You’re sitting there saying “I know I need a wedding photographer, but I haven’t been married 16 times so I have no idea where to begin.” Don't fret, you're not alone. Luckily, we've been doing this for a while and know most of the questions that people regularly ask. We went ahead and put together this list to give you some things to think about and explain what Shoot 2 Studios can do. Contact us if there's anything else you'd like to know, and feel free to steal any relevant questions on this list if you talk to other people so you can look like a totally prepared wedding rockstar.
Who are you?
The question is who are YOU? Really, photography is an intensely personal thing and it's important that we get to know things about you in order to be able to capture who you are on wedding day. We put this FAQ together because we know you want some information before reaching out to us, but the best thing you can do is set up a time to meet with us in person to get to know us, and let us really get to know you. Everybody we work with is unique and has their own relationship dynamic, their own interests and values. We want to capture YOU. If we wanted to work with generic pretty people, we'd hire models. We love weddings because we get to meet real people and tell real stories.
Who will the photographer(s) be?
Steve Hronek is the owner and main photographer and does most of the weddings. We also have excellent associate lead photographers available to take great care of you. You'll always get the the chance to meet and get to know the specific photographer before booking and that person won't change. Second shooters can vary depending on location and availability, but are all professional photographers.
How much are your packages?
We do both package and a la carte pricing. That makes things fairly flexible so you can get a package or custom combination of things that best fits your wants and needs. Basic coverage by Steve starts at $2000, and averages tend to be around $2800. We offer some digital only packages for our other lead shooters which start a little lower. You can find more details on our pricing page.
Will you give me a lower price?
If you start the conversation with this question… probably not. Sometimes we'll give consideration if it's offbeat, nerdy, themed or otherwise over-the-top different. The best thing you can do is be honest with us up front as to what you're interested in and your budget. If we can make it work, awesome, if not, we'll do our best to recommend somebody else.
Where are you located?
Our office is in Grandview and we'd love to have you stop by!
Do you travel?
Everywhere! There are no travel fees for weddings in the greater Columbus area or New Orleans. Outside of that, we use mileage to determine travel rates in the U.S., and go case by case for international.
How far in advance should we book you?
The order most people go in is (1) Book ceremony/reception location to get a date, (2) book photographer. Right now the average is about ten months out, but the more popular spring and fall dates can get booked up to 18 months in advance. Want to get married over a holiday weekend or a bye-week during football season? Best get started early.
Should I get a second photographer?
-Is the schedule extremely tight?
-Do you have more than five bridesmaids?
-Do you have an enormous family and want pictures of everybody?
-Are you getting ready in one location, having the ceremony a second location, and the reception a third?
-Will you have more than 150 guests?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then getting second photographer is recommended. Having a second will let us work more quickly as well get you more angles for the really important moments.
How many hours of coverage do I need?
Our wedding coverage starts at five hours. Based on experience, any less than that for a wedding makes the schedule way too tight and will stress you out. For average wedding coverage, including getting ready pictures, ceremony, formals, fun pictures, and reception, seven hours is usually pretty comfortable. It really depends on what you want. Some people want every second of their 14 hour wedding photographed, and others skip the “getting ready” pictures and kick us out an hour into the reception; we're happy working with both. Basically, the more time we have, the more pictures you’ll get. If we have five minutes for portraits of you, you'll get very basic shots. If we have more time, we can play with lights or do composites and get really creative. We're more than willing to help with schedule advice, just ask.
Should I do a first look?
A first look is where the bride and groom see each other privately before the ceremony. The decision is always up to you, but if you’re looking for some insight from my end, you can read more about first looks here.
What kind of equipment do you use? / Do you have a backup camera?
We use a variety of professional grade cameras, lenses, and remote lighting, with backups for everything. If you’re into photography we can talk and get all nerdy about f-stops and the inverse square law.
What should I wear during my engagement shoot?
We put together a guide for you here – What to wear for your engagement session.
Have you photographed at <insert location> before?
If not, well, that’s one of the reasons you hire a professional. We’ve shot in hundreds of restaurants, hotels, clubs, houses, shopping malls, warehouses, parks, bars, reception halls, ballrooms, zoos, aquariums, museums, riverwalks, and so on. Within a few seconds after we go into a new place we’ve looked at light color and intensity, ceiling heights, material or paint colors on the walls, reflective surfaces, etc. All this guides how we’ll set things up and shoot.
