FAQ and All the Answers!
What is Your Style?
To me, weddings are fabulous, one-of-a-kind, memorable, and "historical" (to your family!) celebrations. I feel that the photography should reflect that! At the same time, I do love capturing fashionable, modern, and beautiful portraits of couples and their family. You're spending a lot of money on the designer gown, florals, professional makeup, the location and more... I want to showcase that WHOLE story in your wedding photography. There are a lot of words floating around out there pushing photographers to label their style of photography, and plenty of articles and "Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer" guides, wanting to peg photographers in to one of three categories: "Photojournalistic", "Traditional", or "Modern" Photography. In this postmodern era of wedding photography, I feel like my style is definitely a blend of traditional, modern, AND photojournalistic. I absolutely take candid photos of the In-Between moments -those special snippets in time when things naturally unfold between the traditional, guided, or obligatory events of a wedding day- But also understand the value in expertly posing couples in a way that flatters and reflects their BEST qualities, when that time comes. I also work with my couples to create a family photo shot list in order to ensure no one is missed during group photos and to keep things flowing in a fun, upbeat way! I've been published in several magazines and understand that publications seek out photos of "the details" and special elements that the couple has spent considerable time and money on, which is why I also strive to tell the whole story by capturing those elements. You can view a real wedding that visually showcases my style by clicking HERE.
Most of the day, I am in my client's shadow - You can read more about MY APPROACH, HERE. When the time comes to help you get the look we're going for and flatter your best assets, I'll coach you and help you get there! I love to keep things simple and upbeat in my instructions. So you won't be frozen in one pose "forever"! I LOVE working with wedding parties, families, brides, and grooms to get a mix of fun, modern, and classic portraiture and have no problem being vocal and taking charge to keep everyone on track while still having a fun time!
After The Wedding
Once the big day comes to an end, I personally back up and store every photo, including the photos taken by the Second Photographer, should you purchase a collection with two photographers (Highly Recommended - You'll get so many more photos and angles that otherwise may have gone undocumented!) Your images will receive meticulous color correction and give the photos a bright, vibrant finish and smooth skin tones! Any purchased product (such as an album, print, canvas etc.) will receive EVEN MORE LOVE before it is printed and finished at my professional award-winning photo lab.
OTHER QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q: What Kind of Gear do You Use?
A: I shoot with professional Canon photographic equipment and shoot in RAW digital format on a full frame camera. I carry a wide range of professional L series lenses and several flash and flash modifiers as well as reflectors and stands of varying brands and styles. In other words, the good stuff! I refuse to take a chance on not having the BEST gear for your big day!
Q: Do you Bring Backup Gear?
A: Yes! And if you select a photography experience that includes a second photographer, they do too! We never want to miss a moment!
Q: What is the Turnaround Time for my Photos?
A: My contracted turnaround time for photos is 30 days. However, sessions can often be done quicker, depending on the season. Feel free to ask at the time of your session/wedding to see the average turnaround time for that month! Engagement photo sessions are typically edited within 15 business days. I don't like to rush the editing and I am a bit meticulous!
Q: How Many Weddings do you Shoot Per Day?
A: I only shoot ONE wedding per day, and 99% of the time, one wedding per WEEK maximum. Some months I limit to only 2 weddings per month. I only accept 20 couples per year. Considering most wedding coverage averages 9 hours, and I'm on my feet or jumping, running, squatting and finding myself in all kinds of strange contortions to "get the shot", I don't think I am physically capable of more than one per weekend! I'd need a clone!
Q: Can I View a Full Wedding Gallery?
A: YES! Once we determine we are a perfect fit and set up a consultation to plan the photo timeline and chat about the big day, I'll send you a link to view multiple galleries of real weddings. You can also view recent work on my BLOG HERE, or click the REAL WEDDINGS tab on my homepage. Trust me, I totally get that choosing a photographer to be by your side the entire day is a HUGE decision! I want you to be absolutely certain that you'll LOVE the style of your wedding photography!
Q: What Will you Wear to my Wedding?
A: Good question! I prefer to wear things that would blend in with the guests and reflect the mood and style of your formal affair! You can see some examples in the photos above! This is a wedding, no place for jeans and fanny packs!
Q: My Church/Reception is dark/outside. Do You Bring Lighting Gear?
