Wedding Photography FAQs
Tell me about the packages you offer.
First off, that wasn't a question. I'll let it slide this time.
I know how overwhelming wedding planning can be, and I have put together three packages that offer services and products to meet the desires of my clients.
Each package includes coverage time on the date of your wedding, edited images, a print collection, private online image gallery, and online product purchasing. For more information, visit my Wedding Packages page to read about the packages, what's included, and what to expect. Also, I would be happy to provide additional information on rates for additional items or customizations for your wedding. I understand that you need to invest in what is most important to you. However, at the risk of sounding dramatic, keep in mind that since your wedding photographs are the only things that are shared after your wedding day, you might want them to rock. There are no do-overs in wedding photography: if your wedding pictures end up mediocre for you - they are going to be mediocre for your children and grandchildren as well.
What do I need to hire you?
A signed contract and a booking fee of $750 are required to reserve your wedding date. Because each wedding requires such an attention to detail and follow-up work, I book a limited number of weddings, so don't wait. Some couples book weddings years in advance to secure the date they want.
If I contract with Mike Pittman Photography, who will shoot my wedding?
This seems like one of those questions that just shouldn't have to be addressed. There are horror stories all over the internet of couples who work with one person with a photography company throughout the whole process, only to have someone they have never met show up to shoot the wedding.
That just is not how I roll. You'll work with me from the time we first discuss your wedding until I deliver your final images, and perhaps even longer. My goal is not to be just your wedding photographer, but your photographer. I hope through the process of preparing for your wedding, we'll get to know each other, and when your wedding day arrives, I too will be excited to see you exchange your vows. I wouldn't want to pass that opportunity off to someone else!
Do you create albums as well?
Each package includes a gift certificate for use. For an additional nominal charge, you can replace the gift certificate for a custom-designed album. If you decide you want a custom album of the highest quality, I'll work with you every step of the way to ensure you get the best album out there. I work with only the very best manufacturers to make certain you are getting the very best album available anywhere at any price.
May I make my own prints?
They are your pictures and you can do pretty much as you like with them. Of course there's a huge difference between a print you make at your local printer from and those I can print for you. I work with the best print and product labs in the world, and have worked with them for years. I know when I send your images off to be printed, you'll get an image that matches what I see on my display as closely as possible. In the end, only the photographer can fully realize the vision of the photographs taken - both technically and emotionally. The only people in the world who care this much about your photos are the newly wed couple and me. But of course, I leave the choice of where to get your prints and products created up to you.
Do I get my files? Do I have to wait a certain amount of time?
I don't subscribe to the old school philosophy that you are beholden to your photographer to purchase every thing you want directly from them. I provide you with a copy of all of the final edited digital images on a disk. There's no waiting period.
Do you shoot digitally?
My normal medium is digital. However, I love film, but the reality of the need for quick turn around prevents film from being feasible. If you love film as much as I do, and want some of your wedding shot on film, let's chat about it.
Do you shoot traditional wedding photographs too?
Traditionally, wedding photography has been pretty cheesy, posed looking and/or boring. I'd have to say "no" if pressed for an answer. However, if you mean do I take traditional family pictures in addition to more lifestyle and photo-journalistic work, then the answer is absolutely yes. I appreciate the value of and the history behind the family portrait, and while they may not be as exciting as some of my more informal photos, they serve an important function.
Do you engage your subjects?
During portraits, absolutely. But during the ceremony, toasts, dances, etc. you take center stage. If you want my guidance on what to do at a certain point, I'll gladly offer advice as I'm quite certain I've been involved in more weddings than you have -- unless of course you're Larry King, then all bets are off. However, when you're in your groove and doing your thing, I'll be in my groove doing my thing. I won't direct any event, unless asked to, because that just isn't my style.
The people in your pictures are always smiling; you tell them to do that, right?
My clients are smiling and look like they are having fun because they ARE having fun! I probably won’t tell you to smile. But I might make you smile (even though my jokes are known to make people groan, as well). There's a big difference. But that's our secret, so don’t tell anyone.
I hate posing for pictures; do I have to pose?
I know what you mean. I hate posing for pictures too (shh, don't tell anyone: the secret is when you're a photographer, people don't take your picture!). Posing isn't natural and I don't think it looks natural either. Will I recreate a moment like exchanging wedding bands for purposes of photographing it? Only if you ask me to. If I miss a moment, you can kick me in the shins later.
Can you tell us why we should choose you?
