IS THIS YOUR "REAL" JOB? Yes, we support ourselves entirely with our photography. That means we can devote ourselves to our clients and our work without having to schedule ourselves around other jobs. We also have an office at Revolution Mill with regular business hours, so you always know how to get in touch with us when you need us.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER? Long answer: I (Justin) learned film photography in college a really long time ago, and have been in love with photography ever since. In 2002, I became a professional portrait photographer. Shortly after that, I began assisting other experienced professional wedding photographers. In 2004, I photographed my first wedding as a professional working under my own name. Basically, I’ve been a professional working artist for 15 years and a wedding photographer for 14 years. Beth went to school for graphic design, so she has an exceptional art background. She picked up a camera about 8 years ago and has been shooting weddings with me for the past 6 years.
"I'VE ALREADY HAD ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS DONE, CAN I FOREGO THE ENGAGEMENT SESSION AND SAVE MONEY?" Do a Google search for “Why should we take engagement photos?” and the first thing you’ll see sites like The Knot and InStyle say: “You should do an engagement session because it gives you a chance to know your photographer.”
To quote The Knot: “Establishing a relationship with your photographer before your wedding will make a difference in the outcome of your wedding photos. Spend about an hour or two getting to know your pro, listening to them, having fun with them, and then get photographed. They'll take note of how you interact with each other, your individual personalities and even your quirks. These details will help them capture moments on the wedding day that are unique to just the two of you.”
InStyle: "You want the peace of mind that your photographer is on the same page with you stylistically and can creatively capture the chemistry between the two of you.”
And Inside Weddings says it this way: “It is an opportunity for you to be photographed prior to your wedding, and get to know your photographer and see images of yourselves before the wedding day. The photographer you hired to capture your wedding images should be the same individual who shoots your engagement photographs. The idea is to build rapport and feel comfortable with the person taking your wedding photographs.”
Doing an engagement shoot allows us a chance to get to know our clients, their love story, their sense of style, and what makes them tick. We get to work with them to get them comfortable in front of the camera. And we get to build a trust with them by showing them beautiful photos of themselves, not just strangers in an online gallery. That is what the engagement shoot is for us: a chance to really get to know our clients and develop a rapport before their big day.
Weddings are personal for us. Some of our best friends started as clients. And we started getting to know them during their engagement shoot. Sure, we can help you plan a timeline over email and then come in and capture your event in a completely satisfactory way. We’re professionals. But we learned a long time ago that things go much smoother when we have taken the time to establish a relationship before the day of the wedding. That is why our engagement sessions are complimentary. We feel so strongly about getting to work with our clients before their weddings that we give the session away, and the prices of our packages don’t change if people decide not to use it.
HOW MANY PHOTOS DO WE GET? We take as many images as we think are required to capture the events and record the emotions during each wedding day. The number of photographs taken depends on many things: the number of guests, length of the event, hours of dancing, amount of special happenings planned, and so forth. Unfortunately, that means we can’t give you a fixed number. But we do promise to supply each and every one of our couples with enough images to tell the story of their unique day. Every wedding is one of a kind. It’s about the story for us, not about trying to hit numbers.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SEE MY PHOTOS? Three weeks! Yes, we know most photographers take four times that long. But this is all we do, so we aren't trying to schedule editing around our "real" job. And when it is time to see your photos, we will have you into our studio for your very own premiere where you will get to relive your day on our big screen television while sweet music plays. Wine will flow along with tears, and sweets along with sweet words. We want the first time you see your photos to be as special as we can make it. It's a big deal to us.
ARE ALL OF OUR PHOTOS EDITED? Yep! All of them. Every image we deliver is post produced with our unique signature style. This involves cropping, color correction, exposure adjustment, and selective black and white processing. Every photo you receive will be exactly as we intend them to be.
DO YOU DO VIDEO, TOO? No, we provide photography only. Though they sometimes use the same equipment, photography and videography are very different skills. We see the world in fractions-of-a-second intervals where we freeze a laugh or a tear on a cheek; videographers see the world in roughly 30-second clips. We focus solely on capturing beautiful photos that you will preserve in your album and hang on your walls. We would, however, be more than happy to give you referrals of excellent videographers who share a similar mindset.
HAVE YOU SHOT AT OUR LOCATION BEFORE? Possibly. Chances are that we have come across your venue in the past 14 years. However, we know new venues pop up every year. With the amount of experience we have, even if we haven't been to your location before, we feel confident that we would do an excellent job of capturing it. But we prefer to visit your location with you prior to the wedding day to walk through your setup and timeline with you with an eye to time and light to make sure you get the best photos possible on your day!
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED? We live in McLeansville, NC, and we have an office at Revolution Mill in Greensboro, NC.
