Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
You’ve got questions…I’ve got answers!
If you're the kind of couple who loves to learn every last detail, this page is for you!
I think it's important when you're entrusting someone from hundreds of miles away with the biggest day of your life, you should not be shy about asking as many questions as needed. Knowing how we handle things like scheduling, turnaround, digital files, family groups, off-site photos, editing, assistants, and more, is just another way for us to ensure a great experience working together.
How would you describe your style?
The words that come to mind are "colorful, bold, heartfelt, artistic, emotional, and authentic".
I think one of my strongest skills as a photographer is the ability to bring out the best in everyone I photograph.
I get told all the time, "I love how your images don't look stiff or overly posed".
It's not because I get hired by professional models (I don't!), it's because I have a strong intuition for how to direct someone in a way that conveys their true self, but in the most flattering way.
I shoot with a lot of depth, sometimes shooting "through" a scene to create a layered effect; I love looking for artistic backgrounds that offer a sense of scale; and, I use light in creative ways, like shooting into the sun for that warm "glow" effect, or using a remote-controlled flash across the room to build cool shadows into a shot.
My goal is to tell the story of the day, with plenty of reasons to catch your breath in awe, reach up and dab your eyes, or beam from ear to ear every time you look back through your photos.
We want beautiful images, but don't want to feel like we're in an all-day photo shoot...
No problem! I cover the majority of the day unobtrusively, working from the background (unless, of course, you ask for my input, which I will happily offer). Otherwise, while I will occasionally request adjustments so you look your best ("sit up slightly for me?", "ladies scoot just a bit to the left, if you would?", etc), I primarily let you just enjoy the people around you without a lot of "set up" from me.
This technique works well to catch those tiny moments like a gentle hand-squeeze with mom, as those "in-between" shots I couldn't possibly script into existence often come when you did not even know I was watching.
During the times I'm actively interacting with you to create a specific image, such as portraits in your dress, group shots with family, and romantic photos with your new spouse, I am certainly giving more direction, but the aim is still to make it flow naturally and look as if you did it without any prompting from me.
How much do you charge for wedding photography?
Wedding Packages start at $2500, including coverage, digital files, and a small printed keepsake.
Elopement Packages start at $1100 for weekday (mon-thu) beach ceremonies.
Other packages include varying options for hours of coverage and deliverables such as albums and rehearsal coverage.
Our A La Carte rates and Custom Package Builder also allow you to design your wedding collection from scratch.
And you can rest assured that you have booked with an experienced, full-time professional with a good reputation, and the skill to handle any shooting situation and deliver consistent, premium results. Images are delivered edited on your own online gallery, and digital files are delivered without a watermark with license for printing and personal use.
How many photos will be captured of my wedding day?
It varies by event, but on average, expect between 75 to 100 finished, edited images / per hour of photography.
This, however, is not a limit. For me, it’s about the story and documenting the day as it unfolds. I’m not keeping track of how many photos I shoot, and when I edit, I’m not trying to hit a certain “number”. I will start shooting when I arrive, document everything from start to finish, and not stop shooting until I leave. If I shoot more than this, we still deliver them….it’s just meant as a rough guide so you know what to expect, with the understanding that shorter, simpler weddings without as much to photograph will naturally yield fewer images per hour than an all-night soiree.
Will my photos be edited?
Absolutely! Your wedding images will be adjusted for optimum highlights and shadows, contrast, and artistic finishes added as needed. This is done on every photo delivered in your gallery.
For prints, canvases, and albums, we go one step further with complimentary retouching, including things like removing stray or flyaway hairs, facial blemishes, softening sunburn lines, lightening undereye circles, whitening teeth, removing stains and small distractions from the background.
More extensive body-shaping retouching is also available upon request for an additional fee.
Do you shoot with an assistant?
Yes! For full weddings, I always have an assistant who helps with gear, lighting, errands, and will do light shooting as needed during key moments like the vows and toasts.
Some of my packages then also include a dedicated Second Shooter (in addition to my assistant), if it's a larger wedding, longer day, or the schedule is such that it makes more sense to have one of us stay with you, and the other go to another location. Having one photographer cover cocktail hour, for example, while we are taking photos around Key West, is one great way to utilize a Second Shooter.
Whereas an Assistant Photographer is primarily there to be with me and assist me where I need it, a Second Shooter has a separate schedule, and covers different parts of the day than me.
How much photography experience and training do you have?
