Wedding Photography & Films FAQ
COMMON QUESTIONS THAT COME UP THAT WE LOVE TO ANSWER
Your experience of getting married holds so much as to who you are, and your wedding day is an important mark in your family history.
Our goal for you is to create a collection of photography and films of your wedding that not only reflects this remarkable day and all the glorious details, but also reflects each of you and your journey together. It is our intention to make photographs and films that captures and celebrates two people in love and the beginning of your newly created family.
We're often asked a variety of questions, from very general about what we do, to the details of what should happen when. Here are these questions, and if you have any others about anything at all, or want to talk more in detail about something, please let us know. We'd love to talk with you!
WHAT IS YOUR PRICING?
We know how important it is to know pricing, especially because each photography and film company does it differently. Our rates are based upon location, local weddings are different than destination weddings. We also create custom collections based upon what is needed for your day in terms of coverage, albums, short films, feature films, and digital negatives. If you'd like a collection quote for your wedding, drop your information into our contact form and we'll send it to you right away. We look forward to hearing from you.
WHAT IS YOUR STYLE?
Though we'll never know which images will become yours or your family's favorites, each photograph that we make is an important document in the story of your first day as husband and wife. Alisa has a blend of styles, which is what is called for, capturing the "big picture" as well as the smallest of details, candid moments as well as posed family portraits, all with a contemporary yet timeless feel. Other than the family formals, we are unobtrusive and candid to capture these moments as authentically as possible.
Cinematography documents moments in a way that photography cannot convey. James shoots and edits to create films, which has different look and purpose than standard "video". During your day, there is limited direction only when needed, leaving the candid moments to be captured as unobtrusively as possible. Your final films are created in a romantic and timeless presentation, as they are also one of your first family heirlooms.
WHO WILL SHOOT OUR WEDDING?
You will spend more time with your photographer and cinematographer during your wedding day as the capture all that is taking place, so we know that sharing this personal experience should not be with just anyone. Alisa is the lead photographer and James is the lead cinematographer for every wedding, which provides you with the peace of mind because you know and trust those who will be honored with documenting your day. With photography, you may choose to have Alisa's second shooter included, and with Cinematography, James will always have his second shooter.
DO I HAVE TO GET BOTH PHOTOGRAPHY AND FILMS OR CAN I JUST GET ONE OR THE OTHER?
We'd love you to have both, but by no means does every couple have the same wants and needs for their wedding. You may choose photography or films or both, and there is a bundle discount when booking both for your event. If you choose just one, you may also choose to add the other service at a later time, as long as the date is available.
CAN I GET ONE SHOOTER TO KEEP TO A LOWER PRICE POINT?
For your photography, one photographer or two is completely a personal preference, based upon how much and the type of coverage you want for your wedding. For Films, two shooters is standard in order for James to have all the various perspectives needed to create a cinematic, visually complete film of your day. Let us know, and we're happy to provide a customized quote for you to consider.
HOW LONG BEFORE WE SEE OUR PHOTOGRAPHY AND FILMS?
You will receive a link to your online photography gallery with about 4-6 weeks after your wedding, sometimes sooner, which you can share with family and friends. If you're getting a custom USB with your Digital Negatives, that will follow about 3 weeks later.
Your Short Film will also be delivered in the same time-frame, with the Vimeo link that you can share as well download your film directly to your devices. Your Feature Film and Documentary Edit will be delivered about 20-28 weeks following your wedding, in the same format.
Photography & Films Details
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT WE'VE PLANNED FOR THE WEDDING?
About 12-14 weeks before you wedding, we will send to you an easy online questionnaire which you will complete with all the details you have. From this, we will create an outline for what's to be expected time-wise, and this will provide you with peace-of-mind that we know where and when everything is happening, to not miss anything. Also, you will use this timeline for letting us know of any special details your planning for that should not be missed, such as a special ceremony, note-reading/gift-exchange, special people or keepsakes that you want included in your photography and/or films.
For photography, we will also ask you to provide us with the family groupings you will want photos of. Because all families and their dynamics are unique, it is best getting these details from you rather than making any assumptions.
ON OUR WEDDING DAY, WHEN DO YOU START SHOOTING?
Based upon the order and details of your day as indicated in your timeline, together we'll come up with the best start time, sometime typically during your getting ready time. We want to be sure we're maximizing our time with you so we can provide you with the best photography and films possible.
