Frequently Asked Questions about wedding photography.
These questions are the ones all the major wedding blogs and magazines suggest you ask your potential wedding photographer. Some of them are informative, and some of them are lousy, but I would be a careless 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: My wedding photography captures a beautiful blend of timeless artistic portraits and candid moments with a touch of editorial flair. However, making photos at your wedding requires me to be excellent at several other styles of wedding photography. I must also be a master of still life, landscape (for elopement photography in particular), and fine art. My most remarkable strengths are documentary photography (also frequently called photojournalism), landscape, and contemporary portraiture.
Q: How long have you been shooting weddings? How many weddings have you photographed?
A: I’ve been photographing weddings as the primary photographer since 2010. In that time I’ve photographed over 300 weddings as the lead photographer, and a few dozen more as the second or third photographer. Of those weddings, about 1/3 have been LGBTQ+ weddings.
Q: What do your wedding photography collections include?
A: All of my wedding photography collections include delivery of high resolution professionally edited digital files on a custom flash drive. Other available services and tangibles are engagement sessions, welcome dinner coverage, additional photographers, heirloom wedding albums, photo prints, thank you cards, gallery wraps, acrylic and metal prints and more. Please don’t hesitate to ask for more details or challenge me to create something new. It’s ok to dream big around here.
Q: Do you offer retouching, color adjustment, or other corrective services? Are those included or an additional charge?
A: Every image in your collection is color balanced, exposure adjusted, cropped, and straightened as needed. Portraits of the couple receive minor blemish removal if needed. Emphasis is placed on creating a cohesive set of images that will display beautifully in your home, and look stunning as an album. Additional more extensive edits may be requested and are subject to an additional charge per image.
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 (Hey, my favorite!), or I have plenty of lights to create my own lighting (Hey, my favorite!).
Q: Is your media preference film or digital?
A: These days I work primarily in digital. However, I frequently supplement with film. I have a large collection of 35mm, 120mm, and 4″x5″ film cameras and a black and white darkroom. My photography journey started with film in the darkroom, and I’m still very passionate about film. However, the harsh reality is that no one is making new smaller format film cameras anymore. Most 35mm and 120mm film cameras are at least 20+ years old and increasingly prone to mechanical issues. Some of my favorite cameras in my collection are over 50 years old now. So while I’ll almost always shoot film at your wedding or engagement session on one of my vintage cameras, I’m also very careful to make sure that I’m also getting the most critical moments on digital. Afterwards, all of my digital work is edited to match my favorite film stocks. It’s a workflow that brings together the best of both worlds.
Q: How many photographers do you work with?
A: Most of the time I work solo. Most weddings really only need one photographer. However, if your wedding needs additional photographers (if you have more than 150 guests, multiple locations on your wedding day, and/or a large wedding party), I know many talented wedding photographers with equal experience to mine to invite. Whenever I choose another photographer to work with on a wedding, I’m alway adamant that they have extensive experience at least equal to mine. It’s a disservice to you to bring along an inexperienced photographer.
Q: Do you guarantee your presence at the actual wedding?
A: Absolutely! I wouldn’t miss your wedding for anything! Not even a hurricane (true story, three times now).
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? Absolutely not. My philosophy is never ever invite trouble. Two weddings in one weekend can sometimes be done under certain ideal circumstances, but I usually 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 more equipment than I expect to need. And then when I think I have everything I could possibly need, I pack some more.
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. Plus, the camera gets sticky.
Q: Do you charge for travel?
A: There are no additional travel fees for wedding travel in the southeastern states. For states outside the southeast, there may be fees depending on how far in advance you book your date. Airline travel has become problematic since the pandemic, as you know. Because your wedding date is so important, I eliminate as much risk as possible and only fly with the major airlines (Delta, Alaska, American, etc), arriving at every destination one to two days in advance. My travel fees for weddings are very reasonable, covering only the average cost of a flight. Hotel and auto expenses are on me. Check with 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 days of your wedding, I’ll send you a sneak peek. About six weeks after that your proofing gallery will be available online. Once you approve the images in your proofing gallery, I will process and ship your files and begin your album design.
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.
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.
Q: Do you reserve the right to publish the photos?
A: I prefer to; however, this is negotiable because I’m not a jerk. 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 when all your photos have been edited, you will have an online private gallery (or two or three).
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. It’s thrilling to see your photos come to life and there are several wedding album options for you to choose from. Wedding albums can be included in any of my wedding photography collections so you get the best rates on everything you want. All the wedding albums and books that I offer 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 contact me now and let’s go have coffee so you can see them!