I have been shooting weddings since 2001, so as of 2018, that's 17 years. I have an A.S. degree in Photography, and a B.A. in Fine Art from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee.
Early in my career, I was a Second Shooter and Retoucher for a local studio in my hometown of Brandon, Florida. That's where I learned that being a good photographer is about more than just pretty pictures, but also about the management of logistics, vendor relationships, and customer service.
Since then, I have always shot weddings, but have also had the privilege to learn from a wide variety of other genres of photography as well, adding an incredible diversity to my skill set. Learning to manage a rowdy crowd of people, for example, was not something that came naturally to me...I learned that from a sports team photographer. Learning how to "pose" and light small objects came from a jewelry photographer, not to mention discovering more modern posing and compositions from a fashion photographer, and gaining lightning fast reflexes shooting horse shows. I also attend at least one conference per year, sit through image critiques, and take continuing-education classes regularly.
What kind of equipment do you shoot with?
If you're a photographer, then you'll well be familiar with the 5D Mk III as my main camera and the 80D as my APS-C secondary camera, not to mention the irreplaceable 70-200 f/2.8 IS, the rock solid 24-70 f/2.8 L, the journalistic 10-22 f/3.5 EFS, the beautiful bokeh of the 50mm 1.4, the time-tested 17-55 IS 2.8 EFS, and the wide angle 17-40 f/4 L. Plus, there's a backup 70-200 and two additional camera bodies that remain in my backup bag, just in case.
If you're not a photographer and all that sounds greek to you, then just know that I shoot top of the line Canon professional equipment, with a variety of camera body styles and lens selections to create virtually any look that a situation requires. Plus backups....and backups for the backups.
Will you photograph my details?
I love detail photos because they help tell the story in a creative way, and I use them to "set the stage" in the gallery and album as we transition from one part of the day to another. Not to mention, you probably put a lot of thought into things like your flowers, the beading on your dress, the necklace you'll be wearing, and the design of the invitations, so you want to have a nice memento to look back on.
As a general rule, I usually start off my coverage with pictures of the dress, rings, flowers, invitation, and other accessories, but if you have a special gift, prop, or piece of jewelry, just let me know.
Do we need to plan for a "first look"?
It depends! I can help you decide, but will not say you “must” do it. I am here for you and your vision of your day, and I will support whatever you decide about seeing each other before or not.
From the standpoint of tradition, saving the surprise for the aisle has its merits. On the other hand, if you're basing your decision on logistics and what makes sense for your guests, then often a first look is something to at least consider, simply because it allows us to get a lot of photos done before the ceremony before your guests have even arrived, it enables you to join your guests much sooner after the ceremony, and gives you and your fiance a chance to be with each other, laugh, cry, chat, or whatever you want to do, during the only part of the day that no one else needs your attention.
If it's any consolation, in my 17 years of experience, I have never had a couple opt for a first-look after initially being hesitant, and tell me afterward that they regretted the decision.
Should we provide you with a shot list?
I certainly welcome input on any special images or traditions you have planned, any locations you would love incorporated into the photos, and we'll discuss a list of family members who we will want to ensure get included in the group portraits.
Aside from that, I will cover the event from start to finish, documenting all the details, moments, and activities of the day as they unfold. As such, it is not necessary to itemize things like "photo of groom putting on his hat", "photo of first kiss", etc. If the groom will be putting on his hat, and if you'll be having a first kiss, then those will be automatically photographed as they happen. :)
Will my digital files be watermarked?
No. Your digital images delivered as part of your package will not be watermarked, and will be printable at your local lab of your choice or recommended online print house.
Proofs displayed in your online gallery do bear a studio insignia for copyright reasons, but once you download them to your own computer, the watermark disappears.
How soon should we book, and what is required?
All dates are first-come-first-serve, and if I can help it, I try to only take one wedding per weekend, which means my availability is more limited. The sooner you book, the better!
We simply request a signed contract and deposit to seal the date, and the balance is then due 30 days before the wedding.
How many hours of coverage do I really need?
As they say, “time flies when you’re having fun”, and that saying was never more true than on a wedding day. Even if you consider yourself highly efficient, there is an unexplainable time warp continuum that happens on a wedding day, where you suddenly go from having 2 hours to 10 minutes without blinking. :D
Basically, plan on buffering time into everything. If you think your ceremony will only be 20 minutes, call it 30. If you think you’ll only have 10 groups for family formals, pretend it’s 15. The tendency to dismiss things as “this will only take 2 minutes” adds up quickly when you consider how many details there are to contend with on a busy wedding day.
