Wedding Photography Details | Frequently Asked Questions
There are a lot of decisions to be made when planning a wedding day! From the venues, to the dress, the food, the flowers and everything in between, you will be making a lot of choices over the next few months as you plan your special day. Being faced with all these decisions has probably filled your mind with lots of questions that you need answered as you're making those decisions. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions I hear from brides with regards to photography coverage for their wedding day. If you have these same questions, know that you're not alone! I've done my best to answer the most frequently asked questions, but if there is a question you have that is not covered here, please feel free to contact me and ask!
Happy Wedding Planning!
How far in advance of my wedding should I book with you?
I have booked weddings more than 12 months in advance of the wedding date, but most brides book within 6 to 12 months of their wedding date, depending on the season in which their wedding is taking place. Spring (March-May), early Summer (June) and Fall (October-November) in our area are very busy months, so if you are planning a wedding during those peak months, the sooner you complete your booking, the better. Please note that inquiring for date availability does not hold the date for you, as it is very common for me to get multiple inquiries for the same date. It is best to book your photographer once you know both your wedding and reception venues, as these two things are usually the first things you book and booking your venues generally means your date is set in stone.
How many hours of coverage do you offer?
Full day wedding day coverage for 2018 weddings is available beginning at $2250. Elopement coverage is available beginning at $1500. The amount of coverage you need for your day is dependent on a variety of factors, including how many locations we'll be shooting at, bridal party size, length of the ceremony, etc. Most clients end up needing 8 hours of coverage to fully tell the story of their wedding day. The average client invests between $2500 and $3500 on their wedding photography experience.
How does having a videographer be part of our day affect the photography timeline?
I love wedding films! I always watch them when they come up in my Facebook news feed. It is so special to be able to preserve the story of your wedding day in both mediums! If you are planning to have a videographer be part of your day, I do recommend budgeting a little bit more time in your photography timeline to ensure that you can get both the video and photography coverage that you want. While there are many portions of the day that the photographer and videographer can shoot in tandem (ex: the ceremony and candid reception moments), there are certain parts of the day where we may each need some time to get the shots we need, so keep this in mind when making a package selection. If you're looking for videographer recommendations, feel free to ask for my recommended vendor list upon booking.
Are the digital images included in your packages? How many pictures will I get?
All of my wedding coverage options include digital images. The digital images from your wedding day are delivered via an online gallery, which you are free to share with family and friends. You may also post the photos to social media sites and print them for personal use.
The best of all the images taken on your wedding day are edited and delivered to you via the online gallery. Because every wedding is unique, I do not promise a minimum number of final images, but I consistently average 50 to 75 images per hour of coverage in the online gallery. Most galleries are at the higher end of that average. More importantly, I do not put a cap on the maximum number of images in your final gallery. Your gallery will have all the best images from your wedding, whether there are 500 or 1000.
How long after my wedding will I receive my online gallery?
Wedding galleries are generally delivered within eight weeks of your wedding. If you're getting married during busy season, please plan on delivery of your gallery taking the full eight weeks. If you get married during a less popular month, it's possible your gallery could be ready sooner than eight weeks.
Can I add an engagement session to my wedding package?
Engagement sessions can't be added to the wedding package simply because they are a complimentary gift to all couples that book with me! Who doesn't love an engagement gift, right?! :) I choose to gift all my couples an engagement session for this important reason...engagement sessions are a warm up for the wedding day photos. It makes a HUGE difference in your wedding day portraits if you've had the experience of being photographed together by me at the the engagement session. This is also our time to get to know each others personalities a little better. The better I know you and your groom, the better I am able to serve you to the best of my ability and give you authentic and timeless portraits that you will love! What if you've already had engagement pictures taken? No worries! I still recommend taking advantage of the complimentary engagement session for all the same reasons explained above. Besides, most brides are happy to have those extra portraits. :)
Do you recommend sharing a First Look on the wedding day?
I remember when I first heard of brides and grooms seeing each other before the wedding. It was at my aunt's wedding in 2005 and I remember being shocked that she would see her groom before coming down the aisle. I had never heard of such a thing, but when I later learned that the tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other before the ceremony had its roots in the tradition of arranged marriages, I started to rethink my opinions on this new tradition. The more weddings I did that involved First Looks, the more I came to appreciate them. Now I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE when a couple shares a First Look. Here's why:
1. The bride and groom get a private moment together and this usually helps to diffuse any nerves. Brides and grooms are almost always instantly calmer after the First Look.