If yes, then we’ve already done all of the above and we have an extra few seconds to do fun pictures.
Can you recommend a DJ/florist/etc.?
Sure thing! We're tied in to a lot of different professional networks and we're happy to help you track down good people.
What’s your style?
We try to capture the vibrance and energy of people and the world using color, action, and layered perspectives. Brooding people on misty mountains can be cool and we can do some deep looks, but when you go through your wedding pictures, we want you to smile and laugh, not look as if your cat just died.
As for shooting process, we'll take multiple roles on wedding day. We’ll take charge to move things along during formal and creative portrait sessions. We’ll get some “safe” shots first, but we’ve always got a few crazy ideas floating around so be ready for the excited “let’s try this!” moments. When we're not running the show during picture time, we go into ninja mode to stay out of the way so we can get the natural interactions and emotions of you and your guests.
Do I get the digital files with copyright release?
So many people come in thinking the digital files are all they need and it's the first thing they ask for. After 200+ weddings, our focus is on getting physical keepsakes into your hands and onto your walls. We've seen far too many people get the files, stick them on Facebook, then never look at them again. 30 years from now you who knows if you'll be able to open a jpeg, but you certainly won't have a dvd or USB drive around. Your album will always work. It'll work for your kids. It'll work for their kids. That said, all weddings come with digital proofs for sharing online. You'll also get hi-res copies of any images that you select for your album. Some packages include all the files and packages that don't, you have the option of adding that on a la carte. We want you to have those too, but we know that the most value people get out of their pictures comes from the ones that are physically in their hands.
How many pictures will I get?
The final number of pictures depends on a few things – how many hours of coverage you have, how many photographers you have, how many different things you have planned, how many guests you have, how much time you dedicate to pictures. More time, more photographers, more activities (garter, bouquet, speeches, cakes, special dances, etc.) means more pictures. Broadly speaking, we might deliver anywhere from 400 to 1100 pictures.
What do the albums look like?
Check out the post on albums for more information.
I found this picture on Pinterest/Facebook/Google, can we copy it?
Every time we're given a Pinterest shot list ahead of time, we'll say thanks, we'll do what we can. Then on wedding day you'll realize that most of it was totally unrealistic and we'll happily ignore it. This is YOUR wedding. Use your emotions, your relationships, your surroundings to get inspired and create something that has meaning to you rather than trying to copy images you saw elsewhere. That said, if you’ve got an idea, we can talk about it and play around.
My co-worker/friend/third-cousin has a nice camera and takes pretty pictures of their dogs, why shouldn't I have them shoot my wedding and save money?
If, in addition to the cool pictures of their dogs, they've also shot weddings before and you like the work, go for it! But if not, then I really advise that you find a professional. Weddings are challenging. We don't mean to toot our own horn by saying that, but a good wedding photographer is like a product, portrait, and event photographer rolled into a ball... a ball that's well organized and good at keeping groups entertained, managing drunk uncles, and running around for ten hours a day. Please, for the sake of preserving your memories and preventing our worrying about your pictures, hire somebody who has experience and makes it obvious that they know what they're doing. (Hint-hint, we think we fit that bill pretty well.)
When will I get to see my pictures?
Times can vary, but typically sneak peaks are up on Facebook in a week, the online gallery goes up at four weeks. The album process takes about a month total, but the timeline is largely dependent on how quickly you pick pictures and look over proofs.
Can I bring my pet on my engagement shoot?
Sure! But... the main challenge is having to manage the pet because it can potentially limit where we can go, and you really need somebody else there to hold it so it's not in every single picture. Obviously if you’ve got a giant tortoise or a cheetah or something, then heck yeah, bring it along.
I love your work, how do I book you?
You have good taste and a keen eye for photography. Visit the contact page or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll schedule a time to meet, Skype, or chat on the phone to go over things and figure out what coverage works best for you. Then we’ll get you a contract with the details which you can fill out and return with the retainer (via check or credit card). The balance is due ten days before the wedding. Pretty simple!
Anything else we should know?
You're still reading this? We like you already. We've covered a lot and that should get you started. If you want a few general pointers to set yourself up for photographic success on wedding day, take a gander at this blog post - Tips for Great Pictures.