Below is a list of frequently asked questions for your convenience. I get it – life is complicated, but your photographer shouldn’t be and I strive for full transparency. If you have any other question, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

You may click the links below to jump to a section, or continue scrolling for the full Q&A.

General

  1. Why should we hire you?
  2. How far in advance should I book you for my wedding?
  3. How do I reserve you for my wedding day?
  4. Do you have liability insurance?
  5. What are your rates?
  6. What camera gear do you use? Do you have back-ups?
  7. Do you shoot destination weddings?
  8. What measures do you take to ensure your business is environmentally friendly?

Wedding Day

  1. How many hours of coverage will I need?
  2. If my wedding day runs late, will you stay longer?
  3. Will YOU be shooting our wedding or an associate?
  4. Can our friends and family take pictures with their cameras?
  5. Will we need to provide you with a meal at the reception?
  6. What will you be wearing to my wedding?
  7. What happens if you’re sick? Or…you die?

Style

  1. What photographic style do you identify with?
  2. Can we provide you with a shot list?
  3. Are you a natural light photographer or do you use flash?

Meet and Greet

  1. Do you travel to meet clients?
  2. We won’t be able to meet in person. What are our options?

Images and Post Processing

  1. Do you deliver every image you take?
  2. How many images will I receive?
  3. How and when will we receive our photographs?
  4. Do you provide the RAW files from my photo shoot?
  5. Do you back up our images? What if they’re lost or damaged?
  6. If we cancel the wedding, is our retainer refundable?

Payment and Cancellation

  1. What is your payment schedule?
  2. Do you offer discounts for weekday or Sunday weddings?
  3. If we cancel the wedding, is our retainer refundable?
  4. Are there travel fees associated with the shoot?
  5. Hoe do we pay you, and is there a credit card fee?

Why should we hire you?

I understand hiring Aunt Karen (or your friend Kevin who just got his first camera) for a bargain may sound appealing at first, but a once-in-a-lifetime day deserves big consideration. That’s why you’re here, right?

If you’ve made it this far, you already know I capture great memories. What you can’t see is how hard I work to take the complication out of your important day. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but things can go wrong at weddings – a lot of things. I’m able to react quickly to any issue that may arise, and improvise when necessary to ensure the best results. Think this: stress-free photography and another set of eyes helping your day run smoothly. I didn’t gain this experience when I purchased a camera; it took years of making mistakes, learning from them and overcoming adversity to know what to do at the right time.

Not only will I come with the right gear for every situation, but I also come packing energy, enthusiasm, and an experience you just won’t get with Aunt Karen (besides, let her enjoy your wedding as a guest). I’m the photographer that leaves with your guests saying “I wish I could take him everywhere!” and I’ve been told I have a great ability to bring out the best in people and you’ll see it through my work. Contact me today for a coffee/brunch/axe throwing (literally whatever you want) meet & greet to see if I’m the right fit for you!

Please note: Due to limited availability, booking is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Only a signed contract and retainer will lock your date. 

How far in advance should I book you for my wedding?

To ensure I have your date open, please reach out to me as soon as possible. Since my following year gets filled in advance, I strongly recommend at least 12-16 months before the wedding to secure your date. If you opt for an engagement session (you want this session, trust me i’m a  photographer), an early booking will give us time to plan, shoot and edit so the images are ready for your use (think social media, invites, albums, etc).

How do I reserve you for my wedding day?

Your special date is only reserved once the contract is signed and retainer is paid. Contact me as soon as possible so I can guarantee my services!

Do you have liability insurance?

Yes, absolutely. Most venues require the photographer to carry liability insurance and I personally wouldn’t hire someone without it. Please let me know  if you need a certificate of proof at least 1-2 months prior to the event. And before booking Aunt Karen, make sure she’s covered!

What are your rates?

Commissions for weddings depend on location and availability. Coverage starts at $2,995. Contact Us for more information.

What camera gear do you use? Do you have back-ups?

