power is, if they need to bring their own power, and the acoustics of the space.) If they haven't been to the venue, do they have procedures to check in with venue prior to the wedding, so they are prepared?

 

Can they play songs that are important to you. (whether it is a song that has significance to your family, or possibly something to do with your religion, you want to be sure that they can play whatever you may need.) Do you have a way for me to submit my music requests? Is there a limit to custom requests?

 

Do we need to rent any additional equipment? (Some Djs offer things like uplighting or additional Dj lights. It is always good to know what your options are.)

 

 

Do they plan to use lighting or special effects? (great Dj lighting can transform a nice dance floor into something truly, truly magical. See if they have any video of their lighting in action.) 

 

Who will be doing the setup ( You may need to give this information to your coordinator if anyone other than your Dj is setting up the equipment.)

 

How do you ensure a comfortable sound level for all of the guests? (You definitely want to fill the space with that sweet, sweet music, but, you also do not want your guest to have to be screaming at each other! You also do not want to be on your honeymoon with ringing in your ears.)

 

What do you typically wear? (Make sure that they look professional. It is also great to have an open dialog with your Dj about the type of event you are having. If you are having a super formal event, you do not want your Dj to show up in jeans and a t shirt.)

 

How many hours are included in the packages? (You may want them to be playing music during cocktail hour which equals extra hours)

 

Can they assist you in choosing your processional, recessional, father-daughter dance, etc.?  ( Sometimes if you are stuck when it comes to making these choices, they can share some wisdom of what has worked well in the past.)

 

 

Are you the Dj that will be at our wedding? (It does not matter how well you and the Dj hit it off, if he isn’t going to actually Dj at your event) Do they train their Djs? What is their training process like? Will they be able to speak to their Dj?

 

How do you handle song requests? ( Do you want the Dj to be flexible, or do you want them to stick to a set playlist?)

 

Are they a master of ceremonies or do they supply one? (It is great to have a Dj to play songs, but what you really want is someone that can jump on the mic and get the crowd worked up to have a great time. You really want someone that is comfortable on the mic.) The MC will put the "heartbeat" into your celebration.  They should be almost like a friend on the mic familiar with everything "weddings". They are the leader for all of your guests and vendors

 

How many weddings do you do in an average year? (This is just a good way to gauge their experience level. You can also see if they have any references that they can give you or check out their reviews.)

 

How do you get wedding guests on the dance floor? (Sometimes the crowd needs a little bit of encouragement to get out on the floor to start having fun. Whether they are shy, or just not super crazy about the idea of dancing, it is your Dj’s job to get them worked up into a fun frenzy! Make sure that he has the ability to do so!)

 

 

Do you have liability insurance? (a lot of venues require it for your Dj to even set foot on the property. It is just an important thing to have. This will protect everyone involved in the case of an accident) 

 

Do you have another wedding/event on our date? ( If you are booking a high energy Dj, you probably do not want him spending all of his energy at a event before yours. He needs to show up at your event refreshed and ready to rock! You also need to see if he has anything booked after your event just incase you decide to take the party into extra innings. See if he is available to work overtime and how much additional hours will cost.)

 

Do you have a backup plan in case you are sick or have an emergency? (Djs are people too. As much as I'm sure they would love to be perfectly healthy 365 days a year, unfortunately, one of these days they are inevitably going to get sick. Do they have a backup plan? You do not want to be stranded last minute trying to scramble to find a new dj. Rarely do you get a quality dj with little to no notice.)  

 

 

Do you have a backup plan in case of an equipment malfunction? (Unfortunately, when it comes to any electronic device, things happen! And if things happen on your wedding day, you want to be sure that your Dj will have what he needs to quickly fix the problem and get the party back on course.)

 

What is your cancelation policy? (If your wedding date needs to be moved for some reason or unfortunately cancelled, what is their policy on refunds?)

 

Hopefully, this will help you find the perfect Dj to make your reception truly epic!!

 

Happy planning!!

-Dustin

 

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(Dustin Thompson Photography) 2018 california dj dustin thompson photography easy epic fun party photographer photography planning reception tips wedding https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/4/22-questions-to-ask-your-dj-in-2018 Sat, 28 Apr 2018 02:22:46 GMT
19 ways to make sure your guests have fun at your wedding reception! https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/4/19-ways-to-make-sure-your-guests-have-fun-at-your-wedding Hello everyone!

