McKay Imaging: a Snapshot
Our dear friends in Red Bank, The McKay’s, have built themselves a wonderful reputation for their work in photography. Professionally documenting special occasions, such as engagements, weddings, and memorable milestones is their forte. Bob and Liz are the pair we absolutely recommend be contacted if ever in need of a neatly framed landmark in one’s life.
Follow us and learn a little more about this dynamic duo, shall we?
You’ve been working together as McKay Imaging since 1995. Now- a-days with everyone presumably having instant access to a camera in their pocket, a MacBook Pro and Photoshop, how drastically has the photography industry evolved since your beginning?
Yes, the photography industry has certainly changed. There is almost an over-saturation of photography in everyone’s lives now with the advent of social media and cameras that you can carry in your pocket. Even with all that being true however, there is really no substitute for a professional photographer with excellent equipment and a knowledge of how to use it to capture the best moments at the right time and in just the right light. I think that people realize this and so, when it comes to the important moments in peoples lives, like weddings, there will always be room for pro photographers like ourselves.
The only problem that this easy access to technology presents is that guests become less “in the moment” at weddings and family events. Instead of enjoying the special moments that a wedding can offer, they seem obsessed with recording it, sometimes even to the point of ruining the professional photographs. My advice to couples these days is to “unplug” their weddings by asking people to leave their cameras in their pockets. Everyone will have a better time and the couples will get better professional pictures.
What’s your opinion of Instagram? And how does this selfie look with the Kelvin filter? No filter?
Instagram is an incredible phenomenon and we enjoy it immensely. It has many uses for many people but as for us, we don’t use it so much for business; we use it instead for more of a creative outlet. Like everybody else my smart phone comes with me everywhere I go and I am always snapping pictures with it. Unlike many other people though, I am always looking for interesting details in both urban and natural landscapes, enhancing them with some awesome photo apps and posting the results on Instagram. You can check some of it out by looking me up. Just search for “Humisgrase” : )
Mac or PC? Nikon or Cannon?
Mac & Nikon all the way!
We started using Macs way back in the early 90’s and never looked back… We are always updating our software and so must always update our hardware to keep up with the very rapid changes in the industry. It is so much more complicated and time consuming to be a photographer in the 21st century than at any time before but all of this technology allows the photographer so much more flexibility in being creative after the shutter button is pressed.
Mac or Pc? Nikon or Canon? It really doesn’t matter that much; all of these companies are at the top of their game. It’s more about what you know and we know Nikon cameras and Apple computers very, very well…
What’s your most memorable experience working with a “Bridezilla? Groom-of-Doom?” NO NAMES!
A big part of wedding photography is personality. By that I mean that when we come to photograph your wedding, we are possibly the only vendor that will be spending the ENTIRE day with you so we had better get along. Great pictures are beyond important on your wedding day. This requires not just a technical knowledge of photography but also an ability to get along with people and Liz and I like to think that we are very easy to get along with. Because of this, we really don’t have any clashes with our brides and live in a sort of “Bridezilla Free Zone”; just the way we like it…
Do you prefer portrait work or weddings better? Or are they both equally just a labor of love?
Weddings are our favorite thing to photograph. Our equipment is so good and our experience so vast that we feel almost no stress photographing a wedding, just the pure joy of helping people to capture some very special moments. It feels so special to be selected by a family to perform that delicate task for them and we take that responsibility very seriously but we love the entire experience as well. As for portraits, they are just as important to any family as wedding pictures are. Luckily, portraits are also an important part of any wedding day so the family sort of “gets it all” with any wedding photography package.
We know you have your own (gorgeous) studio in Red Bank. That being said, what has been your favorite on-location shoot?
We have been lucky enough over the years to have traveled quite a bit with some beautiful destination weddings. We’ve photographed weddings in Mexico, Jamaica, Switzerland, Austria and Greece and of these, Greece may have been our favorite location; it’s so hard to choose. That said, there are of course beautiful locations in the U.S. as well, many of them right here in New Jersey. For instance, your hotels, The Molly Pitcher and The Oyster Point offer one of the most beautiful views in the entire state! We never get tired of staring down at The Navesink River from your beautiful balconies!
Well, now we’re blushing, but Ok, we want the low-down: Is there anyone out there that you would consider fierce competition? Or is the photography scene more of camaraderie? Again, keep it anonymous. A simple “Yes” or “No” to that first part will suffice.
Like I said, we are really easy to get along with and although there is competition out there, we all refer work to each other and try our best to get along. There is also a difference in styles between photographers that allows us all to have our own type of customer. We believe that we were made to work with the people that end up hiring us… : )
Do you work on a strictly digital basis or do you like to kick it old-school once in a while?
I would say that we do a bit of both! By that I mean that although we photograph everything digitally we think that we retain a certain old school tradition in the look of our work; beautiful compositions, sharp and well exposed that capture meaningful moments in a way that makes them feel “real”. So many photographers these days are depending on digital trickery or visual shock value to get the attention of potential brides. We feel that by concentrating on capturing beautiful “old school” wedding photographs in this age of over doing it, we are the ones that often end up standing out in the crowd.
