(Frequently Asked Questions)
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS?
I’ve been taking photos as long as I can remember! I learned how to use a camera manually in high school, where I developed my own film and did photo-journalism. As far as weddings, I shot my first wedding in 2011, and made the decision to make this my full-time business in 2015.
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS?
I stand against boring, traditional wedding photography!
I may look like any other photographer (I have a camera, I love taking photos, I obsess over good lighting, etc.) but there’s a whole lot that makes me unique. To start, my personality is super easy-going. I get along with pretty much anyone, and that makes it easier for me to blend in and get natural photos of moments- without forced smiles and fake poses. I’m kind of obsessed with details that tell a story, and the way people connect with each other and the environment. I guess you could say I’m a detail oriented storyteller.
You may have noticed by my website and/or Instagram that I love photos with just couples. That’s my passion- capturing the unique connection between two people in love within beautiful images. I have more of a fine-art approach to these images. I’m inspired by beautiful light, epic locations in nature, and the energy between you.
During a wedding, I’m capturing images that tell the story of your day, as it unfolds naturally, along with the settings and details that make your wedding unique. I don’t like to influence things too much, or be constantly in your face demanding this or that. I try to blend in, but also bring a sense of calm to help when things get chaotic. I’m not a fan of stiff, cheesy posing or making people spend way too much time in front of my camera when they could be celebrating with friends and family. My ultimate goal on your wedding day is for you to enjoy it, and not have to worry about your photos. Weddings go by so fast, and it’s so easy to get caught up in the craziness and end up feeling like you missed it. I’ll be there to remind you to STOP- take a moment to breathe, and let yourself be present in the moment!
I’ve shot enough weddings that I’m comfortable in any situation- even challenging ones like flash thunderstorms, power outages, and timelines being completely screwed up because of random unpredictable circumstances. I can deal with any size wedding, and any family- regardless of how crazy you think they might be. :)
I believe in providing the best experience possible, so you can expect to have a great time working with me! I spend a lot of time getting to know each and every client- what you love, what makes you YOU, even learning as much as possible about your family and history- because these things all help me make beautiful, meaningful photos for you.
DO YOU WORK WITH AN ASSISTANT OR ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER?
Over the years I’ve discovered that I really prefer to work alone. The more I can blend in at your wedding, the easier it is for me to approach the day as a guest and get natural, genuine candid images of all the events and moments. The more people I have with me, the more we stick out and make people uncomfortable. When it’s just me, family and guests tend to not pay so much attention and relax more when I’m around, allowing me to get the most natural photos possible.
With so many photographers offering an additional photographers in their packages, or working with assistants, it can be hard to understand how I can possibly do a good job when it’s just me and my camera. But I really feel like I can do a better job when it’s just me! Being able to blend in allows me to get the most meaningful images. Because of my style of photography, I don’t carry around huge amounts of imposing equipment- it’s just me and my camera. So I don’t need an assistant, and I’m totally capable of being there for all the important moments that happen on your wedding day. If you’d like to see a real, full wedding gallery that I’ve delivered, just let me know! I’m happy to show you what I’m capable of!
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE?
I use all Nikon professional cameras and lenses. Currently I have two D750 bodies, and a bunch of different lenses, but I almost always use just my 35mm and 85mm. I have two small flashes on hand, just in case I need them during dark receptions. I don’t lug around tons of equipment during weddings (much better for my back, lol) and that also helps me to blend in.
DO YOU HAVE LIABILITY INSURANCE?
Yes. I carry liability, equipment, and business insurance and am happy to provide it to any venue that requires it.
WE ARE NOT PHOTOGENIC, HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE UNCOMFORTABLE OR NERVOUS IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA?
This may come as a surprise, but almost every one of my clients feels the same way! I know what it’s like, too, because I absolutely hate getting my picture taken, haha! At first, there’s usually a period of awkward nervousness, but that goes away when you see how easygoing I am. I provide direction to you and won’t ever ask you to do anything you’re uncomfortable with. I’m not into “look at the camera and say ‘cheese!'”
If it’s possible, I recommend taking advantage of an engagement (or pre-wedding) session, because it’s a fantastic opportunity to “practice” before your big day! It allows you to get to know me better, which builds trust, and in return produces better photos. It’s a win-win!
CAN WE GIVE YOU A SHOT LIST?
If you mean providing a list of people you’d like included in group portraits at your wedding, yes- I’ll actually work on this with you. I know it’s important to get those portraits, because weddings are one of the only times all those people will be together in one place (and looking their best!). I’ll be sending you a worksheet to fill out prior to your wedding, where you’ll have the opportunity to plan out all of those must-have shots.
If you’re talking about giving me a Pinterest board or list of photos you’d like me to recreate, not so much. Firstly, I won’t copy other photographers work (it’s illegal, actually) and I would rather you trust me to create your own, original, beautiful photos. Secondly, working off of a shot list interferes with my intuition and ability to anticipate moments during the day. If I’m concentrating on a pre-designed list, I can almost guarantee I’m going to be missing important moments and things that are actually happening. I’d rather you leave the shot list you printed from a blog at home, and trust me to capture your story as it actually is. :)
I NOTICED THAT YOU TAKE A LOT OF PHOTOS! HOW MANY IMAGES DO WE GET, AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET THEM?
