Wedding Photography Frequently Asked Questions
Providing the best customer service to those looking for great wedding photography is one thing I value a great deal. As a result, I have created this FAQ page to answer questions that might be present during the process of looking for a wedding photographer. If I did not cover a question you might have, please let me know, and I'll be happy to add it to the page. It is my hope that this section is a valuable source of information for future brides and grooms looking for the right wedding photographer to capture all the special moments of their big day!
Question: How long has DSmithImages Wedding Photography, Portraits, and Events been photographing weddings?
Answer: I have been photographing weddings full time since 2010.
Question: Where is DSmithImages Wedding Photography, Portraits, and Events located?
Answer: I am located in the Birmingham, Alabama metro area in the Moody/Odenville community.
Question: What is your wedding photography coverage area?
Answer: I primarily service the Birmingham, Alabama metro area but can also cover weddings throughout the state of Alabama, the southeastern United States, and anywhere else in the United States. That includes cities and communities such as Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Auburn, Gulf Shores, Montgomery, Mobile, Atlanta, New Orleans, Nashville, Memphis, Destin, Charleston, and many more! I do not let distance hinder me from providing great wedding photography to prospective clients.
Products & Services
Question: What's your starting price point for wedding photography?
Answer: My starting price point is $1999.99. That comes with a full day's coverage of the wedding, all photos in color + black and white in both high resolution/print rights quality and web resolution/social media quality. You also receive a private proofing gallery to view your photos and a custom USB drive that will store your photos when delivered. The package also comes with an engagement or bridal session that will take place before the wedding. In addition to those options, you also get a 30 page storybook album and a $100 print/product credit to spend.
Question: What do you offer in terms of photography coverage on a wedding day, specifically the time you are on site?
Answer: I offer a full day's coverage when it comes to photographing a wedding. That means I arrive at a time provided by you and photograph until the end up the reception or an otherwise determined stopping point. This option is available with every package. I do not like to put a time limit on wedding photography coverage.
Question: What about engagement sessions? Bridal sessions? Albums? Print credits?
Answer: All wedding photography packages come with at least an engagement or bridal session, which will also come with a custom USB drive to receive your images, a print/product credit, and a wedding album. Other options, such as parents albums, additional engagement or bridal sessions, print credits, canvas prints, and coverage of the rehearsal dinner or other pre-wedding related activities, are included in the higher priced wedding photography packages.
Question: Where can I view your wedding photography pricing information?
Answer: Specific information about what is offered in each wedding photography package can be found by visiting my wedding photography investment section. A .pdf file containing my full pricing information is located on that site. You can also download the .pdf by visiting Wedding Photography Pricing Information, by visiting the contact section or by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.
Question: Do you offer discounts on your wedding photography packages?
Answer: I run monthly specials on all wedding photography packages. The specials change each month, but all you have to do to be eligible is to send a simple inquiry message. More information about my discounts are available on my current photography specials page.
Question: Do you work alone or with a partner?
Answer: All weddings on my site have been shot by myself. It is a style and approach I am comfortable with doing, however, a second photographer can be requested. Pricing might have to change based on the level of request.
Question: Speaking of that, do you have back-up equipment? Insurance? Licenses? Etc.
Answer: I work with two camera bodies at all time, and I have a back-up on site in the event one of them experiences a malfunction. I also carry full business liability insurance and any appropriate business licenses required by the location of the venue.
Question: Do you offer other services such as portrait photography, event photography, or videography?
Answer: I do provide portrait and event photography services. Information about my portrait services can be found at my portrait photography investment section, and information about my event services can be found at my event photography investment section. I do not, however, offer videography services.
Question: What is your turn around time on editing and delivery of images?
Answer: I know you will be anxious to see your images so I will begin work on editing the day after the wedding. Sneak previews will be put on social media, and I try to have the first round of edits along with the proof gallery created by the end of that week. You will then have a chance to review things and see if any further revisions need to be made. Your USB drive will be ordered shortly after the wedding, and it takes about a week to produce and be delivered to me. Once it is delivered to me, your images will be loaded onto the drive and sent to you personally.
Question: How many final images should we expect from the wedding?
Answer: I cannot guarantee a number since each wedding is different, but, since I work a full day's coverage, you will probably be looking at something in the range of 600-800 unique shots. That number is doubled because you get the color copies and the black and white copies.
Question: What about the images that don't make the final cut? What about the digital negatives?
Answer: I only want to show clients the best images from their wedding day so an extensive amount of culling will take place. I do not release those images because they are unfinished products. The same applies for the digital negatives or Camera RAW files.
Consultation & Booking
Question: How do you book a consultation? What if we live out of town and cannot meet face to face?
Answer: To begin the consultation process, all you have to do is send a simple inquiry email via my contact page or the form below. That will get the ball rolling. We'll set up a time and place that works best for you where we can meet, talk about the specifics of what you have in mind for your wedding and wedding photography, and go over the agreement process. If you cannot meet face to face, I would be more than happy to arrange a phone or Skype consultation.
Question: What does the agreement process cover?
Answer: To protect all parties, an agreement document will be reviewed and signed by all involved in the wedding. I will retain a copy, and you will retain a copy. This goes over all the specifics of what's expected from both sides, and it is a way to protect both you and me. If you would like to view the agreement form in advance, please contact me, and I'll be happy to send you a copy.
Question: How do we book our date with you?
Answer: I will put a temporary hold on your date as soon as you contact me. To make it official, though, we must sign the agreement form, and you must make a non-refundable retainer payment of 1/3 of the package price.
Question: Speaking of the retainer, what is your payment policy?
Answer: After you make the 1/3 retainer payment, the second 1/3 payment would be due 60 days before the wedding. The final would be due the day of the wedding. This is so you will not get hit with a lump sum payment when other vendors might be doing that very thing. Cash, check, and credit are all accepted.
