Can you describe your photographic style?
I consider myself a wedding photojournalist, meaning that I don’t interfere with the moment in any way, and capture it as it actually happens. I am stealth on the wedding day, and take it as a compliment when my couples tell me that they can’t believe how much I captured since they didn’t even notice that I was there. I’ll be in photojournalist mode for most of the wedding day.
I also enjoy portraiture, and there’s definitely a place for that on the wedding day! I want you to look back at the photos in 20 years and say “That’s exactly how we were when we got married!” so it’s important to me that the posed photos have a natural feeling to them. I offer “light posing” tips, which means that I’ll coach you on little things like relaxing your shoulders and moving your bouquet, or to put your hand in your pocket and tilt your head a little. If there’s time, I like to go beyond the traditional wedding party shot where everyone’s standing in a line, and set up something more elaborate and with personality.
Do you edit the photos that you give to us?
Yes! I’m sure you’ve been looking at lots of websites, and you see that photos look really different from photographer to photographer. That’s because wedding photographers use different processes when editing their photos. I edit my photos to look clean and timeless, and avoid current trends that may look outdated in a few years.
One of the reasons I love doing long blog posts is that I think it gives future couples a great sense of what I do on a wedding day, and can help them imagine what their wedding photos will look like. This transparency is important to me, as it better represents the experience you’ll have with me than if I just posted the ten greatest hits from every wedding.
To give you a quick idea of my process, I shoot in RAW format, so that I have the most flexibility when editing your images after the wedding. I use two cameras for most of the day so that I always have two different lenses, and therefore two different perspectives, to work with. I download the images and then back them up to three different places before I start working on them. I go through each image and decide if it should be included in the final set I’m going to give you, then use software to adjust each image for brightness, contrast, white balance, and then do black and white conversions.
I see lots of black and white photos on your website and blog. Will our photos be in black and white?
I have always loved black and white photography. Looking through the works of great street photographers like Cartier-Bresson and Lee Friendlander, as well as the portrait and fashion photography of Richard Avedon, is what got me into photography in the first place. To me an image in black and white can be more powerful than the same image in color because the viewer can focus on the moment that was captured instead of the visual elements (and oftentimes distraction) that color can add. Don’t get me wrong, I love color too, but sometimes an image is much stronger, and can cause a greater emotional connection with the viewer, in black and white. I always shoot in color on the wedding day, and convert photos that I think benefit from being shown in black and white in post-production. You’ll receive a combination of color and black and white photos in your gallery, and I always keep the original color images just in case you want the image printed in color in your album.
How do we know if you’re the right wedding photographer for us?
The first thing I always tell couples is that my work should resonate with you when you look at it. I’ve had people tell me that when they look at the photos on my website and blog, they feel like they know the couples in the photos. That’s a great way to tell if you think we might be a good fit. Can you imagine yourselves in photos like the ones you see on my site? Do you respond to the moments I’ve captured? Do you like the style?
The next, and probably most important thing, is that we “click.” Consults with potential couples are like first dates – we’re checking each other out to see if it’s a pairing that’s going to work. Sure, choosing your wedding photographer is primarily about the photos, but remember that the photographer you choose is going be by your side for your entire wedding day. That’s why the relationship is so important. You need to feel comfortable around, and totally trust, your photographer. They’re going to be there along with all of the most important people in your lives on your wedding day.
Will you be the one taking photos at my wedding?
Absolutely! I’m so grateful when I’m chosen as a couple’s wedding photographer, so I wouldn’t miss it! Couples choose their photographer based on a number of factors, including the photographer’s personality and the quality of their work, so it’s important to me that I be the lead photographer covering each wedding.
Do you work with a second photographer and/or assistant?
I always work with an assistant. He or she helps me carry my gear and set up lighting, holds lights, and helps me with styling and getting through the formal shot list as efficiently as possible. My assistant will also shoot from time to time on the wedding day – he or she will photograph the ceremony and portions of the reception.
I employ great second photographers so I also highly recommend adding a second photographer to your package if you are having a big wedding. He or she will be there to cover getting ready, provide an additional perspective during the ceremony and formals, and grab candids during the cocktail hour and beginning of the reception.
I don’t see any family group photos of your website. Do you take them?
Yes! Weddings are one of the only times when entire families get together, so taking family photos is an important part of each wedding. I’ll send a questionnaire to you a month before the wedding, and we’ll use your answers to put together a list of family photos you’d like taken (as well as the complete photography timeline for your wedding day). I organize each group so that they look their best, and keep things relaxed and fun. I take the family photos either before or after the ceremony, depending on your preference, and can take “informal” shots, such as photos with your college friends or coworkers, during the cocktail hour or reception.
Do you photograph details?
I do! Since I am primarily a photojournalist, I tend not to highlight detail shots on my website and blog. I do shoot them, however, and love to do so. I’m a documentarian when it comes to details, and photograph them as they are on the wedding day (this means that I don’t take time away to set up still lifes when there are moments to be captured). If there are any details that are important to you, outside of the standard ones (cake, escort cards, place settings, etc.) definitely let me know as I’m happy to take a zillion photos of them!
Do you think we should do a first look?