A: Totally! We can photograph anything, anywhere, anytime! We bring several "off camera flash" stands and can set them up virtually anywhere in order to ensure beautiful light anywhere. If you prefer no flash/lighting for a candle-lit look, I can also accomodate that, though! Just let me know! Again, click the REAL WEDDINGS tab on the homepage to get an example of various looks I've photographed.
Q: How Much Do People Usually Spend on their Wedding Photography with You?
A: While every client is different, the majority of couples select a package that includes 2 photographers, their engagement session, and at least 1 wedding album. These types of collections start in the mid $4k's. In addition to that, others value fine art prints for their home or parent albums and spend an extra $500+. Other couples only need basic coverage from me and have a small, intimate ceremony. These types of experiences begin in the high $2k's. I am not the cheapest photographer in Kansas City, but my prices are very reasonable for the time-intensive, hands on, customized, and personal service I give to my clients.
Q: Do you have a Plan of Action / Shot List for my Whole Wedding Day? Or do you Go with the Flow?
A: At our initial consultation, I'd LOVE to hear your ideas, must-have photo requests, and hopes for the day. We'll map out a photo timeline for each special "moment" or element that will take place (first look with dad? Champagne toast with the bridesmaids? Etc.) I can make recommendations for our photo locations, poses, and more. For the real, candid moments, I'll be there and be discreet. When it comes time to direct you and pose and manage large groups, I'll take the lead in a fun and upbeat manner! Even though all wedding days are unique, I do have a "mental shot list" of moments, details, and traditional photos I ALWAYS try to get at every single wedding. Again, I'll be by your side 90% of the time, so anything that happens, I'll be there to document! I can also bring you a hard copy examples of things that are on my "mental shot list" too!
Q: Do you Outsource the Photo Editing?
A: Nope! I'm too detail oriented and picky! I have to do it myself and refuse to delegate that task to a stranger!
Q: Do you Offer Digital Files for Sale? How Large? Do I own the Copyright? Can I Edit my Own Photos?
A: Every single wedding experience/collection I offer includes the digital files. You'll receive a link when the photos are ready and you'll be able to view and instantly download them from a private online gallery that also acts as cloud storage for you! You'll have your gallery for at LEAST one year after your wedding/engagement photo shoot! You can also order professional prints and products directly from the gallery, too! You'll also receive a flash drive in the mail (these flash drives are mailed quarterly each year) as a second storage method for your files. I also highly recommend backing them up on at least one other device or your own personal cloud storage system of your choice.
You'll receive TWO sets of digital files. One set is high-resolution and printable up to 30-40" (larger than most consumer photo labs can print). The other set is a lower-resolution web-optimized file. These are watermarked so that you can share them on social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The watermarks help prevent other sources from stealing your images without your/my permission. I have had sites like Huffington Post and other wedding blogs use my clients unwatermarked images without their permission/knowledge before, and that's no fun for anyone! If you do post these photos to social media sites, I always appreciate a photo credit to "Claire Ryser".
There is still a lot of misinformation about "copyright" out on the internet, especially in regards to wedding photography. Ultimately, anyone that takes a photo, owns that copyright. However, copyrights CAN be purchased (it's very rare that this happens in wedding photography) from the photographer. Most commonly, photographers give a "copyright consent" or a "printing consent" that outlines what the client can/can't do with the photographer's photos from that wedding. This is what every wedding photographer I know does (IF they sell digital files at all). I give my amazing clients a copyright consent document that allows them to print off their digital files with 3rd parties or use them in virtually ANY way for personal use. The only restriction is they can't SELL the images to 3rd parties. I also allow my clients to convert their images to Black and White, remove an element they deem distracting, and crop their photos. If you found something really cool to do with your digital files, you probably can! As long as you're not profiting from the sale of them or claiming to be the photographer! They are YOUR wedding photos and you should use them how you like!
If you submit your photos for publication, that's totally fine! It's the responsibility of that publication to seek out the correct permission form from me. But just let me know if you do! I'm happy to help if I can!
As far as editing your own photos, as mentioned above, your copyright consent document allows for: Converting an image to black and white, removal of a distracting element, and cropping. This is also why it's important to review my style of editing by looking at my Blog and Real Weddings!
How Many Photos do I Get?
I do not limit the amount of photos taken on your wedding day. A rough estimate would be around 100-150 photos per hour of coverage. An 8 hour wedding day typically yields 800-1000 photos. I'll go ahead and remove duplicate photos and sort through the obviously "bad" photos such as blinking subjects, misfires, someone walking in front of my camera, etc. - But don't worry! I'll leave in the funny bloopers!
