WELCOME! I’M SO EXCITED TO BE WORKING WITH YOU!
This page is to help guide you through the wedding photography process. I’ll talk a bit about my philosophy as a wedding photographer, what it’s like to work with me, and how you can prepare so that your wedding day images are created with authenticity. My job as your wedding photographer is to create images that represent your unique relationship as a couple. Throughout your engagement session and your wedding (basically any time you’re in front of my lens) I’m going to be constantly reminding you why you’re having your photo taken in the first place- you’ve found the person you can’t live without and that is worth documenting.
I’m interested in documenting your story, not directing it.
I’m interested in the authenticity of your relationship with the person you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with.
I’m interested in capturing the interactions between the two of you without being intrusive.
I’m interested in prompting you, rather than posing you.
I’M INTERESTED IN GETTING TO KNOW YOU.
Some of the best images I’ve taken were created out of an understanding of my couple’s unique relationship with one another and a mutual trust between myself and the couple. The more I know who you are and your reason for joining together in marriage, the more I’m able to anticipate your emotions + movements throughout the day. From the first e-mail exchange to your engagement session to your portraits as husband + wife, I’ll be reminding you the reason for hiring me as your photographer; that you have found the one person you can’t live without and you have chosen to spend your life together. And if that isn’t a reason to document your love; if that isn’t a reason to get lost in one another and allow me to document your authentic, true relationship, than I don’t know what is.
This section is an overview of our time together from the day you hire me as your wedding photographer to the delivery of your wedding day images.
Remember how I told you I like to get to know my couples? I really really do. If I haven’t already, I’ll send you a short + sweet questionnaire that can help us get the ball rolling.
2. TOGETHER SESSION + A DRINK (Or a cup a’ joe.)
If you decided to include an Together Session (which you totally, totally should) we’ll decide on a date that works best for all of us. I usually suggest choosing a location or doing an activity that means something to the both of you, even if that means hanging at out at your apartment. I like to meet up beforehand for a drink (or a cup of coffee or tea) first. I want you to feel comfortable enough to snuggle in front of me, and usually a margarita (or two) does the trick.
3. GO CRAZY ABOUT YOUR IMAGES.
After I’ve photographed your Together Session, you’ll receive a link to view + download your images within 14 days. You can also purchase prints from here. You can order a book or album of your images, or some gorgeous wall art. Optionally, you can request an in-person ordering consultation where I’ll reveal your images and I can guide you through the 100% no obligation ordering process.
Whether or not you have a wedding planner or a day-of planner at the venue, please be sure I am involved in the creation of the wedding day timeline. This is one of the most important details to complete as planning your photos around light is crucial to getting the most out of your photography. You’ll read more below on this.
The day before the wedding, I organize my gear, pack my bags, charge my batteries, format my memory cards and load up the car.
If I’m traveling from out of state, I always arrive at least a day before the wedding. I spend the extra time scouting the venue and looking for interesting places to shoot your portraits.
7. THE WEDDING.
I photograph. I cry. I dance.
8. THE DAY AFTER.
I try to post at least one sneak peek on my Facebook Page or my Instagram within 48 hours. If we’re Facebook friends (which we totally should be) I’ll tag you so you can share with family and friends.
9. POST PRODUCTION + DELIVERY.
It takes up to 30 days to finish hand-editing all of your images. I’ll upload them to an online gallery for you to view, or you can opt for an in-person reveal and no-obligation ordering consultation. From your gallery you’ll be able to download your images, select your favorites for prints + albums and share the link with family + friends.
10. KEEPSAKES + ALBUMS.
I’ll meet with you or we can chat over the phone about albums and/or other add-ons. Depending on how fast you choose your images, album design takes about a month.
11. THE FUTURE.
Having a baby? I’ll be there. Traveling across the country? I love a good adventure.
In order to get the most out of your wedding photography, I’ve compiled a short list of things to think about while you continue your wedding planning. Since you’ve hired me for my specific style and vision, it’s important that I communicate what I need from you in order to achieve this. Since you are trusting me to create the best possible images of your day, I feel it is my job to help you create the setting in order for this to happen. If you have any questions about any of the information below, just ask! I am happy to jump in and help.
If you haven’t already reserved your venue, keep these things in mind when looking for the perfect spot!
