My name is Michael and I love photographing weddings! Whether they are giant, alcohol infused parties, that last until the sun comes up, or small, intimate, gatherings, the only thing that matters, is that two people are joining forces, to take on the world, and I get to narrate their story, for one day.
I've found that the couples that are drawn to my work are the ones that care about relationships and not just ceremony. I invest a lot of myself into relationships because I want to care about their story, with the same amount of passion, as their closest friends and family. I give everything that I have, to tell the greatest romance stories, that have ever been told.
Although this is a very legitimate question, I find that there is a lot of information out there that can be very confusing. Photographers tend to describe their styles using only a few terms, and I don't know if it really does their work justice. You will hear terms like traditional, lifestyle and photo-journalistic thrown around quite a bit and although these are descriptions, I don't know if it really gets into the true essence of what we do. First and foremost, I would say that ninety percent of wedding photographers that are working today, would describe their work as some kind of photo-journalism. The term is used to describe the fact that the photographer captures the day as it unfolds. They aren't posing couples as much as more formal or traditional wedding photographers did in the past. I would concede, that I would fall in this category, but I would like to dig a little deeper to help you understand my approach.
I think that there are some clear differences between myself and a lot of what I see out there. These details don't make me a better photographer, they just make up who I am and how I shoot.
A very small portion of the day, I do help pose a little, but it's more about putting people in the right place and then letting them act natural. I tend to shoot with wider angle lenses than a lot of contemporary wedding photographers. Although, I do have longer lenses in my bag, that I do employ during the ceremony to avoid disruption, during portraits and receptions, I don't believe that I use them as much as most. I'm very intentional about telling the story, if you haven't guessed that already :) I think that one of the best ways to do that, is to include the landscape, the details and everything that is going on during the wedding. I usually have two cameras on me, at any given time. One of those cameras, will usually have a tighter lens, for close up portraits. I do use it. I just don't use it as much as most, from what I see. I use a 24mm and a 50mm during most of the day.
In my early days, I would stand back with a long lens and shoot the dance floor at a wedding. While that is non-intrusive, and possibly what couples think that they want, I have learned that it's better to get in the action with a wide lens and capture the magic up close. This doesn't mean that I'm standing next to the couple during their first dance, but you better believe, I'm going to be in your drunk uncle's face, if he decides to start break dancing! It's a tight line to walk, between disappearing during intimate moments and being in the center of everything when everyone is in full party mode.
There is one other thing that I do that I believe is a bit different than most. I think that most people could agree with me that some photographers shoot light and airy photographs and others shoot moody and dramatic. When I started in wedding photography, I fell into the later camp. I was coming from a commercial background and I lit everything and didn't rely on natural light nearly as much as I do now. I've pretty much, completely changed my style to shooting natural light 95-98% of the day. I did this for two main reasons. The first one, is that most couples want to remember their wedding day the way that it actually happened. I can pull out my lights all day long and make some pretty badass portraiture, but at the end of the day, I believe that most couples want to see pictures that remind them of how things actually were. At the same time, I want to go the extra mile. I want to make some beautiful, moody imagery for the couple, that most likely, they will never have the chance to do again. That's why, in an eight or fourteen hour day, I will do something unexpected, once or twice, that will hopefully, blow their mind.
Longest FAQ answer ever :)
Generally, my days are anywhere from eight to twelve hours. I'm pretty much ready for anything and I'm never watching the clock. In special cases, I will work the entire morning and early afternoon, take a break, and then meet somewhere else for an evening festivity. This is your day and I will work around you and your schedule.
On average, I deliver between 500-700 pictures from a full wedding day.
The best thing to do is to contact me as soon as you have a venue secured. I REALLY only do twenty five weddings a year and it's first come, first serve. Obviously, Saturdays book up the fastest. If you have a date in mind but are unable to book the venue right away because of a restriction, please drop me a line anyway, and we can at least get the ball rolling.
Yes. I want everything to be perfect for you and that is why everything is all inclusive. Although, I believe that the best way to tell your story is with an Heirloom Box and Album, I also believe that there might be something amazing that you can do with the files, twenty five years from now, as technology progresses.
Yes. All of the photographs are edited for exposure, contrast and color.
Sure. I can direct you to various places around the web where clients have talked about their experience. I never solicit reviews, because I find it kind of weird :)
It's a really simple process. Once we have discussed everything, I will send you a Booking Proposal. It has all of the information, including a contract, for us both to sign. You can pay the retainer, which is $1500, right there. This allows me to book travel arrangements as far in advance as necessary. After this, we will stay in touch through out the planning process. The balance is due on the 1st of the month of your wedding day.
I do. While these photos are important to the couple and their relatives, it can also be one of the more stressful parts of the day. I take great care in making these happen as efficiently as possible. We will discuss these in detail before your wedding day.
Absolutely! I can work with you or your wedding planner to make sure that the timeline is perfect. You may or may not be a photographer, so it's up to me to suggest the best times, locations etc for the best lighting. I can also help with the family formal list so that everything runs as smooth as possible.
For the most part, yes. Most of your day will be captured using "natural light." I am also highly skilled at using a plethora of lighting equipment, if needed, in dark reception venues, for creative portraiture, or if we decide to do anything at night. I refer to some of this as magic tricks, and I will most likely, pull them out of my bag at one point or another on your day. I am always challenging myself as a photographer and I occasionally teach workshops on this as well.
If you're a photographer, I'll be happy to talk gear with you at any time. Currently, my main cameras are two Canon 5D MK III, Canon 5D MK II, a Fuji X100T and a Fuji XPRO2.
Yes. Please let me know if a venue needs proof.
You will receive your high resolution photographs, via digital download, within 30 days. Your storybook box will take longer, and is actually very dependent on you. I will provide you with proofs and discuss materials such as wood preference, album choice etc. within 60 days but everything that I deliver is 100% handmade and takes a bit of time to be crafted. If you respond to everything in a timely manner, you are likely to receive everything within 120 days..
Professionally, yes. Wedding photography is my life. I am also a big music fan so when the opportunity arises, I occasionally shoot band portraits or live shows. I also love to travel and experience new places, camera in hand.
Absolutely! I do not offer the service myself, because it is a specialized skill, and I don't believe that one voice can tell both stories as accurately as two. All that I suggest, is that you make sure that the cinematographer shoots in the same style that I do. It makes no sense, if I am leading you in one direction and the cinematographer has a completely different point of view. The best example that I can use is if we are shooting the first look and I am capturing everything as it happens. I help set it up, so that everyone is on the same page, but it makes no sense for a cinematographer to ask you to recreate that moment multiple times. Hopefully, that makes sense.
I ask for one list of photographs and that is the family formals. It's important that we make this process as fast as possible for all parties involved, be it elderly grandparents, or young children. I ask for this list ahead of time, so that I can help you make this process painless for everyone! Although, I have no objection if there is a certain photograph that you want taken, I don't work from a list that you might find on wedding websites, such as The Knot. I believe that every wedding is different and I can't make the bride's father cry on cue, the first time that he sees her. I understand that we live in a Pinterest age, but for me to tell your story in the most unique and special way that I can, I ask that you trust me, to do my job. That being said, at any time during the day, if you, your mother, your third cousin or roommate from college wants a specific photograph, I'm happy to oblige.
Well, I'm glad that you asked :) I call it Chapter One. Chapter One is not for the faint of heart :) It's not for the couple that wants to spend 45 minutes walking around in a field of wild flowers and calling it a day. I want my camera to get to know you and then tell your story to the rest of the world!