COVID-19 Awareness

COVID-19 Awareness

First, let me say that our sincere wish and prayers are that all of you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this time of global pandemic.  Please take this seriously and do all that you can to reduce the spread of coronavirus, help your neighbors, and be kind to one another.

At PhotoActive Photography, we are well positioned to stay in business and come out on top of the social distancing measures, greatly restricting all businesses, to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.  So, Lord willing, we are not going anywhere and we’ll see you on the other side of this pandemic.

Having said that, if you have a small scale project, that does not involve in-person interaction, and needs photographic expertise, we are available to help!  We can certainly assist with any project that does not involve human interaction, like product shoots, for example.

We also offer “virtual photo sessions” for your consideration.  Contact us for details on how we might be able to assist you with other projects that involve 1 or 2 people that you know (like family members who are not ill, etc.).  For these virtual photo shoots, we coach you on how to pose and take the pictures, you send us the pictures, we edit them, and get them back to you.  There is no in-person interaction between us – this is all done over the phone and internet.  We can work with you from start to finish on your virtual photo session.  Let us know if you are interested in this and we can go from there!

Be well and we look forward to working with you!

Bride’s shoe

Chuck Jackson is a wedding photographer for PhotoActive Photography in Tampa, FL. Visit http://www.photoactivephotography.com to see wedding images and samples from other photography genres, as well, and contact him about your wedding needs today!

Wedding Planning Tips: Ways to Trim $$$ Off Your Wedding Budget!

Bridesmaids and Flower Girl

We all have a budget for everything we value in life. Weddings, often one of the biggest days of our lives, are no different. In many cases, weddings end up being one of our more expensive budgets outside of homes, education, and automobiles. So being deliberate about what you want vs what you need is very important. Some things you must have for your wedding to be the event you want while other things are what you prefer or would desire for your wedding. There is a difference.  Every wedding must have a location, for example, however you may not need to have a 18 person wedding party, even though you may want to have that many people.  Needs vs Wants. 

So you’ve got a wedding budget that you and your spouse have agreed on or, at least, accepted. I know, we always want a bigger budget – I get it. What’s next? Here are a few things I think are important…

  • First, you should decide the wedding date. In order to save money, consider off-season wedding months like December, January, February and even March for potential dates. November may also be slower for weddings but not as much as December – March. Off-season bookings will cost you less money (supply and demand is in full effect). This may also be impacted by the location of your wedding venue so make sure you do your research ahead of time. 
  • Something else of note is that it is also a good idea to start planning early! I think most professionals recommend 12-14 months in advance of the wedding. If you are thinking of a date that is less than 12 months away, you should consider delaying it just a bit if saving money is a priority for you; again, December through March may be the cheapest wedding months in your area.  Planning earlier is a good idea for a number of reasons:
      1. Extra time to plan allows for more flexibility across the board (for example, dealing with “life” happenings can delay focus on wedding planning so the more time you have padded into the schedule to deal with those unplanned life events, the better),
      2. Early planning makes it easier to change wedding details if something else becomes unavailable or a better option avails itself,
      3. Early planning may also allow you to get better deals on rates,
      4. Planning earlier allows for better research and selection of vendors, etc. on your part – this in turn may also save you money. There is nothing worse than being in a position of planning a wedding 6 months away, not having the venues you want, overpaying for the venue you are left with, and settling for the vendors and services you now must have to make it work.
      5. Some things in life are beyond your control but beginning the wedding planning process early is not one of them. CHOOSE to make your wedding planning process easier AND less costly.
  • Without a doubt, after picking a date, I advise every bride to next secure a good wedding planner. Wedding planners are invaluable partners in the process and their contacts can also help you save money immediately. A good wedding planner will also help you decide between your own wants vs needs. Working with a wedding planner to secure everything from your wedding photography and/or videography, to ceremony and reception venues, to catering, etc., can help you save a considerable amount of money and headache. See my blog post on this important topic here – https://photoactiveone.wordpress.com/2013/09/. Involving wedding planners early in the process make everything else easier and, potentially, cheaper. For example, as a photographer, I am much more willing to negotiate more on price when approached by a wedding planner that I know and have worked with in the past. Relationships matter, relationships matter, relationships matter!
  • The next slate of decisions you need to make should include deciding the number of wedding guests, selecting the venue, researching and booking photographers and videographers (shameless plug: consider PhotoActive Photography), finalizing guest lists, booking DJ/entertainment, getting engagement sessions done (Tip: If possible, get your engagement pictures done by the same photographer you’ve booked, or are considering, for your wedding as this gives you a chance to “kick the tires” and make adjustments if needed), etc. There are many great resources around with great checklists so I have not included an exhaustive list here. The important thing to know is that approaching your wedding planning in a manner that maximizes your budget simply makes common sense (and dollars). Without question, the earlier you start the better.  