We will work together on a photography timeline that makes the most of our time together, without stress, without running into overtime issues, and without wasting time on things that aren’t as important.
Can we shoot at other locations near the venue?
Definitely! I love getting out to explore and capture wedding photos around town. Whether we are in Key West and you want to hit the boat docks, take a scooter ride, visit the Southernmost Point, or strike a pose in front of the colorful old-world buildings in Bahama Village....I'm game!
You want to budget about 20-30 minutes per location, depending on distance, parking, and how busy of an area they're in. Also think about whether you tend to be someone who doesn't mind having a little pep in your step, or you're someone who would rather meander slowly and take your time.
In a perfect world, 2 hours for Off-Site photos is wonderful, giving us time to hit 4 main locations (10 minutes drive time per spot + 20 minutes shooting time per spot), and then at each location we shoot a wide variety of scenes/backgrounds/setups.
If you want to do this but it would take too much time out of your time with your guests, your options are (A) do these photos before the ceremony, (B) visit fewer locations, or (C) shoot these images a few days before or after the actual wedding day.
How soon will my images be delivered?
Our standard turnaround is 6-8 weeks for most events, but we usually send you a few previews to hold you over at some point during the editing process (time frame for this varies throughout the year depending on how busy we are, but is generally 1 to 3 weeks).
Do you offer engagement sessions?
Yes! I photograph engagement sessions all the time, and I think they're a great way to commemorate this time in your relationship. In addition, it gives us a chance to meet and shoot together on a much more casual, relaxed day, and get fun images that you might not be able to get on your wedding day.
I offer Engagement Sessions both in Key West, and I also can travel to you in your hometown, so that we get the best of both worlds.
Engagement portraits typically are a set of both posed and candid, "lifestyle-type" images (think running down the beach, riding bikes, walking through a beautiful park, etc), and include both print and digital images.
While we can shoot engagement photos at any point, many couples use the images for their Save-The-Date cards and their wedding website, so for that use, it's beneficial to schedule the session between 6 and 9 months before the wedding.
Is coverage included for our rehearsal dinner / welcome party / day-after sunset cruise?
Some packages include coverage for an additional wedding-weekend event, such as a rehearsal dinner or day-after wedding brunch.
For other packages, it is available as an upgrade.
In the event we have another booking the same day as your rehearsal or other event, or if you want this coverage but are trying to stay within budget, I also offer the option to have my Second Shooter cover your Rehearsal at a discounted hourly rate.
I'm feelin' sexy and want to celebrate it! What are my options?
Besides weddings, my favorite thing to shoot is women's portraits. I think taking a few hours to yourself to be photographed in something you wouldn't normally wear on a daily basis - be that a glamorous dress, a piece of lingerie, a playful tulle skirt, or 6 inch stilettos - is one of the most fun and invigorating things you can do.
I offer Bridal Boudoir sessions, which can be done either in my studio in Key West, or in your hotel room, where we capture a variety of tasteful feminine images that we then deliver fully retouched (goodbye love-handles!) in a Little Black Book.
If braving the buff isn't quite your style, I also offer Contemporary Glamour Sessions (think fashion magazine cover shoot), where we basically play dress-up for the day and bring out your inner diva. Images from this type of session are typically viewed as a Matted Print Set delivered in a luxurious display box.
These make amazing gifts for your new spouse, or simply to have "just because!"
Can you help us with additional vendor recommendations?
Absolutely! I have worked with many of the planners, venues, florists, DJ’s, musicians, bakeries, and other wedding-related services throughout the Florida Keys, and especially in Key West. Everyone I recommend is someone I’ve worked with, can vouch for their professionalism and quality of their work, and have had great feedback from clients over the years.
Do you only shoot weddings in the Florida Keys?
Nope! While I am located in Key West, and regularly travel the length of the entire Florida Keys, from Big Pine, Marathon and Islamorada, to Key Largo to shoot, I sometimes get asked by my couples who got engaged in Key West if I will travel to their location outside the Keys with them.
I am familiar with many locations in Florida, and do weddings in Amelia Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Davis Island, Brandon, Tampa, and Plant City.
Outside the state, I've traveled quite a bit to Nashville, the Cumberland Plateau and Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee for weddings, and love shooting in upstate New York, but am comfortable working in any city.
While I'm always a proponent of hiring locally, I also know the value of having rapport with someone you've worked with in the past, and having that sense of security that it's just one less vendor you have to worry about!