Frequently Asked (and Answered) Questions
First and foremost I would like to provide a disclaimer: This is an incredibly long and boring page of the internet. It’s roughly 10 pages of size 11 font single-spaced content when viewed in Microsoft Word, so please bare with me. While it may be incredibly long and boring it acts as a valuable tool for a few seriously interested wedding couples on not only narrowing down if I would be a good fit for you as a photographer, but also what questions you may need to add to your interrogation list for other potential photographers.
I’m a firm believer in being as transparent as possible and providing my clients with as much information as I can from the start for them to make the best decisions for them regarding their wedding day photography coverage. Successful weddings are a huge team effort, and I know you only have the time to reach out to a couple of select vendors in each category in hopes of finding the one that is right for you. Hopefully this list answers the bulk of questions you have, but by all means if there is something not answered below please feel free to drop me a line!
MORE ABOUT ME:
How long have you been photographing weddings?
I’ve been photographing weddings for over over 9 years now, first starting as a freshman in college.
Did you go to school for photography?
Nope! I attended Southern Methodist University for Finance and Economics. I took Introduction to Digital Photography and received a D. Go figure.
Are you a full-time photographer?
I would consider myself one, yes. I own and operate a couple of different businesses, all revolving around the photography industry in one way or another. If you’re asking if I work for “the man,” the answer is no :).
How many weddings have you photographed?
In the past 9+ years I have photographed over 700 weddings as a lead photographer in Texas, as well as numerous destination weddings around the country and outside the US.
What is your photography style?
I don’t really have a defined “style.” Anyone who has had a consultation with me knows that I like to shy away from buzzwords like “photojournalistic,” so I usually go more into my approach and let couples decide if that’s a good fit for them on their wedding day.
What sets you apart from other photographers?
To be quite honest I’m not sure what other photographers’ defining characteristics are. We’re all sort of in this giant vacuum together that mostly ends up boiling down to (for many couples anyway) price and personality fit. What I can tell you is what couples get when they hire me. They get a photographer with experience, someone who knows most other vendors’ roles in making sure the wedding day runs smoothly. I’m the photographer that pins boutonnieres on groomsmen when the florist ditches out because she’s got another wedding to deliver flowers to, the photographer who makes sure that the sand ceremony is properly set up when I see it’s sitting there in a box two minutes before the ceremony starts, the photographer who makes sure you have a plate and fork ready before the DJ announces the cake cutting (and the photographer who’s ready to photograph that when the DJ announces it out of nowhere), the photographer that places the chair properly on the dance floor to make sure the garter removal photos are the best they can be and people aren’t getting flashed when you sit down. All of these things will get done, most likely without you ever noticing or even realizing that I did them. From that perspective the “going above and beyond” can be somewhat thankless, but I take that as a positive sign when couples have no idea something didn’t really go the way it was supposed to. I’ve seen enough disasters, enough things not go the way they were intended, and enough vendors duck out before finishing their job or not paying attention. Fortunately or unfortunately for me my job revolves around paying attention, and that’s what you’ll get. So if you are looking for a strong selling point or reason to book me over someone else, that would be it.
What is your approach to a wedding day?
My approach is fairly simple: I prefer to let things unfold while providing direction when I feel it’s needed. For instance I’m probably not the photographer that’s going to function well with a shot list that says “flower girls looking up at bride’s dress.” If it happens that’s awesome! However stopping the wedding day flow to stage shots like that really detracts from things that are naturally occurring. That being said I’m a huge proponent of shot lists that detail the family portraits you would like to have taken as well as any details that are very important to you and/or are unique about your wedding.
What sort of gear do you have?
I shoot with a variety of cameras, lenses, lights and other gear. For those in the know, my main camera is a Canon 1DX, with my backup being a Canon 5D Mark III. Most couples just like to know that I have backup gear (yes!).
Why do you post your pricing visibly online whereas other photographers require you to email them?
