As a couple you probably have tons of questions. This is most likely your first time planning an event as huge as a wedding, and the last experience you had with a professional photographer was your senior year of high school or the headshot your employer made you get. First off, the best way to have all of your questions answered is to give us a call. It is much quicker than an email, and you can speak with me directly and ask me anything. However, here are a few questions I am commonly asked, and some questions you should be asking all of the photographers you are inquiring about.
How long have you been a photographer?
I started photography in high school I guess around '94 or '95. I taught myself by using a completely manual film camera.
How did you start shooting weddings?
I shot my first wedding in 2005. My brother was getting married and did not have a photographer, so I offered to do it. I had no idea that moment would change my life. I shot his wedding and loved it! At that point I decided to start a business and just shoot a few weddings on the side. In 2006 I booked my first paid wedding. Well, long story short, it became a part-time, full-time job within two years. At the time I had a pretty decent job working as a data analyst at a huge and well known bank. Ever say one of those flippant prayers like "God, this is getting too much, one of these things has to go."? Well, I did in August 2008 because both jobs were too much. Then on October 7, 2008 (my brother's birthday, by the way, the one who's wedding I first shot) I was given my answer. I was informed my job was being outsourced and I was let go. Thankfully they gave me an incredible severance package, so I took my opportunity and made Aesthetic Life Studio my full time job and wedding photography my life.
How many weddings have you photographed?
Honestly, I have lost count. I know we have shot over 300 at this point however.
What is your favorite part of the wedding day to shoot?
My favorite part are the getting ready photos. There is something about the energy and organized chaos that I love. I love the raw emotion involved as well. The nervous bride, the father who cannot hold back his tears when he sees his daughter, the groom who is trying his best to play it cool. All of it makes for great images. I also love working under pressure, so weddings are a great fit for me.
I am also a sucker for the father/daughter dance. I am not ashamed to admit that I sometimes get a little misty eyed when I see a dad dance with his little girl. Being the father of a six year old I can easily relate. I see things through my lens that most people do not, so when I am closely zoomed in and I am capturing intimate moments with a dad and his girl I will see him tear up. Once that happens, I do the same.
What are your favorite shots from the wedding day?
My favorite shots are the ones that show genuine emotion. That might happen when the groom sees his bride for the first time, or during the first dance, or even as we are taking photos of the bride and groom together. It does not have to be tears, but a laugh, or a look. Something that gives away their feelings in that moment.
Do you have a list of must have shots?
Yes. There are shots I make sure to get at every wedding and that list is way too long to write here.
Can I make photo requests or suggestions?
Absolutely! This is your day, so please feel free to send me a few requests! That said, because of the nature of weddings and timeframes we might only have time to shoot one or two specific shots.
Do you offer a disc of images with print rights?
Yes. Most of our packages include a flash drive of images and you will have a license to copy and print your photos. The images on your drive are edited, high resolution photos, and will not contain a watermark.
Do you offer prints and albums?
Yes! We give our clients the option to purchase high quality professional grade prints, canvases, and albums. As far as products go, the sky is the limit. The albums and prints we offer are rated to last up to 200 years! There is a lot to go over in this question, so please give us a call to discuss more details.
Do you have more than one photographer for the day?
Yes, but it depends on the package. We give you the option of adding a second, and some packages include a second photographer. I am very comfortable shooting weddings on my own depending on the scale of the wedding and the venue. If you are on the fence about a second photographer we can discuss this and I will let you know if I think a second would be a good investment for you.
Do you offer hourly coverage or all day coverage?
I offer both. It depends on your day and budget. Every bride has different wants and needs, and coverage and timeframes vary from wedding to wedding. Some brides only need eight hours of coverage, and some need twelve. When we talk we will go over an estimated timeline. I will be able to give you a very good idea of how many hours you need so you can make the best investment in your photography package.
Do you offer engagement sessions?
Yes! We actually gift an engagement session to every bride who books with us!
Do you travel?
Yes! We will go anywhere! Plus, we cover a huge area before we charge a travel fee to shoot weddings. Basically, if your venue is within 100 miles of us, there is no extra charge. If it is further out we only charge the IRS milage rate, which is $.55 per mile. If a hotel stay or flight is required we will bill for reimbursement of those charges.
Do you shoot other sessions?
Yes. We take on a few commercial assignments a year, and we shoot portrait sessions, like family and senior sessions.
Are you a preferred photographer at any venues?
Yes! We are a preferred photographer at Green Grove Gardens, Liberty Mountain Resort, The Lodges at Gettysburg, The Barn at Springfield Farm, and several others who regularly refer us!
Are you insured?
Yes. We have liability and equipment insurance.
What happens if you can't make it?
If I cannot make your day, Lexi, our associate photographer will take my place if she is available. If she cannot make it, then we will make a good faith effort to find a replacement for you. If that cannot happen we will refund you 100%.
What happens if it rains on my wedding day?
First, rain is not always bad. I have created some of my favorite images in the rain. That said I always keep a set of black golf umbrellas in my car. If it is basically a hurricane out there and rains all day, then I have a back up plan I offer all of my brides. If it rains so bad we cannot go outside for photos we will go out another day for a free After Session. Basically you wear your dress again, your groom wears his tux or suit and we spend an hour at your venue or another cool location getting some amazing shots. So do not worry, I will make sure you get the beautiful photos you have always wanted.
How do we book you for our day?
This is my favorite question to answer! Booking is very simple. If you have not already, go to our contact page and fill out the form so we make sure we are available, and talk about your day and package details. Once we confirm our availability and discuss package options, you might decide to book over the phone or to schedule a meeting. If you book with us over the phone I will send you a link that will contain your package proposal. You will simply look it over, fill out your personal contact info, read over the contract, type your name in the signature box and click the "I agree" button. After that you will be prompted to pay the retainer. If you book with us in person, we will just do these steps together.
What is your payment schedule?
Again, this is super easy. $750 is due when you sign your contract and the rest of the balance is due one week before your wedding. During that time you can logon to your online account with us and make a payment at anytime. We have a lot of clients who make monthly and quarterly payments to us. We accept checks, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover. (Check payments are not accepted online at this time.)
Do you bring backup equipment?
Yes! I have had to use my backup cameras before as well, so things can and do happen, but we prepare for them.
Do you backup your files and how long do you keep them?
Yes, we back everything up! One drive in house and then on a cloud service we use. I have never deleted any wedding I have ever shot. I have them all in jpg form. However, after the album is ordered, we will delete the raw files or digital negatives.
What gear do you use?
You can find our equipment guide here: Gear