Frequently Asked Questions

 

  • Why should we choose you as our photographer?  What makes you different?

 

I hope you LOVE my photography!  I hope looking through my photos sparks something in you and you can feel the emotion in that moment.  I hope you trust me to capture precious memories for you forever.  But aside from being passionate about photography...

Communication is the first thing that sets me apart!  I believe everyone in the customer service industry should have excellent customer service skills, but sadly (and frustratingly), that's not always the case.  Communication is incredibly important to me, so I make sure to have great communication with my customers.  I try to respond to all messages and phone calls the same day I receive them.  If I can't respond right away, I respond within two days.

I welcome any questions you have along the way!  Whether it's help with a timeline for your wedding day or wondering if the outfits you have planned for your engagement session coordinate well, feel free to contact me anytime and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

In addition to communication, my attention to detail also makes me a great choice!  When it comes to photography, I notice the little things.  I'm a little bit of a perfectionist and I'm very organized, and it's because of those things that I want to give you photos that perfectly capture that moment in time!

 

  • What's your photography style?

 

I'm a documentary wedding and lifestyle photographer.  I use a photojournalistic approach to capture candid moments... the raw and emotional moments that you don't realize just how powerful they are until you look back at them.  I prefer to let things unfold naturally and capture the smiles, laughs, and tears that happen organically throughout the day.  The only posed photos I shoot are family portraits and a few posed photos of the couple (and only if the couple wants to sneak away for a bit).

The photos I capture and get so excited to deliver to my clients are the intimate, close up moments...  the sweet and genuine laughter shared between an engaged couple as they walk hand-in-hand in a park...  the excited smiles shared between a bride and groom right before they say "I do!" and share their first newlywed kiss... the tear in a father's eye as he holds his daughter close during a father-daughter dance...  best friends joyously dancing the night away in celebration of their friends' marriage...  If these are the special moments that you want to look back on, I'm the perfect person to capture them for you and help you remember them forever!

 

  • What's included in our wedding or session?

 

All sessions and weddings include a CD/DVD or USB drive of all high resolution photos after editing.  I don't specify how many photos you'll get, because each session and wedding is different and I believe the quality of photos is more important than the quantity of photos.  On average, you'll receive approximately 50+ photos per hour of your session or event.

I give you the digital files so you can make any prints and products you'd like.  If you'd like to go through me for professional prints, albums, and canvasses, I am more than happy to discuss product options with you more!

Additionally, I offer some wedding packages that include an engagement session and wedding album.  You will also receive all high resolution photos after editing from your engagement session.

 

  • Why is wedding photography so expensive?

 

I know, there is a LOT of "sticker shock" when planning a wedding and booking vendors!  I didn't realize how much weddings cost until Andrew and I began planning our own wedding.  Talk with your significant other about your expectations, what each of you wants for your wedding, and what you can budget for a wedding in the set amount of time you have to plan.  Once you figure out how much you can save, you can then figure out where you want to spend that money.

I hope that photography will be one of the areas in which you decide to invest.  Photography is often one of a couple's biggest "splurges" for their wedding, and with good reason -- photos are one of the only things you have (besides a spouse!) after the wedding is over.  If you're looking solely for a "cheap" photographer, I'm not the best fit for you.  If you're looking for someone who is always eager to chat with you about your wedding plans, who responds in a timely manner, who puts in so much thought and attention to detail when both taking and editing your photos, and who will share in the excitement with you on your wedding day and when re-living those memories as you look through your photos, then I really hope you'll allow me the opportunity to take your precious wedding day photos for you!  Please send me a message so we can chat more and you can get to know me :-)

Click here to read a little bit more in depth about what goes into the cost of photography.

 

  • How long after our wedding or session will we receive our photos?

 

My contract states that you'll receive your photos within two months after your session or wedding. Typically, engagement, maternity, and family sessions are completed in about 3 weeks and weddings are completed in about 4-6 weeks.

 

  • Are you able to hold a wedding or session date?

 

Unfortunately, I can't hold a date.  If you inquire about a specific date, I can tell you my availability.  If someone else asks about the same date, I will let you know about the inquiry; however, the first person to pay a non-refundable retainer will reserve the date.

 

  • Do you charge a travel fee?

 

I charge a travel fee of $0.54 per mile (round-trip) when more than 20 miles from my location in West Virginia.  Depending on the length of your session or wedding, a night in a hotel may be required when more than two hours from my location.

 

  • Do you photograph destination weddings?

 

I've photographed weddings up to three hours from my location, but I'm open to traveling anywhere to capture your wedding day!

