Wedding Photography Frequently Asked Questions


How long have you been a photographer? When did you start shooting weddings? I’ve been a full-time professional photographer for the last 17 years. Marcy and I have photographed 490 weddings to date.

What is your photography style? I would characterize my style as documentary, photojournalistic, classic and creative.   The majority of the time I focus on capturing the moments as they unfold. It’s your day to enjoy with family and friends; it’s my job to document the energy and emotion.

Do I need a woman photographer? Men and women of all types bring all types of qualities to the creative front.  For weddings, I do work with my wife, Marcy.  She is with you during the getting ready portion of the day and I’m with the guys so that everyone is comfortable.  The truth in photography is that men photographers are good at the technicals of photography (lighting, posing, etc) and the romantic side of the day and women are great at the creative side and also feeling the emotion of the day.  For that reason, all of our weddings include Marcy and I.  It’s the best of both words.  XX+XY=XXXY.

Where are you located? We are proud to be based out of Raleigh.  Michael was born in New Orleans, LA and we do commission a limited number of weddings in the Crescent City.  We’re also available for travel.

How much do your services cost? Eight hours of day of coverage starts at $2,400; I also have a la carte options. Please review our brochure.  We are happy to customize our offerings to fit your needs.

Can we meet you in person to see if you might be the right photographer for our day? Yes, I love meeting new people and I’d be happy to get together to learn more about your wedding plans and answer any questions you might have.

What if we’re from out of town and can’t physically meet you?   Some of our clients are planning a wedding from afar, and an in person meeting isn’t feasible. I’m happy to have a conversation via phone or Skype.

Do you do engagement photos and what’s the advantage to having them done?  An engagement session is your chance to spend a few hours with your beau giving each other long looks and kisses.  Let’s face it, on your wedding day you’re going to have that one quick kiss before you start celebrating with all of your loved ones.  My couples love the chance to walk around hand in hand capturing the spirit of their bond.  Some couples use the images for their save-the-dates or a signing book at the wedding.  My couples tell me that this session makes them comfortable in front of the camera on their wedding day.

We’re curious, how does the booking process work? We will fill out a wedding contract and both sign and keep a copy. A retainer reserves your date.

Can you hold our date for a couple weeks? Unfortunately the only fair way I’ve found is to give dibs to the couple that puts down their retainer first. In some cases I can hold a date for a couple days.

What forms of payment do you accept? I accept cash, check or money order.

How about bridal sessions? What’s the deal with those?  A bridal session is your chance to have a dress rehearsal for the big day.  It also gives you the opportunity to relish in your carefully selected bridal attire for one more day.  During a bridal session we will spend up to two and a half hours with you at the locations of your choice capturing the spirit of your dress.  On the big day, you’ll have a short window to get your family portraits, couple photos and pictures of just you.  Brides that have a bridal session tend to feel more at ease in their bridal duds the day of the ceremony, and they tend to have less anxiety about hair and makeup after they have gone through the process once before. Please click here for more information.

I’m getting married out of the country… would you consider doing my wedding? How does that work? I have a current passport and am ready to travel. We would work out the details as far as travel compensation.

Who will be the photographer on the day of my wedding?  Marcy and Michael will be your wedding photographers.

How many hours will you be at my wedding taking pictures? My packages start with 8 hours of continuous wedding day coverage. Additional hours may be added. I recommend starting your coverage about an hour and a half before your ceremony time.

How many photos will you take at my wedding?  Most of our eight hour weddings yield 750+ final images.

What type of editing do you do? I carefully examine each and every photo. The images are then cropped, rotated, color-balanced, polished, and made to look their best. We spend a lot of time on the back end working with your images. We love happy brides who love how they look in their photos.

How long after the wedding will I get to see my photos? There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in the digital darkroom. Therefore, turnaround on wedding photos is usually about 6 weeks.

