A lot of couples ask me the below questions, and I like to be very transparent right off the bat. Questions + full answers are below!
"Do you edit your photographs with lighter, fresh treatments? Do you edit your photos with darker, moody treatments?"
Yes to both! I can edit photographs either way. Usually I try to see which edit fits the wedding, but if the couple is adamant about liking one style of editing better than the other, I will absolutely give them that editing style. This question and the next question are the two two questions on my list. I really truly feel that weddings can be edited multiple ways, but want to make sure that the couple loves the outcome of the photographs, and will give options! In the winter, I prefer a bit more edgy, moody shots & in summer or spring weddings, I prefer brighter, warmer shots. But I'm really open to either; I love them both!
"Do you photograph families and groups in a traditional, posed manner? How are you with directing group photos on the wedding day?"
Traditional Family Photography:
Of course! This is done at every wedding, and I try to make it easy to do by requesting a family photo list so it can be done in an efficient manner, as well! I just don't put these photos online because a.) they aren't that exciting to look at and b.) I don't want to post photos of your grandma all over my website, you know? I want to give her her privacy to stay in a world that was once not filled with digital online photographs. If anyone would like to see more traditional family photography, please let me know and I'm happy to send you albums of (approved by clients) family traditional photographs!
Wedding Party Photography:
This, I would say, is one of the most fun parts to direct in a wedding (not a lot of photographers would say that). I try to make this fun, because usually the whole bridal party can get rowdy, and I like to make sure that my energy is right there with you but also directing all of you in an efficient manner. I am NOT the photographer who shows up to a wedding and says "So what do you want to do for this group shot?" No. I seriously dislike that photographer. They are NOT doing their job in the least!
I come prepared with reference images on my cellphone and my dumb apple watch, just to make it that much easier for you to visualize what I'm thinking for the group shot. I keep the timeline right on hand to make sure we are on time, always. That's not something the bride or groom should worry about - that's on me! I try to make this experience relatively memorable and efficient, and that efficiency requires me to possibly give your group members nicknames or direct them by calling out what profession I think they could have in the most extreme cases (are you a pro wrestler? are you a newscaster? did you just deliver me the weather forecast on the local news?). Usually, with the guys, this really helps, because they never want to listen... but if they know someone is watching their moves and possibly going to call them out, they all of the sudden, and quite magically, start to listen! The ladies are the easiest part to direct because ladies can make anything pretty much look natural, even if they laugh at themselves for being in front of a camera for a group shot - these laughs are natural laughs and come out as that in the photograph! I love shooting group shots because it's quite fun to see people laugh at themselves but then eventually really enjoy the group photo session in the end!
There are multiple testimonials of my group photography directing in my reviews section of my website! Click to read!
"How many photos will I get in my final wedding photography package?
You get a ton. I'm not a photographer who puts a cap on how many photos you get in your final wedding photography package; if I was at your wedding photographing for you - why in the world would I only give you a few images, or a certain number of images? What am I going to do with those images instead of giving them to you? Will I sit at my house and look at them before I go to sleep every night? No. I want you to do that! So, I give you all of the images I think are best for your album! For a typical 8 hour wedding, I take about 2,000-3,000 images on the day of the wedding, and from there I edit them down three times to get to the best ones, which come out to be around 800- 1,000 images. The reason I take so many photographs on the day of the wedding is because I believe that the moment best captured in a photograph on a wedding day is sometimes the moment that isn't necessarily set up or posted; it's the moment in-between those moments, and so therefore I take a lot of photos... and give you a lot of photos! If you have any more specific questions about this, please feel free to ask.
"Do I get the rights to the images?"
You have the printing rights to the photographs, yes! With this ability, you can print the photos and post the photos anywhere at your liking! I just always ask for some photo credit, just because I think it looks soo cheesy putting my logo on an image. I mean, come on - ..."here's a beautiful photograph and OH by the way here is my obnoxious white lettering all over the photograph..." No, thanks. I don't care about marketing enough to ruin people's beautiful photographs with a bunch of white letters plastered onto a photograph that just happen to spell out my name.
How do we go about planning for photography on the wedding day?
I help you create a full wedding photography timeline personalized to your needs. If you are one of my current couples, download the helpful tips for planning a wedding photography timeline here! (A password is required to receive these documents; inquire with Danielle if she didn't already give you a code!)
Will you photoshop every single photo that shows every single dimple on my face that I dislike? Will you change my bone structure in the photographs?
No, I will not. I used to offer this as an option, because I used to teach photoshop classes for 6 years and I can do almost anything with photoshop - but as the years go by, I realize that I'm a firm believer in the fact that the real photos are the best photos, and that anyone who doesn't want to look like themselves on their wedding day is probably not a couple that I'd be best working with. I will edit out pimples for sure, or dimples (if you hate them... how can you hate your dimples?!) in some of your favorite photos if that's what you'd like. But, I won't change your bone structure or photoshop you a new chin (yes, I've had people ask both of these things). Please know that at this point, I interview couples to make sure that we align well for your wedding day, and part of that interview is me figuring out if we will work together based upon what you want - do you want to look like you're sitting in a studio posed and stiff and fake on your wedding day? If your answer is yes, then we are not the right fit. Do you want me to make you a new nose and cheekbone in photoshop? Nope, we won't work there, either. Please know that this is not something I offer and asking to photoshop anything other than pimples or random things that are usually photoshopped will not be done. EXCEPTIONS: Hair in the face? Yes, I will definitely photoshop that if it's doable to keep your face looking natural in a shot without the hair ruining it. If we have a photo where one eye is closed but we have another photo with the exact same eye in the exact same position is open and you'd like the open eye on the photo instead? Yes, I can do that as well!