The answer to this question revolves around my philosophy on my business personally, customers and life in general. It’s 2016 and couples are busy. Not just with wedding planning, but with life as well. A wedding in and of itself is a huge life step, but it rarely occurs without other major milestone’s as well. Whether it’s finishing college, starting a new job, having a child, buying a home, moving to another state or absolutely any combination of these things, you’ve got less time today than you did yesterday, and no more time tomorrow than you do today. Being that we live in this thing called the “Information Age,” wouldn’t it be prudent to provide you the information you’re looking for? Needless to say, I believe in giving prospective clients the tools and information they need to make the right decision without them having to twist my arm or wait for a response from me. The crazy thing I’ve found is that the easier I make it on my couples the easier my couples make it on me.
Can you send us some pricing information?
Of course! You will find pricing information conveniently located on my website under the “Pricing” tab. Alternatively, you can CLICK HERE.
Can we customize one of your packages?
Sure thing! The listed packages are just sort of the most popular collections that tend to be great starting places for couples to build out on their own. I’m not huge on pushing products and 10 hours of wedding day coverage if that’s not what you’re looking for. That being said, you are more than welcome to customize the packages you see.
Do we have to know exactly what sort of coverage we need to book?
Not necessarily. My strong recommendation is to book the smallest package you think you will need and upgrade at a later date. I’m not a proponent of pushing sales up and selling couples things they don’t want or need. With that in mind, if you think you will need 8 hours of coverage it would most likely be best not to book a 4 hour wedding package.
Do you offer Photo Booth services?
I used to previously, but I no longer do. If you would like a recommendation for a reputable photo booth service provider I would be happy to provide that to you.
Is it possible to swap out the engagement session for a bridal session?
What is required to save the date?
There are 2 things required to save the date, both equally as important. First and foremost, there is a contract that needs to be signed. Along with that, the retainer to hold your date is 50% of your chosen package.
When is the remaining balance due?
Remaining balances are due 7 days before the wedding, however it can be paid off in installments of your choosing up to that time.
What payment methods do you accept?
I currently accept all major credit cards, checks or cash in person. Each client receives an online account where they can make, and keep track of, all payments. However some couples prefer to send in a check or pay in cash, which I will gladly accept!
Do you offer a cash discount?
Unfortunately not. It’s actually easier for me to manage and account for online payments than cash payments.
Do you offer a military discount?
I do not offer a military discount at this time.
Do you offer a discount for weddings on Friday or Sunday?
I wish I could. I usually end up shooting at least one of either Friday or Sunday each week, if not both. Because of that I don’t currently offer any discounts for those days.
When should we schedule our engagement/bridal session?
That is completely up to the couple, and usually a function of what you are looking to use the images for. Some couples want them for save the dates, so I suggest setting the date for about a month before you plan on ordering them. Other couples just want a nice set of images to display at their reception, so you can obviously schedule that much closer to the wedding date.
How far in advance of when we are hoping to take our engagements do we need to schedule?
This is a great question. During peak wedding months (March, April, May, September, October, November) I recommend making contact about 5-6 weeks out to get the most date options. For non-peak, but in-season months (June, July, August, December) I would suggest 2-3 weeks out and for out-of-season dates (January/February) I usually have availability within 1-2 weeks.
We have no idea where to do our engagement session, do you have suggestions?
Of course! I send a list of suggested locations in a confirmation email once clients decide to book. It includes a list of places with a short description linked to sample blog posts of that specific area and a starting address.
Do we have to use your suggestions?
Nope! Those are just places I’m extremely comfortable shooting, that I have received consistently good results at. I’m more than open to trying new places! If it’s somewhere I haven’t heard of before I will usually ask what draws you to that specific place, just to make sure that there will be enough elements to shoot at for an entire session.
How long are your engagement/bridal sessions?
The standard engagement or bridal session is 1 hour.
Is one hour enough for our engagement/bridal session?
Most of the time, yes. For couples who maybe want to change outfits and shoot at one location, or who want 2 close locations, one hour is generally sufficient. For bridals I have found one hour to work really well, assuming the bride is in her dress and ready for photos once the session begins.
Can we add time to our engagement/bridal session?