Location // It’s best to have your ceremony and reception in the same location. It just makes things easier, for everyone, if the entire wedding takes place in the same spot. If that isn’t possible, at least try to keep the styles of your locations cohesive, and in line with the style of your wedding. For instance, if you’re planning a boho/rustic themed wedding, it’s probably best not to get married in a conference room at the Holiday Inn.
Photographing the preparations and the “getting ready” part of your wedding is one of my favorite things, and these images are what set the tone for the rest of the day. But be careful that the genuine energy this part of the day creates isn’t ruined by the aesthetic. A cluttered, messy, dark room can really take away from the beautiful moments unfolding. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Clutter // Try to keep clutter hidden and to a minimum. Keep bags, suitcases, and food in another room, if possible. If not, please be sure things are picked up and the room is tidy before I arrive. If I need to do a sweep before I begin shooting, I might miss some important moments.
Light // Getting ready in a room with lots of window light, where we won’t need to use lamps or artificial light, is key to beautiful, genuine images. Believe it or not, artificial light mixed in with window light is not ideal for color so I always prefer to turn all lights off and rely only on window light whenever possible.
Details // Have your dresses, bouquets, jewelry, or any other details you’d like photographed layed out and ready for me to photograph.
Hair/Makeup // Your hair and/or makeup artist prefers natural light, too, so set up a chair next to a window or door, if possible.
Outfits // Think about your clothes/outfits for getting ready in. Matching robes for the girls is a great idea.
Location // Choose a location with style! Try to keep your getting ready location cohesive with the style of your wedding. Typical hotel rooms often don’t provide the best light or setting for prep. They are rather generic and stale. If you can, I recommend looking into other options, like a well lit AirBnB. This option is often times more affordable than a hotel and will provide you with a room full of character and light!
A FIRST LOOK
A “first look” is when the couple sees each other for the first time privately before their ceremony. I prefer a first look because I am able to capture intimate, raw emotion.
A First Look also…
Calms the nerves // There is nothing that relaxes nervous couples more than finally seeing each other and enjoying a few moments alone before the official events begin.
Gives you time to take it all in // You can share what you’re feeling, you can hug, you can actually say “you look amazing!”– all things you can’t do when you’re at the front of the isle with everyone watching.
Makes the timeline easier to work with // If you can see each other before the ceremony, we can do all family portraits and bridal party photos before, too.
If you do a First Look, your family will also be able to enjoy the cocktail hour right after the ceremony, and we can get to couple portraits right away. Which means you’ll miss less of your cocktail hour, too! Or, if you’ve always dreamed of the walking down the aisle and getting the first glimpse of each other, then we’ll do it that way! It’s your day, after all.
Evening // For outdoor ceremonies, plan for late afternoon or early evening, when the sun is lower in the sky, for the best lighting. If possible, arrange so you and your bridal party will be in the shade.
Face each other // When you’re standing together for the actual ceremony, make sure you face each other- not the officiant or the guests! And be sure to hold each other’s hands after the rings are exchanged (or before, too!)
Take turns // For the wedding party entrance and exit (including the bride and groom!), take your time walking the aisle. Make sure each couple is all the way to their places before the next couple starts walking, so that no one is blocking anyone else in the photos.
Time // The best time for family and wedding party portraits is right before the ceremony. Everyone is ready to go and no one will miss any cocktail hour or reception time. It’s possible to do them after the ceremony, but gathering everyone once they’ve gone to cocktail hour or immediately after the ceremony is often a challenge. If we’re taking just a handful of shots (parents, immediate family, wedding party) then about 20 minutes is plenty of time. I recommend keeping the list short, because on your wedding day smiling at the camera posed with tons of different groups gets tiring! I prefer moments over posed photos, and I can always get shots during the reception.
Helper // Appoint a family member or friend who is familiar with everyone’s names to help make sure everyone is present for the group photos.
X2 // I recommend two portrait time slots for portraits of just you two together: right after the ceremony for 20 minutes, and at sunset for about 20 minutes.
Why after the ceremony? Because the pressure is off, and you’re ecstatic, giddy, in love, and ready to party. I’ve gotten some of the best, most genuine, joyful moments at this time.
Why before sunset? Because it’s when we get the best light. At sunset we’ll get great golden light. And right after the sun disappears we’ll get some of the best moody light in which I love to shoot.
If your ceremony is later in the day, close to sunset, we will just merge these two into one, for about 30-40 minutes total.
