This Photographer is no Khan artist

We are pausing in the midst of our incredibly fun anniversary celebration to go back to our “regularly scheduled programming”. I love interviewing vendors in this industry. Honestly, whether they are in photography, calligraphy/design, entertainment, caterers or bakers, everyone brings so many fresh ideas. And I have never heard the same advice more than once, which surprises me!

At All Events Planned, we have worked with some amazing people. They treat clients as family, deliver unparalleled quality, and have a blast doing it. Kamron Khan is such an example of one of these vendors. Her company, Kamron Khan Photography, is one of the standouts because of her unique vision and attention to detail. I loved hearing her advice, and if I ever get the means to bring a photographer to travel Europe with me, you can bet I am inviting her!

All Events Planned: How would you describe your style, your personality and/or your brand?

Kamron Khan: My style is clean, colorful, and timeless. I work with my clients to create an experience where they can be comfortable and confident in front of my camera and it shows. I love creating beautiful stylized images that look like they belong on the cover of vogue as well as capturing real moments of genuine emotion.

AEP: How would you describe your ideal client?

KK: My ideal client values working with a true professional. Whether it's clothes, food, or wedding vendors, they understand that quality products and services are an investment. They appreciate a professional taking the lead and directing them towards making the best decisions. My clients are open minded and like to be creative. They find pride in being the innovator in their circle of friends and any recommendations they make are valued because they only work with the best. My clients are smart, professional, well spoken and confident individuals who have put in the time and work it takes to start this next chapter in their lives as successfully as possible.

AEP: What are a few mistakes people sometimes make when choosing a photographer?

KK: Do not hire a friend/family member that owns a camera and takes pictures as a hobby.  There are so many moving parts to a wedding day, so many issues that may arise. Not to mention, a hobbiest more than likely does not have the appropriate gear to capture a wedding day. As a professional, I have backup gear, and backups for my backup gear in case something malfunctions. I have multiple lenses to capture different perspectives. I know the flow of a wedding day and can anticipate moments (so I don't miss that first kiss). I can handle your 25 excited aunties and uncles during the family portrait time, and I enjoy meeting your guests during the reception while they smile for the camera. Let your friends and family enjoy the day with you instead of having the pressure of capturing the most important day in your life.  If budget is a concern, consider hiring a professional whose work you LOVE for a few hours to capture the most important parts of the day. Not all photographers have this option, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

AEP: What questions should someone be sure to ask when selecting a photographer?

KK: The most important thing to ask your photographer is to see a 1-2 full wedding galleries. I'm not even going to lie. We share our BEST photos online. We don't have the cpacity to share every single image, so you always see our favorites. You want to see our full galleries so you can see that we are consistent. A photographer you adore on Instagram may post beautiful portraits, but photos from every other part of the day are sub par. Do your homework and make sure you are happy with your decision. Ask your photographer their recommendations for how much time they need throughout the dayto get you the photos you want. Leaving 15 minutes for portraits between the ceremony and reception will only get you a couple of photos and won't leave much time for creativity. I always recommend a first look to couples that have a tight timeline. This gives us more time together! And lastly, during an initial consultation, I explain to my clients how the wedding day looks from a photo perspective. So ask your photographer about the flow of the day. Knowing that you are hiring someone that knows when and where they need to be at any point in the day is reassuring.

AEP: What service that you offer should couples be SURE to book with you?

KK: I absolutely recommend every couple does an engagement session. Even if your cousin already took your engagement photos, we still need to do one. This isn't just a time to get some beautiful photos. This is also a time for us to interact and get to know each other. When we work together before the big day, you will get a feel for how I work and most important, you will become more comfortable with me! On your wedding day, we will literally be spending all day together, so I'd love for us to already have an established relationship. This will make our time together even more fun!

AEP: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them?

KK: What a fun question! If I had a client with unlimited funds, I would recommend we travel somewhere new and exciting for their engagement session. Let's go to the Big Apple for some fun city vibes, eat croissants at a cute cafe near the Eiffel Tower or walk the streets of Milan in your most fashion forward looks. Sounds pretty perfect to me!

AEP What do you think sets you apart from other photographers?

