What do you charge?
-For weddings, my rates are constantly changing. In general, the slower weddings months (ex: February, November) are more inexpensive (from $150/hr). In the faster months (ex: June, August), my rate is higher ($200/hr or more). These fees include processing the images into color and black/white, and your CDs or DVDs to keep for yourself. Your images are ready within 2 weeks of the wedding. Also, all your images will be uploaded to an online image gallery for your guests to view/purchase. I am an official business with the state of MN, and by Minnesota state laws, I have to charge 6.75% sales tax.
Do you do slideshows?
-Yes, I can make DVD slideshows set to music. Prices range from $100-300 depending on how much image work I have to do (scanning prints and image touchups take longer, which increases the price). Please inquire for an exact price. Recall 6.75% sales tax.
What if my church/reception has bad lighting?
-I have some of the fastest lenses and best flashes on the market. I also have portable studio lights that we can use when appropriate.
What if my church will only let you shoot in the balcony, and won't let you use flash?
-I will do my best to persuade the church coordinator to allow more flexibility, by offering technical recommendations and artistic reasoning. If their rule is set in stone, then I have to work within that limitation. I will not disrespect a church's requests.
What if the weather doesn't cooperate?
-Not every wedding day will be perfect. It's nice when weather is cooperative, but it's a real possibility that the weather may not. While it will limit us in where we can go, we'll still have fun making great pictures. I have portable studio lights that can make a dim church look brilliantly lit, giving us one option. We can easily do the same studio lights in the reception hall. If we cannot find a pretty background at either location, I have a portable backdrop system that we can use if worse comes to worse. While outside pictures are great, the main focus of my work is pictures of you and your spouse on your first day as husband and wife. You are far more important to the photographs than pretty backgrounds.
Won't we be too hot in dresses and tuxedos for studio lights?
-I have studio lights meant for digital cameras. They are called "Cool-Flo" lights, with fluorescent energy-efficient bulbs. My lights are always on, so there are no blinding bursts of light. Better yet, my lights run cool; they are 90% cooler than strobe lights. You will not sweat or feel hot because of my lights. They also produce beautiful skin tones (see website galleries for pictures with backdrops, as these were all done with these lights).
How long will I need your services?
-I am most often booked for between 5-6 hours of coverage. But, this will depend on your needs, the size of your bridal party, the size of your family, and how many locations we are at. My personal philosophy is that you want your album to tell the story of your day. From when the bride first puts on her gown, to the first time bride and groom see each other, to the first toast, to the ride off into the sunset. Face it, you can always choose not to display some photographs, but you can't go back in time to photograph those moments you didn't get in the first place. If you're not sure how long you want or need, we can get together and figure it out together by going through my suggested shot list.
Do you recommend having you at the reception?
-Absolutely! Some people think that the photographer might not be necessary at the reception, because you might have friends toting cameras and they promise to do it. I couldn't disagree more here. First, since all the pressure will be off and you're ready to have fun, your pictures may look more relaxed. Second, everyday people may not have equipment geared towards working in a dim reception hall. Third, your friends may have biases in terms of who they find interesting to photograph (I have no bias since I do not know your guests). Fourth, I absolutely will not be drinking and/or forgetting my responsibilty. Finally, I have an obligation to get your images to you in a timely fashion.. whereas your friends may have other obligations or may not ever give you the images. It's just nice to have them all in one place, guaranteed to get to you.
My guests really want to take pictures too. Can they?
-Of course I want your friends to be able to take pictures. However, when we are doing posed work, their camera flashes can destroy the flow of my work and can ruin pictures I'm trying to create. I will ask that people refrain from shooting their cameras at this time. If someone does get overbearing about it, I will ask you what you'd like me to do (I am non-confrontational, and am working for *you*).
My maid-of-honor (or whoever) has lots of good ideas about how to pose my future spouse and me. Can she make suggestions?
-I am working for you, and so long as you are happy and we are making progress in a timely manner, I am happy to listen to ideas. Some of the best gag shots come from the bridal party's spontaneous ideas.
