For all those questions you’re dying
to ask before or after you hire me…
Wedding and Portrait FAQs
I really want to hire you, but I can’t afford you. What can I do?
If you can’t pay half now (the deposit to save your date if it’s a wedding), you still deserve quality documentation of your wedding day. I have heard horror stories of people hiring cheap photographers, so please don’t make that mistake. Just ask me and we can try to work out a payment plan. The same goes for a photo session, but most of that expense will come with the post-shoot ordering.
How did you come up with your prices?
My prices are based off of my hourly work (shooting, editing, communication, transportation, etc.), special services (retouching, additional hours of work, travel fees, etc.), years of training, cost of goods, equipment, shipping, etc. Sales tax is not included with my pricing, but I’m afraid I will have to collect money for the government whenever you purchase a file, print, or product.
Why do you require a non-refundable deposit?
In order to pay my own bills, I need to make sure I keep my calendar filled up enough throughout each year. If someone cancels on me, I suddenly have to try to fill that spot in my calendar, otherwise I am losing money. With a deposit, I won’t lose all of the money if I’m canceled on and I won’t have done all of the prep work for nothing. When money and a contract is involved, the likelihood of someone canceling is diminished. If I could base my bookings only on trust, I would!
Why do you require a contract?
Like any professional service, I want to cover my butt if something goes wrong, particularly with weddings. I also want to show you that you are protected under our agreement. Nothing has ever gone wrong to the point where I have to use a completed contract, but it’s there just in case. More likely I will refer my clients to the contract if a question comes up about what to expect or what they received. Pretty much everything of importance is covered there, so it’s a good resource to have on hand anyway!
What if I don’t like your prices or the products that you offer?
For both weddings and portraits, you are invited to a pre-consultation where we talk about what I offer. If you don’t like what you see, you are under no obligation to book me.
If you have hired me for your portrait session and decide that you don’t want to buy anything, then you don’t have to. I have no minimum purchase requirement.
If your wedding has special circumstances that require a little bit of flexibility, then I may be able to move some things around to accommodate your needs. Please understand that I generally can’t make exceptions unless these circumstances are very different from a “typical” wedding. Please ask if you’re curious.
How much experience do you have?
I began shooting weddings in 2008 and I was shooting portraits and landscapes before that. I officially started my business in 2012. I have a BA in Fine Art and a family full of artists. It’s in my blood I guess! I have lost count of the number of shoots and weddings I have done over the years, but I have shaped how I do business around all of those experiences. Both behind the camera and in the office.
What is your style of photography?
Hopefully you’ve already picked up on my style by the work that has brought you to this page. I am a documentary photographer, first and foremost. And while I will photograph those essential posed photos as well, they are not the meat of my work. I am hired most of all for those fun, sweet moments that happen naturally – candids. Yes, you will be posed, positioned, and probably a little uncomfortable at times, but this is how I begin some of those shots that you love.
As for events, I document the story as it unfolds, interfering as little as possible. If you have special requests beyond this, please be sure to communicate these before you hire me.
You can also visit my About page for a more thorough explanation.
What kind of clients do you work with?
Maybe you’ve seen my tagline, “Photography for the free-spirit”. This only means that I tend to attract and work with people who are laid back, easy-going, and essentially not “bridezillas”… though occasionally one will slip through. A running joke in the wedding industry is that saying you are not a bridezilla usually means you are one, and I can vouch for that!
I go above and beyond for all of my clients, but they may not even realize a lot of the behind the scenes work I do. In addition to that I am easy-going and flexible, but if you will expect me to bend over backwards, please find someone else! I typically work with non-demanding, low-maintenance people who expect me to give them exactly what I promise. If you are one of those, please contact me now! I especially love shooting weddings for couples who like to think outside of the box and go for a non-traditional wedding or elopement. If you want to take me up a mountain to shoot your wedding, then I’ll do it!
Will you travel? Does that cost extra?
Yes! If you haven’t noticed yet, I love to travel. In fact, my other work is to travel, so I may very well be traveling to your destination already. Who knows? I will not charge for travel if a shoot or event is under an hour drive from my home in Seattle. There is no set fee for longer distances, as it all depends on the situation (hiking, driving, ferries, etc.). Please inquire with specifics about your needs. I will travel for both weddings and portrait sessions. For portraits, consider gathering a couple of families together to pitch in to get me there! 😉
Do you work alone?
It depends. Sometimes even for portrait sessions I will ask someone to assist if I see a need for that situation. Normally I don’t though. For longer weddings and events I almost always have a second shooter with me to ensure more photos and different points of view. I can’t be everywhere at once, but this helps me to have photos from two places at once! If a second shooter is not included in your wedding package, then I can hire one for an additional fee, which varies depending on the need. Please don’t hesitate to ask for one! I can always use an extra hand, especially for events.
Where do you get your assistants or second shooters?
My second shooters are professional photographers that I have worked with before. I have a few trusted individuals to choose from, but I cannot guarantee that they will be available for your wedding date. If you do want to add on a second shooter, please request this additional service ASAP.
