September 2010

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  1. Nicole’s avatar

    I can’t wait to see the rest of our photos ūüôā

    Jeri & Sarah were awesome on the wedding day. Jeri’s website & blog speaks for itself terms of her work. Both her and Sarah’s professionalism are a match for their amazing photography. They quietly insert themselves into all the magic moments of your day and capture them as if they are part of your family. Prior to the wedding I had some hesitation and concerns about how all our “must have photos” would get shoot, and how the proper people would be rounded up. I meet with Jeri about a week before the wedding, and she completely calmed my nerves about all of that. Day of her and Sarah took care of every…and then some. They were terrific in terms of dealing our families and bridal party, and they really felt like part of our day…which is reflected in their photography.

    Thanks Jeri & Sarah! Can’t wait to see everything.

    Nicole & Gerard

okay, so after all these years of photographing weddings, there isn’t much i haven’t seen or dealt with and i know that other photographers have piped up about this and now i’m taking my turn…first, let me say, there are many, many wonderful, talented djs out there who i have worked with and seen…they completely make the night of the couple everything they want it to be and it has been my pleasure to work with these companies and individuals…that being said, over the years and with the evolution of digital photography, many companies that were providing music and entertainment for their customers are now offering photography, videography, etc. services as well…while i understand they sell these package deals and have every right to do so and that there are budget conscience consumers out there who benefit from these types of deals, it has brought real problems when couples book these companies for entertainment but choose to go elsewhere for their photography and videography services…i like to think that i’m a nice person although i would never say that¬† because i think people who say that usually aren’t as nice as they think, but i will say that i am always respectful and considerate of the other vendors i work with…i always believe that we should all be working to make everything perfect for the couples that employ us…twice this weekend i have had what should have been really nice experiences, tarnished by djs…if a couple hires a photographer to document their day, then they should be the only professionals on site with cameras taking pictures…this is in most photographer’s contracts as it is in mine…what many of these companies are doing is not just providing the music for the event but now they are bringing along an extra person to take photographs during the evening…these photographs are either shown during the¬†night on huge screens or they are burned to a dvd which the company then either attempts to sell to the guests or to the bride and groom…let me explain why this is a problem…first, i work with a second photographer so that is two cameras on the floor plus if there is a videographer hired that makes another camera…add to it these dj” photographer’s” and it’s almost unbearable…to give an example of how this could be a problem, years ago i photographed an event where the families came up in individual groups to light candles on the cake…half the people in the groups were looking at my camera and the other half was looking at the djs camera…when the client came to me later on i explained that i could not stop the events in the middle to do something about it…lesson learned:¬† i put it in my contract and if i see a dj with a camera i say something right away…first to them and then if that has no effect, to the client…in addition,¬†they put these photos up during the night and guests automatically assume that i’ve taken them…they always look terrible and are of poor quality, certainly nothing that i would want mistaken for my work…also, i take stills and couple’s portraits during the evening as many photographers do…these people are literally putting their hands in my pocket and taking potential profits that should rightly go to me…it is intrusive and rude and it’s at the most basic level a violation of my contract…i’m not bringing entertainment with me and invading their territory…both times this weekend, i was forced to involve my couple’s in this dispute which never should have been…once i spoke with the djs, they should have been respectful to what i do, but they were not…i will not mention the first company as it was my first experience with them but i will mention the second because since 2003 when i first encountered this particular company and after listening to horror stories from other vendors, i will mention dash of (no) class…they are consistently rude, nasty and tonight while i was taking photographs on the floor, the dj actually said over the mike¬†to the crowd “be careful not to stomp on the photographer although it wouldn’t be such a bad thing”…i received that comment because i asked the groom, (who by the way specifically told us that this company was ONLY hired to play music) to tell them that they needed to put their cameras away…i have seen members of this company interrupt church services and pretend to be the official videographers even though the couple paid for a videographer, pick fights with other photographers and videographers and the list of bad behavior goes on and on…to anyone who has hired this vendor i should tell you i will no longer accept¬†work if they have been hired already…to my clients present and future, i would say to you that you have paid alot of money to have me or a videographer document your day and it is our goal to¬† give you everything you expected and wanted…that is why you hired us or will in the future…i ask for no more than the opportunity to do so freely without having to worry about being subjected to or putting up with the abuse and disrespectful behavior that years ago was never seen and would never be tolerated… a great big THANK YOU to all the fantastic djs out there that make it an absolute joy to work time and time again like nick from imagine entertainment, paul anthony, the guys from elite djs who even though they offer photography and video packages have never shown up to one of my events with a camera if they weren’t hired to do so, be our guest, chris garrow¬†and many more…enough said…

