Hello Productions

Pittsburgh Wedding and Event Planners

Real Life Experiences of Hello Productions’ Intern: Interviewing Pittsburgh’s Wedding Photographers August 29, 2014

Intern Blog Tagline

Your wedding photographer is one of the most important vendors that you’ll hire for your big day. A team of vendors will work together to create your vision, but the photographer will capture everything as it comes together and provide you with keepsakes for a lifetime. Each photographer has their own unique style and you should consider several items when selecting a photographer. Are you looking for artsy images or classical shots? Is experience important to you? How large is your budget?


We interviewed three of Pittsburgh’s top wedding photographers who we work with regularly. Be sure to visit their websites for more details and photographs.


Josh Mariana Photography



Q: How long have you been a wedding photographer?
A: I have been photographing weddings professionally for six years.


Q: What is your favorite part about being a photographer?
A: My favorite part about doing what I do is the interaction with clients. All of our packages except one include an engagement session, so it’s really great to hang out with them and get to know them outside the wedding environment. By the time their wedding comes along, we’re good friends and we truly get to experience their special day together. And of course make some great images along the way.


Q: What kind of training do you have?
A: I learned the very basics of photography shooting film for a high school photography class some 20 years ago. Other than that I am mostly self-taught. There are some great books available that helped with the technical side of things, but the most important aspect of good photography is the interaction. It’s about being genuinely interested in your clients’ stories and helping them feel comfortable. Working with them so that they feel natural and calm in from of the camera. Luckily for me that part just sort of came naturally.


Q: Summer is full of weddings, when do you recommend booking a photographer for a summer wedding?
A: Most of our clients book 12-18 months in advance, so the Summer season is usually booked (or close to booked up) by early Fall of the previous year. For example most of the free consults I’m doing at this time (late spring/early summer 2014) are booking for June-October 2015. There are always exceptions however, as I still have a couple of dates for the second half of this year (2014). If couples really want to have their choice of preferred vendors though, it’d be wise to get the ball rolling ~15 months in advance to ensure availability.


Q: How long does it take for you to get your photos back to the clients?
A: Quick turnaround is a big deal for me. Most of my wedding clients will have their gallery available within two weeks of their wedding date, many times inside a week and before they return from their honeymoon. We give ourselves a little more time than that in our contracts in case of technical issues/computer failure/etc, but in general wedding photo processing takes top priority over the myriad other responsibilities that come with running a photography business.


Q: What kind of photo is your favorite to take at a wedding?
A: I really enjoy the time I get alone with just my couples after the ceremony. We always do the traditional family and bridal parties photos, and those can definitely be fun. However I encourage all of my clients to plan on 30-60 minutes to have just to themselves. While that time is there for us to get creative, modern portraits of the bride and groom, it also serves the double purpose of giving them a chance to relax, to take a breath, to just “be” married for the first time, away from everyone else. Our shooting style is very relaxed so that helps create a more stress-free time before the craziness of the reception starts up!


Q: How do you get the word out about your business?
A: I rely mostly on blog interviews. Seriously though, most of my clients come from word-of-mouth referrals, which I think speaks volumes about our service, quality and more than anything, the end results. I also get plenty of leads from some of the bigger wedding website networks we advertise on such as theknot.com (voted Best Of three years running) and
Wedding Wire (Bride’s Choice award both years we’ve advertised there), but as time goes on I rely less and less on those sources due to the number of referrals I get, and I have our amazing roster of previous clients to thank for that!!


The Brand Studio



Q: How long have you been a wedding photographer?
A: We have been photographing weddings together since 2006.


Q: What is your favorite part about being a photographer?
A: There are many elements of being a wedding photographer that keep us inspired and challenged on a weekly basis, but the most rewarding aspect is hearing back from our couples after they’ve received their photos and album.


