take out your pens, class is in session!
I've included this detailed outline of wedding day info for those interested in getting nearly every last bit of information you never thought you needed to know. There's a lot here, and I don't want this to be overwhelming, but these are just things that always seem to come up during the course of the day. Over the years I sometimes feel like i've inadvertently turned into a mini-wedding planner, as I have seen so much of what works, what doesn't and what people fail to consider (since in most cases you haven't done this before!)
HOW THIS ALL WORKS
While they all follow a basic timeline, every wedding will vary greatly, and so I try to approach each one differently, based on MY discussions with you. I want to hear what your likes and dislikes are, and what is most important to you. In choosing a photographer I believe that you should base your decision not only on their work, but how you feel you would get along with that person. You basically have to spend the day together - so hire someone you'll enjoy being around. While I certainly have a 'vintage twist' on things, you'll find that most of your images will retain a classic, non-trendy feel to them. I want you to be able to look at these in 30 years and not see your photos as dated (think those 1980's weddings!!) Also, any special event such as a rehearsal dinner, day-after mini shoot or brunch coverage is available at an additional fee and can be added to any package.
After the ceremony/receiving line when it is time to take the remaining formal shots, we can either do them at the church, reception site or someplace in between. In my experience, it is always a better idea to try to take the formal shots in a spot where there are no guests around. If you try to shoot within the vicinity of guests, you generally end up with mayhem. Everyone is so excited to greet the newlyweds as well as each other, that the distractions add an unbelievable amount of time to getting the shots completed. You can also lose members of the wedding party as they go off to grab a cocktail or say hello to friends. Being away from that allows us to take the shots faster and for you to get to the reception and start having fun!
Lately more than ever, many brides are doing a First Look. A First Look is where you see each other before the wedding (OH NO!!) which is setup as a very special moment. The element of surprise is STILL there, it's just not happening down the aisle. It is an EXTREMELY practical approach, especially if you have everything in one location, or limited time between. It allows MUCH more time for photography (as opposed to the 45 minutes you might have doing it the other way) , as well as a chance for you to take a breather and go to your cocktail hour (imagine THAT?!) I hate it when I see couples rushing around not enjoying the day they planned for so long, as this is one excellent (and super-sweet) way to prevent that. The very thought of this makes some folks break out in a sweat, but it is truly a special moment that has provided some of the absolute sweetest moments. This is something we can talk about more when we speak, but DO give it some consideration.
And as much as you may hate to think about it - Always keep an indoor backup for foul weather in mind! (believe me, i'm hoping it doesn't rain as much as you are...) It's a good idea to find out ahead of time if your church has any photography restrictions, since that can possibly limit the way we have to shoot during the ceremony. If you intend on taking photographs in the church after the ceremony, be sure to ask if they will need us to leave by a certain time. I spend most of the night 'roaming' around shooting candids. I do not do posed table shots (hate 'em and it's not 1975) and try to avoid shooting while people are eating and I go out of our way to be as invisible as possible. I'm there to capture the day as it happens, not to force people around into uncomfortable situations. Once you book me, I am all yours for the day and will not schedule any other events.
I have a file of great bands, planners, DJ's, florists, caterers, bakers and videographers i've have worked with in the past. Is if you need suggestions check out this link: VENDOR PARTNERS .
As the day can run quite long, it would be super-nice and i'd love you forever if a hot meal similar to that of the guests be provided, so please check with your caterer (it's not automatic believe it or not). If a meal is not to be provided, please inform me in advance so that I may make necessary arrangements. If you're told that a 'vendor meal' is provided, you may want to ask what that actually entails, as that can mean anything from a delicious hot entree to a soggy cold sandwich made 3 days ago (not even joking). Know what you're paying for!!!! You may want to read Robert's hot-button blog post about that very topic...
