April 26, 2017
At every consultation I show up with the expectation of answering any questions the bride and groom have thought up. I thought it would be helpful to piece together all the frequently asked questions I receive so that brides can think through these questions as they consider what some of the things they may not have thought of in regards to their wedding photography. Each photographer provides different services, style and way of doing business so it’s important to discuss these things with your photographer so you both are on the same page about what to expect and if you will be a good fit for one another.
Style is something HUGE in regards to your wedding photography! You may wonder what do you mean by “style”? Photography is an art and just as artists produce work that fit their brand, so do photographers. If you looked at my website and saw a variation of the images below you may be confused as to what your wedding gallery would look like. Sure, both images are beautiful in different ways, however, they aren’t consistent. Without a consistent portfolio, you aren’t sure of what your final product will look like. I always tell my brides that I provide a light and airy image with bright, film like colors. The left image is the style of images you will see across my entire website, they are bright and crisp, showing all the details around the bride and groom. Where as the second image is still beautiful, this style is known for being “moody”. It places more focus on the bride and groom, but you may not see as many details in the background. Which is okay, if that is what you are looking for. Just make sure when you see your photographers images, you LOVE them! If you don’t, don’t expect your photographer to change their brand, although they may KNOW how to change colors or darken an image, their brand is what keeps brides confident and what they enjoy doing! If you are meeting with a photographer, meet with them because you love their work, anything less will leave you both disappointed. You are the client and the photographer’s focus is pleasing you, however if you tell the photographer you want darker images and they know that isn’t something that they can provide to you, the best way they can please you is to refer you to another photographer who they know can provide you with the style you’re looking for. Style is also seen in posing, this is why it’s important to remember if you see a photographers that you love, but you don’t love the poses, this is something to consider when choosing your photographer. It’s important for them to hold true to their artistic abilities and for you to be sure you only expect the same style of images that the photographer is marketing.
Light + Airy Style (The style I offer) Dark + Moody Style ( I do not offer this style)
This is a good question to ask because it’s important to know what expect when your gallery is delivered. Some photographers give a disk, a usb, an online gallery, etc. You want to know how your images will be stored and also how many images you will receive. Wouldn’t it be really disappointing if you opened your gallery and you didn’t realize you would only receive 200 images? It’s important to discuss your wedding photographers average of photos. Sometimes a photographer won’t give you a specific number in your contract, but they may be willing to show you an album they have delivered previously. (I always do this!) It’s my best practice to promise around 50 edited images per hour. So if you hire me for 6 hours, you receive at least 300 (possibly more) images. I also send email all of my wedding albums in an online gallery that is available online for 10 years so my clients can login and download the entire gallery with one click and store the images on a device that works best for them.
This question is so important! You need to know if you will have additional costs after you receive your gallery. All wedding photographers do business differently. With copyright laws, the photographer owns the image and retains the right to withhold printing rights as well as additional editing and so forth. In my business I offer a print release with every gallery. This means I still own the copyrights to the image and do not allow anyone to edit/alter/profit from my images. However I do provide printing rights to my clients. This means they can take the image as is and have it printed anywhere they would like. Do I recommend this? Not really. I can only guarantee that my images will look best quality printed with the professional printers I use, but you do have the option to print them anywhere you choose.
Absolutely not! Here’s why: Would you go into a restaurant and look at the menu just to ask for the ingredients to the meal so you can cook it yourself? No! You go to the restaurant because your interested in the Chef’s meals and you want to enjoy the final product. It’s important that you remember this because photographers are often criticized for this, but giving our work halfway done is not good business for any of us. I take pride in what my hands create as I edit each of your images, I don’t just pile them into a gallery and call it a day. I hand select each image and paint it with my edits. If I were to just give you the memory card with all the RAW images there would be a lot of issues with this. First, you wouldn’t be able to open the files without a specific program and second you’d be sharing images that don’t esentuate how beautiful your wedding truly was! I always wonder why this question is asked anyhow, because due to copyright laws, you would not be allowed by law to have anyone else alter the images and although some images may look okay straight out of the camera, most photos need editing to show the beauty of the entire image. The image above is a great example of this, I had to underexpose to keep the details of her dress, so the first image she is lost and hardly noticed. The second image shines and focuses on the beauty of the bride and her dress! This all goes back to trusting your photographer. If you aren’t in LOVE with their style or you have any hesitations that they cannot live up to your expectations, then you should probably hire another photographer that would fit your needs.
As I mentioned multiple times, each photographer is different. Some photographers have different schedules that will come into place when deciding their timeline to deliver images. I state in my contract that I will deliver the images within 4 weeks of the wedding. Some photographers don’t give you a specific date, but will keep you updated. I encourage you to discuss this with your photographer beforehand, so you both can be on the same page.
There are some cases that aren’t ideal, but need to be discussed. What happens if on the way to your wedding your photographer gets into a car wreck? This obviously isn’t planned and it’s beyond their control. This is often called “Act of God” and can be multiple things to include but not limited to: being ill, going into labor, hurricane etc. Every photographer is different, but I have a specific policy in place for something like this. If for some reason I am unable to perform on your wedding day, I will do my absolute best to secure you a replacement. I am in contact with multiple photographers and I would contact them to see if they can photograph your wedding for me and deliver me the files to edit within the timeline. In this case, I would ensure the replacement was a suitable one. This means that I would not just send anyone to your wedding, but it would be someone I trust as a professional photographer. Someone who can photograph quality images the same way I would. In the case that I am in a condition where I could not edit your images, there are also photographers with my same style who I could secure to edit your images with my style. All of this sounds crazy! But it is SO important to know how your photographer handles situations like this and has a policy in place. In the case that I cannot find a suitable replacement, I would provide you with a full refund.
Make sure to discuss how much editing is included in your package. Does your photographer do any removal of distractions? If they do does it cost extra? All of the editing I provide is at my discretion. I provide edits to skin, makeup and colors. However, if you have 800 images and you want a tattoo removed from 300 of them, that would be a special request and would require additional fees due to the extra amount of work I would have to put into your gallery over another gallery.
When you discuss all of these things with your wedding photographer beforehand, you both can communicate what the expectations are. In the end, hopefully this will ensure that you LOVE your wedding images!