Your wedding can seem complicated and overwhelming. I’m here to help make life a little easier. While I can certainly answer most wedding day questions, here are some photography-related questions I’ve heard before and can answer for you now.

FAQ:

How many weddings do you book per day?

Each photographer in our studio books only one wedding per day. Once you have booked the date it is yours and you will have your photographer’s complete attention.

 

 What can we do in planning our wedding day, to help get the best photos?

Time is important. Most brides underestimate the amount of time hair and makeup will take, especially if you have a friend doing it. The longer they take, the less time you have to get your photos done. A professional can give you an estimated time of how long each woman will take. Allowing time for the unexpected is always a good idea and can give you a chance to catch your breath and relax.

 

Should we do our formal photographs before or after the ceremony?

This is completely up to you. However, based on my experience it is better to take as many photos as possible before the ceremony. Now I know it’s tradition to not see each other before the ceremony; and if that’s what you want, then that’s fine. However, I would suggest you see each other for a few reasons. Consider that the tradition was started back when marriages were arranged. If the groom saw the bride before the ceremony and didn’t like the way she looked, he could reject her and her family would not get the dowry money. This is also behind the tradition of a bridal veil. The veil was lifted once the ceremony was over. That is why the kiss is generally after the vows, and the veil was lifted then.

Practically: if you see each other, you can get photos that need to be done before the ceremony starts and after the ceremony, you can just go straight to the cocktail hour and enjoy your evening virtually undisturbed by your photographer. Finally, when you see each other for the first time it’s an amazing moment which is easier to catch in a personal setting and gives you time to actually appreciate each other without rushing into the ceremony and it won’t interfere with the joy as you walk down the aisle.

 

Style

How would you describe your photographic “style”?

Our photographers specialize in a natural, story-telling style of wedding photography, combining traditional posed photos with pictures taken in a photojournalistic manner. I will discuss with you the “look and feel” of your wedding’s artistic style. You will receive a mixture of spontaneous action photos as well as more traditional group photos of family and wedding attendants. I try to personalize every wedding, so the more input you can give me about the type of photos you want, the better. We are very adept at making a couple feel comfortable and making sure they are happy on their wedding day.

Will any of my photos be posed in a “prom pose”?

The two most important and artistic skills of the technical side of wedding photography are lighting and posing. Very few non-professional photographers do this well, and even many professional photographers still rely on the “prom pose”. One of the reasons you are hiring us is because we know how to pose you in the most flattering ways and we listen to what you want and (most importantly) don’t want.

 Do you offer “Trash the Dress”?

Absolutely!

 

Production – Postproduction

What packages do you offer?

During our meeting we will discuss the packages available in detail, if you don’t see a package that has everything you want we can custom-build one. If you want something different, we can customize it to fit your needs and budgets.

What kind of albums do you offer?

We mainly offer coffee-table-style albums of many different sizes. However, if you would like something else, let us know, and we’ll make sure you get what you desire.

Do you edit each photo?

Yes, we do basic correction for all photos taken. The album and all prints ordered will be further touched up to bring out the full beauty of your day. Special techniques can also be done upon request.

I personally do all the editing. This is important as most photographers farm this out. These contracted photo editors have had no contract with you regarding the “look and feel” of your album. When considering other photographers, notice how natural their photos look. Often photos are over edited, which is a fine technique for “glamour and model shots”, but not for the bride and groom and their party. The other photo editing error you often find a shot that is “blown out” and way too bright. While these high key photos can be nice for one or two shots, as a “style” it isn’t right for a wedding. I believe in shooting it right, not fixing it later.

After the wedding, how long will it take before my photos are ready for viewing?

All packages include a website that stays up for 2 years so that you and your guests may look at your photos at your leisure. The website and photos are ready about 2 weeks after your event or wedding.

 Do you offer the rights to my photos?

Yes. Some packages include the rights, but if they do not you can easily add them.

Do you deliver every image you shoot?

No we do not. We eliminate duplicate images, test shots, missed focused shots, shots with bad expressions and other images that may dilute the overall product delivery. For example, because we shoot with low apertures, sometimes we take a few extra shots to make sure we have the perfect focus. We don’t expect you to have the expertise or the time to zoom into each image to select the one with the sharpest focus, so we spend hours doing that on our end. In another example, candid laughs and emotional tears are some of the best images from the day. Unfortunately, they can also yield some unflattering facial expressions. We might snap a few extras of any of these moments to make sure we have a great shot with the ideal expression for the moment. With our expertise of processing millions of images each year, we may eliminate ones that we feel are duplicates and only deliver the best one.

 When will I get my wedding album?

After you select the photos you would like included in your album (I can help you choose) I start to design it. The design takes 1-2 weeks to get back to you and once you approve it, I order your book. Depending on the time of year, the album company can take up to a month and a half to get it back to you.

 

Photographers

Does it matter whether I like my photographer?

