Frequently Asked Questions and Should-Ask Questions – Ontario Family & Wedding Photographer
The search for a photographer – whether for your wedding, your newborn, or your family – can be overwhelming. There are tons of photographers out there and not every one is going to be the right photographer for you. It’s important to know what you’re looking for, what your photographer offers and specialises in, and what they’re willing to do for you. I’ve put together a list of questions that often get asked, as well as a list of questions that I think you should be asking so that you can find out more about my approach to your wedding or portrait session.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How much does it cost for a disc of photos? A lot. Because digital files are both priceless and worthless, all at the same time. There’s a huge amount of time and effort invested on your part and on mine to create those images that capture your life at this moment in time, but my opinion is that those images are worthless until they are printed and become a part of your family’s artifacts. I make sure that the printing happens for you, using paper that truly represents the colours in the images and that will hold the colour over time. I charge $600 for a collection of 25 digital images, but this collection is only available once you’ve purchased prints. I want you to have wall art that you can display proudly and that reflects the quality of work that went into producing your images. Digital purchases are delivered via Dropbox (you don’t have to have an account to use it) and should be stored in two different locations (on your computer and in online cloud storage or on a separate hard drive). Wedding clients do have a specified number of digital images included in their package because there’s an heirloom album product involved in each package.
2) How long do you keep my files? Forever. I have extensive back up systems (see below in the Should Ask Questions for more info on this), so it’s not a problem for me to archive your photos. If this plan changes, I intend to contact any clients who may be impacted.
3) Can I give you a shot list? In short, no. The only shot list I’m going to want from you is a list of which family groups you’ll be wanting. See this post for a more detailed explanation of why a shot list can be taken off your “To Do” list.
4) Can you take these photos I’ve pinned on Pinterest? No. See the same post I reference above to understand why. You’re absolutely welcome to show me your pinned photos during your consultation so that we can discuss your inspiration and preferences, and make sure that my style matches what you’re looking for. You can also do a similar exercise in your research phase by going through photos on my website. It’s one thing to love a photographer’s work; it’s another to know they’re the right photographer for you.
5) Can I bring my dog(s)? Yes! Dogs are family, too. Your dog won’t likely appear in ALL of the photos, so it’s worth considering where you’d like to keep your dog once their starring role is finished. Please consider whether your four-legged friend will cope with being tied up nearby and whether you’ll be able to focus on your partner instead of what your fur baby is doing off-camera. Bringing an extra person along to keep your dog company when his/her starring role is finished is encouraged.
6) Is there anything I need to bring to my session? For most sessions, the answer is: nope! If you’re planning a documentary session, you’ll be responsible for planning whatever activity(ies) are going to be part of your session, in which case you’ll need to supply the appropriate materials where needed. Cake smash clients must bring their own cakes because of allergy risks.
7) What should I expect during the session? Play. Laugh. Move freely. Be present. Unless your children are causing me physical harm, please don’t worry about disciplining your kids. Know that grass stains are a possibility. See a gigantic fake smile on your 5 year old? That’s a sign that your child is trying their hardest to do the right thing. I can work with that! Give me a few minutes to get the kids used to being goofy and all will be well. Don’t worry about your wedding schedule, knowing how to pose, or what you’re doing next. I’m there to take care of the details so that you can just focus on enjoying the company of those you love.
8) What should I expect after my session? Portrait clients will get an email from me 3-4 weeks after their session and will have access to their online gallery via that email. Prints and products can be ordered directly from the gallery or, if you’d like to discuss what might look best on your walls, then I’m happy to help you in-person.
Wedding clients can expect an email to arrange an image reveal session 6-8 weeks after the wedding. During that session, we go through your images, talk about the album process, and then I send you an email with a Dropbox link so you can download your proofs and a gallery access email so we can communicate about your album choices (and so your family and friends can look at your photos!). The album process can be completed in as little as four weeks from image reveal to delivery, but is more likely to take about 10 weeks.
9) I really want to schedule a shoot, but can we wait until after I’ve lost these last 10 (or 5, or 20, or…) pounds? NO. Do it now. And remember: ultimately, you’re not doing it for you. In fact, here’s a post I wrote about this very topic. This is your family history – and this is a point that I am a bit scary-passionate about (I’m coining a new term there). Printed photographs are what will connect the current generations to future generations. Think about that for a second. And think about what it means if you aren’t printing your photos – yet! – or, even scarier, aren’t IN your photos. Understand that your kids don’t see your extra pounds; your partner doesn’t see them; and if you don’t do the session now, there will always be another reason to delay. Your children will look back at these photos when they’re 30, 50, or 75 and be grateful both to you and for you, in whatever shape you’re in.