  1. Jennifer Anderson’s avatar

    Jeri, I couldn’t agree with you more! Your description of the behavior of this particular company couldn’t be more spot on. I’ve encountered “issues” with them the 3 times I’ve worked with them. The clause in my contract, not allowing other vendors to shoot at the event” was because of the negative interaction with them the very first time. A dj showed up at the church, took over, and started organizing cheap/cheesy posed shots. He had the audacity to move MY mic from the groom’s lapel to the other side of his jacket so he could put HIS mic there! When I confronted him about it & his response was, “Well, my footage is just as important as yours, honey.” Obtrusive isn’t the word…he wore his black satin Dash of Class jacket while he walked all over the alter during the ceremony and actually climbed under my tripod and laid down in the middle of the aisle when I wouldn’t move out of HIS way while the vows were taking place. During the photo session, the photographer was setting up shot that he was contracted to do and out of nowhere comes ANOTHER dj with a point and shoot camera and starts snapping away. We didnt even realize, at the time, that he was one of them b/c he was in jeans and a tshirt. The photographer then told him he couldnt be taking the formal shots. The “big cheese” came out and caused a comotion in front of the bride and groom, ranting and raving about his “photographer” should be able to shoot too. When the bride and groom told the dj not to worry about it, he turned to me and said “Wait till the reception…you’re in MY territory now, sweetie”. They then proceeded to nudge us out of the way during 1st dance, cake cutting, garter & bouquet toss, etc. He was consistanty in the way ALL day and completely unprofessional.

    I too, was at the above mentioned wedding this weekend with Jeri, and once again the dj was completely out of line. Jeri did everything she could to diffuse the situation and keep the bride and groom out of it. Unfortunately, when these arrogant djs are on their pedistal there’s no seeing reason, and the couple needed to be notified.

    Everywhere you look, companies are offering new services. Photo montages were always the videographers job because you are making a “video” out of your baby pictures. DJ’s now offer this, and although videographers are not offering cocktail hour music, there’s nothing you can do about it. Now djs are shooting video and/or photos and show them on a screen for everyone to see. The guests don’t know these images are taken from the djs and therefore think this grainy, dark, out of focus footage is ours! Not only are they interferring with us getting our actual footage & make it an uncomfortable working environment, but now their actually hurting our “reputation” b/c who would hire a photographer or videographer with work that looks like THAT!?!?

    As Jeri stated there are NUMEROUS amazing djs to whom this does not apply but these “classless” djs are unbearable to work with and future couples need to know. These particular djs have disregard for what WE are HIRED to do and its rude and unacceptable. The fact that they truly think their “shots” are as important as our is not only ridiculous but insulting. To THOSE djs: The wedding day is not about YOU but about the couple and you should respect the fact that they hired people in their field because they are professionals. Stick to what YOU do and stop being so greedy as to try dipping into others pockets.

  2. Mike Simons’s avatar

    No only do the DJ “photographers” take up more space on an already crowded dance floor, they take a photo of a couple dancing, then when you want to take a photo of that same couple, they respond “We just had our photo taken”.

  3. Michael C. Marotto’s avatar


    I don’t know if you remember this or not, but you and I worked a job back around 99 or 2000. I was shooting for a former friend who lived in the Amboy area. Anyway, this DJ company, and I will mention their names, Double Diamond, showed up at the church to take photographs for display later at the reception.

    The DJ/Photographer wannabe did not even have the courtesy to introduce himself to us. He just started to shoot photographs and video. I remember you were posing a group on the stairs outside the church for a picture and he jumped in front of you to photograph your group shot. You asked him politely to move out of the way and he cursed at you. I then remember pulling him aside outside before the ceremony started and telling him that One:, you don’t curse at the photographer. Two: That is her copyrighted work you just stole by photographing something she posed. Three: Stay out of our way the rest of the ceremony or we are going to have problems.

    So we do our thing and the wedding goes off fine. Apparently this “Camera Person” called his boss because he felt threatened. I also called JZ and told him what had transpired at the ceremony and we might have a problem at the Crystal Point later.

    When we arrived at the Crystal Point the DJ had a gorilla with him. I mean this guy had to be 5 inches taller then me and built like a baseball player from the steroid era. He asked me outside to ask about threatening his photographer. I did not back down, and thankfully JZ showed up and had our back. We explained what happened at the ceremony with the photographer cursing and getting in our way. It had no effect.

