FAQ!!! All those things you've been wondering about

  1. How do I choose a photographer?Why should we hire you?

There is an amazing selection of talented photographers out there!  I would like to think of myself as one of them *humble brag*. With all of your options, it really comes down to who you vibe and connect with more!  But for real…you are going to be with your photographer the entire day.  But not just any day, your wedding day!  There is nothing more awkward than having your photographer showing up and just not feeling it.  I would recommend making sure the vibe is right with your photographer to ensure you are choosing someone who cares about your overall experience.  It is so important to know that you do get along with the person that will be capturing memories that will last a lifetime.  Your working relationship with your wedding photographer could last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (depending on when you book). Make the investment worth it by choosing someone who you connect with!  If the person you connect with doesn’t fit into your budget, talk to them. After all, it is a worthwhile investment!  On to the more important question— why should I be your photographer?!  Firstly, I work well with people who do not like taking photos (you’ve probably seen me talk about that on my website before).  It’s true, though!  I don’t like being in photos myself, so I can sympathize and help your photos to go as painlessly as possible.  Two, I am there to make your day easier.  My focus is on making your wedding photography feel effortless! Three, I am heavily invested in my business.  I have spent years learning, working, listening to feedback from clients and peers, and tweaking.  I do care about your overall experience and I will be invested in making your day a success! Weather that’s carrying your dress, letting you know there’s something in your teeth, or holding your hand when you’re overwhelmed. I am that for my couples and I’m ready to commit to your big day!  That is what I bring to the table and why I should be your wedding photographer. 🙂

  1.  Is there a time limit for wedding coverage? How many hours of coverage do I needfor our wedding day?

Every couple needs a different amount of coverage for their wedding day, so I do not have a time limit for coverage.  I like to chat with brides to help them determine what they need and what will best fit those needs.

Wedding coverage varies depending on what you need. I have a breakdown on my packages page below that shows you a typical wedding day timeline and you can look at it and see where you think you might fall as far as the coverage you’re looking for. The majority of my brides do 8 hours of coverage. It’s a perfect amount of time to get plenty of stuff before and after the ceremony.  If you still aren’t sure how much coverage to choose, just ask me!  I’ll give my best recommendation for your wedding.

Traditional coverage lasts 8 hours because it’s a great amount of time to cover the whole day.  With this option, the reception usually gets cut by an hour or two on the back end.  I encourage my brides to save their money where they can, though!  Usually 2-3 hours of reception coverage is plenty.

If you don’t want your reception coverage to be cut short at all, I will recommend 10-12 hours of coverage.  But only if you are set on covering the entire reception!

The 4-hour package fits the needs of small weddings or elopements best.  Elopements and small weddings are more laid back and intimate and generally don’t have a reception, so four hours of coverage is all you need.

  1.  Are you the sole photographer for your company? Do you have a team?

I am the sole photographer, editor, Instagram poster, business runner, etc.  You name it, I do it!  I run a one woman team over here, which is why I am so grateful when clients are graceful with me and understand that it is just me getting everything done! I deliver your photos promptly and professionally. Your patience is very appreciated, however, if I am unable to respond immediately to emails or messages. I promise to always do my very best to get back to you as soon as possible!

  1.  What does a second shooter do?

Since I am just one person, I do use second shooters (an extra photographer) when couples add that to their package.  They are all main photographers who, like me, run their own businesses.  They have tons of experience and are just as good me!  Trust me, I choose second shooters very carefully. You won’t need to worry about the second shooter being an inexperienced person that shows up to your wedding.  My first two packages include a second shooter.  I believe a second shooter is amazing to have for your wedding day because there is often two things happening that should be photographed at the same time.  While I’m with you and your girls, the second shooter can be with your partner taking “getting ready” photos.  If the schedule is running behind, we can divide and conquer. We can capture multiple images and angles during the ceremony to get the best photos of everyone―each of you, your mom wiping a tear, and your beaming bridesmaids too.  One reason I love having a second shooter is because REAL LIFE HAPPENS.  If I am not feeling 100% on your wedding day, the second shooter will be there to take the lead and get directions from me based on what we have discussed.  On the flip side, I have no problem shooting by myself and do it all the time.  Don’t think your wedding can’t be shot without a second.  They are extremely useful but if it’s not for you, it’s not for you.  And that is okay!

  1.  What is your typical turnaround time for photos? How long does it take to get the proofs?

I do not deliver traditional “proofs.”  The images that you will view online and share with your family and friends are your final wedding photos.  This means they have been checked for quality, lighting, color, and they have been cropped and retouched.  Once your images are captured, I narrow them down to the best of the best.  Then I will begin the process of making corrections, adjusting tone, and performing minor retouches.  Generally speaking, my turnaround time is 6-8 weeks.  That is industry standard for wedding photos and gives me enough time to look at each photo with fresh eyes before you get them back.  I do typically get them back to you quicker than that, but it all depends on if it’s peak wedding season (March 1-November 1) and what my workload looks like at the time.  All work is performed in order of service and is impacted by client volume and holidays.