 

Weddings are such an important part of our lives. Joining two lives together as one, is such a wonderful thing. Most girls dream about this moment their whole lives! Being surrounded by all of your loved ones in a huge celebration. Sometimes with all of the craziness that goes into planning a wedding, we forget who else is important on your wedding day, your guests! Today I want to go over ways to make sure that your guests have an amazing time as well, on your special day.

1. Have a fun theme, this will give you direction when choosing your decor. Having your theme stay consistant all the way from the Save the Dates, to signage at the reception, really ties everything together. 

 

2. Seating assignments - I know it is not even in the top 50 when it comes to fun parts of wedding planning. But a good seating chart can be crucial when it comes to making sure that your guests have fun at the reception. You don’t want to stick grandma at the table with your college friends that you know are going to be super rowdy (unless your grandma is a party animal too). Or you might have relatives that don’t particularly get along. Either way, you want to try to maximize the enjoyment of your guests by putting like-minded guests together at tables or at least at tables near each other. One thing that I found helpful when making seating charts, is to make a little mock reception out of paper. Cut out either circles or squares ( depending on what shape your tables are ) and little strips of paper with your guests names on them. That way you can place the names around the tables and move them as needed. You can always take pictures with your phone as you go along, in case you want to go back to a previous layout.

 

3. Photobooths are always a fun way to let your guests have fun and get in a good laugh. It also lets them leave with a souvenir from your big day. Some photobooth companies will give you copies of all of your guests photos as well, which can be quite hilarious!

 

4. Hire the right Dj! I can not stress this enough! I know that Dj’s can be expensive, but a great Dj is totally worth the price. You need to find out if your Dj just plays songs, or if he will be interacting with the crowd, getting laughs and getting guests on the dance floor. I have photographed many weddings with  horrible Dj’s unfortunately. It is a total mood killer. The dance floors were empty and people looked like they were falling asleep in their seats. I am sure that your family and friends are happy to be there for you no matter what, but why not let them have an amazing time as well!

5. Along with a great Dj goes a great playlist! You might be tempted to play your favorite hip hop jams all night, but that may result in the older guests staying planted in their seats. Mix it up a little bit to make sure everyone hears something that tempts them to tear up that dance floor!

 

6. Wedding favors are awesome! I mean who doesn't love getting a little present right? There are so many ways that you can go with wedding favors too! I have seen little packages of cookies, seeds to grow beautiful flowers, can koozies and bottle openers. There are lots of websites out there that give great deals when buying favors in large quantities.

 

7. Feed your guests!! I think we have all heard of the term "Hangry". If not, it is a combination of hungry and angry! You definitely do not want a mutiny to take place amongst your guests. Be sure that they have something to snack on durring cocktail hour, as well as plenty to eat for dinner. Which brings me to my next point.

8. Dessert tables are fun! Donut walls, smores bars, hot chocolate stations etc. will help your guests not only satisfy that sweet tooth, but the sugar rush will have them up and about and having fun! People enjoying treats is also another fun photo op! 

9. Come up with a wedding hashtag! Im sure that all of the guests want a chance to play photographer during your reception. This will give them the chance to! This will also give you an easy way to view everyones shots the next day. You can include your hashtag in your wedding invitations to get all of your guests ready to use it on your big day! 

 

10. Shake things up at the first dance. Everyone loves a good first dance, but why not shock the crowd? If you aren’t the dancing type, maybe take lessons! A couple twirls and a well timed dip or two will definitely get the crowd's attention.

11. Along the lines of a snappy first dance, why not throw in a costume change as well? I know that you spent a lot of time and money on your beautiful wedding dress, but can you move in it? Your first dance will be much more awesome if you aren’t stiff as a board. At my wedding, my wife could not have looked more gorgeous. And then right before the grand entrance, she changed into another gorgeous flowing dress that let us rock our first dance! 

 

12. Have a place for guests to mingle. In between dinner and all of the trips to the dance floor, some of your guests may want to hang out and chat. This is especially true if you have guests coming in from out of state or even further! Try to find a place that is away from the Dj's speakers so they can talk and enjoy each other's company.

 

13. Have some games! Not all guests are into dancing, so giving them other activities will give them the opportunity to have fun as well. This can be done in several ways. I have seen Jumbo Jenga blocks, bean bag tosses and other yard games, or as mentioned above, you can have the dj play games with the crowd. You can do trivia, dance contests and limbo! The guests are guaranteed to love it when there are interactive elements. It also makes for great photo ops!

