How many photographs will I receive?
Usually, one photographer takes between 1800 to 2500 photographs in 12h. Double that for two photographers! It also heavily depends on how saturated and intense your wedding day is. More photographs do not mean better or worse coverage. Just state the amount you will have to go through while making your selections for the albums.
How many of them will be edited?
All photographs you receive will undergo editing in Lightroom: color and exposure correction, perspective fixing and cropping, if necessary. Extensive skin retouching in Photoshop is done to selected 100-150 images that usually are close-ups or bridal portraits. Pictures from further away usually do not require extensive Photoshop intervention and come out perfect after developing them in Lightroom.
When there are multiple takes of the same portrait or scene, I usually only choose one to retouch since they are almost identical, but include all the others with the rest of photographs. Just in case you like yourself better from a slightly different angle. I only remove totally unsuccessful images like ones that are out of focus, flash did not fire or somebody accidentally walked in front of the camera type.
How long does it take to receive photographs? Albums?
I reserve 3 weeks after your wedding to provide you with full-size photos. But most of the time turnaround is quicker. I take this deadline very seriously, though. In some rare cases when I am going away right after your wedding or we have back-to-back events booked, like Labor Day weekend, it might take longer, but I will definitely warn you about that beforehand.
I reserve 3months after the day you sent me a list of your choices to fully produce an album. I design all the albums myself or at least heavily supervise the designs to assure quality and authenticity of each wedding story. Since I do not outsource this service, I sometimes might need more time when it is peak season like September or peak time for family sessions like November.
How are images delivered?
In most cases, on DVD with printed cover. If you want your wedding photos written on USB stick or hard drive, you will have to provide the media.
Do you offer the online galleries?
The only online presence for your photographs I offer for now is the post on my blog (usually 50-120 photos) that you can share with your friends and family. Online galleries are usually offered when some printed photo sales are expected or full-size photographs are not given until albums are produced. Since I give you all full-size pictures within 3 weeks after your wedding, there is not much use for online galleries.
If you still feel that you really want all your wedding photos online, I would be happy to direct you to free online gallery services where you can post all the photos that you like and share the link with your friends and family.
Can you provide us with raw, unedited files?
Sure. Although, you would need the raw editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop to open or view them. Also raw files are very big, like more than 40Mb each, so you will need to provide a hard drive or a very big capacity USB drive for me to copy them to.
Album design process: how much do we get to be involved?
After you receive your full-size photographs, you can immediately (or in a couple of years) start working on the choices for your album. The easiest way to do it is first copy all the photos to your computer with the file names unchanged (this is important!). Then make a separate folder where you can copy all the photos that you like. After you have the folder of your favorites, check how many photos there are: the limit for 20 spreads/40 pages album is 100 photographs, 25 spreads – 125 photos, 30 spreads – 160 photos and so on. Maybe you will need to narrow them down or select some more to tell a better story.
Now you have an open folder with all your favorite photographs with original file names! In order to save time on typing all those file names to email or word file, please, just take a screenshot (with the folder contents open) and email it to me. And you are done, at least for a while…
Depending on the type of the album you ordered, there will be some other choices to be made, like cover, spine and back material, page thickness, page paper and lamination. I will inform you about them either before or after the design is done.
When the design is finished, I will make another blog post where you can view your album layouts. And then we work together to perfect them. Albums do not go to a printing company until all the layouts are approved by you.
Will you come to photograph our wedding or will you send someone else?
I am the main and the only primary photographer that will come to photograph your wedding. I am the studio owner that you will meet when you come to my office and the one that will take pictures on your wedding day.
If the event is running longer then defined in the contract, will you stay longer?
Yes, if it’s not prohibited by the contract. And in the only case it will be prohibited is when I have another event immediately following yours. Which probably will never happen at the wedding, because who would start another event at 12 am, right? But sometimes if it’s a 3h birthday party followed by another birthday party, overtime might not be added.
Also, you will need to give me your approval to charge an overtime rate. I will never decide to stay longer and charge you for that without informing you.
What is your style?
As wedding photography itself consists of a lot of genres: it’s documentary, it’s portraiture, it’s still life, it’s beauty and it’s a little bit of editorial since we produce small edition of albums out of it.
And while I bring my own way of looking at the world to every wedding, I try to make it most about the 2 people who are getting married – I take unobtrusive journalistic approach during the ceremony and reception, but really enjoy having 1-2h with the couple for the posed photos. And when I say “posed photos”, I don’t mean holding the dip with your teeth clenched waiting for that camera click! I’d rather have you run, talk, laugh, of course, in specific light or setting, but still relaxed and emotions naturally unfolding.