Trust // The most important thing to ensure we get great photos is trust. If you trust me to create the photos you’ll love, I’ll be able to do my thing and guide and direct you well. It’s all about collaboration and trust!
Lighting // Capturing the mood of your event is very important to me. This is why I prefer to use my flash as little as possible. For soft, warm light string lights, lanterns, market lights, and candles are great, and if you use enough, they provide great light for photos. Just try to stay away from using only candles, or super dim lighting, which will make focusing trickier for me. Also stay away from colored spotlighting or uplighting. If you’re unsure about your setup, just ask me and I’ll be happy to help!
DJ Lights // While colored/flashy lights that your DJ provides might be fun for party time, they can destroy the romantic mood of your first dance and special dances. If you are having colorful lights, I ask that they be turned off for all of the special dances. For party time, go crazy with them if you want!
Events // Try to plan the important events of your reception (first dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc) as early as possible in the evening. It just makes it easier to get these things out of the way first, before guests start leaving, and before the dance floor gets crazy!
YOUR RAIN PLAN
No one wants to think it’s going to rain on their wedding day, but having a plan can help to relieve the stress if it does. Chances are, you’ve hired me to photograph your wedding because you love the work in my portfolio, most of which is taken outside. By now, you’ve probably heard me say more than a hundred times already how much more beautiful your portraits will be if you schedule them in the late evening and at sunset. Well, it’s the same thing when it comes to the difference between shooting them indoors or out. Of course, if it’s raining cats and dogs and we’re in the middle of a Nor’easter, we’ll stay where it’s dry, but if it’s just a drizzle or a light rain, I suggest keeping them outdoors.
I suggest purchasing these clear, vintage-looking umbrellas from Amazon. They’re $13 a piece and come in just two days using Amazon Prime (yay for free, 2 day shipping!) I also suggest purchasing one for each couple in your wedding party so that their bridal party portraits can be outside, too. These specific umbrellas are great because they act as a natural diffuser and help to make skin tones even and soft. Try staying away from colored or black umbrellas as those tend to take away from the portraits and can become distracting.
JUST A FEW OTHER THINGS
Unplugged Ceremony // An unplugged ceremony is when you ask your guests to refrain from taking any photos. Asking your guests not to use cameras or cell phones allows all guests to really take in your ceremony, without fussing with cell phones and flashes.
If you don’t want to entirely unplug, I would at least recommend that guests take photos from their seat, without getting up into the aisles. If anyone is in the aisles during any part of the ceremony it will definitely affect the photos I am able to take. Please talk to your guests about this beforehand.
Receiving lines // They can be very time consuming, especially for a medium/large wedding guest list. They can also get very exhausting and they take away from the burst of excitement right after the ceremony. However, I do love the energy right after you walk down the aisle, and your wedding party or family walks out and greets you, hugs you, kisses you, etc. So having a few minutes there to laugh and love is great. I just recommend that it not become a 20-40 minute event. Many of my couples opt instead to greet and mingle with guests during dinner.
Stationary // If you’d like me to photograph your wedding stationary (your invites, save-the-dates, etc) don’t forget to save some for me! You can mail them to me at Andrea Brandt, 9472 Green Rd, Goodrich MI 48438, or just bring them with you on the day of.
Here’s a list of questions that most couples have asked me in the past. Don’t see your question? No problem! Just shoot me an email or give me a call.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
My style is adventurous, artistic, and moment-driven. I’m here to tell your story. Of course I’ll be there to take the posed shots of your family and the important moments like your first kiss but I’m all about the unique, memorable moments that make your day truly special.
DO WE GET ALL OF THE PHOTOS?
After I shoot a wedding, I go through all of the images and delete any that don’t make the cut- usually because they were test shots and the exposure was off, someone’s eyes were closed, or that particular image was not in line with my standards. I also typically take several frames of the same photo, just to make sure I don’t miss the moment. I also creatively “work a scene” to get the best angle, composition, and focus. Believe me, I don’t gain anything by keeping beautiful images from you. If an image wasn’t included in the final gallery, there was a reason.
DO YOU EDIT YOUR IMAGES?
Yes! Every last image you receive from me will be carefully and creatively edited in Lightroom and Photoshop. Please be wary of “shoot and burn” photographers (photographers that show up and hand you the images without any post-production!) I spend more time editing your images than I spend physically at your wedding. Post production is what makes my style unique.
CAN I EDIT THE IMAGES MYSELF?