General assistants may be friends or beginner photographers learning the ropes. No special skills are required of them.
Do you provide hair and makeup services?
Unless I have a packaged deal happening for a specific photo shoot, I don’t provide hair and makeup. However, I do know several professionals who can take great care of you. I can also share with you a list of my preferred vendors for other services. Just let me know what you’re looking for!
How will I receive my photos?
If you have ordered prints or products, I will make every effort to hand deliver these in person. If you have only ordered digital files, these will be uploaded onto a USB drive and mailed to you.
What are high-Resolution files?
These are the highest quality of finished digital images that I can give you. These are kind of like film negatives that you can print from, except that they are lightly edited.
Do you edit the photos?
Yes, I make basic edits for all of the photos I give to you. These are comparable to anything you’ve seen in my portfolio. If you want retouching done, which usually involves removing small items, these changes can be made upon request. I include a certain number of these depending on the type of shoot. I will not make you look like a different person though!!
What if I don’t care if my photos are edited?
I will not present unedited photos to you. Most photographers will agree that they do not hand over the raw files because editing is part of the professional process.
Will I see all of the photos?
I am hired for my professional expertise in shooting, culling, and editing, and this is what I will present to you. There is more that goes into photography than aiming a nice camera and pressing a button, so I will not paparazzi your shoot or your event. Even if it seems like I am taking a lot of photos, that doesn’t mean that you will see them all because I select the best that represent a moment for you to see. The rest are either too similar to include, too unflattering, or just mistakes like misfires or moments where the flash failed to go off. This happens, and I delete the bad photos to free up much needed hard drive space. Trust me, you don’t want 10 of the same posed group when only one includes everyone with their eyes open! If you want to see bad photos, then please don’t bother hiring me for my expertise.
Well, then how many photos will I see?
I don’t know. I won’t promise you a certain number of photos just to meet some quota that I give every client. I believe in quality over quantity. Photo shoots are a bit easier to predict (a range), because I try to narrow down to the very best for a viewing/ordering session. Too many would be too much to go through. Even then, things can happen during your shoot, like a cranky toddler or a sudden rain cutting your time short.
Events are even harder to guess. Like I said, I won’t give you bad photos for the reasons above. Period. Weddings also have so many variable factors, from the amount of activities scheduled to that aunt who glares at me (the photographer) every time I come near, that it’s impossible for me to give a particular number.
When will I get to see my photos?
Portrait sessions are usually finished within 2 weeks of the shoot. This may vary by a week or two depending on my work load. For weddings I do my best to have them in your online gallery within 3-4 weeks of the event. That’s pretty quick! This could also vary depending on the season and what else I have going on, but you are guaranteed to have your photos in your online gallery within 2 months at the very latest.
What if I don’t like my photos?
I do my best to set the expectations for my clients about the photos they will receive. I do this by explaining in person, sending emails, documents, contracts, and writing up this page! For weddings, my contracts are especially detailed to set expectations. Despite all of that effort, things get lost in translation or completely forgotten. People also just envision something very specific no matter how well they are prepared, or they have insecurities that simply cannot be overcome. I can only promise what I have stated in those contracts and discussions, and that is my best. There is a lot of faith involved in hiring a photographer, but you can trust that I’ll treat your session or event as I would any other, and that I put all of my heart into making it successful.
What are my usage rights for the photos?
As the artist, I retain copyrights to all of my photos. However, if you bought the files, then I am agreeing to give you the printing rights as well. Please do not re-edit and then present the modified photos as my work. This article from Professional Photographers of America will give you a quick rundown of the legalities of copyright: http://www.ppa.com/content.cfm?ItemNumber=1720
Wedding and elopement (only) FAQs
Can I substitute something I see in my wedding package for something else?
Yes, but only in collection 2 or 3 if it’s a full length wedding. And only if what you want is a product of equal or lesser value. Feel free to ask. I only offer packages for full length weddings.
Do you do engagement shoots?
Yes! These are complimentary for my longer wedding packages, because I think it’s important for people to warm up to the camera and get to know me. It’s also great to have nice, “normal” photos of you and your partner in something other than your wedding clothes. If you can’t do an engagement shoot in Seattle, then I’m willing to travel, or I may be able to reduce your package price or substitute the engagement shoot with something of equal value. This is the only time I will make an exception for complimentary engagements though. I don’t include these with “short weddings” or elopements, but I can add them on for an additional $250.
How do I order my wedding album?
I’ve tried different ways of doing this, and I’ve found that what works best is for me to design a “1st draft” to start. My preferred album software makes this the most convenient solution for us both! From there you will have two chances to make changes or swap out photos. Then a final design will be submitted for your approval.
What kind of travel fees can I expect for a destination wedding or elopement?
It really depends. There are a lot of factors to consider, including whether or not I’m dying to travel somewhere. 😉 If I really want to shoot somewhere, I can give you an awesome deal! There are other logistics that I can’t give you a deal on, however. Some things like a venue’s outside vendor fee or the cost of me hiring a rental car (you don’t want to be driving me around yourself!), just can’t be avoided. Let’s chat and figure out what this will cost.