WEDDING DAY. I implore you to have this mindset on your wedding day—to be calm, unclenched, and beautiful. Have the understanding that no matter how solid the planning, not everything goes according to plan. After all, weddings are innately beautiful. Whatever happens or doesn’t happen, you’re surrounded by loved ones who are as much excited to see you wed. The last thing they will do is to see whether all the roses are of the right hue, or whether the bridesmaids’ dresses are perfectly mismatched. Weddings are festive. Festive is fun. Fun is unscripted.
TIMELINE. I usually start my photography half an hour before you are done with hair and makeup. I shuffle between the bride and the groom. If it is logistically impossible, say the preparation sites of the couple are quite a drive away from each other, we do re-enactments for the groom, or we may have a 2nd photographer to assist. What follows is the “first look” that spans for about 15 minutes. Having the bridal party and your immediate family in tow saves a large chunk of time, we can take your formal portraits right away. Time is more manageable before the ceremony. This stage usually takes an hour, depending on your desired number of group photos and on the presence of all the group members. The rest of the formal group photos can be taken during the cocktail hour, one of the most underrated, but proven to be useful, moments in a wedding day.
WEDDING PORTRAITS. Please plan for a quick, refreshing break from dinner. I will borrow you for some portraits, and create something worthy for you to cherish and pass on to your future children and grandchildren. I will not keep you away long from the people that mean most to you. All I need is 15 minutes.
VENUE & LIGHTING. If you ever wondered why wedding photos are so stunning on the covers of magazines, it’s mostly because of the beautiful, natural lighting and a bit of planning. Light affects more than the photographs, especially so in outdoor settings. Imagine saying your vows while the sun’s beaming straight into your eyes. What makes this worse is if half of your guests are nicely shaded and the other under direct sunlight. In your selection of venues, please consider even lighting. If this is not attainable, say all the guests in an outdoor day wedding cannot be accommodated in one canopy, please try to position the guests at a 45 degree angle to the late-afternoon sun. Please also have a good sense of where the sun will set and when. I encourage you to hold your outdoor ceremony closer to sunset to avoid squinting eyes and a daylight dance party. Don’t be afraid of starting late. Imagine the benefits of a relaxed wedding.
On a typical 8-hour wedding coverage, I can capture the moments from the hair and makeup, up to half of your wedding reception including part of the dancing.
Although this collection of Frequently Asked Questions addresses most initial inquiries, my approach revolves around client preferences and convenience. I’m not quite the da Vinci just yet and thus I don’t impose my art onto anyone. 🙂 As an artist, my work constantly evolves. I’d love to share with you my newest developments. I’ve found it more effective to either meet in person or over the phone. Texting, Skype and Facetime is helpful too.
Q: My wedding requires less than what you offer, do you have alternate packages? A: Commissions depend on several factors. I’m more than happy to formulate a custom package for you. Please say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a quick text to 951-491-1811. I always respond within 24-hours.
Q: How many do photos do you deliver and may I have all the photos you shot? A: My delivery usually consists of 80 images per hour. I eliminate duplicates, calibrations, and images with unflattering expressions. As I anticipate moments to photograph, spontaneity is key. This requires quick thinking; the scene changes in a heartbeat. One time you’re smiling beautifully and the next half-second, not as pretty. These are the eliminated images
Q: How about RAW photos, do you deliver these so I may process these myself? A: I believe delivering RAW files is a disservice to my clients. RAW images are unfinished work and don’t represent the work I offer. This compromise goes against the unyielding standards that I hold dear. I feel it’s much like a baker selling flour instead of bread to those who say they can bake better. I’ve committed myself to deliver my best work.
Q: Do you offer cinematography? A: I’m sorry, no. I strive for efficient simplicity and prefer to contain my service to what I’m directly involved with. I could recommend several highly-capable professionals for your perusal. I encourage you to match my style with theirs. I once had a video team that had an opposing style. For instance, my first look sequence is intimate and encourages raw emotions while the video team’s methods involves 3 spotlights, 5 cameras and a drone shadowing the bride as she walks to her groom. I can’t have the intimate moment for you.
Q: Do you offer destination weddings? A: Yes, I do. I love traveling. At most, I request that travel, board and lodging is accommodated for your photographer/s. I prefer to be at the destination a day ahead. This would allow me enough time for travel delays and location scouting. I always leave at the soonest possible time. No fine print funny stuff, I only request to be reimbursed for actual expenses evidenced by receipts.
Q: How do we book and pay for your services? A: After you confirm your decision, you will receive an email with a link to our contract. You may sign this online and then print for yourself. The modes of accepted payment are Venmo (preferred), Google Pay, Apple Pay and mailed check. If these don’t work for you, please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate your preference.
Q: Do you have client reviews? A: Yes, I do and I’m truly grateful for such awesome clients that leave reviews. WeddingWire.com hosts my client testimonials. As of this writing, I hold a 5/5 star rating with nearly 100 reviews. I’ve received, for two years in a row, the exclusive WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award. This is given to the nation’s top 5% vendors as elected by its members.
Q: May I print the images on my own and use these as I wish? A: Yes, please. Have fun with your images, I will issue a print and distribution release.
Q: How do we receive our images? A: I’ll prepare an online gallery that hosts your high-resolution, fully edited images. This gallery acts as a shareable, mobile friendly slideshow, and download portal. The first 12 images will be be sent to you within 24-hours of your wedding. Complete delivery is done within 6 weeks.
Q: Despite concentrating on candid photography, do you do posed portraits at all? A: Yes, I do! I have a few tricks to keep things fun and candid. These sessions get wilder as the group size gets larger – just as it should. And no, I don’t ask people to say cheeeeese.
Q: Can my uncle take pictures of my wedding? A: Yes, he may. I’d be more than happy to give him tips too. Please request that they stay behind me at all times. For better understanding, envision your kiss the bride photo.
Q: Can we see a full gallery? A: Yes and I will not have it any other way. I’m a firm believer of transparency as this encourages trust and compatibility. There are plenty of excellent photographers out there, in both character and skill. It’s simply a matter of finding the perfect fit for your vision. I never impose my style onto anyone but I do my best to impress those who look.
Q: Do you have insurance? A: Yes, my service is insured. Peace of mind is an integral part of my business.
Q: Are you doing this full-time or part-time? A: I have two full-time jobs. I’m a dad first and a photographer second.
Q: Your work reflects the quality I aspire for myself. May I shoot with you to learn? A: Yes, I’m happy to have you. I accept a limited number of apprentices for a given season. Please say hello, I love sharing what I know. The tide raises all boats.