How would you describe your style?
“Fine Art Photojournalism” is the best label for my work. I favor natural lighting, and compositions/postures that are organic rather than overly posed. I aim to tell the story of your day and look for those in-between glances and gestures. For the most part, I try to blend into the background during an event so as to document natural expressions. In this regard, I wouldn’t say that I focus on traditional portraiture. I am first and foremost a wedding photographer, and as such, I have to work fast, and adapt to my subject matter. I work for my clients, diverse and ranging in personality, but ultimately I work to produce art that I find beautiful.
What couples do you enjoy photographing most?
I love working with couples with a taste for fashion and who put thoughtfulness into floral arrangements, ambient venue lighting, etc…Ultimately, I can confidently say that I most enjoy couples who put their foremost energies and attention into celebrating being together.
Do you travel and will that cost more? What about destination weddings?
I love to travel! Besides traveling all over the gorgeous state of Michigan, couples have flown us to France, Colorado, NYC, Chicago...with some more exciting destinations on the calendar for 2019. Stateside, I am willing to drive up to 100 miles round trip on my own dime, and any additional mileage incurs a travel surcharge of .58/mile (2019 IRS business mileage rate). As a rule, I ask for overnight lodging if the drive from your event to Grand Rapids, MI takes me past midnight. I charge a flat rate of $300/night, and I book my travel arrangements myself, unless otherwise discussed.
Destination weddings are often more affordable than people think. I am fully insured, and usually ask for airfare, 2 nights lodging, and car rental (if needed). Depending on the specifics of your wedding and location this can range in additional cost from $800-$2500. If you have a destination wedding in mind, or would like some help putting together an idea, contact me with the details and we can discuss those fabulous plans! I have created some special rates for a few specific (and breathtaking) locations on my travel page.
How long will it take to receive our photographs?
In my busy season it usually takes 8-10 weeks to finalize a portfolio. I also include several preview photos within a week after your wedding to post as teasers for your adoring friends and family.
How many photographs will we get?
Expect approximately 400–600 photographs (based upon the specifics of your day). I focus on quality over quantity; as with many art forms, photography follows the old adage that “less is more." I prefer to focus on a fewer number of photographs in order to give them more attention in post-processing edits (the digital darkroom). Good art takes time. I edit each and every image individually, without using batch edits or hiring an outside firm. I absolutely love the process, and I take my time with each and every wedding.
Can I have access to the RAW files?
No. I do not give out the raw files. I consider this an unfinished product.
What equipment do you use?
I work with two Canon 5D Mark IV cameras with all L-series prime lenses.
Do you schedule a time in the day for family and bridal party portraits?
Certainly! Prior to your wedding date, I will send out a questionnaire (asking all the important information that I need to know) & request a family/bridal party portrait list. Having this list takes the pressure off the two of you, so you can fully enjoy your wedding day and not worry about who you may have left out. I do ask you to give the list serious consideration. Some couples may experience “photo-fatigue” if the list is too plentiful. Likewise, I ask clients to consider the location for these portraits in advance, as some family configurations are large and require adequate space. Filtered lighting is always favorable to harsh direct light.
Do you ask for a wedding day/details shot list? Can I give you Pintrest ideas?
The only list I ask for is the family/bridal party portrait list. Other than that, I do not go by a list. If there is something particularly important to you, there is a line on my questionnaire for you to indicate that request, and as always I will do my best to honor those moments/ideas. However, if I am focused on checking off bulleted items, then I will undoubtedly miss the authentic moments from your day. While I would love to check out your Pintrest ideas, I don’t like to replicate other people’s photographs. It is important to find a photographer that you really connect with, someone whose photographs speak to you, someone you trust to create original art with.
Do you offer wedding albums? Can I buy prints?
We have partnered with PQ Blackwell Publishing to create absolutely stunning photo books for our clients. You can order your own custom Milk Photo Book from my storefront. I also love to help with custom framing for those special prints that you want to showcase.
All my clients have “personal use license” which means that you can print and share your photographs for non-commercial use.
I always encourage clients to utilize my online print lab. If I took the digital still, I want you to be able to truly appreciate it. All images are professionally printed on Fuji-Film crystal archival paper, delivering rich, stunning colors that will last a lifetime. You will receive them, un-matted and unframed, in sturdy, moisture-resistant packaging usually within a couple business days. I love my print lab and the check out process is a cakewalk.
How does an engagement session work?
Engagement sessions are a great way to get to know each other before your wedding day. I offer a complimentary mini session which is included in my wedding package. The photographs will be available to you as digital downloads on my online proofing site. High-resolution digital downloads for personal license start at $5/image or you can download the whole gallery for $40 which is what most of our couples do. This session lasts approximately 20-30 minutes in Grand Rapids, and you will receive 15 photographs. If you opt out of the complimentary session, my wedding package price remains the same. I also offer an upgraded one-hour engagement session as a wedding package add-on in which you will receive approximately 40 photographs for digital download via an online proofing album with rights to print for personal use.
Would you be willing to drive outside of Grand Rapids for the complimentary 30 min engagement session? When do you schedule these?
Because this is a complimentary session, I am strict on the location staying in Grand Rapids. If you have a location outside of Grand Rapids in mind, I suggest purchasing the one-hour session as a wedding package add-on. For a one hour engagement session, I will drive up to one hour from Grand Rapids. So this might be a perfect option if you are interested in a beach location. For anything farther than one hour, a travel fee will be added.
I only schedule engagement sessions Monday - Thursday during the week. Weekends are more flexible during the winter season.
How many weddings do you photograph per year?
I book around 20-30 weddings per year. I am full time and this is all I do.
Can we meet in person?
Yes! Let me take you out for a cup of tea or glass of wine. I'd love to sit down to chat through details and get to know one another. Alternately, I am available to talk via Facetime/Google Chat or over the phone if meeting in person is not an option for you.
How do we book you?
To reserve your date, I require a signed Photography Agreement and a non-refundable deposit of half your total package fee. The remaining balance is due two weeks before your wedding date. I typically book clients as far as a year and a half and dates are first come/first serve.