TIMING and The Magical "Bridal Time Machine'
I believe one of the most important aspects of planning the day involves discussing not only your wishes for photography, but for timing issues. By that I refer to certain points during the day where couples sometimes fail to plan accordingly for how long things actually take. I'm super flexible when it comes to where and when we do things, but there are 2 key points during the day where scheduling enough time is vital:
1) After the ceremony and between the reception is traditionally the time we shoot most of the 'formal' shots (unless you'd like to do the First Look) The actual amount of formals we shoot I leave up to you, so I always ask couples to jot down a list of all the shots they may want beyond what I call "the basics" (no need to send me a Google Photo List containing requests like "bride walking down the aisle"...oh yes, I do indeed receive those!) There may be some family groups that are very important to you I may not be aware of. This can not only determine how much time need, but also if there are possibly too many combinations for the time you've allotted. When thinking about this, it's helpful to ask yourself, "What will I use this photo grouping for afterwards?" What sounds great when you're planning out your photos can in reality become a huge time guzzler if you go crazy with combinations. Think about it this way: each group photo takes roughly 3 minutes. If you have 50 combinations that's about 2.5 hours right there.
2) It is also important to figure in the time needed for a receiving line (if you are doing one). A receiving line with 175 guests can easily take 30-45 minutes in reality. So avoid what I lovingly call The Bridal Time Machine...where many couples underestimate the amount of time actually required for wedding day events. Don't be afraid to add a little extra time so you will be able to do things at a more leisurely pace and enjoy your day even more. Believe me - the day rushes by very quickly and we want you to have an amazing time. If you don't have one, I encourage you to think of us as well as your 'Planner.' I've seen a lot of things over the years that work great--and not so great...So don't be afraid to run any ideas of questions you have by me! I'm here for you.
I frequently work with a second photographer which is great for getting alternate angles and that sort of thing. I STRONGLY suggest adding one, especially if your wedding has over 175 guests.
Digital Files and your Online Gallery
Your edited full resolution digital files will be provided online for download or on an optional flash drive. At most weddings I shoot around 3000 images to start and whittle that down to somewhere around 900. These edited images are the ones that go online which you can download and do with as you like! The editing and posting online is complete typically within 30 days. Guests and family can view and/or place orders directly through the website. While all the images get 'touched' and corrected in some fashion for color/exposure/tonal balance/B&W, excessive retouching such as contouring, adding/removing people, head swaps, adding/removing hair, changing backgrounds, is billed at the rate of $100/hour.
Nothing beats a completed album to showcase all the photography from the day...it really brings it all together in one beautiful place. In todays digital world we have lost touch with the importance of physical items - things you can pass down to future generations. An album is the one, lasting tangible item you'll be able to hold in your hands after the wedding...aside from your spouse of course.
There is a lot more info about my album range here at this link: https://spark.adobe.com/page/WUYpaSbaNLEaZ/
If you decide on an engagement session, it's a great way for us to not only get to know each other better, but for you to have some real 'camera time' before the wedding. It's also an amazing time for you both to remember WHY you fell in love and are getting married. Together in a session with just YOU and not a hundred guests around, is a pretty special experience. They usually take 60-90 minutes and consist of us meeting at a location, and kind of 'roaming' around looking for cool spots to shoot (sounds random, I know..but its a lot of fun).
Fees and Retainers
For a full breakdown of available packages and prices please contact us for our current. All prices and packages do not include any enlargements, albums (unless package with album is chosen), rush shipping/processing, excessive retouching, parking or any hotel fees that may be involved. We ask for an initial retainer to reserve the day, which is non-refundable in the event of postponement or cancellation. 1/2 the remaining balance is due roughly 6 months between booking and the wedding date. The remaining balance is due 30 days before the event. (We will email to remind you and use that time to go over times, directions, last minute changes etc) Should you choose to cancel the day or switch dates to one we are unable to do, any payments made up to that point will not be refunded. No digital files are released until balances are paid in full.
Want to see a lot more? - - then roll that mouse right over HERE!