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Grand Rapids Wedding Photographer

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Now Booking 2023!

Answering Frequently Asked Questions

Of all the questions you should ask a potential wedding photographer, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions I get! I also thought before you meet me virtually to see if I’m the right photographer for you, I would put together a list of some of the frequently asked questions that have been asked of me over the years!

Let’s dive in!

Availability

If you’re getting the direct link to this blog, don’t worry, I am available for your wedding day!

If you’re seeing this blog on your own as you’re scrolling through my blog, please contact me here to see if I am available!

If you’re seeing this because you are waiting for me to contact you back-I’ll be in touch soon to let you know if I have your wedding date available!

Background

How long have I been a professional wedding photographer?

I photographed my first wedding back in 2011 and have now been doing this full-time since 2017! I photograph 25-30 weddings a year plus a few elopements sprinkled in there! The best place to see a portfolio (apart from asking to see a full gallery which I can send to you) is by looking here at my portfolio page!

What are my favorite types of weddings to shoot?

Oh goodness, what a loaded question! I know that so many people would answer with, I love downtown weddings in Chicago or winery weddings in Traverse City but I can’t ever seem to nail down one “type” of wedding because it’s all about the vibe. It’s about who you bring along with you to celebrate YOU. My favorite weddings to photograph are those where the party is going from dusk until dawn and the excitement that you two have to marry one another is the most infectious energy that flows through everyone. Those are my type of weddings!

If you haven’t shot a wedding at our ceremony and/or reception venues, how do you plan ahead in advance so we can rest assured in knowing we’ll get the best possible photos?

Prepare, prepare, prepare!!! There are few things I love to do when I’m headed to a venue I’ve never photographed at which, even after being full time this long, still happens all of the time! By the way, I do think this is the most frequently asked question I get!

I should also preface this by saying that even though I will always do a lot of research, I am prepared for almost any kind of situation because a lot of my job includes being prepared for unforeseen circumstances.

First, I do a lot of online research. Venues have this notoriously bad habit of not showing a ton of images on their websites so I’m scouring through Google, Facebook, and Instagram tags, and even Pinterest can be helpful! Then, if there is a photographer I know who has shot there, I’m asking them questions as well!

The real part of preparation comes in the form of getting there early. With many destination weddings, I will already be there early so I’ll be able to do a tour of your wedding venue before the wedding.

Because I do photograph all over this beautiful state, I actually do make pit stops where I’m headed if I know a venue is on the route so you might see that!

But mostly, the preparation comes in knowing what is most important to you. That’s when I’m really in the zone with all of my studying of your must-have photos, seeing your details, seeing the actual weather of the day, and knowing what you want most. I get there early to scope things out, figure out where the sun will be shining and put all of the pieces together. This is all done off the clock and honestly, with any of these options, you probably won’t even know I’m doing it but trust me, I’m ready.

What is your favorite part of the wedding day to photograph?

Suuuupppppeeeerrrr biased of me to say but it’s the photos of you two. It’s the moment where you’re seeing each other for your first look or while you’re walking down the aisle. It’s seeing you find YOUR person on one of the best days of your life.

Other runner-up times include Wedding Party photos because oh-me-oh-my ya’ll are funny! I also love the getting ready process because I can see the nerves in you. I can see that you’re trying to hold it all together for a few more short moments that will fly by before you’re married. It’s those jitters that I know will all dissipate the moment you see your partner.

The details because WOW! See those pretty rings and flowers all put together really make me excited! It’s also the perfect time to get me in the “zone” of what my eye should be looking for on your wedding day! So many of my couples have really personalized details and I love it!

The Reception because it’s all about the dancing, the drinking, and that HOLY MOLY-WE’RE MARRIED feeling! Capturing those photos are a big highlight for me and there are several that make me laugh because the dance moves are just that great!

What type of equipment do you use? Do you have backup equipment?

I currently photograph with 2 Canon 5D Mark Iv’s. These allow me to have 2 lenses ready to go at any time. You’ll find that my 2nd shooter will have 2 cameras for that purpose as well.

Each of us will also have 2 memories cards writing the same photo per camera. This way, should one memory card fail, we have backups.

I also have 2 External Hard Drives which will hold your photos as backups and your online gallery will not expire as long as I’m in business!

Style

I’m probably biased, but these are my favorite frequently asked questions!

How would you describe your wedding photography style?

In traditional terms, my style leans more towards Light & Airy or Light & Bright. It’s been described as looking like Summer and that’s what I love! I think it can also be looked at as being close to what the Great British Baking Show (Formally known as Bake-Off) looks like! Crisp, clean whites with pops of colors all of which show you off in the best way possible through light and love and joy! You should always use this frequently asked question when searching for your potential wedding photographer!

