Do you work with a contract and is there a deposit required to hold the date?
Yes, I have a contract that is based on a template from the Professional Photographers of America. A $1,300 deposit is required to reserve your wedding date. I accept personal checks. The balance is due two weeks before the wedding.
Do you take family and wedding party portraits?
Yes, I do take family and wedding party portraits. At least three to four weeks before the wedding I ask my clients to email me a list of portraits that they would like me to photograph. Once you send me the list, I can give you an estimate of how much time it will take to photograph these group portraits.
What if we have other special requests?
I have a section in my contract that asks you to list any special requests. I’m happy to discuss any requests in detail with you in advance.
Are you able to take a group photo of everyone at the wedding?
Yes, I do this often. If you wish to have a group photograph of everyone taken at your wedding, please include it in the contract and I will work with the venue to make sure it can happen.
What do you need from your clients before the wedding?
There are several things I like to receive via email:
- A timeline for the day of the wedding. This can be a timeline that you create, or if you are working with a wedding planner or the event coordinator at your venue, they will most likely create a timeline for you. This is very useful for me so that I can plan how to capture all of the details and events of your wedding.
- A list of immediate family and wedding party names and their relationships to the people getting married.
- A list of family and wedding party group portraits that you would like me to photograph.
How many times do you meet with your clients?
Generally two times.
- I meet with my clients to answer any questions, show them my work and so that we can get to know each other;
- Two to three weeks before the wedding I schedule a phone call with my clients to go over the timeline and discuss any new details or changes;
- Once I have completed your wedding photos I set up a meeting to give you the photos and to answer any questions. This last meeting is a courtesy and is not a requirement. If you are too busy or live out of town, I can deliver the thumb drive to your doorman or put it in the mail.
How soon after the wedding will I see samples?
I post 8-15 photos on my photo blog, (as well as Facebook and Twitter), within two weeks after the wedding. You can share these photos on your social media pages. I’m also happy to post on Instagram with your hashtag. These samples are also available to you via email. If privacy is a concern, please let me know and I will not post your photographs.
If I want to make a Thank You card, will you make images available to me for the production?
Yes, just email me after I post the blog samples and I will email you 8-10 photos from which you can choose for your Thank You card photo.
How many images from my event do I receive?
You receive somewhere 300 and 700 depending on the total number of hours of photography coverage.
Do you make albums and are they included in your packages?
Yes, I make several types of albums: (1) coffee table albums which are printed in Italy with an option of leather or metallic covers; duplicates or smaller versions of the original book are available for parent albums; (2) traditional library mounted albums that are printed domestically; and (3) digital albums with or without music depending on your preference.
Generally I don’t include the albums in my packages, but I am happy to design a special package for you which includes the album(s).
What is your process for designing albums?
- I provide my clients with a “Favorites” web gallery so that they can make their selections online;
- Once they have selected their “Favorites,” we have a meeting to review different design concept and cover samples. If you need help selecting your “Favorites,” I’m happy to help. We review my one page album contract at this meeting;
- A professional graphic designer makes the preliminary design with my input;
- The album pages are emailed to you for review;
- Two sets of revisions are included in the price for the book; additional revisions are $25;
- Once I receive your final approval, the albums are printed and delivered. The printing takes between 5-7 weeks. The entire album process usually takes between 3-5 months depending on the “Favorites” selection and approval process.
What happens with the photos after the wedding?
The digital images are downloaded, renamed, sorted and backed up on three distinct hard drives. I cull the images to remove those in which eyes are closed, a head was turned, or a waiter walked in front of the camera, or two photos are essentially duplicates. I upload these files to my digital lab for “raw processing.” This includes adjusting the color temperature, exposure, contrast, highlight and shadow detail. Once they are returned from the lab, I go through each of the images again to perform any artistic cropping and to decide whether the image looks better as a B&W or color image, if you requested B&W images. Each B&W image is adjusted for tonal values.
Do you “retouch” any of the photos?
Retouching is a separate and distinct process from “raw processing.” As a documentary photographer I don’t retouch any photos before I present the final photographs to my clients. If you order an album and would like some basic retouching performed on the photos that you choose for the album, this service is included. If you wish to have extensive retouching I can arrange to have a professional retoucher complete the work for a negotiated fee.
When will I receive my photographs and in what form?
I deliver color corrected, “print-ready” digital images in both low resolution JPEGs, (for web and social media use) and high resolution JPEGs, (for printing). The JPEG format is “cross-platform” which means these files can be opened and read by any computer whether it’s using MAC or Windows software. If you wish to have your images delivered in a PSD or TIFF format, please email me before your wedding.
You will receive your photos no later than 16 weeks after the day of the wedding. Most often I deliver them in 12-13 weeks. It also depends on the time of the year. Weddings photographed in the fall take longer because of the winter holidays.
Why does it take 12 – 16 weeks before I receive my photographs?
Each hour of photography coverage translates into 9-12 hours of post-production work.
How should I store my images once I receive them?
I recommend backing them up on at least three different hard drives or cloud storage areas just to be safe.
How long do you keep my images on your hard drive?
I archive your images for 3 years.
How will the digital images be delivered to me?
I deliver my photos on a DVD, thumbdrive or I can upload the photos to you upon your request.
Do you set up a secure web gallery for my wedding photos? How long is the gallery active? Can I purchase prints from the gallery?
I set up a secure gallery for you at the same time that I deliver the photos. It is active for six months. Anyone who has the password to the gallery can view and order prints via the website’s electronic shopping cart. The prints are created by a professional lab in San Francisco.
Are the images that I received watermarked?
No, they are not watermarked.
Can I have paper proofs instead of digital proofs?
Yes, that is possible for an extra charge.
Do you have liability insurance? My venue requires that you have liability insurance.
I have a $1 million liability insurance policy. If your venue has additional questions I’m happy to speak to you or them directly.
What’s the best way to explain to my guests before the day of the wedding that I have hired a professional photographer and that they should feel free to leave their camera at home so that they can enjoy the party?
There are a couple of approaches to this situation; here are my favorites:
- The photographer I have hired has a clause in their contract stating that they are the only official photographer at the wedding. Guests using cameras with flashes will interfere with their process of taking photographs with flash. For example, if the flash on a guest’s camera goes off at the same time that the photographer is taking a photo, and the subject moves, the subject could end up with two noses in the photo because the photographer is “dragging the shutter”, (a technique to add ambient light into the background of a photo).
- If guests that appear in the professional photos are hidden behind cameras or phones, it “drains” the energy of the photo of the couple. The guests have been invited to celebrate the couple, to cheer them on.
- Check out this article on NZfotog by South Wales Photographer, Thomas Stewart, about how to communicate with your guests before the wedding.