You want answers...
What is your turnaround time?
Depending on the event, it could be a day or two, up to 4 weeks. For a wedding usually 3-4 weeks is the norm, including shipping time for album orders.
How many pictures can we expect?
This depends on a few things - hours of coverage, if there's a 2nd photographer, etc. The average for a full-day (getting ready, ceremony, family shots, reception etc) is around 500-800 for one photographer. A 4-hour package will yield around 250-400.
Do we get all the pictures you took?
You get all usable shots, in jpg format. For albums, we will sit down and go through to find your favourites. You may have multiples of similar shots, such as formal group shots, as someone always blinks or is looking at Uncle Bob at stage left, and we want to chose the best version. Designing an album with some full and double-spread photos means paring everything down to 50 to 100 of the best shots, but rest assured you can always print any picture not included in the album anytime.
What type of shots can we expect?
Ceremony, candids, formals, family, details (rings, shoes, dress, venue etc.) and depending on length of coverage purchased, getting ready, "the party", and more. I will suggest poses or action during the bridal party shots.
Do you work with a second photographer?
If you want "getting ready" shots of both bride and groom in separate locations, a second photographer is definitely required, and I have a network of very capable, experienced photographers that I can call on when needed. A "second shooter" is also indispensable as an assistant - holding off-camera flash, getting shots from different vantage points, operating video/sound equipment, running a photobooth, etc. Using a second photographer will bring the cost up a bit, but they are very good value considering what they can add to the record of your big day!
Do you edit our shots?
Absolutely! Every image you receive will be individually hand-edited for colour and exposure correction, making them look as good as humanly possible. The best will be given special treatment, dimming down wrinkles and blemishes and brightening the smiles. Don't worry, it's subtle, you're teeth won't glow in the dark! I have been using Lightroom and Photoshop since forever, and know all the tricks.
What are your albums like?
One of my favourite companies uses a rigid, lay-flat page system that offer huge, seamless panoramas across pages (up to 32 inches!). Pictures are printed right on the paper, and are protected by a matte covering, giving superior protection. You could spill coffee on them and simply wipe off, no problem. They offer different paper types to truly customize the look. As a general guideline, a soft-page hard-cover will run around $250-$450, and a 12" x 16", boxed, rigid-page leather-bound album between $800 and $1200 (and there are options in-between). I will discount for multiple orders, as it is simply a matter of ordering extra copies (the editing and layout work has already been done). A digital PDF version is always provided before committing to print, to make sure you will be thrilled with the final product!
Do we have to buy our album through you, or can we do it online ourselves?
You are welcome to do it yourselves, but understand this: most high-quality album printers prefer to deal with people in the business, who will give them multiple orders for years to come. Competition is fierce - the only way to attract and hold onto these volume customers is to give them a hefty discount, which is usually in the neighborhood of 15-25% over one-off orders. Over time, depending on order frequency, those numbers could go up. Opening a pro account with them requires proof that you are in the business, such as a link to your website, and probably an answered email through that website. At the end of the day, you will probably have spent the same amount as buying it from me, but you did all the work. Sound good?
Do you include digital copies?
Yes! Edited shots in jpg form will be included with whatever package we create, including full and email (web) resolutions. If requested, I will include custom layouts of select pictures (e.g. a sheet of wallet-size) that you can self-print or take to a printer. Copies are provided on USB sticks for fast, easy transfer.
Would you use our images for your website & advertising?
We photographers love to show off our best shots, so yes! There is a clause in my contract allowing me to do so, but if you are in a witness relocation program, let me know and I'll cross it out. Capiche?
Do you use a "Shot List"?
Some photographers will give their clients a sheet to list requested shots of groups, details, etc. I prefer not to not spend time tracking down people and ushering them to wherever you are at the moment. It really is like herding cats, and is very counter-productive. I'll definitely make sure to get all your detail shots, and try to get you with everyone at some point, but if you absolutely need a shot with someone, I'll leave it up to you to get them in front of my lens at some point during the day or evening.
What do you charge?
My minimum for 2 hours is $300, which includes editing & USB stick with full and web resolution versions. This would be suitable for engagment and family shoots, model portfolio work, grad/sports/party or other events, professional headshots, or real estate. Saturdays are normally reserved for weddings.
For weddings, I do not have set packages. I would rather sit down with people, discuss "musts", "nice-to-haves", and "nuh-uhs" and get back to them with a firm quote within 24 hours.
When should we book you?
For weddings, after we've met, and you're satisfied with my quote, as soon as possible. I book on a first-come basis, with 50% paid deposit and signed contract. Like most people, I take vacations, and there are a finite amount of Saturdays in any month, so the earlier you can book, the better. Other days for other types of shoots are more flexible.
What if something happens to you?
I have never missed a wedding, or any other shoot. However if I absolutely must cancel due to sickness or emergency, you will have as much notice as possible, and immediately be refunded any and all money paid on deposit. You would probably have to find your own alternative photographer, as I would most likely be dead or in a body cast.
Do you do video?
I am a photographer first and foremost, and prefer to concentrate on that. If it is a totally separate project however (or I have the previously-mentioned assistant/second photographer), I can absolutely supply quality video production. A good photographer looks for proper exposure, contrast problems, background bokeh (blur) and other subject separation, flattering lighting, accurate colour balance, composition, angles, and has many other skills and instincts that a videographer would use to get interesting, professional-looking footage; there is definitely a relationship between the two disciplines. My kit includes a varied task-specific collection of HD video equipment, including aerial drone with 4K/gimbal, ENG camera (the bigger work-horse news and documentary style cameras) as well as several video-capable DSLR cameras, with bigger sensors and lenses which will produce the "cinematic" look. Other equipment includes a hand-held, gimbal (stabilized) 4K camera, shoot-through teleprompter, wireless lapel mics (easily hidden), portable high-quality stereo sound recorder, and heavy-duty tripods with fluid heads and dollies. The drone does an excellent job of mimicking any outdoor crane or dolly shot, following cars, etc. Tell me what you need, and I will give you an honest assessment of my equipment and capability. If I don't think I can do what you require, I won't waste either of our time. For a video project that would benefit my portfolio, I would certainly consider spec work (option to buy after production).
We found a shot on Pinterest/Instagram/FaceBook/boustphotography.com we just love and want one of us like that. Can you...
...recreate it? Definitely! "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".
Have a question I didn't think of? Please email me!