KK: I see the world differently. I find beauty in the most unexpected way and can visualize a shot before I even take out my camera. I connect with my subjects and even the most reluctant participants feel comfortable after just a few minutes of working with me. My entire goal is to capture you in a way that you love. I want you to say "WOW! I look amazing!" when you see your photos because you ARE!

AEP: What are some of the biggest misconceptions about your industry?

KK: There is no barrier of entry to get in my field. Thus, it makes it very easy for anyone to pick up a camera and say they are a photographer. It can be extremely overwhelming when looking for a photographer because there are so many options. Please know that not everyone who picks up a camera is doing this for a quick buck. Do your research. You'll know within 10 minutes of meeting someone where their heart lies. I put so much time and money into mastering my craft and becoming the best so that I can do my very best for my clients.

Huge thank you to Kamron for sharing your heart with us! I don’t know about you, but much of her advice and observations resonated with me. Even from these few questions you can get a sense for how genuine she is. In my opinion, that is one of the most important qualities to look for when booking a photographer (or in a friend to have coffee with). Check out her website/gallery and see firsthand why we love working with her! Her photos are stunning!

Brandi Hamerstone
10 Year Anniversary GIVEAWAY CONTEST!!!!!!

All Events Planned will celebrate its TEN YEAR anniversary this May! This business that started out as just 1 person, has grown into something incredible. And this growth is possible because of ALL of AEP’s amazing clients! We are so thankful to have made connections (even lasting friendships), planned events, worked with talented and inspiring vendors over the last decade… So we are going to do something we have never done before. To be honest, something we have been a little intimidated to try before. We are doing 10 WEEKS of GIVEAWAYS!

Yes, you read that correctly. 10 weeks, starting this Monday, March 4! We want to celebrate all of the wonderful clients we have worked with, as well as their friends, our social media friends, all of the special people who have supported and encouraged us over the years. It gives me chills to think about the impact you all have had. This is a small business - the support of our clients has given us purpose, changed and shaped our lives, completely transformed this experience of self employment. So, from the bottom of our hearts - THANK YOU!

Now, for the good part. The giveaway details. We have partnered with some of our favorite vendors - companies in this industry that we truly admire, support, and encourage our clients to support as well. And let me tell you… the prizes are awesome, and all of them valued $50 or more. I really wish that I could enter the giveaway each week. Here is our killer lineup:

  1. $50 iTunes gift card sponsored by the Cleveland Music Group

  2. Surprise gift basket sponsored by L’nique Rentals

  3. Moscow Mule package sponsored by Sweet Water Caravan

  4. Gift certificate to the BRAND NEW restaurant, Thyme Cafe and Market sponsored by Thyme Catering

  5. A [beautiful and delicious] cake (valued at $135) sponsored by Gourmet Girl Custom Cakes

  6. A beauty package (valued at $175) including skincare consultation, Eminence Organic customized facial, brow shaping, makeup application, Glo beauty lip color, goodie bag of samples (and chocolates!) sponsored by Lindsay London

  7. Photo session sponsored by Kamron Khan Photography

  8. Premarital counseling session sponsored by Weddings by CPE

  9. Beauty package sponsored by Beauty Therapy

  10. Personalized champagne flutes for the winner and 6 of her friends sponsored by Pennmanship

At this point you are probably wondering how you can enter to win any and all of these amazing prizes. Every week a giveaway will be posted on our Instagram (be sure to follow @alleventsplanned!!) each Monday, starting on March 4. The exact rules will be included on the post, but please know that this contest is open to ANYONE. You don’t have to be a client, former client, friend, or AEP vendor. You don’t even need to be planning a wedding! So tell your grandma to download Instagram and enter! :-)

It’s worth repeating: the vendors that have sponsored and contributed to our 10 year celebration are phenomenal. Please take a look at their respective websites (and be glad they are locked in because I almost can’t believe how generous they are being… )!! THANK YOU to our clients and supporters. THANK YOU to the vendors who teamed up to make this possible. We are SO EXCITED for 10 years, and cannot wait to see what the next 10+ years bring.

xoxo,

The AEP Team

Brandi Hamerstone
Gourmet Girl redefines "Junk"!

