How do I choose the right wedding photographer?

Great question! With the advent and insane popularization of digital photography, there are many, many wedding photographers in the Hudson Valley. These photographers not only cater to any particular style that you may want, but they also vary a great deal in quality. First and foremost you must absolutely love the photographer’s work. If you do not like the work, look elsewhere. Ask to see an extensive (200+ images) portfolio of their work (if it is not already on their website). It is not hard to photograph 10 weddings and get 20 decent pics. Many “professional” photographers will book weddings based on a portfolio of 20 images. View this as a warning sign. A real professional is skilled at making consistently good images. I personally always check out blogs as I think they are a great way to see new work as well as a more detailed view into a particular wedding.

I cannot stress this next point enough: you are going to be spending your entire wedding day with your photographer (in many cases brides spend more time with their wedding photographer than they do their husband!). They will share intimate family moments with you. Make sure that you like them and that they are exceedingly comfortable to be around. Some people respond well to overly peppy photographers who will continually shout “gorgeous!! beautiful!” after every shot and dictate how your wedding will progress. Other people want a photographer who will be unobtrusive and let you experience moments with your friends and family.

How much are your wedding collections?

My wedding collections (which include photo coverage of the preparation, ceremony, posed family photos, and reception) start under $3000. Engagement sessions are also included in package prices (I like getting to know my clients a bit before their wedding!). Custom collections are also available. Please contact me for more information. I will gladly send you my current price list.

Why do wedding photographers cost so much money?

Unless you actually are a wedding photographer, you may not understand the amount of work that actually goes in to delivering the finished products. Not only is there a large amount of time devoted to actually photographing your wedding day but there are also countless emails and planning before the day as well as loads of editing and retouching after the wedding. That is just the actual work. There is also the insanely expensive photographic equipment (cameras, lenses, computers, memory cards, lights, etc.) that constantly need to be upgraded. I typically show up to weddings with over $20,000 of equipment. This equipment needs to be regularly serviced and updated.

Do you have liability insurance?

Of course. And I have never had to use it.

Do you have any formal training in photography?

Yes! I received my bachelors degree in photography (and one in Anthropology) from SUNY New Paltz in 2002. I also work full time at SUNY New Paltz running their computer technology in the photography and graphic design programs. This really keeps me up to date on all of the latest and greatest advances in the photography and imaging worlds. I also attend workshops, conferences, and trade shows in order to stay current. While I will admit that a formal education in photography is not essential to being a successful and talented photographer, it certainly helps.

What kind of equipment do you use? And do you have backup equipment?

I use Canon cameras (I'm currently shooting weddings with two Canon 1DX Mark II's), Canon “L” lenses, and I use a variety of other accessories, lighting equipment, etc. I always, always, always bring backup equipment (and have a backup plan) should a piece of my equipment not function as it should. I check all of my equipment before I leave for a shoot and am well versed in thinking quickly to solve any technical problems that may arise.

What is the deal with the full resolution wedding photos?

Most professional digital cameras record images at a very high resolution. These high resolution images are needed to print photos clearly. Lower resolution images are great for viewing on your computer screen.

I've struggled with the decision of whether to send my clients the high resolution files from their wedding. On the one hand, I believe that my clients should have them to use as they wish; on the other hand, I believe that the wedding photos they choose to have printed and to hang on their wall or distribute to friends and family should be professional quality images. Unfortunately, Walmart, Sam’s Club, CVS, Walgreens, and even many local photo finishers do not do professional quality work. I do not know of a commercial photo printer within 50 miles of my house that prints images well. Many employees at these retailers have no training with photography; they simply press a button on the print processor. Sometimes this results in great prints, sometimes it results in fairly poor looking prints, but the vast majority of the time it results in merely adequate looking prints.

I do not want my clients to have prints that are merely adequate.

There are many considerations that must be made when producing high quality images and I believe I am best able to do this for my clients, not an untrained employee at one of these low cost retailers. I have an obligation to my clients to ensure their photos look the best they can. My clients are paying for a professional service and as such are entitled to professional results. I have well over 12 years experience in printing techniques and believe this a great benefit to my clients.

Because of this, I very much recommend that my clients get their prints made through me (espeically if they will be framed, hung on a wall, and looked at all the time). They will look much better than any lab prints and they will also be archival (they will not yellow or fade for over 70+ years). My print prices are not high. In fact, they are lower than the industry standard. Additionally I have a half price reprint sale during the month of November.

All of my wedding packages do come with the full resolution files along with printing rights so clients can ultimately choose where they get their prints made.

When I meet with wedding clients I bring a couple of 8x10’s that I’ve had printed in my neighborhood photofinishers, along with one I’ve printed myself, to illustrate the difference in quality. The proof is in the images.

How long will it take for me to get my wedding pictures?

Appoximately a week after your wedding (typically a little shorter) I post a private web gallery with your wedding photos. If you've ordered a package with proofs, they will arrive about two weeks after the web gallery is live. So about a month after your wedding your order is complete.I also write a blog post about every wedding I photograph. Depending on the time of year your wedding is, and how many other weddings I have booked that month, it may take 2-3 weeks for me to get the blog post completed. Blog posts are generally fairly comprehensive (containing about 100+ images) and some clients prefer to only share the blog post to friends and family and keep their full gallery private. Although obviously whoever you share you photos with is completely up to you.