WHERE WILL YOU TRAVEL? Anywhere. We love to travel. Honestly, we want to see all the places. The more unique the location, the more fun we have challenging ourselves to get beautiful, creative photos for you. Don’t let distance cause you to hesitate one bit.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD WE BOOK YOU FOR OUR WEDDING? The average time frame is 12 - 18 months in advance, especially for the popular months of April, May, September, and October.
WHAT KIND OF EQUIPMENT DO YOU TYPICALLY BRING WITH YOU ON THE DAY-OF? Equipment needs can vary drastically from one wedding to the next. But we always prepare by packing way more stuff than we expect to need. This includes multiple camera bodies, lenses, lighting equipment, and lots of extra cards and batteries. We make sure we are ready for whatever conditions we are likely to encounter, including equipment failure. If you really want to see Justin geek out, you can ask him for specifics about our gear. He will give you way more info than you probably wanted, but it makes him happy.
WHAT WILL YOU WEAR TO SHOOT? We always dress professionally and appropriately for the location and event we will be shooting. If you are planning a formal, black-tie wedding, we'll be dressed up. If you are getting married on a beach, probably a long dress (Beth), linen pants and shirt (Justin), and sandals. We’ve also dressed down for casual backyard weddings. But most events fall in the middle and see us in black company polos and slacks. We want to blend in, not stand out.
DO YOU HAVE A BACKUP PLAN IN CASE YOU ARE SICK? Yes. While no wedding photographer can give a 100% guarantee against illness, we have never had cause to cancel or not attend a wedding. However, we promise you that only a very serious illness or other exceptionally serious circumstances would prevent us from attending your wedding. If we are unable to attend for any reason, we will do everything we can to find you a suitable replacement. We have a great network of photographers we have worked with over the years that we could contact in circumstances like this. If we were unable to do so, you would, of course, receive a full refund.
SHOULD I PROVIDE MEALS FOR VENDORS AT MY WEDDING? Simply put, yes. We are able to work at a higher level for longer if we've been fed. We require meals for any coverage over five hours. We’re appreciative if you choose to provide meals for us. If you choose not to provide a meal for us, we will take a one hour break at some point during your reception to have a meal.
ARE YOU WILLING TO ACCEPT A LIST OF “MUST-HAVE” PHOTOS? That’s a loaded question. We always send our wedding couples a shot-list for them to record their formal photography groupings with, and we encourage them to list any special shots they may want there as well. When we arrive on your wedding day, we (you and us collectively) have already created a wedding photography schedule for the day, and we have a plan of what kinds of photos need to be made based on our talks. We’ll do group photos and individual portraits and detail shots and all of that stuff. But if you hand us a seven-page list to follow with checkboxes, and you’ll be crushed if we don’t get Every...Single...One, then we won’t be able to make most of the wonderful candid photos that tell the unique story of your day for you because we’ll have our noses buried in that list all night. This also goes for handing us an extensive collection of your favorite Pinterest photos for us to recreate.
While we aren’t opposed to seeking outside inspiration for a few fun photos, we prefer that the vast majority of our images represent real moments and details your unique to your special day. Those photos will evoke real memories for you for years to come. There aren’t really any memories of note attached to trying to copy an image from someone else’s special day. This is one of those defining moments where you have to decide if our philosophies match or not.
CAN MY UNCLE HARRY TAKE PHOTOS DURING MY WEDDING? He sure can, as long as he doesn’t prevent us from doing the job you hired us to do. Honestly, we play nice with others and it is very rare for us to have to ask someone to cool it.
I DON’T PHOTOGRAPH WELL AND AM SUPER AWKWARD — CAN YOU HELP ME? Absolutely! We understand that not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera and are here to help. With our easy shooting style and natural posing, we make sure that you look natural and lovely in your photos. Some people take a little longer to warm up, but the “get to know you” session we include with all of our packages is just for this. It allows us a chance to get to know each other, to see what it takes to get you comfortable in front of our cameras, and establish a level of trust that goes a long way toward making photos on your wedding day stress-free, we promise! We’ll make it painless and fun, and it won't be nearly as bad as you think!
HOW DO I KNOW IF YOU’RE THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER FOR ME? If you’ve read this far, you have learned a lot about us and what a professional wedding photographer should do for you. Do you feel like you would want to spend a day with us?
Remember, your wedding photographer is the vendor you’ll spend the most time with on your wedding day, so it’s important that they don’t creep you out. Do you think you can trust us to make the kind of photos you want to see on your wedding day? If the answer is yes, or even maybe, you should email us right now. We should have a chat and get to know each other a little better. We can meet up and have a cup of coffee and talk about your plans.
If not, it’s ok. Hopefully, you’ve learned a little something here to help you find the perfect professional wedding photographer for your day. No matter what, remember: It’s your day, and it should be perfect on your terms.