I use Nikon’s professional line of cameras (D800 series), a mix of Nikon and Sigma Art lenses, and Godox flashes (all pro series). I will have extra camera bodies, lenses and lights available at my disposal as well. In the unlikely event that all my backup gear were to break, I will call a predetermined friend to bring replacements. Rest assured as I take meticulous care of all my gear and test every piece of equipment prior to use.

Do you work with an assistant or a second photographer?

Photo assistants were popular in the past due to the size and weight of gear. Modern tech allows me to function efficiently without the need for a human light stand so I will typically be alone. A second photographer is available upon request, and get this – it’s my spouse! She has been my apprentice for years and found a passion for wedding photography through my work. Now she shoots next to me as my trusted partner in art and love, providing complete coverage for your special day.

Do you provide videography services?

Yes, well – sort of! I offer a 1-4 minute highlight video at your wedding. Not many solo photographers offer this option (in fact it’s quite rare). At select moments throughout the event, I will capture short bursts of video to later stitch together into a memorable memento for years to come. If you’re interested in full cinematic video coverage, I network with a talented group of film makers and can offer useful resources.

Do you shoot destination weddings?

While I am based out of Chicago, IL, I happily serve clients all around the world. My wedding destination package includes cost of travel and reasonable accommodations. If your destination wedding is on my bucket list, you could be looking at a free shoot! Contact me about it today!

What measures do you take to ensure your business is environmentally friendly?

You might be wondering why a photographer should have to worry about this, but I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to help promote a clean future for the next generation. Thankfully the digital age eliminated the need for film and chemicals, but this does not mean we’re in the clear. Owning my own business means I have total control over my green efforts, and it would be a waste (pun intended) if I turned a blind eye.

I opted for a home office not only for the convenience, but so I could reduce the carbon footprint my business leaves behind. In my home office I use: LED bulbs, energy efficient monitors, outlet timers for equipment, rechargeable batteries in all my gear, refillable ink cartridges, recycled toilet and printer paper, heating and cooling timers, and much more. I typically stay home for lunches instead of carryout or delivery. My fair trade coffee goes in a washable mug and my plant-based lunches go on washable plates (the coffee grounds even get composted!).

While recycling is great, reducing our consumption makes a much bigger impact. For this reason, I have chosen to deliver images digitally instead of via a thumb drive (unless requested). I am also partnering with eco-conscious businesses for prints, albums and more. Even my camera straps are vegan leather. While some of my efforts may seems over the top, this is how I approach all things I care about in life.

So whether it’s for the earth or your special day, I promise to keep going above and beyond.

How many hours of coverage will I need?

For an average sized wedding (100-150 people), eight hours of coverage is typically enough to capture the tail end of hair/makeup, some detail shots of the reception space and up to the start of the dance party. Our initial meeting will uncover some key answers needed to ensure you get the coverage you need.

Please note: Most guests and bridal parties do not look their most flattering after a long day and hours of dancing. If you want it covered, I don’t blame you – they’re still really fun pictures, but something to keep in mind.

If my wedding day runs late, will you stay longer?

I will never walk out on your wedding. Once your time with me is about to expire, I will ask if you need to extend coverage at the contracted rate. Payment for extra time is due within 30 days of the date.

Will YOU be shooting our wedding or an associate?

When you hire me, you get me.

Can our friends and family take pictures with their cameras?

While my answer is yes, all I ask is that you consider my perspective before making your decision.

An unplugged wedding is a trend that is popular for good reason. It’s where you tell your friends and family to turn off their electronics during the ceremony, reception or both. One benefit of this includes allowing your photographer full creative reign on how the day is remembered. You’re paying me a good amount of money for a skill I’ve worked on for years. Storytelling is my main job description and I can work best with less ‘electronic noise’. That said, I really do play well with others and don’t mind Aunt Karen capturing her memories.

