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Wedding FAQ

Thursday, February 4, 2010  |  FAQ
-Can you tell me more about your style? 
I am a very strong documentary photographer but give special time and detail to portraits as well. My goal is that your wedding stays true to it's day and doesn't feel like a huge photo shoot. I work with my clients and their coordinator before the wedding to put together an easy photography timeline that flows with the day and sets aside time for the couple to be alone for photography, family formals and wedding party. The rest of the day I try to sit back and watch for interactions and moments because a wedding day is full of them and I don't want to miss them!  
-Because you take a more documentary approach does that mean you will give very little or no direction? 
Absolutely not. Everyone is so different and everyone needs something different from me. In my experience I've learned to read my couples and can tell if they are feeling like they need direction or need me to step away and just document. The day changes and my involvement changes with it. The beginning of the day and during the getting ready is usually heavily documentary and the portraits really depend on the couple and the scenario. My goal when shooting the portraits of the bride and groom together is to get them in a place where it truly becomes about them and less about me. It really just depends on the couple and I am perfectly happy to step in and do what is needed to get the perfect images to reflect your personalities and day.  
-Are you a natural light photographer? 
I just recently added this question because I'm hearing it more than ever. When people see images with really dramatic light they assume the light is created from a flash but that's not true at all. I am almost completely a natural light photographer leading up to the reception or until the sun goes down. I shoot with natural light for a few reasons. I love the look of it, I feel it's the most unobtrusive way to shoot with a documentary style and it's most definitely my strength. Many images on my blog may have appear to have been lit with a flash but they are almost always lit using natural sunlight.  
-How do we book your services? 
A signed contract and deposit is required to make the day yours! 
-How are payments split up? 
The deposit is the first payment and due at signing, the second payment is due 3 months before the wedding and the final payment is due two weeks before the wedding.  
-Do you travel? 
Absolutely. The majority of my weddings take place away from my hometown so I've designed collections to make traveling very easy. My frequented locations are: The Florida Keys, Miami, Palm Beach, The Florida Panhandle, Georgia and New York/Philly area. However, I find myself in various locations quite often.  
-In the collections you sent I don't see one that fits our needs. Can you customize something for us? 
I highly recommend setting up a phone consultation with me before picking out a package. All packages that I send out to initial inquiries are just popular choices and may not fit your day and your needs.  
-Can we book an engagement session with you? 
Yes! I try to take a more lifestyle approach to engagement sessions and suggest that we do it in a place that means something to you and will reflect your personality. If you would like for me to shoot your engagement session I book them separately from the wedding package. I used to add it to the wedding package like an extra product but too often clients were paying for it and then never booking because life got so busy and then it went to waste. If you are interested in an engagement session I will send you all of the information and when we have an official day for the shoot we will book it.  
-How long will it take for us to receive our images? 
I try to get them to you a month after your wedding but the contract states 5-8 weeks after the wedding. It really depends on the season and the number of images shot at your wedding. 
-How many images will we have in our gallery? 
Typically you can count on around 75 images per hour but again it completely depends on your event. Some weddings are packed with events and as a result there are more images. My goal is to give you quality over quantity. Regardless, most weddings have around 75 images per hour and some more.  
-If we order prints or albums from you how are the prints and the images in the album different from the digital files we've received? Do they get additional editing? 
The images in your gallery are the same as the digital files you receive. They have been edited for color, exposure and received a little pop in contrast and increased blacks. I do spend time going through the gallery and editing but not all of the files are pulled for small fine detail editing such as fly-away hairs, smoothed facial lines and sharpening for print. Any image you order from me for print or in the album will receive a second level of care and time when needed.  
-If we don't get an album in our package in the beginning can we come back later and get one? 
Absolutely! A lot of my brides come back after the wedding and purchase an album. The advantage to purchasing an album with your package is it locks you into the current prices if album prices change. It also puts your album into the album rotation immediately after your images are posted. However, many of my brides purchase albums after they are home from their honeymoon and settled in.
-Do you shoot with a second photographer at all weddings? 
All weddings include myself and an assistant. My assistant is there help completely free me up to shoot so I will never be distracted or preoccupied with gear. My assistant will shoot during the ceremony to get a second view but their main job is to let me focus completely on the moments of the day. A second photographer can be added to a collection but I always recommend that we discuss this before adding it so we make sure it is absolutely needed.  
-When do you like to show up on the wedding day? 
I typically show up 2.5 hours or more before the ceremony depending on the events leading up to the ceremony. It is absolutely necessary that I show up before the bride puts her dress on because that is one of the most important times to be photographed. I always encourage my brides to have the ladies who are so close to her to help and I feel like we always make images that become so cherished in the future. I will work with my clients on the start time to get the necessary amount of time. 
-When do you end photography coverage? 
If there is a grand exit then I suggest that I stay until the end. If there isn't a grand exit I've found that covering the last hour of the reception isn't always necessary. We will discuss this in further detail because every wedding is so unique.  
-Do you want a shot list from us? 
I do not shoot off of shot lists for many reasons. The first reason is I've found that shot lists are repetitive and tell me to shoot the things I am already focused on shooting. I also find that they take me away from watching for the moments to unfold and focus on a list that keeps me from being creative. Shot lists are usually very distracting and cause me to miss things that can't be anticipated. I do, however, want to set up a phone consultation a month before your wedding to talk all about what is important to you and hear about your family and friends who will be in attendance. I will also ask for a list of family formals to make the family formal portion of the day flow. Your wedding day will be completely unique and different from any other wedding day and a shot list is made with the idea that wedding days are all the same and should be shot the same.
-What camera do you shoot with? 
I shoot with all Nikon equipment. I constantly shoot with two Nikon D3s camera bodies and my main lenses of choice are: 70-200, 85, 35, 24-70 and the 105 macro. I also use all Nikon flashes and occasionally an Alien Bee light for large ballrooms. I am a huge fan of off camera light to add dimension to the images.  
-Do you bring a lot of gear and lights? 
My camera bag is small enough to fit in the overhead bin of an airplane and the light stand is very compact. The majority of the reception my assistant holds a single light stand and I may have one off camera light in the corner of the reception but my gear won't take up much room or be noticed.
-Because this is my first time hiring someone to shoot my wedding I'm having a hard time figuring out which style and look is best for us. Do you have any tips or pointers when looking at photographers? 
I know how difficult it can be to choose a photographer, especially if you are new at this. There are many styles out there and within each style there are different looks as well. I recommend narrowing it down to a few choices and pull up their websites side-by-side. Eliminate all of the branding around the images and look at each individual image. Pull up a getting ready, portrait, candid moment and reception shot from one website and the same from another. Compare the images of each part of the day by looking at lighting, emotion and composition. How do you feel when you look at each image? Does the image draw you in and keep your eye dancing around it or do you feel like it falls flat? I feel like a great image will keep your eye circling and engaged beyond the four corners of the picture. Do you see different emotions and do you feel like the individual images tells a story? Don't be distracted by the branding, the music and the display of the work but try to get past that to the image alone. Finally, look at multiple full galleries and galleries of albums. Even if you aren't planning on getting an album you can get a great understanding of the final work product by how it is all displayed together. The full gallery is so important but the highlight of the top 200 is what you will always look at and enjoy.
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