 

  • How often may we contact you prior to our wedding?  Are we able to meet with you in person?

 

There is no limit on how often you can contact me!  You can email or call me any time.  If our schedules allow, I would love to meet with you to chat more about your wedding day and what you’re looking for.  If we can't meet in person, I'm happy to video chat with you over Skype.  I also recommend an engagement session prior to your wedding, since this will allow us to get to know each other better and it will help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera.

 

  • Do you offer a second shooter?

 

I prefer to shoot solo.  My husband is my assistant and comes to the weddings to help me with equipment and staging as necessary.  I am confident in my ability to capture special moments from various angles, but if you have any questions or concerns about specific photos or moments during your wedding day, please let me know so we can discuss more.

 

  • Do you have backup equipment?

 

Yes, I have two camera bodies and various lenses, flashes, and memory cards.

 

  • Do you have liability insurance?

 

Yes, I have liability insurance (some venues require this).

 

  • Are you a registered business?


Yes, I am a registered business in the state of West Virginia.

 

  • Help!  We just got engaged - where do we start with planning??


First of all, congratulations on your engagement!  This is such an exciting time for you and your significant other :-)  Take some time to enjoy being engaged before you jump full speed into wedding planning.  Once you're ready to begin planning, start with creating a budget, then come up with a tentative guest list, then start looking at venues, so you can secure a date.  Then continue on with other key vendors, such as officiant, photographer, and DJ.  There are a lot of moving parts in wedding planning, so take your time to research numerous vendors and decide what's best for you and your partner before booking.

Click here to read more tips for planning your wedding.

 

Advice

 

  • What to wear…

 

For an engagement session, solid colors and neutrals are a safe bet.  Wearing patterns can be a little distracting in photos.  Most importantly, wear something that you're comfortable in!  If you don't regularly dress up in fancy outfits and heels, you'll likely be uncomfortable wearing that in front of the camera, and ultimately that will show in the photos.

 

  • The best time of day to photograph…

 

The hour or two after sunrise and the hour or two before sunset is called the “Golden Hour” – this is when the most flattering light is available to photograph, and it makes everything look magical.  Mid-day light is very harsh, and can cast unflattering lines and shadows on faces.  If you're having an outdoor wedding ceremony, I recommend a ceremony time about two hours before sunset.

 

  • Make a list…

 

Prior to your wedding day, make a list of important photos that you'd like taken and send it to me at least two days before your wedding.  This list will primarily be family photos.  It may seem obvious to take a photo of the bride and her mom, but you can never be too careful when planning – the day is so hectic and it's easy to forget one or two people you want a photo with.  Please list every family photo you'd like taken and include names (for example, "Bride and Bride's mom (Sally)"; "Bride, Groom, and Smith family (John, Mary, Robert, and Emily)".  Including names will make this process easier.  Please also appoint someone to help gather people for these photos. If you have a coordinator, that's perfect.  If not, please ask a family member or close friend to help during this process.  Having someone who knows who each person is will make this process go much quicker!  I have a photo request template available to send my couples, so feel free to ask for this to help get you started!

 

  • Have a timeline…

 

Create a timeline for your day from the time you get up until the celebration ends (I can help you with this, if you'd like).  Remember to add in a little cushion of time here and there.  Little things come up and may cause small delays, but having a five or ten minute cushion of time throughout the day will help the timeline stay on track.

 

  • Details…

 

Gather together sentimental details so they're ready to be photographed right when I arrive.  These details may include your engagement ring, wedding bands, earrings, necklace, hair piece, veil, shoes, bouquet, and one of your invitations.

 

  • Getting ready…

 

We only need a little bit of time when you're almost done getting ready to snap a few photos commemorating this part of the day.  Save the final touches (earrings and jewelry for the bride, cuff links and tie for the groom) until I'm there to photograph as you put them on or as someone special puts them on you.

 

  • First look…

 

I highly recommend a "first look" for my couples getting married!  Seeing each other during a "first look" before the ceremony is a very special and intimate moment shared with just the couple, and it can help ease some nerves before the ceremony.  I promise...  Doing a "first look" does not make the walk down the aisle any less special!  Additionally, doing a "first look" will also allow for taking more group photos (photos of the couple, photos of the bridal party, and family photos if family members have arrived early) before the ceremony, so there are less photos to take after the ceremony, and you can get back to celebrating more quickly!

 

  • Take in the moment…

 

You're getting married!  This will be one of the best days of your life, and it's going to fly by so quickly!  Once the day gets here, relax, smile, don't worry about the little things, and just take it all in!  Be present in the moment and enjoy your day, and I'll capture it for you so you can remember it forever...