Wedding FAQ Expanded

If you haven’t read it, please check out my Tips for Planning an Awesome Wedding blog post. It will give you helpful hints no matter where you are in your planning process.

We have checked out your work and read some of your online resources.  What are the next steps?

Thanks for taking the time to take a look.  Before I work with you, it is important that we talk.  We can meet in person (in Oakland or Berkeley) or chat on the phone.  Happy to do a video call as well.  But step one is to talk.  I want to learn about what you have planned for your wedding, and get a sense of who you are.  Getting to know me a little is also a good idea.  We will spend a lot of time together on your wedding day.

Once we have met you and decided we want to hire you… what are the next steps?

Sweet. Let’s do this. Just let me know that you are ready to move forward with booking me, and I will send you a questionnaire to gather some information for a contract and invoice. After I receive the completed questionnaire, I will draft an invoice and contract for you to review. Once the contract has been electronically signed, and the deposit has been paid, you have officially booked the date. I accept Venmo, check, and cash as payment.

What do we need to send you before the wedding?

A couple of weeks before the wedding, you should have fairly complete timeline. Please send that over to me, so that I can adjust it and suggest any changes that might improve it. The final balance of your invoice is due at least 2 weeks prior to the wedding. If you have any questions, email me or call me. I am always happy to help out.

We signed up for an engagement session. What do we need to know?

For info about the engagement session, please check out my engagement session info sheet

When do you usually start/stop shooting?

Photography will begin at a mutually agreed upon time. For regular length weddings, not shorter mid-week city hall and elopements, I usually start shooting sometime during the getting-ready period of the day. If there is a bride, I will try to arrive when she is getting her makeup done. I wrap up at the end of the day when:
a) the party gets guests are well into their cups
b) the dance floor thins out
c) the photography gets redundant

This typically works out to about 7-9 hours of shooting.  

Do we need to feed you?

Yes… feed me, Seymour. Because of the timing of the day and the long hours that I tend to shoot, please include me in your lunch plans. By dinner time, chances are my fuel supply will be running low. Talk to your caterer and make sure they know it is best if I can get fed at the same time as you and the wedding party so that I can commence shooting as soon as possible.

Do you do posed immediate family portraits?

Almost always. I have had a couple of clients over the years that didn’t want them, but I always assume that we are going to do posed pictures. My go-to combos of the immediate family are the couple + both immediate families, the couple + their individual immediate families. If there are divorced parents, we usually add a combination. I keep the wedding party (if any) combinations pretty simple as well.

When is it best to do the posed immediate family portraits?

I try to do immediate family and wedding party portraits before the ceremony.

Should we put together a shot-list for you?

The timeline is much more useful than a shot-list. For the time slot set aside for posed family pics, try to keep it to immediate family (mom, dad, siblings, and grandparents if they are present). If you want pictures of aunts and cousins and college friends, those pictures should be done during the reception. I prefer to not work off shot lists. 

We want to do a big group shot of all the guests at the wedding, how/when can we do this?

Big group shots are a great way to ensure that you will have a picture of most of the people at your wedding. A great time to do this is directly after the ceremony. You can have your officiant let people know that this will be happening. I will find something to climb and shoot above the group.

When do you take pictures of the couple?

Close to sunset tends to be a great time for couple portraits. It is great if we can duck away for 20-30 minutes. If there is a chunk of time between your ceremony and reception, it can be fun to go on a little adventure and take time to make some epic pictures. Also, toward the end of cocktail hour is a good time to go take some pictures.

What happens if you are sick, or can’t shoot our wedding for some reason?

I have superhuman powers. I never get sick and rain does not get me wet. But, on the off chance that I am so sick or injured that I can not make it to photograph your wedding, I will make every effort to find an excellent photographer from my network of associates to stand in for me.

Do you carry back up equipment?

I shoot with two professional-grade digital SLR Nikon cameras. I have a small army of lenses, flashes, batteries, and tons of memory cards. If a truck were to fall out of the sky and crush all of my gear in one fell swoop, I would have a helicopter deliver a new camera to me or I would fabricate one on-site with a rusty nail, a bit of chewing gum, and the sensor from an old iPhone. 

Do you shoot with film?

Not anymore. When I started shooting weddings in 2002, I shot only with film. Digital has caught up. It is faster and easier and damn good.

How many edited wedding pictures can we expect to get from you?

You can expect between 50 and 100 images per hour of shooting. I try to deliver a balanced selection of images that reflect my artistic style, capture the best action, and gives you a sense of the overall story of the day. 

Can you guarantee that you will get a picture of every guest at my wedding?

Nope. I will focus on the action, the people having fun, and guests who seem most important to you. I do my best to get pictures of lots of your guests. If you want to try to get most or all of your guests photographed, I suggest setting up a group shot after the ceremony (as mentioned above). Photo booths are great too. If you want me to photograph someone in particular, just point them out.

When can we expect to see pictures after the wedding?

You can expect to have the images within 4 weeks of your wedding, but I will usually have them to you within a week.

How do we order prints from the wedding?

You are welcome to make your own prints from the files I send you. If you did not pay sales tax on your wedding package and you live in California, you (the wedding couple) can not buy prints directly from me. Your friends and family can, but without paying sales tax on the total cost of your wedding photography, I can’t sell you prints. If you paid sales tax on the entire wedding package, you can order prints from the online gallery where the full set of wedding pictures can be viewed. This gallery will be password protected. Once it is live, I will send you the password and link.

We are interested in getting a wedding album, how does that work?

I will design an album from pictures that I think work well together and that tell the story of your wedding day. The design will include some extra album pages that you can either scrap or opt to purchase. Once the initial album design is completed, you will receive a link to a viewing site where you can also add notes and make changes to the album. We will go through a couple of rounds of edits so that the end product is something that you are super happy with. 

What is the proof book?

It is a hard covered book with paper pages that have thumbnails images of all your final edited wedding and engagement pics. It is a great way to show off your wedding without having to turn on a computer. Old school. 

We think you rock, and we want to spread the word. How can we help you out?

Awe shucks. Thank you! You can “like” my Facebook business page and follow me on Instagram. Writing comments on my blog is great! The Knot, Google Business, Wedding Wire, and Yelp reviews are super helpful. Submit your wedding to a wedding blog. But the best thing you can do is to tell your friends who are looking for a photographer that you know a guy. Thanks so much for your support!

Email me or call if you have any questions, concerns, or would like to offer me feedback.