FAQs | Maine Wedding Photographers
Hiring a wedding photographer can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not fluent in photography-speak! To make it easier on you, we’ve put together a list of FAQs.
The following are our top FAQs — but we know there are plenty more! So, if you don’t see what you’re wondering about here, or just want to chat, drop us a note via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us!
1. What’s your style?
We’re often asked “what is your style”? As photographers, we have the luxury of our work being that of a visual media, so while we sure can address our style with words — journalistic, artistic, posed-without-looking-posed, real moments captured with emotion, classic, etc. — we honestly feel perusing our work via the weddings tab on our www.wed-pix.com home page tells the story far more eloquently than our attempt at words.
2. What is it like working with you on wedding day?
We’re quiet yet effective and professional leaders. We’re FUN to be with. With our pre-planning discussions, we’ve put into place all the small steps needed to ensure a very smooth wedding day. It’s our goal that the bride experiences her wedding day with the least possible amount of stress. We’ve worked a detailed timeline for our part of the day (generally up to the point of the start of the reception, at which time it’s fully in the hands of your coordinator, planner, or venue staff) and we work to ensuring everything happens to stay on track. Sometimes things happen that have nothing to do with the photography that can put a twist on the plan. When needed, we can adjust the timing of what’s next and absorb little changes to make up time and bring things back in line. To that end, however, we’re not happy until we know we have scored the amazing wedding image captures that you likely hired us for. At the end of the day you are going to realize we were at all the right places at all the right times yet we weren’t “in your face” the whole day.
3. It’s decision time, and it’s between you and one other photographer. Tell me why we should choose you?
To us, the following qualities are what really matter once you’ve found a couple of photographers whose images you love, and whose images you can yourself in for your own wedding day.
Some things that really matter the most may not be that visible.
For instance, we:
- are intent on ensuring the bride’s day is as stress-free and enjoyable as possible
- quietly and unobtrusively ensure the day’s timeline we’ve worked on stays intact, and you’re 100% on-time to your cocktail hour or reception. We’ve never returned a couple late, and we’re not about to let that change.
- respect the fact wedding day is just that – your wedding day – it’s not a photo shoot
- work discretely
- are professional, highly-organized, and detail-oriented. We have the experience of having photographed
hundreds of weddings. When this experience isn’t needed, all the better, but when it is needed for any reason, it couldn’t be more critical.
- are responsive to communications, and that’s after the wedding, too. Think how frustrating the alternative is!
- are super-nice, polite, and FUN!
- are full-time wedding photographers! Wedding photography isn’t a sideline or a part-time for us. We’re full-time wedding photographers, 365 days per year. It’s the only thing our studio offers, the only thing we do to earn a living. We thereby have to be the best we can be.
- use state-of-art professional-level cameras, lenses, and equipment. It does make a difference. It’s vital you have a fantastic wedding photography experience, and we’re ready to make that happen for you!
4. What kind of gear do you use? And do you have backups?
We exclusively use professional-grade Canon digital cameras and lenses. They are state-of-the-art, professionally maintained by Canon, and perform like professional gear should and needs to. These are not consumer-grade items. There is a big difference. Each the lead photographer and the second photographer (also using professional Canon gear) have two top-end camera bodies and replicate sets of lenses. Along with all the ancillary gear necessary. For church weddings and quiet settings, these cameras even have a whisper-silent mode. These cameras and lenses produce images with exceptional sharpness, high dynamic range (detail in shadows as well as highlights), and overall represent the state-of-the-art.
5. I’ve heard that it’s better when the photographer uses prime lenses, is this so?
It sure used to be. The main issue (with non-prime [a.k.a. ‘zoom’] lenses) used to be sharpness and distortion. But that’s changed, at least with the gear we use. Our Canon pro-grade zoom lenses are both highly-responsive in low light and have inordinate amounts of sharpness at any setting. And there’s virtually no distortion. This allows us to have close up images without being obtrusively near. Zoom lens users can adjust their position without a lot of walking or moving around. Responsiveness is key, and it no longer comes with any technical sacrifice. By the way, our macro, portrait, and special-use lenses indeed are prime lenses, so they do still have their place in select specialty applications.
6. Do you use film?
We are super-proud of the technical and aesthetic results using our award-winning, state-of-the-art pure digital workflow.