  1.  Do you use natural light or flash systems?

I am a natural light photographer; that is my happy zone.  The majority of photos you see on my website were taken in natural light.  I mainly use a prime lens to help me capture the best images possible.  Even though I prefer to use natural light when convenient, I am comfortable to shoot in any lighting.  I do use an off camera flash system that is usually only needed for the reception.  If your wedding is inside and flash is needed to get the best images, I will let you know in advance and be sure to use it only when needed so it won’t cause too much of a distraction during the ceremony.  If you would like to browse full galleries of weddings that used the type of lighting you are expecting for your wedding, let me know, and I will send you examples.  The only type of lighting I do not shoot in at this time is nighttime. I am not a night photographer at this time.

  1.  What do edited pictures look like? Does the editing really matter?

So every single image you receive is edited for color and minor skin blemishes. If you have a pimple on your wedding day, I’ve got you! Especially if I’m all in your face with my camera. Editing matters and you can definitely see a difference in what an image looks like straight out of camera (RAW) and when I’ve put my secret sauce on it (editing) Just check out this before and after below.

  1.  Can you Photoshop out my double chin??

Ha!  I bet you don’t even need any of that.  As far as editing goes, I only edit for color and minor skin blemishes.  Like if you have a pimple or two on your wedding day, I got you!  If you have parts of your body you don’t typically like showing in photos, I can help you pose in a way that compliments you the most or hides those things.  If you get your wedding photos back and there are one or two in which you want your body edited, I can have them sent to a photo editor.  They can fix those things for $10 per photo.  I have worked with them before, and they can work pure magic!

  1.  How many edited images do we get back?

I don’t have a maximum number of photos that I will send you like some photographers do.  You will get all the photos that turn out the way they should.  I will send you the best picture when there are many duplicates of the same one.  My average wedding shoot produces somewhere between 800-1700 images depending on the package you choose.  A good estimate would be between 50-100 photos per hour per person. 🙂

  1.  Do you do bridals also?

Yes, I do!  It is an add on option.

  1.  Do you offer videography?

Not at this time. If you are looking, I can send you a list of amazing videographers. 🙂

  1.  Do you charge a travel fee?

I do, but don’t worry, it is super cheap!  My travel fee for any distance less than 200 miles roundtrip is a flat $100 fee in addition to the price of the package you select.

  1.  I live far away from you and my venue, so I won’t be needing an engagement session 🙁 Is that okay?

I have had several couples whose engagement sessions just don’t work out because of the distance and busy schedules.  It is no biggie!  I do love being able to do an engagement session because it gives me a chance to get to know you.  I love meeting and hanging out with couples before the wedding day!  It helps us be more comfortable with each other and helps you to know how the photography will go the day of the wedding. BUT, like I said, it is not a big deal if we aren’t able to do one.  I still try to form a bond with you before your wedding by having an open dialogue.  I encourage couples to call and text any time you have questions.  If you are on Facebook, I will add you to my support group with other past and current brides who help each other out or just vent about wedding-related topics.  I love this mini-community and keeping in contact with all my lovely brides!

  1.  What is your emergency plan if you are ill or unable to shoot my wedding?

Let me just say that I have never had anything happen before that made me unable to show up to a couple’s wedding.  I have been very fortunate up to this point! But, let’s be real, life happens and we have to be prepared for something serious to come up―from car accidents to the flu to pregnancy issues (I’m not pregnant lol; don’t worry).  I have several safeguards put in place so that someone will shoot your wedding―and not just any person!  An experienced photographer will be there to capture your big day, and I will edit and deliver the photos afterwards.

If you choose to have a second shooter, that would be our first line of defense if I am unable to shoot your wedding for any reason.  That way someone will be there no matter what.  I would then find another person to replace the second shooter’s role.  Memphis has an AMAZING group of photographers who have each other’s backs and are willing to help when things like this happen.  I have stepped in for other photographers twice, once a week in advance, and once finding out the night before!  Many other photographers, myself included, use second shooters who also run their own photography business.  So if that person has to take the lead or make a call, they have the experience to do the job right.  I also second shoot when my schedule is open.  I trust my second shooters and depend on them to be just as amazing and caring for you as I would be.  They aren’t just second shooters, they are excellent people. 🙂

  1.  How much is the deposit?

A non-refundable retainer fee of 35% of the cost of the package you choose and a contract are all you need to secure your date.

  1.  When is the balance due?

You get to pick! Whether you want your final balance set 1 or 2 months before your wedding date.  I let my couples choose what due date is comfortable for them and works the best for their wedding schedule.  Each person’s invoice remains open, so you are free to go in and pay as little or as much as you wish before your due date.  Lots of people like this option because they can gradually pay on their balance as they are able to.

  1.  What is your cancellation fee?

I don’t charge a cancellation fee if you cancel more than 6 months before your wedding date.  However, the retainer fee is nonrefundable.  If you cancel within 6 months before your wedding, I do charge a liquidation damages fee.  That means that the closer we get to the date, the less likely I will be able to rebook the date.  When I book you as a client, I am turning away business for that date from that point forward.  Photography is my full time job and, just like everyone else, I need my income to pay the bills.  If you cancel at the last minute, I lose my income and business.

