Kelsey Kinard is the owner and lead photographer of Lovefusion Photo. Well established in the Central Pennsylvania area, she has perfected her craft. Photographing for about 9 years now, she has evolved, changed her style and finds herself to be the type of person you hire, but soon find yourself befriending. Her lax style ensures any client a fun and stress-free event.
She prides herself on her ability to offer assurance and quality, while also getting the perfect shot. In turn, she answered a few questions we had about her and her process when photographing weddings.
Question: What do you love most about shooting weddings?
KK: The biggest thing is being able to capture the love between two people. It’s different with everybody. Everybody is unique. They all have their different love story.
I really try to play on peoples’ natural reactions to each other by setting them up in a way that they can just laugh at each other [and] look at each other and smile. It’s just a great way to capture how they really feel about each other.
Not even just the couple themselves, […] you get to see how moms, dads, aunts uncles react to each other. You get to see all the emotions that come. I love to be able to capture those special moments.
People don’t realize usually in those moments, somebody is photographing them, because they’re just so caught up in the moment, and that’s when I get a chance to take some really cool shots and moments that really are just going to be cherished for a long time. We are right along with you guys feeling those emotions as well, so if you’re crying, we’re probably crying too.
We don’t just take pictures, we are experiencing with you and I really think that’s what I love the most about weddings. I get to be involved in these really special moments and I get to capture them in a way that’s going to be really special to everybody.
There’s a lot to love honestly. Weddings are so much fun!
Question: Do you have a second photographer or assistant?
KK: Yes! Everytime I shoot a wedding, unless I work out some sort of more basic package with somebody, I will always have a second photographer with me. It’s just really nice to have a few people to cover your wedding.
I almost always have the same person with me because he’s just been so reliable, he does a great job, and he’s on the same page as me.
It’s awesome having a guy second shooter because he can go with the guys. They always get along so well, he just ends up making friends with everybody. It’s just great and that’s something that we try really hard to do.
It’s not just about being people with cameras. We try to be artists, but also, people who are really friendly and people who are also really professional at the same time, so you can get all the things that you need taken care of. But feel like a friend’s doing it. His names Sam and he’s usually with me for almost all of my weddings. He’s just been very essential to my team.
I will always have a second shooter unless someone works out some sort of package where it’s just me because of budget or it’s just an off day. Usually at that point, since it’s just me, I like to have someone with me. So that would be the “assistant” part of things. My husband comes along with me, just to kind of help me out with whatever I may need. There’s always something that needs to be done on a wedding day.
It’s extremely important to have a second photographer. There’s just so much more that you can capture and while I’m focused on the bride and groom, kind of setting them up in a certain way, [Sam] can take a little bit more candid photos than I can.
Question: Do you carry any backup equipment?
KK: Absolutely! Over the years I have gathered different equipment, just things that I have found really work for me. I always have a bunch of extra stuff, but having a bunch of lenses is just sometimes too much. Having a few of those essential lenses that really work well for what you want to do and your style is great, but also there’s backups just incase something happens.
I carry two cameras. One is to get close-up shots and the other one is to get those wide shots. You don’t want to have to constantly switch back and forth like changing lenses and all that stuff.
I have backup equipment of all kinds of stuff, just incase things happen, which happens sometimes. It’s pretty rare that something happens, but when you’re shooting a lot of weddings, your equipment starts to get a little worn out sometimes. Or, just depending what the terrain is like and stuff, you might accidentally drop something. We want to make sure we always have backups and me and my second photographer ALWAYS have multiples of things so incase something happens, we are good to go!
You can rest assured we will be well prepared.
Question: How far in advance do you recommend brides contact you to book your wedding?
KK: It kind of depends on the time of year, I would think. If you’re looking to plan a Fall wedding, you should probably do it as soon as you get engaged unless you’re thinking a couple years of engagement. [You should book] at least a year ahead of time.
I always book up the most and the quickest in October. As we all know, Fall is everybody’s favorite time of year and its more cool outside so then you can do some more things outside.
There’s times I have six months or so and dates are open. Again, that just depends on the time of year. If it’s a little bit earlier than a year, you might be able to get away with six months, say you get engaged in Fall and want to get married in the Spring. That’s possible. It’s always going to be easier to find a date at least a year ahead of time.
There’s a lot of [photographers] out there, but there’s only so many that are going to fit the style that you like. You want to make sure you have plenty of time to search for that person, and they have it open.
Someone will be like, “Hey do you have this date open,” and I have booked it quite awhile ago. And sometimes I hear people say, “Oh man, I can’t find somebody! I hope I can find somebody,” and I hate that. I feel so bad. I WISH I could be multiple people to do all of these weddings!
If you’re looking for, probably June or October weddings, those are definitely things you want to book a year in advance because those are the dates that usually go the fastest. Those are the times people want to be outside a little bit more. I know everybody’s situation is different and you gotta do what you gotta do, but if you’re able to at least a year or…eight months…maybe. it’s kind of pushing it a little bit, but that’s my suggestion.
