QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
We know that planning a wedding is almost like taking on another part-time job. There is so much information out there, such a variety of options to choose from, so many little details to keep in mind. We want to take some of that overwhelm away and provide some help on photography-related questions so that you can start feeling more like a pro in this area!
BOOKING PROCESS QUESTIONS
How do we book you?
We handle the entire booking process via an online form. Once you determine what wedding collection is the best fit for your day, we will send you a Proposal with your package details, payment schedule, a contract to sign, and a retainer invoice. Just one link and a few steps are all it takes for you to book!
How much is the retainer?
The booking retainer is 40% and is due upon signing the contract. The remaining balance is due 30 days before the wedding day.
How far in advance should we book you?
Generally, couples book us anywhere from 6 months to 1.5 years prior. However, due to the limited amount of weddings we accept per year and high demand, we encourage you to get in touch with us asap and check availability for your date.
Can you hold a date for us?
We’re serving our clients on a first-come-first-serve basis. Unfortunately, we cannot hold your date without a signed contract and a paid retainer.
GENERAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY QUESTIONS
How do you describe your photography style?
Our wedding photography style can be defined as ‘creative documentary,’ meaning that we document the wedding day as it naturally unfolds in front of us, without being intrusive and interfering.
Although most photos we take throughout the wedding day are mostly candid, natural moments, we still put a lot of imagination and energy into some creative photos during the day, like the portraits of the bride and groom together, bridal portraits, etc. Unlike the documentary-style photos that we take during the ceremony or reception, the creative portraits will require some guidance from us as photographers. However, we promise that our directions will lead you into very natural-looking poses, and we will never make you feel awkward or uncomfortable.
We also love to implement some visually interesting elements to our compositions, like shooting through objects, using reflective surfaces, leading lines, double exposures, etc., to create the images that reflect your story's uniqueness and exceed your expectations.
Will all of our photos be edited?
Yes. Every single image is carefully edited one at a time, by hand. We've been working very hard to establish and maintain a distinctive and recognizable editing style that makes our photographs stand out. Your engagement and wedding gallery will have a very cohesive and consistent look from the first to the last photograph.
The basic operations applied during the editing process include (but are not limited to) color, exposure and contrast corrections, image sharpening, and simple facial retouching. Please note that any extensive retouching such as significant acne, tan lines, sunglasses glare, removal of people or backgrounds, teeth whitening is significantly labor-intensive and charged on a per-image basis.
How will you protect our photos?
Right after we photograph your wedding, we go straight into backing up all of our memory cards in 5 different places. We will store your wedding photographs in a few separate locations online and on three hard drives and computers. That way, we will keep your precious memories safe and protected.
Do you have insurance?
Yes, we are fully insured for $1,000 000, and we can provide you with a copy of our insurance certificate.
Do you have backup equipment?
Yes! We would never feel comfortable photographing such an important event like a wedding without a proper backup system in place. We have backup cameras for each one of us as well as backup lenses and flashes. Our cameras also do have dual memory card slots, so your photographs are being recorded on two separate cards simultaneously.
What equipment do you use?
We use top of the line Canon camera bodies, lenses, and flashes.
How will you deliver our photos?
Your engagement and wedding photos will be delivered via an online gallery. You will also receive a beautiful custom USB drive with all of your wedding photos. Your gallery will be available to you for two years. You also will be able to share it with your family and friends.
What is an Online Gallery?
A gallery in an online service that we use for sharing your wedding and engagement photos with you. It stores your photos online and lets you view, download, and share them at any time. If you are interested in ordering prints from us, for your convenience, there also will be a print shop linked to your gallery, where you can directly place your print order.
Can you show us a few full wedding galleries to look at?
Absolutely. Seeing a full wedding gallery is a must, and I would be happy to share with you not just one, but two or three! Before booking your wedding photographer, it is crucial to see how consistent their work and editing style are and how the day is documented from the beginning to the end.
As wedding photographers, we feel most excited about sharing the most epic photos on social media, our blog, and portfolios. However, we understand how important and precious are the little moments in between, simple interaction between your loved ones, family formals, your guests having fun on the dance floor, and so on. So seeing a full wedding gallery will give you a clear picture of what you can expect to get when you hire us to document your special day.
How many photos will we receive?
We don’t limit ourselves to a certain number of photographs we deliver from a wedding day or engagement session. However, we have a minimum number that we will include in your contract based on how many hours you have booked us for. For example, for a 10-hour day, we promise to deliver not less than 800 photos. Our engagement session includes not less than 100 photos.
Whether you can expect to receive more than that depends on a few factors. The size of your bridal party, the number of family members you would like to include in your family formals, the travel time between the locations, any wedding day delays could impact the final photo count in your gallery. If your day is running smoothly and there are no huge delays, that will definitely result in a larger gallery.
Please know that we pay extra careful attention when we make the final photo selection, and that process is extensive. We would never delete a good photograph or not deliver it to you. All the photos that are not delivered are truly the outtakes. Those include duplicates, people with closed eyes, flash misfires, and so on.
Why are you more expensive than some other wedding photographers?