7. Are my files safe?
We have one of the most extensive file backup protocols in the business. Our cameras capture every single photo we take twice inside the camera. This guards against issues caused by the tiny chance of a failure or loss of a memory card. As soon as we are done one set of cards is removed and kept on our person. Once back in our studio on wedding night, these files are replicated to two different professional hard drives. One is specifically chosen as being the most dependable brand available; the other is housed in a fire- and water-proof enclosure. As if that isn’t enough, a third replicate set is made and stored off-site. All this before we go to sleep after photographing your wedding! Finally, when your editing work is done, and any album work is complete, you’re sent your own set of files and are given additional options for further backing up of the files.
8. How much experience do you have?
Russ and Liz together have shot about 150 weddings as of the end of 2016. Russ photographed approximately 350 weddings before that. This is virtually the most experience of any working wedding photographer in Maine. We teach wedding photography workshops to other, newer photographers all throughout Maine and beyond. Both Russ and Liz are award-winning photographers for their wedding images. Russ is a Certified Professional Photographer by the national Professional Photographers Association, and is set to receive his Master Photographer degree in 2017. Russ was named the Maine Wedding Photographer of the Year for 2016 by the Maine Professional Photographers Association.
9. What happens if you get sick?
We have an extensive professional network of like-minded professional wedding photographers. With numbers into the hundreds, and within a reasonable distance at that, a message on our network would have suitable replacements at the ready. In all our years, it is reassuring to know that we have never missed a single moment or ever been late to a wedding. But we know how important it is to not rest on those laurels.
10. How do you get the shots you do without been noticed all that much?
We use long telephoto lenses. You can read more in Section 5, above, that talks about prime lenses. We also know to limit our movements, where and when to be, how to act, and what to do. It comes with lots of experience.
11. I don’t really think I need too many getting-ready or detail shots. Are you OK with that?
We are! We can adjust our time to be there later instead of earlier, and/or you may be able to make do just fine with one of our packages that has fewer hours.
12. Are you flexible? Can you adapt to things changing on a moment’s notice?
Sure thing! Perhaps more so than anyone else. It’s those 500 weddings under our belt that gives us the experience to have been through just about everything, and more than once. We don’t go home until our work is done, in terms of having captured your day in real moments and with our artistic blend.
13. What questions should I be asking?
We suggest asking questions that will give you the answers to the topics we’ve written about in Section 3, above.
14. How long will it take to see my photos? And about how many do we get?
We can’t guarantee, but endeavor to the following general schedule:
- A preview image posted within 24 hours (of the end your wedding).
- Our favorite images, plan on about 50, within 48-72 hours, via our feature blog post.
- The edited set, generally amounting to 50-60 per hour of coverage (so, 500-600 for a 10-hour day) in about 5 weeks. You see these first on a private web gallery then on your own copy via a USB drive about a week or two after that. (If you don’t have a USB port you can also obtain your files on an SD card, too).
- If you order an album, you’ll see the design once we reach our down time over the winter months. Once we complete any revisions you’ve asked for, you approve your design, your album should be in-hand in about 3 weeks.
15. Another photographer said they can capture video at the same time as they take still photos. Can you do this, and is it as good of an idea as it sounds?
We could do it, but we won’t do it. We specialize in awesome still photographs, and our professional cinematographer peers specialize in moving, touching, sentimental video mixes.
16. Will you work with a shot list and a Pinterest board?
We would love to have a shot list of the things that we would not possibly have any way of knowing about, but not for anything else. If you have a Pinterest board you’d like us to see, we will gladly look at it to establish the flavor and style of what you like. But we will not endeavor to recreate these shots on your wedding day. Rather, we will create your own brand of amazing images that others will inevitably get inspiration from. This will allow a real, organic flow of the image-taking and will keep your photographer’s eyes on what’s happening and not move their focus onto ensuring that a list of items is scratched off while real moments could be missed.
17. Can I print from them?
Yes! One person, generally the bride, is given full personal-use rights to the wedding images. This give unlimited use for printing photos, enlargements, canvases, photo books, and most everything else. This personal-use license doesn’t allow commercial use, though, nor does it allow profit to be made from the images. The bride’s license is extended by default to the spouse with the same usage terms.
18. Should we do an engagement session?
Yes! They are FUN, but, moreover, they create a wonderful opportunity to work together and to get to know each other before wedding day. We love to recant the story of how we have NEVER done a session where the groom-to-be, or bride-to-be, or both, for that matter didn’t say how much better they feel about photos on wedding day, and how they are now really looking forward to it all.
