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How to find the Perfect Wedding Venue!

Wedding Venue Guide, Southern CA Wedding Venue Guide, San Diego Wedding Venue Guide, Deer Lovers Photography Venue Guide, Hotel Del Coronado, The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, Fine Art Wedding Photography

You got engaged! Now it’s time to plan your perfect wedding day. And everyone knows step one is to pick a date and find a wedding venue to host this memorable event. Of course step two is to find a talented photographer, which is why we can’t wait for you to get to that stage!
 
But many times we are fortunate enough to meet couples even before they have found a venue. And so we would LOVE to help you find an amazing venue. To do so we have put together a venue guide, this isn’t every venue out there but a list to get you started! Fill out the form below and we will send you a link to download our Venue Collection PDF! 
 
 
In the meantime here are some things we would encourage you to think about as you are picking your venue. We aren’t going to mention the obvious ones such as price, or availability. These are the little details you don’t want to miss.

8 Details to consider when choosing a wedding venue!

1. Style – First step in picking a venue is determining what type of wedding you want? What is your style? Is it a dreamy historic mansion, boutique Italian winery, or an elegant garden lawn wedding? Starting with a good foundation will help make the rest of your details stand out.
 
2. Location – Having as much of your wedding at one location can simplify logistics. But if you are splitting your ceremony and reception consider travel times. Also if you have a lot of family from out of town you might be looking for a wedding venue close to an airport or accommodation.
 
3. Size – This one can help you narrow down your list, whether you are having 50 or 250 guests. Put together a rough guest list before you start shopping around.
 
4. Season – If you chose a date in the winter are there going to be grapes on the vines at your dream winery? Be sure to ask what the surroundings look like at your time of year.
 
5. Lighting – We love natural light, which is why we always encourage people to host as much of their wedding outside. But if pursing an indoor wedding venue such as an industrial modern style make sure to try to add natural light. And at night we always love fairy lights and candles.
 
6. Catering – Some venues require you to use them for catering. This can be a good thing because it bundles everything together. As long as you are ok with not having access to outside catering vendors. Be sure to also ask about their alcohol policy. Some venues require a bottling fee if you opt to bring your own alcoholic beverages.
 
7. Noise – If you are big into dancing you want to find a venue that allows you to keep the party going past 10pm.
 
8. Getting Ready – It can simplify a lot of things if you are able to do your final getting ready at the venue!
 
But most of all we want to encourage you to choose whatever YOU love! Make sure your venue helps you tell your story. It is going to be forever the place you got married and started your lives together.
 
In the end of the day your friends and family are going to be there because they love YOU and support YOU. They will love whatever you choose, and we will too!
 
We hope this helps if even just a bit! Feel free to email us with any questions along the way at hello@deer-lovers.com. And we do hope we get to chat with you once you get to step two!
 
Warmly,
Andrew & Anna

 

 

 

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Felicia & Matt Hotel Del Coronado

Felicia & Matt Wedding, Hotel Del Coronado, Deer Lovers Photography

Elegant Beach Wedding

Felicia and Matt held their wedding at the historic Hotel Del on Coronado. This venue provided the magical backdrop of an old mansion adorned with elegance. Its historic architecture opened up to the most beautiful stretch of golden beach. The two settings were the perfect embodiment of their relationship – they both worked, met, and fell in love at this Hotel Del. Thus making it the perfect and utterly meaningful location to tie the knot! Their wedding day was a vision of simplicity. They combined the perfect mix of creams, beiges, and deep blue tones in their decor. This worked in perfect harmony with the natural tones and beauty of the ocean.

After an intimate ceremony on the sand they enjoyed a reception on the lawn under the stars. They seated their guests at long wooden farm tables draped with full green garlands. The centerpieces laden with gold candles, lanterns, and navy linen napkins. All adorned with the sweetest smelling sprigs of rosemary. Toasts were full of laughter and tears, and guests feasted on what can only be referred to as heaven on earth. The menu at Hotel Del: a gourmet dinner of lobster bisque, grilled fillet of beef, and potato gratin with sauce bordelaise.

During their first dance, Felicia surprised Matt with a private fireworks show. It is safe to say that it took everyone’s breath away, it was truly spectacular. Felicia and Matt are so dear to us and I have never met anyone who looks at his wife so adoringly as Matt does Felicia. It’s the most beautiful thing to witness. These two have a rare and special love and we are so honored to share their story.

Vendors: Florist: Kathy Wright & Co. | Planner: Jennifer Guevarra | Cake: Twin Treats | Bride’s Dress: Mary Me Bridal | Stationary: Minted | Makeup: Beauty by Ashley Kay

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FILM PHOTOGRAPHY, WHY WE SHOOT IN FILM?

Film photography is expensive, it takes a lot to learn how to shoot it well, and you are constantly loading new rolls as you shoot. Then why do we use it at all? Because you deserve the best, and that is exactly what we aim to give you. And the best is film. It’s a medium like no other and despite these ‘negatives’ it is worth it. Our desire is to craft beautiful, intimate, and timeless imagery. Film photography gives you the best skin tones, the softest romantic aesthetic, and it instills a tangibility to your memories.

