-Is this a studio, do you photograph my wedding or is it someone else?
Not to worry, when you hire me, you get me. The prices that we discuss in my package pricing is for hiring me. Although I have others that will be the second photographer if you've selected that option, and depending on the package you've purchased, I may have an assistant with me as well. I do have an in home studio to do Family portraits, Maternity and offer a place to meet my wedding clients to review my work in a number of ways.
-What are your prices for Wedding Photography and Packages you offer
If I'm not the first photographers website you've visited, I'm sure you see a recurring theme. No prices listed. I know the first question is whether I will fit into your budget. My starting price for a full day of photography is $2400. I offer shorter event availibiltiy on Friday's and Sundays with a starting price of $1800, and off season pricing discounts as well. Saturday's are generally reserved for full day events. But also important in finding your wedding photographer, is whether or not you will have a good working chemistry, so send me and email or fill out my contact page to learn more about the packages and kick off some dialog to start building the relationship to see if we're a good fit. In addition, my packages are very flexible, so having a better idea what you are looking for will allow me to tailor a package to meet your needs and better fit your budget. Fill out the contact page and let's discuss what we can do for you.
-Will you have a 2nd photographer (shooter) or any assistants with you on that day?
I do offer 2nd shooters as an option and in my Gold and Platinum packages. I also offer the ability to remove it if desired for some cost savings. I usually will travel with an assistant, but will base that on your event needs. Events with multiple locations or lack of set up time, I will usually add an assistant and let you know before hand. (The assistant will not be an additional cost to you.)
-How many images will I receive, and are they edited?
I can safely say you will receive more than 80 photos per hour. It typically is closer to 100 per hour, but it depends on your event and timeline. Although having a 2nd photographer will increase the number of images you receive, it does not double the amount. All your images are edited for color, exposure, and crop as needed. Most photos by the editors discretion will have stylized elements applied. We do light retouching as needed. We believe in keeping the subjects as close to life as possible.
-Are the images high resolution?
Yes, the more technical part of high resolution is more about the dpi than the megabyte size of the file. You will receive files in 300 dpi, and roughly up to 9 mb per file (depending on crop). That's usually large enough for a 16x20 enlargement. We find that most people do not print larger than a 16x20 and only for a very limited number of photos. Storing larger files only take up unnecessary space and slow down the ability to view them since devices take longer to open a larger file. Need something larger? They can be purchased as needed. Either for the file or by ordering the print from our studio.
-How long will it take for me to receive my photos?
It typically takes 4 to 6 weeks to turn your images around, however in the peak of the season, it may take up to 8 weeks. This will always be discussed with you at the time of agreement signing so you will know well before hand. Although I currently have a photo editor and could deliver them sooner, I still review every image myself and apply final edits and stylization as needed, after all, no-one knows better, the intent of the picture then the person that took it. Your photos are uploaded online and you are sent a private link to share with others. Your DVD/Thumb drive ships about a week or two later. Although the thumb drive/DVD is great to have to archive your images, most clients find the website easier to navigate their photos then the thumb drive and often review them and download as needed. Depending on the package chosen, you receive one - two years of free online gallery storage. You can then add an additional year for $9.99 or two additional years for $14.99.
-My venue requires liability insurance, are you able to provide proof of insurance?
Absolutely! If your venue requires it, I just call my insurance company to have the venue added as an "Additional Insured" and the insurance company will automatically mail them a copy of it. But regardless if your venue requires it or not, we are always insured. Some just require to be added to the policy temporarily.
-Do you back up the images for safekeeping? I've seen photography contracts list they are not liable for loss of images.
True, 99.99% chance that all photographers will list that in their contract, but what you really want to be sure of, is how they work to prevent any kind of data loss in the first place so this won't ever be an issue. For me, I use top of the line Professional series cameras that have two storage slots and I configure the cameras to use the second card as backup, so every picture I take is immediately backed up in the camera. Once the event is done, I almost immediately download them into my computer. (Can't help it, I just love to see how some turned out, even if I'm downloading them at 2 or 3am, and try to send you a few pictures within 72 hours.) Once they are downloaded, I then back them up again on an external drive. I then confirm the number of images transferred vs the number taken in the camera. Then and only then, will I delete them from the storage cards. Until I deliver your images to you, they are safely always located in two different spots. When the external drive is full, and this happens about once a year, I don't delete the files, I start with a new external hard drive and store away the full one. Although I don't guarantee it anywhere since something could always happen years from now on a single stored location, my goal is to store your files for at least 5 years, if not longer.
-Have you ever worked at our Venue before? If not, will you visit prior to the event?
With so many terrific Venue's in the area, there's a chance that I haven't, but don't let that concern you. Depending on the timeline and how many hours, I may just get to the event an hour or two early to scope it out, but if we have a full day booked, and not time to look around, you can be sure I will visit prior to your event. I usually try to take a look for different areas and backgrounds to find something different than what other photographers may have done to create some unique photos for you along with some of the main attractions of the venue. Looking at it through a different lens so to speak, I think you'll be very pleased on the day of your event that I can help guide you smoothly through the venue for some terrific shots.
-What medium do you use to photograph?
