Frequently Asked Questions
Don't hesitate to give me a call if you have a question that you don't see below.
Q: Do you actually show up at the wedding or would you ever send someone else?
A: I will be your wedding photographer. In 12 years I've never sent anyone in my place. I take my committment to you very seriously.
Q: Do you have back-up cameras, flashes, and equipment?
A: Yes, I'm currently using two Canon 5D Mark III cameras and a 5D Mark II as a third backup, an array of Alien Bee strobes and custom made studio lighting. Plus I utilize 2nd photographers that bring along their own cameras so there are more cameras on hand.
Q: Who is the 2nd photographer?
A: Last year I used 8 different 2nd photographers and all of them are professional freelance photographers who do great work. On the wedding day I usually ask the 2nd photographer to focus on their own perspective and to avoid duplicating the shots that I'm getting. For example; I am very people focused and so I find it helpful to have the 2nd photographer focus more on the details and capturing unique perspectives such as birds eye views from a balcony. Also, its great to be able to spend time with the bride while she is getting ready and know that you are getting photos of the guys getting ready too!
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: I accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, cash, check, or Paypal. We can set up payment plans and have your card charged for partial payments periodically in case that would be most convenient.
Q: What is the process for ordering an album? Do we get to pick out the photos?
A: Once your photos are uploaded to the proof site, you can create a folder of "favorites" that you would like to include in your album. Once you are content with your choices and are able to narrow it down to 65-100 images, a design will be put together and you will get to proof it online in order to ask for any revisions before the design is sent to the manufacturer.
Q: Do we need a photo list?
A: No, but it doesn't hurt to think through all of the photos you might want throughout the course of the wedding day. I try to document everything and I encourage you, your family and guests not to hesitate in asking me if there is a photo that they would like to have taken. I'm at your service!
Q: Do you shoot film, digital, or both?
A: I have made the transition to digital, but I am able to shoot some film if requested. I shot weddings with film for 7 years before making the switch. I love film but what made me want to transition is the poor quality of the scans I was getting from local processors when I would convert film to digital to host on my proofing sites. I'm convinced that I'm producing better quality photos in a more convenient format than I was doing the first few years that I photographed weddings without the use of digital. Looking back; I can't believe people trusted me or that I even had the nerve to shoot their weddings with the old F2 manual focus Nikon that I had in college. I'm really proud of the photos I got with that camera though!
Q: Do we have to pay for your gas mileage?
A: I don't charge for mileage for any wedding within driving range and that includes anything in the state of TN. I've been happy to drive to weddings in Atlanta, Charlotte, Birmingham, Oxford, Hopkinsville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville. In recent years I've had couples fly me to Albany GA, Denver CO, and Honolulu HI since those were too far out to drive.
Q: Are you available for destination weddings outside of Tennessee?
A: I've photographed weddings in Hawaii, Florida, Colorado, New York, Ohio and all of the states bordering TN. I especially look forward to these wedding getaways. My package rates remain the same but I do ask for reimbursement for my travel expenses which would likely requre a room for 2 nights (per photographer) and possibly airfare depending on the distance. We could work out the logistics of the travel and lodging any number of ways but I try to make it as affordable as possible to get me to your wedding.
Q: Do you do wedding videography?
A: I've started to integrate video clips into my complimentary slideshows and the feedback has been great, however my plate is full with photo editing so I'm not able to take on the dual roles of photographing and filming weddings mainly because I can't find enough spare time to edit the video. I'm happy to send you a videographer referral list in case you are interested.
Q: Do you touch-up the photos?
A: Yes, I use Adobe Lightroom to personally optimize each image before it is uploaded to the gallery site. By optimize, I mean that I ensure that the color is correct, levels are consistant, the crop is optimal, and I sometimes take the liberty of removing distractions such as light switches, power lines, bruises, or zits. I make a pass at optimizing every image in your deliverable however additional re-touching and more surgical editing requests will be available at an additional per image rate. This would include adding people to images or removing people from images or using liquify to remove weight from people in the images. I stay too busy for that kind of editing so I outsource it to www.retouchup.com and they usually charge $10 or so for those types of edits so my pass through expense will be similar.
Q: Do you mind if anyone else is taking photos at the wedding? I have a family member or friend who dabbles in photography.
A: Not one bit. I fully expect half of your wedding guests to be carrying cameras on them, holding up their iPhone's for some of the shots that I set up, and there is always that aspiring photographer who wants to discuss cameras with me. I'm very laid back and not easily agrivated. I am also not timid about politely asking if I may proceed when a guest is holding things up while a group is eager to have their formals finished.
It is becoming more and more common that my clients are asking that their weddings be unplugged. Sometimes with signs and sometimes with a message on the wedding program guests are asked to put their cameras away and leave their phones in their pockets during the ceremony to help avoid shots of the bride coming down the isle with a dozen phones in the background or a guest jumping into the isle blocking the official photographer's view of the kiss but I leave that decision up to my clients.
Q: How far in advance do we need to set up the engagement portraits or a bridal portrait session?
A: I am always fast about processing the images and getting them to you but I have couples who schedule their e-session nearly a year in advance to use for their initial announcement and other couples who get together with me only 3 or 4 weeks before the ceremony so they will have some extra shots to decorate with at the reception. The important thing to keep in mind is the work that must be done after we do the shoot. Obviously we will need to do it sooner than later if you plan to send out photos with your invitations. If you will want a large canvas print for display at the reception, this could take 3 weeks to get back. I find that bridal portraits usually get booked either a month before the wedding since the fittings and final adjustments are closer to the date. Some brides schedule their bridal portrait sessions after the wedding so that they can shoot without worrying about getting the dress dirty. We always get lots of bridal portraits on the wedding day but some brides have special places in mind that just won't be logistically possible on the wedding day i.e., with horses at sunset.
Q: Do you mind if I send you a link to my Pinterest board for shots that I want?
A: I don't mind you sharing your Pinterest board with me and I'm happy to look it over to get a better idea of your favorite types of photos but it will not serve as a shot list for me. I photograph weddings because I like to capture real moments and to be creative and come up with original ideas. I'd like to think that if you hired me its because you liked my style as presented in my portfolio. Sharing your Pinterest board is a great way for you to show me your favorite style but asking me to remember 100-200 shots that may or may not even be possible at your wedding could be a burden that could distract me from capturing something gorgeous and original. This is not to say that I won't take requests because I absolutely will. Also, a list of family formals that you want to be sure not to forget can also be very helpful. I'm on Pinterest too so hit me up! http://www.pinterest.com/photomatty/