Question: What is your cancellation policy?
Answer: I hope we never have to use this, but I understand the need for it. The retainer payment you pay at booking is non-refundable. If you cancel 60 or more days before the wedding, any payment you have made after the retainer will be refunded. If you cancel in under 60 days of the wedding and I cannot book a replacement job, you will forfeit whatever you have paid.
Question: What about travel fees, taxes, and any other extra costs?
Answer: All taxes are included in the final price quoted to you. As for travel fees, I waive fees for any wedding located in the state of Alabama or a relatively short driving distance. I hate to tack them on to the price and will work with you in the event we do have to include them.
Pre-Wedding Information / Planning / Engagement Session/ Style
Question: What is the level of contact we will have between the time of booking and the time of the actual wedding?
Answer: I make sure there is quite a bit of contact because I am a very detailed oriented wedding photographer. I'll be touching base with you to ask for samples of other wedding photography that you like, poses you might want to do, family lists, timelines, and all sorts of other things. Communication is key so I am all about that. We will also be scheduling and organization your engagement or bridal session as well.
Question: When and where can the engagement or bridal session take place?
Answer: The simplest answer to that is whatever works best for you! I will make sure your choice of date fits with my calendar, and we'll go from there in organizing a great engagement or bridal session. This includes confirming the location, time, and approach you'd like for the session.
Question: What do you mean "the approach" for the session?
Answer: I operate with the philosophy of "You are the boss" so I want to make sure your photos are exactly what you want. As a result, I want to solicit as much input from you as possible in regards to your engagement or bridal session along with your actual wedding. This includes the style, setting, theme, color pattern, and everything else. The more information I have, the better service I can provide you.
Question: Speaking of style, what exactly is your style? How do you go about photographing an engagement session, bridal session, and/or wedding?
Answer: Each shoot is different for a variety of reasons, but I still approach them with a general sense and concept. I want you to be comfortable and yourself as I want to bring out the reality of the time and place. My shooting and editing style involves slightly muted colors to give things a vintage and almost but not quite film look. It is a style I've developed over the years that I feel fully matches the way I see things. I also prefer a lot of candid shots, especially during the wedding day. Those little moments of true reality are always my favorite. Of course, I'll get the regular posed and staged shots, however, I am always looking for those spur of the moment events that make great photographs. You can see samples of my wedding work at my wedding photography section and my wedding photography recaps section.
Question: It's the week of the wedding. What will that look like in regards to our relationship?
Answer: When we get to the week of the wedding, I will be contacting you to finalize the schedule, coordinate with any planners or other vendors that might need to be in the communication loop, and getting everything ready for when I arrive at the venue. I know you will have a lot on your plate during those days so I will try to be as direct and detailed as possible so you know exactly what needs to be done and accomplished.
Question: It's the day of the wedding. What will you be doing?
Answer: Very simply put, I will be doing a lot. I will be arriving at the venue based on the time you specified. When I arrive, I will begin getting detail photographs done along with capturing your entrance, in the event you have not yet already arrived. I will also be coordinating with the vendors on at the venue to make sure the timeline and schedule is still good to go. I will also be spending a lot of time with you in terms of photographing pre-wedding candid shots, such as getting ready, hair, make-up, and other events before the ceremony.
Question: Should we do a first look or wait to see each other?
Answer: The "tradition" of not seeing each other before the wedding is outdated and misguided, in my opinion. The opportunity to do a first look with each other can present you some wonderfully beautiful photographs. I will strongly encourage the option of doing a first look before the start of the ceremony. It is your choice, however, if you would like to do one. If you do not, we will arrange the schedule to make everything work in accordance with your wishes.
Question: What about the formal bridal party and family photos? When will they be done?
Answer: When we formulate the schedule, we will block off time to do the bridal party photos along with all family photos requested. If you are doing a first look, the bridal party and family photos will come directly after that event. If you are not doing the first look photos, we will get as much done before the wedding, but we will still be required to do things right after the wedding and before the reception begins. Please keep that in mind when making your decision. I will move as quickly as I can to make sure you do not lose time at your reception, however, that is based on how cooperative all other parties are during that time of the day.
Question: What if the venue has a photography policy and restrictions on where you can shoot during the ceremony?
Answer: I fully respect the wishes and rules of all venues so I am bound by whatever restrictions they might have in terms of photography. I will ask this at the consultation so we can formulate the best possible plan.
Question: During the reception, what will you be doing?
Answer: I will take a brief break while guests are eating during the reception, however, I will also be photographing the details such as the food displays, the wedding cakes, and any other decorations present. I will also be covering the events such as the first dances, bouquet toss, and anything else that might need to be covered before you make your exit.
Post Wedding & Miscellaneous
Question: You mentioned a proof gallery earlier. How does that work?
Answer: After your wedding and when I have finished editing things, all images will be uploaded as proofs to a private proof gallery site. You will be given the URL and a password to access the images. You are free to share this with friends and family, and they will also be able to order prints straight from that gallery. Your engagement and/or bridal photos will also be placed in the same gallery site.
Question: What about wedding albums and print credits?
Answer: If you have a wedding album and/or print credits in your package, you will have 6 months after the conclusion of the wedding to order your products. I will ask that you compile a list of images you'd like for your album, and I will put it together based on that input. The album is 30 pages and hardcovered. When the album is ordered, it will take a couple of weeks for production time and delivery.
Question: You have covered a lot on this section, but what if I have any other questions?
Answer: Please feel free to ask me anything my contact page, or the form below. My phone number, which is (205) 586-9723. I want to make sure you have as much information as possible so you can make the right choice regarding your wedding photography.