Wedding Photography Questions Answered
HOW DID YOU LEARN PHOTOGRAPHY AND WHEN DID YOU START?
Had to really think back for this one! Although I had always experimented with various types of photography (and any camera that I could get my hands on) as a kid, I suppose formally started learning photography in 1999. I was using my dad’s old Mamiya/Sekor with black and white film in a dark room. You had to really take your time with each shot! There’s no deleting, and you don’t even know exactly how the image is going to come out until you do the developing.
WHEN WAS YOUR BUSINESS ESTABLISHED?
Lancaster Photography was established in 2007. Crazy! It’s been amazingly fun, but crazy that we’re into our 2nd decade.
IS PHOTOGRAPHY YOUR MAIN BUSINESS? WHAT OTHER WORK DO YOU DO?
I am quite fortunate that I can say yes, photography is my day job. California (especially the San Francisco Bay Area) is quite an expensive place to live, so it’s certainly not easy… but I’ve managed to be self employed in this industry since 2010. For the first 3 years of business, I had a day job while I worked to build the Lancaster Photography brand, portfolio and reputation. Outside of weddings, I love shooting music-related things. I work with a lot of artists and you’ll find me in the security pit at the front of the stage of many concerts… everything from Metallica to Justin Timberlake. If you’d like to see my music photography work, along with people, travel, landscapes, abstract, etc. then just head over to claylancaster.com where I keep all that stuff.
DESCRIBE YOUR “STYLE” OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY.
I’ve always been a fan of letting the moment craft itself. Whether it’s candid or a more planned session with a bride and groom, I allow people to be themselves while grabbing the shining personal moments on camera… when they’re least aware of it. The real emotion, the real personalities, the real people are hidden in the tiniest candid moments that just cannot be recreated.
I’ve spent years getting good at noticing these moments and recording that one perfect frame that displays what I want to covey. You only get that sort of detail and attention from someone that just genuinely cares.
WILL YOU HAVE A SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER OR AN ASSISTANT?
The number of photographers depends on the project and the rate you decide to go with. For family sessions, engagement shoots, and shorter weddings, you’ll usually find me flying solo. Anything longer and more involved will usually warrant having someone else with me. Adding a second camera angle is always an option for any shoot though! So if you think you might want two angles during your event, and a second shooter isn’t already included, just let us know and we’ll work it out.
DO YOU TRAVEL?
Oh yes! I love traveling. Love it. So don’t worry if your event is a 4-hour drive away, or a 4-hour flight away. Travel and lodging cost does need to be factored in though, in most cases. However, if you have a house on the coast of Italy or something and say “we’ll fly you out here and you can stay for a week” then yeah, I’ll probably shoot your wedding while I’m there… at a severely discounted rate. Just ask!
DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE?
WHAT IS YOUR MINIMUM BOOKING?
For weddings, a 2-hour minimum block of time applies usually. For any other type of shoot, there is no minimum. This is because weddings occupy mostly weekends. There’s only a limited amount of weekends in a year, and I never schedule two weddings on the same day. Other types of shoots (family, engagement, lifestyle, portraits, etc) can be scheduled any day of the week, so there’s more room to play with.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO WE NEED TO BOOK YOU?
For weddings, 6-9 months in advance is the most common time frame for clients to lock me in. If your wedding is a Saturday in the middle of July, when many other weddings might be happening, then you might want to get a hold of me sooner. For other shoots, sometimes 1 day in advance works just fine!
WILL A CONTRACT OF THE SERVICES BE PROVIDED? HOW DO YOU HANDLE PAYMENTS?
Yes, there is a wedding contract that I will send your way once we get all the details ironed out. It’s straight forward, and easy to read. The contract is online, so you’ll have access to view, sign, and pay your deposit or balance from your computer or mobile device, and you can go back to refer to it at any time. If you prefer to pay with cash or check, we of course accept those forms as well. Whatever is easiest for you.
CAN I GIVE YOU A LIST OF SPECIFIC SHOTS THAT I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE?
Yes! By all means throw me a list if you have special requests. We’re good at getting everything and everyone covered without a list, but sometimes it helps to have. As much as I get to know you guys during this process, there’s no way I can possibly know that Aunt Hilda and Uncle Gene flew all the way from overseas for this event, and they haven’t seen your brother in 4 years because he was deployed in the Navy, so I need to make sure I have a picture of the 3 of them together. That’s something you can put on that list for me. Plus, it’ll help you to remember in the moment as well.
AFTER THE WEDDING, WHEN CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE THE PHOTOS?
Normally I can have your completed wedding photos to you in 4-6 weeks. Sometimes a bit faster if it’s a slower time of the year, and sometimes closer to 8 weeks if I’m slammed with bookings. I always keep good communication during that time, and if you follow Lancaster Photography on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll see teaser photos start to pop up as I’m working on them. That way you know I’m doing my job! And it allows you to share some a little early.
HOW MANY IMAGES DO YOU USUALLY DELIVER?
While I can’t guarantee a number of images (the number greatly fluctuates depending on what kinds of activities are going on, how lively the crowd is, how many people are in attendance, etc.) the final image count tends to be around 100 photos per hour that I’m shooting, on average. So if you hire me for a 6-hour wedding block, you’ll most likely end up with 600-700 final images.
HOW MANY OF THE IMAGES WE RECEIVE WILL BE EDITED IN POST PRODUCTION?
All of them. Every single image that you receive from me has been individually edited and touched up. It’s a time consuming process, and a big chunk of the fee that you pay me goes to editing. I don’t work on all the photos we take, of course. That’d be like U2 releasing every single song idea they ever came up with to the public, or Stephen Spielberg including every one of Harrison Ford’s acting takes in the theatrical version of the film. That would just be silly.
WILL I HAVE THE DIGITAL/PRINTING RIGHTS TO MY PHOTOS?
You betcha! You paid me. They’re yours to do with as you please. If your package includes the online gallery, you can order high quality prints from there if you like. But if you’d rather take them down to Costco, by all means go for it.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY FOR US TO SHARE IMAGES ON SOCIAL MEDIA? ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS WHEN SHARING IMAGES ONLINE?
No! No restrictions whatsoever. Again, the images are yours. I love when clients share the images from one of our sessions, and I encourage it. Tag me in there even! As far as sharing goes, there are 3 main options:
- Share the entire online gallery or select folders that I set up for you (if included).
- Repost the images you see on Lancaster Photography’s social media accounts.
- Upload your own gallery on Facebook. Along with the hi-res versions of the images, I always give my clients a .zip file of web-ready versions for social media. These are much smaller file sizes and will upload much faster to Facebook. Plus they are size-optimized to still stay sharp.
If most of your photography questions have been answered (or even if you have more), go ahead and contact us so we can get started working with you!