WILL MY PHOTOGRAPHS BE EDITED?
Absolutely! All the images that you receive are retouched by hand, one at a time, with particular attention to those that are expected to become large prints for your home or part of your album. Most images are color, and often there are some that are chosen to become black and white. Those delivered in black and white are only available as such, and if you'd prefer only color images, please let us know before delivery. Proudly, we are a full service studio, and providing anything less is not a full service product.
WHAT IS AN ONLINE GALLERY?
The online gallery is a secure, password-protected site where you can view your images or films and can share with your family and friends. You will also be able to download the HD version of your films for safe keeping and long-term storage. The image gallery is available for 90 days, which has a shopping cart feature from which anyone who wishes to purchase prints or products, they may do so directly and easily through the gallery.
HOW MANY PICTURES CAN WE EXPECT?
The number of photographs taken during the day depends upon your event- variables such as hours of coverage, size of wedding, type of ceremony and reception, location, and so on. We provide quality over quantity, and typically you can expect about 650-1100 images in your gallery.
CAN I GET ALL THE IMAGES, EVEN THOSE THAT DON'T MAKE THE "CUT"?
All usable images are edited and delivered. Images not kept are unusable in some way, such as someone walking through the shot, flash misfire, and test shots.
DO WE GET TO KEEP THE DIGITAL FILES?
Yes, if it's part of your collection. Because it is such a popular option, 2 of our 3 collections include the non-watermarked, high-resolution, edited JPEG digital files that are downloadable directly from the gallery, which comes with a written print release which allows you to make unlimited personal prints for yourself. As a full service studio, we offer a variety of printed products, and if you choose to print on your own, we provide a list of recommended print labs recommended for their quality. We do retain copyright to our images, which may be used for promotional and professional use. If you chose to not include the digital image files when your collection was chosen and would like to have them after the wedding, let us know and we will review with you the pricing options available.
DO WE GET THE COPYRIGHT OF THE IMAGES?
Copyright is something that I get asked about very often, which comes in conjunction with getting your image files for personal use. With your digital images download, I will provide for you a document ("Print Release") with the written permission you need for print labs to know that you aren't using them without authorization. The copyright, however, is something that we own as the maker of the images, which I cannot give away or sell. Rest assured, you will have the ability to print and share your pictures for as long as you like.
MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY WILL ALSO BE TAKING PICTURES. IS THAT OK?
Just about everyone at the wedding has a camera, and guests often spend a lot of time shooting pictures and video, which is great! We ask, though, that they respect the process and purpose that you hired us for, which is capture your day for you. For your ceremony, we recommend that you encourage your guests to participate in the event by directly observing it rather than through their cameras. Certainly you don't want us to miss an important moment by obstruction from a guest's iPhone or tablet. During family and bridal party formals, we ask that participants put away their phones because they become too distracting for those being photographed. We do not allow other photos to be taken of what we're taking, or others to be present during your couple portraits so we can get the best photos of you alone, as efficiently as possible.
CAN I GIVE YOU A 'SHOT' LIST OR PICTURES OF IMAGES THAT FROM SITES THAT I LIKE?
I am happy to talk with you about any specifics of your day that you want extra attention for in your photographs or films. Prior to the wedding day, you'll indicate for me in your timeline these items or moments that will be of utmost importance to you. Other than that, Alisa and James's experience has taught her to capture as much as possible, and surely you wouldn't want them to stop shooting what is going on throughout the day to refer to a specific or extensive list. Also, for ethical reasons, it's never a good idea to copy another photographer or filmmaker's work. Besides, you hired them for their talent and trust that they will capture what is needed. We know plenty of wedding advice tells you to provide your photographer with such a list, and in theory perhaps it seems like a good idea. The timeline and pre-wedding discussions should provide you with the time to express any specifics and provide you with the assurance you need.
WHAT DO I DO FOR MY ALBUM?
Your wedding album will be one of your most cherished possessions, and can be enjoyed for a lifetime, and it is one of our favorite products to provide. After your wedding is over, it's easy for time to get away from you, and we've have had clients who wait years to order their albums. Once you choose the images and cover material and color, we will provide for you an online proof so you can make changes or approve as-is so we can deliver your family heirloom as soon as possible. We can also gladly meet in person to make any changes to your design. Upon final approval, your wedding album can be expected with 4-6 weeks.