To summarize, it is critical to give yourselves plenty of time to plan your wedding. Almost equally important, it is very helpful to hire a good wedding planner to help with the planning and selection of everything else related to your Big Day! If you leave this blog post with nothing else, please do these two things and the rest will fall into place nicely. Best wishes to you in your wedding planning efforts!

The first dance of the Bride and Groom

Chuck Jackson is a wedding photographer for PhotoActive Photography in Tampa, FL. Visit http://www.photoactivephotography.com to see wedding images and samples from other photography genres, as well, and contact him about your wedding needs today!

Summer Weddings: Tips for avoiding a wedding disaster!

Wedding Party

The Wedding Party

We all appreciate and recognize the old addage about steamy “summer love” but here in Florida, summer days can be oppressive.  Due to the heat and humidity, summer weddings can provide challenges above and beyond the normal wedding planning pitfalls.  Additionally, although not officially huricane season, we can be subject to copious amounts of thunderstorms and rain in the summer.

If you are planning a summer wedding here in Florida, where temperatures can be in the 90’s with 100% humidity, here are a few things you need to consider from a practical standpoint…

  1. If planning an outdoor wedding ceremony and reception, make sure the wedding venue has an indoor backup!  Very important that you discuss this early in the venue selection process.
  2. Make sure you factor in the heat!  You and your wedding party should have plenty of fluids throughout the day.  Although everyone needs to take this advice to heart, it is even more important for our couples who are from any state above the Mason-Dixon Line!  Florida folks are more acclimated to the heat but that does not make us immune to dehydration, etc.  I once shot a summer wedding where a bridesmaid actually passed out in the lineup and the groom almost passed out due to the heat – not a fun time.  I was guzzling Gatorade all day to stay hydrated!  So drink lots of fluids (remember that alcohol is a diuretic so it does not count as “fluids”) and take breaks from the heat to avoid dehydration!
  3. Make-up melts in the heat!  Sweat and humidity can destroy the wonderful work that your make-up artists does for you and your bridesmaids.  Having a touch-up kit available throughout the day is critical – especially when you are outside!
  4. Hairstyling is even more supsceptible to summer heat and humidity.  Try to have your hairstylist create styles that are more resistant to frizzy and flat hair caused by summer conditions.  Braids such as French Braids and other creative braiding can do wonders!
  5. It may seem obvious but having a good pair of sunglasses can really be a lifesaver.
  6. Consider picking lighter colors and breathable fabrics (like cotton or linen) to help keep you cooler for summer weddings. There is nothing worse than being in a black tuxedo, in the summer, on the beach with no shade. Don’t do this to your wedding party!

These are a few “hot tips” (pun intended) for you! Consider these when planning your summer wedding!

Chuck Jackson is a wedding photographer for PhotoActive Photography in Tampa, FL. Visit http://www.photoactivephotography.com to see wedding images and samples from other photography genres, as well, and contact him about your wedding needs today!

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Bride and Groom

Need in-studio or on-location bridal sessions? We’ve got what you need!

At PhotoActive Photography we offer bridal sessions in two flavors: A more traditional bridal session we call “Glamourize the Dress” and a “Trash-the-Dress” session.  These sessions offer brides the opportunity to express themselves in ways many of them may not have ever done before.  Brides get to channel their inner diva/model in a fun and glamourous photoshoot that will leave both the bride and groom VERY happy, adding yet another level of excitement to their wedding!

