This is just a quick note for people who have found me through Thumbtack. I believe that there are many people on the site who are offering very low bids by who are not professional or experienced photographers. I have come across several people who have gone with the lowest bid for their wedding and who have been sorely disappointed because, while reasonably high quality cameras are now very widely and cheaply available, the talent and experience to go with those cameras is less easily accessible. Please take the time to really get to know a photographer and look at his work as well as checking the number and quality of his references and ratings on Thumbtack. Your wedding day is too important to end up disappointed with your pictures for the sake of going with the lowest bid.
So this is it! You decided on a date. Now it is time to find all the wedding vendors you are going to need to make your day perfect. An important part of that perfect day will be recording it so that you can bask in its perfection in the years to come! When you book Phil Rose Photography you are booking not only a professional photographer but also an artist. As such you hire me along with my experience. There will be things I will need to know from you but for the most part you will be able to sit back and let me cover the event. I am honored that you are considering Phil Rose Photography to immortalize this day and hope that this page of information will help.
What do you get?
Often a wedding shoot may involve my taking up to 1000 images or more. After the wedding I whittle these down to the best images available and then I post-process them, so that in the final collection, you can expect to receive around 25 optimized photographs per hour of contracted time. (I delete all the ‘dud’ images which are out of focus/under or over exposed, where eyes are closed and so on; this means you will end up with fewer shots than are actually taken, because these ‘dud’ images are not available to clients.) So how many images will you receive? Estimating around 25 images per hour of shooting, you can expect an eight hour wedding to net you around 200-250 images.
While you are off on your honeymoon or simply relaxing in the post-marital glow I will be at home sweating over two hot monitors, whittling, and choosing, polishing and buffing the images. I use the most modern software to optimize your photographs. Most of these will have a standard finishing treatment, whilst a few which I choose will be given a more high-end custom finish (these are often the romantic images taken with just the couple but that isn't always the case). You can then additionally request three images per hour of shooting to be worked up further to achieve the high-end custom finish or any style of your choosing (for example, for an eight hour wedding you can request twenty four additional images). So, you might contact me and say 'hey, I like Dave and Sarah 136 but would you work it up in black and white and with a vignette and border?' -- something like that. Please take a look at the sample images below.
Within fourteen days of the wedding, you will receive:
1) A thumb drive containing a collection of beautiful finished images at full high resolution. You will then be able to take those pictures to print (though I am more than happy to help with any printing needs you may have).
2) A link to the images on an online gallery containing all those same images. This gallery will allow you to download the images at a size suitable for printing up to 5 x 7 or for sharing on social media. It will also be possible to order prints of any size up to poster size and even canvases, metal based prints, etc. This link can be shared with friends and family and will allow them to order prints directly through the site.
3) Another link to an online slide show of 20-30 of my favorite images set to music ready to be shared on social media so people can see a beautiful overview of the day. Please click here for a sample slide show of this sort.
I'm also happy to talk to you about doing a book of photographs from your wedding.
You can call me to request a bid but there are a few things that it might be helpful to know before we chat.
The date of the wedding. This can make a big difference since I do have to charge more for weddings that happen at weekends and during the summer months since that is when demand is highest. So a wedding on a Wednesday in November will be a lot cheaper than one on a June Saturday.
The number of hours you would require me to be there. I average around 25 usable images per hour so an eight hour wedding might net you about 200 optimized images. Of course, you wouldn't want to hire me based purely on the number of images you would receive. It is important to decide what aspects of the wedding you need to have covered. Many people like to have me arrive in time to do photojournalistic images of bride and groom getting ready in their respective rooms. This can lead to some very lovely and intimate images including still lives of items central to the wedding but which might often be forgotten in years to come. Obviously I need to be there for the ceremony followed by group shots and often romantic images of the couple perhaps somewhat close to the wedding in a nearby beautiful spot. I can then stay for some or all of the reception, to capture it if you have a grand exit planned or garter toss etc. However, weddings can continue quite late and if you want to keep the budget lower, those last few hours are often good ones to skip.
The number of people you are expecting to attend. This rarely makes a big difference to the price but it is useful information to know.
Things to consider
When planning a wedding it is important to prioritize how photography fits within your overall plan and priorities. If the look of the photographs is of the highest importance then you make a few decisions, mostly related to a choice of location. Something to bear in mind is the fact that bright sunshine is not the photographer's friend. Many believe that a bright sunny day will provide them with wonderful images but unfortunately the reverse is true. Bright sunshine leads to squinting and harsh shadows (high contrast). The ideal is an overcast day which leads to softer and more flattering light. If you plan an outdoor wedding, please look around for possible shaded places to do photographs. Perhaps there are some trees or the shade of a building that could help. If photography is paramount then please consider having the ceremony in the shade. I have no objection to you having your ceremony in bright sunshine but I do need you to be aware of what that will lead to and I'll put a couple of examples below to show what happens in bright sunshine as well as what happens in shade or overcast conditions.
Harsh bright direct sunlight.
Softer lights on an overcast day.
If your reception or ceremony takes place indoors you might consider what the lighting is like. If it is a large, dark hall lit with strip lights or very orange lighting this may be impossible to overcome for a photographer and you will end up with photographs that look as though they are photographed in a large, dark hall! This can be overcome through the use of studio lighting but it is unusual that wedding couples want to have large studio lights with umbrellas and so on in the middle of the ceremony. Again, the choice of location is yours but bear in mind that there is only so much a photographer can do to overcome the location. This only refers, of course, to the actual ceremony. For romantic shots and group shots where I am in control of the situation we will find ways to make it work.
With regard to what you receive please be aware that while I will post all the photographs that are worth posting (I'm often shooting at eight frames per second and then afterwards looking for the best expression out of all those images) and they will be of reasonable quality in terms of getting prints there is a difference between every photograph of auntie Bessie and uncle Jim that you will see compared to the fine art work done on romantic images of the two of you. You will also get to choose some of the images for me to work up in this style and I always choose some to work up more fully of my own volition. As an example of what I mean please click here to see one full album from one wedding. This shows you a good example of all the images I delivered to this couple. If you click here you will see the smaller gallery of images that the couple chose for me to work up. This is more along the lines of what I would call final finished art pieces. You will get all the images in the first folder and then you will get to choose a selection from that folder for me to finish up in a high art style.
This is a sort of level of quality I achieve at the wedding but the general quality will be very dependent on how much you are prepared to work with me and to make the wedding more or less about achieving high quality photographs. Most people lean towards simply having a good day and the photographs are what can be caught. This is with the exception of a half-hour or so in which I take the couple away to get some high quality art work. Please feel free to talk to me if you would prefer to work a different way and be aware that the images you may see in wedding magazines are highly stylised, set up and frequently come about as a result of weddings which are very much oriented around achieving high quality photography. They are also done by photographers who cost sometimes upward of $5000 to $10,000 to hire. I'm very proud of my abilities but in the end I am a Bellingham photographer and not one of New York's glitterati! If this isn't what you're looking for then please ask as I may be up to help you find the photographer of your dreams!
I know this is a lot to go through and think about and please do feel free to ask about anything you would like to know more about. Wedding photography is not an exact science and I will work hard to make sure you get a good range of basic photographs of the day as well as a group of fine art style finished pieces. This way you'll have memories of the day as well as some treasured images.
Do please get in touch with any questions you have about this. I’m always happy to chat!