Can I give you a shot list for you to photograph on my wedding day?
You can definitely send me a list of less than 25 posed or not posed (or pinterest) shots, aside from the traditional family photographs that are always taken as posed shots on your wedding day. If you hand me a required 200-photograph shot list on the day of the wedding, please know that this is an impossible task to achieve. If this is something you really want on your wedding day (a 200-shot list), please know that I am not the right photographer for you. I like to photograph real moments, and believe that the best photographs come from this. If you're more interested in faking the moment on your wedding day, versus allowing it to happen and possibly having that moment documented, then we are not the right fit.
"Do you give us color and black and white images?"
Yes, I do! I do this for many images, but not all of the images. If you want all of the photographs in black and white, I'm not opposed to giving you all of them in back and white - this will just take almost a month (or more) longer than the usual delivery time of your photographs.
"What comes in my photography package?"
You would receive the services of head photographer Danielle, high-resolution, fully downloadable and printable photograph files on a high-quality and high-resolution online album, as well as on a wooden USB drive in a 100% recycled casing. The online portfolio makes it very easy to share family photos, etc so you don't have to send people one photo per email (because the photos are very large files!). Please ask to see photos, if interested in looking at what the wooden USB or package contents look like!
"When do I receive the final wedding photography photographs?"
Usually couples will receive their photographs within a month to two months depending on when their wedding happens. The only reason it gets to be more than two months is if your wedding is in the very busy season, and typically I photograph anywhere from 50-70 weddings per year. This is my full time job, however, and I work every weekday and weekend (only sometimes taking Sundays off but rarely because of engagement shoots!) on editing, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I spend a few afternoons volunteering at community centers around where I live, but other than that, my time is dedicated to photography and the couples I work with. If I take a Monday off here and there to rearrange the furniture in my house, please know that this is a totally necessary feng shui move to keep my mind fresh for editing! For real.
"What is required for a deposit?"
At the time of contract signing, the deposit is $1000. The contract gets reviewed by you fully first, and then when you ask any questions you may have, we will figure those out, and finally it is sent through an e-signing document, and it's easy as that! After all of this is done, I'm officially booked for your entire wedding day, and if a second photographer is required, they will be booked ASAP after the wedding booking has been finalized. I don't do two weddings in one day; I may have a helper or two along the way, but all of the photographs you see on my website are my photographs, not my second photographer's photos. Danielle Simone Charles LLC is the name of my business, which is my name with some letters after it, so therefore I'll be the one photographing your wedding.
"Can my guests take photos?"
Of course they can - but preferably, at the reception. These days there are so many people with their iPhones just dying to get a photo of the bride and groom on their phone - which means some guests go to the crazy extent of walking into the middle of the isle at your ceremony, just so they can get a photo with their phone. I think it is kind of funny that people do this, because I have to wonder if they realize that there is a hired photographer there for you to have your whole day captured, professionally? I like to ask couples to write somewhere in their program or have it announced at some point that the ceremony will be "unplugged" or that guests should just cool it for a minute with their phones so all of your wedding images are without those crazy cellphones (or heaven forbid: iPads) in the air. The announcement of a "no cellphone or camera" situation typically works the best for this, stating usually that the couple would like their guests to actually experience the moment with them, instead of Facebook Live-ing it, and watching it all from their tiny cellphone screen. I have some mean photoshop skills, I must say - but to photoshop every single image to get the cellphones and their bright screens out of the image - is a lot of work that is impossible to do for every one of your ceremony photos, and at times it's impossible to do at all. It's very hard to photoshop new, relaxed arms onto people when they are straight in the air holding a random device up in the air.
I know that couples cannot control the actions of their guests! So as long as the couple is okay with it, during the ceremony, if I see someone stepping into the aisle for photos, I will definitely make it known, in a very nice but stern manner, that the couple hired a professional to do the photos, and that they would like very much for the guests to sit in their chair during the ceremony, instead of going all rogue-iPhone photographer in the isle. As long as I have permission, and as long as the location holding the ceremony allows the photographer to move during the ceremony (some Catholic or Lutheran churches do not allow the photographer to move during the ceremony at all), then I will personally make sure to it that people do not step in front of the photographer during your ceremony - however, this is never guaranteed --- and it's so much easier to do this with a little help of an announcement :)
If you have any specific questions at all that aren't answered on this form, please feel free to email them to me and I will promise to get back to you within 1 day!
The email that you can reach me at for the quickest response is firstname.lastname@example.org!