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There are a lot of decisions to be made when planning a wedding! From the venues, to the dress, the food, the flowers and everything in between, you will be making a lot of choices over the next few months as you plan your special day. Being faced with all these decisions has probably filled your mind with lots of questions that you need answered as you're making those decisions. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions I hear from brides with regards to photography coverage for their wedding day. If you have these same questions, know that you're not alone! Also, check out the short video to find out how I found my love of wedding photography!
Happy Wedding Planning!
How far in advance of my wedding should I book with you?
Most brides book their wedding within 6 to 12 months of their wedding date, depending on the season in which their wedding is taking place. March through June and October through December are very busy months. Dates in those months typically book 9 to 12 months in advance. Inquiring for availability does not hold the date for you. It is very common for me to get multiple inquiries for the same date (sometimes in the same day!). It is best to book your photographer once you know both your wedding and reception venues, as these two things are usually the first things you book and largely determine your wedding date.
How many hours of coverage do you offer for weddings?
The amount of coverage you need for your day is dependent on a variety of factors, including how many locations we'll be shooting at, bridal party size, length of the ceremony, etc. However, most clients need 8 hours of coverage to fully tell the story of their wedding day. All my packages are designed to provide a minimum of eight hours of coverage. The average client invests between $3000 and $5000 on their wedding photography experience. If you are having an elopement, or intimate wedding at one location, please contact me for a custom quote.
How does having a videographer be part of our day affect the photography timeline?
I love wedding films! I always watch them when they come up in my Facebook news feed. It is so special to be able to preserve the story of your wedding day in both mediums! If you are planning to have a videographer be part of your day, I do recommend budgeting a little bit more time in your photography timeline to ensure that you can get both the video and photography coverage that you want. While there are many portions of the day that the photographer and videographer can shoot in tandem (ex: the ceremony and candid reception moments), there are certain parts of the day where we may each need some time to get the shots we need, so keep this in mind when making a package selection. If you're looking for videographer recommendations, feel free to ask for my recommended vendor list upon booking.
Are the digital images included in your packages? How many pictures will I get?
All of my wedding packages include digital images. The digital images from your wedding day are delivered via an online gallery, which you are free to share with family and friends. You may also post the photos to social media sites and print them for personal use. You will receive a print release for the photos.
The best of all the images taken on your wedding day are edited and delivered via the online gallery. Because every wedding is unique, I do not promise a minimum number of final images, but I consistently average 50 to 75 images per hour of coverage in the online gallery. Most galleries are at the higher end of that average. More importantly, I do not put a cap on the maximum number of images in your final gallery. Your gallery will have all the best images from your wedding, whether there are 500 or 1000.
How long after my wedding will I receive my online gallery?
Wedding galleries are generally delivered within six to eight weeks of your wedding. If you're getting married during busy season, please plan on delivery of your gallery taking the full eight weeks. If you get married during a less popular month, it's highly likely that your gallery will be ready in about half that turnaround time.
Can I add an engagement session to my wedding package?
Engagement sessions can't be added to the wedding package simply because they are a complimentary gift to all couples that book with me! Who doesn't love an engagement gift, right?! :) I choose to gift all my couples an engagement session for this important reason...engagement sessions are a warm up for the wedding day photos. It makes a HUGE difference in your wedding day portraits if you've had the experience of being photographed together by me at the the engagement session. This is also our time to get to know each others personalities a little better. The better I know you and your groom, the better I am able to serve you to the best of my ability and give you authentic and timeless portraits that you will love! What if you've already had engagement pictures taken? No worries! I still recommend taking advantage of the complimentary engagement session for all the same reasons explained above. Besides, most brides are happy to have those extra portraits. :) The engagement session is a gift and may not be substituted for another session or extra hours of coverage on wedding day.
Do you recommend sharing a First Look on the wedding day?
I remember when I first heard of brides and grooms seeing each other before the wedding. I remember being shocked at the idea that a bride would see her groom before coming down the aisle. I had never heard of such a thing, but when I later learned that the tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other before the ceremony had its roots in the tradition of arranged marriages, I started to rethink my opinions on this new tradition. The more weddings I did that involved First Looks, the more I came to appreciate them. Here's why you might need to consider sharing a First Look:
1. The bride and groom get a private moment together and this usually helps to diffuse any nerves. Brides and grooms are always instantly calmer after the First Look.