I do take A LOT of photos when I’m shooting. Back when I used film, this wasn’t really an option, but now that I shoot digital, there’s no extra cost to me and I’ve developed my style from being able to rapidly shoot. What’s happening is that I’m shooting through moments– anticipating when a great moment will happen and trying to get the best shot of it that I can. Sometimes that involves me adjusting my settings, changing my angle, or just waiting for the moment to unfold. Out of all these images, the best ones are the ones you’ll see.
The amount of photos I deliver varies per event, but for a typical full wedding day, I usually deliver between 500 and 700 images (if it’s just me shooting). I typically average about 75 photos per hour that I’m there.
Your wedding images will be delivered in a beautiful (and shareable) online gallery within 6-8 weeks after your wedding day. You’ll be able to download your images from there, post photos to social media, and order any prints or products from the online store. It’s totally awesome.
DO YOU ALWAYS MAKE .GIFS?
You know those images that are moving fast, almost like stop-motion, and just repeat, over and over? Those are .GIF files. I love creating these to help tell a story and add a cinematic feel. Sometimes I’m inspired to create them, but it depends on the circumstances. I can’t guarantee that I’ll include any, or how many I’ll include, just because it depends on the situation.
DO YOU EDIT THE IMAGES, RETOUCH THE IMAGES, AND/OR USE FILTERS?
All of the images are carefully hand-edited and processed using professional editing tools and techniques before they are released. My style of editing is unique, and influenced by film photography and fine art. I love moody, dark, emotional images, but not all of my images are like that. You can see my style all over my website and Instagram. I like to keep things as natural as possible, so I don’t do extensive retouching, skin/hair smoothing, or “Photoshopping”. I will, however, remove obvious blemishes and use things like great lighting and angles to create flattering images whenever possible. I don’t use “filters” on my images- the processing is a completely unique cocktail that’s a secret, and if I told you what it is I’d have to kill you. Just kidding. :)
The final images will typically have a mixture of color photos, and black and white. You can expect around 10-20% of your photos to be delivered in black and white. If I choose to edit a photo in black and white, it’s for a reason. I love black and white photos! I find them timeless, artistic, and a unique way to put a spin on things.
DO WE GET HIGH RESOLUTION FILES AND CAN WE PRINT THEM?
Yes! You’ll be able to download every single one of the images in your gallery, as soon as you get it! You can even choose whether you’d like to download them in high-resolution (print sized) or low-resolution (web/social media sized) or both! (Of course, I recommend saving both- and making backup copies- so you have them and don’t ever have to worry about it.)
You’re free to do whatever you’d like with your images- as long as you don’t try to sell them or pass them as your own work. That includes sharing them online, emailing them to friends and family, and printing them as many times as you want! I also ask that you do not alter the images by adding filters to them, cropping them, or re-editing them. Even though you might think an image looks awesome if you slap that Ludwig filter on it, it really hurts my feelings- I put a lot of time, thought and skill into editing.
Keep in mind, if you have photos printed at any place other than through me, I can’t guarantee them. The colors might be off, because my equipment is specifically calibrated by professional software to match the labs I use. Non-professional inks, papers, and processes won’t stand the test of time, and you can expect fading, yellowing, and lesser quality than if you order through me. All of my prints and products are high-quality, archival (guaranteed to last a lifetime or more) and just super, super nice. :)
HOW DO YOU HANDLE CANCELLATIONS/REFUNDS?
Unfortunate things happen, and I try to be as understanding as possible while still running a business. Retainer fees are always non-refundable, but other payments might be, depending on the time frame and circumstances. Details on this are stated in the wedding photography agreement.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO BOOK YOU, AND HOW SOON IN ADVANCE?
In order to book me for your wedding, I’ll need a signed photography agreement and a $500 non-refundable retainer to reserve your date. When I have both of those things, your wedding photography is reserved! I recommend starting the booking process as soon as possible (once you have your date) because my calendar fills up quickly, especially in the popular summer and fall months. I work with a limited number of couples each year, to ensure I can provide the best service and attention to all of my clients. :)
WHEN IS THE BALANCE DUE?
Your remaining balance is due 30 days prior to your wedding date. To make it super convenient, you’re welcome to make partial payments, in any amount, at any time, as long as the balance is paid in full on or before the due date. I can take credit cards, PayPal payments, checks, and cash. :)
WHAT PLACES CAN YOU RECOMMEND FOR A DESTINATION WEDDING OR ELOPEMENT?
As you might already know, I love to travel! When Scott (my husband) and I were married we chose to travel to a cool location, elope, and then have our reception at home- so I’m no stranger to weddings that involve travel. I’ve also had the pleasure of photographing some awesome destination weddings! If you’re planning a destination wedding or elopement, I’d love to offer ideas and advice- just shoot me a message!
CAN YOU TEACH ME HOW TO TAKE BETTER PHOTOS?
I would love to help you learn how to improve your photography skills, and one of the first things I tell people who ask is “start by reading your camera manual!”. I know it’s sooooo boring, but this is truly the best way to learn your camera and improve your skills. You won’t be able to take better photos until you learn your equipment! Secondly, there are so many awesome online resources that can teach you simple ways you can take better pictures. Beyond that, I do offer 1:1 mentoring and learning opportunities (limited availability in busy wedding season, of course). If you’re interested, just let me know!