Throughout the years, there are definitely questions I have been asked on a regular basis. And, I also have recommendations to make my services go as smoothly as possible and your photography look fantastic. Many of these are geared toward weddings, but they really do all apply to the various types of photography services I provide. Please click each question to see the answer.
I am a solo shooter. While I don’t discourage photographers to work with an assistant, for me personally, shooting solo allows me to give you my 100% attention and to keep my pricing lower.
Occasionally, I may invite a fellow aspiring photographer along to see me in action, but they are there strictly for observation.
This is the most common question I get asked. The best answer for this is “planning, planning, planning.” Prior to your wedding, we will sit down and create a minute-by-minute plan. Often, my clients also think of me as their wedding planner! This will ensure that I can be everywhere, for every shot you would want. Oh, and I’m a crazy workhorse!
I also have great work-arounds for capturing the different types of shots you would want. Want shots of you walking down the aisle toward the groom and shots of the back of your dress as you walk toward him? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
The thing that will be the most restrictive for your photos won’t actually be me - it will be your venue and set-up. Many traditional churches have strict photography policies and the tighter your venue, the less room for a photographer (let alone multiple photographers) there will be to freely move around.
To date, I don’t believe I’ve ever missed a photo. In one day, my photo plan included 9 different locations and we never missed a beat!
CANDID! I’m a journalist at heart - I love to capture real moments! These are the ones you will look back on and smile, cry, laugh, and maybe even cringe (this is only when the bride sees the photos of the groomsmen doing shots before the ceremony…)
But I of course am going to get great posed shots as well - including the traditional group shots. You’re going to enjoy having these mixed into your candid shots, even if you don’t want a lot of them. Many of your posed shots are going to have the illusion of candid, just perfectly staged!
This decision is entirely up to you. The one thing I advise is to choose very, very wisely. Get lots of recommendations and samples! The reason I say this is to really think into the future on how often you would want to watch that video and will it be worth the money you would pay. Can we have friends and family take video? Will photos suffice for the memories from our big day? If you find that you really want one, then I thoroughly encourage it!
To help out - and just because I love, love, love making them - I put together a video slide show set to music that I share on YouTube for all my traditional wedding clients. (Traditional meaning full, wedding-day photography. If you would like to hire me just to photograph the ceremony and take some group shots, I would just unfortunately not have enough material for a full video). Some clients view this as a good substitute for a full-fledged wedding video.
This is also entirely up to you. Depending on the amount of photography locations you would like, I recommend leaving several hours for photos so as not to rush yourself. You also want to enjoy the time with your wedding party rather than having to run from spot to spot. It’s your celebration… enjoy it!
As the bride, you want to look the most beautiful you have ever looked both in person and in your photos. Surprisingly, there are several things I recommend that will make your photos “pop” that you may not notice in person.
Go easy on the tanning/spray tanning. You’ll want a nice subtle glow versus a full on tan. If you have fair, porcelain skin… show it off versus trying to cover it up! If you want to get a spray tan, definitely get several done long before your wedding to see if it will turn out okay. Take photos of yourself indoors and in the sun, and standing next to someone, to see how it will look. Think about your bridesmaids and how you will look standing beside them. As well, make sure they go easy on the tanning too!
False eyelashes are something I always suggest to my brides. Your make-up artist should recommend ones that will work best for you. They will make your photos look amazing!
Shy away from shimmery, glittery, or colorful eye shadow - it unfortunately does not look good in natural light or in photographs on a bride. I highly suggest neutral tones paired with a great lipstick.
If you wear your hair down, ask your stylist for recommendations for easily putting it up later in the evening if you would like. When you start dancing the night away, you may want it off your neck and out of your way. Stylists can recommend a quick and easy up-do with a few bobby pins to keep you looking fantastic.