In addition to offering in-studio options, we also provide on-location options for our bridal sessions.  Consider them in your equation when determining what you want/need in your wedding package. These are always a good time so don’t overlook them!

Chuck Jackson is a wedding photographer for PhotoActive Photography in Tampa, FL. Visit http://www.photoactivephotography.com to see wedding images and samples from other photography genres, as well, and contact him about your wedding needs today!

NEW FOR 2020!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!! 

With the New Year comes a new and renewed approach to success!  PhotoActive Photography’s blog will be updated regularly with fresh new content, ideas, and tips for our readers.  Stay tuned for our NEW HOTNESS!

Chuck Jackson is a wedding photographer for PhotoActive Photography in Tampa, FL. Check out http://www.photoactivephotography.com to see wedding images and samples from other photography genres, as well!

 

Wedding Planning Tip #1: Get a Wedding Planner

A few years ago I wrote a blog entitled, “Whatcha, whatcha, whatcha Want?” detailing why investing in a wedding planner is a great idea for optimizing your wedding experience.  It was one of my most popular posts – and for good reason.  Having said that, I think it is time for an update…

Brides: When planning your wedding, get a wedding planner. PLEASE!  Here’s a recap.  Wedding planners should be one of the FIRST things you secure when beginning your wedding journey.  I cannot stress this enough! A good wedding planner is worth their weight in GOLD and even from me, the photographer, I cannot emphasize enough how helpful they are to making your ENTIRE wedding experience more enjoyable; wedding photography included (shameless plug).

Wedding planners can help you with everything from venue selection, to wedding day agenda, to wedding dresses, to food selection for the reception, to wedding photography/videography (yes, another shameless plug), to coordinating everything, to DJ and entertainment, to invitations, to everything wedding related. But also important, wedding planners can help you SAVE money based upon their contacts and experience guiding Brides through the process.

If you are getting married in the Tampa Bay area, check out my website for some of my “Preferred Partners” – there you will find a few Wedding Planners that I’d recommend from my personal experience.

I said it once and I will say it again…

Wedding Planner = Happier Wedding Day

On another note, CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SUPERBOWL 52 CHAMPION PHILADELPHIA EAGLES!!!

Chuck Jackson is a wedding photographer for PhotoActive Photography in Tampa, FL. Check out http://www.photoactivephotography.com to see wedding images and samples from other photography genres, as well!

2018 Trend: Embracing Smaller Wedding Parties

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Large wedding parties are seen by many as a “status symbol” of sorts.  Many of us want to have the most grandiose wedding possible, right?  I get it – allow as many of our friends and family to participate in our wedding day.  Admittedly, in some cases, having large wedding parties is unavoidable.  10+ Bridesmaids, 10+ Groomsmen, etc. are just required due to the size of families and their circles.

Looking back at 2017, larger wedding parties (10+) were oft the norm but many expect wedding parties in 2018 to be smaller.  Where we can cut those numbers in half (4, 5, or 6 at the high end – including maid-of-honor), I think this expected 2018 trend just makes more sense.  Here’s why…

Personally, I think smaller wedding parties are actually better for a number of reasons.  First, it is more intimate and easier for the couple to manage. It’s much easier dealing with 4 bridesmaids/groomsmen as a Bride/Groom opposed to 13 bridesmaids/ groomsmen, right? Additionally, the more you have, the less important they are individually and the more money it costs for the Bride/Groom and/or the bridesmaids/ groomsmen.  From a photography standpoint, pictures with you and 5 or 6 bridesmaids takes a lot less time than if you have 10+ bridesmaids. As such, photographers can actually focus more time on you with each of them, as well – quality over quantity.

When planning your wedding, save time, money, and proverbial “wedding party drama” by narrowing down the wedding party list to your most important/ indispensable subset of friends and family. For most, I think this is sage advice. Let me know your thoughts and experiences!