    To make a long story short. This guy went to edit his video and pictures to play as a HIGHLIGHT for the reception. Well he shot with the wrong video filter on so the image was blue. He did not turn off the camera readings that you see in the viewfinder. So all his display information was on the video.

    Then he actually had the nerve to ask me if I could fix the Color for him and I of course said no, but in an Italian way.

    But the point is, I agree. The people looking at that video that night must have thought I shot it. I had know recourse or way of preventing it. I too have in my contracts we are the only ones allowed to shoot video or photography for the Bride and Groom. All other professionals that day are supposed to leave there camera’s off.

    It is hard to enforce, but I do it. Now the other problem I have run into is that you have these Photographers shooting with the 7D and they are hired to shoot photography. NO problem. But then I see them shooting video clips and I am like WTF? I get this answer that it is only a highlight video we “give” the bride. Really? Do I look that stupid. We don’t give anything away for free. There is no way you are going to shoot a 20 minute video, edit it, and then give it to the bride FREE of charge.

    There is plenty of work to go around. Those that are good will always have work. Those that are bad will always have work. I shoot both video and photography. If I am shooting with my video crew, sure I will grab some shots on the 7D for us to integrate into the video we are shooting.

    However, if I am on a job to shoot only photography, then that camera never becomes a video camera while in my hands. I respect the videographer that is shooting that job. Same goes if I am shooting just video. I will not take out my 7D and start shooting stills. That is not what I was hired for.

    Thanks for listening.

  4. Jeri Houseworth’s avatar

    i remember a job you did with me in 2003 where a dj from dash of class showed up at the church and broke up my shot of the groomsmen and said he was the official videographer and you got into it with him and then we had issues with him at the venue again… it was infact dash of class and i can even tell you the particular dj’s name…i know this because i remembered from my conversations with this guy that day and i went back and looked at the contract…

  5. Jeri Houseworth’s avatar

    yes, mike this was the same wedding that you were shooting for JZ but it wasn’t double diamond, it WAS definitely dash of class because this was my first encounter with them…

  6. Nick Cavaleri’s avatar

    Ok. So I really think that a lot of this from a lack of talent in a persons particular field.

    I Tell clients they are booking a photographer and or videographer to pay for the eye of that person and their ability to capture shots that are not the normal stand there and kiss type of photos.The talent lies in the persons eye to capture moments that are artistic and uniquie.They also need to make sure they get along with the professional due to the fact that they will be dealing with them the entire day and make sure they have a good flow and fit with them.

    I have some clients come to me and they ask me right off the bat what may package includes,I explain to them that they are paying for the raw talent of the emcees vocal talents,programming abilities,consultation and coordination efforts. I take pride in that .I try to keep getting better at it with every event that I entertain at. I am coming up on my 11th anniversary and feel great that I have never spread myself out to what I like to call untalented extras The only extra that I have added is lighting and up lighting and have yet to run into a company that just does lights.

    I think sometimes people forget about what they are really looking for and er to book the vendor or DJ that offers the most .Quantity not quality,for the most part I feel these clients will lose.

    I think that the lack of talent in the areas that I explained above forces entertainment companies to add these extras to there packages to allow them to book events.The personal referrals will fall because there is nothing personal about these extras and it takes away from the true talent and artistic ability that few entertainment companies actually still posses.

    Very few emcees have an artistic talented bone in their body.They thrive on making others feel insubordinate to make themselves feel better. I know that this sounds cutthroat,but it is so true.**Jerri that is the most demeaning thing I think I have ver heard a DJ say in my career** That must be the only way the guy knows how to feel good…so sad….LACK OF CLASS!!!!

    Lets get back to the point…..KEEP YOUR SERVICES SEPERATE!!!!!!!

    If a clients asks me if I do photo montages on a plasma or screen the first thing I ask them is if they have a videographer…That’s a video right?
    I honestly tell them that I focus on one thing but would always be happy to help them find whatever they are looking to make their day whatever they dreamed of.

    If you cannot make it as an entertainment company then get out of the industry .I think it actually makes them look bad.HOW would a JERI or a MIKE Simmons feel if they were playing music at a cocktail hour? How would I feel?

    I understand that the economy is hard and we all have to struggle a bit but don’t swallow all of your pride….Maybe just a bit.

