#TBT Real Bride: Ebony | Leighton DaCosta, Savannah Wedding Photographer

The finished shot!

The finished shot!

Autumn 2010, a few months before her wedding, one of my brides, Ebony, decided to take part in a formal bridal dress session. I've always loved seeing large, fine art prints of brides. There was just something majestic and regal about it. 

This was my first time working with the amazingly talented, Timothy Cabell, of Savannah, GA. Timothy is an award winning and internationally competitive Hair and Makeup Artist. The session took place at the SCAD stables, located just outside of Savannah on the South Carolina side of the border. My wonderful lighting assistant was Hair stylist and educator, Shameka LeCounte, of Jacksonville Florida. Dress and accessories provided by David's Bridal Savannah.

Timothy adds the finishing touches to Ebony's makeup

Timothy adds the finishing touches to Ebony's makeup

Behind the Scenes, Shameka holds the light above Ebony's head

Behind the Scenes, Shameka holds the light above Ebony's head

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Survey Question #19: When do I have to pay?

With weddings and photography sessions getting more and more expensive, many photographers are offering flexible payment solutions it's always nice to know when the money is due. 

With weddings and events, most photographers will charge a retainer and reservation fee. This can range from a fixed amount to the full amount, but on average, what I have  seen is that the retainer is usually in the neighborhood of 50%. The reservation fee/retainer is usually nonrefundable and locks you in, as well as your photographer in for that date. The balances can be due before, day of, or after the event. I have a policy of 60 days prior to the wedding/event. The reason why, is because there are so many things going on in the last two months of wedding planning, I want to minimize the financial stress during that time as much as possible. 

The payoff date may change for portrait and corporate sessions, or on a case by case basis. 

The thing that clients should keep in mind is to KNOW the installment schedule if your photographer offers one, and to pay on time, or early if possible. Ask your photographer if they have an automatic payment plan, and if there are any incentives for using one.

Tips.

  1. Always ask for an installment plan if it will make it easier for you to hire the photographer. You might be surprised at the flexibility.
  2. Give yourself plenty of time. The longer the period between booking and the event or session, the more manageable the installments can be. 
  3. Consider alternative funding lines. If your photographer accepts Paypal, you can use a program such as the "Buy Now, Pay Later" program which pays your photographer immediately, but offers you up to 6 months, interest free. 
  4. When possible pay as much, as early as possible. 

What are some tips that you have to share? 

LD

 

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Kenisha's New Head Shots!

Kenisha's New Head Shots!

Head shots are important tools for letting people know who you are before they even meet you. Consider updating your head shots regularly, and definitely with any major physical change. Remember, while a smile is pleasing to most people, it is more about the eyes and the engagement. Be yourself, and let that personality come through!

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Kenisha's Head Shot Session

Kenisha Makeup: Davianne Rivera Photographer: Leighton DaCosta

Kenisha
Makeup: Davianne Rivera
Photographer: Leighton DaCosta

One of my favorite sessions to capture outside of weddings and fashion shoots, are head shot sessions. When given enough time, they are sooo much fun. Whether it is for an actor or model portfolio, or for a LinkedIn profile, I cannot stress the importance of a good, professional head shot. We all want the first impression to be the best impression. 

Kenisha Makeup: Davianne Rivera Photography: Leighton DaCosta

Kenisha
Makeup: Davianne Rivera
Photography: Leighton DaCosta

I absolutely loved every moment of Kenisha's session. Once again accompanied by Davianne Rivera, Jacksonville Makeup Artist. Because of busy schedules, this session took place at the studio early one rare Sunday morning, but the energy was absolutely as lively as can be. One of the things I have learned to make great portraits is that the subject must be comfortable and that there must be an engagement and connection between the subject the camera, AND the photographer as well. One thing I LOVED about this session, is not ONCE did I ever have to ask Kenisha to smile! What a beautiful smile it is!

Take a look below at the video link to see more images from this session, and feel free to contact me to schedule YOUR head shot session. Thanks. 

