Wedding FAQ

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Style:

Can you describe what kind of wedding photography you do?
Seems like every photographer will answer this question with “journalistic” or “un-staged” or “creative.”  We say to just trust your eyes. What’s always consistent is the way in which we go about the capture.  We want to be as unobtrusive and hands off as possible. We want to appear as if we’re just old friends with really nice cameras. Sure, there’s a time and place to capture beautiful, relaxed portraits of the bride and groom together. So while we won’t ask you to stop hold a pose while you both are cutting your cake (hello 1984), if it’s at all possible we would like at least 30 minutes with you both at some point during the day to create some gorgeous images of you together while none of your guests are looking on. And since you’ve spent a great deal of time and money on all those details, they will be captured as well. Cake, shoes, flowers – they all add flavor to the story. The images we capture of guests at weddings are completely unscripted and journalistic in nature. We don’t want to ask tables to stop enjoying themselves to look at us for a picture — we’d rather capture them having a good time while they laugh and dance and smile.

Will you guys take formal family pictures?
Yes! These family images record your most treasured relationships at one of the most momentous times of your life. Prior to your wedding our studio will work with you to go over all the details of your wedding. As part of this process, we will go over how we typically photograph the family groupings and of course will want input from you of any other groupings you want us to include. Just remember that the signature of our style is journalistic (and stealth-like) in order to capture real, genuine moments. Therefore a long list of groupings will slow that process down and we want everyone to enjoy their time. In general, we encourage clients to stick to immediate family (parents, siblings with spouses/kids) and grandparents. We work hard to make the family portraits quick and casual so that everyone has a good time. Usually 20 minutes is plenty of time for this endeavor.

Do you need a list of different shots or photographs we want for you to take?
It is certainly helpful for the different groupings of families. Otherwise, no. If there are specific family members or friends that are attending, or if there are important events or details that are special to you, then it is helpful to let us know. However, a shot list of poses for us to have to work from is not going to be productive and will limit our creativity and doesn’t represent the type of images you see in our portfolio. Many publications create these lists and they can be helpful for some brides, but in reality we are going to capture all of these images without the need for a checklist. This allows us the freedom to capture the true authenticity of all the moments in your day.

Will we have a good time with you on our wedding day?
Of course!  As your photographers, we’re there to preserve the authenticity and enjoyment of the day through imagery, but we also highly value our interaction with you, your bridal party, family, and guests. Your day is every bit as much about the photography as it is having a great experience!

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Coverage and Products:

Where’s your studio? Do you travel?
Colling Photography lives in Lynchburg, VA … but yes, we’ll be glad to travel anywhere nice!  Travel for weddings within approximately 2 hours of Lynchburg, VA is included in the price of all wedding packages. For wedding locations beyond this there will be an additional fee for travel costs.

Who are the photographers?
Jeremiah and Kathie are the sole photographers with Colling Photography and will photograph your event throughout the day.  Having two shooters ensures that all the spontaneous moments and intimate details are captured throughout the day. When we’re together, we will work with each other on everything from lighting assistance to bridal assistance, and the rest of the time we will work as two individual shooters capturing your wedding from different locations and perspectives.

How many pictures will we end up with?
It depends on a number of things, such as how many different places we are photographing at and how many hours of coverage we are providing.  Our typical range is 600-700 images for weddings and 80-90 for engagements. Each one is individually selected and when necessary, carefully adjusted to provide you with the highest quality images to give you our specific “look”.

Do you offer proofs from the wedding?
Yes!  You are given the option of a beautifully crafted proof album OR professionally printed 4×6 loose prints of all the pictures from your wedding.  In addition, we will also categorize and post all the images from your wedding in an online gallery for friends and family to view and order.

What is the online gallery?
The online gallery is a private, password protected section on our website where all of your wedding photographs will be placed online for you and your family and friends to view. It is also a secure shopping cart – which allows you (and your family and friends) to order prints and cards and select album prints online. All you have to do is provide the password to anyone who you want to be able to view the images. By default, the password is the bride’s maiden name, in all lowercase.

