These questions are the ones all the major wedding blogs tell you to ask your potential wedding photographer. Some of them are informative, and some of them are lame, but it would not be polite or professional if our team didn’t make sure they were answered for you. However, to really learn about wedding photography, visit our Frequently Unasked Questions (FUAQ) page. Those are the questions that we think are important to get answered, even though most people don’t know they should ask them.
Q: Do you require a retainer to reserve a date for any services and how much?
A: Yes, at the time of booking (signing an agreement to reserve services) we require a retainer. The more services you choose to reserve for your date, the higher the retainer amount will be which must be split between all vendors. This retainer is non-refundable but you may transfer one time to another date without penalty if for any reason you must postpone your wedding. If you pay in full at time of booking, you will save more. In case of cancellations, any amount paid above our retainer, will be refunded if you cancel more than ninety (90) days prior to event dates. If you cancel your contract less than 90 days prior to event date, no refunds will be given.
Q: What is the policy if we need to cancel the wedding or change our wedding date?
A: The retainer at time of booking is non-refundable. We hold dates up to 20 months in advance and pay vendors right after dates are booked with your signed contract. Vendors then turn away couples for those booked dates so they may hire other companies for their weddings in whichever States the venue is located. That being said, if you've paid in full a year in advance and must cancel the wedding and you provide written notice more than ninety (90) days prior to your wedding date, we will do our best to replace your booking and refund the amount you paid above our non-refundable retainer. We do not charge additional fees if you request a date change on the services contact. Our team will do its best to resolve these issues with you. We allow you to change the date one time without any penalty or risks of losing your services contract. Please realize that we could be completely booked for your new desired date if that date is within 6 months. In that case, we will use our numerous connections to other vendors to allow your wedding to proceed as scheduled.
Q: What primary photographic style do you identify with?
A: Making photos at your wedding requires us to be excellent at several styles of wedding photography. On a typical wedding day there will be times when we need to work in a contemporary style, other times we need to work in a photojournalistic style. Albums are not complete without stunning portraiture, and Mom will be angry if we don’t get some traditional posed photos after your ceremony. We consider ourselves photography ninjas. In past years, clients have been known to refer to us as wizards. (True fact.) But if we must use labels, our staff of photographers prefers a combination of documentary and contemporary portraiture with a healthy batch of natural candid shots.
Q: Do you charge for travel?
A: Travel fees may be waived if your package is booked and you pay in full. We always need to take into account not just the cost of fuel or round trip flights which always seems to increase during the peak season but the extra time away from our families as we drive or fly to other States. Unless this fee is waived, travel fees are $0.75 per mile for each service provider if distance is more than 40 miles that service provider. Overnight hotel stay is required if distance to your venue is over 100 miles one way and you've booked a package of five hours or longer. Contact us for more details if you are not sure of distance to your venue(s) or need more clarification of fees.
Q: Which vendors do you recommend for Michigan?
A: Our team is constantly growing to offer you more than ever before. You may choose any approved partner vendors for your wedding package for prices currently listed on the packages page on this website. We offer discounts if you bundle multiple services or prefer to remit full payment at time of booking. If you prefer to use a vendor that is not listed on this website, please speak with our services manager and he will negotiate a price with that business owner to include in your wedding package if you book a package with our company. A retaner is required to reserve any date for services. You may be required to pay any differences in costs if that vendor charges more than rates currently listed on our website. Our policy is that we do not cover higher costs with other vendors not approved or not listed on this website. We do not mind speaking to other vendors about having them provide services at your wedding. If we cannot reach an agreement between all parties on the total cost of that service, you will be required to pay any difference in costs.
Q: What do your wedding photography packages include?
A: All photography packages include delivery of high resolution professionally edited digital files on USB flash drive. You may also include lay-flat albums, custom graphic design, canvas prints, save the date cards, gallery wraps, acrylic and so many other products. Feel free to ask for more details or challenge us to make something new. We love a good challenge.
Q: Do you offer special techniques such as hand-coloring or toning?
A: Yes! We can also make super gorgeous black and white prints very much like those done in a darkroom. Feel free to ask about this but be warned that we totally geek out talking about the countless artistic retouching possibilities after the wedding. We will work with you on a reasonable number of your favorites before we have to charge for additional post processing.
Q: Do you have experience shooting in various lighting situations?
A: Yes, we are comfortable working in all types of lighting conditions. We can use available natural sunlight (our favorite), or we have plenty of tripod or strobe lights to create our very own lighting after sunset.
