Your wedding photography questions answered! (FAQ)
It's that time of the year! Some people call it engagement season, some call it booking season, some just call it winter! For us the end of December through February makes up a time when weddings slow down just a bit and we start to get a lot of inquiries for potential wedding clients. Though much of our year is already booked long before this, many of the inquires we get are for the months and days surrounding the wildly popular months (October and May for those wondering) and for Friday and Sunday weddings as well as 2019 inquiries. During this time we receive a lot of common questions. Our goal with this blog is to help those recently engaged couples with those most frequently asked questions, to better serve you as you start your search for a wedding photographer as well as those potential clients who want to ask us these questions, but feel like you may be bugging us (you’re totally not!). So without further ado, here are the answers you’re looking for! (in no particular order)
Do you have back up equipment?
Yes tons! (Click here for a comprehensive list) We come equipped to every wedding with 4 camera bodies, multiple lenses, multiple batteries, multiple flashes, and other goodies we may need depending on your wedding and set up!
Do you have insurance?
Yes, equipment and liability. So even if your cousin’s toddler knocks over a light stand, your cousin can relax, our insurance will cover it.
What if it rains?
Here in Asheville, one of the main attractions is the beautiful blue ridge mountains that we are surrounded by at any given time at any given wedding venue. It’s a bummer when it rains on your wedding day and fully prevents you from getting to enjoy that, but if it does rain, we can still do outside photos if you are willing. We usually bring about a dozen matching clear umbrellas (they’re so trendy!) to every wedding so we can even cover your whole bridal party if you want them to go out into the rain with you! And of course, we’re always down for some romantic rain drenched couples portraits! BUT WHAT IF IT RAINS DURING THE MIDDLE OF THE CEREMONY DO YOU STOP SHOOTING? One of us will stop shooting and cover the other one with the umbrella so they can keep shooting without getting water damage to their camera. We’ve implemented this plan before when there is weather in the forecast and it works great (another awesome benefit of having 2 professional photographers on your big day)
What happens if things run behind and we need you to stay longer?
This actually happens quite often. In our experience, we’re pretty good at gauging time with regards to the timeline and how everything is unfolding. We’ll ask based on that, if you would like us to stay longer. Also, if our contracted time ends before the reception ends and everything is on time, we always ask with about 30 minutes to go if there is anything else you want to make sure we get before we leave. This will give you that opportunity to think about it. In either of the above scenarios, if that is a yes, we will continue shooting and invoice you after the wedding, no need to stress about payments on your big day, go party and have fun! Also, if you book our "All day" coverage option, this is something you would never need to worry about as we show up when you want us to and stay until you are ready for us to go!
What is your back up plan if one of you gets sick or hurt right before the wedding?
Hasn’t happened in 7 years (……….) <—that was me knocking on wood. But, in the deathbed/severe injury scenario that it ever did, we have a team of 6 associate photographers who shoot for us and with us throughout the year, so you will still have a professional with experience who shoots in our style to fill in. We still control your final edits.
How would you describe your working style?
Overall we approach your day as interactive photojournalists who believe in telling the story of your day! For the majority of the wedding day we focus on capturing real moments, emotion, and interactions between you and your loved ones. There are times where we are more quiet and take the fly on the wall approach and quite often there are times where we will interact with you and your friends and family. If needed we will be more directive at certain times like asking you to stand in a certain spot as your maid of honor helps you with your dress for lighting purposes, or giving direction with family photos. Based on our experiences, we do this on an as needed basis where we feel like if we didn't get involved things aren't likely to turn out well. For the rest of the day we let you be you and let your love story unfold in front of our lenses!
Do you need/want me to send you a shot list or my Pinterest board?
We do not work off shot lists or Pinterest boards. What we've found with our experience is most folks create what we call a "99% list". What we mean by that is 99% of the list is exactly the same from wedding to wedding and couple to couple. I.E. Shot of my dad walking down the aisle; Shot of the first kiss; Shot of my mother helping me put on my dress. These are things that we already know. What we are interested in is that unique 1% that makes your wedding different whether it be a unique family tradition or something culturally different. For any special shots that you think we would be unaware of, we utilize a mood board. They are similar to Pinterest boards but much more specific when it comes to 'what you love' about an image.
What do you do to prevent your files from going corrupt?
While there is no 100% guaranteed way to prevent digital files from going corrupt in SD & CF cards, we try to take every precaution in order to prevent that. Due to the volume of weddings we shoot throughout the year, we get our cameras serviced regularly and we also rotate out our memory cards so we’re not using aged cards. We also utilize dual recording so that we are always recording on two memory cards at once. The odds of a memory card going corrupt is slim and the odds of two of them going corrupt are even more rare. (We also bring back up cards in the event that any card errors ever happen during your wedding day and switch them out immediately). The moment we get home from a wedding, your images are downloaded and backed up and those files are stored on external hard drives in our firesafe as well as our computers.
How many photos do we get?
We generally deliver between 50-100 photos per hour of coverage. We do not limit the amount to this, this is just an average range. Our rule of thumb is, if it looks good, we give it to you.
How do we receive our images?
All of our wedding packages include an online gallery with your final edited images available for full resolution downloading and electronic sharing. Some of our packages include a thumb drive as well. The thumb drive includes the same images that are provided in the online gallery.
Do we get the RAW images as well?
Just as a baker would not deliver you sugar & flour when you ask for cupcakes and Ford wouldn’t sell you metal, rubber, and plastic when you go to buy a vehicle, we do not deliver images that are unfinished.
Do we get to proof images before you edit them?
With the combination of our working day style, shooting style, and experience we find that this step isn't necessary and therefore isn't something we offer as we deliver full wedding albums that tell the story of your day. This is a process in which our clients wholeheartedly trust us.
How long does it take before we get our photos back?
During the slower times of the year we generally deliver your final digital album within 1-2 weeks. During our busiest time of the season our goal is 2-3 weeks, and during our peak months like May & October, we deliver by 30 days. We do provide our couples with large previews within 24-48 hours on social media if we’re not traveling. If you want to ensure you receive your photos faster, we do offer a expedited editing option where you would receive your final album in 1 week or less for slower times of the year and 2 weeks during peak season.
How do you you handle payments & contracts?
99.9% of our invoices and 100% of our contracts are all done electronically through our online system.
Do you require a down payment or payment in full, and how are payment schedules done?
Most of our clients opt for payments in halves or thirds although we have the ability to split this up more for our top package. Your initial payment is considered your retainer fee and this payment secures your date. Your last payment is always due 30 days prior to your wedding.
If we also get a videographer, are you comfortable working with them?
Totally! We’ve worked with a lot of professional videographers and our goal is always to work as a team so that we can both get the shots/footage you want without cross shooting each other.
Do you book more than one wedding per day?
We (Jenny and Joe) only shoot one wedding per day. We do book more than one per day, but these would be for our associate photographers.
Our reception area is dark, how comfortable are you in dark situations?
Very! In fact, I would say there is rarely an instance where a wedding reception area is not dark. We utilize a combination of flash techniques depending on the venue and space to best light any situation!
Again, these are some of the most frequently asked questions we tend to get and we hope these answers have been helpful! Even though these are the most popular, they are by no means the only questions we field so If you still have a question or two give us a shout via email or let’s schedule a call!
Jenny & Joe