How Many Weddings Have you Photographed?
I have photographed over 200 weddings!
Do you Work with Videographers?
I can work well with anyone! I love people! And the choice of a videographer is totally up to you. You can find a list of the videographers and other wedding professionals I love here. I like them because they are unobtrusive, conscientious of guests and the wedding party, professional, discreet, and turn around a high-quality product.
I have worked with videographers in the past who do not fit that description above, and it was unfortunate for the bride and groom. I've even seen a company contract out for their videographers, and the person that showed up for the wedding set up a tripod at the front center altar for the entire ceremony, then sat in the second pew texting the entire ceremony! The choice of a videographer is just as important as choosing your wedding photographer.
Be sure to ask your videographer if they'll be needing scheduled time during the portion of the day we map out for Posed Portraits of the wedding party/couple. If you and I work hard on creating a perfect timeline for photos, locations, and more, and the videographer throws a kink in it by having the bride(s)/groom(s) go elsewhere and dominating large chunks of time to create shots, set up large booms, do wrap-arounds/circle the bride and groom during a time you and I scheduled for me to shoot your portraits, that can cause major delays and prevent me from fulfilling shot requests or location requests. Be sure that your videographer communicates with you on their expectations. If they think they'll be doing ANY vocalizing at all and requesting specific poses from you, then we'll definitely need to allow for that in the schedule so there are no surprises and you can get every photo you've envisioned AS WELL as every video shot you've envisioned! Of course, even though no one is ever a fan of surprises on the wedding day, I am totally fine with rolling with it and keeping things upbeat and lighthearted!
Do you Smoke/Take Smoking Breaks?
Nope! Nor do any of my second photographers. We do occasionally need a bathroom break and of course 1 food break at dinner time, usually at the same time as YOU, so we don't miss any important moments, and no couple wants photos of themselves eating ;)
Do you Mind if we Smoke at our Wedding?
While only 1 in 100 of my clients have been smokers, as long as we allow for smoking breaks in our timeline, I am good to go!
Do You Photograph Same Sex Weddings?
YES! I LOVE LOVE AND WEDDINGS!
Do you Have any Severe Allergies?
I do not! And neither do any of my second photographers. If you or anyone a part of your big day have sever allergies, please let us know, as we occasionally bring a protein bar snack that may contain nuts.
What if you Die/Get Sick/Get in a Wreck/Get Stuck In Traffic on Our Wedding Day?
While one literally can't plan for every possible turn of events in life, I DO try! HA! I have a list of professional photographers with the same/similar pricing and style as me, for my husband and second photographer to call in case of severe emergency. You'll never pay MORE for a substitute and in many cases, would likely be issued a partial refund. I've never missed a single wedding day or had anything ever go wrong, knock on wood! But I do prepare for it! My second photographers are also 100% capable of handling the entire day on their own, should something happen to me AT your wedding. It's never happened. But we're prepared if it does!
What if we Need to Cancel Our Wedding?
Wedding insurance is HIGHLY recommended, and many Kansas City Wedding Venues require their couples to carry it. I do not require it. You can see more about my cancelation policy in my contracts which can be seen in person or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What if You've Never Photographed at my Wedding Venue?
Most venues have things in common: Walls, windows, ceilings, floors, people, light. Even if I've never photographed there, as a photographer, I always seek out the "good light" first! Most of the time, I get to a new venue early anyway just to scope the place out - this can usually be done within 5 minutes or less when you know what you're looking for! After photographing over 150 weddings in Kansas City, I have probably been to your venue before though! And I LOVE photographing at new venues! As a creative, it's like showing up to a blank canvas! YAY!
How much do you Edit my Digital Files/Proofs?
Proofs/Digital Files are edited for color, contrast, vibrance, hue, saturation, clarity, white balance, shadows, hi-lites and good skin tone. Occasionally, a bit of "distracting element" removal. My photos are a TAD brighter than most traditional photography would be, and I love vibrant and warm color in photography. All of the photography showcased in the REAL WEDDINGS tab on my homepage are "proof stage" edits. Once we set up a consultation, you'll also be given access to see a full set of wedding galleries. I want the photos to not look fake or over-photoshopped, while still having a "finished" look! Additional "by-hand" retouching can be requested and quoted. Below on the left is an example of an image straight out of the camera, with very neutral settings to retain all of the data. The second one is an edited digital file (proof stage).