When you are paying for my services, you’re paying for the final edited images, much like the cake you’re having made for your wedding. Asking for pictures that weren’t edited or in the final delivery would be like asking for the egg shells from your cake. It’s the finished product that makes it the artist’s work. Hours and hours go into perfecting each image to jive with the style of my brand and the reason you hired me. Applying Instagram filters or effects takes away from the finished product. When someone sees the altered image, they aren’t seeing work that represents my vision. It is important that the images I create for you remain authentic.
CAN MY UNCLE BOB BRING HIS FANCY CAMERA AND SHOOT ALONG SIDE YOU?
The short answer? No. The long answer is this: it’s faux-pas for someone to hover over the hired photographer with their fancy camera, whether professional or otherwise. This is industry standard, and every professional knows this. There’s no stopping Aunt Joan from throwing her gigantic iPad into the middle of the aisle, although I do ask that you have an unplugged ceremony, there can’t be anyone with a professional camera or other equipment on the day of your wedding and here’s why: I take pride in my brand and the style of my photography. When someone else shows up on the day of your wedding, rushes home and posts the images on Facebook, it looks to the guests and your family like that is my work. Since most of my work comes from referrals, it’s important that the end-product from your wedding day is a true representation of my brand. Also, lots of other photographers shoot differently! They might shoot with a flash on a sunny day, which, while totally unnecessary, has the ability to ruin and overexpose my shot. Having another photographer that isn’t the hired person also ruins the intimate moments I so tirelessly work to capture. If you’re not sure where to look, or your feeling uncomfortable by someone else intruding on your special time together, this can take away from and have a negative impact on the images I create. It’s also a pretty safe bet that since this is industry standard, the person who has decided to bring their fancy camera to their wedding isn’t actually a professional. The last thing you want is Uncle Bob in the background of every one of your pictures with his ginormous flash. In the contract you signed, it states that I am to be the sole professional photographer hired for your wedding day. This includes Uncle Bob, your DJ who has decided to bring his friend along to snap some pictures, or your videographer who is all of the sudden a self-proclaimed photographer.
WHAT KIND OF EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE?
Primary Camera Body: Nikon D750
Extra camera: Nikon D750
Lenses: Nikon 35 mm f/1.4 | Nikon 85mm f/1.8 | Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 (only if needed) | Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro
Flash: Nikon SB 800
Post Production: Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop + Lightroom)
HOW DO YOU DRESS FOR WEDDINGS?
I like to blend in as much as possible so I usually dress nicely, as if I were a guest, but comfortable enough so that I can photograph you and your guests without worrying about accidentally flashing anyone!
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR US TO RECEIVE OUR IMAGES?
It depends on the season, but you will have your images within 30 days after your wedding. I usually post a “sneak peek” on my Facebook Business page within 48 hours so make sure we’re Facebook friends so that I can tag you! You can friend me here.
HAVE YOU WON ANY AWARDS?
Yes! I was just awarded the Couples Choice Award from Wedding Wire! I am among the top 5% of wedding professionals. This award honors the exemplary work I did in 2016 and the highly regarded reputation I’ve established with my clients.
DOES THE PHOTOGRAPHER OWN THE RIGHTS TO THE PHOTOS?
Yes, but this does not mean that you can’t print your digital copies or post them to social media! It only means that you cannot sell the photos for profit or use them for personal branding without permission. I am not, however, responsible for lost photographs after I deliver them, so please be sure to back-up your wedding images in at least TWO safe places. I also love photo credit on social media, too! Referrals are my livelihood!
SHOULD WE ADD A SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER TO OUR PACKAGE?
Sometimes a second photographer can be awesome, because you get a bigger variety of shots and angles. For large weddings, weddings where the couple are getting ready in separate locations, or extra long weddings, a second photographer can be the best thing ever. However, when it’s just me, I can blend in and be less intrusive while still covering all of the important moments. So I leave this up to you to decide.
DO YOU BLOG ALL OF THE WEDDINGS YOU SHOOT?
I don’t. And there are a couple of reasons for that. The first reason is that designing a blog takes a ton of time, and now that I’m booking well into next year, the majority of my time is spent shooting, editing, keeping my website up to date, and mentoring. The second reason is that while I love photographing EVERY wedding that comes my way, and I believe that they are all beautiful and unique in their own ways, not all weddings jive with my brand.
Remember, I am always happy to answer any questions, lend advice, or help in any way possible- I am here for you!