TOUGH Q & A'S
CAN I HAVE THE RAW FILES?
A funny thing happens to a bride when she prepares for her wedding day. She doesn't want to miss a thing. A bride will scour hundreds of websites for tips, buy wedding magazines for inspiration and seek counsel from anyone willing to offer an opinion. This is lovely... except sometimes the bride doesn't quite know what she is asking for...
So why don't I share my RAW files?
Many people who don't know about photography will assume a RAW file is just an unedited JPEG file. The kind that is shot and ready to go straight from the camera. But a RAW file is actually much more and much less. Let me explain, the original file (what's referred to as a RAW image is basically the foundation that provides me the latitude to edit and create a photo. It is a flatter, duller version of what can come of your photo. Having this large flat photo allows me to edit with a wider range. Think of a RAW image as cake batter for your wedding day cake. There's a good chance cake batter isn't something you or your guests want to enjoy, but once I bake it, frost it and add some sprinkles, you'll get precisely what you wanted; a beautiful cake!
Couples are hiring me to document their wedding because they are attracted to my style photography. So the images they get as part of their wedding day will reflect that. You will even get your funny bloopers, I don't discriminate on photographs and give only the best... because I believe some of the best are the ones that mean the most to you and that usually means the silly ones too.
WHAT IF YOU GET SICK AND CAN'T SHOOT MY WEDDIN?
This is an awesome question and I wish more people would ask it at consultations because I often forget to bring it up. I am SO fortunate to have a community of photography friends in the Dallas area. They would be my back up plan in the unlikely event I couldn't make it. The cool part about them is we are all capable of shooting like each other. That's just what creative people do, we are able to re create moods and styles. They would have my back and yours if anything were to happen and my husband has their info along with a list of emergency to do's. You're covered ;) So if they were to shoot your wedding I would still edit your photos if I was able to. That way you will still get my color tones, style and lighting effects that are present on my website.
WHAT TYPE OF CAMERA DO YOU HAVE?
I just yesterday had a phone call with a prospective bride who asked me the type of camera I used. I explained in great detail my camera preference, file size, and high ISO capabilities. At the end of my diatribe, she laughed and admitted she had no idea what I was talking about but a friend had told her to ask so she did. I laughed too! I just assumed she asked because she was familiar with photography or at least had a general knowledge of a camera. It's okay to ask these questions though :)
So for all of my gear heads here is my (always growing) list:
Canon 5D MarkIII (two)
Canon 5D MarkII (two)
135mm f 2.8
50mm f2.5 macro
Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash (two)
Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite transmitter
Canon Speedlite 430EX II
and a bunch of batteries, light stands, hot shores, sd cards, etc.
DO YOU BACK YOUR WEDDINGS UP?
OH YES! I am a little OCD when it comes to backing my files up multiple times. The good thing about this is that if you ever lost all your files I'll have them stored on an external hard drive. I never toss old weddings. Also something that is a bit unique is that I never shoot a whole wedding on one SD card. Not only am I shooting every moment with two cameras, which is two SD cards, I am constantly changing out my SD cards so that if something WERE to happen to one I not only have these moments on my second SD card but most likely that portion of the wedding is small in comparison to the whole days worth of photographs. So you won't miss anything. It would take a crazy fluke phenomenon to miss out on a big portion of your wedding day because of the way I shoot/back up all weddings.
THE BIGGEST QUESTION IN A LOT OF PEOPLES HEADS IS WHY IS WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY SOOO EXPENSIVE. SO I AM HERE TO BREAK DOWN WHY :)
This is definitely one of those awkward conversations :P but I really want to be as transparent and real with my clients as I can be. And this is a REALLY GOOD questions because it allows me to explain what really goes into a wedding and what comes out of my pocket when investing in my business and in my clients.
One thing I learned when talking with my CPA about starting a business is that while you pay taxes on your income each year your employer is actually paying a tax per employee also. SO at the end of the tax season I am actually paying back 15.3% in taxes! I am covering everything an employer typically covers plus my own taxes. Also when I break down a wedding hour at $450 an hour which is my new going rate I am also factoring in how many hours I will be working in post editing. For every wedding hour I put about 6-7 hours of editing in so that ends up being about 56 an hour before taxes are taken out. I haven't even factored in the NEW SD cards I order for every wedding. Those run me 80-180 each wedding depending on coverage. There is gas, travel expenses like a meal, parking, valet (which I am surprisingly always needing for quick ins and outs from location to location. Then I have my USB costs, gear maintenance, monthly advertising fees, website fees, batteries. So while it is such a steep investment remember to find a photographer who is passionate because it is the love of what we do that drives us.