14. If children are going to attend the wedding, keeping them entertained is huge!!! Bored kids are noisy kids! During the open dancing at the reception, they can make all the noise they want. But during your vows is another story. During the ceremony there are options to keep them busy like coloring books or letting them watch an iPad with headphones. And during the reception you can either put a movie on for them in the bridal sweet (with a babysitter of course) or you can have legos or paper table cloths that they can draw all over. Happy kids means more fun time for the adults!

 

15. One thing that I love to see most, is when a wedding represents who the couple really is. Pinterest is great and all, but your guests will really appreciate if the decor and personal touches really have something to do with you! That is who they came to see! A slideshow with pictures of both of you growing up, and your relationship up to this point is always a lot of fun to watch! :)

 

16. Pay tribute to your guests. There are many ways to do this. One of my personal favorites is the anniversary dance. It is a really nice touch at weddings. If you haven't seen one before, it is when the Dj starts a song and starts calling up all the married couples according to how long they have been married. It usually goes something like 1 year, 5 years, 10, 20, 30 and so on. It is always super cute when there are grandparents or older guests that have a ton of years together!

17. Going table to table during the reception is a great way to interact with your guests. Even if it is a short interaction, it gives them a chance to give you a hug, say congratulations and possibly get that selfie with you that they have been dying to get all day! It also gives you a chance to let them know how much you appreciate them being there!

 

18. RELAX!!!! Quit checking to see if every cupcake on your desert table is exactly 1 1/8 inches apart from the next one. Your guests are watching you. They want to see you having a great time! And you should! You worked so hard for this day! Let the vendors do their job and go enjoy the party. Seeing you have a blast on the dance floor will really encourage your guests to do the same!

 

19. And last but not least, why not end the evening with a bang! Fancy send offs are getting more and more popular these days. Not only are they a lot of fun for your guests, but they are a great way to get one more epic shot of your wedding!

I hope that these tips will help you maximize the awesomeness of your reception and give your guests something to talk about for years to come! Have a great day everyone!

 

Happy planning!

-Dustin 

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(Dustin Thompson Photography) 2018 california dustin thompson photography easy epic fun photographer photography planning reception tips wedding https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/4/19-ways-to-make-sure-your-guests-have-fun-at-your-wedding Sat, 14 Apr 2018 00:43:28 GMT
Technology vs. weddings https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/3/technology-vs-weddings Hello everyone!!

I think that everyone can agree that technology is everywhere and it is here to stay. Where opinions may vary is whether or not you want technology at your wedding. With apps like Instagram and Snapchat, it seems like all guests think they have been transformed into wedding photographers. This can make it a little bit more difficult for your professional photographer to do their job. Today I am going to list some of the benefits of unplugged weddings and how to phrase it in a way that won't offend your guests!

"What is an unplugged wedding?" you may ask! Well, an unplugged wedding is where through either signage, an announcement or both, you ask your guests to turn off all electronic devices during the wedding. I know that the thought of being without your precious phone for an hour or two may throw some into a cold sweat, but trust me it is so worth it!

By turning phones off, you can guarantee that the most beautiful moments of your wedding will not be spoiled by Nikki Manaj's Anaconda, or whatever ringtone is popular at the moment!

I know that you might be proud of uncle Bob for getting with the times and buying his first smartphone, but I highly doubt that you want to see his new prized possession in the corner of an otherwise beautiful shot of your first kiss as a married couple. You wouldn't believe how many times I've seen guests dive out into the isle right in front of me during the first kiss! I even had a lady jump in front of me with an iPad once! This is a once in a lifetime moment, and you don't want anything or anyone getting in the way of it! I guarantee that my shot will be better than anything that they will be able to get with their phones, and once they see it, I'm sure they will agree.


On that same note, your photographer will love you! I absolutely love my job, but there is a lot of pressure to perform. People pay me good money to capture their big day, and I want to exceed all of their expectations. Anything that helps me do my job better is always greatly appreciated!

You won't have to worry about the first photo from your wedding that people see having a really cheesy Snapchat filter on it.