Sure! If you are looking for an extended engagement session, with multiple locations and/or outfits, an additional hour may be good for you. That price just varies depending on what the a la carte cost is for an additional hour of coverage at that time.
What is the turnaround on editing engagement/bridal sessions?
The turnaround time is 2-3 weeks for the full session. For couples/brides who need their images back in a pinch for printing purposes, I edit 10-15 files same-week and share those. For brides who opt to schedule their session within a couple weeks of their wedding date, I send those 10-15 files ahead of time and throw the rest of the bridal images in with the wedding photos for editing.
Can we meet before the wedding?
Absolutely! My office is located in Downtown Dallas and I am free by appointment Monday through Friday, 10am to 7pm. Alternatively I highly recommend Skype, Facetime or phone consultations during those times for anyone who is unable to come into the office.
Do we need to meet before the wedding?
Nope! I will ask for everything I need prior to a wedding day. A finalized wedding day photography timeline will be completed via email about 4-6 weeks prior to the wedding date based on the completion of a timeline survey that is also sent via email. There will be a reminder to send in the photography shot list in the survey. I believe an overwhelming majority of questions are answered here on this page as well, but I know couples occasionally want the chance to meet to make sure I’m not a creeper. I totally get it.
How many images do we get?
Generally speaking, wedding coverage yields roughly 75-100 images per hour of coverage. This also holds true for engagement sessions and weddings. The total turnout for weddings is a function of how many details you have, reception events, wedding party members, etc, etc. In essence the more you have at your wedding the more images will be yielded from the coverage.
Do we have the “rights” to the images?
I provide the printing rights along with the edited images to all sessions I photograph. The image files sent to my clients are all high resolution and without watermark.
Do you edit all the photos taken?
Every photo gets reviewed, and either culled out or kept. The photos that are culled out are generally excessive duplicates or non-acceptable shots. For instance I will generally take 6-8 frames of each family portrait combination, however couples don’t want to sort through 6-8 copies of the same image; they want 1-2 copies. The culling process maintains the integrity of the coverage, and once completed the remaining images go through the editing process.
What sort of editing to you do?
Every finished image is color-corrected, cropped, rotated, exposure adjusted and sharpened. What I do not do is a lot of what is considered “retouching.” My basic philosophy is that you’re spending a ton on hair and makeup, dresses, tuxes or suits, etc to look gorgeous and handsome for the wedding day. I don’t believe in Photoshopping my couples into Barbie and Ken dolls, and believe in providing an accurate representation of how they looked on the wedding day.
How long does it take to view our wedding images?
Turnaround time on wedding images is 6-8 weeks from the wedding day. For pre-wedding sessions is is 2-3 weeks.
How do we receive our images?
Your images will be uploaded to an online gallery as soon as they are finished and a USB drive will be sent to you with all of the images that are presented in the online gallery.
Do you need to visit our venue before the wedding?
While some vendors may want to visit a venue they haven’t been to before to figure out how they are going to set up (DJ’s, for example), this is not something that needs to be done on the photography side. I’m very well-trained in finding places for portraits at a venue and my lighting setup is portable enough to really fit anywhere. Aside from that lighting and weather will generally differ on the wedding day from the day I would visit, making the most important reason for visiting null. I will normally show up 20-30 minutes early to a venue I have not been to before to gather any insight I need.
I’ve been pinning wedding images I like for 6 months, can I share that with you?
You sure can! Instead of copying other photographers’ work I tend to find common themes among your pinned images. Whether you are showing a lot of close up shots or outdoor portraits those are all things I will pick up on. With that in mind if there are 2-3 MUST HAVE shots please let me know and I will do my best to recreate them for you.
Can we provide you a shot list?
PLEASE DO! Shot lists allow me to focus on the shots that mean the most to you. What I ask is that you keep your shot list to family portrait combinations, unique components of your wedding and truly “must have” images (if any). Please do not print out a checklist from The Knot and email that to me. Those lists are very generalized and make maintaining the flow of wedding day coverage very difficult as I have to constantly reference the checklist to make sure things are accounted for rather than staying engaged in your wedding day.
