Borrowed & Blue, the online resource for Hamptons weddings, collaborated with us on a Q&A to help couples learn more about wedding photography and the services offered at Jay Lim Studio. Answers have been provided by both the Cinematography & Photography teams.
HOW DID JAY LIM STUDIO COME TO BE?
- The founder and one of the head photographers of JAY LIM wanted to share his love of photography and wedding with enthusiastic creators as a team. The team comes together to build a great service and production and try to resonate in the wedding industry.
- Jay Lim Studio began with a dream: a team of creative and talented people, inspiring one another to go above and beyond, to new heights and to create captivating images with exceptional services. That dream is becoming a reality with each passing year.
WHAT SINGLE PHOTO SUMS UP YOUR AESTHETIC?
- A true smiling moment makes this image stay alive. I love to capture real moments.
AS A STORYTELLER, WHAT DRAWS YOU TO A PARTICULAR SUBJECT?
- A bunch of single moments make a final story and each moment has to something to tell. Whether it’s the main subject (bride and groom) or secondary subject (details or other people), there are always stories to tell.
- As a storyteller, emotion is the first thing that draws my attention. I believe emotion is the key to every story. It adds depths and builds a rapport with viewers; it is the guiding light that moves and excites us.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT TO PHOTOGRAPH AT A WEDDING?
- When the Bride and Groom are looking in each other’s eyes and exchanging their vows in front of their loved ones. Just looking at their eyes is the most beautiful thing and the perfect moment to photograph.
- For me, my favorite moments to capture are the parent dances. The moment when you witness the bride and groom interacting with their parents, you can truly see the emotions on their faces. One can fully capture the expressions of love, happiness, joy, and pride mixed with emotions of sadness, uncertainty, and the struggle to let go. You can see all of these different emotions from both the parents and the married couple in a single instance. It is a moment of truth. You have to capture it as well as you can.
- My favorite moment of a wedding is during the preparation. And it’s also the craziest moment of weddings. Usually it is when everything seems to be all over the place. It’s the moment when people are super hyped about the wedding, and there is so much excitement in the air. The bride and groom can’t wait to see each other; the bride’s grandma is quietly sobbing in the corner; the place gets chaotic when the flower girls and ring bearers arrive to the house. As a photographer, it is the toughest time of a wedding, but my favorite time as well.
WHAT MAKES OR BREAKS A BRIDAL SHOOT?
- On the wedding day, it heavily depends on the photographers and videographers to create a good atmosphere. And a tip for having a successful wedding day is to make the bride and groom feel comfortable. Being in front of the camera can be a disconcerting experience for those who are not in the acting industry. So the best way to take natural and creative shots is to create a comfortable relationship between the couple. On the other hand, over-directing the couple can also interrupt the mood.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST PHOTOGENIC SPOTS IN THE HAMPTONS?
- Sole East in Montauk and the Hampton beaches.
- Mill Neck Manor is one of my favorite spot in the Hamptons area. There are various settings within Mill Neck Manor that allow for many stylistic opportunities. For example, the Manor holds a Middle Age atmosphere, while the exterior of manor is full of nature with beautiful lighting.
WHERE ELSE DO YOU LOVE TO PHOTOGRAPH?
- New York City.
- I love to photograph at a place that I’ve never been before. And if it’s a meaningful place to the couple, then it’s a plus; unfamiliarity always brings creativity out of me.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPH YOU’VE EVER TAKEN?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WEDDING THAT YOU’VE SHOT?
- There are lots of weddings that I have memories from. One wedding that I remember is a wedding held in New York City. Most of our weddings are taken with a grass field background, but this specific wedding had a completely different look. I was able to shoot the wedding with a more modern and creative style.
- I still remember my favorite wedding at Oceanblue. At that time, the bride had an outgoing personality and made me smile all day long. I didn’t know that she didn’t have any parents. That’s why she danced with her younger brother for the time of daughter and father’s dance. Their dance brought me to tears. I didn’t know why I was crying even though they were smiling and seemed to be very happy. And I really gained an incredible empathy for taking pictures of weddings, not only as a job.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE OUT OF ALL THE HAMPTONS WEDDING VENUESTO SHOOT AT?
- Sole East in Montauk.
