Frequently Asked Questions.
1. What do you charge? How does it work?
I charge a flat $200.00 per hour. No deposits up front as I like to get paid when I do some actual work. If for some reason you need to cancel, it's not a big deal, no deposits to return. We'll part friends and I'll take the day off. You don't have to decide how many hours you need me when you sign the contract. I'll contact you the week of the wedding to get an idea of how many hours you want to use me, but even at the wedding you can tap me on the shoulder and ask me to stay a few hours longer. At the end of our time together we'll add up the hours and you can pay me in cash, check or credit card.
2. Why do you charge hourly instead of a package?
I've been doing this awhile and wedding photography is evolving. Everyone has a camera and I don't think you always need a professional photographer for every minute of your wedding. Many of my clients use me for about 4 hours. Their friends handle bride prep shots with their cell phones (which have become phenomenal), they use me for the ceremony, the group shots, the romantics and perhaps the first dances and even the cake cutting. Many families have someone with a good quality SLR type camera that photographs the crazy dancing shots and such. Don't get me wrong, I love photographing entire weddings and I frequently do Bride Prep and full receptions. But with the hourly pricing you're in control.
3. Why so cheap?
I'm really not that cheap. Yes, some clients shy away from me as they don't think you can get good wedding photography unless you pay big bucks, but that's not true. Yes, there are a lot of amateurs dabbling in professional waters for really cheap, but they are trying to build their portfolios; they're using your wedding to practice on. We all need to start somewhere, so that's OK. I've photographed hundreds of weddings in all kinds of tricky lighting conditions to include the aquarium, which is one of the hardest venues in the area. I'm self taught, over many years dating back to the film days, teach classes to other photographers and fill in at the local camera store when needed. I also co-own the areas only film lab so I'm involved in photography 7 days a week. I charge what I do, to make a profit, but don't gouge clients for big bucks. Here's how I can do it. I retired at a young age from another career which gives me a nice check every month. I have no bills to speak of so I'm able to offer photography at really good prices. I'm happily single, and I really don't need a lot of money to make me happy. Other photographers may have alimony, putting their kids though college, or high mortgage payments, we all charge what we need to.
4. Do you only photograph beach weddings?
Beach weddings are my favorite, but I also photograph venues, churches and other locations. I love em all!
5. What kind of equipment do you use?
Professional Grade Equipment with a wide selection of lenses. Fisheye lens to super telephoto and everything in between. I tend to work simply in the style of the old school national geographic photographers. A camera a couple of lenses and a flash. I don't want to turn your wedding into a TV show with too much lighting unless I really need it.
6. Do you work alone or have assistants?
It depends. I prefer to work alone as I'm a believer in "too many cooks spoil the broth." Assistants generally get in my way and with modern technology I'm going to capture all the key moments of your wedding and then some. I've got some tricks to get all the shots a client could want. With that said, there are some scenarios where a second shooter comes in handy. I've got a few close professional photographer friends who are very capable to fill that roll. I got to pay them though and I charge an extra $500.00.
7. Do you have any reviews?
Oh yeah. Check out my review page on wedding wire. I also have reviews on yelp, google+, the knot etc.
8. How long will it take to get my pictures?
I'm pretty quick, I like to get things done so I'm usually starting on the edits the night of your wedding. I'll load them in the computer, and make my selections the same night. The next morning I'll start the editing process. You should have pictures in a couple of days and never longer than two weeks in peak season. Nothing worse than "being in the weeds," overwhelmed with edits. I know you want to see your pictures. The job for me is not done till you get your pictures.
9. How are my pictures delivered to me?
I upload your finished edited images to a website. I'll then send you a link with a release letter so that you can have prints made at the processor of your choice. Instead of mailing you a DVD or usb drive you can download your full resolution images directly from the site. It's very easy and you're not waiting for the mailman. As soon as I send you the link, you can download your images. I ask that you download within 30 days so that I know you have your images. The link is permanent so if you loose your pictures you can download at anytime.
Side note: Had a client a couple of years ago, who downloaded her pictures. A year or so later her house burned down. They were OK but they lost everything. She called me in tears asking if I still had her pictures. No problem, I just sent her the link again and she downloaded again.
10. What about prints?
A release letter is included so that you can have prints made at the processor of your choice. e.g.: A local professional lab (hard to find anymore) Costco, Sam's Club, Walgreens etc. Or if you want really good prints I offer wholesale pricing from my preferred online lab. This is huge. Not many photographers will let you have prints wholesale. I do this as I don't consider the job finished till you actually have some prints. The price list is huge so I don't list it on the website, but to give you an idea a 4x6 is .22 cents, a 5x7 is .79 cents and an 8x10 is $1.99. This is for luster, metallic finishes are a little more expensive. I also offer giclee prints, canvas, coffee cups, puzzles and the usual merchandise. Something for everyone. This is also good for older relatives, that may want prints but are not computer savvy. They don't have to download anything, just hit the "buy" button.
11. What areas do you service?
My home base is Wilmington, NC so I cover all the local beaches to include:
North Topsail Beach, Onslow County, North Carolina.
Surf City, Pender County, North Carolina.
Topsail Beach, Pender County, North Carolina.
Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County, North Carolina.
Carolina Beach, New Hanover County, North Carolina.
Kure Beach, New Hanover County, North Carolina.
Ft. Fisher State Park, New Hanover County, North Carolina.
Oak Island, New Hanover County, NC.
Caswell Beach, New Hanover County, NC.
Holden Beach, New Hanover County, NC.
Ocean Isle Beach, New Hanover County, NC
Sunset Beach, New Hanover County, NC
No additional travel fee for the above named locations.
Side Note: I also make forays onto the Crystal Coast for Emerald Isle, Indian Beach and Atlantic Beach in North Carolina. I charge a very modest travel fee for these locations.
12. What about destination weddings?
Yes I do destination weddings. I'll pretty much go anywhere for the same great rate with the addition of airfare and lodging. I've photographed weddings in Atlanta, Washington, DC, Upstate NY, Colorado, Arizona, Las Vegas, Jamaica and Mexico.
13. What other services do you offer?
Engagement portraits, Bridal portraits and family beach portraiture. Engagement and Bridal portraits are the same $200.00 per hour. Family Beach portraits are $250 for the session, no matter how many people.
Movie posters. The original. As far as I know, I started the movie poster trend. No one was doing them when I started that I know of. One of my clients came up with the idea and I ran with it. Posters are 20 x 30 framed and I charge $500.00 for them.
Other stuff. I pretty much stick to the above although I'll occasionally get involved in something else. Just shot Dogs with Santa for a local business.
14. What if I want my wedding shot on real film?
I love real film. Film has an authentic organic feel to it, that digital doesn't quite capture. I have many film camera's in all kinds of formats. Everything from 4x5 to 35mm. $200.00 per hour plus the cost of the film (about $10.00 per roll) and a $500 2nd shooter fee. Always two photographers for film as it's much harder to shoot and we back it up with digital. The good news is that I don't charge for processing (the biggest expense) as I'm co-owner of the local film lab. We'll develop it the day after the wedding, scan it and upload it. I'll even sleeve your negatives and mail them to you. We'll also augment your film wedding with some instant film and we'll provide that onsite. Also backed up with digital. I'll be expanding the film page soon....