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 a contract to reserve any services) we do require a retainer. The more services you choose to reserve for your date, the higher the retainer amount will be. This retainer is non-refundable but you may change your date one time for your package to another date. If for any reason you must postpone your wedding, we do require not less than 90 days written notice. You may switch your wedding services to a future date one time without re-booking fee. If you pay in full upon booking, you can save more on your package. In case of cancellations, any amount paid above our retainer, will be refunded if you cancel more than ninety (90) days before services date. If you cancel your contract less than 90 days before your event date, no refunds will be given whatsoever. Wedding dates are secured several months in advance and contracted service providers never book other weddings for the same dates. So any couples that contact our studio are turned away to other studios if they have the same dates.
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 18 months in advance and pay vendors right after dates are booked with your signed contract. 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 before your date, we will do our best to replace your booking and refund the amount you've paid above our non-refundable retainer. Our team will do its best to resolve these issues with you unless you refuse to communicate or cooperate with our team. We allow you to swap the date one time without a re-booking fee or risk of losing your contract. We could be completely booked for your new desired date if its within 6 months on a peak date. In that case, we will use our numerous resources and many connections to partners to allow your wedding to proceed as scheduled with that approved partner.
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: 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 travel fee is waived, we charge $0.95 per mile for each service provider if distance is more than 80 miles one way from Milford, MI 48381. Overnight hotel stay will be required if distance to your venue is more than 80 miles one way. Contact us for more details if you are not sure of distance to your venue(s) or need more clarification of fees. We can negotiate a reasonable rate for long distance jobs based on what you have chosen for your wedding package, how many hours you need, and how many vehicles are going to be driving to that location in Michigan. Engagement photo sessions always require a travel fee if more than 40 miles one way from Milford, MI 48381.
Q: Which vendors do you recommend for Michigan?
A: Our team is constantly growing to offer you more than ever before. You may choose approved partners for your wedding package for the prices currently listed on this website. We offer discounts if you bundle multiple services or remit full payment upon 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 thru our company and cover any difference in costs. Our policy is that we do not cover higher costs with other vendors not approved or not listed on this website.
Q: What do your wedding photography packages include?
A: All photography packages include 2 photographers, delivery of high resolution professionally edited digital files on USB drive. You may 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. Your package can be customized to fit your unique preferences and budget.
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. That being said, we need to have advance notice if your venue has minimal interior lighting so we may properly evaluate for available alternatives with sufficient lighting if you need photos taken inside the venue.
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 12 partners in our wolf pack for 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 for your event.
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 meet with that photographer in advance. A detailed schedule will also be created to ensure the most efficient use of the hours in your 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. 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 or more hours of services. We prefer to take the meal break while the bridal party is eating dinner so we don’t miss anything important. A 30 minute meal break is typical for most events.
Q: How soon after our wedding will our photos be ready for viewing?
A: We post a preview within 7 days of the wedding. This is usually 20-30 images. What you don’t see is the approximately 8 hours of post-processing we do for every hour we spend at your wedding. This process can take 30 - 45 days after weddings.
Q: In what format are the initial proofs offered?
A: You will have an online viewing gallery that is password protected you may share with your family and friends.
Q: Do you retain the copyright for the wedding photos?
A: Yes, as your professional wedding photographers, we do retain copyrights of all wedding images, however we provide a release allowing unlimited personal use and printing of your wedding photos.
Q: Do you provide the digital files and/or negatives (or copies of the negatives) to the client?
A: We do not provide RAW image files from jobs under any circumstances. All work is shot in what’s called RAW format for the greatest range of options in post processing. You will receive edited images as digital (JPEG) files which is currently the most widely accepted image format. All wedding photography packages will include USB drive with fully edited images, along with copyright release so you can print your photos.
Q: Will our images be available for viewing online?
A: Yes for 3 months and sometimes 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.