19. How do you help establish the timeline for the day?
A few months ahead of your wedding you’ll be sent a link to do a pre-wedding interview questionnaire. Your replies here will be assessed by us, and we will in turn provide you a detailed time-line. We can fine-tune it for anything that doesn’t work for you. But, in doing this as often as we do, we love how our timelines help everyone. They help the day to go from point to point and help us be able to capture the photos you hired us to do. This will be very useful to establish your hair and make-up appointments. We’ll share some really-important and time-tested tips and suggestions with you, all in the name of helping ensure a really smooth and stress-free day.
20. We don’t really want to do a first-look. Is that a problem?
No problem at all! While there are inherent timing and other advantages to doing so, we are more than happy to set up your timeline with or without a first look.
21. Unplugged weddings: what’s the big deal if our guests are using their phones and tablets during our wedding vows?
Please read this first, then we are happy to go with the flow of whatever you wish! There are for sure advantages to having devices put away during your ceremony, but if it’s not for you to go “unplugged”, in no way is that an issue for us.
22. Do I really need two photographers?
One photographer absolutely can do a fantastic job; but there will always be that set of images that the second photographer would have taken that you don’t know you’ve missed, because they were not able to be taken. This article sums it up pretty darn well.
23. Can you hold my date while we decide?
We have a process in place to do this. You simply have to officially request a contract to review. There is no obligation to do this. The proposed contract will tell you by what date you have to let us know you’re accepting it, and a few added days will then be allowed to provide time to return the signed contract along with the initial payment to us. During these time periods described here if someone else wants the date, we don’t let it go to them without first contacting you to give you the right of first refusal.
24. How far ahead of my wedding should we contract with you?
Easy answer: as far ahead as possible. The top dates of each season sometimes sell out a year and half, sometimes two years ahead. That said, we sometimes have a “pink elephant” date that for whatever reason doesn’t sell. So even if your wedding is fairly soon, it costs nothing to find out if we are available. Pressed to give an actual answer, let’s say no later than one year before wedding, at least to help give you top choice for your photographer, anyway.
25. Are you insured?
26. Do you have a drone?
Yes! We are now obtaining our FAA licensing and soon will be rolling out the limited use of our unmanned aerial camera/quadcopter for certain artistic images — typically of just the bride and groom — on wedding day, when locations and conditions may allow. We will never fly it over other people or over your guests or even use it when they are around. It’s for very limited use and only with your consent. It’s safe and for sure allows for some really cool new imaging options!
27. Do you use flash?
We use flash only when we need to. That typically (well, actually that virtually always) means that we don’t use flash during the wedding ceremonies, and that includes inside churches, including most that are considered dimly-lit. The less we use flash, especially coupled with the silent mode we use with our cameras, gives less opportunity for anyone to know we are taking photographs. And that means more spontaneous moments. Now when it does become time for flash, we may use our small flashes tucked up and away unobtrusively in the ballroom or main area, operated wirelessly by radio. Or it could mean using the same small yet effective flashes mounted on our cameras with a soft reflector to diffuse the light. Once again, this is a case where we’re flexible, adaptable, and do what’s best for the exact scenario.
28. Do you work well with videographers?
We sure do! We have a list of several cinematographers/videographers whose style and our style means a seamless blend and working together is a fantastic experience for everyone. A seamless blend means everyone wins. In cases where we’ll be working with a videographer with whom we have not worked with before, we explain some simple steps in our contract that we ask you to discuss with them ahead of time so everyone’s on the same page with expectations and outcomes. We will happily explain more upon request. About the only time that issues can be expected is if the videographer isn’t experienced, costs too little (a serious red flag here!), or uses non-state-of-the-art gear. Again, we will gladly chat more if there are concerns.
29. How much time do we need on wedding day?
While there will always be variation among weddings, the following general statements are a fairly safe bet:
6 hours For small weddings, and perhaps some medium-sized weddings when everything is all in one location
7 hours For small weddings with improved coverage, smaller weddings when the ceremony and reception are not at the same location, and medium-sized weddings
8 hours For average-sized weddings at one location or two, providing the distance is close together. For some larger weddings when everything is all in one location
10 hours For most average and larger weddings; for when there is a first-look; for when early-day prep or late-reception coverage is needed; or a mixture of all these factors
30. Who do you consider your perfect client?
Because you’ve read this far, you probably already qualify! All kidding aside, if your wedding photography means more to you than just about anything else, then we’re very likely a great fit. If you saw our images and they resonated or “spoke” to you, and you wanted to envision yourself as the couple or people in the photos on your wedding day, then,too, we’re likely a great fit. And, there are lots more reasons, because we are easy-going and flexible, we work exceptionally well with lots of people in lots of different circumstances.