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, Megan and Ryan Wedding, Deer Lovers Photography, film photography, Film Wedding Photography, San Diego Wedding Photography

Part 1: How we got started in film photography

Three years ago we went out on a limb and bought a film camera, on a whim, to try shooting it at our weddings. We wanted to create better work and had a hunch that film would lead us there.
 Marian Bear Park, Hawa and Chris Engagement, Deer Lovers Photography, film photography, Film Engagement Photography, San Diego Engagement Photography
Don’t get us wrong, it wasn’t simply chance. We started shooting film with intention and purpose. We loved the look and feel our favorite film photographers, José Villa, Erich McVey, and Tec Petaja were achieving. At the time we were shooting full digital and editing all our images to look “like film”. We figured why not cut out the middle man and shoot film instead of digital edited to look like film.
We knew it would take an incredible amount of work and money to perfect shooting film. But we demanded better than what digital could offer.
Temecula Creek Inn, Katelyn and Dustin Wedding, Deer Lovers Photography, film photography, Film Wedding Photography, San Diego Wedding Photography
 

Part 2: Perseverance

It wasn’t overnight. The first film camera we bought was a Canon 1V, which was a relatively cheap buy. This camera was great to shoot on because it used the same lenses as our digital. However after getting back a few rolls from the lab we were underwhelmed by the results. The skin tones were muddy and we knew it wasn’t the look we were going for. It was obvious we weren’t giving film a real chance, and we knew it. We had a vision for what our work could and should be, we simply lacked the proper tools.
 
Paradise Point, Ashton and Justin Wedding, Deer Lovers Photography, film photography, Film Wedding Photography, San Diego Wedding Photography
We decided to go all in and bought a Contax 645 medium format film camera. This was a significantly larger investment, but we were hopeful as we took it to our next wedding. It was Ashton & Justin’s special day and we decided we would shoot a few rolls, 16 images each, and see how it goes. Expectations were set to VERY low. We shot 3 rolls alongside the digital images and sent them off to Richard Photo Lab. A week later they came back and we instantly knew it was the direction we needed to be heading. The image above of Ashton was off of the third roll we shot and is still one of our all time favorites. 
Of the 48 images we took, only 2 images were “unusable” because of someone blinking. The rest were the best photos of the entire wedding collection. For a direct comparison we shot ~2500 digital images and edited up ~600. That means digital had a 25% accuracy rate and film had a 96% accuracy rate. This was our first sign that we knew we could shoot full film weddings, but we didn’t want to get too hasty. We wanted to confirm that this wasn’t just a one time beginner’s luck scenario. 
 
Brick, Michelle and Adrian Wedding, Deer Lovers Photography, film photography, Film Wedding Photography, San Diego Wedding Photography
Over the next year we shot film at every wedding. And our couples were choosing those images as their favorites without knowing why. Before long we were offering hybrid packages and 9/10 couples were opting for film.
Now when we ask “what drew you to our work?” Every couple that we meet with will say something like “we just love the bright airy feel, it’s romantic.” Our response is always “so you love film.” We owe that timeless romantic feel in our images to film. It has become the cornerstone to all of our work, our style, and brand. 
Circle Oak Ranch, Chelsea and Casey Wedding, Deer Lovers Photography, film photography, Film Wedding Photography, San Diego Wedding Photography
 

Part 3: What makes film photography better though?

That was the question to answer. There are very many technical reasons to choosing film such as the wider dynamic range. This means that film can capture brighter lights and darker darks within the same image. Such as a bride in white, next to a groom in blue or black on a beach or in the desert at midday. But film handles this with ease.
Algodones Sand Dunes, Alannah and Jesse Engagement, film photography, Deer Lovers Photography, Film Engagement Photography, San Diego Engagement Photography
 
But more so film photography is timeless. We say this often, but is it just a catch phrase or is it a real thing? Something is timeless if it is consistent over a long period of time, and is not wavering with trends. This is how we want your most precious of memories to be documented. Not being dependent on digital editing trends. Film does this by having it’s own “preference” to certain tones in skins and environment greens. By being consistent over so many years it creates a benchmark for how your skin should look and feel. This is why it will prove the test of time.
 
At client meetings we always describe it this way. “Do you remember those Instagram filters from 6 years ago? Well we don’t want you to look back on your wedding images and think, well those look trendy… and meh.”
 
The Contax film camera also captures less blemishes with it’s soft skin tones. This saves us insane amounts of time in retouching and allows us to produce truer images. In that way film creates honest memories. Unaltered and pure; authentic.
The third reason why we love film is because of the experience while we are shooting. And we know this is wildly selfish but we want to love our job too. The optics of the 80mm f/2 Zeiss lens are far superior to even the best lenses on our Canon digital cameras. An easy way to say this is: when looking through a Contax, what you see is very close to what you will get. This includes the current depth of field(soft bokeh effect), and color of the light. Rather than when shooting digital you are shooting it for what it is going to be; not what it is when you shoot it. This allows us be more accurate in what we are capturing rather than predicting how it will look after post.
 Canyon Oaks Country Club, Annie and Patrick Wedding, Deer Lovers Photography, film photography, Film Wedding Photography, San Diego Wedding Photography
But all other benefits aside our favorite is how it made us slow down. Instead of rattling off shots knowing we have an infinite supply we are far more selective in film. We will wait patiently for the perfect moment. That smile or candid glance of affection at your betrothed. And then we take the photo. This results in a better body of work, with every photo being intentional, emotional, and perfectly unique.
 

Part 4: Planning for your future – The Heirloom

At the beginning of 2017 we sat down and decided we wanted to give you the best. We completely redesigned all of our film photography collections to include Heirloom boxes. That way whenever you get your wedding collections you have a way to store them forever.
 
We want your wedding images to be: beautiful, honest, and timeless. And that is why we shoot in film.
 
We would love more than anything to be there to capture your memories, in film of course. So please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here, or shoot us an email at hello@deer-lovers.com.
The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, Megan and Ryan Wedding, Deer Lovers Photography, Film Wedding Photography, San Diego Wedding Photography, film photography
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