I cannot recommend engagement sessions enough! Think of them as like a trial run for your wedding day. Here’s my top 3 reasons why I encourage every client to do an engagement (or pre-wedding) session:
1. It helps with wedding day nerves! If the first time I’m holding a camera in your face is on your wedding day, when your nerves are already high, it’s going to be an added stressor. But if you’ve had an engagement session, you’ll already be a pro and will know exactly what I’m asking you to do!
2. It saves time on wedding day. Part of what happens during an engagement session is I’m learning what poses work well for you two and which ones don’t; I’m also learning how you two interact and what’s “natural” for you. We have significantly more time together during an engagement session than we do on wedding day, so there’s that opportunity for trial and error and playing around to find the perfect combination of images that are unique to you. Which means come wedding day, I already know what’s going to work so we can use our time very efficiently!
3. It’s a bit of “insurance”, if you will. Sometimes, people don’t know exactly what they want out of their photos until they see what they don’t want. Doing an engagement session gives you an out in the event you decide you don’t actually like my approach to posing or editing. As sad as I’d be to part ways, I’d MUCH rather you figure that out prior to wedding day! I believe that it’s incredibly important to work with a photographer that you feel 100% comfortable with and trust implicitly, and if that’s not me, I completely understand and am happy to help you find your perfect photographer match :)
The only time I accept (and actually request) a shot list is for family formals on wedding day. Aside from that…If there are one or two examples of poses that you’ve seen that you really really really want in your gallery, feel free to send those my way. But as a general rule, I encourage my couples to come with open minds and allow me to create a set of images that is unique to them.
Here’s a few reasons why I like to steer clear of shot lists:
1. I can’t just recreate images you found on Pinterest. It’s the intellectual property of another photographer.
2. Second, even if I was cool with stealing someone else’s ideas, that image was shot in a different setting, with different lighting, with different people, with a different camera, with a different lens, and with different backgrounds. Meaning you’ll probably be disappointed with the ‘copycat version’ because it won’t look exactly the same.
3. Third, and I can’t stress this enough, posing is not a one-size-fits all system. Relative height between you and your partner plays a HUGE role in what poses will work and what poses will not. If you’re asking me to recreate a specific pose, it likely won’t work unless you and the models are twins. Plus, I approach posing in a more ‘authentic’ way. I like to see how you guys interact as a couple and create poses from there. None of which would be possible if I’m trying to recreate a Pinterest pose.
4. And finally, if you are hiring someone whose work you love and who you mesh with personally (whether that’s me or someone else!), you should trust that they can and will create images for you that are just as memorable.
You know what I hate? When Amazon gives me a vague window of possible delivery times. Or when the internet repair company tells me they’ll arrive between 10am-4pm. That gives me ALL kinds of anxiety. Anyone else??
So yeah, I don’t play those games with my turnaround times. Here’s exactly when you’ll receive your images:
Engagements and couples sessions: 3 weeks
Weddings, intimate weddings, & elopements: 4 weeks
I do not give you a guaranteed number, because each and every event/session is so unique. Also, I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity. My goal is to find and capture quality moments that tell the story of your day. But to give you a ballpark number, for weddings you can typically expect about 50 images per hour of coverage in your gallery; and for engagements you can typically expect about 50 images total.
Short answer: Nope.
Longer answer: RAW files can’t even be opened without special equipment, so most likely what you are wanting is an unedited JPEG, which I also don’t deliver. Part of what you are hiring me for is my style of shooting and editing, which means I don’t release anything that doesn’t accurately reflect that. If you aren’t sold on my style, the good news is there’s tons of photographers in the area and we all have our own unique spin to things, so I’m happy to help you find someone to work with who matches the look you love!
Every photo that ends up in your gallery is going to be hand edited by me. I don’t send it to someone else. I don’t pick the best images and only edit those. If it’s in your gallery, it’s getting the NJP touch! The edits that are included in the price you are paying are: cropping, straightening, my brand of color correction, and facial blemish removal.
I won’t get into all of this here and now, but I fundamentally disagree with photoshopping bodies and faces to appear thinner. Which means I don’t offer this service at all. If you request these edits, I will send you a separate invoice and outsource the images to a photo retoucher who specializes in those kinds of edits. Other edit requests that will incur additional fees include, but are not limited to: fixing wrinkled clothing & swapping faces/eyes/bodies.
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