  1.  How much are extra hours of coverage?

If you need hours in addition to what is included with the package you select, it will be $350/additional hour.  I sit down with each of my couples and make sure that the package they choose will include the right amount of coverage for their wedding day.

  1.  Can I give you a list of photos I want to take?

Yes and no.  I know you have seen all those “shot lists” in magazines and on Pinterest about what you want your photographer to capture.

-bride putting on dress

-bride with groom

-bride with bridesmaids

etc.  You get the point.  Honestly, if you need to give your photographer a list detailing each photo you want them to take, you might not have the right photographer.  An experienced wedding photographer knows the ins and outs of weddings.  From the getting ready photos to the reception, an experienced photographer knows what to look for.  If you give your photographer a long, detailed list explaining every shot you want taken, something is going to be missed.  Your photographer will have to focus on making checks off a list instead of capturing photos in their natural progression.  This is where trust and open communication come into play.  Talk to your photographer about your concerns and images you know you’d like taken.  Instead of giving your photographer a shot list (which they will probably cover anyway), communicate beforehand any unique circumstances or photos you’ll be needing.  I ask my couples to tell me things I wouldn’t know about their wedding day.  For example, if you want a photo of your grandmother’s handkerchief that you will be holding or a photo of a family member with your bouquet, let me know.  If there are ill or aging family members who can’t make it to your special day and want as much documentation as possible, let me know.  I can pay special attention to those things while still getting all the photos of you see on those Pinterest “shot lists”.  I will capture the day as it unfolds for you!  Your photos will turn out looking natural and will capture all the special moments of your wedding day.

  1.  Can you hold a date for me?

Unfortunately, no.  In order to be fair to everyone, I accept bookings on a first come, first serve basis.  In order to secure your date, I require a non-refundable 35% retainer fee of the total package price along with a signed contract.  Your final balance is due between 2 weeks and 2 months before the wedding date.  I let my couples choose what due date is comfortable for them and works the best for their wedding schedule.  Each person’s invoice remains open, so you are free to go in and pay as little or as much as you wish before your due date.  Lots of people like this option because they can gradually pay on their balance as they are able to.

  1.  Do we get the negatives? Who owns the copyrights to the images?

I deliver high-resolution selected edits as digital files on a disc or thumb drive (for an additional fee).  I maintain the copyright to all images and use them for promotional purposes, competition, professional review, etc.  You do receive a written release to bring the photos from your disc for any personal use.  This means you can print out the photos, frame them, make Thank You notes or Christmas cards with them, post them to Facebook, etc.  You are not allowed to use the images for any commercial use or sell any of the images without my consent.  A detailed explanation is outlined in my contract.

  1.  Do we need to feed you at the reception?

Most definitely, yes!  By the time the reception rolls around, I will have been on my feet working for 6-7 hours without stopping to eat.  Feeding me will ensure I have the energy to capture the fun you’re having at the reception and that I don’t get hangry from low blood sugar (lol).  You do not have to feed me the same sit-down meal that your guest enjoy.  Most venues do offer vendor meals.  A hot meal is always appreciated, though!  The best timing for me to eat is at the same time you are enjoying your meal so I don’t miss any photo opportunities.  If you are providing a buffet for your guests, please ask your caterer to set aside a plate for me and my second shooter (if applicable).

  1.  Can my family and friends take photos as well?

Definitely!  I only ask that family and friends be respectful of the investment you have made into wedding photography.  As such, it is recommended that during group portraits when friends and family are present, they stand behind me and wait to take photos until I have taken my shot.  This way all eyes will be looking in the same direction and you won’t have a photo with half of your bridesmaids looking at your aunt’s phone instead of my camera.  I do not allow anyone to follow along for bridal images, the first look, or bride and groom portraits, because this can be very distracting.  Please feel free to bring one person of your choice to assist with your dress for bridal images.  I want both of you to feel completely at ease and not worry about if someone else is staring at you!

  1.  Do you offer an engagement session in your packages?

All packages come with a complimentary engagement session.  This helps me get to know you two as a couple before the wedding day.  That way you will be more at ease in front of the camera when the big day rolls around.

  1.  Do you offer rehearsal dinner coverage?

If I am available on that day, yes!  You can add rehearsal dinner coverage to your package from the A La Carte options.

  1.  My partner doesn’t like taking photos. What should I do?

I am not coming to your wedding to make you pose unnaturally and feel uncomfortable.  I am there to capture moments of the best day of your life!  I try to be in the way as little as possible; I take as many candid and natural photos as possible.  Most importantly I’m there to give you step by step directions that get you those jaw dropping photos. 🙂

  1. Do we REALLY need an engagement session??

Of course not! It is great to take advantage of enjoying your engagement, though!  It gives us a chance to get to know each other better so we are more comfortable together on the big day! 🙂