It will make your wedding day more efficient! Family photos and couple's portraits are always a little bit chaotic. In most cases, the photographer only has 1 hour to get through the groups and then get beautiful photos of the newlyweds. The process gets really bogged down when the photographer has lots of people around him telling the groups to wait so they can get a picture with their phone. Don't worry! We have it covered :)

It's all about angles. Your photographer (if they are experienced) has a shot list in his head for where he needs to be, and when he needs to be there during the ceremony. We need to be able to move freely through the Isles to capture certain moments. It can be pretty tricky to get the shots that we need when we are battling for angles.

A really weird thing happens when people are without electronic devices. They talk too each other! I know some might be thinking.. talking?? That's so 90's! But it is pretty awesome seeing all of the most important people in your lives mingling and having a great time together!



Unplugged goes for the bride and groom too! Maybe let one person in the bridal party have your phone just in case a relative gets lost on their way to the venue, but other than that, BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT! You put so much hard work in to your wedding. Be sure to look around and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Your Facebook status can always be changed in the car on the way home after the wedding! (By the passenger of course) :)

You want your guests to appreciate all of your fine details too! You know those details that you obsessed over, lost sleep over, and put your heart and soul into? Well your guests won't be noticing any of them if they are busy adding items to their Amazon cart or checking sports scores.

Leave the photos to the pros! You are going to look amazing on your wedding day and we will make sure of it! You don't want to have your self confidence damaged by an unflattering poorly lit picture. We work hard to make sure that the angle, lighting and style will capture how great you will look on your big day!

Tell your guests not to worry. Some photographers with have a sample to the couple as early as the next day! Well, at least that's what I do! That way they can download and have a little souvenir for themselves! 

There will be less incriminating evidence! Let's say you get a little caught up in the spirit of the celebration and decide to have a few extra rounds during the champagne toast. If you don't want drunken pictures of you doing karaoke into your bouquet, tagged all over social media, you may want to limit those cell phone shots. The photographer will capture all of the hilarity and you can choose what is shared with the public. 

Ok, I have you interested. But how do you a have an unplugged ceremony without sounding aggressive or like a party pooper?

Announce it on your invitations. This way your guests won't be shocked by your request the day of the wedding. 

Make a cute sign that makes it sound like a invitation to share a moment with you rather than a demand.

Have the officiant make an announcement at the beginning of the ceremony to remind anyone that may have forgotten.

A lot of the time, I suggest that the couple only does the ceremony portion of their wedding unplugged. That way the guests can get their photo fix during the reception. This seems like a compromise that will hopefully keep everyone happy. In fact, one shot that I loved from a recent wedding, was because of the phones! There was a freak power outage during the first dance and the guests were quick to act by turning on their phones flashlights. If anything I think phones saved the day at that moment!


But at the end of the day, the decision is yours! If you want your wedding to be captured from all angles, you have every right to. I just want to make sure that your wedding photos are all you could ever want and more! Happy planning everyone!

-Dustin

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(Dustin Thompson Photography) 2018 california dustin easy photographer photography planning technology thompson tips unplugged unplugged wedding wedding https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/3/technology-vs-weddings Sat, 24 Mar 2018 15:08:23 GMT
29 questions to ask your photographer! https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/3/29-questions-to-ask-your-photographer

 

Hello!!! 

 

I hope that everyone is doing great, and that your wedding planing is going smoothly! On today’s blog post, I am going to give you a list of questions that you should ask every photographer, that you are considering to capture your special day! We all know that there are a billion “photographers” out there, and these questions should help you weed out the bad ones, and find the photographer that is right for you! Whether you choose me, and I would be thrilled if you did, or another shooter, I want to make sure that you find the perfect match and get epic shots of your special day! It is one of the biggest days of your life, and I don’t want you to be disappointed in your photos. This is why I try to steer people away from ”super budget photographers”. It may seem like a great deal at the time, but these are moments that you will want to cherish for generations. Be sure to choose wisely! So without further ado, here are 29 questions that you should ask your photographer!

 

Feel free to print this out and take it to your consultation!  I usually include several pictures in my blog posts, but if you are going to print this out, I don’t want to use up all of your ink! :)

 

#1 How far in advance do you need to book the photographer? (In most cases the earlier you can book them the better! A lot of people wait until the last minute and that unfortunately doesn’t leave you with a lot of options. I am constantly getting bookings a year or more in advance!)

 

 

 

#2 How much is the retainer and when is it due? When will your final payment be due?

 

 

 

#3 What packages do they offer? (see if they have a print out, or if they can send you a pdf so you can review it.)

