FAQ: Weddings

How would you describe your wedding photography style?

I am a semi-posed documentation photographer.

What does semi-posed mean?

I know where the best light, cleanest backdrop, and most esthetically pleasing spot is for an event or photo to take place. I will direct you to the location that will give us the best results and then let the magic of the event happen while I document. Similarly, when I capture your portraits, I will give you some direction, like where to stand, where to place your hands and where to look, and then encourage you to act natural, talk to each other, whisper something funny, etc to create a natural looking photo that you will love for a lifetime.

How many weddings do you photograph per year?

I book up to 20 weddings per year, and shoot an additional 15-20 weddings per year as a second shooter for other Pittsburgh photographers. Limiting the number of weddings I accept per year allows me to devote a good amount of time to each of my clients.

Have you worked at my venue?

I have worked at close to 100 different venues in the Tri-state area. Some of these venues include: Heinz Chapel, Duquesne University Chapel, Thiel College Chapel, Harbison Chapel at Grove City College, Fox Chapel Golf Club, Soldiers and Sailors Museum, Pittsburgh Athletic Association, Marriott Airport, Omni William Penn, University Club, Lingrow Farms, Twelve Oaks Mansion, The Chadwick, Armstrong Farms, Heinz History Museum, Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at The Priory, Sewickley Heights Golf Club, Phipps Conservatory, Succop Nature Park, Circuit Center, Marriott Cranberry, Grand Concourse, Laube Hall, Oglebay Resort, Shady Elms Farms, SNPJ Recreation Center Enon Valley, Southpointe Golf Club, Anthony’s Lakeside Party Center, Valley Brook Country Club and so so many more!

What if you haven’t worked at my venue?

That is absolutely no problem. I am experienced working in all lighting conditions and all property restrictions. I am used to thinking on my feet, because every wedding is different! Light changes, venues change, client preferences change and that is perfectly okay with me! I love variety!

Why do you charge what you charge for wedding photography?

You are paying for an experienced wedding photography professional to capture and document your day, but more than that, you are making an investment. You’re not just paying for someone to press a button, or a cheap piece of photo paper. You’re paying for the guarantee that your photographer has extensively studied their craft, researched their equipment, and spent thousands of hours photographing weddings, events, seniors and newborns. You’re paying for extensive time spent editing with the best software on the market, business insurance and a legally operating local business professional,  And most importantly, you’re paying for a creative eye that can create a piece of artwork and images that tell the story of your day in a way that you will be excited to share for years to come.

How soon should we book?

I begin accepting bookings about 18 months in advance. I recommend booking as soon as you know you want to work with me! Weddings are booked based on the first to sign their contract and pay their retainer. So delaying your booking could result in missing the booking. In fairness to all of my potential clients, I have made it a policy not to tell clients if someone else in considering the same day. Because I do not want anyone to feel like they are being pressured into booking.

What is the most common problem couple run into on their wedding day as far as photography?

Timing. It always takes longer to get ready than you anticipate, particularly for the bride. Hair and Makeup without fail runs over time. I always tell my brides if you think it will take 2 hours, plan for 3. And putting on your dress often takes longer than anticipated, particularly if your dress ties or has buttons. I generally like to allot 1 hour prior to the ceremony for pictures, then add  getting ready and drive time. It is important to plan for that.

Can we meeting before the wedding?

Yes! I require that we meet, or at least talk via Skype at least 30 days prior to your wedding. During this meeting, we go over your timeline and confirm everything. We go over the list of family photos, you help me learn who everyone is, and we plan an order to complete those images. And we map out all the locations, confirm addresses, phone numbers and all the information that you will provide me in your questionnaires.

How do you dress for a wedding?

My goal is to blend in with the guests, generally, I wear muted tones such as black, gray and tan. But I will wear anything you ask me. So if you prefer I come in camo or a hawaiian shirt, I will absolutely do so, just let me know!

What’s in your camera bag?

A am a Canon user. I currently carry two professional Canon cameras, a 5d mark ii and a 6d, and four professional Canon lenses, 35mm, 17-40mm, 70-200mm, and 100mm, and one Sigma 85mm lens. I also use multiple Canon flashes to create many of the amazing wedding photos that you see on your website. Most important to me is that all my equipment is in good working order, regularly maintenanced and that I carry backup equipment in case of an emergency.

Can my family or friends take photos?

Family and friends are welcome to take pictures, if that is what you would like. I simply ask that no other photographers are present during the bridal portrait session. The reason I ask this, is because I want to create a special intimate experience between the bride and groom. It is much easier to accomplish this with limited eye and minimal distractions.