WHAT WILL MY ALBUM LOOK LIKE?
Your album is contemporary, yet classic in design in that the images are printed directly on the pages. The overall design will be clean and not overly crowded with images, with special attention to the most impactful moments and portraits. Our aim for design is for not only you to enjoy, but for those generations to come as part of their family history. It will have an overall storytelling quality, following the timeline of the wedding day. You have a variety of cover options to choose from, and can always be upgraded to the customize any variety of other options available.
HOW CAN WE ORDER PARENT ALBUMS?
Parent Albums are typically ordered around the same time as the couple's album. The design layout is duplicated from your album and can also be customized. Albums are often easier chosen in person, we'd love to sit with you in our studio where you can where you can hold, touch, and choose the one that's best for you.
HOW DO I ORDER PRINTS AND OTHER TYPES OF PRODUCTS?
Your wedding prints are one of the most important, tangible items that should be the best archival quality to stand the test of time. After your wedding, your images are provided for you via your online gallery, which you may share with family and friends. The gallery makes it easy for anyone to directly order prints and products in various sizes and styles. The professional labs we use have proven superior print quality compared to the average consumer-level options. If you choose to order prints on your own with your digital files, we recommend you use one of the labs that we trust since we cannot guarantee the quality of any prints that aren't created by a recommended lab. We're happy to see you have the best quality for your home.
HOW LONG WILL MY FILMS BE?
Our style is contemporary and cinematic, and as such, your Wedding Films will be timeless, capturing the highlights as well as the important aspects that you and your family will relive for generations to come. Your Film with be about 8 minutes in length. The specific length varies based upon number of hours coverage, number of events throughout the day, type of ceremony and reception, number of locations, etc.
WHAT IS A DOCUMENTARY EDIT?
The extra footage provided includes your full ceremony as well as the reception toasts and speeches. It is edited in a documentary style, different from your Films in that it does not include music and goes from beginning to end of the sequence as it happened. It is also known as a "basic" edit. Much, if not all, of these sequences are used in your Films, naturally, but some folks like to have each of these in their entirely, as it happened without additional edits.
WHAT ABOUT THE UNUSED "RAW" FOOTAGE THAT'S NOT IN THE FILM- CAN I HAVE THAT, TOO?
The "raw" or straight-out-of-camera footage is not readily viewable because of the camera's video format and the setting that are used. Also, we shoot in a contemporary and unobtrusive style where each cinematographer collects several hundred shots in 8-15 second clips. James then culls through the best, story-telling footage and audio, crafting your films from the result. We do offer the documentary edit, which provides the full footage from the most important sections of your day as they happened. If you would like, however, all of the clips as shot and unedited, we offer the those on a hard drive in our a la carte menu.
DO YOU USE A DRONE OR TIME LAPSE?
Yes, we use our drone and time lapse coverage during your day, as conditions permit. On the rare occasion there is too much wind or inclement weather, we would be sad not to use it, but otherwise find that your films are beautifully enhanced with as many interesting visual perspectives as possible.
WE WENT TO A WEDDING WHERE THE VIDEOGRAPHER USED A ROLLING TRIPOD WITH A BRIGHT LIGHT ON TOP OF THE CAMERA. DO YOU USE THAT?
No, absolutely not. Contrary to that old style of video, we are as unobtrusive as possible, using only available natural light for the majority of the day. James and his team use either a skinny monopod or they hold the cameras to move about and get the shots needed. Many camera angles and variety is what enables the contemporary look and feel to the films.
CAN WE PICK OUR OWN MUSIC FOR OUR FILMS?
Yes, and no. Part of why you hire us is for our ability to create for you a timeless family keepsake that captures the substance and elements of your wedding. Also, we are careful to create for you a film rather than a music video, so the music itself should be timed properly and not be distracting or take away from the audio or visuals. Though there are many factors that go into the licensed music that we use, if there is a special song or type of music you prefer, by all means, let us know.
IS THE FEATURE FILM JUST A LONGER VERSION OF THE SHORT FILM?
No, it's not. The Short Film has a different purpose than the Feature Film, so they are created individually and separately for their intended purpose and audience. Given the length of the Short Film, it's easy to watch with friends, share online, and watch periodically yourselves, of course. You will likely enjoy your Feature Film as you and your family share milestones, shared as your family heirloom.
Other Good-to-Know Things
HOW CAN WE MEET AND TALK MORE?