Only you can make that decision, but in my honest opinion, if you’re open to the idea, then yes, you should!
The main concern about the first look is potentially losing the emotional impact of seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony. In my experience, the first look can be just as (if not more) emotional, just in a different way that’s shared privately between the two of you. I’ve seen tears, laughter, awe, and relief, and then see emotion again during the ceremony.
The first look is great because all of the “formal” photography can be done prior to the ceremony. That means we can organize your families before they’re eager to get off to the reception, we can devote as much time as we want to portraits since we won’t need to get to the reception at a certain time, and you get to enjoy cocktail hour! I love the first look for many reasons, but one of the oftentimes overlooked benefits is that I get to be at cocktail hour too, which is where most of the best candids of your guests will be taken. It’s also a great time for me to shoot important details.
Not interested in a first look? No problem! It’s your decision and not all my clients opt for them. We’ll still have plenty of time to take awesome photos during cocktail hour.
Can we provide a shot list?
It’s important to trust whomever you hire as your wedding photographer, and be confident that he or she will capture all of the important moments of your big day. When I send you the questionnaire a month before the wedding, this will be your opportunity to let me know if there are any special shots (that I might not already anticipate) you want. These include things like a photo of a special piece of heirloom jewelry you’re wearing, or a certain family member who’s travelled a long distance to attend your wedding, or a detail (like your centerpieces) that you’ve made yourselves.
Do you bring backup equipment?
I always have two cameras, tons of batteries and memory cards, multiple flashes, and an arsenal of different lenses. I also bring different off-camera lighting options so we’re prepared for whatever lighting issues may arise!
What if something happens to you on the day of our wedding?
I have a great network of talented wedding photographers who will rush in to save the day should something happen to me on the day of your wedding. I will still be your contact after the wedding, which means that I will still edit your photos (so they’ll look like the photos you’ve seen on my blog and website) and design your album.
When will see our photos after the wedding?
I post a sneak peek of your photos on Facebook within a week of the wedding. I also post to my blog within two weeks of your wedding so that you can share some photos with your friends and family. You will receive the link to your full gallery 4 – 6 weeks after your wedding.
Do we get the files?
You will receive two sets of “digital negatives” via digital download from your online gallery. The first set is a watermarked set of Jpegs sized for the web. These are the images that you can post to social media. The second set is a high resolution set of Jpegs, sized for printing. You have personal rights to your photos, which means that you can do anything you want with them as long as it’s for personal use (making prints to display in your home, making prints as gifts, posting them to your personal blog, etc.).
How many photos will I get?
Lots! I generally deliver anywhere from 50 – 100 photos per hour. I don’t deliver everything that I shoot – I consider it an important part of my job to deliver a set of photos that best represent the story and emotion of your day.
When did you start shooting weddings and how many weddings do you shoot each year?
I started photographing weddings as a second photographer in 2007, began shooting weddings on my own in 2008, and started my own business full time in 2010. I limit my wedding commissions to 10 per year. Shooting only 10 weddings a year allows me to develop relationships with each of my couples, and to be available for and attentive to them.
Do you do anything else besides shoot weddings?
I am a full time photographer, and shoot weddings 50% of the time. I also shoot events, documentary family portraiture, theater, and the occasional headshot for actors, comedians, and musicians.
This seems like a huge investment. Why is it important to hire a professional wedding photographer when someone I know with a nice camera has offered to photograph my wedding for me?
Many couples will ask a friend or relative to photograph their wedding (or will have a friend or family member offer). If that person is a professional wedding photographer, then that’s awesome! If not, please ask them lots of questions before you agree to it. I’ve heard so many stories from people who have been disappointed with their wedding photos and wish they had hired a professional. I’ve even been contacted by couples asking me to take photos of them in their dresses and suits after the wedding, or to “fix” their photos for them because they are all too dark. It breaks my heart when I hear these stories, because your wedding day is not something that you can organize a “do-over” for.
If you are considering having a non-professional photograph your wedding, please ask questions like these: Do they have the best lenses to shoot in a dark ceremony site that doesn’t allow flash? Do they have off-camera lighting to use when on-camera flash isn’t the best light source? Are they quick enough to capture split-second moments? Do they have backup equipment should something happen to their camera, lens, or flash on the wedding day? Do they know a backup photographer to send to your wedding if they suddenly can’t make it? Are they experienced in posing couples and making them look the best they’ve ever looked? Can they deal with organizing large groups of people, all while smiling? Do they have access to professional print labs and album companies?
Weddings are a huge investment, both financially and emotionally. You have devoted a ton of time, effort, and energy into planning the perfect day for you, your family, and your friends. It’s going to be the most fun ever and when it’s over, the photos will be what remain of your investment. You’ll find yourselves looking back at them and smiling, remembering not only the day itself but how much of yourselves you put into it. Please be sure that you’re going to be happy with those photos if photography is something that is important to you.
This all sounds great and we are interested in working with you. What should we do next?
Give me a call or send me an email – I’d love to hear from you! We’ll set up a time to chat to discuss things in person or via phone.
Where are you located?
I am based out of Natick, MA and travel throughout Massachusetts and New England for weddings.