"When should we do the engagement session"?
One of the unfortunate parts of wedding planning is the amount of time it will require from you during the week. 99% of weddings occur on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday so booking your photography session on a weekend–when it would be probably be the most convenient for your work schedule–might not be an option for your photographer or hair and makeup. You can do the session at any point after engagement that you want. I do not recommend in the DEEP HEAT of the Texas summer months as we will all be super sweaty BUT if those are the cards we are dealt....than we will roll with it and do our best to move fast. :o) The times of day for sessions are early morning and late evening. The magical few hours of best light before sunset and after sunrise.
"What should I wear"?!
First I recommend getting hair and makeup professionally done so you can look and feel as beautiful as you can. Then I recommend 2-3 Outfits
1. A dressy sexy outfit that fits well enough where you feel comfortable wearing it. Be bold, be sassy step outside of the box.
2. A casual outfit with jeans or cute shorts.
3. Anything or even something fun like college teams or pro teams
Please no matching...we have all seen the white shirts and jeans. NOOOOOO......throw some color in there. Match the season. Layers are always good for fall photos etc.
"Can we bring our dog or children"?
Yes, if those are needed we recommend doing them in the beginning and having a friend or relative be there to take them once we are done with them.
"Do you have props or do we need props"?
Props start to become all consuming sometimes, so we suggest you bring only what you HAVE to bring (if any) and leave the rest to just focus on the couple and those sweet, sexy, romantic poses and shots.
"Looks like its going to rain"
Don't spend your days leading up to your session worrying about the weather. Especially with this Houston weather and how it changes at the drop of a hat. Don't look at the weather too early and cause yourself more stress than needed. If "THE CALL" needs to be made, it is normally made about 24 hours before your session. This will give you time to cancel hair, makeup, etc. Please trust your photographer....we know what makes for good lighting and better photos. If it is nasty dark and super overcast and we choose to reschedule.....please have faith that it is in your best interest. We want to provide the quality photos you want and deserve and not "force" a session to happen and you ending up being displeased with the outcome.
"Do you have location ideas"?
Yes but open to any ideas. It all depends on the theme-the look and feel you want in your photos. We suggest you search the internet....not worrying about poses, clothes etc...and look and the feel of the image. Once you find what speaks to you we can work out the location details.
"When should I do bridals"?
Again same as engagements.....One of the unfortunate parts of wedding planning is the amount of time it will require from you during the week. 99% of weddings occur on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday so booking your photography session on a weekend–when it would be probably be the most convenient for your work schedule–might not be an option for your photographer or hair and makeup. Also, if you plan on doing them at your venue, they typically do not allow you to come on weekends as they are booked as well. The times of day for sessions are early morning and late evening. The magical few hours of best light before sunset and after sunrise. Unless most of the shots are to be done inside a beautiful venue, then we are not limited to the sunrise and sunset. We recommend doing them no closer than 6 weeks before the wedding. Ideally further out but no closer than 6 weeks. That gives us time to reschedule due to weather also gives photographer time to process and edit your photos and then gives you time to order prints and canvases needed/wanted to post at the reception.
"What should I bring"?
Do not plan on coming to location in your dress. Wedding dress look wonderful on and feel great when standing but they are not meant to sit in. LOL A car ride in your dress and veil sounds like torture to me. We will find a spot for you to change at. Arrive 15-20 minutes prior to your scheduled time to allow you dressing time. Bring a white sheet, if your shoes are heels please bring flip flops or flats to wear majority of the session and while walking around. Bring a bouquet....even if it is fake...you need some sort of flowers to hold for some of the photos. Bring water, lipstick and powder small mirror for touch ups when needed. Also, a friend or two or three to help carry this stuff and help you with your dress.
Q: What time should we start photos wedding day?
A: Depends on the length of time we are hired for but we always recommend that photography starts 2-3 hours prior to ceremony start time and NO LESS that an hour before. Those hours prior to ceremony allows time for getting ready phots, details photos, (dress shoes, bouquet, décor, flowers, cake, etc.) We also try to get bride with her bridesmaids and grooms with his groomsman shots during this time as well. If this means all hair and makeup needs to be done by 3:00 tell those vendors you need to be done by 2:30....they almost always run a little late so plan that buffer. Better safe than sorry.
Q: How many photos do you take at weddings?
A: Depending on the length of time hired we typically shoot 1,000-2,000 images. After editing you typically receive a minimum of 800 images. Again, that depends on length of time, number of shooters and a few other misc. circumstances.
Q: How many photographers/assistants do you bring?
A: Our base package is one photographer only but a second photographer can be added. A second photographer is suggested in weddings over 200 guests and when bride/groom get ready at two separate locations. For costs see pricing tab.
Q: Can packages be modified?
A: Certainly. We now offer a base package in which you can add to, making it fully customizable to fit your needs and desires. Go as big or as little as you want.
Q: Do you travel out of the north Houston area?
A: Yes. We travel anywhere. A travel fee may apply outside of Houston area.
