Terms

What do you call the different parts of the day?

Pre-Ceremony

is the time where the Bride and Groom are getting ready.  I call this Before in my galleries and your image delivery.

Ceremony

Pretty straight forward, goes from the time people enter the ceremony venue to signing the license

Formals

These are the shots typically done at the alter after the ceremony.  When we are not in a church we typically shoot where the couple stood for the ceremony.

Romantics

The Romantics part of the day where we go to different locations and get photos of the Bridal Party and the Couple.

Reception

All the shots at the reception

Can you hold a date for me?

I require a 1/3 retainer to hold a date.

What is your payment schedule?

An approximately 1/3 retainer is required to hold your date.  The balance is due one week before the wedding day.  Feel free to pay the balance any time before one week.

Can we pay part of the amount after the wedding?

Sorry, no.  I require full payment before the day

If I cancel my wedding can I have the retainer back?

No.  The retainer guarantees I will hold the date exclusively.  Once you have signed the agreement and paid the retainer I turn down all other weddings for that day.

What happens if you are sick or injured?

If I am unable to photograph your wedding it would only be the result of the grave illness or death of a direct relative or that I am physically unable to get out of bed due to injury or illness.  I have a network of other wedding photographers to call in case and would get you someone of equal or greater skill than I or return all your money if you are not satisfied.

Photos

Do you still take posed family images?

Certainly,  I call the family shots at the “Alter” Formals. I am a strong proponent of nice photos of all the important people at the ceremony.  At our conversation one month before the day we will list all the Formal shots you want.  I have a script of shots I have used for years.  It starts with the Bride’s family, then both sets of parents, then the Groom’s family, then the wedding party, the bride and groom and then just the bride.  After I have finished with a portion of the Formals I will ask if there is anything else you want.  Feel free to add or remove shots. While I’m not the fastest in the world at getting these shots done, I’m told I get them done more quickly and in an enjoyable way than most.  The time between the end of the ceremony and when the couple is announced at the reception is often very valuable time.  In our conversation we will weigh out spending time doing Formals versus Romantics.  If we are pressed for time we can do some of the family groupings at the reception.

Can we give you a list of photographs we want you to take?

Certainly!  In our planning conversations I can get you a list of shots I typically take at weddings.  Providing the situation allows, I will get all those shots.  I will also ask you a series of questions to find out which shots are most important to you, or if there are any unusual shots.  The photos that are important to you or are not what I typically do, go on a list for my wedding day worksheet.

Here is my typical wedding shot list (PDF)

Do you edit the images before we get them? All of them?

I shoot in RAW format, which gives me greater exposure and color latitude and every image must be processed with image editing software (I use Lightroom)  The images you receive will be edited for exposure, contrast and color to make pleasing natural color images.  I also select a few of my favorite images and will do some creative editing to show you some of the possibilities and my interpretation.  I do not retouch every and rarely any of the photos you receive.  I typically deliver 1200 to 3600 images at a wedding and retouching all of them is not doable.

What is editing? What is Creative Editing? What is retouching?

Editing is the process of making general changes and improvements to photos.  I make overall adjustments to color, contrast and exposure to make a pleasing natural color image. Creative Editing is the fun part.  With the software tools of today there is a wide variety of creative options.  This is where I choose some of my favorite images and play.  I might increase or decrease saturation, change the crop, alter the color and contrast, add some toning or convert to B&W (my favorite B&W conversion is more of a chocolate and white) Retouching is where I make greater enhancements, fix blemishes and remove unwanted objects.  I retouch the important image in the album and on large prints

How long does it take to get our images and product?

I deliver your images on DVDs within two weeks of the event.  Prints take four weeks and albums six weeks after your approval.

How many images will we get?

The number of photographs we take depend on the length of day the different situations and how many photographers are shooting.  I lean toward giving you more images than less.  An example would be a shot of “Uncle Joe” where he is making a weird face and his eyes are closed.  I might think that is not a pleasing image and you might want that image because that is the face he always makes and it is important to you. When editing your images I will cull images for obvious test pictures, poor focus, unusable exposure shots of my shoe and shots that I’m certain are duplicates.  Delivery ranges from 1200 to 3600 images on one or more DVDs

Do we get to keep the negatives? What can I do with the images? What can you do?

You get something as good as a negative. I provide the edited full resolution digital files.  The files are in the sRGB colorspace and are JPG format.  That means they are ready to print.

