When should my wedding photography start?
Photography could start as early as you start getting ready, but most brides choose to begin after hair appointments, but before everyone begins getting dressed. This is a perfect time to take photographs of details, like jewelry and shoes. This also gives me an opportunity to photograph you putting on your dress, jewelry, make-up, as well as casually hanging around with the girls during the process.
When should my wedding photography end?
You can end photography coverage whenever you wish, but I suggest at least keeping me around for 7-10 songs after the first dance. Of course, I love to close it down with you! If you decide that you would like me to stay longer than originally planned, you can always let me know before I leave. Keep reading for details!
Do you charge hourly or full day?
Mostly, wedding coverage ranges between five and twelve hours. Additional hours can be added for $200 each. I found that including a “full day” of photography had couples with shorter events overpaying.
Are you available to shoot extra hours? If yes, how much do you charge for extra hours?
If you decide at your event that you wish for me to stay longer than the previously agreed upon length of time, additional hours are no problem and will cost $200 for each additional hour. This amount will be due two weeks after the wedding, so I won’t be rushing you to your checkbook on your wedding day.
What is your policy on taking breaks? If you require a meal break, do you require that the client provide your meal?
We eat our dinner when you eat, and of course, you don’t want photos of you eating anyway! We require two meals, and seating in the same room as all of your guests. If seating is assigned for guests, we require assigned seating as well, and will not fill in between absent guest spaces. If seating in the same room isn’t possible, we do require chairs, a standard height dining table, plates, utensils, napkins, and access to beverages. Towards the end of the reception, during dancing, a few well-placed breaks will be taken, coordinate with the DJ as not to miss any key traditions or dedications that you may have planned.
Do you charge for travel?
A modest travel fee applies to weddings outside of LaPorte, Porter, and Lake County, Indiana AND Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, Allegan, and Ottawa County, Michigan. A travel fee based on distance is assessed. Depending on the wedding day timeline, a hotel for the night before, after, or both may be required, regardless of location. I book my own hotel reservations, which will be for one room within a reputable network of nationally recognized hotel chains. I will, of course, calculate travel cost fairly, prior to booking. I love travel and am always down for new locations!
How soon after the event are the proofs ready for viewing?
A preview of select images may be published to Facebook or my blog within a few days of the wedding! All of the proofs will be online typically within several weeks, sometimes sooner. I never rush.
In what format are the initial proofs offered?
I offer online proofing through, which will make viewing and sharing your proofs incredibly easy. You and your guests are welcome to mark favorites and place their orders directly through me, saving you the hassle. Additionally, whether you are paying for your prints with a collection credit or a-la-carte, you can easily place your order online. If you wish to have print proofs, you may, and a specific price may be determined based on the length of your event.
How long can the client keep the proofs?
The proofs are online for three months. Print proofs are yours to keep forever.
How long do you keep our files?
Once you receive your disk, please back up your files, and store them in a safety deposit box or fire safe. If you lose your files, I can replace them, for a fee, for up to one year after your wedding. If you wish for me to maintain an archive of your photography, you may request this service for $200 per year.
Do you retain the copyright for the photos? Do you provide print permission?
While you receive a disk containing your wedding photography and permission to make your own personal prints with every wedding collection, I retain the copyright. If you do make consumer-quality prints yourself in addition to ordering professional-quality prints, I suggest using MPIX.com. They are fairly priced, often similar to store labs, but have excellent consumer quality, and a good reputation. The quality is not equal to the professional prints I offer, but is much better than quickie labs like Wal-Mart or CVS. No written print permission will be granted for in-store labs such as these, I want your photos to look beautiful, not too dark or light, or ultra cyan! You may not sell your wedding photography, nor make it readily available online for guest orders or print-resolution download. If you wish to post your wedding photography online for sharing with family and friends using sites such as Flickr, Facebook, or any other social-networking photo-sharing sites, please attribute credit for photography to Amy Straka Photography in the album description. I love Facebook and welcome you to share you photos!
Do you provide high resolution files?
I provide image files suitable for printing up to 8×10. They arrive on lovely flash drive. I suggest placing an order for larger prints, canvas, metals, or mountings through me directly. Please e-mail for details, there are a plethora of options for which I have swatches and samples. This isn’t just a photo, but an heirloom piece of art that should be designed and produced with love and care. Do not forget to back up your images and keep a copy somewhere safe.
Do you provide RAW files?
Do you need a deposit to hold our date?
Yes. In order to secure your date, you must put down a 35% retainer and sign a contract agreement. Checks, credit cards, and paypal are happily accepted.
What is the payment schedule?
Your retainer is due upon signing your contract agreement, and the final payment will be due one month prior to your wedding. You may choose to create a different payment structure with me before signing your contract agreement. Paying all at once, or breaking the final 65% into several smaller payments are both fine options.
What if I don’t pay?
If you fail to pay in full, on time, I am under no obligation to photograph your wedding. Things come up, and I understand. If you are going to be late, please let me know, and we can make an arrangement. Checks, credit cards, and paypal are happily accepted.
Do you bring back-up equipment to the event in case of malfunction?
Absolutely! I don’t just have a back-up camera, but also back-up flashes, batteries, memory, and multiple lenses.
Do you have a replacement photographer in case you become unavailable on the day of the event?
Only in absolute emergency, like hospitalization or death, will I not be there to photograph your wedding. I have arrangements made in case of such an awful emergency, but luckily, have never had to use them. Many of my friends are photographers, and in a pinch, we have always been available to step in and help one another.
What if we cancel our wedding? What if we break up?
Dates book quickly, typically at least a year in advance. When a wedding is canceled, it is very difficult, if not impossible, for me to book another wedding. Because I rely on a particular number of bookings each year, a canceled wedding can make or break me. I understand that difficult circumstances do exist that cause couples to cancel, but not paying my mortgage is pretty difficult as well. Break ups are sad, but so is filing bankruptcy.
My contract reads: “Client acknowledges that in the event that there is a Cancellation of the wedding the Studio will be harmed, and that Client will notify the Studio of a Cancellation as soon as possible in order to minimize the Studio’s damages. If there is a Cancellation within 1 year prior the event, the Studio and Client agree that the Client shall be responsible for the full remaining balance payment to the Studio within 10 days of any Cancellation as liquidated damages and not as a penalty, monies paid to the date of the cancellation, which represents a compromise portion of the actual damages sustained by the Studio due to a Cancellation. This sum shall be in addition to the nonrefundable deposits.”
What if we postpone our wedding?
When you book my photography for your wedding, you are booking a specific date. Dates book quickly, typically at least a year in advance. If you aren’t certain of your date, or haven’t booked your location, please wait until you are certain to book with me. If circumstances do arise that cause you to postpone your wedding, I can try to work with you. I do, however, book up quickly, and cannot promise availability. If we are not able to find a new date for which we are both available, within the same wedding season, the postponement clause from the contract agreement can be referenced.
My contract reads: “Client acknowledges that in the event that there is a Postponement of the wedding the Studio will be harmed, and that Client will notify the Studio of a Postponement as soon as possible in order to minimize the Studio’s damages. If there is a Postponement, the Studio and Client agree that the Client shall pay to the Studio within 10 days of any Postponement as liquidated damages and not as a penalty, 50% of the remaining balance due, which represents a compromise portion of the actual damages sustained by the Studio due to a postponement. This sum shall be in addition to the nonrefundable deposits already collected.”
If we don’t pay, will you take us to court?