Frequently Asked Questions
Deciding between wedding photographers can be a daunting task, especially when you see those lists online of 1000 questions that you MUST ask your photographer or your wedding day will be a disaster (which isn’t true, by the way – I’ve got your back!).
To save you some email time (and help with your peace of mind), I’ve written up a FAQ that addresses many of the questions that you may have been wondering regarding wedding photography and my work. I believe that transparency is incredibly important in this industry, and I want couples to have a good idea of what I’m all about before moving forward.
Here’s the lowdown. I’m the right photographer for you if:
- You like candid photos
- You like to laugh and have fun
- You think I seem like a cool person to hang out with
- You’re having a wedding at an urban or outdoor venue in the Ottawa region (or anywhere else, I’ll travel!)
- You like the work that you see on my website and social media
That’s basically what it comes down to. Choose a photographer who’s work you love and who you think will mesh with you personality-wise, because they’re going to be there hanging out with you for your whole wedding day!
Below you can find more in-depth answers to some frequently asked questions to ask your wedding photographer.
What’s your style of photography?
There are a lot of adjectives that can be thrown around in regards to photographic styles, and to most people they won’t really mean all that much. My work is journalistic, lifestyle photography…which basically means that I favour candid, real and unscripted moments. That doesn’t mean that I don’t pose – I certainly do when it comes time to take the formal shots and portraits – but throughout the day, I’m more of a fly on the wall taking photos as they happen without being too obtrusive.
My editing style is film inspired – I love shadows and silhouettes, warm tones, contrast and images that provoke emotion.
What equipment do you bring to a wedding?
My main camera is a Canon 5D Mk IV, which is a brand-spankin-new high-end full frame DSLR. The majority of the time I shoot with the Sigma Art 50mm 1.4 or the Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 (which are both great focal lengths because they are very similar to the human eye). I also rely on Canon’s 135mm 2.0 when I need to get a shot from a little further away.
I occasionally bring a Petzval 85mm which is a manual lens that mimics the look of an old film camera. Since it only focuses manually it takes a little more time to set up and work with, which isn’t right for every wedding.
I always bring two flashes, as well as light stands and umbrellas/softboxes in the event that we need additional lighting.
And, of course, every important piece of equipment in my bag is backed up with a second, equal quality piece of equipment, just in case (knock on wood, I’ve never had any equipment malfunctions!).
How far in advance do we need to book?
I’m usually pretty booked up for the season by February/March. I limit the number of weddings that I take on each year to assure that I’ll have ample time to focus on each one individually and not have to rush through anyone’s photos.
Your date isn’t reserved until you officially book me as your photographer, so it’s always best to complete your booking as soon as you’re sure I’m the one for you. A signed contract and a retainer is due to reserve your date.
What are your rates?
We’re having a small backyard or city hall wedding and only need a photographer for a couple of hours. Is this something you offer?
I love small intimate weddings and I definitely have a package just for you. Please get in touch and we can discuss your options!
Are your rates flexible?
Out of fairness to all of my clients who pay full price, my rates are not flexible. I do, however, offer a wide range of packages which means that we can certainly sort out wedding day coverage that works with your budget.
I do also offer a discount for weddings that take place in the months of January through March, as well as weekday ceremonies.
Will you travel outside Ottawa for weddings?
All of my full day wedding packages include 100km total travel from downtown Ottawa (so travel to places such as Carleton Place, Wakefield, Clarence-Rockland etc.. are all free of charge). Additional travel is charged at $0.75/km.
I’m definitely happy to travel to wherever your wedding is taking place! Depending on the distance from Ottawa an overnight stay may be required. Shoot me an email, tell me about your wedding and I’ll be happy to give you a quote!
Are engagement photos included in your packages?
In my pricing, an engagement shoot is an add-on as I’ve found that it’s not something that every couple wants. It is, however, offered at a discounted price for couples who are booking me as their wedding photographer.
How do I know how much time to leave for photos? When should we try to fit in portraits? How does a wedding day normally work? This itinerary is killing me!
Trying to sort out a wedding day timeline can definitely be tough, and I’m certainly here if you need help sculpting the day. I can walk you through how most wedding days progress photography-wise, and I’ll give you a breakdown of how long it normally takes for each type of photo (i.e. portraits, bridal party photos, formal group/family shots, etc..). I’m happy to help any way I can!
My article on crafting your wedding day timeline can help you get started with your itinerary, and my article on lighting and location can help you plan for the best possible photos on your wedding day.
I’m suuuuuper uncomfortable in front of the camera. Like, you don’t even know.
You’re not alone! Most people haven’t ever had their photos taken professionally and it can seem like a pretty overwhelming ordeal. I’d say that about 90% of couples are nervous about being photographed on their wedding day.
What I can promise you is that I’ll do my best to make you feel at ease in front of the camera. For most of the day, you won’t even know that you’re being photographed as I’ll be taking candid shots.
When it comes time for the formal portraits, I’ll tell you exactly where to stand, which way to lean, where to look and what to do with your hands. You’ll have so much going on throughout your wedding day that being nervous about photos will be the last thing on your mind!
Are you the photographer that will be shooting my wedding?
YES, absolutely! I don’t hand off weddings to other photographers, if you hire me, you’re getting me!
Do you bring a second shooter?
Some of my packages include a second shooter, some don’t. I’m very comfortable shooting a wedding on my own, I’m always able to fully capture the entire day without a second shooter.