There are a few reasons for the higher cost of wedding photography. First, it is the demand for our services that determines the price. With over 450 inquiries per year, we can only accept 35-40 weddings. Secondly, it is the experience. A wedding photographer who is in the beginning stages of their career and needs to build a solid portfolio is willing to charge less. Luckily, our business grew rapidly over the years, and now we already have over 350 weddings behind us. This invaluable experience helped us gain tons of knowledge and expertise in not only photography skills and technics. It also helped us to become experts in handling various aspects of a wedding day like creating timelines, coordinating bridal parties and families, adapting quickly to new locations, smooth vendor communication, and more. If you hire us, we promise to take care of you not only on our wedding day but be your guide through the entire planning process and help make this journey stress-free and enjoyable.
What is your turnaround time?
We work hard to ensure your images are the absolute best they can be. With that in mind, it takes us from 4-7 weeks to complete the editing process of your wedding gallery. However, we will be sending you a preview of 15-20 photos within just a week or less to get you excited!
We are very awkward in front of the camera. Can you still make it work for us?
Almost everybody feels that way. And that is OK. Unless you are a professional model, this will probably be your first professional photography experience. So it is our job to make you feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera quickly, and we are good at that ;).
We will guide you throughout the entire session giving you a handful of directions without any kind of forced posing, helping you to look your best. Our posing technics are meant to make you feel confident, relaxed and let your personalities shine through your photos.
All you have to do is act naturally and be yourself, and we will take care of the rest.
WEDDING DAY RELATED QUESTIONS
Will you help us put together a wedding timeline?
Yes! We will work closely with you throughout the entire wedding planning process and will map out a solid timeline for you that will ensure you have enough time for your getting ready photos, family formals, your bridal party, and, most importantly, for the photos of the two of your together. We will guide you through the things like the first look or no first look scenarios, travel time between the locations, possible delays, and how to make sure you avoid them at all cost. We want you to live and enjoy your day to the fullest and leave the rest to us.
If my wedding lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge?
If the party runs longer, we would gladly stay as long as you need us there. You can add additional time to your coverage at any time, even on your wedding day. We reserve the entire day for you, so there is no limit to how many hours you can book us for. Please contact us to get the latest information about our current overtime rates.
I have a few inspiration photos I found on Pinterest. Can I share them with you?
Yes! As much as we hope you hired us because you fell in love with our style and the way we see beauty, we would be happy to see what photos you feel most attracted to. Sometimes, our couples develop the most incredible ideas for fun bridal party groups or some special posing for a romantic couple’s portrait. While we probably won’t copy a photo completely, we would gladly use it as an inspiration to create something special and meaningful for the two of you.
Will you help us to choose locations for our wedding day photos?
Absolutely! We have a special section on our website dedicated to our favorite portrait locations in Philadelphia and the nearby area. Three months before your wedding day, we will set up a time to discuss what locations you would like to use for your wedding photos. We will give you our suggestions on what locations look best at a specific time during the year, which ones require obtaining a permit ahead of time, and what locations are close to your venue.
Do we need to get a permit, and where do we get one?
There are a lot of locations that require obtaining a permit for professional photography. You can look through the list of popular Philadelphia photo locations here and see if there is a permit required for your desired portrait location. If any of the locations you are interested in is not on the list, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and we would be happy to help find that out for you!
Can I send you a shot list?
I would love to take a look at your wedding photo list to see if there are any kinds of special requests. However, you don’t have to provide us with a shot list of photographs you would expect to receive from any other experienced wedding photographer, like details shots, the groom seeing the bride for the first time at the ceremony, church exit, etc. The only photo list we will ask you to provide will be your family formals list. We will remind you to share that list with us at the 1.5-month mark before your wedding day so that we can allow enough time for family photos in your timeline.
How much time do we set aside for our family photos on a wedding day?
The answer is, it depends. We’ve had family formals that took anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes to photograph. We usually suggest a 2-3 minute rule per grouping when it comes to family formals. So if you have a list of 10 photos with your family, it will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to capture (closer to 20 for smaller groupings). Please know that we work extra efficiently during family formals and make them happen the quickest way possible.
You can also do a few things on your part to make this process a little easier and faster. First, you can let all of your family members know ahead of time what time and where the family photos will be taking place. Secondly, find a person who could help coordinate the list and call out people's names when there is a next photo group announcement. That can be a family member or someone from your bridal party familiar with everybody in our family and can easily put a name with a face.
What will you wear on my wedding day?
Even though we would gladly wear some fancy cocktail outfits for your wedding, we have to make sure we can move freely and look professional. Therefore, our wedding day outfits usually consist of a black blouse or tunic and dress pants for me (Anastasia) and a back dress shirt and black dress pants for Vladimir.
Do we need to feed you?
We don’t require you to feed us. However, if you have an opportunity to provide us a hot meal at the end of the day, that would be very appreciated. Wedding days are long, and we want to make sure we stay hydrated and full of energy until the end.
We won’t take a special break for us to have our meals. So the best time for us to eat would be just around the time your guests sit down for the main course. That way, we won’t miss anything important and will be ready to go back to shooting before your guests finalize their main course.
What if something happens to you and you cannot photograph our wedding?
Life is unpredictable. We get it. Even though we’ve never had a case in our experience when we couldn’t come to a wedding due to an illness, accident, or anything like that, we want to reassure you that we have an emergency plan in place. There is a wide network of local photographers who we are keeping in touch and who are always ready to step in and fill our positions. We will do our best to find a substitute photographer(s) with the same level of experience, professionalism, and photography style if an emergency arises.
If you have any other questions that are not on the list or would like more information on any specific topic, please don't hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to answer any of your questions!