Q: What kind of training do you have?
A: We both come from a fine arts background, so our training in photography started with film. John Pascarella received his Master of Fine Arts degree from West Virginia University. John has taught fine art and photography at West Virginia University, Youngstown State University, and Washington and Jefferson College. Sean Blair received his Master of Fine Arts degree from West Virginia University, where he served as an adjunct instructor of art from 2007-2008.


Q: Summer is full of weddings, when do you recommend booking a photographer for a summer wedding?
A: The majority of inquires we receive for summer weddings are about 12 months ahead of the wedding date. Getting an earlier start, even by just a few months, makes it more likely that we’ll still be available.


Q: How long does it take for you to get your photos back to the clients?
A: In the week following the wedding, we post previews and a slideshow on our blog. For a Saturday wedding, those previews are typically posted on Wednesday, just 4 days after the wedding. On Monday of the following week, we have the initial album design ready, and the complete proof gallery is available that Wednesday. Our couples have full online access to photos in less than two weeks!


Q: What kind of photo is your favorite to take at a wedding?
A: Our emphasis is always on creating elegant and timeless images that connect with modern brides. We call it “modern classic” – sophisticated images, rooted in the traditions and history of film photography, updated for a fresh and contemporary style.


Q: How do you get the word out about your business?
A: Word of mouth recommendations from our couples and other wedding professionals we’ve worked with account for most of the inquiries we receive. We also maintain listings on the major wedding websites.


Randi Voss Photography



Q: How long have you been a wedding photographer?
A: I started my wedding photography business in 2007. I’m in my seventh year as a wedding photographer.


Q: What is your favorite part about being a photographer?
A: I love that there are so many interesting people and events to photograph on a wedding day. A wedding is a very special day in someone’s life, and I work hard to capture important moments, beautiful portraits, overall mood, and candid photos of people having fun.


Q: What kind of training do you have?
A: Most of the training that I use today is self-taught or learned from other colleagues in my industry. Formally, I have a minor in “Photography and Digital Imaging” from Carnegie Mellon.


Q: Summer is full of weddings, when do you recommend booking a photographer for a summer wedding?
A: I recommend booking as soon as a couple is sure of their wedding date.


Q: How long does it take for you to get your photos back to the clients?
A: I show a preview of the images within a week of the wedding and all photos are shared 4-6 weeks after the wedding.


Q: What kind of photo is your favorite to take at a wedding?
A: When the couple is walking together for the first time at the end of the ceremony. All smiles!


Q: How do you get the word out about your business?
A: My best advertisers are my past clients. A personal recommendation from a happy couple is the best endorsement I could ask for.


If you’re in need of a photographer for your wedding or event, contact one of these photographers and you won’t be disappointed!


Kristen Elgin

Hello Productions Intern, 2014


Kristine Elgin was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and relocated to Pittsburgh last August. She attended Oregon State University and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in New Media Communications.


She has always loved working events and is excited to continue learning under Colleen Geletko as her summer intern. Her favorite part about working events is seeing all the details come together and how happy everyone is with the outcome.


Fabulous Anniversary Party Ideas for Any Milestone August 13, 2014

Source: blog.divaentertains.com

Source: blog.divaentertains.com

Know a special couple who will be celebrating an anniversary soon? Do you and your siblings want to do something special for your parents’ anniversary? Or are you recently married and you want to throw your own anniversary party? We have some unique and fun wedding anniversary party ideas to inspire you. And keep in mind that the Hello Productions’ staff is always available to help you plan and execute your event!


1st – Host a dinner party that is catered for the couple at their house. You can either hire a local caterer or have each couple bring a different course. Send the couple away for a few hours and make sure to set the table with all the dishes and platters they got as wedding gifts but haven’t had a chance to use yet. Watch the couple’s wedding video, look through the wedding photos and relive the fun memories from the wedding day. And don’t forget to secure a few guests to help with the clean up!


