What’s your specific photography style?
I love pictures that are, in a word, happy! Colors that pop, faces that smile, and genuine story-telling are key to me. I want your pictures to be nothing more than an enhanced reflection of your big day, your precious family, and what matters most to you. No noisy filters or unnatural poses. Just clean, vibrant images that represent the best bits of you!
Do you shoot in RAW or JPEG?
RAW! You just can’t beat it. There are so many advantages to shooting in RAW when it comes to editing that I’d be crazy not to. But, all the images I’ll hand over to you will be in JPEG format so that everyone’s computers (and televisions and tablets and telephones) can handle them.
I’m not a model, and I’m nervous about being in front of the camera and being totally frozen!
Don’t worry, you are absolutely not alone! When I took those pictures you saw of me on the main page, I wanted to hide behind every single tree in the background and had no idea what it felt like to look “natural” on camera. When I photograph any session or any wedding, I will give you clear directions on what I need from you, and I’ll welcome every question you have! It will take you a short period of time to get comfortable, but usually, those adjustment periods turn out some of the most genuine, no-fake-laughs-here pictures, and they are generally some of my most favorites. I’ll be talking to you the whole time, and by the end, I guarantee you’ll feel like a duck in water! (Also, I should note here that this very question is the reason why I include an engagement session in my base package. Having that time for you to get used to me as a photographer and knowing what I’ll ask of you before your big day takes a HUGE amount of stress off of both of us before you say your “I do”s!)
What should we wear to the engagement session?
First of all, feel free to bring more than one outfit! Usually, a more casual outfit and a dressier outfit make for great pictures with plenty of variety. My best advice is to choose outfits with complementary colors that don’t match too well. Don’t over-accessorize, and if one person is wearing a pattern, try to stick with solid colors for the other. Some shining stars of outfit selection were Caroline & Ryan and Rachel & Joe. (Caroline and Ryan actually brought at least five outfits each and basically had me select from hangers in the backseat of their car! If you need my opinion, don’t be afraid to ask for it!)
What’s your opinion on bridal sessions?
Oh, how I love them. People give me funny looks when I try to explain how much I love them. So clearly, I highly encourage them, but for many of the same practical reasons I encourage the engagement session! It’s one more opportunity for you to get used to me as your photographer, and more than that, the bridal session can offer you invaluable hair and makeup practice time! Getting the details down during a practice run can reduce that much more stress on your big day, and it even gives everyone a chance to practice pinning on that pesky veil (harder than you might think)! Do keep in mind that your choice of location can keep you from having to dry clean your dress afterward (or force you to do it), so feel free to ask for my opinion if that’s a concern.
How many people should come with me to the bridal session?
My professional opinion is that two is great, three is a crowd. Remember that I’ll be there, too, fussing with your dress and helping make sure you look your very best. Typically, any combination of the mother of the bride or groom, the maid of honor, and the event planner is a perfect match.
I’m not sure if the venue I have my eye on will be suitable for photos or not. Can you do a walk-through with me and help me decide?
Of course! If you’re with an hour of Raleigh, NC, I’m happy to meet you and walk through your desired venue, pointing out the best spots for pictures. If you’re outside Raleigh, it would be best to schedule this alongside the engagement session, just to knock two things out at once.
How many hours can I expect to receive in my wedding package?
It is exceptionally important to me that the photos I take of your wedding day tell a story, culminating in that magical sprint through a tunnel of your very best friends and hands furiously waving out the windows of the getaway car. For that reason, I highly recommend calculating the number of hours you’ll need me based on when you plan for your reception to end and working backwards. At minimum, I’ll be with you for eight hours. I don’t need to be there when you wake up, but I’m happy to document the time you’ll spend with your bridesmaids getting ready, and I won’t leave until you drive away at the end of the night! You wouldn’t turn the movie off right before Harry makes his big speech to Sally at the New Year’s Eve party, would you?!?
I’m torn on whether or not to do a first look with my groom. What should I do?
This decision is one I won’t argue with you on, just because I know it’s a crucial part of how brides picture their wedding days. But, I will tell you that doing a “first look” (or bucking tradition and seeing the groom for some private time before the ceremony) affords many couples the opportunity to calm their nerves, pray, and just be still before the non-stop whirlwind begins! Remember when Kate arrived at the altar and William whispered to her, “You look so beautiful”? Well, imagine giving your groom the opportunity to not only say that out loud (or maybe even shout it), but also spin you around, hug you, kiss you, and maybe even hand you your wedding day gift in person. Hard to beat, right? Last, but not least, doing a first look saves valuable portrait time between the ceremony and the reception, since all the bride/groom and bride/groom/wedding party pictures can be knocked out right then, before the sun even gets close to setting. That means you can get to your guests (and to the dancing!) that much faster.
Do you bring backup equipment?
Every time! I take every precaution to make sure your images are safe and protected, including backing them up and storing them in offsite locations. I will typically leave a bag of backup equipment in a secure room near the ceremony and reception areas for quick access. I haven’t experienced anything close to an emergency yet, but I’m always prepared.
Can I get copies of the unedited images?
Unfortunately, that’s one thing I can’t provide. For the average wedding, I will end up giving the bride and groom close to 800 images (sometimes more), and those are the best of the best from your day! So, imagine if I gave you all of them! You would be so overwhelmed, and you might even need a second computer to store all of them! I carefully edit all of the pictures I select from your wedding or your portrait session, so I can promise it won’t get any better than what lands in your hands.
Will I have all the rights I need to reproduce the pictures on the DVDs?
Yes! I will be sure to send you a photo release for every DVD you receive. That way, if you choose to get the photos printed yourself and someone asks to see it, you’ll be perfectly prepared.
Can I help pick the songs that accompany the slideshow of my wedding pictures?
Absolutely! If you have a song that is special to you or that you know would be a perfect complement to your pictures, please don’t hesitate to let me know! Not only do I want to make sure your slideshow is uniquely you, but I adore being introduced to new music and new artists. Everyone wins in this situation!
Will you dance at my reception?
YES. Everyone looks happier through the lens of a photographer who’s having just as much fun as they are!