Q: Is your media preference film or digital?
A: These days most wedding photographers work primarily in digital, and we love the magic the little gnomes in these DSLR cameras can do. And we always shoot in RAW format. We do not provide RAW files after the wedding. But you may have our fully edited images on USB flash drive when post-processing is completed.
Q: How many photographers do you work with?
A: We now have 4 men and 4 women in our wolf pack in the State of Michigan. However, we partner with great vendors in many of the 50 United States. If your wedding needs additional photographers (like if you have 250+ guests and/or a super huge bridal party of 16+), we have several great assistant photographers on stand-by. Then our wolf pack would grow by one or two or as many as it takes to get the job done to your satisfaction.
Q: Do you guarantee your presence at the actual wedding?
A: Absolutely! We wouldn’t miss your wedding for anything! Not even a hurricane. A lead photographer is assigned to your wedding date and you will have the opportunity to speak with the photographer in advance. A detailed schedule will also be created to ensure the best results and most efficient use of the hours in your wedding services package.
Q: Are your insured?
A: Oh you-betcha! Probably more coverage than other studios. Many venues may refuse to allow wedding photographers without liability insurance. And most venues aren’t going to believe we are your cousin/aunt/brother or sister with nice cameras either.
Q: Do you sometimes book yourself for more than one wedding in a day? Weekend?
A: Two weddings on the same day can sometimes be done under certain ideal circumstances if fully staffed, but we don't prefer that because it just makes it more stressful on everyone. We list any dates that are booked as not available on the packages page. If your wedding is located in other States, you will know if that date is available when you request a contract.
Q: Do you have a replacement wedding photographer in case you become unavailable on the day of the event?
A: Yes, we have a network of experienced colleagues that we can always call upon, and we are always expanding our capabilities through our professional networking. In this business, you can never have too many contacts. Actually, that’s probably true about life in general.
Q: What kind of equipment do you typically bring with you on the day-of?
A: Equipment needs vary pretty wildly from one wedding to the next. But we prepare for everything within reason by packing way more stuff than we expect to need.
Q: Do you bring back-up equipment to the event in case of malfunction?
A: Yes. Always. We are chronic over-packers, bringing multiples of everything.
Q: What is your policy on taking breaks? If you require a meal break, do you require that we provide your meal?
A: Well last we checked we are not made in labs with synthetic parts or cyborgs so when working at most events all day we do get hungry and need a meal break. We do ask that you provide a meal for each service provider during the reception if your package comes with 5 hours of services or longer. We prefer to take the meal break while the bridal party is eating dinner so we don’t miss anything important. 30-45 minutes should be fine.
Q: How soon after our wedding will our photos be ready for viewing?
A: We like to post some of our favorites, usually the highlights of your day, within 7 days of the wedding. This is usually between 30 and 50 images. What you don’t see is the approximately 8 hours of post-processing we do for every hour we spend at your wedding. You deserve thoughtfully created, professionally edited images that we can both be proud of. That entails weeding out duplicates, adjusting color temp and cropping as we see fit. This process takes 3 to 4 weeks to cull, perhaps, 2,000 images down to a manageable 400 – 500 fully edited images.
Q: In what format are the initial proofs offered?
A: You will have an online gallery with the option of it being password protected.
Q: Do you retain the copyright for the photos?
A: Yes, as your professional wedding photographers, we do retain copyrights of all your wedding images, however we provide an official copyright release allowing unlimited personal use and printing of your wedding photos if you request.
Q: Do you provide the digital files and/or negatives (or copies of the negatives) to the client?
A: All of our original work is shot in what’s called RAW format for the greatest range of options in post processing. You will receive all of your edited images as digital (JPEG) files which is currently the most widely accepted image format. All wedding photography packages will include USB flash drive with fully edited images, along with copyright release so you can print your photos and/or use them on all your favorite social networks.
Q: Will our images be available for viewing online?
A: Yes for at least 90 days or longer if requested.
Q: What kind of wedding albums do you offer?
A: I’m so glad you asked about wedding albums! Because we are not just a shoot and burn wedding photography studio. We love to see your photos come to life and we have several wedding album options for you to choose from with our partner. We can include albums in any of the packages listed on this website so you get the best rates on everything you want. All wedding albums are lay-flat style. All albums are printed on genuine photographic paper, just like the old days but much better quality. This is different than “press printed” where you can actually see the individual dots of ink. That’s not our style and not what you deserve.