You have unlimited reproduction rights and are free to share and print as you like.  You have the right to do just about anything but sell the images.  I maintain copyright. By you signing the agreement, you are granting me the right to use your images in my marketing efforts – social media, website, promotional materials . .   I do not have the right to sell your images without additional written approval from you

What does the album look like?

I’m offering two man choices for the album cover.  The acrylic cover is a photograph behind a thick piece of clear acrylic and is the one facing page only.  The leather wrap around is an image printed on leather and covers the front and back of the album.

The pages of the album are true photographs glued to a thick board.  The album is constructed to “lay flat” where the pages stay flat, don’t curve and the image goes all the way to the gutter.  The result is a substantial coffee table style book.  All albums come with a case.

Can family and friends take picture with their cameras?

Sure can.  I do everything I can to accommodate other people taking pictures.  I will even shoot for them if they want to be included in the picture.  If time or space is limited I might kindly request people delay their shooting.  For large groupings our day can be delayed by multiple people shooting the group and asking for everyone to look at them.  The only time I don’t allow other photographers is for the Romantics because it can be very distracting for the couple.

What are the online galleries?

I build a webpage for each part of the day.  The images are pretty small and are suitable for screen viewing.  I burn a copy of the webpages to the delivery DVDs to make viewing all the images quicker.  I post the webpages to unlinked pages on my website and email you the links.

I also load most of the images to a professional photo sharing website where you can share the link with family and friends.  They can view and purchase images there.  This is the link that is on the cards I hand out at the reception. Share the link with anyone you choose.

Business and Details

Do you have insurance?

Yes.

What kind of equipment do you use?

Professional Nikon cameras and Nikon and Sigma lenses with extensive backup equipment.

My venue requires a certificate of insurance. Can you provide one?

Yes, please give me four weeks notice.

How long have you been in business? How many weddings have you photographed?

I started in the commercial photographic industry in 1983 and left in 2006.  I have been a full time wedding and portrait photographer since.  I have shot close to 300 weddings.

Travel and Coverage

When do we need a second shooter?

  • The times a second shooter helps:
  • When we are limited for time for the pre-ceremony photos and it is important to you to get them
  • When the pre-ceremony locations are far apart
  • When you want additional coverage at the ceremony
  • When you want photos of the reception venue and cocktail hour and we will be out shooting Romantics
  • When you like an additional creative view for romantics or we are really pressed for time
  • When the reception venue is very large and there are a lot of guests
  • When a second shooter may not be needed:
  • When the day is at one location and we are not pressed for time

Where do you live? Will you travel?

I live in Clarkston, MI and consider anything in the Detroit Metro area, including Ann Arbor to be local.  Weddings outside of this may require travel costs.

Heck yes I will travel.  I’ve been to all but 2 states and have been on 4 continents.  I have a history of traveling for commercial photography and know how to get around.

Is Mark the only photographer?

I am the primary/lead photographer and oversee all the creative aspects.  I have a pool of second shooters that I have trained and will sometimes bring a second that is in training to one shooter weddings.  If I am not available for your date I can offer you one of my associate photographers at reduced rates.

Do you bring assistants to the wedding?

I will sometimes bring an assistant to a wedding to help with gear, processing and slideshows.  When not helping me the assistant is encouraged to shoot.  There is no additional cost to you for an assistant.

Do you come to the rehearsal?

Rehearsal coverage is not typically included in my packages.  I would be glad to come if you want to add it.

Do you do engagement sessions?

Yes.  An engagement session is included in all my packages. I find the session very valuable for both of us.  It gives us a chance to work together making shooting on the wedding day smoother.  The couple also gets images to use for announcement and save the date cards.  It also gives me material for a surprise gift to the couple.

If I decide to have you shoot my wedding, when should I book?

As soon as possible to guarantee your date. Six to eighteen months is typical.

Do we need to feed you at the reception?

It is customary to feed photographers.  I’m not a foodie and will be satisfied with just about any meal.  Vendor meals do not offend me at all.  It is nice to be able to eat in the same room as you to be sure I don’t miss anything because I was in a different room. If you have booked a second photographer, they should have a meal also.  Assistants will eat if we are certain you will not be charged additionally.

If the day runs long, will you stay?

Certainly.  We will have done our best to estimate your time needs and built a package that cover you. If we run over by a few minutes, I will stay no problem.  The closer the overage get to an hour, I will have you sign an overtime authorization.  I will bill you later.

Do you offer non-Saturday or off season discounts?

Depending on the day, season and availability, I may offer a discount.