Will we get the high resolution files/digital negatives?
We will provide you with the full-resolution digital files in all of our wedding packages.  The files come on a DVD and are yours to keep forever. The DVD is released to you along with your wedding album. Like all creative professionals, our studio retains the copyright on the images and we reserve the right to use them for our business (promotional purposes, submissions to competitions, etc.) We will provide you with a digital copy of a print release on your DVD that will enable you to make as many prints and copies for yourselves or friends and family that you like. (And hopefully you like them all ;-)

Do you guys come to our rehearsal?
We do offer coverage of your rehearsal dinner if you’d like to add it to your package. Otherwise we do not attend rehearsals as we’re familiar with the people and events of the next day through a series of questionnaires completed before the wedding.

How does the album design process work?
As a courtesy to all our clients, we will select the images and create the first draft of your album design to preview.  You will get to preview this design online and provide any feedback on changes you would like to see.  (Most of the time we find that brides love it exactly as is!)  Once you have approved the layout, we will then help you to choose the style of your album, the color of the cover, and other details to make it just the way you want. Then we’ll send off the files to our image lab to be printed and bound. This entire process takes place online and is simple and straightforward for you. Once the album goes to print and binding, it will take approximately four weeks to show up at your front door.

What will my album look like?
Timeless and elegant.  And, if awesomeness was a word, that would also describe your album :-)  Our desire to to recreate your day through the art of storytelling with your images.  We have partnered with the premiere wedding album maker in the industry to bring you hand crafted, flush mount albums with true panoramic spreads.  A variety of premium leather and fabrics are available as cover treatments.

How long does it take to get our products and images?
Online galleries are posted within six weeks of the wedding date. Printed proofs are available within eight weeks of the event. Upon final approval of the album design, most albums are ready for delivery within twelve weeks of the event.

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Business and Details:

What kind of camera equipment will you guys use?  Do you have backups?
We use only professional, top of the line Canon equipment, lenses, and extensive backups.  This is one of the biggest days of your life, and we take the utmost care in being prepared.

Will you hold my date for me?
Sorry, but we can’t hold your date as this wouldn’t be fair to everyone. Your date is officially booked and on our calendar once we receive a signed contract and retainer. We can guarantee that once you have booked us, our studio becomes unavailable on that date for anyone else.

What does your payment schedule look like?
A retainer of 1/2 the package price is due to reserve your wedding date.  The remainder of your balance is due anytime up to 2 weeks before your wedding. If you decide to book us less than 30 days before the wedding, we require the entire amount of your package when you sign your contract.

If I cancel my wedding, do I get my retainer back?
Sorry, but the retainer fee is not refundable. The retainer fee guarantees your wedding date is exclusively for you. Therefore, once we receive your signed contract and retainer we turn down all other inquiries for this date. Because of this, if a wedding is cancelled the studio also incurs a significant loss as well.

If we want to commission Colling Photography to capture our wedding, when do we need to book?
As soon as you are able to. Unfortunately we can’t hold dates for anyone without a signed contract and retainer. Most of our commissions contract us within 6-12 months of the wedding, though sometimes longer or shorter.  Also, we DO limit the number of weddings we shoot every year.  This allows us to give the best possible care and attention to each of our wedding clients.

Do you guys want to be fed during the reception?
Well, you don’t have to…but it would be awesome if you did! Most couples insist that we enjoy a meal or food along with them, but you can also provide a vendor meal from your caterer as well. The best time for us to eat is when you are eating — this way we are done at the same time so we can continue coverage and capture everything that is happening.

Do you care if our guests take pictures with their cameras or phones?
Absolutely your guests can take pictures, we think that is great! For the family photographs we pride ourselves on making this a quick and enjoyable process, and if others are hovering over our shoulder or asking people to look different directions it can hinder the process. We do not allow others to come along when we capture portraits of the bride and groom. This can be distracting and also interfere with the intimate moments we want to allow them to enjoy and capture.