Frequently Unasked Questions about Wedding Photography
These are things you’re usually too overwhelmed to think about now, but will wonder later.
Q: How many hours of coverage do I need?
A: There are a lot of variables involved here, but the short answer is probably at least 8. We offer a 6-hour package, and that’s tempting to a lot of people, but six hours of coverage is really best for people who are having very small (think elopements) weddings with very few guests (less than 40) and very short receptions or no reception at all. For things like getting ready shots, details, and reception coverage of at least the toasts and cake cutting, then you need to plan for at least 8 hours of coverage. If you’d like to have the least amount of stress, or if you’ll be changing locations during the day (such as from hotel to church, to reception venue), then you’re going to probably need to bump up to 10 hours. If you ask me what I would suggest, I’d say to book whichever coverage lets us plan to have at least an hour to make creative portraits together, and plenty of time to make portraits of your wedding party and family. It’s not that making photos takes a long time, it’s getting ready to make a photo that takes up all our time together. Walking from one area to another takes time. Arranging the dress takes time. All those little things add up quickly and before you know it, portrait time is over.
Q: Can you help me plan a timeline?
A: Definitely! I am very involved in the timeline process from start to finish. I can give you a general overview of how the day should flow. About 6 weeks out from your wedding I send a questionnaire where I get all the details I need to know and then I work with either you directly or your planner to get your day planned perfectly.
Q: What does the print release allow me to do with my pictures?
A: The release gives you personal use rights to your photos. This means you can plaster them all over Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest until your heart’s content. You can blog about your special day. You can run down to the local drug store and print up 150 wallet prints of your Uncle Jim putting 40 cocktail shrimp in his mouth and send a copy to every one of your guests. What you can’t do with your wedding photos is say that you took them, re-edit them in Instagram splendor, or post them anywhere that requires that you claim sole ownership of the photos (you know, pretend that you made them). That includes entering them in most contests.
Q: What do you mean when you say the photos are professionally edited?
A: Photos don’t just come out of a camera ready to hang on your wall. Truth is, a professional DSLR camera actually takes a pretty boring photo. The images are meant to be a blank canvas so that the photographer can have complete artistic freedom. So I process them. I keep the colors clean and the skin tones natural. If you have a blemish, I make it disappear. If there’s a spot on your tux, I remove it. If there’s a random background element in an otherwise perfect photo, I chop it out. There are lots of little things that I do to make your images just right. There are many steps to create a finished wedding photograph.
Q: Do we receive every photo you take?
A: On a typical wedding day, I will take over 2000 photos, but the majority of those photos are taken in big bursts. Anytime I have a group of people in front of me, I will take several photos every time. That’s because it’s really hard to get a photo of a group of people with everyone’s eyes open and their mouths closed. So, out of that burst of photos, you’ll get 2, because in all the other photos people are blinking or talking or looking elsewhere or something that isn’t what they should have been doing. Only the good photos are pulled out and edited for you. In the end, you get a beautiful set of perfect photos showing everyone at their best, and you don’t have to weed through a bunch of lesser quality ones to find them.
Q: Do you work with an assistant?
A: Depending on the type and location of the wedding and the expected degree of difficulty, I sometimes work with an assistant. Plus it’s nice to have someone to help carry all the photography equipment, and another pair of eyes on the wedding party to make sure everybody is in order while I take the group photos.
Q: Will you accept a list of “must have” photos?
A: That’s a loaded question, and the answer is, it depends. I ask for a list of five photos that wedding couples think are the most important photos for me to make, and then five more that they would like me to make if I can. By the time of your wedding, I have already created a photography schedule for the day and I have a plan of what kinds of photos need to be taken based on our talks. We’ll do group photos and individual portraits and detail shots and all of that stuff. But if you need to hand me a several page list to follow with check boxes and you’ll be crushed if I don’t get every – single - one, then I generally won’t be able to take many of the wonderful candid photos that you see in my portfolio for you because I’ll have my nose buried in that list all night. This is one of those moments where you have to decide if our philosophies match or not.
Q: What should I do to keep my photos safe?
A: Once your wedding photos are edited, we store them online in the cloud with a service that promises to protect our files forever. However, we all know how fleeting things on the web can be, and obviously, I can’t promise to keep your files forever. The first thing you should do is to make a copy after receiving your files. You should put this copy in a safe deposit box, or something equivalent (not your sock drawer) in order to protect your data. You should also copy the photos to your computer and back them up again. That’s your safety net, in case anything happens to one copy, you have multiple back-ups of every file. To keep your prints and/or wedding albums safe, all the common sense stuff applies; don’t get them wet, don’t put your coffee cup on them, and don’t let your pet chew on them.
Q: What can I do with all my wedding photos?
A: The best thing to do with them is to PRINT them and hang them on your wall. Or even better, since you’re going to have so many amazing photos that you’ll run out of wall space; you should make a fine art book or wedding album. Or get one of those cool digital photo frames. But whatever you do, don’t just leave them on your hard drive all alone and never let them feel the sweet kiss of daylight. That’s just sad. You can also check out acrylic prints, wedding guest books from your engagement photos, and lay flat photo books.
Q: Why should I get a wedding album?
A: Your wedding is probably the most important day in your life to date. You’ve spent months agonizing over every detail, right down to the color of the ribbon to tie on those cute little bubble bottles, and this is the perfect way for you to see your day as the major moment that it is. A wedding album tells the story of your wedding day, from the earliest moment of “getting ready” to the bubbles (or birdseed) hitting the getaway car as you make your escape. As an added bonus, it’s totally portable and doesn’t need to be plugged in or recharged. Digital back-ups are all cool and stuff until they get obsolete. Your best bet for preserving important memories will always be a physical printed copy, like a wedding album. Besides, it will really impress the grandkids when you pull out a book and sit on the sofa and show them your wedding day.
Q: What about travel?
A: There are no travel fees within Marshall County, Indiana and surrounding counties. A travel fee of $0.50 per mile applies to weddings within driving distance but outside this area. Destination photography is available with the Diamond package, plus travel and accommodations.
Q: What do you do to make your business environmentally friendly?
A: Everything I can! My wife claims that I bleed green. I'm a bike commuter, driving my hybrid only when necessary. I use Canon photographic equipment, Apple computers, and Western Digital Caviar Green hard drives. All my battery powered camera equipment use rechargeable batteries. My home and office have LED bulbs, and our household participates in recycling programs for all home and office waste. I conduct most of my business electronically, so there’s almost no paper. At home, we drink tap water and severely limit our use of paper products. We also greatly limit the purchase and/or use of household chemicals. My daughter even makes an environmentally friendly laundry detergent.
Q: How do I know if you’re the right photographer for me?
A: If you’ve read this far, you’ve learned a lot about me, and what a professional wedding photographer should do for you. Do you feel like I’m someone you would want to spend a day with? Remember, your wedding photographer is the only vendor you’ll actually spend time with on your wedding day. Do you think I seem like someone you trust to make the kind of photos you want to see of your wedding day? If the answer is yes, or even maybe, you should email me right now. We should chat and get to know each other a little better. If I’m not the perfect wedding photographer for you, hopefully you’ve learned a little something here to help you find the perfect professional wedding photographer for your day. No matter what, remember: It’s your day, and it should be perfect on your terms.