Do you recommend 2 photographers?
I tell couples that with over 50 guests I can get about 85% coverage. The limitation really just boils down to only being in one place at once, so there are a couple of things I can’t get physically. There are some reception details I can’t get to before guests typically destroy them (centerpieces, cocktail hour details, etc), but I am still able to get the major things (cake, sign in table, rings, etc). The coverage for getting ready may be a bit lighter as well since I bounce back and forth between groom and bride’s rooms. I also heavily focus on the activities of the bride and groom during a reception (their partaking in activities, thanking guests, etc) so I may not have much time to do things such as table shots for those couples that are looking for that sort of coverage during the reception. If you are wanting lots of details and loads of candids of guests are super important I would recommend 2 photographers. If the description of coverage with a single photographer is what you are looking for then one should be good!
ON THE WEDDING DAY
Is it you who will be photographing our wedding?
I will be the one photographing the wedding unless you have knowingly chosen one of my associate photographers to cover your wedding day. Since I do get reserved for every weekend I have a team of talented associates that I book out once I am already reserved. Upon initial inquiry I will let you know if I am or am not available, and if not which of my associates are currently still available.
How many photographers will be at the wedding?
That is dependent on the package selected by the couple. I have packages that include both one and two photographers. Couples may ask me for their recommendation on how many I think would be appropriate for the coverage they are looking for.
We are having a low-light ceremony, is that a problem?
Not at all. I have adequate gear and expertise to manage photographing low-light ceremonies and receptions.
Can you provide samples of an indoor evening reception?
Sure thing! You can actually find quite a few examples posted through my blog, but if you are looking for anything more specific please do not hesitate to ask.
What do you typically photograph before the ceremony?
The answer to this is also couple-specific. Some couples aren’t concerned with “getting ready” shots or details, while other couples want getting up in the morning through the time they go to bed at night (you probably think I’m joking). Needless to say, most couples have photography coverage begin 2-3 hours before their ceremony start time. With 3 hours we are generally able to cover getting ready & details, First Look with bride and groom, wedding party portraits and a few immediate family photos.
Can we order prints through you?
Yes, the online gallery that your images will be posted on also doubles as an ordering platform for professional prints. This is a great way to share the images with family and friends and provide them access to purchase copies for themselves without bugging you
Do you offer albums?
Certainly! I offer handcrafted flush mount albums as well as coffee table books. Please inquire for pricing and size information.
Is videography something that you offer?
Videography is not something that I currently offer.
Do you have a videographer/DJ/any other vendor that you recommend?
I do have recommendations for some extremely talented videographers that I provide to couples upon reserving their wedding date with me.
Can you photograph our rehearsal dinner?
While I am always delighted when invited to rehearsal dinners, I am not generally available for rehearsal dinner coverage. With that in mind I would certainly be happy to provide or recommend any of my available associates.
Do you require a vendor meal?
This is a great topic of debate among vendors. Some put it in their contracts that it’s required or they are entitled to X amount for compensation and time for a break. I don’t, however it does need to be noted that wedding days are generally very, very long days for photographers. We don’t get to just “show up and take some pics,” we are on our feet for extensive periods of time, running, jumping, crawling on the ground to get our clients great images. This is not an outcry of poor working conditions by any means, just a friendly reminder that many vendors go way beyond the scope of their job description to ensure their couples are happy and a vendor meal goes a long way in showing your appreciation. To put it in perspective, I once had a bride tell me during a consultation that she didn’t understand why she should feed vendors when she’s paying them to work. Whether one would have been needed or not that said enough about her for me to decide that it wasn’t the wedding for me.
Our wedding is in [enter city name]. Is there a travel fee?
I am available for travel worldwide and accept weddings outside of Dallas/Fort Worth on a case-by-case basis. I do have a DESTINATION WEDDING PACKAGE for weddings outside of Texas. For weddings inside of Texas but outside of DFW a nominal travel charge would apply and varies on location. Cities I consider to be inside of DFW do not have a travel fee.