- What’s your primary photographic style?
There are a lot of photographers out there who stick to the old-school posing and lighting techniques, as well as the centered composition that was used in your parents’ wedding photos. Others boast a modern, dramatic and artsy style that is rampantly proving so popular these days …No one wants their wedding images to look just like everyone else’s- anyone would want artistic techniques to bring out their unique personalities in their wedding images. But most importantly: everyone wants to love their wedding images in ten years! We prefer to bring a balance of art and tradition to the images we take, so that our couples’ personalities are captured artistically, and so that they will be beautiful for decades to come. Our goal for your wedding images can be summed up in one word: timeless.
- What approach will you take as you photograph my wedding day? Posed & formal, or more photojournalistic & candid?
Our style is a combination of photojournalism and portraiture. On your wedding day, we will not be asking you to stop, pose and smile at the camera as you do every little thing- for the most part, the raw beauty that takes place during the candid moments on your wedding day are the moments you want to remember, and we want to capture those moments just as they were. We prefer to hang back and snap natural images of real moments, instead of bringing an overbearing presence to your wedding day by over-directing. This does not mean, however, that our subtle detail-shots, celebratory bridal party images and intimate portraits of brides and grooms were taken at random! Bridal shoes do not magically appear on a window sill at the perfect angle… newlyweds do not always pose in an aesthetically pleasing embrace by happenstance! We step in and give simple direction as needed to bring an element of structure and focus to the moments of inevitable uncertainty, and give you memories of a day you can cherish to its fullest.
- Will you have backup equipment with you?
Oh yes! We use professional-quality, top-of-the-line Canon equipment, and rarely experience equipment malfunction. However, we’ve heard horror stories from other photographers, and actually attended a wedding where the photographer dropped and shattered a crucial lens! We make it a point to have back-up cameras, lenses and memory cards, and even back-ups for the back-ups!
- Will you accept a list of specific shots to be taken?
Heck yes. We ask all of our couples to sit down before their wedding and include key family members (such as mothers, a grandparent etc…) in compiling a list of all combinations of specific family and bridal party images they’d like taken. We encourage couples to list individual names and to order these requests efficiently. This is not an opportunity to request individual photos with every member of your family or bridal party, or to come up with the most elaborate and obscure combinations of family for this list! Time is precious and limited during the family and bridal party sessions, and keeping this list as simple and condensed as possible will be crucial. Asking those key family members ahead of time for their input on this list is important- this way you can filter their requests ahead of time, and we can still honor these approved requests while preventing the possibility of having to fulfill a bunch of spontaneous requests on your wedding day that end up dragging out the time it takes to get you to your wedding! All efforts will be made to accommodate these requests, however no specific shot is guaranteed.
• How many images come in each package?
We do not enforce a limit on the number of images within any of our packages. We give our couples every usable image we take at their wedding- “usable” meaning all images that are in focus, with good or fixable lighting, where no one is blinking.
- What attire will you and/or assistants wear?
We are not the “all-black” kind of people, unless you reeeeally want us to be? We like to dress in clothes that reflect our fun-loving personalities but at the same time coordinate with your wedding-day palette, decor or theme!
- What time will you arrive on my wedding day and how long will you stay?
This is determined on a case-by-case basis. Usually, if we count back about eight hours from the time you plan to leave your reception, this is just about the time you’ll be finishing up your getting-ready process, which is the perfect time for us to begin! We like to arrive just as the bride is having the finishing touches done to her hair and makeup, and leave right after the grand exit from the reception. Eight hours usually ends up being the perfect amount of time, but hours can be added a la carte to any package if you think your wedding day requires more extensive coverage.
- How long after the event will my wedding images be ready?
Our processing and editing time-frame generally takes between 6-8 weeks from the wedding day to our couples receiving their finished wedding images. Leather albums, pre-ordered prints, coffee-table books etc… have no time-frame guarantee, as a lot of the information we need to order or design these items will depend on you.
- Are the images I receive on my disk and through my online gallery edited or enhanced?
We color-correct and enhance the exposure on every image we give you. We also correct blemishes and other imperfections on portraits and close-ups.
- How much and what kind of assistance will your provide in planning our leather wedding album or coffee-table style wedding book?