My biggest concern lies in ensuring you have an authentic day to remember. Some choose to have an unplugged ceremony only, giving you the option of allowing electronics after the serious stuff. This allows me to capture honest and heartwarming reactions from your guests, and not their faces half blocked and lit up by the new iPhone Plus.

The choice is ultimately yours as I am willing to work in either condition, but I would strongly recommend an unplugged ceremony if for nothing other than letting everyone live in the moment.

Will we need to provide you with a meal at the reception?

While you won’t be contractually obligated to provide a meal for me or a second photographer, it would be a much-appreciated gesture. Guest downtime is often mine as well since nobody likes a camera in their face when they have a nice plate of food in front of them. Also, I’m vegan since you know – we tell everyone.

What will you be wearing to my wedding?

It might as well be camouflage (it won’t be) because I move around skillfully undetected. You bet I come with dad jokes. In reality, the day is about you and your guests so that’s where I’d like to keep the attention. I will be wearing neutral dress clothing minus the jacket to allow for movement unless you have a specific look request. I fancy bow ties, groomed hair and a nice dress sock (or two).

What happens if you’re sick? Or…you die?

Both questions have the same answer – a predetermined photographer with comparable skill will shoot in my place. Luckily, some of my best friends are wedding photographers, so in the unlikely event I get hospitalized (that’s what it would take to miss your day), you will be covered by a photographer that has my full blessing.

I have yet to miss a photo shoot for any reason.  I attribute this in part to my ongoing sobriety, exercise, and eating a whole-food plant-based diet. I don’t smoke or participate in any life-threatening activities (besides bathing my cats) and my immune system is rock solid after raising kinder gardeners (the germs, oh the germs). Bottom line – your day is my number one priority and I will do everything humanly possible to show up at the top of my game.

What photographic style do you identify with?

I believe in documenting your special day as it unfolds. The less time we spend staging, the more time I’m able to capture genuine and authentic moments. I started my photography career in portraits, where I learned about subject isolation and composition. I take these skills and apply them to the photo-journalistic style I use at weddings to give you a collection that feels both modern and timeless.

Can we provide you with a shot list?

You’d be a lot cooler if you didn’t. But in all seriousness, a shot list is not necessary beyond family groupings. Most shot lists you find online were tailored for someone else’s wedding, meaning it won’t necessarily work for yours. My experience is my shot list, and you should trust that I know what works and looks best.

Natural, unposed images have a certain aesthetic that you just won’t get with the ‘cute wedding day poses’ board on Pinterest. I spent many years as a portrait photographer and I can pose with the best of them, so if that’s something you want too – I will make it happen. I’m here for YOU, which is exactly why I don’t want my head down reading a shot list while I miss all the important stuff happening organically.

Are you a natural light photographer or do you use flash?

I believe in utilizing both natural light and flash to provide the best image possible. In my opinion (and one that is mirrored by many others), photographers who choose not to utilize flash do so because they never learned or don’t want to invest in the time and gear. There is nothing noble about a ‘natural light photographer’. The truth is, you’re giving me your hard-earned money to deliver the cleanest shots I can get. I will use all the tools available to achieve that.

Please note: Not all scenarios call for a flash, and it could even hurt your image if not used correctly.

Do you travel to meet clients?

Due to schedule limitations, I can only travel to meet clients in the immediate Chicagoland area (city and surrounding suburbs). I am more than happy to schedule a meeting remotely due to health concerns or if you are out of town. Click here to schedule time with me!

We won’t be able to meet in person. What are our options?

While I truly believe a face-to-face is beneficial for both parties, I understand the challenges that come with a full schedule and the landscape with Covid-19. I will be more than happy to accommodate you remotely (via web chat or phone), or meet with a wedding planner/family member/close friend in your stead.

Do you deliver every image you take?

I’ll answer your question with another question! Do you really need 20 pictures of Aunt Karen blinking? The truth is, every photographer takes shots that are too blurred, blocked, dark or duplicated. Those shots are important because they lead up to the select few, but they are not worth my time or yours.