Question: What kind of communication do you expect during the wedding process?
KK: It depends a little bit. Usually with me, I try to make everything as simple as possible. I am really all about, excellent excellent, excellent, excellent, I can’t say it enough, customer service. As soon as I see it, I’m applying it right then. I’m making everything very simple, but just like the booking process itself, I put the contract together and I send it to you in an email. You can print it out or fill it out online electronically and sign it, and then send it back to me by either scanning it, taking a picture, or emailing it back. Then pay the deposit. So it’s pretty simple.
We’ll communicate through the whole process as much as you want. You can ask as many questions you want too. I want you to feel comfortable. If you want to do video chats, I do Marco Polo all the time. It’s an amazing app. They call it a video walky-talky. I just go back and forth so you can answer everything in your own time and it gives me more time to explain things. So that whole process is as long as you want it to be. We want you to make a decision, but we want you to be comfortable with it as well because I understand how important a photographer is and wanting to get along with them because they’re going to be with you the entire time.
Usually about a week or two before [the ceremony], we’ll talk about a timeline and go over any details we need to go over last minute.
The communication is really as much as you want to communicate through the whole thing. I know you have plenty of other things you have to work on yourself as far as planning, so once you have the whole photographer thing figured out, I want you to feel comfortable we got it situated and you don’t need to worry.
Question: How do you like to schedule a wedding day?
KK: I don’t 100% schedule everything, but I have recommendations for people. Usually most of the time they’ll go along with my recommendation because they want a professional’s opinion and I know not everybody has done a wedding before.
Depending on what kind of hours you have, […] if you have anywhere from 7-8 hours of coverage with the photographer, seven hours is just a little tight, just depending on what’s going on. Usually what happens is, there’s two types of setups.
There’s the traditional setup, and by that I mean seeing your partner for the first time walking down the isle. That is what most people do, understandably, that’s what we’re used to. That usually would come about an hour and a half to two hours before the ceremony. Getting all those last minute prep shots, getting the shots of the bride getting into the dress and during that time, my prep shooter is off taking pictures of the guys, getting their ties on.
What we try to do is save time after the ceremony, because after the ceremony, you’ve got family photos, the full bridal party, and of course you want to make sure the couple themselves get all of those pictures that they want because you don’t want them to feel rushed. Then we can’t be as creative as we want to be and you guys aren’t going to feel as relaxed.
We try to get the bridesmaids and groomsmen photos out of the way, so coming at least two hours beforehand is usually like not pushing it, but that’s a comfortable time.
After the ceremony, you want to be able to roam the property a little bit and some places that are your favorite depending on what your set up is.
After that, you have at least four hours of the reception and at that point, you can get everything in that’s important. Then you have that time to relax during dinner.
The first look is the other setup, so you’re seeing each other before the ceremony. That usually requires at least three hours beforehand. It’s really important because with the first look, you can get everything done beforehand. So all you have to do after the ceremony is family photos and maybe you want to do extra pictures of the couple. I always say take as many photos of the couple as possible.
Question: What separates you from other photographers?
KK: The big thing for me is, I am not just a person with a camera. I am an artist. I find that most people with cameras, are just that, people with cameras. They might know how they work, and they might know how to get some decent photos, but they’re not looking through the lens in a different mindset.
I try really hard to make sure that we are capturing photos that are just plain and boring. I try to make sure things are artistic and dynamic. Not even just the way that we shoot, also the way that I edit. I think that’s something that really sets me apart from other photographers. there’s just many, many photographers out there who just do not have the mindset of an artist.
I am very passionate about photography. I don’t just like it, I love it. I feel like it’s a part of who I am. I feel really blessed to have that artistic eye and the artistic bones in my body. I see everything differently than everybody else. When I shoot weddings, I want to use a little bit of a different perspective and you can look back on it and be like, “Wow, I never thought about it this way before or have seen it this way before!” and it’s just something extra special.
I strive very hard to provide excellent customer service, be a really friendly person and be someone who is really relatable. I’ve just heard so many terrible stories about other people who hired these photographers who were just rude and were not professional, just leaving when they felt like it. And even after the wedding, not being able to communicate with them and that’s just not how I run my business at all.
I’m someone who you can laugh and joke with on your wedding day, but I know my job and get you some really awesome pictures.
Those are the major things that set me apart from everyone else. I am always striving to become better and to do better in the business side and the artistic side of things. I would love to be able to work with whomever I can to give them some awesome artistic photos.
Question: How long have you been shooting weddings & how many weddings have you photographed?
KK: I’ve been shooting weddings for about eight or nine years. Those first two years were just some small stuff and getting acknowledged and experience, but the last seven years was when I really took my business to the next level and became more established.
I have probably done at least 200 weddings, including every type of wedding, something small to a full on wedding. It’s been awesome. I loved it all. There’ve been so many great experiences at all these weddings that I just love doing. I can’t even believe it’s been that many already. Every single one is special to me.