It is important for you to be comfortable with your photographer since, you will be spending an entire day with her. If, like many people, you are not that comfortable in front of a camera, it is vital that you like your photographer so she can help you feel at ease.

 Never use a friend, relative, or hobbyist to photograph your big day!

Just because you know a photographer (professional or not) does not mean he possess the skills to photograph a wedding. Professional wedding photographers have experience and skills that are specific to wedding photography that other professionals and hobbyists do not have.

Hiring a friend or relative can cause many complications. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and can be easily dampened by poor photographs; that is a lot of pressure to put on someone who loves you. Also, it is unlikely they will own professional grade equipment. And, if nothing else, you want your friends and relatives to be able to be social and relax and enjoy your day with you. Photographers are unable to properly capture your wedding while drinking and socializing with your other guests.

Your wedding day is important; make sure you hire the right professionals to help make your day perfect.

 

Will I see you before the wedding?

Yes, all of our packages include engagement photos. This is a great way to get used to the camera in a casual setting. But even if you do not want engagement photos, feel free to set up as many appointments as you need to feel comfortable that everything will run smoothly.

 

How many photographers are on your staff?

We currently have 3 lead photographers and additional second photographers. We never job out our photography; you will personally know your lead shooter.

 

How experienced are your photographers?

Our photographers have managed many weddings, have experienced many of the chaotic situations that can transpire in any wedding, and are adept at controlling the situation. In addition to being excellent photographers, we are good on our feet.

 

Do you guarantee the photographer I choose will manage my wedding?

Yes, you are guaranteed the photographer that you book in your consultation.

 

But what happens if my chosen photographer becomes unavailable the day of my wedding?

On the rare occasion that the photographer you booked is unable to attend your wedding, you will have a replacement of equal skill and style.

 

Why do you need a second photographer at my wedding?

A second shooter gives your wedding a second perspective other than the lead photographer. Having a second shooter allows fuller coverage of the wedding and ensures that no important events are missed.

 

How many photos do you usually take at a wedding?

 There is no limit on the number of photos shot at your wedding.

 

How will you be dressed at my wedding?

We dress in black for your wedding. We dress in suit pants and a nice top to make sure we fit in with the wedding guests.

 

Equipment

What kind of equipment do you bring with you on our wedding day?

We use Nikon and Canon professional DSLR cameras. We also bring external flashes and multiple lenses.

Do you bring-back up equipment to my wedding in case of malfunction?

Absolutely. While malfunctions are rare, we come prepared for problems.

 

Location – Lighting

Have you shot at my venue before?

We have shot at hundreds of venues so there is a good chance that we have. If we have not however we will be sure to perform a thorough walkthrough prior to your wedding day.

Do you charge additionally for separate locations?

No, we will go to as many locations as you need for your wedding.

Do you work out of state and if so do you charge for travel?

Yes, and we charge only if the wedding is further than 50 miles away.

Why do you charge travel fees?
Travel fees are not intended to nickel and dime our clients. The primary purpose is to provide adequate compensation for our photographers for the additional time spent in travel. For this reason, coupled with the costs of reimbursing the team for the actual costs of travel, these fees are unfortunately necessary.

Can you handle various lighting situations?

Yes, we can handle any lighting situation.

 

Booking

How much do you require to reserve my date?

We require a retainer of 1/3 of your package price to save your date.

If we cancel the wedding, will we receive our retainer back?
Unfortunately no. Retainers are use to reserve your date. Once we’ve reserved your date we do not accept new clients for your date.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes, we can work out a payment schedule to fit your needs.

Do you charge hourly or full day?

Almost all of our packages include unlimited time with your photographer. However, if you don’t need a full day of service we can customize an hourly package for you.

How much should I spend for photography?

Photography is important. There are some things that can be skimped on to keep within your budget, but photography should not be one of them. Remember, your photographs are the only physical things (besides your dress stowed away in a box) that will remain after your wedding day. It would be safe to assume your photography can cost $3,000-$10,000.

The most common mistake made when choosing a photographer is deciding who to book by price alone. If you choose a photographer just because he is cheap, you will most certainly “get what you pay for” or worse. In general venders are cheap because they are inexperienced and/or deliver a lesser quality product. There are also companies that are all-in-one wedding stores. They are also known as “wedding factories”. These stores will offer you many of the needed services all for a low price. They focus on quantity over quality and do not specialize. They do this by having many people doing the work without regard for skill or experience levels. The people you meet are not the people who will be at your wedding, and you may not meet your actual venders until the wedding day. Also the wedding albums they show you may not contain actual pictures taken by your photographer.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, checks, and credit cards for your convenience.

If I pay for my package in cash will we be able to avoid paying sales tax or receive a discounts?

Unfortunately, collecting in cash does not exempt a photography studio from paying sales tax on the amount of the entire package price when a physical product is delivered, whether that product be an album, image DVD or any other physical product.

Do you have liability insurance?

Yes, we are a fully insured professional photography studio.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you have any further questions feel free to email info@callieellenstudios.com or call (908) 975-3411.