you travel to photograph a wedding or event?
How do I choose the best wedding photographer?
Look no further. Oprah praised us as "fabulous photographers capturing every moment." But seriously, you should choose a wedding photographer whose work stops you and makes an emotional impact. Here are some tips on how to choose a great wedding photographer:
1) Ask around for referrals: A personal referral from friends or family can be a great place to start.
2) Browse websites and portfolios: Review the online portfolios for photographers you're considering and think about how their images make you feel. Wedding photos are all about light, composition, and emotion.
3) Look beyond the bride and groom: Keep in mind that you're looking for a photographer who can do more than just make the bride and groom look fantastic. It takes an intuitive, experienced photographer with photojournalistic skills to capture the feel of the event, take beautiful, candid shots of family and guests, and orchestrate all the necessary details and logistics. Some photographers might be great with posed shots, and not necessarily with candid shots.
4) Go for experience: If a photographer's portfolio looks like it all came from the same wedding, that might indicate inexperience. To ensure you get the best possible photographs and that your event goes smoothly, look for experienced photographers with broad, varied portfolios. Also, look beyond your venue's "preferred" list of photographers. A talented photographer will be able to work in any location, and you might also avoid getting the same old "canned" shots that a photographer who frequently works a particular venue might offer.
5) Make sure your styles match: Call or schedule an in-person meeting to get a feel for the person behind the camera. Once you know the photographer's availability, ask questions about their work. How would they describe their style? How long have they been photographing events professionally? Is this a full-time business for them? You'll want to choose a photographer who makes you feel comfortable, because you'll be working with that person on one of the most important days of your life. Choose someone who puts you at ease and with whom you connect personally.
6) Meet face-to-face: Once you've narrowed your list to a few candidates, schedule an in-person meeting before you make a final decision. If meeting in person isn't a possibility, consider meeting via FaceTime or Skype. At the very least, schedule some quality phone time to get to know each photographer. Don't be shy about asking questions. The more dialogue you have in advance with your photographer, the more relaxed you're likely to be on the day of your wedding or event.
7) Book 'em early: When you've found "the one," book your photographer as soon as possible. Remember, good photographers get booked well in advance. In our case, we're often booked for large events a year in advance. But we've also accepted mid-week bookings as little as two days before an event. So never hesitate to call and ask.
Do I need more than one photographer?
Some people hire Alisha or Brook, and some people hire both of us. Even if only one of us available, we can still bring on a second shooter if your event requires it. Please call us so we can discuss the number of guests you’re expecting and whether your event involves more than one location.
Do you have an associate photographer?
Yes, we have an associate photographer who works with us exclusively and whom we've trained to meet our exacting standards. Please call us for rates.
How many hours do I need to book you for?
It depends on is the size of your event, the length of your reception, whether you and your fiancÚ will be seeing each other before the ceremony, whether you prefer to shoot family and group photos before the ceremony, and so on. We also love to get the last hour with the bride to document her getting ready, the dress, her mother and bridesmaids, and all that good stuff. We can talk about what you have in mind and give you our suggestion.
How do we book you, and what is your payment schedule like?
As soon as we get the information we need from you (date, location, contact info) we can email you a contract. We require a signed contract and retainer fee to secure your date. The balance is due 15 days before the event. You can also choose to break the balance into a few payments before the wedding. We accept personal checks and Paypal. You don't need to sign up for a Paypal account to make a payment; you can also use your credit card.
What do I receive after the wedding?
In addition to images of photographic wonder and delight, our clients receive (drum roll) real photographic prints! Printing photographs is an art, and it minimizes professional photography when people just shoot and burn images to a disk.
An average sized wedding typically results in 500 - 800 finished prints, or eight to ten hours of post wedding production. This includes image editing, image processing, basic image retouching, color correction and enhancements, and uploading images to a secure, password-protected online destination for sharing with family and friends. Images are also archived and backed up to three different external hard drives.
We also create beautiful custom photo books and albums as part of some of our rate packages. Custom photo books are also available a la carte for an additional charge. Please call us to inquire about these options.
When and how can I view my photos?
Once we finish processing, retouching, and editing your images, we upload them to a private, password-protected online gallery for you to view. You can also share the login information for your private gallery with family and friends. The gallery makes it easy for you and your loved ones to select your favorite images and order individual prints.
Can I get the digital files for my photos?
Yes, high-resolution image files are included with some of our packages. Call us for more information.
What do you charge?
People often tell us they’re scared to ask about our fees. They assume our fees must be out of reach since we’ve photographed literally hundreds of weddings and we’ve had so much publicity. But this isn’t necessarily true. Our fees are what you would expect for award-winning photographers with more than 15 years of experience. If photography is important to you, please give us a call and we can talk you about your needs and customize a package.
Do you charge less for mid-week events?
Mid-week events definitely cost less, since there is less demand for those days. Let’s talk so we can help you create a package to fit your needs and budget.
Are you insured?
Like most industry professionals, we carry insurance to protect our equipment against loss or damage, and ourselves (and our clients) against injury. All professionals should have this kind of protection.
Are you available for City Hall weddings and elopements?
Yes, we’re available for elopements—especially if they take place mid-week, when we’re less likely to be booked. Check out our online gallery to see some of the elopements we’ve photographed. Then call us to discuss our availability and rates.
Do you offer engagement photography a la carte?
Yes, we have a number of clients who book us for engagement photos only, either because they live out of the area or because we’re already booked for their actual wedding date. Our out-of-town clients often combine their engagement photo session with a romantic getaway to the scenic San Francisco Bay Area.
Do you recommend professional makeup for engagement or portrait sessions?
Definitely. Makeup artists know how to enhance a person’s look for photography, and that expertise inevitably makes a difference in the quality of the photos. Check out our Faves page for some of our recommendations.
Can you suggest locations for our photo session?
We’ve been doing this a long time, so we know of a lot of great places around the Bay Area to shoot engagement photos. That said, we like the idea of personalizing engagement photos by using locations and backdrops that have special meaning for you and your fiancé. If there’s a particular place you met, for example, or an interest you both share, let us know.
What different kinds of events do you photograph?
We photograph parties, rehearsal dinners, anniversaries, corporate events, fashion shows, fundraisers, conventions and other types of events. We also offer photo sessions for professional headshots. Call us for rates and availability.