What is a photo booth, and do you offer it?
-Photo booth is an alternative to putting disposable cameras on the reception tables. I wish this was an option when I was married. Instead, we purchased the disposable cameras, and all the developing... only to have a small handful of decent pictures (kids run wild with unused cameras, capturing elbows and fingers galore). For $100/hr additional, I provide the backdrops, the studio lights, and the professional photographer. Anyone who wants their portraits taken (from silly Uncle Johnny striking a disco pose to the serious family portrait of your best friend's family) can step into the photo booth. Guests can leave their email addresses so that they can view and/or purchase the portraits online. As part of your wedding, you receive all the images from photo booth as well.
Is your work guaranteed?
-Yes. Generally, after working with me throughout the day, you'll get a general feeling of satisfaction from how I work with you. If you are concerned about how the images turn out, I am happy to view the final product together with you. If for some reason you are unsatisfied, I will refund your money in full and keep all of the images. Once CDs or DVDs are in your possession, this assumes you are satisfied (else you could just copy the images and tell me you're unhappy and expect a full refund - which is unfair).
PORTRAIT SESSIONS (Family, Seniors, etc.) FAQs
What do you charge?
-For general portrait sessions (engagement, senior, family, etc.) I charge a flat fee of $150/hr. This fee includes the processing of images into color and monotone (either sepia or black/white), and the CDs or DVDs of the images and digital negatives. Your images are ready within 2 weeks of the photo session. By Minnesota state law, I do have to charge 6.75% sales tax.
How many poses or outfits can we wear?
-As many as you want within the time that you've booked.
Can we get a family shot and individual portraits?
-Absolutely! I always get the largest portrait done first, and after that, we'll do all the combinations and solos that you want.
Can you take candids too?
-Yes, I'm happy to follow the family around and use my creative judgment. I will crawl on the floor with baby. I'll lie under the swings to catch your kids at the peak of their swinging. I'll be delighted if your toddler wants to show me his toy collection. I'll talk to your teenager about hockey, shopping, Justin Timberlake. I'll figure out a way to get photos of people in their natural comfort zone.
Do you have a studio?
-Yes, my studio is in my home. It's complete with backdrops and lights. However, my studio is mobile - I can bring it to you!
What kind of lights do you use?
-I have new technology. They are called "Cool-Flo" lights, with fluorescent energy-efficient bulbs. My lights are always on, so there are no blinding bursts of light. However, my lights run cool (they are 90% cooler than strobe lights). You will not sweat or feel hot because of my lights. They are definately better for kids with young, light-sensitive eyes.
Should we worry having you come to our home?
-I'm a licensed Minnesota public school teacher. I've been background checked and fingerprinted by the state. I'm comfortable around people of all ages. If you are worried about your home's appearance, we can work around it (outside, at a park, the *one* clean room you have).
What can't you touch up?
-Facial stubble, and glasses glare are very, very expensive to touch up. The best bet is to avoid the problems by being clean-shaven, and getting a pair of frames without lenses that are most like yours (or get lenses removed for the photo session). Else, I can try poses that minimize the glare.
What should we wear?
-Solid colors are best because they are not a distraction. Avoid large prints at all costs. Make sure to wear something comfortable, but wrinkle free. If you can see wrinkles, so can my camera. If we are doing large groups, wear complimentary clothing (no clashing!).
Can we bring props?
-Feel free! We'll try your props in the most artistic way, and see how we'll like to proceed with them.
What time is the best time to schedule a session?
-For outdoor lighting, early morning or late afternoon. Mid-day lighting is usually harsh. We can work around it by finding shade, though. If small children are involved, it is best to work around their nap schedule. For indoor lighting, it won't matter.
Is your work guaranteed?
-Yes, 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Because it's digital, you'll see instantly how things are turning out. I am also happy to email you a few samples or look at all the images together to make sure you're satisfied. If not, I'll keep my images - you keep your money.