For those of you who order hand-bound leather albums, we ask that you select 30-40 of your favorite, “must-have” images to go into the album-design. We create a design-proof around the couples’ selections, adding images we feel add to the overall design flow and aesthetic of the album, and that help recount the wedding day accurately as possible. This design (usually consisting of around 60-80 images total) is then uploaded to an online gallery for you to proof and request any changes you’d like made. The album is not ordered until you are 100% in love with the design! For those of you who order coffee table books, we ask that you select 25-30 of your favorite, “must-have” images, and we design your book around those selections. There is no client-proofing of this layout.
• Is this your recent work that I’m seeing on your website?
The images on our website and in our sample albums is a mixture of both older and more current work. We like to show that our work is consistent, that you can book us for your wedding to take place a year from now and know that we’re not going to completely change our style and provide you with images you’re not in love with.
- Do you provide a written contract and guarantee?
Our photography agreement is written up and customized according to each client. Each agreement outlines each couple’s package and specific inclusions, add-on’s, payment amounts and due dates and all terms and conditions. The terms and conditions outline specifics such as a service guarantee, delivery, copyright, cancellation and client usage rights.
- Is a deposit required? When is the remaining balance after deposit due?
A non-refundable booking fee of 30% of your total (package + any add-on’s) is required to reserve your date. The balance is due 30 days before your wedding date.
• Are there any additional charges not mentioned?
There are only a few items, not covered within any of our packages, that could occur additional charges. One of those things is compensation for travel expenses, if your wedding is taking place outside of a 40-mile radius of our home in Rock Hill, SC. We don’t charge any “fees” for travel, we only require that our out-of-pocket expenses be covered and/or arranged to be taken care of ahead of time. The only other thing not included in packages would be prints. You are given a disk of images and access to the online proofing & purchasing gallery so you can order prints using either at your own expense. Additional books or albums not covered by your package can be ordered up to 5 years after the wedding.
- What percentage are the taxes? Is gratuity included in the price?
All taxes are included in the listed prices. Gratuity is not included in the listed prices, as it is optional.
- What is included in an engagement or bridal portrait session?
All of our portrait sessions are structured the same way: for the price of a portrait session, you will receive an on-location session, an disk of retouched, high-resolution, print-ready images, written personal print authorization and an online proofing & purchasing gallery. Any prints you would like can be ordered separately via the disk or online gallery.
- Who holds legal copyright of my wedding images?
Project:Life Photography ultimately holds legal copyright of all images we take. We grant you personal usage rights for life. This allows you to print the images for your home, send prints to friends and family, run photos in the newspaper with engagement and wedding announcements, anything for your general personal use. Basically the only thing you would not have legal rights to do is sell the images or allow them to be used for commercial purposes.
- What is your archive process with the image files from my wedding?
Every memory card the holds image files from your wedding is backed up once on-site, either during or after your wedding. These files are backed up onto two iMac’s at our home office, once on an external hard-drive stored off-site in case anything were to happen to the computers in our office, and once your wedding images are finished and delivered to you, we upload the finished images to your online proofing & purchasing gallery which acts as an online back-up. We keep your image files on our office computers and off-site external hard-drive for a minimum of one year from the date of your wedding.
- Will you chose a location for my engagement or bridal portraits, or do I select the location?
We can only offer suggestions as far as locations go- only you can make the final decision. These are your images, and it’s important that they reflect the personalities of you and your fiance! For an engagement session, putting in a fair amount of effort into some location research a few weeks before your session is recommended. If you don’t have any locations that represent significance to your relationship, or if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, it helps to think about what you like to do together as a couple: we can start in a coffee shop if that’s somewhere you guys like to go on dates or just to spend time together, we can take some photos of you both riding your bikes in a park if you enjoy riding together, or we could stage a picnic with some wine and wine glasses if you enjoy wine etc… For bridal portraits, choose a location either that reflects a similar aesthetic or architecture of your wedding venue, or a location with a completely different look and feel. Our brides seem split about 50/50 as to their preference for their bridal portraits… Some want a backdrop similar to their wedding venue, and some see their bridals as an opportunity to have photos take of themselves in their wedding dress in an entirely different environment so their bridals have a different vibe. As you can see, these are decisions we simply cannot make for you.
- What methods of payment do you accept?
We prefer to accept personal checks as payment. We can also accept credit cards via Paypal, however you would be responsible for any fees obtained by these payments.