Frequently Asked Questions about wedding photography.
These questions are the ones all the major wedding blogs tell you to ask your potential wedding photographer. Some of them are informative, and some of them are lame, but I would be a sucky wedding photographer if I didn’t make sure they were answered for you. However, to really learn about wedding photography, be sure to visit my FUQ (Frequently Unasked Questions) page. Those are the questions about wedding photography that I think are important for you to get answered, even though most people don’t know they should ask them.
Q: What primary photographic style do you identify with?
A: Making photos at your wedding requires me to be excellent at several styles of wedding photography. In a typical wedding day there will be times where I will need to work in a contemporary style, other times I will need to work in a photojournalism style. A wedding album isn’t complete without stunning portraiture, and Mom will kill you if we don’t get some traditional posed photos made. Generally, I consider myself a photography ninja. And, in the past, clients have been known to refer to me as a wizard. (True fact.) But if I have to label myself, I would say I’m a combination of documentary photography and contemporary portraiture.
Q: What do your wedding photography packages include?
A: All of my wedding photography packages include delivery of high resolution professionally edited digital files on a flash drive. Other available options are wedding albums, custom graphic design, prints, thank you cards, gallery wraps, acrylic and metal prints and more. Feel free to ask for more details or challenge us to make something new. We love a challenge.
Q: Do you offer special techniques such as hand-coloring or toning?
A: Yes! I also make super gorgeous traditionally printed darkroom black and white prints on fiber based papers, even from your digital negatives. Feel free to ask about this, but be warned that I will totally geek out talking about film photography.
Q: Do you have experience shooting in various lighting situations?
A: Yes, I am very comfortable working in all types of lighting conditions. I can use available light (my favorite), or I have plenty of lights to create my own lighting (my other favorite).
Q: Is your media preference film or digital?
A: These days I work primarily in digital, and I love the magic the little gnomes in the cameras can do. However, I am always very happy to supplement the gnomes’ work with old school film images (elves do that stuff since there’s more room inside a film camera). I have 35mm, 120mm, and 4″x5″ film cameras and a black and white darkroom. Oh yeah, me and the elves totally know how to use all that stuff.
Q: How many photographers do you work with?
A: Most of the time I am a one-woman wolf pack. However, if your wedding needs additional photographers (like if you have more than 200 guests and/or a really big wedding party), I know many great wedding photographers to invite. Then the wolf pack would grow by one.
Q: Do you guarantee your presence at the actual wedding?
A: Absolutely! I wouldn’t miss your wedding for anything! Not even a hurricane.
Q: Do you have insurance?
Q: Do you sometimes book yourself for more than one wedding in a day? Weekend?
A: Two weddings in one day? Oh. Em. Geeee. No freakin’ way. Not a chance. My philosophy is never ever invite trouble. Two weddings in one weekend can sometimes be done under certain ideal circumstances, but I often won’t do that either.
Q: Do you have a replacement wedding photographer in case you become unavailable on the day of the event?
A: Yes, I have a network of experienced colleagues I can call upon, and I’m always making more friends. In this business, you can never have too many friends. Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s kind of true about life in general.
Q: What kind of equipment do you typically bring with you on the day-of?
A: Equipment needs vary pretty wildly from one wedding to the next. But I always prepare (for everything in life) by packing way more stuff than I expect to need. And then when I think I have everything I could possibly need, I pack some more. I nearly had to give up backpacking a few years back, but after some extensive therapy, I’ve gotten my base backpack weight down to less than a Sumo wrestler.
Q: Do you bring back-up equipment to the event in case of malfunction?
A: Yes. Always. I’m a chronic over-packer. See above.
Q: What is your policy on taking breaks? If you require a meal break, do you require that we provide your meal?
A: I do not require, or even prefer, a meal break. I typically take a couple of very short breaks during quiet moments to have water or soda and a small snack. I prefer not to sit and eat a large meal while working because I don’t want to miss anything. Besides, I like to have a nap after I eat, and it’s hard to find a good spot for that at a wedding. Plus, the camera gets greasy.
Q: Do you charge for travel?
A: There are no additional travel fees for wedding travel occurring in the lower 48, as long as you book at least 60 days in advance. Plane tickets get pretty expensive after the 60 day window passes, and we’d have to discuss fees at that point. My travel fees for international destination weddings are very reasonable. Email me now to see if your date is available.
Q: How soon after our wedding will our proofs be ready?
A: Within two or three weeks of your wedding, I’ll make a blog post of some of my favorite finished images, usually 10-20. A few weeks after that your proofing gallery will be available online. As I work on your photos, I’ll keep adding to the proofing gallery. Your photos will be finished within 60 days of your wedding, and once you approve the images in your proofing gallery, I will burn and ship your files.
Q: In what format are the initial proofs offered?
A: You will have a private online proofing gallery at a secret location on the interwebs, with the option of it being password protected and completely private, or public for family and friends to see. Batman would be proud.
Q: Do you retain the copyright for the photos?
A: Yes, as your professional wedding photographer, I will retain copyright of all your wedding images, however I always provide an official copyright release for you allowing unlimited personal use and printing of your wedding photos. Since copyright stuff is pretty serious and dull, I can’t really make any good jokes about it. Bummer.
Q: Do you reserve the right to publish the photos?
A: I prefer to; however, this is negotiable. I respect your privacy and I will never insist on retaining any right to publish photos of you. But I hope you’ll agree that your photos are amazing enough to share!
Q: Do you provide the digital files and/or negatives (or copies of the negatives) to the client?
A: Your wedding photography package includes a flash drive with processed and print ready files, along with a personal use release so you can print your photos and/or use them on all your favorite social networks, like FaceSpace and Flutter and stuff.
Q: Will our images be available for viewing online?
A: Yes. First I’ll make a super awesome blog post about your amazing wedding day. Then you will have an online private gallery (or two or three). And if you’re interested, I can even make a gallery for you on Facebook so you can tag that awesome shot of Aunt Mindy and Cousin Judy dancing with the DJ all Gangnam style.
Q: What kind of wedding albums do you offer?
A: I’m so glad you asked about wedding albums! Because I’m not just a shoot and burn wedding photographer. We love to see your photos come to life and we have several wedding album options for you to choose from, and wedding albums are included in a couple of our wedding photography packages so you get the best rates on everything you want. All our wedding albums and books are lay-flat style. Wedding albums are leather or silk bound, photographically printed on archival paper and flush mounted. Books are press printed and have custom designed printed covers. But you have to see them and touch them to truly understand how amazing they are, so email me now and let’s go have coffee so you can see them!
Q: When will we get our wedding album?