What’s your #1 piece of advice for anyone with dreams of going into the field of photography?
We always tell aspiring photographers a few things that we think are very important:
1. First of all, get out there and work, work, work. At first you may have to do some jobs for free or for very little pay. You use those photos to build a professional portfolio, either in print or on-line. If you want potential clients to take you seriously, you can’t direct them to a Flicker or Facebook account, you need an updated website or blog or even a nice presentation on an iPad. If you prefer a print portfolio it had better be very clean looking and consist of high-quality prints of only your very best work.
2. Secondly, get out and look at all of the great work that already exists. Look at photography books, go to museums and galleries. There is no better way to learn what makes a great photograph that to immerse yourself in great photography and surround yourself with great photographers on a regular basis.
3. Lastly it is important to know that being a photographer in the 21st century is a lot of work! It’s not all as glamorous as it seems. So much of it is late nights on the computer, editing, retouching and answering e-mails. You will need to have business and organizational skills in order to keep good records and archive your work. You will need not just technical skills but patience, endurance and strength of character. Above all of this, you will need to provide exceptional customer service in providing quality work to a diverse clientele, all of whom have different needs and provide all of these services in a timely manner.
Best of luck!
Since most of the really important questions are answered via their website (www.mckayimaging.com), we’d like to thank the McKay’s on putting up with our attempt at a little humor and an outside look at one of our favorite vendors. Their website and blog (www.mckayimaging.com/blog) are both incredibly intensive in showcasing what they’re capable of artistically. It leaves almost no stone unturned. Take a look, and keep Bob and Liz in mind to document your next big moment.
Stay well fair readers. Until next time…
About Our Wedding:
Krista Kohlmann & Dan Klein
Krista and Dan are one of our most fun loving, sweet couples we’ve met!! Here’s a little about their wedding at The Oyster Point Hotel this past May.
Every year, Dan and Krista head out on an apple picking adventure to enjoy the fall foliage and collect apples for fun baking and cooking projects. Dan decided that this was the perfect venue for a proposal! While playing around Riamede Farms in Chester, New Jersey, Krista had no idea what was in store for her.
The couple set their date for May 31, 2013. Then the planning begun. They chose a nautical theme, “to go along with the venue”. Their colors of choice being coral and navy (which we LOVE). Krista wanted to keep all of her vendors local in New Jersey. Castle Couture in Marlboro, Red for their rehearsal dinner, and Surf Taco in Red Bank for brunch after the wedding were just a few of her choices. The flowers were provided by Dara in Colts Neck, NJ, and the couple themselves actually created a lot of details DIY style, such as the ceremony programs, and message-in-a-bottle cards. DIY-ing it makes certain that your details are authentically personal. A one of a kind wedding is always the most memorable.
Dan and Krista’s ceremony took place at the Fair Haven Dock for a mere $25 dollars.
The cake was created by (our dearly beloved) Ye Olde Pie Shoppe in Little Silver. YUM.
Sarah Postma’s photography work is to die for. Before I even got engaged, I knew that I would want to work with her for my wedding. She is based out of Chicago but travels frequently to the New York tri-state area and does amazing things with her eye for detail and special moments. We could not be more thrilled with what Sarah has done for us.
We want to thank Krista and Dan for sharing their special day with us. Hope the honeymoon in Hawaii was everything you imagined! For more ideas – if you’re interested in a nautical themed wedding – head over to kristaanddan.com to see all of the vendors and a more detailed account of our couple’s big day! Come back to visit!
About our Wedding:
Resa & Thomas Murawski
by: Resa Murawski
What seemed to be any other normal birthday weekend, Saturday started off with a 2 hour full body massage. Boy, was I in heaven. Tommy was at work, so this was a perfect time for some self-pampering. I knew he wouldn’t be home until later, so after my massage, I took a 4 hour nap. We had plans to go to a birthday party – which is a yearly event – so I thought nothing of it. After all, we were supposed to continue my birthday celebration on Sunday in Atlantic City. We got ready to go to the party & left. Upon arrival, to my surprise, this birthday party was not the yearly party that I was so used to. It was my very own 30th Surprise birthday party!!! WOW. This was just unreal. I couldn’t even believe it. All of my family and friends were there. What threw me over the edge was that my MOTHER flew up from Florida to be there!! Kudos, Tommy this birthday gift was amazing! As if that wasn’t enough, after blowing out my birthday candles, Tommy gave a speech. I stood there & remember gazing at him as he was speaking so highly of me; I was falling in love with him all over again. Before I could pick my jaw up from the floor from his beautiful speech he was on one knee proposing to me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Before I could even say yes, I was kissing him!! I was now the “Soon to be Mrs. Murawski!”
