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. For the most part, I try to blend into the background during an event so as to document natural moments. 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, adapt to my subject matter, and find the compositions that are truly worth hanging on the wall. I work for my clients, diverse and ranging in personality, but ultimately I work to produce art that I find beautiful.
What is your favorite kind of wedding to photograph?
Having seen like a bajillion weddings, my favorite weddings are usually with couples who favor their own individual expression of marriage to one another over a large and inclusive party. My work always benefits when I have a client with style who puts thoughtfulness into floral arrangements, ambient venue lighting, etc...however, I would rather photograph a small ceremony or elopement shared between intimate family and friends on a Glacial mountain peak or in a Parisian grotto. My favorite wedding memories, and thus best album work, have been destination weddings of this nature, in which my clients favor the expression of their marriage over an elaborate production with a minute-by-minute itinerary.
Do you travel and will that cost more? What about destination weddings?
I love to travel! 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 .545/mile (2018 IRS business mileage rate). As a rule, I ask for overnight lodging ($300/night) if the drive from your event to Grand Rapids, MI takes me past midnight.
Destination weddings are often more affordable than people think. I am fully insured, and usually ask for flight, rental car, and lodging. Depending on the specifics of your wedding and location this can range in additional cost from $700-$2500. If you have a destination wedding in mind, contact me with the details and we can discuss those fabulous plans!
How many weddings do you photograph per year?
25-35 weddings. I am full-time. This is all I do. Wedding season in Michigan reaches its’ peak from May through October. I don’t schedule double-wedding weekends, as this saps my energy. I want to show up fresh and inspired for my clients, not bushwhacked. In my early career, I would double-book a weekend, but I now understand how draining that can be, and I am not willing to sacrifice my artwork to make a quick buck.
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 clients 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. Also, as a photographer, I always encourage clients to go unplugged during their wedding ceremony. Nothing is worse for me than a missed moment because “Uncle Greg” brought his new DSLR and wants to grab a walking down the isle photograph by stepping into my line-of-sight.
How many photographs will we get?
Approximately 400 – 500 photos (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 and give them more attention in the post-processing /digital darkroom. Good art takes time. I edit each and every image individually, without batch edits or hiring an outside firm.
How long will it take to receive our photographs?
In my busy season (May through November) 8-10 weeks.
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. Simply put, they are the best product available anywhere. 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. My complimentary 30-minute session takes place in the Grand Rapids area. This session is included in the basic wedding package. Clients have the option to download high-resolution photographs via an online proofing album (there is a nominal fee per digital download). If you are interested in a more extended engagement session with your photographs on a USB and “rights to print,” please contact me for additional pricing.
What equipment do you use?
- Canon 5D Mark IV
- 35mm f/1.4L II
- 50mm f/1.2L
- 85mm f/1.2L
- 135mm f/2.0L
- 70-200mm f/2.8L II
- Canon Speedlite 600Ex-RT
Can we meet in person?
Yes! I would love to sit down and chat over tea or a glass of wine. 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 contract and a non-refundable deposit of $1,499. The remaining balance is due no later than 2 weeks before your wedding date.