How long have you been a photographer?
I started photography 7 years ago, right after College. I worked for another photographer during a summer, however, I could not make any decisions, I did not have the chance to exploit my own ideas. So I quickly had a thirst for independence. I have now been a freelancer for 6 years, which enables me to use my artistic side as I wish to.
What has led you to this (education, jobs, knowledge, family business etc. ..) ?
I was already very creative when I was younger but i originally wanted to go into psychology because I like helping people. Even if I liked helping, it was not necessarily what interested me the most. At the age of 17 years a guidance counsellor helped me see it. I like art and i am very creative, photography has allowed me to flourish as a person. I became who i am because of photography. It's in me! With photography I have the impression to help people, because it helps me to give them a little more confidence, for them to see from a different angle and to learn to love themselves, which brings me back to the part of me that wants to help others. Be with the world and be able to exploit my artistic side, I could not ask for more!
What do you like most about what you do and why?
I think that the biggest reward in the end, is that my clients are happy and satisfied. I have the impression to change people's lives, to give them more than a simple photo. The greatest paycheck is to see that people appreciate my work and that they allow me to enter in their intimacy, the feeling of being close to them, to be able to develop a relationship of trust with my clients. What I like the most is the gratitude and to see how my work is appreciated.
What is your strength (personal and business) ?
My strength is mainly my beautiful personality; I consider that I have a lot of talent also, but what really charms my clients when first meeting me, is definitely who I am. I am very organized, cheerful and passionate, this allows my clients to be well prepared and thus minimize waste of time. I have a good ability to put my clients at ease. I believe it is because of these qualities that my customers feel quickly fulfilled and reassured . They feel that it's their day even if I impose a little to take some photos that have to be done. I have a professional and organized approach.
Do you have any anecdotes to tell us (the most touching experience, the funniest etc. .) since you have been in business? There are times where I have been very touched, i even cried a few times as I was hiding behind my camera to avoid anyone seeing me, for example when a speech is truly touching, very intimate and personal to the family who get to me sometimes. Even if I don't really know the people who are in the wedding, they make emotions surface and that is also what I like about my work, to have the privilege of living these intimate and magical moments. It is also what gives meaning to my work, to be able to capture these small special moments.
Why is your business a place of reference for future newlyweds?
I think that because I'm in touch with the people and the photos, my opinion is very important to my clients. Much of what is in the wedding is visual; they want to have nice photos and the details in the photos are rather important, but they don't always know how to do it. They will identify to the photographer who will enable them to have good ideas and things that they would not have thought of by themselves. Therefore I am a good reference for the visual aspect. Also, being with them throughout the day, they relate to me and rely a lot on my judgment and my ideas. We create together a schedule for the photos since I am with them the whole time. This often helps them to know what time they will need this or that. After nearly a hundred marriages, I believe that I am able to meet the needs of my clients and the questions they have.
A novelty in your company:
I have been doing a lot of Boudoir photos for about 2 years now. Brides love to give this little gift to their spouse just before the wedding or the very same day; this allows the future bride to live a wonderful moment for themselves and the future husband loves this kind of sexy gift. I also offer bachelorette parties. Engagement photo sessions, so before the wedding, to be able to have a photo of the newlyweds in the guestbook, where guests write messages, or a frame for when guests arrive at the reception hall. Several of my clients often call me a few months or years after their wedding to make family or maternity photos, which allows them to have their history in photo year after year, and I admit that I love it.
How much time before their wedding, should couples meet with you and why?
I think that it depends of each couple, some are more comfortable with booking a long time in advance. While there are other people who start planning 5-6 months before the wedding, which, in my opinion is a little tight. To each his own, but the later the planning is started there are less chances that your date will be available; being more in advance allows you a better choice. The same for a reception hall or other services, if you really want to be able to choose a photographer. It's better be a year in advance to have the service that is better suited for you. In addition this allows you to be better organized for both aspects, the course of events and the monetary side.
What is the average price for your products/services?
In high season, the rate starts at 1450$ for a half day and the clients can adapt this package according to their needs by adding hours and products. The basic package includes 4 hours of service on site the wedding day, but also includes the time spent after in post-production and prior for the meeting before the wedding for which I go to the future newlywed's home in the evening, the week and sometimes even during the week-end if my schedule allows it. These meetings allow us to target the needs and having piece of mind. Therefore, the basic a package includes: the meeting with the clients before the wedding at the time and place agreed upon, 4 hours of taking photos the day of the wedding, process the images, as well as a CD which is returned to them after the wedding including an unlimited number of photos and the rights to print these photos as they wish, although I do offer the prints if they want an all-inclusive service.
What are the common mistakes made by the future newlyweds during their wedding planning? How could they prevent these mistakes?
To not delegate enough certain tasks, which sometimes can ensure a lack of time for photos; to take quality photos there must be time. What I am tempted to say to the future newlyweds, is to use the as much as possible the bridesmaids, they are also there to help you during your day. There is a need to trust the people who surround you, this avoids to run out of time and also additional unnecessary stress.
Three tips you can offer future newlyweds:
What are the latest trends?
The boudoir is coming back, vintage also. What I am doing more and more is the 'first look', to break the tradition and to allow the future newlyweds to see themselves before walking down the aisle. It gives me an opportunity to take pictures of these very intimate moments, to capture their reactions and emotions when they see themselves and this in all tranquillity. But we'll talk more in details on my chronicle.
Choose the photographer that suits you most, personality, look and ideas. To choose someone that you feel comfortable with and have confidence in, it is very important to have a good complicity with your photographer.
Also, if I can give one last advice to the future newlyweds, tell your guests to leave their camera and cell phones at home or put them away and just enjoy the day. Don't forget that there is already a photographer on site, we enjoy a lot more the present moment when don't look through a lens ... and people are nicer in photos when they are listening and talking instead of hiding behind a cell phone!
Name of the expert: Isabelle JettéTitle: PhotographerCompany: Isabelle Jetté PhotographeTelephone: 514-704-4828e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgInternet Site: www.isabellejette.comFacebook www.facebook.com/isabellejettephoto