What is it like to work with you on the day of the wedding?

That can be best described by the couples I’ve worked with. I’m not the kind of photographer who can simply just hide in a corner and be more passive. And no, that’s not just because I’m 6’2 without heels! It’s because I know that we all want to look and feel our best on the wedding day so whether that’s helping move the events along or making sure you know what to do with your hands, I’m definitely a presence the day of. Check out what real couples have said about me here on my website or check here to see over 30 reviews on The Knot!

Can we request specific shots?

Of course! There might be a lot of topics you’ll see about “Photography Shot List” and those are the lists of just everything that a photographer could photograph and I don’t need one of those. Most of those photos are things I’ll get anyways. What I want to know is what do you REALLY want! What are photos that get you pumped up and massively excited, let’s try to make sure we get those!

Is it okay if other people take photos while you’re taking photos?

Ha! The age of the iPhone and the digital world. Of course, it doesn’t bother me because it happens literally all of the time! However, I more than likely won’t stop what I’m doing because you are paying me a LOT of money that I want to make sure I’m getting you high-quality images. Most people will shoot right over my shoulder and that’s totally fine!

Pricing & Packages

What do your wedding packages include?

While you can see all my pricing and package by clicking here! Most of my couples choose my 8-hour package and then will add on an hour once we plan out their timeline meeting about 5 months out from their wedding day!

When will we receive our wedding photos?

Right now, my turnaround time for photos is 6-8 weeks during peak season which is August through October. I do send along sneak peeks so you’ll at least see a few images within a week of your wedding!

Gallery, Prints, & Albums

How many final images should I expect to receive?

This depends on the day of course but for an 8-hour wedding day, I guarantee 700 or so final images! For a 10-hour wedding day, I guarantee 900 images! Galleries look like the ones below!

All the Legal Stuff

Can we see a full wedding gallery?

I can send over a gallery or two if you’d like! I only do this after a consultation so you have the best idea about how I operate and I can actually know enough about your wedding day to send you a comparable gallery! The only difference with these galleries and a normal gallery is that you cannot download the images because they do belong to my couple.

Do you have a backup plan in place?

Of course! IF I were to get sick (check the next question for Covid specific info), my second photographer would take over for your wedding day. They would be given literally ALL information I’ve ever gathered from you and they are VERY competent at their jobs! I only hire second photographers who have their own business and who shoot as lead photographers themselves. This makes it nearly impossible for you to not have the best experience possible should I not be able to go. I would then hire another second shooter for the day that would assist the new lead photographer. I would still take over editing and all communication after the wedding. It’s of course not ideal but it is there as a backup in case.

Covid

Covid has changed things. So, the first option would be to do exactly what I said in the question above. And here are a few other options:

1 – Should you need to reschedule, I would try my hardest to accommodate your new date. If I am unable to, I would hire an associate photographer for the day and again, all further communication would go directly through me for your timeline planning, you would meet my associate, and I would still edit all images.

2 – Should you cancel. This one is difficult because cancellations do happen. Ideally, you would know before your final payment. The original retainer of 50% of your total remains with me as it is non-refundable but if anything above and beyond that were paid, I would refund you that money.

This is all written out in my contracts as well. It is unprecedented times still and I’m thankful to have a plan in place.

If my wedding event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge?

Hi! This happens, things run late on a wedding day! I do not charge if it is about 30-40 minutes past my end time. I would send my second shooter home though because at that point, whatever else needs to be covered would only need one photographer. If we go past that 30-40 minute mark, I would stay for a full hour at least and send you an invoice of the necessary amount afterward. That way it’s as easy as can be!

Please also note that this RARELY happens anymore because we plan out your timeline so if you think you need more time, it would be billed beforehand and due when your final payment is due! This is what 99% of my couples do.

Do you have liability insurance?

Yep yep yep! Just let me know if your venue requires it and I can send it directly to your point of contact person!

Do you charge a travel fee and what does that cover?

This is a HUGE frequently asked question! Travel fees are made on a per wedding basis but an easy(ish) breakdown goes as follows:

  • Chicago Travel would include – Hotel stay (1 night)
  • Northern Michigan Travel would include – Hotel Stay (1 night)
  • Detroit Travel would include – Hotel Stay (1 night)
  • Other Travel costs made on a per wedding basis but might be looking at items like Hotel Stay, Gas Mileage, Car Rental, and/or Plane Tickets

I look forward to chatting with you soon and hopefully, I included most of the frequently asked questions you might have!

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