How much does wedding photography cost?
I’m not currently accepting wedding commissions.
Do I really need an engagement session?
Yes you really do, which is why all of my wedding packages include engagement sessions. These sessions are important for two reasons 1) it gives us a chance to get to know each other, and 2) it gives you a chance to feel less awkward in front of my gigantic camera. During these sessions we learn how to communicate. I learn which angles work best for you, and how to make you laugh (because real smiles > fake smiles). It’s about spending a couple of hours together laughing so I’m not a stranger on your wedding day. Engagement sessions make wedding portraits better, and engagement sessions make wedding portraits faster, meaning you get more time to party with your guests. So really, everything about them is awesome!
What is a “first look” and do I need one?
A first look is where you and your husband or wife to be see each other, and spend about about an hour taking your portraits, before the wedding. I love first looks (and had one at my own wedding)! If you are going to go down this route, I recommend doing bridal party and family portraits before the wedding as well. I recently wrote a post on first looks with lots of details. Check that out, here.
What do you think about first dances done before dinner?
I love them. I think they are very romantic and the light is generally better. I’m also totally biased because I did this at my wedding and thought it was amazing. If you want photos of your first dance but don’t care as much about reception photos, you might be able to squeeze your timeline into a half-day package!
What is a sunset mini-session and do I need one?
You don’t need one, but if you’ve booked me through sunset, it comes highly recommended. About 15 minutes before sunset (depending on location) I love to take the newly wed couple outside to capture a few final portraits in the best light of the day. I’ll always send you sunset time, and you can decide if you want to plan your reception so that you two can pop out for 15 minutes. These pictures are usually the best of the day, they are taken when you are at your most relaxed (you’ve usually had time for one drink, but not more) and the light is magical. I swoon just thinking about it! One recommendation, stick to white wine until after sunset!
Do I really need all day wedding coverage or is a half day enough?
This is totally up to you. I think it is important to have wedding coverage of: bridal preparation, first look (if you are doing one), bridal portraits, family portraits, and the ceremony. I think that your wedding photos tell a more complete story if you also have professional coverage of the reception (speeches, reactions, tears!), and the dancing! Here are some helpful hints on wedding day timelines!
How far in advance should we book?
I book weddings up to 18 months in advance, if your wedding is further away than that – let me know and we can try to work something out! I also book weddings as little as a day in advance, if I’m available!
What is the booking process?
Contact me to let me know the date of your wedding. I’ll get back to you shortly with my availability. The next step is an in-person or by-phone consultation. Some couples just “know” and choose to forgo the consultation. Once you decide to book, I send you a contract. A 50% retainer is due upon signing your wedding contract. I use an awesome online signature service, so we don’t need to worry about printing and scanning or mailing. Then, we shoot your engagement session and I start working on your engagement guestbook! About 3-4 weeks before the wedding, I send you a questionnaire – this gives me a better idea of the timeline and names and places. I ask that you complete this questionnaire about 2 weeks before the wedding. For local couples, we meet up for about a half hour the week before the wedding for a quick chat. For destination weddings, we have a quick phone call or chat by email the week before the wedding to finalize any last minute details. The balance (50%) is due a week before the wedding. Finally, I show up at the predetermined location on your wedding day and get to work!
Do you require a deposit? How do I pay?
I do require a 50% deposit at the time of booking. I have not reserved your wedding day until this is paid. However, if I get another inquiry for your wedding day I will let you know and give you a day or so before meeting with the other couple.
How many pictures do we get from our wedding?
I don’t promise a predetermined number of images, I think it is more important just to give you the awesome ones! Ballpark, though, is around 500 to 800 for the day!
How long do you save our images?
One year. After that, it is up to you!
Why is wedding photography so expensive?