 

 

 

#4 What is included in their wedding packages? How many hours of coverage, Products and digital files, A second shooter? Etc

 

 

 

 

#5 Can you customize a package based on your needs? (Not everyone is looking for the same thing. It is nice if the photographer is flexible and can modify things to best fit your needs)

 

 

 

 

#6 Is the photographer full time or is it their second job? (The benefits of using a full time photographer is that they have a lot more time to devote to you and your photos. Also, if photography is their only source of income, you know that they take their work very seriously, poor performance can be the end of their career!)

 

 

 

 

#7 Do they include engagement photos in their packages? (It is always nice to do your engagement photos with the same photographer as your wedding. That way you get to see them in action. It also helps you build a great relationship with them, that will make it a lot less nerve-wracking than shooting with a new photographer at your wedding)

 

 

 

#8 How long before you will be able to see the photos after the engagement session? (You need to make sure that the photographer can meet the deadlines so you can include photos in your invitations!)

 

 

 

 

#9 How long have they been in business? (Every wedding is different in its own special way, but your want a photographer that know how to work under pressure. Whether it is tight timelines, crazy guests or just knowing how to make the day flow smoothly, you want a photographer that has been around the block a time or two.)

 

 

 

 

#10 How many weddings have they shot? Has the photographer done many that were similar to your wedding in size and style? (Everyone has to get their start somewhere, but you probably don’t want it to be at your wedding)

 

 

 

 

#11 Do you they a portfolio that you can review? Are all of the images theirs, and is the work recent? (look at tons of their work. Make sure it is consistent. Unfortunately lots of “fauxtographers” are stealing images for their portfolios these days)

 

 

 

 

#12 What type of equipment do they use? (This is probably only useful if you have some knowledge of camera gear, otherwise it will just sound like a bunch of gibberish)

 

 

 

 

#13 Do they have reviews that you can view? (The more happy clients the better!)

 

 

 

 

#14 What do they offer? Prints? Digital files? What other types of products do you offer? (What are the costs of their products? Do they come from a professional print lab? I have nothing against Costco, but I wouldn’t want my wedding canvas to be made by them)

 

 

 

 

#15 Are there any additional fees, such as travel costs, second shooter, location permits, engagement sessions, added products, additional hours of coverage etc? ( Depending on where you are wanting to shoot, permit fees can very well be out of the photographers control. You want all additional fees to be up front at the time of booking)

 

 

 

 

#16 If your wedding site is out of their area, do they charge a travel fee and what does that cover? How much is the travel fee? ( What all do they require for travel? Gas? Lodging?)

 

 

 

 

#17 Are they photographing other events on the same day as yours? (You don’t want a photographer thats running out of gas at your wedding) 

 

 

 

 

#18 Is it okay if other people take photos while the photographer is taking photos?  (It is always preferred that we don’t have a ton of people with cameras running around and impeding our jobs, and some photographers have a strict policy against it)

 

 

 

 

#19 Has the photographer ever worked at your wedding site before? If not, do they plan to check it out in advance? (You don’t want the photographer to be wandering around on the wedding day looking for photo locations. That will eat up a ton of the time allotted for portraits)

 

 

 

 

#20 If your event lasts longer than expected, will they stay? Is there an additional charge? ( You want a photographer that is flexible and able to capture all of the moments if the party goes into extra innings!)

 

 

 

 

#21 Does the photographer offer a sneak peek of the photos after the wedding? (Who likes to wait, right? And with social media and the speed of everything these days we want at least a couple pictures to share right away!)

 

 

 

 

#22 Does the photographer provide retouching, color adjustment or other corrective services? (It is great to know what length the photographer will go to when editing.)

 

 

 

 

#23 What is the usual turn around time for all of the edited wedding photos? Will they be viewable online, on a CD? (You don’t want the photographer to rush through the editing process, but at the same time, you want the photos delivered in a timely manner, so you can relive your day all over again!)

 

 

 

 

#24 What is the ordering process after you receive your photos, are there extra fees? (Do you get the digital files or is there additional ordering needed? You definitely don’t want to get blindsided with more fees!)

 

 

 

 

#25 How long after you order your photos/album will you get them? (The photographer’s ordering system can determine the length of time until you get your beloved wedding photos. It is always great to know roughly how long that time is!)