- You realize that when all is said and done, you'll have a ring, a dress, and photos. You picked the best ring, the perfect dress, and now you want to ensure you get the best photos possible.
- My images speak to you in a certain way - the way the subjects look happy, more alive, like they're having fun. And you like that.
- Like me, you're one of those people who hates having your picture taken so you want to hire someone who makes it easy, pleasant, and even fun. But at the same time, you want them invisible most of the day.
- You are the type of person who prefers to deal directly with the artist who will meet with you personally over a glass of wine, good IPA, or triple grande soy iced skinny hazelnut no foam latte. Most importantly, you want to work with someone who will give you one-on-one personalized attention from start to finish.
- You think that most photographers' wedding work looks pretty much the same and you want something better - something more you and not so 'wedding-y'.
- You understand that the person you hire is going to be an integral part of your entire wedding experience and you want someone who can actually put you at ease and add to the pleasure of your day.
- You're fun people, and fun people like to work with other fun people.
- You can appreciate and love my work. And you love me. (If you haven't yet met me, you can reserve judgment on the latter!)
You say the personality of the photographer is important. Why?
Keep in mind that you'll be spending almost the entire day (the most hectic and emotional day of your life) with your photographer. You want to feel comfortable around, and supported by, this person. You want someone who knows when to take charge and when to be utterly invisible.
Unlike most wedding professionals that you'll deal with, our relationship continues well after you've returned from your honeymoon. You may never speak with your florist, dressmaker, caterer, or band after your wedding day, but your work with your photographer has only just begun. The process continues for a while. Besides, my goal is to be your photographer for life.
Why do you want to meet the couple before the contract is signed?
The process of choosing a wedding photographer is very similar to an interview process. You will meet with many photographers in order to determine which one you want to work with. This decision is going to be tough, as you will inevitably see many photos that look the same, packages that contain the same offerings, and prices across the board. When you're making your decision, you will probably go with the photographer whose personality you like the most.
Going back to the interview analogy, the photographer should also be taking this time to get a feel for your personality. Any photographer who is simply in this business for money isn't going to do this. When we meet, I want to make sure we can get along, and I like your personality as well. I love being a photographer; shooting a wedding is fun and exciting for me. Just as you don't want a photographer with a poor personality to ruin your day, I don't want my day ruined either.
My Scoutmaster once said something to us that has resonated with me through the years: "If you are doing something that isn't fun, why are you doing it?" While it may sound harsh, just as you have the right to say you don't want to work with me because you don't like my personality, I reserve the same right. In the end, it's better for everyone involved if we all like each other, and get along. Your day will be memorable for the right reason, and your photographs will turn out better.
What is your photographic style?
Defining a photographer's style is practically meaningless these days. My style has been called photo-journalistic, classic, modern, artistic, and indescribably different. When it comes down to it, if my pictures speak to you, that's what matters. When I'm shooting your wedding, my style is all about capturing the real you and the joy of your event - the label placed on my style is inconsequential.
Can packages be further customized?
Additional hours, guest signing albums, hand finished prints, save-the-date & thank you cards, and a variety of digital products can all be added on an a la carte basis as desired. If you're interested in a particular item, send me an email ([email protected]) outlining what you want, and I'll get a quote together for you as quickly as possible.
Do you shoot destination weddings?Absolutely!
Have passport - will travel. Please contact me to discuss availability and to get a custom quote for your destination wedding.
I really want you as my photographer, but you’re out of my budget. What can I do?
Your wedding day very well could be the most important day of your life, and when you see something you want, it's disheartening to find out it's out of your price range. Unlike that Black Audi RS6 you've been drooling over (on?), you can turn to your family for help when it comes to your wedding. I offer gift certificates that your friends and family can purchase as your wedding gift. It sure beats getting another waffle iron.
Additionally, my service offering is always expanding, but I don't like to experiment with new techniques when I'm being paid. (How would you like it if your hair dresser tried a new technique on the day of your wedding?) If you're willing to work with me as I work on new techniques, I'll work with you on price as well. Even when I'm trying something new, your satisfaction is always my number one priority. If my new technique isn't working out, that's experiment is over, but you still get the discount!
Do people really ask these questions frequently enough that they’re on an FAQ?
No. But that could be because they're on this FAQ. If you're still here after all these questions, you must be interested in what's here and that's the primary reason all of these questions are on the FAQ. You're detail oriented, and I'm detail oriented, and stuff like this makes people like us comfortable.