Frequently Asked Questions

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Question My Answer
Am I available on a specific date? The only way to find out is to ask. I do not keep a copy of open days anywhere except on my own personal calendar. Last year I wasn't booked for 7/7/07. This year I've gotten 20 calls for 6/7/08 just after I was booked. Email me at
Do you shoot "photojournalistic" style "Photojournalistic Style" seems to be the "it" word, these days in the wedding photography world. The fact is; "Photojournalism" is a profession, not a photographic style. My style is my style and my job as the photographer at your wedding is to document that moment in your life. Portfolios are a great way of figuring out a photographers style. I always suggest that not only do you check out my wedding portfolio, but also my other work and the non-wedding work of any other photographer you might be looking at. That's where you'll find their style.
(For more on my take on "Photojournalistic" wedding photography & other things related to wedding photography, check out my blog
Wedding Photog Blog )
How many images do you normally take? For an average 8 hour wedding I shoot between 1,500 & 2,000 images.
What should I included in my initial contact with you to get a quote? Actually it is very rare that I'll be able to give you a quote right off the bat, unless you know exactly what you want from a photographer. Things to include; date, city, photo time start to finish, albums or prints you might like & whether you want a second photographer or not. Save yourself the typing time. The number of guests, religion of the ceremony , and other details are great, but don't effect the quote.
Do I have to pay for everything before the wedding? A deposit of 50% of the package you choose is due either 6 months or half the time between the signing of the contract and your wedding date, whichever is longer. The final amount due must be paid in full on or before the wedding day. Any amount in regards to the cost of an album will be due, in full, before work begins on that album.
Why are you cheaper than other photographers & studios? Well, I think the better question is why is everybody else so expensive? The answer is kind of simple. I'm not just a wedding photographer. Meaning, I'm busy year round, not just during peak wedding season. Also, most of my photographic work is done outside of a studio. So you're not helping me pay rent and a receptionist's salary.
Why are you more expensive than other photographers & studios? The advent of the digital camera has done wonders for advancing the number of people who claim photography as a hobby. The sad part is, quite a few wedding photographers, be it self supporting or studio employed, are nothing more than weekend shutterbugs looking to supplement their weekday income. It's simply supply & demand, there is a demand for saving money on wedding expenses & there is a supply of inexperienced photographers willing to make just a couple of hundred dollars a few weekends a year. My advice, if you find one of these photographers, ask them what they do during the week? If it isn't photography, buyer be ware.
Will you travel? Yes. Anywhere my passport will get me.
What do you charge to travel? I like to travel, so my travel expenses can be covered at cost, either by you directly (booking hotel & airfare), or included in the deposit. I don't expect first class air & a 3 night stay at the Ritz, but unless the wedding is in the jungle, I don't expect Pond Hopper Air & a tent, either
Do you have an assistant if I want a second photographer? I do not use assistant photographers. I hire a second photographer from a network of fellow photographers who are all professional photographers and currently shoot weddings on their own, but may not be shooting a wedding on the day you've booked me. There will be no rookies at your wedding. Portfolios of their work can be made available if you have a set wedding date.
Big Studios (part 1)
I talked to a large photography studio that does weddings and they warned me against using an independent photographer.
Big studios are playing up their assets to cover up their short fallings. They can often use over a dozen different photographers throughout the course of the year. Most of their photographers have limited investment in the longevity of the studio and view it as just working for some one else till they can open their own studio. Also, photos you may see on their companies web site often aren't taken by the same photographer you're getting. Or worse, the images in the studio's portfolio are by some one who doesn't even work there anymore. Read the next questions to see some more scare tactics a large studio might use. Your photographer should be the one you talk to from start to finish, not just some one you meet once and then follows notes taken from the sales person who booked the wedding.
Big Studios (part 2)
"What happens if the independent photographer is hit by a bus on the way to the church?" While this question isn't word for word, it's roughly an answer from an FAQ of a studio in Chicago.
Every bride fears the "Rainy Day" scenario. You know, it will rain, the cake will fall over, the photographer won't show up and the groom will run off with the Maid of Honor. There are actually insurance policies for such things. Yes, a big studio can get you a replacement a day or two before, but even they would be hard pressed to find someone an hour or two before the ceremony. And then do you really want to pay top dollar for a replacement? If you have this fear, I can easily get a second photographer. In the unlikely event of my near fatal bus encounter, any deposit or payment already made for the second photographer would be refunded.
Big Studios (part 3)
"Some photographers use their house as their office. Where do you go if there's a problem (aka. you want to complain) after the wedding?"
Yes, I do use my house. I use book stores, coffee houses. I've even met a couple from Milwaukee at the I-94 Oasis in Deerfield. Traffic stinks! If you're not in the neighborhood and would like to meet in between. If you don't meet me at my home, I'll gladly travel, even if you haven't booked me yet. I use my home address, not a PO Box, for all mail correspondence. So not only do you know where I live, my name is my reputation. How does that big studio that uses the name of it's great grandfather deal with it? "That photographer doesn't work for us anymore."
Big Studios (part 4)
"You should use a photographer who only shoots weddings. They will know the right positions and lighting techniques."
Besides the fact that I meet with couples at least once before their wedding to go over a time line and ceremony layout, a good photographer knows how to adjust for lighting and position. I've shot football in a blizzard and soccer in the rain, I'm not to worried about my skills when it comes to shooting inside a church or ballroom, you shouldn't be either.
Do I get to see proofs? No. I don't do proofs. You get to see the real thing and you get to keep it too.
So, I get full sized digital images of everything you shoot? Yes. Do you really want to have to track down a studio or photographer each time you want a new 8x10? No you don't. As part of every package I include full copies of every image I take. Make them into Christmas cards or create your own album. They are yours to use in any non-commercial way.
I might make a small album, but I want a professionally done book, can you do that? I can do everything from an old school matte frame album to the magazine bound style albums that have become popular. Want small business card flip books to give away as presents or thank you's? I can do that too. Parent's books, travel albums or the grand daddy of them all, a Graphi Studio Wedding Book. I personally layout each album based on the images you choose.
Can I get an online gallery? Online galleries are available for viewing or for purchasing at the request of the couple.
What do you think is the most important thing to look for from a photographer outside of good pictures?

You should like the person and feel like you can let them into your world. When I shoot a wedding, I'm with you before you put on the dress & tux. My images are ten times better when the couples feel comfortable with me around. In most cases I'll be with you more than the wedding planner, best man, or your parents on this day. I try to stay light hearted and easy going at weddings. Because of this I have a few former couples who I now call friends.

Am I done asking questions yet?

If you have more, feel free to email me your specific questions.

Also, if you want some professional in site on wedding photography (even if you don't use me as your photographer) check out my blog

Wedding Photog Blog


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