 

 

 

 

#26 What sets them apart from other photographers? ( You want to have some sort of idea what you are looking for in a photographer. See if their answers set you at ease. You need to have total confidence in your photographer. The last thing you want to be doing on your wedding day, is looking around for where the photographer is. They should be 20 steps ahead of you!)

 

 

 

 

#27 Will friends and family have access to the wedding photos, and will they be able to order products for themselves? (I’m sure that everyone is going to want to see your awesome photos! How easy is it for you to share them?)

 

 

 

 

#28 Does the photographer have backup gear, liability insurance, a business license, and a backup photographer in case they get sick or injured? (You want a photographer that is prepared for just about anything! Chances are, if it can happen it eventually will!)

 

 

 

 

#29 Can you give the photographer a list of shots that you would like? (This is just one more way to see how accommodating the photographer is to your needs.) 

 

 

 

 

Questions you want to ask yourself:

 

Do you feel a connection with this photographer that you are talking to? Are your personalities a good match? ( The photographer will be one of the people that you will be in contact with almost your entire wedding day. You want to make sure that you get along great!)

 

 

 

 

Do you love their work and what they are offering? What do you love the most? (This is a very important decision, be sure that you are confident in your selection.)

 

 

 

 

Has the photographer listened well, and addressed all of your questions and concerns? ( You want a photographer that has your best interest as priority #1!)

 

 

 

 

Hopefully this list gave you some questions that you may have not previously thought about. At the end of your wedding day, you will end up with 3 things that you will cherish for a lifetime: 

 

#1 A NEW HUSBAND/WIFE!!

 

#2 your wedding dress

 

#3 your photos!!!

 

So, it is extremely important that you choose the right photographer for you!

 

Have a great day everyone!

 

-Dustin

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(Dustin Thompson Photography) 29 ask dustin thompson photography photographer photography questions wedding https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/3/29-questions-to-ask-your-photographer Sat, 10 Mar 2018 18:00:00 GMT
First look?????? https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/2/first-look Hello Everyone!

 

To first look, or not to first look, that is the question! I am not trying to sway your decision if you have your heart set in either direction. I just would like to take a second to highlight some of the benefits of the first look. Lets get started!

 

 

1. It is the only way to get both of you seeing each other, for the first time, in the same shot. Otherwise what you end up with is pictures of both of you with all of the smiles and tears, but no real clue of what you are looking at. For all we know, it could be tacos (I know i get emotional when I see tacos)

 

2. You know you are going to want to kiss him/her! This way you can! In fact, it is encouraged!

 

 

3. I think it is way more intimate when it is just the two of you alone.

 

4. It makes for EPIC photos!!!

 

 

5. It lets your husband/wife feel special by letting him see you before all of the guests do.

 

6. The old tradition has seemed to fade over the last couple years.

 

 

7. Your hair and makeup will be looking their best! 

 

    Which leads right into the next point..

 

8. It allows you to get some of the portrait shots done before the ceremony, which will make things a lot less hectic later in the day.

 

 

9. It will give you the option to cut the time taking portraits short after the ceremony, so you can go and join the party!

 

10. It will give you and your soon-to-be husband/wife a quiet moment together to take a deep breath and take it all in.

 

11. If you are going to "ugly cry", You might as well get it out of the way before you make your grand entrance in front of everyone!

 

Oh, and first looks don't always have to be between husbands and wives. First looks are also amazing with the bride and her dad!

 

Hopefully, that helped you decide if you are going to do a first look or not. There are a million choices that you have to make on your wedding day. I just want to make them easier for you.

 

Have a great day!

 

-Dustin 

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(Dustin Thompson Photography) 2018 california do dustin easy epic first i look photographer photography planning thompson tips wedding https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/2/first-look Sat, 24 Feb 2018 18:00:00 GMT
Picking the right venue for you! https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/2/picking-the-right-venue-for-you

 

Hello everyone!!

This blog post is going to be one of my first posts aimed at making the wedding planning experience as easy as possible for you and your fiancee! It is a pretty crazy time in your life for sure, but don't worry, I'm here for you! Today I will be going over a few things that you should take into consideration when selecting your wedding venue!

1. Customer service
Sadly, I have witnessed a lot of beautiful venues that have horrible customer service. I have seen brides forced to clear out of the bridal suite before the ceremony, due to double booking, and many other unexpected problems. These are all things that you don't want to be dealing with on your special day. I highly recommend that you talk to the coordinators, the managers, and even the owner to make sure that you are happy with their customer service and you have a good rapport with them.

