Frequently asked questions
» What is your photography style?
In five words: clean, classic, crisp, natural, photojournalistic. That means nothing overly posed, nothing ridiculously dramatic, nothing awkward, nothing that doesn't feel like YOU. My photos are never overprocessed with special effects or crazy colors. (Remember "soft touch" photos in the 1980s? Yeah, I want to avoid that dated feeling.) While we'll spend some time doing posed portraits, my priority is that you are able to enjoy your wedding day. That means lots of candids of you and your guests having a great time. From the moment you first see each other to that last hilarious toast, I want to tell the full story of your day with my photographs. I love capturing genuine emotions and letting the day unfold naturally. Additionally, it's super important that we are a good fit for one another, both with my personality and photography style, since we'll be spending the whole day together. If you want to know more, please read this in-depth and honest article on how to choose a wedding photographer from A Practical Wedding.
» How do we book you?
After we talk (either in person, over the phone or Skype/Google Hangout), all I need is a signed contract and a deposit ($500 for elopements and $1000 for full weddings) to save the date. The final part of your wedding payment is due no later than a week before your wedding date. Portrait session payments are due in full at contract signing. All contracts are sent via Adobe Document Cloud/E-sign Services and are completed and signed online. Invoices for payment will be sent via Freshbooks invoicing. Cash, checks, credit cards and Paypal accepted.
» How many hours of coverage will we need?
Six hours of coverage is good for weddings in one location with 120 guests or less. Larger weddings with multiple locations (including a separate getting ready location) should consider adding extra hours to account for travel time between venues. Normally, I suggest budgeting at least two hours before the ceremony so we can capture some of the getting ready, do a first look and shoot posed group portraits. Doing posed group and couple portraits prior to the ceremony is a great way to give yourself more time to enjoy the day and mingle with your guests (because isn't that what you'd rather be doing anyways?) During our pre-wedding consultation, we'll go over your timeline of the day to figure out a pacing that is realistic and fun for you. For more help on figuring out wedding timelines, check out these articles.
» Will we need a second shooter/photographer?
Not necessarily! I generally like shooting alone, which helps me be discrete. I am able to tell the story of your wedding day by myself. However, some weddings would benefit from an additional photographer. Once I learn more about what you have planned for your wedding, I will let you know whether or not I believe a second shooter is needed. For weddings with 150+ guests and/or multiple locations, I will recommend a second photographer. The second photographer is added on for an additional flat fee. The second photographer shoots for the same amount of contracted time as the main photographer. A second photographer is great for getting more guest candids and additional angles of the wedding day activities. Even with a second photographer, I will shoot as if I am the only one there, making sure to get as much coverage as I can. My second photographer's photos make up about 25% of the final photos delivered. I'm happy to show you examples of real wedding galleries with a second shooter and without, just let me know.
» What happens if we don’t know how to pose in front of a camera?
That’s perfectly fine. Unless you’re a professional model, I don’t expect you to know. I remember how nervous I was before my wedding day, so I know exactly how you feel. But don’t worry, we will work together to make sure you are comfortable and at ease when it comes time for portraits. (This is also why I love engagement sessions!) I will do a bit of directing and check for stray hairs, but for the most part, I like to let moments happen naturally. Also, I’ll probably crack a few stupid jokes along the way, but as long as it makes you smile, then I’ve done my job.
» Do we need an engagement session?
Engagement sessions are not a requirement but I do encourage my couples to have one as a way to practice for the big day. It's also a good time for us to spend time together and get to know one another. You'll definitely notice a sense of ease on your wedding day after doing an engagement session with me. The shoot lasts about an hour and include all edited high resolution digital image files and an online photo gallery. Engagement sessions can be booked anytime between contract signing and two weeks before the wedding. Since weekends are reserved for weddings, engagement shoots must be scheduled on a weekday during wedding season (April-October).
» How soon will we get our pictures and how many will we get?
Four to six weeks is my average turnaround time for wedding photographs. For a six hour wedding, you should receive about 500-1000+ images. For city hall elopements, you should receive about 200-300+ images. The image count depends on the length of coverage and amount of events during the day. A good rule of thumb is about 100 images per hour. Turnaround time for all other portrait sessions is two weeks and you should receive at least 80+ images from our session.
» What’s your post-production process?
Each image you receive is individually chosen and edited to my specific standards. The first thing I do is backup your images on several hard drives. Then I will cull the images down by removing any closed eyes, awkward facial expressions and anything else that doesn’t look quite right or doesn't help tell the story of the day. I also color-correct the photos to the proper exposure and tone (AKA making my photos look "happy".) For weddings, I’ll organize all the images into chronological order and into separate categories (“Getting Ready”, “Group Portraits”, “Processional”, “Ceremony” etc.) for ease of viewing. The digital negatives you receive are edited final images (JPGs, not the unprocessed RAW files).
» Can we have a black and white photo in color? (And vice versa?)
Yes! Because I shoot in digital, black and white to color conversion and vice versa is relatively easy. I am happy to convert 10-20 of the final photos from your wedding day or portrait session. All I need is an email with the filenames. (It's best to select photos you plan to print out and/or display.) If you wish to convert more than 20 images, let me know and I can send you a quote for additional editing work.
» What about Photoshop? Can we have something removed or digitally altered from the image?
I am happy to additionally edit your final images (within reason, I still want my final images to look as natural as possible) if you want something removed or digitally altered. Examples of this include: removing blemishes, removing a spot on your outfit or power lines in the background, etc. Let me know what you want done to each photo specifically and I can send you a quote for additional editing work.
» Can we get the RAW files?
Unfortunately, no. The best analogy for why is when you a hire a florist, you aren't simply paying for the flowers, you are paying for the florist's artistic eye and floral arranging expertise. It's the same with photography. While I aim to capture everything perfectly within camera the moment I press the shutter, I have a very specific way I like to post-process my images. It's the style you see on my website and with all my photos and it's (hopefully) why you hired me in the first place.
» Can we make our own prints?
Absolutely. The contract includes an exclusive rights print release. You'll be able to use the photos for any personal use (display, social media sharing, etc.) The digital files you will receive are edited, free of watermarks/logos, color-corrected and saved at a high enough resolution for any professional lab to make prints.
» What other “Fine Print” is there?
Secured overnight hotel lodging (at least three star to ensure safety and security of myself and my equipment) must be provided for travel beyond a two hour drive (~130 miles) of Oakland. Overtime is charged at $250 per half hour. Overtime is any additional time added after contract signing, either before or on the wedding day. California state tax of 8.75% applies to final price with deliverable goods.
» What else can we do to ensure a great photography experience?
Communicate with me! The more I know about you and what you are looking for, the better we can work together to produce beautiful photographs.