- I tend to prefer venues that are surrounded by nature over standard indoor venues. You simply have more options to create different visual compositions if the venue is in a more natural environment. You can be creative about where to position the bride and groom. You have more options for backdrops. It can be done inside like with any other venue or you can choose spaces outside where nature itself can become a visual prop or a set. Also, I prefer venues where you have ample time to set up and not worry about any time limitation set by the venue. It is often the case that wedding venues schedule multiple weddings in one day, so you don’t get the luxury to spend a lot of time shooting and you have to wrap up rather quickly to make room for the next wedding event. Although it doesn’t happen too often, I do like it when I don’t have to worry too much about the pressures of time.
- There are many vineyards out of all the Hamptons wedding venues such as Martha Clara Vineyards, Pellegrini Vineyards, Sparkling Pointe Vineyard, and Raphael Vineyard. These are my favorite places to shoot at because I feel very comfortable and couples seemed to be a part of nature.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU ASK COUPLES WHEN THEY APPROACH YOU?
- The first thing I do at the wedding date is to ask the couple’s feeling. That way I can figure out how to behave throughout the day. Most of the couples get nervous so I approach the clients in a way that will make them feel comfortable. The more that we are able to make our clients to feel relaxed, the better chances we have to capture natural and gorgeous shots.
- The first thing I remind them before starting a session with them is that we’re here to take pictures for them, not for me. Therefore there is no pressure, no rules as to how they are supposed to be in front of my camera. They just have to be themselves. I like to make sure that they understand that I’m the one who has to worry about the lighting, their poses, how good they look, and etc. All they have worry about is “Am I being myself?”
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST MISTAKE THE COUPLES MAKE WHEN CHOOSING THEIR PHOTOGRAPHER?
- Some of the couples ask me about equipment so much and they are tend to rely on that. However, wedding videography is not all about the camera, lens or other gears. It is about how to capture genuine moments of their big day. Of course equipment is important but before knowing that, it’s better to watch more of videographer’s work.
- Couples go for the cheapest option.
- People tend to choose not necessarily the “wrong” photographer but a photographer whose style and character is not in sync with their own. Everyone has different tastes; likewise, every photographer has their own sense of style/trademark. It is important to communicate efficiently with your photographer to better help the photographer understand what you are hoping to receive in the final product.
WHAT MAKES JAY LIM STUDIO DIFFERENT FROM OTHER WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS?
- To be honest, there is probably not too much of a difference in terms of technical skill between wedding videographers. So how do you distinguish a good videographer when most of us use the same kinds of equipment and techniques? Maybe you can distinguish Jay Lim from the rest because we don’t think of wedding videography as just work or another job. We think it is very important for us to work on increasing our level of empathy for the wedding couples on their big day. It is important for us to get to know the couples and their stories, so we can translate their experiences into the videos. Each couple has a unique story about how they came to be together. And in order to create a really meaningful story in a visually creative way, we have to work hard to develop the relationships with the couples and search for the visual themes that will fit their stories. I think that is what separates our studio from others. We try to create products that capture the meaning and value of each couple’s union. And we are always looking for creative ways to improve on our storytelling. I think it is a big strength of Jay Lim Studio that we never stop trying to find new and innovative ways to make the experience more meaningful for our clients.
- One thing that makes Jay Lim Studio very different than other wedding photographers is the people. People at Jay Lim really care about the clients. From photographers to receptionists, we truly care about the experience you get from Jay Lim because we really understand the importance of weddings. Our team truly cares and loves our couples and we love what we do.
WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR COUPLES WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN PHOTOGRAPHED BEFORE?
- We work around you—your personality, energy, and likes—so taking photos is simple and easeful. It’s our job to represent the beauty of your day: you won’t need to be anything more than just yourself.
- I know it’s harder than it sounds, but I’ll say it anyway. Just be yourself. Don’t worry about a single thing, everything’s gonna be okay. I always jokingly tell the couple that I can photoshop anything but I cannot put emotion into a photo. Just try to be themselves. Be natural.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UPCOMING PROJECTS FOR THE FUTURE?
- We always plan and pursue creative projects. Our upcoming projects for this season will be on fashion engagement photo shoot in NYC.
Thanks again to Borrowed & Blue for reaching out!