2. What are people saying?
One benefit of planning a wedding in this era of technology, is having access to countlesss reviews! Get ready to read a bunch! Some people can be a little crazy when it comes to nitpicking, so, some of the reviews may need to be taken less seriously. So, if you see anything that seems like a legitimate red flag, then definitely take note!

 

 

3. What’s included?
Some venues include cake, flowers, DJ's, beer and wine etc. Find out what all they offer, and consider the options of doing everything a la carte.

4. Bridal suite
Is there a bridal suite at the venue? If so, how is the lighting? Prep photos can be incredible, but great photos require light. Bridal suites with lots of windows, nice furniture and a mirror are definitely a plus!

5. Parking
What is the parking situation for you and your guests? Definitely consider your older guests that may not be able to walk far distances. Also, is there a good place to park when you unload all of your decor?

6. BYOV (Bring Your Own Vendors)
Does the venue allow you to bring in your own vendors. Some charge a fee to do so. Be sure to ask so you don't have to deal with any unexpected expenses!

 

 

7. Your theme
Does the venue mesh well with your theme? Obviously, if you are looking to do a tropical theme, a venue with a big red barn probably wouldn't be the best choice for you.

8. Photo ops
Are there lots of photogenic locations at and around the venue? I move my couples around a lot during the portrait section of wedding days. Cool walls, beautiful gardens, waterfalls, fountains... etc. are all on the list of things that I love to shoot for beautiful backgrounds.

9.Too much celebrating?
How many ceremonies can the venue have taking place at the same time? If the venue has several ceremony sites, do they at least stagger the start times? The last thing you want is a beautiful moment being ruined by music or cheering coming from another nearby ceremony.  

10. Your guest list
Is the venue able to comfortably fit your guest list? You want your guests to be able to move around freely to mingle and dance at the reception.

11. Can you hear me now?
Does the venue supply music and audio for the ceremony? If not, you might need to plan on having your dj show up a lot earlier which can be pricey. If the venue does supply audio for the ceremony, what kind of mics are they using? Lapel mics are preferred because they get rid of ugly mic stands.

 

 

12. Rain or shine
We all know that Southern California has crazy weather! Warm winters and unpredictable rain showers in the summer. Does the venue have a plan in place in case it rains? If so, what does it cost? I have heard of venues having a tent for rain, but it added at least another $1500. These are things that are way better to know in advance than to find out later!

13. Coordinator included?
Is a day of coordinator included with the venue? A great coordinator can be really helpful. They will keep things on schedule and sometimes they have inside knowledge of photogenic areas at the venue. Make sure you get along really well with them, because the coordinator and your photographer will be with you pretty much all day!

14. Is it photographer friendly?
Obviously, if you are on my website, getting great photos of your big day is important to you. Make sure that the venue doesn't have any crazy restrictions on photography. I have heard of some churches that limit the photographer to the back two rows of the church! Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot that we can do from back there. 

15. Restrooms
Are there restrooms at the venue in a permanent structure or are they portable? We have all been in a stinky port-o-potty and it is NEVER fun. Just imagine trying to do that in a wedding dress!

16. Go with the flow
(This is only if the reception is on site) How is the flow from the ceremony area to the reception area? Are there hills or stairs? Is there transportation for elderly guests? Is it well decorated for the walk between the two locations?

 

 

17. Night vibes
What does the reception area look like at night? Great lighting can make a venue look amazing at night. Some venues will even match the color of your lighting to fit with your theme!

18. Party till the break of dawn!
What is the cut off time at your venue? At least in Southern California pretty much all outdoor venues have a cutoff time of 10 PM. If you want to go later, you might need to look for an indoor reception area.

19. Grand exit
Will the venue allow you to do a grand exit? Some venues don't allow sparklers or confetti, so it is always good to ask if you are planning on doing one!

20. Keeping your guests safe
I love a good party filled reception, but when the night comes to a close, you need to know how to get all of your guests home, or to a hotel, safely. Are there plenty of hotels nearby? is there reliable taxi/Lyft/Uber service in the area?

 

Hopefully, these suggestions will help you pick the perfect spot for an epic celebration! If you need any more help, feel free to ask me questions. Until next time! Have a great day!