One of my favorite parts of being a wedding guest… a guest at any event really… is experiencing the food. And with my enormous sweet tooth, you can guess which course I look forward to most! There are tons of new trends (cupcake towers, pies, doughnuts, ice cream bar, you name it) that are putting a twist on the classic wedding dessert. But, I for one, am a HUGE fan of cake! So when I interviewed our newest vendor, Adenike Mosley-Brown of Gourmet Girl, I was floored by the creations she has made for her clients.

She is a (fittingly) self proclaimed “Architect of Gourmet Art”, and truly makes dessert into something that could be showcased at the Cleveland Museum of Art. (I mean, honestly, if they had a display of stunning cake designs, who wouldn’t want to go to that?!) And Gourmet Girl’s “junk cakes” (please see photo and gasp) would be a featured exhibit! What is even more special, is her history and why she fell in love with baking to begin with.

All Events Planned: Describe how baking came into your life; when did it become a passion for you?

Gourmet Girl: Gourmet Girl Custom Cakes came to be as the result of switching career paths. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, with all intentions to attend Medical School. However, after the unfortunate death of my mother, I began Gourmet Girl Custom Cakes to cope with my grief and to feel connected to fond memories of baking with my mother growing up.

Baking calmed me, allowed me an escape from my sadness; I was able to share the joy that stemmed from my Gourmies (fans of Gourmet Girl Custom Cakes) seeing and enjoying their gorgeously gourmet cake. Cake afforded me a way to channel my energy, and I’ve since found a true joy in the creation process that leads to the production of positive, visually pleasing, and delicious products.

I never would have thought that I would take a path from biology to baking, doing something that allows me to use my creativity to bring others joy. In many ways God and my business delivered me from a very low point of my life, and thus Gourmet Girl Custom Cakes was born.

AEP: How did you come up with the concept for Gourmet Girl? How would you describe the brand?

GG: I am Gourmet Girl, and I consider myself to be a connoisseur of fine food. The concept for Gourmet Girl Custom Cakes stemmed from wanting to provide a product that is not only an elite culinary experience, but one that is as equally stunning to the eye. Gourmet Girl is young and fun, presenting new twists classic flavors using only the best ingredients.

AEP: What is your favorite product to share with potential customers?

GG: I absolutely love making my signature ‘Junk Cakes’ for my Gourmies! What is a junk cake you ask?  A Junk Cake is what it sounds like, junky! It incorporates custom candy pieces, fresh floral, edible images all to tell the story of who the cake is for, reflecting what the Gourmie loves, occupation or passions or things that makes them unique.  A junk cake is perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, engagement or bridal showers or even weddings to showcase the couple’s story!

AEP: What have been some of your favorite orders that you’ve worked on?

GG: I can’t say that I have any one order that I love most, because I love them all! However, I have a special place in my heart for Gourmies who order with me for every life event. I have multiple couples who have ‘invited’ Gourmet Girl to every celebrated milestone:  birthdays, wedding, baby shower and everything in between. I love experiencing the joys of life with my customers, allowing me the honor of telling a continued cake story, which for my is priceless!

AEP: If you had a client with endless funds for their event, what is one thing you offer that you would suggest they splurge on?

GG: Individual mini cakes for their guests at each place setting, either as wedding favors or as their serving of wedding cake after the couple cuts their cake. This would be even sweeter of each individual cake is a Junk Cake which is then customized to tell the cake story of each guest!

AEP: How do you come up with the ideas for your creations (or designs of your cakes)?

GG: In addition to being a connoisseur of fine food, I have a great appreciate art and rich cultural experiences. I draw upon these areas, as well as nature; and it is not uncommon for me to see something random and see it as cake. With my visual inspiration I am further inspired by my customers, taking care to design edible art that represents them to the fullest and encompasses every cake goal.  

AEP: What do you think is the biggest misconception about your industry?

GG: Often, I find that people disregard the importance of the cake for their wedding. Cake is thought to just be a cake, and it sometimes is grouped with the last things planned for the event. Cake should be thought to be the main centerpiece of a wedding. It should represent and reflect the couple and should be admired until the last possible moment. The wedding cake and its cutting by the newlyweds is significant as it is the first official task of the couple after the ‘I do’s’. The wedding cake signifies the sweetness of their love; the nurturing of their souls that have been unified as one; and the mutual sharing of their love through the sharing of the cake with family and friends! Long story short, the wedding cake is important, and should be approached with excitement and care to allow the cake to reflect the couple beautifully.