Here are a few things I urge you to consider before you ask friends to take pictures. You are paying me a significant amount of money to capture professional wedding image, sometimes friends and family can be distracting and during very special moments that can’t be repeated, them may step in front of me and block my perspective. And they are often unaware that they are doing so. Also, your friends and family are there to enjoy your day and celebrate with you! I would love for all your friends and family to be able to focus solely on you, while I focus solely on preserving your memories.

One additional thing I should mention, in your contract, there is a clause that states that no one else will be able to use photographs from your wedding to advertise for a photography business.

Do you do church altar shots/family formals?

Absolutely, prior to your wedding, we will prepare a list of desired family photos. They can be done in the church at the altar or in a more casual outdoor setting.

Will you be attending our wedding rehearsal?

Yes, wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner coverage is available for an additional fee, and are subject to availability. Please contact me for details.

Do you recommend a first look and why?

I love doing first looks. It is an excellent way for you to share a super intimate moment in private without hundreds of eyes watching. The first look tends to be much more romantic and emotional, than seeing each other for the first time at the church. The first look also gives us an opportunity to relax, without the stress of getting to the reception, and capture some amazing bridal portraits prior to the weddings.

This is particularly great if there is a special place you want to have your pictures done at that may be too far out of the way to do between the ceremony and reception. If not, I can help you plan the perfect spot.

A first look also allows you time to attend their cocktail hour, and mingle with the guests before dinner and dancing starts. The cocktail hour can also be the perfect time to capture small group pictures, like friends from high school or a large group of cousins, that we would not be able to get during alter pictures.

I strongly recommend doing a first look if your wedding is planned between November and March when darkness falls much earlier.

What is the best time of day to photograph?

Sunrise and Sunset are the best times of day to capture photos. The lighting is the best 1.5 hours before sunset, until right before sunset. For this reason, I will try to get 15 minutes during your reception to head outside and capture a few amazing portraits. Usually, I plan for this to happen immediately following dinner, or immediately following parent dances.

Do you offer post-wedding session (AKA. Trash the Dress, Bridal Showcase, etc.)? And why would we want one?

Yes. Post-wedding sessions are some of my absolutely favorite things to shoot! Because it gives us more flexibility to be creative without worrying about “getting you to the church on time”

We are able to travel to any location you choose. There is less to worry about, like the schedule or getting a little dirt or water on the dress (but if you are still worried about keeping your dress perfect, that’s okay too. I don’t mind). We can also control the time of the shoot, we will schedule your session during sunset, the absolutely best time for a shoot and if it rains, we reschedule, no big deal.

What measures do you take to protect my images after the wedding?

Your wedding files will be backed up on two hard drives immediately following your wedding. I also keep the original files on my memory cards until I finish editing and delivering your images to you. After delivering your images, I guarantee I will maintain copies of your images for 60 days. I strongly encourage you to make additional copies of your images after your wedding, and store at least one copy outside of your home.

How long will it take to see our images?

A sneak peak blog post will be prepared 1-3 days after your wedding. My editing process takes approximately 30 – 60 days to complete. Once completed, all of your images will be posted to a private, password protected gallery, where you will be able to download your images. You will also be able to share your gallery with friends and family.

How many images will I receive?

You will receive approximately 400-700 unique images, in color and/or black & white. The number of images you receive is dependent on your day, if a second shooter is selected, and the number of hours booked.

Will all my images be retouched?

All of the images you receive are closely examined for quality, focus and technical excellence. Each photo is then cropped, color-corrected, exposure corrected and sharpened using professional editing software. A select group of portrait will then be selected for more selective editing, as well as converted to black and white.

Can I edit the photos you took? Will I receive the unedited photos?

All of your photos will already be lightly edited when your receive your digital copies. If you would like additional editing to any images, please contact me for details and pricing on my editing services. You will not receive any original or unedited images. All the images I capture are shot in RAW format and require special software to view.

Can I share my photos on social networking?

Yes of course. I only ask that you credit Jessica Lee Photography, as the photographer. This can be done by posting watermarked images, or by adding in the comment of each image “Photo by Jessica Lee Photography www.jessicalee-photography.com” Watermarked images are available upon request.

Do we get copies of the images that we can print anywhere?

Yes, all of my packages include digital files with printing rights. You will be able to reproduce as many copies as you choose.

If family or friends want photos, can I make them copies? Or can they order from you?

Your digital copies also include the printing rights. You will be able to make additional printed copies for friends and family. Your images will also be displayed in an online gallery where your family and friends will have the opportunity to purchase professionally printed images directly from me.