That being said, there are definitely upsides to having two shooters. When there are two photographers it’s easier to get lots of different angles of the ceremony. It also frees up an additional set of hands to take photos of the guests enjoying cocktail hour while I photograph the formal group shots, for instance.
It really comes down to your wedding and your preference.
Will our photos be in colour, black and white, or a mix?
Generally, a final gallery is about 35% black and white and 65% colour images. If you have an inclination one way or the other I’m happy to edit to suit your preference.
Do you provide retouching, color adjustment, or other corrective services?
Of course! Not a single photo leaves my hands without being fully edited to the extent that you see on my website. This includes white balance adjustment, exposure adjustment, cropping and straightening the images, black and white conversion (when appropriate) and sharpening.
I usually spend approx. 2+ full work weeks culling, editing and retouching a wedding gallery. I don’t outsource my editing, I do it all myself, as I feel it’s an important part of the process and insures that your photos represent the moments and mood of the day accurately.
* Please note that the retouching process does not include things such as removing braces, adding or removing people from a photo, changing the colour of a dress, replacing faces, etc.. and that there may be additional fees if extensive editing is requested by the client.
How long after the wedding do we have to wait to get our photos?
The length of time before you receive your photos depends on the size of your wedding, length of day and time of year, but generally between 30 and 60 days.
How will we receive our photos?
Once your photos are ready, you will receive a link to a password protected online gallery that has all of the finished photos from your wedding day. This gallery has an option to batch download all of your images as high-resolution digital files, as well as web-sized images. It also gives you the option to download photos individually, which is a great way to share the images from your wedding with family and friends.
How many photos should we expect?
I don’t provide an expected number of photos with my collections because each wedding is so different, and as a result the number of photos from each wedding will be different.
Things like the size of your wedding party, number of guests, length of time allowed for portraits, amount of decoration, number of locations, travel time between locations, etc.. all play their part in how many photos you will end up with.
I am a strong believer that photos taken by a photographer at a wedding should go to the people who they mean the most to. I don’t go through the photos that I’ve taken and choose the best 500, I go through the photos I’ve taken and select all the photos that are worth giving to you (all photos that are well exposed, non-duplicates and, of course, flattering!). I never withhold photos to make numbers, I want you to have your photos!
How do we go about printing our images?
You have full printing rights for all of the images in your final gallery, and you may use whatever printing vendor you’d like.
If you would like to be to print through my professional vendors just let me know and I can provide you with detailed pricing.
Do you offer wedding albums?
Absolutely! Wedding albums are available as an add-on to my wedding day collections. Like engagement shoots, I don’t automatically include them in my pricing as it’s not something that every couple wants, and sometimes it makes more sense financially to wait a little while after the wedding before purchasing an album. Many couples choose to make a wedding album for their one year anniversary, or as a Christmas gift for their partner or family.
Will you be posting images of our wedding on your website, Facebook, Instagram, etc..?
Yes, I will likely share some of your images online. If this is an issue for you please let me know ahead of time.
How long have you been a professional photographer for?
I’ve been taking photos professionally since 2006 and started photographing weddings in 2009 as a second shooter. After a few years of second shooting, I started photographing weddings on my own.
Is it ok if our friends and family also take photos while you’re shooting?
Absolutely! I just ask that, during the formal group shots, I’m the only one taking photos or else you’ll end up with half the group looking at the wrong camera:)
What’s a first look?
Weddings these days tend to be less traditional, which is allows couples to do their wedding day the way they want! Many couples today choose to do a first look, which is a staged moment where the couple gets to see each other all dressed up in their wedding attire before they walk down the aisle.
First looks are a private and intimate moment that are best done away from family and friends. They provide a really special set of photos, and help ease your nerves before the ceremony too!
What’s an “unplugged” ceremony?
Some couples choose to rely solely on their professional photographer when it comes to photographing the ceremony. These couples will ask their guests to not take photos and to not use their phone during the ceremony. With an unplugged ceremony, all of your guests will be fully present to share this special moment with you, rather than watching it happen through the screen of their phone.
It’s entirely your choice whether or not you want to ask your family and friends to put away their phones and cameras for your ceremony.
Can we give you a list of specific shots we want?
The only shot list that I ask my couples for is a list of their desired formal family groupings. Having this list written out ahead of time is a huge time saver on the day of your wedding and will assure that no one is missed!
I don’t ask for a wedding shot list from my couples, and here’s why: when a photographer is asked to follow a shot list, it makes it difficult to properly capture real moments, as the photographer constantly has to refer back to the list. I’m going to get all of the traditional wedding photos – you don’t have to specify that you want photos of your dress, your first kiss, your flowers, or your guests enjoying themselves at your reception.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t give me direction though! Definitely let me know if your parents have a photo from their wedding day that you’d love to re-create. Definitely let me know if you want a photo on your bicycle built for two, in your childhood tree house or popping into your favourite pub for a quick pint before the reception. Definitely let me know if your best friend from grade school who you haven’t seen in 20 years is there and you want a photo!
I simply ask that my clients put their trust in me and in my creative process. This allows me to photograph their day in my style, capturing all the important moments (both big and small) in a way that reflects the work you see on my site.
What information do you require before the wedding day?
If you book me as your photographer there will be an initial questionnaire that I’ll go over with you to get a basic feel for your wedding day. Two weeks to a month before your wedding day I’ll request more detailed information such as a full itinerary, confirmation of venue addresses, photographic restrictions, your list of formal group shots, etc..
Have a question that’s not addressed here? Shoot me an email and let’s chat!