Common questions for your wedding photographer - Answered by Jen Pecka
For most, getting married can be a whirlwind of new experiences, learning curves and confusion. In order to assist in easing some of that confusion, I've decided to come up with a list of common questions accompanied by answers. Of course, if there are questions you have that I have not answered, you can post them in the 'comments box' at the end of this questionnaire or shoot me a personal message.
1. How long will you stay at my wedding? This is one of the most common questions that I receive. Each of my collections come with "Unlimited time". This means that I stay for all of the important wedding events that happen through out your day. There is NO contracted amount of time. However, once things start to become repetitive during the reception, this is when I usually pack up and go. I never leave without touching base with you first to ensure we haven't missed anything and you have everything you want. I do set a 12 hour max time limit, but I have only met that limit once.
2.What happens if you get sick on my wedding day? Knock on wood, this has never happened to me and of course I do not plan on it happening to me. But, I am human! Life happens. If, on your wedding day, I happen to catch the plague, I have a plethora of professional wedding photographer friends, acquaintances and connections. You are almost guaranteed to have wedding coverage by a professional wedding photographer who I approve of. Breathe easy!
3. What if your camera breaks? If I accidentally get all kung fu klutz at your wedding and smash a camera body or a lens or a flash into the ground OR if a giant bird of prey happens to share my love of Nikon and swoops off with my gear mid picture, I always have backup equipment. I have doubles of everything and sometimes! I even triple. The more the merrier!
4. How long will it take to receive my photos? I always make it a point to seek out and ask married couples how they felt about their wedding photographer. If it was a negative experience, why? 9/10 times the main complaint is "It took forever to get my pictures!" Maybe let me amend that opinion if you've heard the stories and complaints of friends/family who have said this. (Ya know, unless it took two years to get their pictures and then HOW DARE THEY?!) Of course, we would love to get your pictures to you in a timely fashion! BUT! You're paying for QUALITY! A photographer might take thousands of pictures at your wedding! And if they're actually a professional photographer, there's the time it takes to sift through and get rid of the repetitive ones or the ones where everyone is blinking etc. And then there's re-touching and making sure that the final product is nothing short of beautiful. This takes HOURS and HOURS of time. I'll speak for myself now and say that there are times when I put in a 70 hour work week but GOODNESS, sometimes I like to work a regular 8 hour day like a normal person and then spend the rest of the day with my daughter. Or eating ice cream and watching movies. Or running to yoga class and refreshing my chi. Photographers are people too. *Makes note for future T-shirt design.* In my contract, it states that it will take approximately 6-10 weeks until your pictures are ready. (If you're also receiving an album, this will take an additional 6-10 weeks. Albums are custom designed and built products so the process is similar to the initial editing phase.) I always aim to complete everything sooner! But, depending on where I am in my wedding season, 6-10 weeks is usually the max amount of time. Which brings me to the next commonly asked question!
5. Do you do your own editing? Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes. I'm not being judgey towards other photographers who choose to outsource their editing, but I'd like to make the point that you're hiring ME. My work is very personal to me. Yes, it's a career and you're paying me to be there, but this is an art form too. I take the utmost pride in the production of your cherished memories in a creative and artistic light. I'm not just attending your wedding because this is my career. I'm there to create something gorgeous just for you. I love every second of it and my passion is what breathes life into my whole creative method. I could never have someone smudge my work with their own artistic juju because, it really wouldn't be my work then, would it?
6. How would you describe your style of photography? I would consider myself a creative, artistic, fine art, natural light, photojournalism inspired photographer. (Say that ten times fast.) Traditional portraiture has never appealed to me. There are always those traditional poses you'll always see like "the dip" or smoochy pictures, but my interest is in bringing something new to these poses. Something unique. A classy touch of interesting that differentiates your pictures from anyone elses.
7. How long have you been a photographer/how many weddings have you shot? Though I've been taking pictures my whole life (I originally started with film), my professional career didn't start until 2009. I was 22 and found an ad from United Sound looking for a photographer. I got the job and began shooting for them. Shortly after, I launched my own business and have been rocking an entrepreneur lifestyle since. In these past 6 years I have shot many, many weddings. If you're worried about experience, I can assure you that I have plenty.
8. Do you use a second shooter? That's up to you! I always encourage my clients to opt for a second shooter because you can never go wrong with variety! When you have another photographer, they're able to capture everything I can't. For instance, while I'm busy taking pictures of you getting ready, my second photographer is providing coverage for the Groom and his Groomsmen. Another example is, during the ceremony, instead of my toggling back and forth between you coming down the isle and the Groom's face, my second shooter is trained on the Groom and my attention is 100% on you. If you do opt in for a second shooter, my second shooters are remarkable, fully trained wedding photogs. I would never bring on a second shooter that didn't have my absolute confidence.
9. Are you gay wedding friendly? YES! Love is love is love. I've shot both gay and lesbian weddings. I am in full support of marriage equality and love when I'm asked to do a same sex wedding!
10. What should I expect when hiring you? With every wedding booked, I offer a pre-event powwow so we can go over the details of your day, the timeline, the contract etc. I also offer a complimentary engagement shoot. This allows for us to get to know each other before the wedding and helps me peg how to make you most comfortable in front of the camera. We're going to be spending one of the most important days of your life together so building a rapport with you is very important to me. The more bond time we get, the more comfortable you'll be with me and this can make such a difference when it comes to the transition of poses and comfortability in your wedding photos. I encourage contact with all of my clients so if you have any questions that are wedding related (even if not photography related) you can ALWAYS contact me and I'll be more than happy to help in any way that I can.
If there are any questions I didn't answer, feel free to ask!