You’ve Got questions, I’ve got answers.
I’ve found that a lot of people have NO IDEA what to ask a photographer at all, so here are the most frequently asked questions I get or that you should be asking someone like me!
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PHOTOGRAPHING WEDDINGS? IS THIS YOUR FULL TIME GIG?
I have been photographing weddings professionally since 2016. I had been using a camera for a longgggg time prior to taking that step. I am not the girl who picked up a camera, shot a wedding, and started a business. I have been photographing for over 10 years, starting with travel photography and portraits long before attempting weddings. This is my full time job at this time and has been since January 2019.
MY PARTNER AND/OR I HATE PHOTOS, IS THAT OKAY?
Honestly, me too. I actually really hate being in front of the camera. I get that. Most of my clients tell me they think they’re awkward or they’re nervous for being in front of the camera. If you’re trying to hire me for your wedding and you feel this way, I 100% recommend doing an engagement session. Once you do an engagement session and see how I roll and how I get you to feel confident and cool, that will translate to an amazing amount of confidence on your wedding day. I have tricks up my sleeve to help keep things moving, light, and fun.
HAVE YOU PHOTOGRAPHED AT MY VENUE?
Maybe! I think this is the question most people are itching to ask a photographer. To be honest, there are THOUSANDS of possible venues in Michigan alone. To photograph at all of them is IMPOSSIBLE if you think about it. If I have photographed at your venue, lucky duck you! If I haven’t, there’s no reason to fear. I’m good at arriving early to scout locations and most likely I’ve worked in a place similar to your venue that I’ll have no issue creating awesome images.
YOU LOVE NATURAL LIGHT, RIGHT? DO YOU USE FLASH?
I think the most important thing is I love the RIGHT light for the situation. I use the natural light at every wedding and I use off camera flash at almost every wedding I work at. Weddings go into the night. They happen in the dark. And no one wants dark blurry photos…so I bring the light with a combo of off and on camera flash to help create the images you’re used to seeing from my receptions. However, I do not set up light stands throughout the day and do not try to disturb the overall feeling of the day by crowding your event with my equipment.
CAN I SEE FULL WEDDING GALLERIES?
Yep, as many as you’d like. A full gallery really gives you a sense of how I approach the day and how different seasons and situations affect the photography. A church wedding can be very different from a backyard wedding. Your venue choice is almost as important to your photography as the photographer!
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT TO MY WEDDING?
This is every photographer’s worst nightmare! No one wants this to happen to anyone! It’s never happened to me, and honestly there would have to be something really awful happening to me if I didn’t make it to your wedding. I’m talking about me in the hospital or me in a car accident laying on the side of the road. This job is one you can’t call in sick to, and I work no matter the illness. I know this and I’m committed to staying as healthy as possible. However, I am a human being and there’s always the possibility that the universe has something up its sleeve. In this case, I am connected with a community of very talented, very lovely photographers who could fill in for me and be just as amazing. The benefit of having so many photographers in our market is that we take care of each other.
DO I GET EVERY IMAGE FROM MY WEDDING/SESSION?
Whew, you would be overwhelmed seeing the number of images I take on a given day. Part of my job is to go through them, eliminate those that are out of focus, eyes are closed, bad composition, just aren’t working, etc. so that you get a well-rounded, but awesome gallery of work that I’m proud of. I promise that I give images that may not be portfolio worthy to me, but are important to you, which is why I end up delivering so many images and why I don’t turn around wedding galleries in two weeks.
WHAT TYPE OF EDITING IS DONE ON MY PHOTOS?
Every single photo I take is touched by me in some way. Once I make a selection from your wedding/session, I edit every image myself. I do not use editors (not that they’re bad, but half of my job is post-production). In the editing stage, I color-correct, check exposure, convert to B&W if the image is served best that way, and make minor retouching. Major retouching, including body changes, major removals, or person insertions are not a part of my typical editing process.
YOU CAN PHOTOSHOP THAT RIGHT???
Mmmkay, let’s start by acknowledging that I am a photographer, not a photoshopper. People literally get degrees in Photoshop. Though I am proficient at many things in Photoshop, I do not do most of my editing in Photoshop because it is a manipulation tool, not an editing tool. I always do basic touchups if necessary, but I do not do weight reductions or edit the image to something it just was not. Documentary photography, amirite??? Those are things that I would have to send out to a professional Photoshopper wizard and incur additional costs. Also you are damn beautiful the way you are, okay?
