HONEST ANSWERS TO
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There really are no second chances with your wedding photographs, so choosing your wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make. Unfortunately, many couples do not grasp the significance of this decision until it’s too late ─ and will be reminded of for decades to come.
It is important to understand a bit about the industry’s basic business practices and how things work before setting out to find the best wedding photographer in Cincinnati for you.
I hope the following insider information will help you make a wise choice.
Q.) There are so many photographers - how can I find the right one?
Choosing the right photographer comes down to two basic things: First, and foremost, you should love their work. Look for a wedding photographer whose work moves you in some way, whose style you like. ...If the pictures presented on their website are blurry and out-of-focus, just imagine how your pictures will look.
Q.) All photographers are qualified, aren’t they?
Unfortunately, no. Anyone can call themselves a 'professional' wedding photographer - no qualifications are needed to make this claim - so it is buyer beware.
Q.) Why do I need to hire a professional wedding photographer when my friend has a great camera and has offered to photograph my wedding?
It’s not the camera that takes the photos, it’s the photographer. Although a friend may be a very good amateur photographer, they will not have the experience, knowledge or training and back-up equipment that a professionally trained wedding photographer has. Wedding photography requires a highly specialized set of skills that takes years to master. A professionally trained wedding photographer can produce consistent results regardless of the various challenges that weddings present. We know how to make the best use of light and can adapt quickly to the constantly changing circumstances of the typical wedding day.
Professionally trained wedding photographers are used to handling the dramas that occur during the wedding day. We can cope with the pressures and demands of limited time, and we are adept at dealing with people in a calm manner. We also provide a creatively trained eye and storytelling ability in documenting your day.
We also know how to finish off your wedding pictures properly rather than just giving you snapshots from the camera. Most professionally trained wedding photographers have invested hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars perfecting their craft like I have. Ask yourself, is it worth the risk hiring a weekend wedding photographer to capture one of the biggest days of your life?
When I meet couples and they learn I'm a full-time professionally trained wedding photographer here in Cincinnati, the biggest single complaint I hear is, "I wish I had selected a better wedding photographer for my wedding".
Q.) How far in advance do I need to book?
The earlier the better. It's best to start looking as soon as you’ve set your date. I am often booked a year or more in advance. Make your decision and book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment and potential future regret.
Q.) Do you hold dates?
A signed service agreement and a paid retainer fee holds your date. I mean if you’re running over here or meeting me first thing in the morning type of thing, sure I hold your date. Beyond that, with my online payment portal and email, there’s no reason why we can’t complete your paperwork in a timely manner.
It's a good idea to assume other couples are interested in your date, and you weren't the first to contact me about it. My advice is to retain my services, as well as your other wedding vendor’s, as soon as you can. Double bookings, missed dates and regret happens more often than you might think.
Q.) How much should I budget?
It is easy for us artists to overrate ourselves. I understand this. So, I have gone to great lengths to price my services fairly for both my clients and for myself. Based on my years of experience, plus my reviews, I feel secure in saying that on a scale of one-to-ten, my pricing is a five or a six. Yet, on a scale of one-to-ten, my photographs –and my professionalism– are a ten or a twelve.
When the average couple starts planning their wedding, they enter a whole new world that can come with a shockingly high price tag. I get it.
Here’s a ProTip that really works: Start your budget planning by making a checklist of the crucial details, like the venue, the music, your wedding gown, the invitations, the flowers, your photographer, etc., and assign a number to each—one being the most important and three being the least. Invest your money in all your number ones and cut corners on your number threes.
Unfortunately, though, many couples choose to cut corners on their photography. At first this seems like the easy choice. But most couples grasp the significance of this unfortunate decision after it’s too late.
Here’s why. The elaborate details of your wedding day are like a Cinderella story. At midnight, the magical spell will be broken. But like the glass slipper, your wedding photography is the one thing you can hold onto and look back on. It’s real, it’s tangible and it’s forever.
The very real law of business is this: paying a little and getting a lot can't be done consistently. It is unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money, that’s all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything.
