FAQs for your Wedding Photographer
Communication before the wedding is everything. I help set up timelines and make suggestions. Knowing what a couple’s priorities are for their wedding, timelines, people, and venues. I am flexible and always willing to adapt come the wedding day.
Here is a generalization of my approach:
Beginning: Arrive early, and take a walk around the venue for new inspirations I may have missed before. Unload and double-check equipment. Find the couple, introduce myself to the wedding party and family discuss the start times. Photograph getting ready details, hugs, oohs, and aahs for about 30-60 minutes. If a first look is occurring, I set up the location, run through the scenario, and allow it to happen unobtrusively. Go into wedding party portraits, in which we discussed ahead of the wedding who/how/where this is happening. Family portraits are generally right before the ceremony. Thirty minutes prior to the ceremony we hide you away from guests, get a drink, bathroom, and breathe. This time allows me to freshen my batteries and get the ceremony plan down.
Ceremony: Discretely capture emotion, details, and ceremony ambiance. I do not want guests to see me as a distraction or take away from the ceremony.
The rest of the evening is fairly candid unless you decide to do all the family and wedding party portraits after the ceremony.
Sunset. This time is beautiful for light and much different than earlier in the day. I ask for at least ten minutes with the couple to do creative portraits outside the venue. This is a nice quiet time to slow down the night now that the stress of the ceremony is over and the party has started.Dance: Depending on what is important to the couple I will usually photograph about thirty minutes after the first dances. Sometimes couples want the bouquet and garter toss photographed. I will then work with the DJ to coordinate the time.
Yes! I have backups for my backups! I’ve actually dropped a lens down trolley steps at a wedding. (Clumsy human I am!) I just picked it up without a panic, and no one needs to know. (accept the videographer whose jaw dropped) If required, I grab a backup from my bag. I also shoot with two cameras throughout the wedding. My equipment malfunctions or accidents are not any concern of my couples. I am prepared for these things to happen and carry insurance and a Canon Repair Services membership.
Yes, I actually have the images backed up 2 times before I even leave the wedding. My camera writes to two separate cards at the same time as I photograph. Plus, I download as I fill a card to a portable hard drive I carry with me at all times. That same evening I upload the images to my in-studio network mirror array and an off-site cloud storage.
I am an active member of Twin Cities Professional Photographers, Minnesota Professional Photographers, and Professional Photographers of America. With these memberships, I have a network of photographers at a local, state, and national level that I am able to reach out to at a moment’s notice. I have photographed sick before. My clients don’t know nor have my images been less quality. I have also photographed weddings over extended family Christmases and even my grandma’s funeral. I make a commitment to a couple to be part of their wedding day regardless of what other circumstances may happen. For most weddings, I have a second photographer who would take the lead and we would then find another second photographer.
All packages that purchase the digital galleries are full resolution and unwatermarked, plus you receive full printing rights. While I take great pride in photographing sharp, vibrant, and clean photos right in my camera, I also color correct each image to ensure you have the highest quality, true-to-life, final images. In addition, I avoid industry editing trends that are not as timeless.
I will post your final gallery within four weeks of the wedding. However, if you would like them sooner, I charge a rush fee of $500 and can do a one-week delivery for your online gallery.
Retainers and contracts are essential to protect clients and vendors.
To reserve me for your date, I require a signed contract and a $1500 retainer fee. In addition, 50% of your balance is due six months before your wedding date, and your final balance is due three weeks prior.
There are many factors that will shape the length of time needed. (The size of your wedding party, small kids in the wedding party, divorces and remarried parents, extended family portraits, ceremony and reception in different locations, how many portrait locations, etc.)
Generally, I request 45-60 minutes for the wedding party, 45-60 minutes with the family, and 30-60 minutes with the couple. We’ll allocate this time either before or after the ceremony. It all depends on whether you decide to see each other before the wedding for a first look.
I let my couples make this decision. I always provide my honest opinion, but I am in the service to provide my clients with beautiful photos of their wedding, not to control what is important to them at their wedding. Here are a few things to consider in doing a first look or not.
Your hair and makeup will be fresher at the beginning of the day before getting 200 hugs from guests and the emotion and tears of the ceremony or weather.
Typically, there are only about 6 hours left after the ceremony. How do you want to spend time during these 6 hours? Do you want to take photos away from your friends and family that came far and near to spend time with you?
Having a first look can be private or witnessed by your family/wedding party. However, even after a first look, the anticipation of the ceremony and walking down the aisle can bring overwhelming emotions.
The times it works best not to see each other before the ceremony would be a ceremony scheduled earlier in the afternoon, or you have two different locations for the ceremony and reception with scheduled time for photos elsewhere. In the last scenario, I recommend providing transportation for your wedding party, so people are not getting lost or making detours on the way to photo locations.
Side note: First looks became a tradition centuries ago with arranged marriages. Traditionally, couples weren’t allowed to see each other before the wedding to prevent the groom from calling off the wedding and disgrace the bride and her family if he was not pleased with the bride.
There is a time for both. I do work from a shot list with family and wedding party names. While I work hard to get to know almost everyone’s name in the wedding party and family, this allows me to move through portraits more quickly and provides a way better experience for families. People tend to give me genuine expressions when I know their names compared to looking at a stranger with a camera who doesn’t! Candids are how I capture all the key moments throughout the day. For example, pictures of you walking down the aisle, your dad giving you away, the ring exchange, the programs, the flowers, shoes, grand march, toasts, dancing, and all the parts and pieces that make the day come together.