 

 

- Dustin

 

All photos from The Pond in Redlands. Check them out, they are amazing! https://www.facebook.com/CaseyOrchards/

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(Dustin Thompson Photography) 2018 california dustin easy epic how made photographer photography planning southern thompson tips to https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/2/picking-the-right-venue-for-you Sat, 10 Feb 2018 18:00:00 GMT
The 2017 Recap! https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/1/the-2017-recap Hello everyone!

I wanted to take a second to thank all of my amazing clients (turned friends) from the bottom of my heart! It is because of you that this crazy journey that I am on is so much fun and so incredibly rewarding! I love being there through all of your greatest moments wether it is your wedding day, your maternity photos or your little ones first birthday. It is so epic watching your families grow! I put together a little slideshow highlighting just a few of my most awesome moments lived through the lens in 2017.  Enjoy!

 

                                             

I cant wait to see all of the amazing things that 2018 brings everyone, and I am more than ready to capture it for you!

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(Dustin Thompson Photography) 2017 dustin thompson photography epic photographer photography recap year in review https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/1/the-2017-recap Sat, 27 Jan 2018 18:00:00 GMT
Welcome to the blog! https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/1/welcome-to-the-blog  

Thank you for taking the time to check out my website. My name is Dustin Thompson, I was born and raised in Riverside, California. And I am absolutely passionate about all aspects of photography. It all started when my parents got me my first Canon Powershot for my 16th birthday present. I took it on virtually every trip and occasion. I pushed that camera to its absolute limits... but there was only so much the little camera could do.

Fast forward to 2011. My world was transformed when I got my first DSLT, the a55! The rulebook had been shattered and only limit now was my imagination. Within one week of receiving the a55, I headed to the famous Antelope Canyon. It was then at the bottom of those huge walls that I realized that behind the camera is where I belong.

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In 2011 I got my first gig shooting and writing for the K.R.O.P.S Blog at the awesome Adams Motorsports Park at their weekly Thursday Drift Nights.

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I made some awesome connections and Dustin Thompson Photography was born!

Since then, it has been an amazing journey of constant learning and honing my skills to be the best photographer that I can possibly be. I do what it takes to excel in every aspect of photography wether I am shooting landscapes, sports, portraits, weddings or any other type of occasion. With the addition of my a99 and a7ll I feel that I will once again be able to dive deeper into the possibilities of what I can capture.

 

In June of 2017 I married the love of my life. Her name is Vy.

 

To say that she is supportive of my photography career would be an understatement! If that wasn't good enough, She is also one of the only people that can keep up with my adventurous side! Together we have explored from the deep winding slot canyons of Antelope Canyon all the way to the cliffs of Angels Landing, And so much in between!

 

Here are some more quick facts about me:

 

  • I have a major sense of humor that I love to incorporate into my work
  • I love traveling and seeing new places
  • I have 2 amazing little fur babies named Foxy and Kopi.

       

  • I love Groupon adventures! So far we have done trapeze lessons, hang gliding lessons, mini submarine rides, pottery classes, falconry classes, indoor skydiving and driven real race cars!

 

 

My cameras have given me some amazing opportunities! Here are some of the highlights!

 

 

Featured drifting coverage on Everthingdrift.com, Krops.com, Amdrift.com and Youdrift.com

 

Published in 5.0 mustang magazine

 

Event photographer at Emce

 

Event photographer at The Dirt Series

 

Event photographer at Formula Drift

 

Popphoto.com photo of the day 2 times

 

Featured on Petapixel

 

Featured on Boredpanda.com

 

Teacher on the Youtube channel Theshutterschool

 

Featured in Xplorzine April- 2015

 

Featured in Digitalfoto magazine - November 2015

 

Featured in International Model and Photographer Magazine – July 2013

 

Filmed reviews for Imageonetv

 

Exclusive photographer for the Capistrano Connections academy since 2012

 

Photographed events for the city of Lake Elsinore as well as the City of Murietta

 

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In future blog posts I hope to give helpful hits and tips for anyone planning a big event or wedding! In the mean time you can follow me on instagram if you want to see daily uploads of some of my favorite shots!

The Dustin Thompson Photography Instagram page

Have a great day!!

 

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(Dustin Thompson Photography) adventurous dustin thompson photography introduction photography southern california https://www.dustinthompsonphotography.com/blog/2018/1/welcome-to-the-blog Wed, 24 Jan 2018 05:13:16 GMT