And…ah, my favorite part: morning preparations! So many details and little knick-knacks to document, all those makeup transformations and beauty shots to arrange! And yes, if your dress is hanging somewhere where it doesn’t reveal its all potential, I will definitely relocate it.
Can we provide you with photo suggestions like pinboards or magazine clippings?
Sure! I always welcome new ideas. And the more I know about you and your likes/dislikes – the better I can document your special day.
I would be very happy to brainstorm possible locations for photo session and other details. Please, check my pin boards for ideas and inspirations.
Do you bring an assistant?
Sometimes. You see, assistants are usually interns, they come and go. Sometime they are really good; sometimes they are a little worse rather than good. Depending on their skills I sometimes assign photographic tasks, like taking a wide shot of the ceremony from the balcony, or going outside in middle of the reception and taking a shot of the venue in the sunset. But an assistant is not a second photographer. He/she will never go alone to take photos of the groom’s preparations or will not be trusted with documenting décor details. They are there to help me get the best pictures possible, not do photography themselves.
Do we need a second photographer?
Two of three couples usually ask me if I think they need it. And here is my answer: a second photographer has ability to be in a different place from me at the same time – this is the best advantage of having 2 photographers!
Be it the groom’s preparations (and I am not talking just about false-fixing the tie in the mirror before the ceremony);
Cocktail room details (while I am still working on family portraits because one side of the family were late to arrive);
Those beautiful super wide balcony shots of the ceremony while the bride is walking down the aisle or dance floor during the first dance;
Possibility to divide a 20-people bridal party in half to do their photos quicker on a super-hot and humid July afternoon;
Each set of parents wants to do an extended 40min photo session with their friends and co-workers while the bridal party is going wild on the dance floor;
And the list of pros can go on and on.
So do you really need it? I would say just weight all those pros towards the only (but very important) con – increase in price of your wedding photography.
The rate for a second photographer is $850 for up to 12hours or until the primary photographer is staying, whichever ends sooner, unless specified otherwise in the contract.
How far will you travel?
Anywhere! Within 75mile radius for free and all the other locations with travel and accommodation (if necessary) expenses paid by the client.
Do you have insurance?
Absolutely! If your venue or landmark you chose for photo a session requires to be put on the liability policy for your wedding day – no problem. Just send me the exact name and address of the place and my insurance agent will take care of it. I advice to do this at least 3 days before your event.
What about backup equipment?
Yes, I always bring a backup camera body with several lenses, as well as lighting equipment and needless to say: lots of batteries!
What if something happens to you and you can’t photograph my wedding?
First of all I will be extremely mad that I can’t document your wedding! Depending on the situation, I will do everything in my power to find you the best replacement for myself as possible. As a member of several photographers’ organizations, I always have lots of contacts on hand in case of emergency.
How long have you been doing this?
Since 2004 I have shot around 300 weddings.
I have experience with Indian (Punjabi, Guajarati, Sikh, Sindhi, etc.) Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Christian Orthodox, Jewish (orthodox and reformed), just City Hall and Pagan hand fasting, Wiccan weddings. And if we go into specifics: Russian, Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, Moldavian, Greek, Italian, Turkish weddings and the list goes on and on. For destinations weddings I have photographed weddings in Israel, Dominican Republic, Mexico as well as Turks and Caicos.
Same-Sex weddings are very welcome!
Can you hold the date, until _____(add any reason here)?
I can’t hold the date without signed contract and 30% retainer; however I will inform you when I have another inquiry so you will have priority to make a decision that day before I proceed on to booking another client.
What is your booking process?
If you feel you don’t have any other questions after reviewing this entire info online, shoot me an email with your wedding details so I can draft a wedding contract for you. However, most of couples want to meet me first. If this is your choice as well, I usually meet clients at my midtown office which also serves well as a showroom for all those overwhelming album options. I have tons of sample albums for you to flip through!
When the contract is signed, the payment structure is as follows: 30-40-30. The first retainer – 30% – will be due when the contract is signed; The second payment – 40% – when full-size photographs are ready, before they are received (up to 3 weeks after the wedding); The third and last payment – 30% – will be due when the design of the albums is completed and approved, before sending them to the printing company. If there is no album then the payment is split 30-70: 30% due on contract signing, 70% when photographs are ready.
8.875% NY sales tax will be collected from NY, NJ, CT residents.
Where is your studio located?
Since I photograph mostly events, I do not have your usual photo studio with hanging backgrounds and various shapes of lamps, as it is usually imagined. But I do have an office in midtown Manhattan, right next to Rockefeller center where we can sit down, flip through the album samples and discuss your wedding. Meetings are by appointment only because I do not work or use this space for post-production during the day.