In the course of planning your wedding, you'll have a lot of questions. Questions about what's normal in certain situations, what parts of the day will have the most impact on your guests, and which vendors offer the best value for your budget. These are all important things to ask. You'll also discover that as you search for one answer, several more questions pop up.
I'm here to help. I've been behind the scenes of nearly a thousand weddings now and seen a lot. I've seen what works, what doesn't, and beyond creating beautiful images, I'm most interested in ensuring that my couples have a fantastic wedding day experience. The reason I focus so heavily on my clients' wedding day experience is that the last two decades have taught me the most important secret about photographing people.
Here's the secret. Whenever you look at a photograph, especially one you appear in, it has this amazing ability to put you right back in that moment. The sights, sounds, smells and especially what you were feeling at the time. A photo can bring it all back. That's why we love them so much.
It doesn't matter how beautiful the scenery around us, or how gorgeous the lighting is. It doesn't even matter how fancy my camera equipment is, because if I don't do the work required to make sure you are relaxed and confident when you're in front of my camera, then the image is going convey some level of tension or awkwardness and every time you look at that photo you will relive that feeling.
In a perfect world, I want all of those elements to fall into place for you. I'll certainly bring my fancy camera and lenses. I'll hope for beautiful scenery and even create gorgeous light myself if needed, but if I do a good job of keeping you and your partner relaxed, we could take photos under any conditions. Photos that you can look back on years from now and still remember exactly how great you felt at that moment.
What are your prices?
Probably the first question everyone asks. We're a fully custom studio, so listing everything would get pretty lengthy.
Wedding Collections begin at $3800 and Portrait Sessions start at $500.
We cover pricing and what's included in detail during our consultation and are happy to customize any of our collections.
Charging based on hours behind the camera is an antiquated pricing structure that can create stress on your wedding day.
All W&W collections include "Wedding Day Coverage" for the lead photographer. We begin three hours before the ceremony and leave once your event is concluded. Often that's right after your exit, or if there is no exit, we leave when you tell us it's ok to do so.
This approach eliminates the concern of having too little coverage on your wedding day.
How many photographers are included?
A team of two photographers can be a great way to document your day, though it's not crucial to getting amazing images. Most of our wedding collections include two photographers. It allows us to get different perspectives on your story.
One of our collections includes only one photographer for those situations where having two would be intrusive. Like that time I documented a gorgeous Duke Chapel ceremony that included exactly seven people! (including the priest)
Do you travel for weddings?
Do you know that Johnny Cash song "I've been everywhere"? I haven't photographed a wedding in every one of the towns, but I've checked off several.
We've photographed weddings and portraits from Mexico to SanFran and Miami to NYC. We have a passport and know how to get to where you are.
One of our collections includes travel anywhere within NC and another includes travel anywhere in NC, SC, VA, TN, or GA.
All travel is billed at cost. No funny stuff.
Do you provide video services?
We do not.
W&W specializes in creating the best still photography in the marketplace and our entire team has dedicated themselves to that goal.
While our cameras certainly have the technology to cross over into creating motion pictures, the skills required for mastery of one or the other are quite different.
We are friends with some amazing video folks who are great to work with and we are proud to recommend.
How long before we see our photos?
Normal turn around time for delivery of wedding proofs is four weeks. This includes the edited images posted to your gallery.
Our most popular wedding collection includes expedited delivery of two weeks.
We handle portrait sessions a bit differently. When your portrait session is booked, we will also schedule a meeting for two weeks later to view and discuss your photos together so we can guide you through the selection process.
ACCESSORY TO MARRIAGE
We want you to feel like you are making the best choice by choosing W&W for your photography. These FAQs are important at this stage of the game, but the really fun conversation happens once we begin our journey as your photographer.
We'll be your personal backstage tour guide through the wedding planning process. Of course, if you have a wedding planner, we love that too and will happily take the journey in their sidecar, ready to help when needed.
James literally wrote the book on things he's seen happen at weddings that, well, let's say maybe they could have/ should have gone a bit differently.
What do you do if your bridesmaid slips you more Xanax than you can handle right before the wedding?
Who handles calling the ambulance for the band leader's girlfriend who enjoyed your open bar and is now unconscious in the bathroom?
How do I know if these wedding crashers are cool and just here to dance or to steal my gifts?
Did my Dad really just say that during his toast? Where is the closest hole to crawl into?
Do I have to throw a bouquet? Isn't it just the single girl's walk of shame?
These are all valid questions you may have and James covers each of them in Accessory to Marriage.
How many pictures will we receive?
This depends on a few factors. First, if you have two photographers, you will have more images. With one photographer, a range of 400-600 images is typical. Having two photographers takes that to 600-1000 images delivered is typical.
Having a large/ small family, wedding party, or guest count does not have a direct effect on the number of final images.
One thing that does have a direct effect is the time of year. Summer days can stay bright until 9 pm, while winter daylight ends at 5 pm. That determines how much photography we can do outdoors versus indoors. We can create beautiful images indoors, it just takes a little more time to light it up. Outdoors, we can get a lot of photos done in a short amount of time if the light is there.
Are digital files included?
High-resolution digital files are included as a deliverable with all of our collections.
We define high resolution as a jpeg image with a resolution of 3500 (or more) pixels on the long side of the image.
These images have no watermark and include a copyright release that allows you to make prints and share online all you want.
Do we get to see every photo you took?
Out of the hundreds of beautiful images, we'll create for you during the day, some will have closed eyes, some will be blurry pictures of the ground from when we quickly put our camera down to help untangle your veil when it got caught on your bridesmaid's crystal hair clip. And don't get me started on all of the hit-or-miss situations out on the dancefloor.
We don't discard any image that has the potential to be useable. The only images we discard are the ones we know would be embarrassing to either your guests or for us. Those are deleted immediately and are never available for review.
Do we get copyright?
Professional photographers maintain ownership over the copyright for images they create for a few reasons. The good news is that because we include a personal image usage release with our digital files, our clients can do anything they might want to with their photos.
The biggest reason we retain copyright is for times when we see that an unscrupulous photographer has used our images in their portfolio. This happens more than you'd think and we need to have the authority to send them a cease and desist letter demanding they remove our work from their site.
Retaining our copyright allows us to enforce this.
How long have you been in business?
James Walters, our Creative Director has made his living as a photographer for over twenty-five years. The first nine of those were for a commercial studio.
He began Walters & Walters in 2003 when he decided to embrace the new range of challenges that wedding photography allowed him to explore.
Since then, W&W has photographed nearly 1000 weddings.
Can you hold my date?
Wedding dates are locked in once we receive your signed contract and retainer.
We are not able to "pencil in" a date.
Sometimes we are in a situation where we are talking to multiple couples about the same date. In those instances, we give the couple who contacted us first the ability to lock in their date. If they decide to go in a different direction, then we offer the date to the next to contact us.
How do the payments work?
We bill in three equal installments based on the total cost of your collection.
-The first third is a non-refundable retainer that locks in your date.
-The second installment is due ninety days before your wedding date.
-The final third is due two weeks before your wedding date.
What if you get sick or die before my wedding?
That would be a total bummer.
While no one on our team has had to miss a wedding for any reason, James did have to jump into action and shoot a wedding once for a local photographer who was badly injured in a car accident the night before her client's wedding. Having seen others have this experience taught us to have a good plan in place, just in case.
We have a strong network of seasoned photographers who would jump into action for us should the worst-case scenario become a reality.