10) What do I do about feeding you at our wedding? In simplest terms: feed me whatever feels appropriate (same as guests or, in some cases, your venue may have a vendor meal) at the same time that you and your wedding party are eating. While you’re eating, I’ve got a short window of time to refuel, and then can rejoin you when you’re mingling with guests and the speeches get rolling. I’m not picky about what I eat. Dinner comes about 6-8 hours after my day has started and I usually miss lunch when working weddings, so it’s a good chance to refuel and clear my head, even if only for a few minutes. By the time that we reach your wedding day, I hope that you’ll consider me a friend and, as such, treat me like one on your wedding day. I’ve sat with the rowdiest of tables, the quiet table, a table full of past clients, and a table of older folks. I’ll happily chat with whomever I’m sat next to and find that it often helps me understand more about your wedding when I get to learn about the people you invited. That being said, I don’t HAVE to have a seat at a table with guests! The one thing I do recommend is that you keep me in the room for my meal (even if it’s in the corner) so that I can jump up to grab photos if I see something happening. As long as there’s a few minutes when I can grab a bite, it’ll be immensely appreciated.
Should Ask Questions
1) Are there any places in the world that I could get married that would make you lower your fees or maybe save me some travel expenses? YEP! If you’re planning an elopement (less than 20 guests); a Rocky Mountain, cottage country or summer camp wedding; or looking at a destination wedding in Costa Rica, Scotland, Italy, New Zealand, Oregon, South Africa or Mexico (OFF of a resort), or Cambodia, which will always hold a special place in my heart, then you and I need to talk. Like, pronto. Realistically, if you’re traveling for your wedding and planning a non-resort celebration, I want to hear about it. Right now.
2) How do you keep my images safe? This is possibly the most important question you can ask a photographer and I’ve learned this through some hard, scary lessons. I shoot your wedding on two cards, simultaneously, in each camera. When I import any photos onto my computer, they’re automatically stored on three computer drives. At the same time, they’re also uploaded to an online backup system. Once your images are edited, the RAW files (the digital negatives) are uploaded to cloud storage and the JPEGs are stored in another online storage site. The original cards are formatted once your images have been reviewed. That redundancy really matters.
3) Do you have a wedding that you feel truly represents your style? Yes. Scott & Lauren’s wedding was almost entirely documentary in approach; Chris & Phee’s wedding allowed me plenty of time alone with them to capture some stunning portraits; Sam & Nick stayed present and connected throughout their day at a venue I often shoot at. These are each now the standard to which I hold myself. I laughed with these guys; I sent Scott and Lauren bushwhacking (in a killer gown!); I ducked out of the way of flying corks; I witnessed an incredibly personal marriage ceremony.
4) How do you protect against equipment failure? I always show up with two camera bodies and I have a collection of lenses and flashes at my disposal. If one camera fails, I can work with a single body without sacrificing quality of work. If a lens or flash fails, I have others that will work in the same situation. I shoot to two cards simultaneously, meaning that there are two copies of your images, and I bring many cards to each session or wedding.
5) I want to do a documentary session, but what if my house doesn’t look photo-ready (or photo-worthy)? Don’t worry about it! My camera settings mean that backgrounds get blurred our, so clutter isn’t an issue. You have two options: embrace reality in all its beautiful chaos and roll with it OR plan activities that will happen outside of your home.
6) How are you going to make my session different from your next clients’? Your session is all about you, your family or partner, and your relationships with one another. Because of this, no two sessions are the same. I place a great emphasis on body language: the way you interact with one another in front of the camera – the way you look at one another, the way you hold one another, the look on your face – should reflect how you genuinely feel about one another. My sessions involve a lot of closeness and not a lot of looking at the camera because the session is about you, not the camera. If that doesn’t feel right to you, then that’s okay. I’m probably not the photographer for you – and that’s okay, too, because there’s a photographer out there who IS perfect for you.
7) I really want to share my images with friends and family. Can I just print my proofs? I love it when clients are so happy with their photos that they’re dying to share them, but the answer? It’s no. A copyright acknowledgement is a standard part of every wedding or session’s paperwork; this means that you understand that you can’t reproduce the images from your session. But it’s not a case of honouring a copyright agreement – in a time of pirated downloads, the word “copyright” means very little to a large portion of the population. If you had a great time with me and want to show me that you appreciate the work that I did, then best thing that you can do is not attempt to reproduce the images without permission (they’ll look awful!). In the case of online sharing resulting in the watermark being cropped out, a quick credit to Moment.us Photography means I’ll love you forever. :)
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, there’s a perfect photographer out there for you. It might be me. It might not be. Like your favourite pair of jeans, I want you to find someone who will be the perfect fit for you so that when you find him or her, you can feel like the happiest client-friend on the face of the earth. If these answers start you on the path to thinking that I might be the PERFECT one for you, then get in touch!
I’m Ang – an Ontario family & wedding photographer with a passion for capturing light and photographing natural moments in life as they happen anywhere in the world. My goal is to capture memories that you will cherish once your wedding dress is put away, your children are too grown up to curl into your lap for cuddles, and you reach the age where the house seems oddly quiet at night. I love meeting new families in their natural environment and getting in amongst the bedlam so that I can document the perfectly imperfect realities of weddings and daily life. Please explore more of www.momentusstudio.com to see more examples of Cornwall, Ontario family photography.