This question doesn't get asked very often since it's a bit of a technical, but it is an important one. First a quick back ground why you would want to know. Amateur/Enthusiast cameras are usually what you call "cropped" sensors. Every brand has it, but I'll refer to Nikon since I'm more familiar with the way they label it. For Nikon camera's, they are called DX format cameras. When you take a picture with this format, it automatically crops the picture by 1/3. You won't notice it since what is in the view finder is already the cropped view, but this means that the ability to crop it further will effect the grade of the photos. I only use Full Format cameras. This not only uses a larger sensor, but allows Full use of the sensor surface. So your images will be sharper, and give you the ability to crop down when needed. If you are a Camera Techie, you may have heard of Medium Format that take pictures over 120 Megapixels. This is extremely uncommon for an event photographer to use, and would definitely impact your cost price of a photographer that used one. This is more commonly used for Advertising photographers that need to make billboard sized prints.
-Will you have any other event that could conflict with the day of?
I only do one Wedding or Event a day. You deserve 100% of my attention. Saturdays are reserved for full day events, but even for shorter events that I may book on a Friday or Sunday, I only do one. The amount of preparation, planning and communication is the same as a full day event.
-What is the mix of shots in color versus black and white?
Great question! Since many of the pictures I share on social media may be Black & White, you would think that half my pictures are black and white. But I would say no more than about 5% will be delivered to you in black and white. I tend to pick the photos that stand out in Black and White to be delivered that way. And some I'll deliver both in color and B&W. Prefer more in B&W? Just let me know, but you also have a B&W filter tool in your online gallery so you can download any color photo in B&W. I do use a different setting for the ones I do myself, so if there's a picture that you prefer in my settings, just let me know.
-Do you offer retouching and coloring? If so, is there an additional cost?
All your photos are edited for exposure, balance, color, crop, retouched where needed, and stylized. Retouching is based on per photo needs, and done in a way that keeps the photo as close to life as possible. (We don't do magazine style skin smoothing unless you really prefer that) Further retouching is also done for any print ordered directly purchased from us. For instance, most of our retouching is perfect for any print size 4x6 - 11x14, however a 16x20, additional blemishes or distractions may be more noticeable based on the size of enlargement. The photos will be further retouched based on the size of the enlargement and is included with the purchase of the print ordered through us.
-Can I see a gallery from one of your recent weddings?
Absolutely! Let's get to know each other by filling out the contact page and I'll pick a gallery that best suits the size and style of your wedding. If I've shot your venue before, I typically don't share the entire gallery for your venue, but will share some high lights. I want your gallery to feel 100% you and not compared to someone else's wedding at the same venue.
-How would you describe your photography style (e.g. traditional, photojournalistic, creative)?
Generally speaking, my style is photojournalistic, and although most clients would find this more appealing, there are definitely times when you don't want just a photojournalist. For instance, getting ready pictures really aren't photojournalistic, except when I'm capturing cadids of the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen. Getting ready pictures are really about Composition and Artistic design. Such as the Brides dress. I don't just take the picture of the dress where it is, and the hanger it came with, I look for a spot that will complement the dress and if there isn't a nice hanger (it usually comes on a clear plastic one, I bring one with me.) Then the bridal portraits and groom portraits, I look to shoot in more of a fashion sense, while creating genuine movement and authentic emotion. Family and Wedding party pictures require composition and so this is shot with a range of traditional styles to fun and creative styles. Ceremony and Reception are shot with a photojournalistic style while layering some creativity to the way I shoot it. And the most important part, the couple shoot. This is a style I call recreative. I look to find ways to recreate soft and tender moments between the two of you. To me, there are two ways to take a wedding picture. When you know there were 3 people there, the bride, groom and the photographer, and then when it looks like there were only two people there, the groom and the bride, and someone with a camera just happened to capture a wonderfully soft moment. I do a mixture of both during your couple session, giving you some general guidance and cues to help recreate those soft moments.
-What additional fees/expenses should I expect (e.g., travel fees)?
Within the DC Metro Area, which for me includes Round Hill VA, Baltimore MD, Washington DC, and down to Manassas VA, there are no travel fees. The only thing that may be additional depending on your Venue, is parking. Most common with Arlington, Alexandria, Baltimore, and DC. But if you include this in your discussion with the Venue in the early stages, many times they will validate the parking for your vendors. Be sure to ask and have it part of your venue contract. I do also travel for events, and many of these come from referrals that live in other states. For distances that require hotel stays or flights, I usually recommend to my clients to find a family member that has a ton of points if they travel often for work. Most of my travel is booked with a family members travel points. What an awesome wedding gift :)
-How much of a retainer do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan?
The retainer is 25% of the total with tax if applicable. It is due at the time the agreement signature is also due, which is usually a week after the agreement is delivered to you. I can hold your date for 1 week after you have decided to retain my services to give you ample time to review the agreement. I have several options for payment to make it convenient for you. Either by check, or using smart phone apps such as Venmo, Cash, Zelle, and Apple Pay which allow you to use a debit account or credit card. However if you still want to pay with a credit card, I can send you an invoice by Square to pay securely online. There is a 3% convenience fee for this method, and you also have a higher risk of this transaction being declined by your bank for your security based on the larger than usual online payment. The balance is due 30 days prior to your event. If you prefer to have a payment plan from now until the balance is due, we can set that up for you.
-What happens in the event of an emergency and you can't make the wedding/event?
I know you can't hear it, but I'm knocking on wood as I type this, because I have never missed an event or wedding. However, I partner with other local photographers in my local area with similar level of experience, and as a collective we could reach out to each other in a last minute emergency. I've shot weddings before for other photographers in a bind. But again, I've not missed one, and I'd like to keep that streak going.