LD

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Makeover Session in Charleston, SC with Misherald

Misherald Makeup and Hair by Nivi Grimball @nigrimball Photography by Leighton DaCosta @LeightonDPhoto Restoration on King, Charleston, SC

Misherald
Makeup and Hair by Nivi Grimball @nigrimball
Photography by Leighton DaCosta @LeightonDPhoto
Restoration on King, Charleston, SC

Misherald-Head-Shot-Leighton-DaCosta-Photographer

Nothing makes us feel better sometimes more than a "do over." A fresh start to the day, to life, or to our image. Think of it. Ever left the barber shop or hair salon with this amazing cut that you just cant stop looking at every reflective surface you pass by at yourself? Car mirror, storefront mirror, spoon at Waffle House, even the security cameras at the convenience store; you just have to get a look at yourself. A new cut, look, or image can be a great boost to self confidence, but more so, it is a great start at giving people a new view of YOU. 

A new look makeover is a great start when we reach different milestones in our lives, such as birthdays and even job promotions.

 

I was so happy when Misherald, or "Missy," as she is known to many, contacted me about doing a new look makeover. With some awesome life events happening in her life right now, she wanted to take control over her look. I suggested that she try a "Boardroom to Bedroom" makeover session. Essentially combining, the look of the everyday "Corporate Warrior," with the stunning looks of the temptress who likes to play hard as well. 

While the process may seem simple, it does get pretty detailed. I was fortunate that Missy had a few months to prepare for her session. Not only did this allow for anticipation and excitement to develop, but time allowed for great planning, which allowed for great execution. Great execution leads to a great experience.  

(TIP: Many photographers offer installment options to help make a makeover session more budget friendly. If you have several months to plan, always ask if there are options to break up installments. You may find that this increases the options that you have involved in your makeover, such as location and wardrobe.)

Charleston, South Carolina Hair and Makeup Artist, Nivi Grimball, works attentively at Misherald looking fabulous for her "Boardroom to Bedroom" Makeover.

Charleston, South Carolina Hair and Makeup Artist, Nivi Grimball, works attentively at Misherald looking fabulous for her "Boardroom to Bedroom" Makeover.

Misherald-Makeup-Leighton DaCosta-Photographer

Missy's day started roughly around 10am, at he historic and well awarded, Restoration on King (ROK), where Nivi began to work her magic on her. I enjoy working with cosmetologists that specialize in BOTH hair and makeup, because not only does it give you an excellent backup if needed, but it keeps the team moving at great speed. 
 

On many of my sessions, I like for my clients to be treated like guests, so there are drinks and snacks available for them to sip and munch on while getting ready. The makeup and hair process can take anywhere from 60-120 minutes, depending on the detail of makeup and hair involved. Wardrobe is preselected, and with Missy's session, we went the extra mile of taking her with us as we selected the wardrobe. I feel that this is essential in being able to maintain the new look. The wardrobe for the most part came from Banana Republic. I love BR because they tend to carry clothing that allow you to go from work to play, with only a few changes. If you were looking for a conservative look, you could get 2-4 outfits for well under $500. That's value! 

(TIP: A great wardrobe stylist can run from as little as $300/look to $2500/session. This may be a viable option depending on the expense and detail of the look you are trying to pull off. Often giving you image power of 10-20 times the cost of the stylist. For more budget friendly options, consider shopping at traditional outlets like Brooks Brothers/Banana Republic, or some of the higher end consignment shops in your area.)

Misherald in chic business wear

Misherald in chic business wear

Another thing that I recommend to many of my clients, is to also contact the makeup artist (MUA) before the session to not only get a trial run, but to also schedule a learning class on how to maintain the look they will have from their makeover. All too often, something that we do routinely could be done much better and efficiently if we only knew how. Who better to teach us, than the experts who do it daily? 

(TIP: Look for licensed MUAs and Stylists. They are well worth the investment, and being able to have them on set the whole time during your session will prove to be a great convenience.)



There is nothing more sexy...than FEELING sexy

There is nothing more sexy...than FEELING sexy

 

We ended up doing two looks and a boudoir session afterwards. I must say that she really enjoyed the attention and the pampering. I can't wait to deliver her final album and prints of her session. 

 

 

I want to take this time to Thank the following:

Misherald, for being a great client and supporter.
Nivi Grimball, Makeup Artist:
Restoration on King
Banana Republic
Borrow Lenses for the Profoto B1s that were used.
POST labs for the b/w previews.
The Leaf for letting me use their patio. 


And my awesome wife, for being my personal assistant and getting things done!

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