I will scout all your locations prior to your wedding day to map out my photography plan; however, there are several questions you should ask your location coordinators before your big day to ensure everything goes smoothly. If you are getting married in a religious venue (church, temple, mosque, etc.), ask not only the person scheduling your location, but also the officiant (priest, minister, rabbi, etc.) if they have any photography restrictions or messages for the photographer. This will help me to plan out all my shots and ensure I’m in the right place at the right time, or that I’m not disruptive to the officiant.
Also, ask your location coordinator if there are any other events or programs happening on the day of your wedding. I have had clients plan their reception at a park and the coordinator failed to tell them a 5K would be happening there the same day. We had to quickly rearrange all their photography plans because of this. Many coordinators won’t tell you this kind of information unless you specifically ask it.
I have yet to meet a wedding party I can’t keep in line. But I really won’t interrupt the fun anyway! As long as everyone can take a few group shots, I will send them on their merry way! I am a good director without being a dictator. The greatest compliment I’ve received is the amount of wedding party members who have gone on to book me for their own weddings or recommended me to other people.
I always appreciate the offer for dinner! I can’t tell you how many brides and mothers-of-the-bride try to feed me, and I always love it! One of the things that surprises my clients is that on your wedding day, I am actually eating all day! I pack myself what I like to call “1-minute meals” that I can quickly eat to fill myself up any free minute I get. So I will politely decline dinner. While your guests are seated for dinner, I will spend the time backing up photos, cleaning lenses, refreshing batteries, and prepping my flash for night photos.
I have recommended locations all throughout Ohio and Northern Kentucky. I would be happy to provide you with this list to help you plan your photos!
Have no fear! It always works out! I’ve photographed an engagement shoot in a blizzard, a fall outdoor wedding when it dropped to 30 degrees, a wedding at which a torrential downpour started in the middle of photos, and several weddings and sessions when it has been above the 90 degree mark. The best thing is to keep calm, keep an umbrella handy, and trust my master improvising!
I’ve been told I can be a bit of a child whisperer. I’m very good at sensing how a child feels about me and then responding accordingly. I also let the kids do their own thing during shoots rather than forcing them to do things that aggravates them. I’m playful and energetic… and yes, I will sing… sorry to anyone else who has to listen! By the end of most shoots, kids are reaching for me to pick them up or want me to play with them!
I try to avoid airbrushing as much as possible. Natural light is a natural airbrusher! For children, I will airbrush out any drool and runny or red noses. For seniors and head shots, I will airbrush out any skin blemishes. But for the most part, I let you look like a natural person rather than a claymation character!
For any of your photos, from wedding to newborn portraits, I highly suggest a professional printer. By professional, I mean printers that are run by photographers. While it’s super easy and affordable to take your photos to a drug store, I have had several clients get their photos back with manipulated color or contrast. This is because they often add automatic effects to their photos to “clean them up” or “make them look better.” The print technician at these establishments do not know that your photos have already been edited.
The professional printers I recommend will not manipulate your photos. As well, they will ensure your photos are printing as they appear on screen. Locally, I recommend Dodd Camera. They have several locations in Ohio. Online, I recommend AdoramaPix. Both will be a little more expensive than drug store printers, but you have many more printing options as well as the assurance of quality work.
I will provide you with a resizing chart with your photos. If you would like assistance resizing any of your photos, I would be happy to do so! As well, local professional printers (such as Dodd Camera) can sit down with you and show you their printing options, and can then help you with the resizing of your photos to fit their product.
My #1 recommendation is: You can’t “should have” done something. My mother has told me this too many times in my life! If you are ever considering hiring a photographer for ANYTHING, whether it’s a party, a birth, a child’s birthday, etc…. you won’t regret it. You may regret it if you decide not to.
And, when it comes to the types of photos you can have done during your session, go ahead and plan for them! I always recommend certain types of photos for weddings, including having your mom help you into your dress, a toast with your friends as you’re getting ready, a first look photo with your dad - among many others! And, if you’re back and forth about whether to have the photographer there for the wedding preparation, I highly recommend it! Those are the moments you will most want to look back on. And, those will be the most beautiful candid shots.