    If we are all honest and work together during,prior and after the event to explain why thing work and do not the events will make us all look better. Let’s remain a team but let our offensive,defensive and special teams coaches to conduct there own plays.

  7. Michael C. Marotto’s avatar


    Was it LACK OF CLASS. I actually thought it was Double Diamond or Platinum DJS. I know I have gotten into it with these companies as well.

    I do remember that day we shot like it was yesterday. I remember the guy using an fbomb with you and that set me off.

    You would think a Bride would hire the person that is a professional at her craft. DJ does the music. Photographer and videographer do their jobs. Caterer does his job. Florist his.

    I guess DJs think all you have to do is point and shoot and you are a professional. Ask them about ISO, Shutter speeds, f/stops, etc and they will look at you like you have two heads on your shoulders.

i have the absolute BEST clients in the world…they are all so different ¬†and have this zest for life that¬†fills my¬†work with¬†such¬†joy and makes it¬†so much fun…tracy and marcus exchanged their vows in a secret garden in glen ridge this past saturday (i’m catching up on my posts!)…everything about this couple and their day was so¬†unique and personal…tracy’s sister and marcus’s brother presided over the ceremony introducing readers and talking of the couple’s journey to that moment…they had every guest participate in the ancient custom of hand wrapping where each guest took ribbons out of a basket and wrapped the couple’s hands together…tracy liked it so much that they kept their hands wrapped together all through family pictures (check tracy out hiding behind the group shot)…tracy looked absolutely luminous and marcus who is from germany and who had a large german contigent attending looked dapper in the white dinner jacket and bowtie he changed into for the reception…thank you to julie and michael the djs from jam music for all the really great tunes and to amy marie, for the gorgeous makeup job on all the women and to the wonderful staff at san carlo in lyndhurst,¬†especially the owner, tina, for the absolutely delicious meals and for making it such a pleasure to work at your venue…i wish i could post every image from this wedding but here are just a few…¬†




check out abby, marcus & tracy's dog, under tracy's legs!


i saw this little "vignette" in the storm door



she looks straight out another lovely






  1. carol montalbano’s avatar

    dear tracy – you look amazing and you looked like you had a wonderful time! I hope you are happy like this day for the rest of your life – God bless you always – love carol

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i have had a soft spot for the astrella family ever since photographing daughter danielle’s wedding in spring lake five years ago…they are just so warm and welcoming and kind¬† and just the kind of people that you would want to be with on¬† september 11th so when karen & dan’s second daughter, nicole, got engaged, it meant the world to me that they came back to me…nicole and jeff were two of the most easy going people ever and when you feel close to a family the way i do to this one, it never feels like work…so thank you so much astrella’s for choosing me again and letting us spend the day with you!¬† thank you to the olde mill inn in basking ridge and to the incredible groove shop which let me tell you was UNBELIEVABLE! if you are looking for a band…



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annette and sean were married two fridays ago (yup i’m way behind on my blogging) across from the sea at ocean place in long branch…they chose to see each other prior to the ceremony for pictures in asbury park, which always makes me happy as it’s one of my favorite places to take pictures and it’s close to my studio…i always say that your bridal party can make or break your wedding and it’s so true in this case…these guys were great and pretty much up for anything…check out the photo of the groomsmen and look up because two of them scaled the old casino and are flanking the sign!…because of all the storms recently, we’ve had amazing breezes, clouds and waves and after the heatwave we had this summer, i am enjoying every moment these days i have at the beach…it was so great working with dominick again from elite entertainment…




  1. Lillian’s avatar

    Annette & Shaughn you look amazing congrats to you both………….Lillian

  2. Margo Long’s avatar

    Congrats Annette & Shaughn, you both look fantastic, I missed a great day. Have a great life
    Lotsa love

  3. Annette (THE BRIDE)’s avatar

    Shaughn and I had such an amazing day, and are so grateful to have the greatest friends and family to share it with. Jeri and Sara, thank you so much for being so easy going and relaxed, especially when trying to organize a rowdy crew of 25! These pictures are amazing and we can’t wait to see them all!

  4. John & Madge Fahy’s avatar

    Your photos are great Annette & Shaughn. We had a brilliant time at your wedding. Congratulations to you both.

    John & Madge

  5. Frances Shane & Orla’s avatar

    What fabulous skies you got on the day – the shots are beautiful! We had the best fun on that lovely day, thanks for having us Annette & Shaughn, God bless xoxoxox

  6. Loree’s avatar

    Great photos!!! Love you both

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