5th – Have each guest bring their favorite spirit and provide plenty of mixers, fun glasses and garnishes. Put out appetizers and put on some good tunes while you have each guest or couple come up with a new drink to celebrate the couple. As the host, take photos of each couple’s drink and jot down the recipe and any story the couple may share connected to the drink. Use a website like Shutterfly to create a cocktail recipe book, complete with photos and stories, as a gift to the couple. (You may find that it turns out so well everyone will want a copy!)


10th – Have a formal dinner party or rent out a restaurant for the couple, inviting their closest friends and family members. There’s a good chance there isn’t anything left of their original wedding cake, but ask a local baker to create a replica of their wedding cake. Supply them with photos of the cake and fill in any other details for them. Don’t forget to duplicate the shape, size, layers, decorative elements and topper!


15th – After 15 years, your guests of honor might appreciate a casual, backyard anniversary party. A barbeque or luau-themed party is perfect for including kids (and special pets) in the celebration. Remember those games you played at the bridal shower? Bring some of them back and include the guys and kids!


20th – For 20 years, do something unique for the couple (and maybe a few close friends or family members), such as a painting, pottery or cooking class. Many places will allow you to have a private party, pick your craft and bring your own beer and wine.


30th – After 30 years, it’s a good time to recreate the anniversary couple’s honeymoon. This could be at someone’s house or a favorite restaurant and include themed food and drinks. Find photos of them from the honeymoon and work them into the centerpieces or include them in your decorations. Did something special happen during their honeymoon, such as a musical serenade or a photo shoot? Hire musicians to serenade the couple as a surprise or set up a “photo booth” with the background and props to match their destination.


50th – The 50th is the “gold” anniversary and the year to go all out. Honor your favorite couple with a surprise party. Ask close friends and family members to help with the guest list. Have fun things around the room for your guests to look at such as:
– A timeline of the things they’ve done during their marriage (kids, trips, etc.)
– Facts about what things cost 50 years ago, who was popular, etc.
– A playlist of songs from the year they were married.
– Old (and new) photo albums
– Have numbered blank cards (1 through 50) and ask people to write their favorite memories of the couple


If you need help planning an anniversary party, give Hello Productions a call today! www.helloproductions.com


Famously Fabulous Ideas for a Destination Wedding August 4, 2014

Filed under: Hello Details — Hello Productions @ 9:10 pm
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With summer on everyone’s mind, we thought back to some of our favorite celebrity weddings and their exotic destinations! Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or honeymoon, or just daydreaming, here are some famously fabulous ideas to get you started!


Florence, Italy

Kim Kardashian and Kayne West celebrated their love from Paris, France, to Florence, Italy, finally exchanging vows in the latter city.


Photos: http://www.usmagazine.com, http://www.google.com/maps/


Kona, Hawaii

Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green said aloha to guests and “I do” is the Hawaiian district of Kona.


Photos: http://www.royalcaribbean.com, http://www.usmagazine.com


Mediterranean Sea

Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz tied the knot on land in Corsica and then headed out to sea on a private yacht to celebrate with friends and family.


Photo: http://www.usmagazine.com


Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck exchanged vows at Parrot Cay, a luxury resort set on its own private island.


Photos: http://www.huffingtonpost.com, http://www.comohotels.com/parrotcay


Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Melissa Rycroft may not have found love on the Bachelor, but she did in her husband Ty Stickland, who she married on a small island near Cancun.


Photo: http://www.usmagazine.com


Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Curtis Stone and Lindsay Price were married in Spain, at the Hilton Sa Torre Mallorca Resort.


Photos: http://www.hilton.com, http://www.usmagazine.com


Zurich, Switzerland

Tina Turner and Erwin Bach held their special day at a private residence on Lake Zurich.


Photos: http://www.usmagazine.com, http://www.britannica.com


Laucala Island, Fiji

Elle Macpherson and Jeffrey Soffer exchanged rings and vows at the Laucala resort on an island off the coast of Fiji.


Photos: http://www.lhw.com, http://www.usmagazine.com


What exotic location do you have in mind?