Both my ceremony & reception were held at The Oyster Point Hotel. I love how convenient it was for both my bridal party & my guests. Pull up & you don’t have to leave until the following morning if you don’t want to! No crazy long waits in between the ceremony and reception, no limos to hire! So easy & efficient! It was fabulous to have the outdoor feel with that gorgeous view of the Navesink River while still inside with air conditioning. Our ceremony was beautiful, I’m Jewish & Thomas is Catholic. Neither one of us are very religious. My cousin is a licensed officiant & he married us under a beautiful Chuppah. We each wrote our own vows & I know we floored each other with what was written! (There’s definitely an upcoming DIY project for these beautiful vows we both wrote!) We still get compliments on how good the food was at our wedding & how fabulous the service was. Bill, Cristian & their crew go above & beyond to make you feel special!! I wish I could relive my wedding as a guest! Tommy & I really want to try & celebrate our one year anniversary at The Oyster Point – at the very least have dinner there, but I would love to spend the night!
I wanted my theme to be Modern, Vintage, & Elegant with embellishments like lace, crystals, and pearls! I have just fallen in love with lace ever since becoming engaged! My colors were blush, ivory, & grey. Soft & beautiful.
Our photographer was Susie of Susie Sefcik Photography. www.susiesefcikphotography.com Susie has a fantastic eye! She’s so easy to work with! Her non-invasive photo shooting style allows you to feel comfortable and keep you smiling! I’m fan of candid shots, so while looking through my photos I felt like I was reliving every memory of our special day. I couldn’t be happier with our photos & I can’t stop looking at them!
Our videographer came with our DJ Package – All Axcess Entertainment. Jesse of All Axcess provided an awesome package! Ours included ceremony, cocktail hour & reception music, up lighting, a photo booth & a video of the ceremony & reception! I’ve received nothing but compliments about our entertainment for the evening. The photo booth was a total hit & the dance floor was packed all night long!
Guaranteed Plant & Florist’s Steve arranged gorgeous white hydrangeas, stocks, white garden roses & blush pink roses for our center pieces and the girl’s bouquets. Our groomsmen’s boutonnières were blush pink spray roses, Tommy’s was white. They were so elegantly beautiful!
Piece O’ Cake built us an ivory buttercream frosted white cake, with a filling layer of chocolate peanut butter mousse & a layer of white chocolate mousse. Our top layer didn’t quite make it until our one year anniversary in the freezer. We ate it for breakfast, lunch, & dinner when we got home from our honeymoon. We made a pact to buy a mini cake every year after. LOL! Delicious and light!
I’ve never been so in love with a gown in my life. Allure Bridals style 8850; the color is called ivory gold. I saw it online; fell in love, tried it on in a sample size half my size, had my moment with it (despite my weight at the time) & ordered it. In the time between then & the wedding, I lost 55lbs so when I tried my gown I was shocked at what I saw; all lace with a sweetheart neckline, satin waistline, crystal applique & a huge gorgeous train. The gown zipped straight up & was HUGE on me. All I could do was cry. I never felt more beautiful in my life. Sales Unlimited Bridals was beyond fabulous with my alterations. They even made me a custom fingertip veil to match my gown. I still have to take it to get preserved, but I’m seriously thinking of hanging out in it another day just for fun (when no one is around, so they don’t think I’m crazy of course)!
We got married Sunday, September 1st – which happened to be Labor Day Weekend. We flew out to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Punta Cana Tuesday, September 3rd. It was like Las Vegas meets the Caribbean – no humidity, luxurious accommodations. Nothing less than perfect beaches, romantic, delicious food & the perfect place to relax & recap on the biggest moment of our lives together!
We chose not to have a rehearsal dinner, which worked out fabulous, because Bill of The Oyster Point accommodated not only myself, but my mother, stepfather, & one of my bridesmaids for dinner that evening. I told Bill I’d be dining in rollers – but I made sure I did it in a super stylish way! That morning I ran out to find a beautiful bright silk scarf. My hair stylist wanted me in rollers, what else was a bride-to-be to do? We had a great time at our intimate dinner for 4 while my soon to be husband at the time went out with his best man to watch UFC. We felt we wanted a farewell breakfast the following morning even though our package included champagne breakfast in bed for the bride & groom! It was VERY nice to spend the morning chatting about all the happenings that went on at our wedding & a nice way to thank our guests that stayed with us!
After spending a year planning, any bride is more than excited to see it all put together. I had so much personal handmade detail at my wedding (with an unfortunate story to go along with it), but that’s what made it so great. That’s really what made it all mean that much more! Cristian cracked the door open so I could peak at the staff setting everything up & I was floored. I made my dream come true. It was all so breathtakingly beautiful. My wedding ultimately inspired me to go into the business myself! Not even two weeks after marriage, I had two brides booked! Planning a wedding & getting married was the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m so excited to share the experience with other brides for the rest of my career life!
We at The Oyster Point Hotel would once again like to congratulate Resa and Tommy on their marriage, and wish them a lifetime of happiness together.
Please, come back to visit us ANY TIME!!!