I’ve been photographing for about 11 years and weddings for about nine and I feel very confident in doing [them], and I hope to do hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds more over the course of my lifetime.
There’s been a lot and I’m really excited to do a whole lot more!
Question: What is included in your standard package and what add-ons do the more expensive packages include?
KK: My smallest package is really pretty basic. Some people just want to do a few hours. It actually starts at seven hours. It really just comes with the coverage itself (the two photographers) and you get the photos on an online gallery to either download or put on a USB drive. You get a print release that allows you to go anywhere to get them printed if you were asked if you were allowed to print them.
I don’t get a ton of that one because I think people like doing a little bit more. That includes two add-ons, which can be an engagement session, which is what most people do. Then there’s a list of other things you can do like prints and albums. That’s what most people do, but if you want to go with the most expensive package I have, it is 10-12 hours of coverage with two photographers. You get, of course, the photos themselves and three add-ons. You could do your engagement session, you can do some prints, and you could do albums.
You can get an album for yourself, which is generally a 12×12 album, but I have the option of getting two 6×6 albums and those are excellent for parents.
That is just a general overview of my package I also offer these larger packages without all the extras, so it brings down the price a little bit for people who don’t care to have all the extra stuff, they just want the hours.
You can always visit Lovefusionphoto.com/weddings to check out all of my different packages. I try to make it as simple as possible so if you have any questions feel free to contact me.
Question: Are your packages customizable?
KK: It depends on what it is. I won’t be able to go less than the hours that are already there and go lower on the price too much on the lowest package. They’re some things we can change on some of the bigger stuff, like the larger packages that are 8 hours and the 10-12 hours, there are basic versions of those. You don’t have to get the extra add-on stuff because some people just don’t want that. You’d just be getting the hours and the photos themselves and that brings down the price a bit.
Just this year someone did a wedding at their house and did an excellent job making everything look beautiful. It was their own thing and everything, but they didn’t feel like they needed two photographers, but they still wanted to do at least seven hours with me. So what they did is they said, can we just take away one of the photographers and then compensate that price and add on some more hours? What we did was nine hours instead and just took away that photographer and the price was still the same thing. We just switched it around a little more to kind of fit their needs.
So that’s what I do sometimes. Nothing is totally set in stone. I created these packages and we can tweak them a little bit to fit your needs. So definitely reach out to me if you have any questions. I am definitely open to suggestions. I want everyone to feel like, “ok this fits me and it’s perfect.”
Question: Do you offer retouching, color adjustment or corrective services & are those included or an additional charge?
KK: I’ve had people, like brides and stuff that have easily bruised and so they have some bruises and stuff on their arms. Or you just have this blemish and it’s so frustrating, you can’t get rid of it. Stuff like that is easy to get rid of so I do offer that. I’m not going to send out pictures that you have this glaring, annoying blemish or something like that. I’m going to make sure there’s nothing distracting in a photo.
Color adjustment and things like that I do anyway. I just want to make sure that things look right and they’re not super off.
If there’s something that would take a whole lot more time to edit out, that would be something there would be an additional charge for. Something that would take me hours and hours extra to do, depending on how much of it is in the photos as well, to get rid of or to shave something away that is not just an easy to remove blemish or something that would cost extra. It would probably just go by an hourly rate.
That is definitely offered and I am open to hearing what people have to say about that, so don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Question: How long after the wedding will we receive the images & how will they be delivered?
KK: In my contract, because this is a question I hear a lot, you want to make sure you know when you’re going to get your pictures and that it’s not going to be a year. I have been told before that people waited eight months to a year or something to get their photos…which I think is absolutely outrageous. You should not have to try to relive your wedding literally a year later and see those for the first time.
In my contract I put, you will have the photos no later than two months after the wedding is performed. Things can happen and I have this in my contract. If for some reason I just cannot get that out in time, I will let you know. It’s usually just because I’m super swamped. I do all this stuff myself because I want to keep that personal touch. Sometimes it can be a lot, but I try really, really hard to make sure at least the two months.
The way that they are delivered is really up to you. We live in this amazing digital age that has made it easier than ever for you guys to get your photos faster. Most of the time, the way people do it is digitally. I will create an album online and I can send you a link to the photos and you can download everything to your computer or if you want to put it on your own flash drive that’s fine. That’s what most people do because you’ll get it that day.
The other option is on a USB drive and I will mail that to you along with if you have a print release. That’s usually on the drive as well.
So those are your two options. Again, I’m trying to make things as simple as possible and convenient as possible. People just love being able to click on something and be like, “Here’s my photos!”
This is my job and it’s also my passion. I try to really make sure I set aside a good amount of time and work really hard to get through all these photos.
I do more than just weddings. Weddings are my biggest thing, but I do regular photo sessions as well, and that’s a lot of extra work. I’m trying really hard to make sure people aren’t waiting for all that stuff.
Everybody is really important to me and I want them to know that!
Be sure to stop over at her landing page to see what her talents have to offer!