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Friday, February 11th, 2011 | Author:

Finding an MA wedding photographer can be a very daunting task.  Fortunately, there are a lot of excellent lists out there that supply you with important questions to ask a prospective wedding photographer.  Here’s a list of 5 highly relevant questions which seem to be consistently missing from many of these lists.  We’ve also included our Aurora answers in italics under each question.  Enjoy!

1.Do I get a CD of images?  What will the resolution of the images be?

Way back when, when photographers were still using film to shoot weddings, if you wanted to make a print of an image, you needed a negative.  Fortunately for us, the modern day negative equivalent is a CD of high resolution images.  With this handy little thing, you can go to any Ritz, CVS or other location and order a print of an image from your wedding.  Some wedding photographers include a CD in their basic package, while others may charge $500 or more for it. So it’s good to ask! Also, to prevent big images from printing blurry, make sure they are high resolution. What is enough resolution?  240-300 ppi (pixels per inch) will do the trick.  Finally, check to make sure that the images are not watermarked.

Nora and I include a CD of images in all our packages. The images are not watermarked and have a resolution of 300 ppi.  You can print from it at any print shop you like!

2.Will you do a site walk though before the wedding?

Has a wedding photographer photographed at your venue before?  They may tell you that a site walkthrough before the wedding is unnecessary.  We’ve found that even if we’ve photographed at a venue before, doing a site walk through with our clients gives us a chance to see the location through their eyes.  After all, every couple is unique.  At a site walk though, our goals are usually to finalize a schedule for the day, to plan out where we want to take photos, make a backup plan for rain, and to finalize the list of family formal photography.

We think a site walk through is very important, so we include it in all of our packages.  We usually plan to do the walkthrough 2-3 weeks before the wedding.

3.Will you plan out our family formals list in advance?  How long do family formals usually take on the day?

Needless to say, wedding days can take on a momentum of their own, and sometime things can get a bit hectic.  The last thing you want to do, though, is add to this. That is exactly what happens when a wedding photographer wings your family formals on the day.  We’ve heard horror stories of family formal taking 1 1/2 hours because the photographer and client didn’t plan things out in advance. When you talk with your photographer about family formals, you’ll want to share which family members you’d like to include in the photos.  The photographer should help you group these family members into logical combinations and then order them in the way that makes the most sense.  With a bit of planning, it’s usually reasonable to complete the family formals within 30-40 minutes!

We work with our clients on a family formal list during the site walkthrough, and then order the groupings in the most efficient way.

4.Can I see the images of a complete wedding day?

Wedding photographers usually show their work in the form of albums and galleries on their website.  You can think of this as their “best of” work.  Theses images will be a small selection of the best images from the best weddings that the photographer has photographed.  There’s nothing wrong with this.  But be aware; usually a photographer will give you hundreds of images of your wedding, not just 50-70.  For this reason, it’s helpful to ask a photographer in a consultation if you can see few complete weddings from start to finish.  Sometimes you may find that the quality between the “best of images” and all the other images may vary dramatically.

We have many complete wedding galleries available for viewing during a consultation.

5.Do you use off camera lighting?

OK… I admit, this one is a little bit technical and nerdy, but still very important.  What is off camera lighting?  Well, it’s actually exactly what it sounds like – using lighting sources that aren’t just a single flash on a camera.  Using an on camera flash camera has its place and can be very nice.  But It does have noticeable limitations.  For starters, on-camera lighting alone can make a subject look flat and unflattering.  It also makes it harder to take good photos as night.  In contrast, off camera lighting adds depth to a photo, and makes a subject look vibrant and radiant.  You might be surprised to hear that many wedding photographers don’t practice off camera lighting.  It’s definitely worth asking.

We bring small, unobtrusive stands and lights to all our weddings that we place strategically to provide awesome off camera lighting.

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 | Author:

–Why did you choose wedding photography as a career?
We love weddings! We find celebrating a bride and groom’s wedding day with them to be really rewarding. Helping people remember one of the most important days of their lives is an honor that we take seriously and at the same time have a tremendous amount of fun with. It is so amazing to be doing exactly what you want to do in life. We have the best job ever!

Day of:
–Does the photographer use an assistant? Is there an extra charge for this?
All Aurora weddings are shot with two photographers, not a photographer and an assistant. We make this distinction as part of our philosophy of capturing your day with all the dimension with which you experienced it. Two photographers allow us to get angles and perspectives that otherwise would have been lost and be in different places, capturing the action as it happens.

–If your packages are not what I am looking for, would you be willing to try to customize a package for me?
Both Nora and I feel strongly that we don’t want to lock you into a “cookie cutter” package! Which is why we begin building your package with some basics we feel every bride and groom should have (2 photographers, a disc of high-resolution images, a pre-wedding planning session, a print credit, a Pictage gallery, just to name a few!). Beyond this, all of our other options (thank-you cards, prints, canvas prints, albums) can be added on a la carte, giving you a completely customizable package. So yes!

Don’t forget to check back as we continue our FAQ Series. And feel free to post questions you think we should include!

Monday, December 14th, 2009 | Author:

We are really excited to be putting up a new series of posts over the coming month!
Every week we get brides coming in for consultations who have down their homework and put together a list of questions to ask us. Of course, we’re happy to answer all of their questions, but it got us thinking… instead of you bringing the questions to us, maybe we could bring the answers to you! Wouldn’t it be nice to have the answers to some of your most important questions before you even came in to meet with us? This is the inspiration for this new series of posts.
Each day will post answers to frequently asked questions. Each question will deal with some aspect of wedding photography (style, cost, design, etc.) Once we’ve answered all of the questions we can think of, we will put all the answers together into one giant post, so make sure to check in regularly!