Please, PLEASE never hire a photographer because you like the outrageously high number of shots they deliver. I am much more deliberate with my framing, taking the necessary time to approach each unique situation. This results in me ending up with less shots than someone who sets it on burst and goes to town, but you’re hiring me because you want quality – not excessive quantity.

How many images will I receive?

I’d rather not give you a set number that you’re going to concentrate on. Every wedding is unique, and I would be weary of a service promising you thousands of images without knowing the details of your day.

On average, I deliver around 60-80 high quality images per hour of shoot time – that’s about an image every single minute. Adding a second shooter will put that number around 100+ images per hour. Good photography takes time. Your eyes must adjust to the moment, your hands moving focus and shifting settings, your feet planting a solid base so the shot is sharp. If I end up with more, you’ll definitely get more – but you want me shooting for the moment and not a number.

How and when will we receive our photographs?

Your images will be delivered via an online gallery where you can share, download and order prints. Turnaround time for an engagement session is 1-2 weeks. Weddings are 3-4 weeks. I always deliver ‘sneak peek’ early edits on a few of my favorites because I’m just as excited about them as you are! I’m told I have some of the fastest delivery times in the area and the industry.

Note: I personally edit all the images, ensuring your gallery will get the care and attention it deserves.

Do you provide the RAW files from my photo shoot?

Similar to how your baker doesn’t provide you with the extra flour and icing from your wedding cake, I do not offer RAW (unedited) images. This is an industry standard and it would only disservice you by offering an unfinished product. You will receive high resolution JPEG images suitable for printing or sharing.

Do you back up our images? What if they’re lost or damaged?

Rest assured that I have never had a single shot go missing, which is largely attributed to my workflow process. While shooting, your images are saved onto a memory card and immediately backed up on a second card in the camera. Once the shoot is over, the cards are then separated and placed in individual water/shock proof cases. Once at my home office, the images are then copied to 3 separate locations: computer hard drive (on site), external hard drive (on site) and also backed up to the cloud (off site). This meticulous process is repeated every shoot, every time to ensure there is no data corruption or lost files.

What is your payment schedule?

A retainer of 25% is due at contract signing. However, that retainer will be applied to the total cost of your wedding package.

The nonrefundable retainer is a down payment that retains my services for your scheduled session date that I have turned down other work for. The wedding package total is due 30 days before the wedding date.

Do you offer discounts for weekday or Sunday weddings?

All my costs associated with your wedding remain the same regardless what day of the week it falls on, which makes it difficult to offer a discount for that reason. I am also shooting throughout the year so due to schedule constraints; discounts will be based on availability and time of year. For any budget concerns, do not hesitate to contact me.

If we cancel the wedding, is our retainer refundable?

Unfortunately, no. The retainer is used to reserve your date (the entire day, even for partial coverage in the event you need an extension). Once the contract is signed and deposit is paid, I will not accept another shoot that day. The retainer covers my cost of operation in the case of a cancellation and also guarantees my presence at your shoot.

Are there travel fees associated with the shoot?

Since I shoot weddings all over the place, travel fees are necessary to ensure I’m compensated properly and you’re paying fairly. Some photographers bake the cost in their package, but that means locals usually end up overpaying. Travel fees cover the time it takes round trip, the gas needed, parking and any other incidentals that may occur.

  • Chicago, IL – $100 flat fee for Chicago and neighboring suburbs
  • Milwaukee, WI – $200
  • Grand Rapids, MI – $400
  • Indianapolis, IN – $400
  • Louis, MO – $500

All other destinations beyond 100 miles round-trip will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Hoe do we pay you, and is there a credit card fee?

A client portal will be made for you where all of our documents, contracts and payments can be seen, signed and paid for. The service fee for all credit card transactions is 3% of the charged amount, but I have opted to pay these fees so you don’t have to! I know I know, I’m super cool. =]