WHAT’S YOUR BACKUP SYSTEM?
I take pride and joy in my backup system. I never worry because I built in redundancy. And it’s saved my butt before, so it WORKS. DO NOT HIRE SOMEONE WHO HAS NO BACKUP SYSTEM. That is my biggest advice. I always have two memory cards recording in each camera (usually have two cameras at weddings, not at sessions because my back would die). Once I get home, I’m uploading to two different hard drives, one I work from, and one that is just a backup system. I upload the RAW photos to the cloud (I use Backblaze) and I stick the memory card with the originals in a fireproof safe in my house, just in case our home burns down and my cloud provider is compromised. I don’t touch the memory card until your photos are delivered. Then I have to use it again because I have lots of clients! Also I have three camera bodies and a lot of lenses; I never come unprepared and am ready if something goes wrong (which it has and everything was fine!).
WHO’S YOUR SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER AND I NEED ONE, RIGHT?
I work with a number of excellent second photographers, many of whom own their own successful wedding photography businesses. I also sometimes have my husband as my second photographer, depending on availability, and he has been trained completely by ME. You don’t always need a second photographer. I work alone 85% of the time and often love it. A second photographer is great for getting ready at different locations, if you have 200+ guests and photos of them are important to you, and for ceremonies where they won’t let you move around. We can discuss what’s best for your wedding and I’m happy to provide a 100% unbiased opinion.
WHAT IF WE DON’T WANT OUR PHOTOS ON YOUR WEBSITE?
I totally respect your privacy on this. I’ve had some clients who for whatever reason want the privacy. In this case, I usually will modify the model release clause of my contract to state I need to obtain written permission to use images in my marketing, including my website and social media.
WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR FOR A SESSION?
Book your session and I’ll send you tips, tricks, and inspiration for outfits. I got you.
DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE AND PAY YOUR TAXES?
YES. I am 100% a real, legit business you can go look up on LARA. I have liability insurance and pay my taxes. Uncle Sam wants his money and I can’t give discounts for cash payments because he’ll find me and audit me and I’ll owe wayyyy too much money to make it worthwhile.
WHEN DO I GET MY PHOTOS? I WANT THEM PLEASE.
Sessions are delivered on a two to three week timeframe. Weddings are delivered within a six to eight week timeframe. I never appreciate being hounded each week with a “when will my photos be done?” If you are going to do that, we are not a fit. I am always working as fast as I can without compromising quality. I spend time on each image and I straighten every image, y’all. I really like them to be straight. I promise they’ll be worth the wait. Or I am happy to edit them in a rush for an additional $500.
SPEAKING OF PHOTOS, HOW MANY DO I RECEIVE?
For weddings, it depends on your wedding and how long I’m there, but couples can expect anywhere from 400-1200 images from their wedding. Usually you can expect 75-100 images per hour of coverage. Either way, I promise you will have plenty of quality images that tell the story of your day! For sessions, I usually state the minimum amount of images you’ll receive on your contract. For most sessions, it is 30-50 images guaranteed.
HOW FAR ARE YOU WILLING TO TRAVEL?
Travel up to three hours from my home in 48017 is included in every wedding package. Beyond that, please contact me for a quote! I am happy to travel if you’ll have me, but I don’t consider myself a “destination” photographer. For sessions, travel within one hour of 48017 is included. Beyond that, it is a $1/mile charge.
CAN I GIVE YOU A SHOT LIST?
I really don’t think it’s necessary (with the exception of family formals…I require a list for this part of the day). With my style of photography, I’m aiming to create genuine, authentic moments of you and your day. Trying to emulate Pinterest is just going to distract us from that. Most of those images are of other people’s moments or something completely staged during a styled shoot to market a service or vendor. I like focusing on creating images that are unique to you and when my couples fully embrace this documentary style, they get the images they’ve been hoping for. Obviously, if there is a must-have shot, I’ll happily make sure we get it.
I’M IN. CAN WE MOVE FORWARD? WHAT’S NEXT?
To officially book your wedding and hold your date, I require a signed contract and a $750 non-refundable retainer. I do everything online to make it easy peasy…no scanning or printing required. You don’t even need to send in a paper check, though if you want to, I’m cool with it. After you book, I’ll be in touch with a link to my client portal and will touch base with you throughout the planning process to check in and make sure we are on track.
To book a session, I require a signed contract and a 50% retainer with the rest due by the session. Once you book, I will send confirmation and more information about tips for what to wear and locations.