There really are no second chances with your wedding photographs, so choosing your wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make.
I would be a good addition to your wedding team! I promise.
Let’s get started!
Q.) Will you let me know if another couple contacts you about my date?
I will try, but often it's impossible. Over the years I’ve had so many couples book me right over the phone without meeting in person. My website, my work and my reviews so closely match my personality, plus the fact that I have been photographing weddings in Cincinnati for years, makes them feel comfortable in booking without meeting.
My advice is, to avoid potential disappointment and future regret, book your date as soon as you can.
Bookings are the only un-fun part of my business.
Q.) Is it cheaper to have an off-season or weekday weddings?
Some wedding vendors as well as many photographers offer discounts during their slow times. However, due to my competitive pricing, combined with my work, combined with my reviews, I am busy year-round and have no off season.
Q.) Can I send you my Pinterest page with ideas and poses and suggestions?
I am happy to see examples of photos you like to get an idea of the feel you are after or for inspiration, but these are only used as an overall guide for me. If you want me to try and copy someone else's photographs, I'm the wrong photographer for you.
While Pinterest is surely amazing in helping you home in on what type and style wedding you are envisioning, sending me a list of photographs you want to recreate is counterproductive to how the day would otherwise unfold naturally.
This is what we pros call the Pinterest effect. Most of the wow pictures posted to Pinterest are happy accidents; not all, but most. Happy accidents are when everything falls into the right place at the right time and the photographer captures that happy moment. We all get happy accidents, and pros get a lot more happy accidents than non-pros because that’s what we’ve been trained to look for. However, trying to specifically copy these happy accidents is an exercise in frustration and will hamper me from doing my job because it is hard to capture the spontaneity of the day if I'm trying to copy or set up someone else’s shots. Lists of photos also make me miss capturing special moments while I’m being distracted ticking off and worrying about a large checklist. Therefore, I do not accept a list of photographs you want to recreate.
In the end it is impossible to really copy another photo anyway, as the original was taken under different light, in different circumstances and with a different couple! Or it may have been a studio shot that took hours and complex lighting arrangements to capture.
Since your photos will be unique to your day it is best to trust me to do my job which I have spent years refining and honing my creativity for. Plus, it will be more enjoyable for you to simply let me do my work as events unfold.
Q.) What if I hate posing for photos?
Odds are high the cameras will capture that feeling, and you may not like the results. That’s one of the top complaints couples have with their pictures – they feel their awkwardness captured in their photos. Which is why I highly recommend an engagement session.
Q.) Do you offer engagement shoots?
Absolutely, and they are a great way for us to get to know each other. Bring a bottle of wine to yours, and I KNOW we'll be bffs by the end of the day. If you aren't sure on what to wear, or are looking for hair and makeup suggestions, email me, I have tons of ideas!
Q.) When and where do we do the engagement shoot?
Engagement sessions can be scheduled for any time, Monday through Thursday. Weekends are reserved for weddings. As a full-time professional wedding photographer, weekends are my busiest days of the week.
I like shooting engagement sessions during the golden hour - the hour just before sunset when the sunlight is at its most beautiful. If you can’t make the golden hour work, we can shoot anytime of the day you’d like.
The engagement photo sessions included in my collections is limited to the Triple Crown Country Club area which is very photogenic and quite unique. Beyond Triple Crown and the surrounding area, there is an applicable time and travel fee. If you have someplace particular in mind, just let me know where it is, and I’ll let you know how much additional it will be.
Q.) I have certain features that usually don’t photograph well. Can they be fixed in my wedding pictures?
We all tend to be a bit self-conscious about aspects of our appearance. If you are concerned please discuss it with us before the wedding so that we can suggest angles and poses that are the most flattering to you. Some things can be fixed in post-production, but major time-consuming edits cost extra, so it’s best to get you looking as good as possible on the day.
Q.) How far will you travel to photograph our wedding?