2. The bride and groom can get to their reception to celebrate with their guests much sooner than if they save all portraits involving the bride and groom together for after the ceremony.
3. The bride and groom end up with about 40% more bride and groom portraits than if there is no First Look.
What if we don't want to do a First Look?
I LOVE a First Look, but deciding to share one is a personal decision that every couple has to make for themselves. If you choose to not share a First Look that doesn't mean you can't still get great portraits on your wedding day. It just means you need to keep a few things in mind during the planning process and set the expectations with your immediate family that you will need to have time to take portraits after the ceremony before arriving at the reception. Typically, a minimum of one hour is needed for post-ceremony family portraits, the full bridal party portrait and bride and groom portraits. This is why it's a good idea to plan for a cocktail hour when you're not sharing a First Look.
1. Most Importantly: Check the sunset of your wedding date BEFORE setting your ceremony time. If you're getting married in the fall or winter you'll want to make sure your ceremony is early enough in the day to allow for natural light portraits after your ceremony. If you have already set your ceremony time and your ceremony will get over after dark, keep in mind that this will mean your portraits will have a different look to them than the natural light portraits you see on my website and additional time will be required to set up lighting for portraits.
2. Provide something for your guests to do during portrait time. If you're saving all portraits with the bride and groom together for after the ceremony, it's best to have a cocktail hour for your guests. That way you're starting the party when you arrive at your reception. At a minimum, on average, I will need approximately an hour to complete family formals, full bridal party and bride and groom portraits after the ceremony if there is no First Look. Be sure to factor in drive time between ceremony and reception venues and note that will be in addition to the portrait time needed.
3. Avoid having a receiving line outside the church. It's very difficult to gather the bride and groom, immediate family members and the bridal party for formal portraits if there is a receiving line. This is because your family and friends will be excited to see you and congratulate you, which is totally understandable. If you're not sharing a First Look, it's best to save greeting your guests for when you arrive at the reception.
What is the advantage of having a second photographer? Who is the second photographer?
Having a second photographer allows for more comprehensive coverage of your wedding day. I can never be in two places at once and the second photographer allows for shooting from a different perspective, thus giving more variety in your final gallery of each moment of the wedding day. I always say that the second photographer is usually photographing the second story, while I'm photographing the main story (ex: during First Dances they may photograph parents watching while I photograph the bride and groom dancing). If your ceremony and reception are at different venues, having a second photographer allows me to send someone to photograph the reception details ahead of guests arriving when it's logistically impossible for me to do so myself due to distance between venues.
I work with several different local photographers for wedding days. Who the particular second shooter is for your day will be dependent on availability.
Are you familiar with different religious wedding ceremonies?
I most often get asked this question by my Catholic and Episcopal brides, as they are often concerned about photographers complying with the guidelines for photography provided to them by the church where their wedding will be held. As a Catholic myself, I am very familiar with the guidelines provided by most Catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Mobile for wedding ceremonies. As a photographer, I am also familiar with the guidelines of many of the Episcopal and Methodist churches in the area. If I have never photographed a wedding at the church where your ceremony is being held, I will ask you about guidelines for photography. I am always respectful of any guidelines I am given. I have photographed several Catholic weddings, as well as Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian and even Middle Eastern weddings. I love experiencing and documenting the wedding traditions of each faith.
Where are you located? Do you travel?
I am based in Mobile, Ala. and I regularly shoot weddings on both sides of the Mobile Bay. I am always open to new locations and adventures photography brings my way, so please don't hesitate to contact me if you are outside of Mobile or Baldwin counties. Hotel and travel fees may apply for weddings that require travel over an hour away from Mobile (ex: Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and locations in the Florida Panhandle).
How long have you been a photographer?
It shocks me to say it, but I have been a photographer for over 10 years (seriously, it blows my mind!), six as a professional photographer/business owner. Although I do not have a degree in photography, I took photography classes as a student at Spring Hill College and have continued my photography education after graduation through a variety of online and in-person workshops. I continue to study new techniques for shooting and lighting because there is always more to learn in the world of photography!
I have had quite an eclectic experience when it comes to photography assignments, but weddings remain one of my favorite things to photograph, which is ironic because I used to think I would never want to photograph weddings. It is an honor to be part of the wedding day and preserve such special memories for my clients.
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