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Frequently Asked Questions

For lighting, I bring a lot of lights with me.  I almost never use flash during the ceremony except for the processional and exit.  During receptions, my go-to set up is 2 remote flashes set up near the dance floor or in corners of the room and a flash on my camera.  They all work together and I can switch them on and off remotely depending on what I need at the time.  For outdoor pictures, I have two different lights, a medium one for cloudy days and a very bright one for shooting in places like the beach in full sun.  It might seem counter-intuitive to use a light in full sun, but often people want to take pictures with a beautiful sunny landscape or sunset, and if the sun is behind them and I don’t add some lighting they would be silhouettes.  I do take some silhouettes, but I really like to see faces so I keep the silhouettes to only a few.   
I general with lighting I try to balance the scene by having my lighting blend in with the ambient light.  When non photographers look at my photos it usually is not obvious to them that I used supplemental lighting.  I  preserve the ambiance of the scene and only use lighting to add contrast, make eyes sparkle, and for good skin tones.

My contract promises a minimum of 500 photos.  10 hour weddings are usually in the 600-750 range.  Every wedding is so different that I want to give all of the best photos and not throw away good photos just to hit an exact number like 500.  I edit all of the photos I deliver for white balance, exposure, and give them my signature look.  I do spend more time on the portraits with some dodging and burning and more extensive fine-tuning.  My standard is that I want you to be able to print the photos wherever you like and still have them look excellent.  I recommend http://photoevo.com/  because I think they are the best local professional lab that also serves the general public.  And when I go to design an album, I don’t want to have to do extra editing at that point, so I editing everything with the intent that it will be printed.  I am too proud of my work and reputation to risk having someone print one of my photos that doesn’t live up to my brand image. I general with lighting I try to balance the scene by having my lighting blend in with the ambient light.  When non photographers look at my photos it usually is not obvious to them that I used supplemental lighting.  I  preserve the ambiance of the scene and only use lighting to add contrast, make eyes sparkle, and for good skin tones.

I will mail out an 8gb flash drive with the high-resolution photos with no watermark.  I also include a jpeg file on the flash drive that has a copyright agreement that lets you print and post the photos.  I used to do paper copyright releases, but people would lose them and then call me from the print shop so I could give verbal permission to print the photos.  Ever since I added the copyright to the flash drive no one has had any issues printing their own photos. 

Technically I deliver final photos not proofs, because I make the photos print ready.   
2-5 weeks.

Yes.  Within 1-6 days I will post a sneak peek to facebook – or alternatively to a private gallery.

Weddings within a 90-minute drive of Grand Rapids, MI do not incur travel fees.  For weddings  2 hours away and more I only require a hotel room. 

This is one reason that I only work with second photographers who are also very experienced lead shooters. I trust them to go a good job and take over if something happens to me on the wedding day. In my 12 years of doing this full-time, I had one wedding after a surgery where I had a photographer on call in case I needed to replace myself, but I was fine didn’t need them. Because I have been in the industry for so long I am very well connected, especially to photographers who are high end and now only shoot a few weddings a year. We often second shoot for each other just for fun and to learn from each other. These people would drop their personal plans to step in and save the day. In that case, they would only be replacing me on the day and then deliver the memory cards to me so that I can still back them up and edit the photos. I did this once for a photographer who had surgery. She gave her clients a choice of two photographers who were available and they chose me. She just paid me for my time and I turned over all the photos. Her clients loved me and it all worked out. I pray that never happens to me because I care so much about being there and personally making sure the photos and experience are the best possible. If something does happen, I am well connected to a lot of elite pros who do fewer weddings now than they used to so there is a good chance that you would end up with a photographer who would normally charge twice as much as I do. I would give you a choice of 2-4 available photographers and make my personal recommendation of who I know and trust.