Questions and Answers

How would you describe your style?

Documentary yet traditional, professional but relaxed. I've learnt that just waiting for moments to happen and hoping I catch them is a path to my nervous breakdown and your disappointment. I prefer to very gently create the stage for great moments to happen. Of course, I'll be constantly on the lookout for totally spontaneous emotions but I'm not one for hiding in the bushes with a long lens. I'll advise and guide you to ensure you enjoy your day and have some fantastic photographs to be proud of and I promise you will quickly forget that you are being photographed or at least that you thought you really didn't like doing it! The really great wedding photographs that you see are very rarely totally natural. Just remember that this day is a one off and nothing about it is strictly normal! The best photographers set the stage for the players and capture the real emotions that arise.

Why should we chose Nelson Photography?

The main reason is the previous answer. I honestly enjoy photographing weddings and get very involved, even emotional. I enjoy being part of your day and getting to know, at least for a while, your friends and family. I take my job very seriously, and by that I mean that I have worked and prepared so that I needn't be serious on the day. I can just concentrate on capturing the day.

I know a friend who charges $500. Why the difference in price?

Many wedding photographers, myself included, started out shooting friends' weddings for little or no payment. Its great but not sustainable as a business. I spend an average of 5 days on each wedding, including meetings, preparation, post-processing and the day itself. Its rewarding but hard work and I'd like to be doing it for years to come. My fee reflects the commitment I have to you in many ways, not least the experience and professionalism I bring to the day. Take the cameras for example - its great to have shiny toys to play with but they are they are some of the very best (and most expensive) available. And I've got 2! In fact, I've got 2 of every piece of equipment necessary to take great pictures of your day. This is my (and your) first line of insurance to ensure that we don't have any very embarrassing and distressing conversations on your wedding day. Equipment will fail but having back-ups and the knowledge to carry on seamlessly is all part of the service. I could go on with this section but suffice to say, my years of learning and preparation for your day will ensure that the photography goes very smoothly and becomes a fun part of the day and deliver photographs you will treasure and share for years to come.

Are you insured?

To be honest, this question is rarely asked but it should be one of your top priorities. Having tailored insurance is a sign of a professional who relies on income from photography rather than just as a hobby. Its a very good indicator of how seriously they value their reputation and respect your day. I am fully insured through the NZIPP's (New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers) scheme. This body also offers a mediation / arbitration service in the very likely event you have a complaint regarding my professional conduct.

How long should we set aside for photographs and do you have any favourite locations?

Great photographs don't just happen and you will need to set aside a little time. On average though, about an hour is adequate for photographs of the bride and groom and the bridal party as I know you will want to get back to your guests but that depends on travel time and so on. I try my very best to work quickly but sometimes you will have to bear with me, just for a moment or two. As for locations, I'd much rather go to places that are special to you rather than take you to a place that I know works. I would hate for you to look back at your album in 20 years time and say, "Why on earth were we leaning against that farmhouse / phone box / petrol pump (I've seen it)?" My job is to make you relax, have fun and look great wherever you chose.

Do you use a second photographer?

Sometimes, but not always. It really depends on the location(s) of the photography, number of guests and so on. I will often bring an assistant at my own expense who is really just their to help set up lights (if necessary) and carry things for me. They will generally also have a camera and be snapping away too, but this is not their primary role. If you would like to have a second, professional photographer attend all or part of your day, we can talk about that and how much it will cost.

How long will you stay?

Basically, as long as you want me to! You have me for the full day from the preparations until everyone has danced themselves out, if that is what you want. Generally, by about 9 or 10 in the evening and everyone is in full swing, it may be time to pack up the camera but this is often a good time to get some informal portraits of you with / and / or your guests - sort of a mobile, top quality photo booth. If you have something special planned for later in the evening, I'll be more than happy to stay and continue to take photographs without you worrying about an extra hourly fee.

How many photographs will you take?

That's quite a hard one to answer, but I've never handed less than 600 over to a wedding couple and normally closer to 1000. There may be quite a few similar ones and, to be honest, some may not be of the highest artistic standard! But I'll leave it to you to decide which ones you delete as I no doubt capture moments which are special to you for reasons that may not be immediately obvious to someone else.

What will we receive as part of the package?

I provide all the photographs from your wedding day (and the pre-wedding shoot) on disc. I usually select 100-200 photographs that I think tell the story of the day and put them on a separate disc, just so its a bit easier to browse through and share. I'll give you a couple of more copies of that disc to give away if you like. Depending on what style of processing we have discussed, I will usually supply at least some of these in different styles too, just you give you a few options. I put the rest of the photos on other discs. I also supply all the photos in colour and black and white. This will be a basic conversion for the time being but, again, it will give you the idea. As well as the discs I'll post a good selection of your wedding photographs on a private web page and provide a couple of large prints, in your choice of size. Of course, you also receive your album, that you can learn more about here.

How long does it take to receive our photographs?

Within a week or so of your wedding you will be able to view a private, on-line gallery of a selection of your photographs. At this point, I'll ask for the balance to be paid. After that, you will receive the discs of full resolution photographs within another 2 weeks, probably much sooner. I guarantee that you will not have to wait more than a month for your photographs. Once you've got those, we can then discuss and refine any processing styles within the next couple of months as we work towards finalising your album. I'll keep working with you until you have the best possible finished photography.

How long does our album take to produce?

As soon as possible! From the moment I start to press the shutter button on your wedding day, I'll be thinking of the final album and creating photography that tells a story of the day. I'll start a draft version of the album as I process the photographs and have an e-version of that for you to have a look at by the time you receive your photographs. Using that as a basis, we can then sit down over a coffee or two and swap / process / change the photographs as you prefer. I'll then produce a final draft, ask you to approve it and then send it away for printing. This usually takes a week to 10 days to come back from the printers.

Do you produce any other albums?

Yes, I can produce any type of album you require and I'll supply a fixed quote on request

How do we make a booking?

Have a good think about it, ask to meet again, ask around and take advantage of my free, pre-wedding shoot. There are lots of wedding photographers out there - many are excellent and others not so great, so this isn't a decision to be rushed. When you are ready, I ask for a $500 deposit to secure the booking. There are also a couple of booking forms and terms to read and sign and then that's it. Well, not quite: I recommend we meet up at least once again before the day and I'll probably invite myself to the rehearsal!

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