We shoot weddings within a two-hour radius of Cincinnati*. This includes Dayton, Columbus, Louisville and Lexington at no extra charge. Beyond two hours we charge $2/mile.
Q.) How many photographs will be taken on the day and how many will we get?
Generally, we take around 700 photos which will be edited down to around 500 or so by eliminating the test shots, blinkies and blurries. I have no shot count, though. I photograph your day as it unfolds and presents itself without regard to numbers, regardless of package.
Q.) Can my uncle who is a good photographer follow you around and take pictures at our wedding too?
The short answer is No. I am generally happy to have your guests take other photos as long as they don’t interfere with my (our) work.
But following me around taking shots that I take is too much of a distraction to me, and to you. Plus, I don’t like it. Imagine how’d you feel if someone followed you around all day at work.
Q.) Okay, so we are totally in love with you, how do we book you for our wedding?
Yay, that's terrific! Shoot me an email and I’ll send you back a service agreement, which you fill out, sign and send back. You can send in a check to the studio or I can send you a link to take your credit/debit card information securely online; either way 50% is due at the time of booking to retain my services. The remaining balance is due no later than 30-days prior to your big day.
Q.) How do we get our photos after the wedding is over?
After your big day is over and you are packing for your honeymoon, I'll be in front of my computer doing all sorts of fun stuff.
Q.) How do we get our Fusion Video after the wedding is over?
We create your Fusion Video by combining your favorite photographs with the video clips we shot throughout your wedding day. Once complete, we load your Fusion Video to the your online gallery where you can download it from there to your computer.
Q.) Can I have the original raw, untouched files, of my wedding images?
No. I don’t see the point in giving half-finished products. It’s like asking to have your wedding cake delivered without the icing! Generally, these files will be no use to you anyway, requiring very specific professional software to even view them.
I only deliver images that I will sign my name to.
Q.) Do we have to feed you at our wedding?
I legit get hungry if I don't eat during an eight to ten-hour span. If you’re having a buffet, I’ll just drop in line behind the wedding party and grab an open seat. Getting a plate of hot food halfway through our lovely day together makes me feel warm, fuzzy and re-energized, and ready to tackle those reception photos like a boss. If you opt to not want to feed my crew, that is totally fine, but we will order out (probably pizza!) and take a break to chow down.
Here's a helpful note: if you’re having a plated meal, request that your venue feed us the same time as you. Since I've yet to take a flattering photo of anyone eating penne a la vodka, when my clients are eating, that is the most perfect time for us to eat as well. This way, when you are done and back out there mingleing and having fun, we'll be right along with you, not missing out on anything. Some venues shudder at the thought, but my clients who've requested it, have really made our day.
Q.) How do you approach the day?
I tend to be super relaxed and easygoing, especially when my couples are getting ready. I almost always start off shooting details, moments between whomever is there primping and preening, and tend to be like a fly on the wall during this part of the day.
During ceremonies, I focus on the crowd if I can, crying moms and dads, plus those so-in-love smiles you give each other and any and all high-fives you give your guests on the way back up the aisle!
Once we get to family photos, I am quick and friendly, but strict with time and keeping it all moving at a nice pace. This is where my years of experience really comes in handy.
During portraits, I give you as little or as much guidance as you need, this is when we really just vibe off each other to get the best stuff. Not gonna lie, ideally, you give me like, the entire day to whisk you around and take all of the photos...but in real life (and not MY fantasy), a half hour to 45 minutes with just the two of you is perfect.
We end with lots of group photos and guests' grips and grins during cocktail hour, and any type of shenanigans that happen during your reception. I tend to end up right in the middle of the dance floor by the end of the night, photographing and doing the Roger Rabbit!
Q.) I hear so much about 'photo credit', what is it and why does it matter?
So, photo credit, is when you post your photos on social media and, well, give us credit for taking that photo. A link back to our own social media in the caption will put a serious smile on my face and is very much appreciated. It is like the new millennium's version of word of mouth, and I love it!
Q.) What happens if you die?