Q: How long have you been a photographer?
A: Shelley started shooting professionally in 2006 and weddings in 2010. Ashley has been photographing since 2010.
Q: Did you go to school for photography?
A: We both went to school for Business and just found herself in photography by self teaching and never looked back.
Q: What does it take to book a wedding with you?
A: Once we have verified that we are open the date that you need, we just require a $400 deposit and contract to book your date. Then the fun begins.
Q: When is final balance due?
A: Four weeks before the wedding or sooner.
Q: Can I make installments?
A: Absolutely, as long as paid in full by the four week deadline.
And the BIG question is......"Do you recommend a first look? Why do all photographers recommend look? What is a first look?"
This is a LONG response but very informative, so please read all the pros and cons and think deeply before making a decision.
A First Look is when a bride and groom see one another before the wedding ceremony in a very special and private moment. No words can describe the tender emotions and reactions of that instant when the couple sees each other for the first time on the most important day in their love story.
The biggest "wedding regret" I hear from brides is "I wish I did the first look".
Below is an example of such bride.
"People ask if Chris and I did a First Look, and I regrettably have to answer no. It wasn't because I didn't want to but simply didn't know what it was and that it was an option! I so WISH we had done a First Look and if we could do it all again, we definitely would without a doubt. When I walked down the over 90 foot aisle of the church we were married in (yes, it was a suuuper long aisle and I almost needed to take a break half way through... just kidding!) I couldn't really see Chris' reaction and when I got to the end of the aisle to him he just whispered to me and the ceremony began. In that moment what I really wanted to do was hug him, tell him how much I loved him... I wanted to hear how excited he was and how the morning was with the guys. I wanted to know if he liked my dress and I wanted to tell him how handsome he looked and wipe the tears from our eyes in a private moment. But all eyes were on us as the ceremony began, and we didn't have a chance to until after the ceremony."
There are a few benefits of doing a First Look and I wanted to break down some of the big ones...
• ENJOYING THAT SPEICAL MOMENT - Being able to enjoy and savor that first moment of seeing one another on your wedding day. Without all your guests watching. Being able to hug/kiss/cry/laugh/smile and not feel like you have to hold back. Having that instant reaction and tender moment documented in a beautiful private manor with no one watching other than the photographer.
• TIMING - Doing a First Look provides much more time for photos without being rushed. Immediately after the First Look, I typically photograph the bride and groom together for a little while. Then I photograph the bridal party (the bridal party can meet the bride and groom at First Look location or wait in transportation until First Look and bride/groom photos are complete.) Then after the ceremony, I usually do family photos if they have not been done already and additional photos of the bride/groom and sometimes more of the bridal party if time allows it. This defiantly, without a doubt allows time for those more intimate and/or fun shots. You know....the cool pintrest photos.
• ATTENDING COCKTAIL HOUR - This ties into timing, but when we do the majority of photos before the cocktail hour, couples can attend some if not all of their cocktail hour. Doing a First Look and photos before the ceremony often allows for much flexibility and options with the wedding day timeline and photo opportunities. Overall it allows you more time with your guests.
• DAYLIGHT - Depending on what time of year a wedding is or how late the ceremony starts, a First Look enables the couple to have beautiful natural light photos while it is still light outside. If a couple is getting married in November with an evening ceremony at 7:00pm, it will obviously be pitch dark outside when the ceremony is done. Doing a First Look, bride/groom photos, bridal party photos, and even family photos prior to the ceremony and sunset would allow for photos outside in the beautiful light rather than just limited to standard inside church or venue photos.
• CALMING THOSE NERVES. My brides are definitely less nervous for the ceremony and the rest of the wedding day when they do a First Look. They are just as excited and anxious, as are the grooms, but less nervous since they have already had time with their soul mate before the ceremony. One of my brides described it best when she told me that the First Look and walking down the aisle were two completely different experiences, but just as emotional and exciting. Walking down the aisle was something she had always dreamed about and the First Look was something she had been looking forward to in the year leading up to the wedding when they decided to do a First Look. And I will tell you that their First Look and walk down the aisle were so incredibly beautiful and emotional in their own way.
- THAT MAGIC SEEING GROOMS REACTION SHOT. Most brides who decide against the first look do so because they want that photo of the groom at the alter seeing his bride for the first time. Well..to be honest. ...that shot...is mostly not as magical as you'd hope. Either the groom smiles sweet and loving or he starts to tear up in which case he covers his face or wipes tears away. That's if guests don't stand up in my way when bride walks in. Also in most cases "that shot" has either a groomsman and/or a minister in the same shot, taking away from the overall "reaction shot". When doing first look, this magic "seeing the grooms reaction" shot can be captured as well. Most often I actually capture a more nature emotion from the groom as he doesn't feel the pressure of 200 people staring at him.
This is where I ask brides...."Is that one shot or moment worth not having time to capture soooo many more and other fun/romantic/special photos and spending more time with your guests"?