We'd love to meet you and hear all about you and your wedding plans. It's a great idea for us to answer all of your questions, and more importantly, for you get to see if you think we'd be a great fit for your day. We are available to meet either in person at our Middletown Studio, on the phone, or via Skype. Let us know!
WE'D LIKE TO BOOK YOU FOR OUR DAY, HOW DO WE DO IT?
It would an honor to be a part of your day. Simply let us know the good news, and we'll send you the online agreement which will have all of your collection and wedding information for you to sign. Once you digitally sign the agreement, you will reserve your date with $1000 via credit card or you may also send a check. The final balance will be due 30 days prior to your wedding.
CAN WE UPGRADE OUR COLLECTION?
Absolutely. Photography and Films are booked so far in advance and we understand that your budget may change as you get closer to your wedding. Your initial deposit and any payments made will be credited accordingly. The important part is to reserve the date with us as soon as you know we're what you're looking for, and you can add to your collection later, if needed.
WILL YOU HOLD THE DATE FOR US?
We accept bookings on a first-come, first-served basis, and while we understand you have so much to plan for, we cannot reserve a date without a signed agreement and retainer.
THERE ARE MANY LOCATIONS PLANNED FOR MY DAY, IS THE TRAVEL INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE TIME?
Yes, travel is expected during the wedding day to get to/from locations. Our hours are consecutive, so the clock for us starts based upon your established timeline, to include as much as we can shooting your preparation through reception.
HOW FAR DO YOU TRAVEL?
Our travel for Engagement Sessions and Weddings takes us throughout the Hudson Valley, the New York/New Jersey metro area, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and throughout Connecticut. If you have your wedding planned outside those areas, please talk with us about your destination wedding. For Engagement Sessions our travel includes within a 1-hour distance from our studio. We are happy to travel outside of that, please let us know and we'll talk about the additional fee required.
DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE?
Yes, absolutely. We have liability insurance and are often asked to provide a certificate of insurance for the wedding venue for the day, which we will gladly do. We will need the request no later than a month in advance to allow us time to get it prepared and sent.
WHAT IF YOU GET SICK OR CAN'T MAKE IT FOR SOME REASON?
That's another benefit for having multiple shooters that work with us for both photography and cinematography. Our very experienced associate shooters use the same equipment, which enables us to back up each other if someone becomes incapacitated.
WHAT IF OUR WEDDING GETS CANCELED OR NEEDS TO BE RESCHEDULED?
Your non-refundable retainer is used to reserve the date for us, which means that if your wedding plans aren't carried out as planned for that date, we would be unlikely to have the ability to book that date for anyone else. If your wedding needs to be rescheduled for another extenuating reason, such as Armed Services deployment, we will transfer your retainer and contract one time to the new date within one year, based upon availability.
DO WE INCLUDE A MEAL FOR YOU AT THE RECEPTION?
It would be great if you did, yes please. It helps us to stay energized and keep our focus. Besides, while you and your guests are eating, we do not take pictures or film, because no one is photogenic while they're enjoying a meal. The best timing would be while you are eating, so as soon as you're done, we are as well, and can continue without missing a thing. We have our own snacks and water, and a hot meal is always appreciated during our long day.
WHAT IF OUR WEDDING RUNS EXTREMELY LATE, WILL YOU STAY?
Surely! We have rarely seen weddings run on-time as expected, and we know that sometimes things outside your control play a huge factor. We have an overtime rate and with your approval at that time, we can continue coverage for what's needed. We will send to you the billed overtime hours following your wedding.
DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS?
Yes, absolutely. We are proud to honor those who serve our country with 5% discount for Active Duty Military, Veterans, National Guard, and Reservists. If you have been referred to us by a former client, please let us know so you can use our Share-the-Love discount off your collection.
WHAT IS THE PAYMENT SCHEDULE?
An initial retainer of $1000 is needed to lock in your date as a reservation with us. The remaining balance is due 30 days prior to your wedding date. If you would like to make scheduled or partial payments in the months leading up to your wedding, that's fine, too.
WHEN SHOULD WE BOOK PHOTOGRAPHY AND FILMS
We agree, it's tough to know when the timing is best, it's a really important decision. The answer is, as soon as you know that we would be the best fit. We have clients who come to us more than a year in advance, and others within a few months. There are times of year that are more popular than others, and no one can tell ahead of time which dates will fill up first.
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