That's the age-old question, isn’t it? I believe the gift of Jesus Christ is eternal life in God our Lord...As for your wedding, though, my employees would take over for me. Beyond that I am part of a fantastic network of brilliant photographers, most of whom are my close friends, and they would not hesitate to step in on a moment's notice if I needed them to, for ANY reason.
Q.) My sister got her pictures, but each picture had "copyright by..." written right in the middle of them, plus they were low resolution so she couldn't print any of them. To get copies she could print and that didn't have the photographer's copyright on it she had to order them from the photographer. Do you do this with your images?
No. All your images are full resolution that do not have watermarks on them that you can get printed anywhere you would like. If you want prints from me, at very reasonable prices, and delivered to your door, simply select the print option from the right side of any picture in your gallery. The lab we use only deals with professional photographers, and our cameras are calibrated to their printers, ensuring butter rich, true, colors.
Otherwise, you get shared print rights, meaning that you can take those bad boys and have them printed anywhere you'd like. Though, please don't use cheap printing options, like Walmart. The quality is so bad, your photographs will look nothing like what they are supposed to. Instead, shoot us an email if you don't know where to get the best prints and goodies at the best prices, and we will happily send you a list of labs we love.
Q.) I was in a wedding recently and the bride got her pictures, but she lost them. Her photographer charged her $600 for new copies. What is your charge for copies?
I suggest that you make copies of your photographs for your own archival purposes. But If you lose your pictures before I archive them, there is no charge to resend them. If you lose your pictures after I've archived your pictures, there is a $50 fee to retrieve them and resend.
Q.) I was in a wedding this summer and my friend, the bride, was expecting 2 photographers for 8 hours. Two photographers showed up, but it was for 4 hours each. So, to get the rest of her wedding day photographed she had to pay the photographer more money right there to stay. She also had to choose if she wanted 2 photographers or just one to stay. To avoid this kind of stressful situation at my wedding, could you please explain your timing and how it works for each photographer?
Wow! That would stress me out, too! When you book either me or Tom; you get either one of us and our very talented assistants for eight, nine or ten hours of photography time depending on the package you choose both using the finest photographic equipment available! While Tom or I are concentrating on the formal shots, our assistants captures the in-between moments - all day. Together we focus on capturing the love and romance - the emotions of your wedding day. It's a great system! You'll love it!
Q.) My friend hired a photographer but someone else showed up to photograph her wedding. She never even met him before, and she had to tell him what to photograph. If I hire you do you show up to photograph my wedding day or does someone else?
When you book me or Tom, it's me or Tom, plus our assistants, that shows up to photograph your wedding. However, it would be Tom and I photographing your engagement session.
Tom and I connect on a very personal level with each of our couples, making you feel relaxed and beautiful in front of our lens. This is what we love most about being professional full-time wedding photographers.
Q.) My sister doesn't have any pictures of her wedding reception because the photographer's flash blew up just as the couple was making their grand entrance. Do you have backup equipment?
Because we make our living shooting weddings almost every weekend, we believe in the words, "You're only as good as your equipment". As such we rely on the very finest camera gear available. We spare no expense on our cameras and lenses because only the finest equipment allows us to capture the feelings that fill your day.
We have two or more of EVERYTHING - including five flashes each. When we purchase a camera, we buy two. A new flash, we buy two. That means our gear is identical. Many wedding photographers have nice primary gear, but their back-up equipment is old, outdated stuff. If something goes wrong, they're fumbling around trying to figure out how to get the old stuff working while you look on.
Because we earn our living as a full-time professional wedding photographers, if any piece of our equipment fails, our assistant simply walks over and hands us another camera/flash/lens or whatever, and it's absolutely identical to what we were just using. This allows us to move on with your wedding as if nothing has happened at all.
Expect nothing less.
Q.) Will you go to multiple locations?
Yes, I enjoy going to different locations such as parks so that you have a nice variety of photographs in your wedding album.
Q.) Will you take a picture of me, we, us whipping the finger?
Q.) When do we receive our pictures?
Six to eight weeks after your date.