Chuck Jackson is a wedding photographer for PhotoActive Photography in Tampa, FL. Check out http://www.photoactivephotography.com to see stylized wedding images and samples from other photography genres, including events, portraits, and modeling, as well!

Make your Wedding Day about YOU!

In discussions with Brides and Grooms, they often tell me that their wedding day is more about their friends and family moreso than themselves (the Bride and Groom). As such, they may say they do not want to be in the spotlight, want to limit pictures they take alone, alleviate a first look opportunity, limit first dance time, etc. While I understand the selfless sentiments behind this, folks, I believe this is a mistake.

Your wedding day should be YOUR WEDDING DAY and the focus should be on you – the Bride and Groom. Everything and everyone else is ancillary.  Yes, we want children, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, friends, and family in the pictures – of course, all of that. But in my mind, there is a priority order…

  1. Bride and Groom are first. Period.
  2. Wedding Party (Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Flower Girls, Ring Bearers, etc.),
  3. Immediate family members,
  4. Extended family and close friends,
  5. Everyone and everything else.

Pamper yourselves on your wedding day! Be the focus of attention and let your Big Day be about YOU! You have the rest of your lives for everyone else. Just my thoughts on it…

Chuck Jackson is a wedding photographer for PhotoActive Photography in Tampa, FL. Check out http://www.photoactivephotography.com to see stylized wedding images and samples from other photography genres, including events, portraits, and modeling, as well!

Bridal Portraits on Wedding Day

A quick tip for Brides: Your wedding photographer can capture some truly BEAUTIFUL Bridal portraits of you on your Wedding Day! One caveat: We must have enough time and a suitable location to do them.

Here are some Bridal portraits from weddings shot by PhotoActive Photography – all during the Bride’s preparation on wedding day.

It doesn’t take long to do this. After the Bride is ready to go, just about 5-7 minutes is long enough to capture some lovely imagery that she can have of her looking her best. At PhotoActive Photography, we like windows and natural lighting but we can make it happen wherever good settings and light exist.

Chuck Jackson is a wedding photographer for PhotoActive Photography in Tampa, FL. Check out http://www.photoactivephotography.com to see stylized wedding images and samples from other photography genres, as well!

Should you order prints for your wedding photos?

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Bridal preparation

Bridal preparation

~ Written by Chuck Jackson

Most photographers offer an eclectic mix of wedding packages to fit all wedding budgets. Although most modern photographers offer clients edited wedding images digitally on DVD, USB drive, or some other media, consider packages which include photo albums and loose prints, as well. Why do we still do this in the digital age? Because more often than not, most of your digital images will never be printed and remain on your PC and wedding DVDs forever – even after telling ourselves we will print them once we get the digitals. Why should we care? We can simply share them on social media or on our family website for the world to see, right?

There are 3 main reasons I urge printing wedding images on the front end…

1) There is still something special about the portability of having a 4×6 print of your handsome groom or beautiful bride taped to your mirror or on your office desk in a lovely frame. There is still something magical about giving a loved one an 8×10 print of you and your spouse from your wedding day. Having a beautifully designed coffee table book of your wedding day to show off to your friends and family when they visit your home is one of the best reasons to order a photo album. Sharing your wedding images on social media is great but you cannot touch and feel it – which brings everything to another level.

2) Just ask yourself, “How many of my vacation photos are still in that same ‘My Pictures’ folder that have gone un-printed?” While we have the best intentions to print the ones we love most, we are all busy and sometimes we never get around to doing it (and trust me – I am guilty of this, too).

3) Additionally, as a keepsake your wedding album can be passed down to future generations as a tangible reminder of your love and dedication to family. If the power goes out, you can still view your album/prints! Computer crashes, you can still view your album/prints! Don’t like sharing via social media, you lend/give albums/prints!

Consider investing in a custom designed photo album and loose prints at the front end and you will be happy you did!

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Bridal

Chuck Jackson is a wedding photographer for PhotoActive Photography in Tampa, FL. Check out http://www.photoactivephotography.com to see wedding images and samples from other photography genres, as well!