Do I need an engagement session?
A lot of people ask me if they need an engagement session, and the short answer is, "No, you definitely don't need an engagement session," but one of the main advantages of an engagement session is that it can give you and your photographer a great chance to work together before your wedding and get to know each other. You may discover some things about yourself and your photographer may discover some things about working with you that will only enhance your relationship and the quality of your wedding photos.
But saying that, sometimes an engagement session just doesn't work out, so you may want to opt for a pre-wedding session like rehearsal dinner coverage, or even a post-wedding session. All of those are great options. If your photography package includes an additional session and you don't want either one of those three options (the engagement session, the rehearsal dinner coverage, or the post-wedding session), you can always hang on to that additional session and use it somewhere down the line. After you start a family, you may want to use that for family portraits or even put it towards another event.
How many hours of wedding photography coverage do I need?
There are a couple ways to determine how many hours of wedding photography coverage you might need for your wedding and you may need to look at a couple things in order to make that decision. The first thing that you need to decide is if you're going to do a first look and if you are going to do a first look, that can definitely extended the start time of your wedding photography.
The other thing you need to look at is how many important events you're going to have it at your reception. Some couples are all done with all the important events right after the cake cutting and some couples have events that go all through the reception including some kind of a formal exit with sparklers, bubbles, or exiting into a limousine.
Generally, what I suggest, without a first look, is starting and hour and a half before the ceremony start time. But of course every wedding is going to be a little bit different. If you are going to to do a first look at than I'd recommend starting two to two and a half hours before the ceremony start time and then of course the ending time depends on how many things are happening at your reception.
Full coverage, without a doubt, would definitely take you to the end of the reception, but at at least eighty percent of the weddings we cover, the last hour to two hours of the reception doesn't require all that much photography and could certainly be cut-out of your day if your budget allows for that.
general, most of the weddings we are booking are anywhere between six
hours and ten hours with the average somewhere around seven to eight
hours, but everybody's wedding is different. We've done weddings as
short as an hour and a half and as long as sixteen hours in one day.
Do you need to see my venue prior to my wedding?
Some people ask me how familiar I need to be with their wedding venue in order to shoot their wedding there. The truth is, I've experienced it all: I have venues that I have shot at dozens of times where they're very familiar to me and I'm able to know where the best shots are and know how to work with that venue and know where the little secrets are, etc.
Sometimes, that can actually get a little bit tough, so what I try to do is always keep it fresh. I always try to approach each wedding as a brand new experience. I try to look for different shots and different and think of different angles and always try to keep it new and fresh and creative.
At the same time, a venue that's brand new for me could actually be quite refreshing because I'm able to approach that venue from a brand new perspective. It really gets the creative juices flowing. It helps me come up with new, interesting shots, and it really helps to enhance the experience.
So, no, I really don't really need to see a venue and definitely I don't need to work their before I shoot the wedding, but if I do then that's okay too. I always like to tell people that I'd like to think I can be dropped off anywhere without any advanced warning of what the venue is and have not just the equipment, but the knowledge and the creativity, to create beautiful wedding photos in that venue.
How can you meet or photograph me in New England?
A lot of people ask me if I live in Florida, how am I able to meet with them in New England, or shoot their engagement session in New England, or even shoot their wedding in New England?
The truth is, I am from Connecticut originally and I've got family in Connecticut and I have family in Massachusetts. It makes it really easy for me to come back home, visit my friends and family, and work with my clients. I travel up North multiple times throughout the year: six or eight times a year; and I often stay for a couple of weeks at a time. During my trips, I am able to meet with clients, shoot engagement sessions, and of course, shoot their weddings.
I do a lot of weddings up in Portland and in the Boston area, as well as Newport, Rhode Island, and locations in Connecticut and New York. For many of the locations I travel to, I don't charge any travel fee at all, and for almost every other location, I charge a reduced travel fee, so it's just as good as having me in your own backyard.
If for some reason we can't connect in person for a meeting, we can always connect over the phone or through Skype. I make things really easy as far as meeting my clients and staying in touch with them.