This is a big question. And I agree, it seems expensive! But, let me break it down for you! First off, equipment. Not only do I need my primary set of equiptment, but I need a full set of backup equipment. I’ve got tens of thousands of dollars of equipment at your wedding! Second, non-stop labour the day of the wedding. By two people. Third, post-processing and album design. As a general rule, I spend at least twice as long working on your wedding images than I do shooting. Fourth, consultation time leading up to the wedding, especially if you don’t have a planner and I’m helping you with your timeline! Fifth, artistic value. Your wedding photos aren’t just snaps of your wedding, they are images that are carefully created using experience that has been honed over several years. After taking all fixed and variable costs into account, I don’t really make that much money! Trust me!
How can I save some money?
The best way to save money on your wedding photographer is not to book a less good photographer. That’s recipe for disappointment! Instead, I recommend planning your day so you can squeeze everything into a half day package! For instance, if everything is in the same location and you have a first look you can book a half day and still get pretty full wedding coverage. Send me an email for more details! I don’t recommend skipping albums. If you don’t have the budget for a premium album wedding album, do a budget wedding album instead. It may not be as fancy but still is a wonderful way to showcase your memories.
What time of year should we book our portraits?
I shoot portraits year round! Each season is beautiful in its own right. However, I don’t recommend winter for family portraits – it’s great for adults, but the little ones get cold and grumpy a lot faster in the winter. Summer is the busiest time for weddings and portraits, so it is the hardest time of the year to book a session. In my opinion, spring and fall are the prettiest season. But, its truly up to you. Think about the last time you had your portraits done and maybe do something a bit different this time!
What time of day should we book our portraits?
The best time of day for portraits is sunrise or about 2 hours before sunset, so the best time varies by the season. Check out timeanddate.com for sunset dates and times all year long.
Where should we shoot our portraits?
There are two routes you can take when deciding where you want your portraits! The first is knowing what kind of pictures you want (ravine, beach, cool urban architecture) and selecting a location based on style. The second option is picking somewhere meaningful to you. For instance, where you got engaged, where you had a wonderful date, your first family picnic or trip to the beach? If you can’t think of anywhere, let me know – I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas up my sleeve. If you need a recommendation, let me know whether you want an “urban” feel to your images, or whether you want a “natural” feel for your images.
How many locations can we go to?
We can go to unlimited locations, but the maximum amount of time for a portrait session is two hours and I usually spend just over an hour with people. Being a model is hard work, and after that you start getting tired. No one looks good when they are tired. The more time we spend traveling, the less time we spend shooting, it is really up to you! For couples, we usually pick one or two locations, for families, I recommend only one location. (This means one location without piling into a car, anywhere within a short walk is totally fine!)
What do we do in the event of rain?
Unless it is light sprinkles, I recommend rescheduling. If you’ve made it this far into my website, it means you like outdoor imagery and will probably be disappointed if we move the location indoors. I’ll contact you about 2 days before your session if it looks like it is going to rain and we will be in constant communication up to the time of the session before we make our decision.
What should we wear for our portraits?
I’m working on curating two Pinterest boards with awesome ideas for coordinating outfits for portraits and family sessions. I’ve started the portrait board, so you can check it out! But, general tips include: coordinating (but not matching) outfits; nice shoes (they’ll be in a lot of shots!); nice hair; no big bold patterns (if you look in the mirror and your shirt distracts from your face, that’s not good!); and most importantly, something that makes you feel like you. A spiffy version of you.
Do we need a change of outfits?
I don’t generally recommend it unless you feel comfortable changing in public, or pick a location because there is somewhere to change! However, if you’ve got your heart set on two (or more!) different styles, let me know in advance and bring them along!
What should I bring?
Ladies, unless you want your purse in your images, leave it in the car! Bring as little as possible to the shoot, with the exception of snacks and toys if we are shooting your kids! Kids are happier with snacks and toys and happy kids make happy portraits!
How many pictures do we get from our portrait session?
Usually 30 to 50. Sometimes more. Never less.
How long does it take you to turn the images around?
I usually blog some teasers within a week and turn all of the images around within two weeks. If there is something that will prevent me from doing this, I will let you know in advance.
How long do you save our images?
One year. After that it is up to you!