Hey friends! Today we have a special Q & A with the delightful and multi-talented Jessica Lerner, wedding and portrait photographer and owner of Jess Lerner Photography based in Pismo Beach, CA.
After meeting Jess at a wedding expo earlier this year I immediately knew I wanted to work with her! Not only is she super friendly and sweet, she has so much to offer her clients when it comes to photography and a unique style all her own.
I asked Jess if she would like to do a Q & A and share a few details about her background and her experience as a photographer here on the central coast and she agreed without hesitation. Here she shares some very helpful tips for future couples and some of the important questions you should be asking.
I'm so happy to be able to share this with you!
1. What is your style of photography?
I love capturing moments with true-to-life color and authentic emotion. Although many photographers describe their photography style as bright and airy or dark and moody, I would describe my style as natural, colorful, and soft.
Also, some photographers pride themselves on their posing abilities or their skill at capturing authentic emotion using prompts. I like to fall in between those two techniques as well. (I usually don't like candid shots of myself.) For that reason, I do my best to present a few prompts to bring energy and good feelings and mix that with some posing guidance, giving you the best of both worlds.
2. What do you think couples should look for in a wedding photographer?
Find a wedding photographer who genuinely cares about you, connects with your personality, and will fully commit to being present for your day. Does your potential wedding photographer ask questions about you and your partner as a couple and ask what wedding moments are most important to you? Does their style match your preferred aesthetic?
In addition, I reserve the entire day for my couples, even if you only book me for a few hours. This way no unexpected time conflicts arise and my clients have the flexibility to add hours as needed once their wedding day timeline is complete. It also ensures I will be a fresh, rested, and peaceful presence on your day.
3. When did you start your photography business?
Although my photography business technically started in 2020, I took my first photography classes in college almost 20 years ago. Since then, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed broadening my photography knowledge, taking continuing education courses, and photographing thousands of moments from sunsets to family milestones to unforgettable adventures with friends.
4. What do you enjoy most about wedding photography?
Mainly, I love being a part of such a momentous occasion. I love seeing happy tears, listening to each touching toast, and getting to know families in such an intimate way. I also enjoy challenging myself to find creative ways to photograph each incredibly moving moment. With busy lives, how often do you get to see everyone you love in one day!? It’s truly an incredible feeling for my couples and I love helping them capture these all-important memories.
5. What are your tricks/ tips for helping couples look/feel their best in their wedding photos?
I have five recommendations for feeling and looking your best in your wedding photos:
6. Where are your favorite locations to shoot?
My all-time favorite location to shoot is on the coast - any coast! I love ocean breezes, soft sand, and endless blue water. Although I will happily take photos almost anywhere, the ocean has my heart.
7. What hobbies do you enjoy outside of photography?
It sounds a tad cliché, but I LOVE to travel. I’ll happily fly around the world or drive in a car for days if it means I get to hike a new trail, try exotic foods, get to know a foreign culture, and experience something entirely new. So far, I swam with whale sharks in Mexico, hiked a volcano in Costa Rica, ice skated on the river in Ottawa, sipped chai tea in India, sampled wine in Portugal, explored the Darien Jungle in Panama, and photographed the sunset in Greece. There’s more, but that should give you an idea. Traveling is by far my all-time favorite hobby.
8. How far do you travel for weddings?
I am more than willing to go almost anywhere for a wedding. Whether you’re planning to get married locally or abroad, I would love to talk.
9. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Adventurous. Big heart. Intelligent.
10. What is your range of pricing for your photography packages/services?
Although I have been a photographer for a long time, wedding photography is newer for me. For that reason, my prices start at $1,500. However, I plan to go up considerably as my confidence and skills improve. I am also investing a lot in education in addition to gaining experience. If my photography packages are within your budget, we should talk soon. My prices will likely increase again in a few months.
11. What mistakes do you see couples make when choosing their wedding photographer?
I recommend taking your time choosing a wedding photographer. My husband and I selected our wedding photographer based on our budget and their experience. We assumed we would receive a certain level of service by hiring someone in a higher price range with a lot of experience. That wasn’t the case.
View the photographer’s portfolio before reaching out and make sure it matches your style. Hop on a phone call with them. Ask if there’s a chance they will send an associate to your wedding and not be there themselves. I recommend taking photos with your photographer before your wedding day if possible, too. Book your favorite photographer for engagement photos or do a mini session. See if their style works for you and your partner. The best way to know if you’ll love your photographer is to go ahead and schedule a session.
Jess is currently booking for the 2022-2023 wedding season. If you are interested in booking Jess for your wedding or special event, please visit her website by clicking the button below!
Email inquiries to email@example.com or call 805-384-0887
Brenda Cali is a professionally trained Wedding Consultant and plans a variety of social and corporate events.