Frequently Asked Questions
How long have you been shooting?
I have had a camera in my hand since I was around 10 years old! But, I have been happily photographing families, babies and couples for 10 years. In the last 9 years, I have had the honor of telling over 140 beautiful wedding stories.
What photography services do you offer?
I primarily photograph families, weddings and couples, as well as seniors, births, Fresh 48, newborn sessions, and creative content for other businesses.
Do you have a studio?
I have in years past, but I am no longer offering studio style sessions. I provide on location or in-home photos. If you'd love a more traditional setting in a studio, I have several photographers I would love to recommend!
What is your photography style?
Three words to describe my work would be light-filled, fun and photo-journalistic. I keep props minimal because the session is about YOU. I have found that some of the best moments are captured by allowing a situation to unfold and keeping the camera up at all times. I encourage my clients to walk, kiss, tickle, play together, look at each other, hold hands or snuggle in real close. This creates connection! Connection is when you see the real smiles and laughter come to life.
What kind of props do you use?
Because of my clean and simple style, I keep my props collection to a minimum for photos. I keep on hand a collection of quilts, chairs, benches, boxes and baskets! If you have a prop idea for your session, please let me know!
Do you give print releases to places like Walmart or Walgreens?
No, I do not. The sad truth is that Walmart and Walgreens printing is downright awful and leaves your photos looking nothing like they are supposed to. I hate that it's like that because I understand the convenience, but please trust me on this one...You will be much happier with your photos if you order from an online lab! Here's a few that I have personally used and love to recommend! All are very reasonably priced, with great specials going on all the time and shipping is FAST!
Where are you located and are you willing to travel?
I am located in Carterville, Illinois, but I love to travel! Nothing is more exciting for me than going to a new location to shoot. Sign me up! If you would like a list of local location ideas for your session, please let me know. I have photographed all over Southern Illinois!
What is the best time of day for shooting a session?
Lighting is EVERYTHING. It plays a huge role in how I make my photographs, and that is why I schedule all of my family/engagement sessions around 2 hours before sunset or shortly after sunrise. I know it may not always be the most convenient due to work and sleeping schedules, but trust me on this one. I can promise that you will love your images just that much more!
What’s in your camera bag?
I proudly shoot with the Canon 5D Mark IV and I almost never take off my 35mm lens, but when I do, I switch it out for my 50mm or my 24-70 2.8. I also own 70-200 2.8L, 35MM 1.4 or my 16-35mm for backup. I also use a Canon 600EX Flash for wedding receptions. I keep a second 5D Mark III camera body and an extra flash in case of emergencies.
What training do you have?
I have had close to two years of formal training from Southern Illinois University from the Cinema-Photography Department. The rest is self-taught, and I occasionally attend conferences and participate in online training in order to stay up-to-date on the latest business, editing and equipment information.
How far in advance should I contact you to book a session?
It really depends on the time of year! From September to November, it is always a good idea to book a month or so in advance. I stop booking family sessions in early November due to unpredictable weather. This also allows me to get all of my clients taken care of in time for Christmas. During the winter months I continue to offer in-home lifestyle sessions for families, children and newborns, and outdoor sessions for couples.
What are your prices?
If you would like to know more about pricing and the services I offer, click here! You’re also welcome to email me at email@example.com. I always try to respond as quickly as possible, but please allow 24-48 hours for a response.
Are you a legitimate business?
Yes, I sure am! I'm currently registered in Perry County, IL, which is where I first began my photography journey and I pay that beloved income and sales tax every year! My business is also insured by Columbia Insurance.
How many weddings have you photographed so far?
I have told over 140+ (WHAT!? INSANE) love stories through photos.... with 24 more weddings for 2022!
Why hire a second photographer for my wedding day?
Having a second set of hands not only helps me throughout the day with equipment, posing, etc., but it's beneficial for everyone involved. Having a second shooter allows me to focus on the must-have photos for the day, while they capture the details going on that I may have missed otherwise. It also offers my clients a variety of perspectives... which I think is pretty cool, too.
Can I show you my Pinterest inspiration for my wedding?
OF COURSE YOU CAN!! Add me and we can be Pinterest friends for life! I love seeing my couple's vision for the big day, and what's a better way to do that than Pinterest?
Will you be there when we are getting ready in the morning?
Yes! Depending on the hours booked, we will map out the schedule for the day. I typically come when the bride is getting ready. While I am there, I will also photograph details such as the wedding gown, jewelry, flowers and anything sentimental to you. I will also take a look around the location itself to scout out possible locations for formal portraits.
How many photos do you typically take during a wedding?
Anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000! Sounds crazy. Many of them are of the same shot, just in case someone blinked. I also try many different angles/settings, and some are just test shots. After the wedding I will go home, pick out the very best shots with the very best angles, emotion, posting and lighting, and narrow it down to anywhere between 350-900 images depending on your collection choice.
Do you have an online portfolio of a whole wedding from start to finish?
Absolutely!! If you will email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would be happy to provide you with gallery links to a complete wedding day.
We do not need an engagement session. Do you give a discount for opting out?
Yes, I do. I deduct $100 off your collection if you do not need an engagement session. HOWEVER, I strongly recommend taking advantage of the complimentary engagement session for several reasons: One, it gives us a chance to get to know each other better.. which is a great thing! Two, it helps you and your significant other get comfortable with posing and how I work with my clients. And three, I would love to give you beautiful photos of you and boo thang while you're engaged! These photos are great to display at your shower, for your guestbook or at your ceremony/reception.
Do you charge a travel fee?
Each wedding collections covers up to 60 miles of travel. After that it is $0.65 per mile, to and from. Anywhere over three hours I do request hotel accommodations as well.
What's an 'unplugged wedding'?
This, my friends, is the best thing EVER! An unplugged wedding is politely requesting that your guests put away their electronics during your ceremony and enjoy the moment with you guys! My couples are paying their hard-earned money to photograph their day, and I want to give them as many beautiful photos as possible. Imagine when 7 different people have their smartphones and giant iPads out in the middle of the aisle as the beautiful bride is walking, and her groom is struggling to see her for the first time....not only does it ruin the moment, it could very well keep me from getting an amazing shot.
Would you be willing to cover a destination wedding?
ABSOLUTELY!! Photographing a wedding on the beach or in another country or somewhere tropical is a big dream of mine! I love to travel!
Do you offer prints, photo albums and canvases?
I sure do! Once your images are ready, I will have your wedding uploaded to a gallery online and I will send you a link. This link can be shared with friends and family and they will be able to purchase or download their favorite photos, as well. Several of my wedding packages come with a canvas and photo album included!
I'm ready to book, what's next?
Once you have decided that I am the photographer for you, I will send you my wedding information/agreement form to fill out. It will give me all of the details about your big day and what you can expect from me as your wedding photographer! Once you have chosen your collection and filled out the packet, we get to meet and go over everything! From your beautiful wedding vision, location, lighting, shot list for family photos and your wedding day timeline. I require a 50% down payment of your chosen collection and your remaining balance is due two weeks before your big day.