Will there be an online gallery for sharing my wedding photos via social media or with friends and family?  Yes

We really want our wedding images on a USB drive, do we get that? Yes!  All my packages currently include the high resolution image files on USB drive with a limited non-commercial print release so you and your family can share the photos online and make your own prints and enlargements.  I can provide a disc if you prefer.

Can guests order prints from you? We don’t want to field all those requests from friends and family.  Your images will be posted to an online gallery. There is a simple option where people can order prints and have them mailed to their door if you share this gallery link with them.

Do I get the copyright to my wedding pictures? The photographer retains the “copyright” to all the photos, but you will have the right to print the images, make copies, and share them online. You’re covered for everything you’d want to do with the images.

If my package includes a disc of edited photos and a print release, why would I order prints directly from you? Of course you can take your disc to the corner drugstore or giant box store and print out some photos and have those back in an hour. That’s fine for smaller photos if you just want to send one of your guests a candid snapshot. I actually recommend that approach. But, if you plan on printing anything 8×10 or larger and want to ensure the highest quality for your prints, you may want to consider ordering through me. I work with a professional print lab that goes the extra mile to ensure the highest quality standards.

Is a wedding album included? Some of my packages include an album and some don’t. I have a graphic design background and I would be happy to help design the perfect album for you. There are several different sizes and design types and all the albums are flush mount style.  Some of my brides are graphic designers or scrapbookers and they would prefer to create something of their own so I don‘t require the purchase of an album. If you have an amazing project you’d like to create with your images on disc, go for it! I’d love to see the finished product.

How are my photos stored? Are they safe? The moment I leave your wedding and get back to base camp I make multiple copies of your image files. One set is stored off site in a fire proof safe. One copy is immediately burned to dvd for archiving and the 3rd set goes onto an external hard drive where it will live forever. As you can see we’re really serious about backing up and protecting your images. We understand that your wedding day will only happen once, so we take every precaution.

What happens if there’s a major emergency on my wedding day and you can’t be there? Part of being a professional involves having a backup plan. Granted, in the many years that I’ve been photographing weddings, I have never been late nor missed one.  That being said, we never know what life might throw at us. If something were to happen (knock on wood and cross fingers and toes), I have a strong network of trusted professional photographers that I could turn to to help fill in and take care of you on your wedding day.

I’m trying to figure out my scheduling for the day of…how long does it usually take for the formal photographs? When will you do the artistic bride and groom photos? The length of time to do the formal photos depends on the number of guests, how large your families are, and the size of your bridal party. On average, the formals take about an hour. But try to factor in a little cushion if you can because most weddings don’t start right on time. Also, remember that you will most likely want to have some nice artistic bride and groom photos too. I’m willing to work on those photos as long as you like. That’s my favorite part!

What kind of equipment do you use at weddings? I’m constantly adding to my array of photo gear. Currently I use Canon 5D Mark IIIs, and a Canon 1D. I have an assortment of ultra-wide to telephoto prime lenses, external flashes, tripods, and strobes with light stands. I also bring extra memory cards, batteries and backup gear. I also have a few other pieces of miscellaneous gear, but that’s mostly photographer nerd speak.

How do you dress on the wedding day? The only reason I’m asking is because one of my friends had a photographer show up to her Catholic wedding in jeans… I dress professionally with a suit and tie, button down shirt and nice looking shoes. My goal is to blend in with the crowd. How else am I supposed to get all those great candid shots?!

Obviously we’re new to this whole wedding thing…do you have any advice from a photography standpoint? Light is a photographer’s best friend.  If you possibly can, try to schedule your ceremony during daylight hours and leave a little time afterwards for bride and groom photos before the sun disappears behind the horizon. It’s common photography knowledge that the last hour of light is the most flattering for portraits. If for some reason you can’t help this situation, I have professional lighting equipment that can help us out. Still, there is no substitute for the sun.

Feel free to contact me with any other questions you might have. It’s my goal to make your day beautiful and meaningful.