AEP: What do you think sets you apart from other bakers?

GG: With flavors such as Lemon Honeybee or Oreo Inception, Gourmet Girl Custom Cakes are a culinary experience, but in addition to this, I am an artist whose medium is cake and I tell my Gourmies story with Cake! From the planning stages to deep consideration of a customer’s ‘wow’ moment during their cake first look and first bite, I incorporate what makes them special into their cake design to show the world how unique and wonderful they are!

Hold on… wiping away a tear. Not only did Adenike’s personal story resonate with me, but her cakes (check out her Facebook page or over on IG: @gourmetgirlcustomcakes to see more pictures!!) are enough to make you want to cry. Her passion and creativity are nothing short of spectacular, and so evident in ALL of her desserts. Not to mention that I am drooling at the Oreo Inception flavor…

Thank you, Gourmet Girl! The next time I need dessert for an event (or just a Saturday night at home), I know exactly who to call. :-)

Brandi Hamerstone
Schooling us in Calligraphy

SO excited to have another amazing vendor to feature this week! This industry may seem saturated, but with so many couples who plan various types of events, each with a unique style and vision in mind, there is plenty of room for emerging artists to make their mark. And that is precisely what Tasha Pennington has done! Her company, Pennmanship, offers clients everything from custom signage to beautifully addressed envelopes. Tasha is a former teacher, and her creativity and attention to detail are noticeably standout. Plus, she is so sweet and personable!

AEP: How did you get started with calligraphy?

Tasha Pennington: I started practicing calligraphy as a therapeutic release after long days of teaching middle school students. I promised myself an hour a day of calligraphy which in turn improved my skills. When I realized I was pretty good at this, I took a calligraphy class to improve on the skills I'd learned from reading, watching, and practicing.

AEP: How would you describe your personal brand?

TP: penn•manship is personal! Everything is hand lettered in love and in lower case :) penn•manship exist to bring together elements of the clients' style, personality and color scheme to create unforgettable envelopes, place cards, wedding signs and more.  

AEP: Who is your ideal client?

TP: The ideal client should understand calligraphy is beautiful and also a luxury.  There's a shared responsibility between myself and the engaged couple to simply form a bond with each other. This allows us to share the love for the creative process and enjoy the end results.

AEP: What has been some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on?

TP: My favorite projects are always on chalkboards! I LOVE the contrast of the black background. Recently I've used black canvases for signage and they've been amazing as well.

AEP: If you had a client with endless funds, what is one thing you offer that you would suggest they splurge on?

TP: Place/escort cards! I believe engaged couples should provide some form of personalization for each of their guest. Even as adults, we all love to see our names beautifully scribed. However, we feel a sense of appreciate when they're not computer generated. Guest want to know you thought about them in your planning. 

AEP: Are there any emerging trends that seem great in theory, but clients should avoid?

TP: OH MY GOODNESS!! Place card walls. I understand I JUST said everyone should have place cards but whew, don't build them onto a wall. They are gorgeous because someone with the skill has designed and constructed this wall. Without proper management guest will pick up the wrong cards and incorrectly put it back, or not at all. If, you're one of the last guest to get your card I'm not sure it will still be from a beautiful wall. 

AEP: What do you think is the biggest misconception about your industry?

TP: "I can have a Pinterest wedding" Pinterest is great for gathering ideas however Pinterest rarely has pictures from a real wedding. Trying to remake everything you've seen on Pinterest will never truly show your authentic personality. Besides, we've all seen Pinterest show your guest something they have not seen.

AEP: What do you think sets you apart from other designers?

TP: As a former teacher, I have a tremendous level of patience but more importantly I am always looking for ways to continue to support educational efforts. I hadn't shared until now but I guess the secret is out. I am using a percentage of my profits to support a middle school science classroom to fund experiments. Working with me serves the engaged couple, shows appreciation to their guest and also supports the efforts of teachers who are working hard to reform urban education.

Tasha, there is so much to admire about what you’re doing. Continually working on your craft, creating beautiful designs, and supporting the community. Her work is gorgeous; her patience really does shine through. Give her website, https://pennmanship.squarespace.com, a click and see for yourself! We certainly hope we get the privilege of working with Tasha in the future!

Brandi Hamerstone