2. The bride and groom can get to their reception to celebrate with their guests much sooner than if they save all portraits involving the bride and groom together for after the ceremony.
3. The bride and groom end up with about 40% more bride and groom portraits than if there is no First Look.
What if we don't want to do a First Look?
While First Looks are popular, deciding to share one or not is definitely a personal decision that every couple has to make for themselves. If you choose to not share a First Look that doesn't mean you can't still get great portraits on your wedding day. It just means you need to keep a few things in mind during the planning process and set the expectations with your immediate family that you will need to have time to take portraits after the ceremony before arriving at the reception.
1. Most Importantly: Check the sunset of your wedding date before setting your ceremony time. If you're getting married in the fall or winter you'll want to make sure your ceremony is early enough in the day to allow for natural light portraits after your ceremony. If you have already set your ceremony time and your ceremony will get over after dark, keep in mind that this will mean your portraits will have a different look to them than the natural light portraits and additional time will be required to set up lighting for portraits.
2. Provide something for your guests to do during portrait time. If you're saving all portraits with the bride and groom together for after the ceremony, it's best to have a cocktail hour for your guests. That way, you're starting the party when you arrive at your reception. At a minimum, on average, I will need approximately an hour to complete family formals, full bridal party and bride and groom portraits after the ceremony if there is no First Look.
3. Avoid having a receiving line outside the church. It's very difficult to gather the bride and groom, immediate family members and the bridal party for formal portraits if there is a receiving line. This is because your family and friends will be excited to see you and congratulate you, which is totally understandable. If you're not sharing a First Look, it's best to save greeting your guests for when you arrive at the reception.
What is the advantage of having two photographers? Who is the second photographer?
There are many advantages to having a second photographer, but the most important is that having a second photographer allows for more comprehensive coverage of your wedding day. The second photographer will shoot from different angles from the main photographer, giving you both creative variety and more final images in your gallery. If we get tight on time, having the second photographer allows us to divide and conquer and save time when necessary. Finally, the second photographer ensures that if something happened to me on your wedding day (not likely and it's never happened, but it is better to be prepared), you are not suddenly going to be without a photographer.
I work with several different local photographers for wedding days. Most of the second photographers I hire are also business owners and lead shooters. Who the particular second shooter is for your day will be dependent on availability. I am unable to book a second photographer for your date before you have officially booked me for your wedding.
Are you familiar with different religious wedding ceremonies?
I most often get asked this question by my Catholic and Episcopal brides, as they are often concerned about photographers complying with the guidelines for photography provided to them by the church where their wedding will be held. As a Catholic myself, I am very familiar with the guidelines provided by most Catholic churches in the Gulf Coast area for wedding ceremonies. As a photographer, I am also familiar with the guidelines of many of the Episcopal and Methodist churches in the area. If I have never photographed a wedding at the church where your ceremony is being held, I will ask you about guidelines for photography. I am always respectful of any guidelines I am given. I have photographed several Catholic weddings, as well as Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian and even Middle Eastern weddings. I love experiencing and documenting the wedding traditions of each faith.
Where are you located? Do you travel?
My business is based in Mobile, Ala. and I regularly shoot weddings on both sides of the bay. I am always open to new locations and adventures photography brings my way, so please don't hesitate to contact me if you are outside of Mobile or Baldwin Counties. Please be advised that hotel and travel fees may apply for weddings that require travel over an hour away from Mobile.
How long have you been a photographer?
It shocks me to say it, but I have been a photographer for over 10 years (seriously, it blows my mind!), five as a professional photographer/business owner. Although I do not have a degree in photography, I took a few classes as a student at Spring Hill College and continued my photography education after graduation through a variety of online and in-person workshops. I continue to study new techniques for shooting and lighting because there is always more to learn in the world of photography!
I have had quite an eclectic experience when it comes to photography assignments, but weddings remain one of my favorite things to photograph, which is ironic because I used to think I would never want to photograph weddings. Each wedding, each couple, each family is different and it is an honor to be part of the wedding day and preserve such special memories for my clients.