Advice for Hiring a Photographer
& What to Expect
Q: How to choose the right wedding photographer?
It's a very personal decision, sort of akin to picking out art for your walls at home. Most wedding photographers fall into one (or several) of these categories:
• Photojournalistic - a concentration on documenting the wedding day from a fly-on-the-wall approach. Captures candid interactions
• Portrait-Focused, (or Traditional) -
Also, not all weddings or couples need a wedding photographer.
GETTING READY: This is when I take all those cool macro photos of the rings, the flowers, the dress, etc. Also, this time can include part of make-up and/or hair, and, finally we'll shoot the finishing touches; buttoning up of dress/suit, someone helping you put any jewelry/cuff-links on, etc.
Usually an hour to 1.5 hours is sufficient for this time. If both sides would like to be covered it's prudent to have two photographers.
DEDICATED PHOTOGRAPHY TIME
First Look: I always encourage couples to consider doing a first look. Not only does it allow for shooting any posed wedding party/family photography before the ceremony, but it also allows you guys a wonderful little bit of time to get away from the craziness of the day and have a special moment to yourselves without being surrounded by other people.
And the photos from this time always come out super amazing! Usually this only takes about 15 mins and the stress and time saved from doing family/wedding party photos before the ceremony instead of afterwards makes it more than worth it.
Couples' Photos: Usually these are the best, most epic photos of the day and I shoot you guys candidly, semi-posed, and a few posed as well.
Included in this time could be individual shots of each of you as well. Budget anywhere from 15 mins (for just a few shots) to an hour.
More time = more creativity and better photos! I can do a LOT in an hour and probably take the best photos of you that you'll ever have.
Wedding Party Photos:
• 15 mins for just a few simple, line-up and smile group shots
• 30-45 mins for an average amount of wedding party shots
• 60 mins should be budgeted for a myriad of different formations of the group shots and if you would like individual portraits of all your wedding party members.
Family Posed Photos:
• 20-30 mins for only a handful of groupings (usually just immediate family, around 4-7 groupings)
• 40-45 for average number of groupings (immediate family plus some extended family, around 8-12 groupings)
• 60+ mins for 12+ family posed groupings.
Remember, more people = more time needed (the wrangling of people is always quite difficult and time consuming)
Q: Casual posed photography vs formal portraits? Click here for examples.
Casual posed photography is spur of the moment, grab a friend or 5 and smile at the camera. These types of posed photos may be taken at anytime, whenever you want, throughout the whole day. Just give me a wave, a wink, or a holla, and I'll skip over and take whatever photo you and your buddies or family want.
If you'd like any formal portraits, block out a specific time and place to take these. They always take longer than people anticipate, especially the more people are in the image. Wrangling of people is more than half the battle. :)
One way to make formal family portraits go quicker, is to donate a family member or friend to help assist the cause; someone who knows most people and who will have the shot list of all the formal portraits you want to take. That way I can focus solely on the camera settings and the taking of the image, and not on the wrangling aspect. This speeds up the process a great deal.
***One more important note about dedicated photography time.....Don't forget to factor in travel time between locations (and always double it just to be on the safe side). It's amazing how often plans go awry because of traffic or not enough buffer time.
Budget at least 2 hours for all the posed photography (couple, wedding party, family).
This is usually when I'm able to get the best photos of the guests that are at your wedding – everyone is smiling, laughing, and interacting, and I can shoot people without them noticing I’m there, which makes for beautiful candid shots of your friends and family.
Sometimes couples opt to shoot posed family/wedding party photos during this time, and that's totally fine, but this means not only that they miss cocktail hour, but, also, that I won’t be able to shoot it either unless a second photographer is hired.
If you want some really amazing, rad, dancing/partying photography, keep me around until the end, but, if you you want to save some monies and don't care about photography coverage of the tail end of your reception then cut me loose after the other reception-photo-things are done (dances, toasts, cake, etc).
More Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What's not included in hiring Ginger Fox?
Travel fee: Events that take place outside of Philadlephia may incur a small travel fee.
Prints and albums: I don't force you to buy an album or xxx amount of prints and factor that into the price. Buy 500 prints through me, 10, or 0; it's totally up to you.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
• Venmo & Paypal
• Cash in person
• Checks made out to "Lindsay Ladd"
Q: What is your style when shooting? What's your editing style?
People often ask me how I'm able to get such amazing images of themselves/their friends/etc, and, the secret is to put people at ease and to be a chameleon. For the vast majority of people, as soon as they see a camera, their behavior changes, their body tenses up and they freeze or they put a goofy smile on. My command of candid photography allows me to capture amazing shots of guests interacting, laughing, and having fun without them noticing I'm there. If I am noticed, then a quick joke or a wink to put someone at ease goes a long way. It's my job to make you, and everyone else, feel at ease. Being a chameleon is also helpful during the ceremony itself; I try to be as invisible as possible, while also getting all the important things.
When editing, my style is a little bit of everything. Oftentimes I like vibrant punchy colors and lots of contrast, other times, an image will tell me that it wants a softer tone, and a vintagey tint to it. I try to listen to the image and make it the best that it can possibly be, whether that's black and white, fresh and clean, vintagey, or vibrant and colorful. If hiring me, take a look at my portfolio and let me know which types of editing or shots you're really into, that will give me a great building block to work with when shooting and editing the images from your wedding.
Q: We're thinking about doing a first look - any advice?
I cannot recommend first looks enough! First of all it's just a great moment for the couple to have, away from the craziness of the day, to connect in a really meaningful way that isn't in front of a legion of guests.
Also, from a photography point a view, doing a first look is great because I can help pick a beautiful spot that has wonderful lighting and would make for amazing photos.
Contrary to how it might seem on Pinterest, oftentimes, the moment of seeing each other doesn't always come out in aisle shots (when people know they're being watched by a whole room of guests they tend to not emote as much), and a separate time alone may create enough space for a couple to really drink each other in. So, in short, YES, first looks are awesome!!!!
Q: Do you also do video?
Highlight/trailer videos - yes!
Full-fledged video coverage, no.
Q: Do you like food? Can we give you a meal?
Fuck yah, I love food! Hooray!
Q: I'm not into posed photography....how can I avoid doing all that stiff awkward posing?
Cool! I'm not into that either! Choose to do a photojournalistic approach. This means I'm capturing all the hugs, laughs, and interactions candidly as I'm following all the action throughout the day. This is the same exact coverage of normal shooting, but some or all of the formal portrait sessions are nixed (family, wedding party, etc).
Shooting this way I'm able to get amazing shots of you, your friends, and family, and all the images are candid and natural. If this is your jam, talk to me!
Or choose to do all casual posing instead of formal portraits. Just let me know if this is your preference.
Q: I want to hire Ginger Fox Photography, what's next?
Great! Check in with me, and, assuming the date you want is free, the next step is mailing in the deposit and the signed photography agreement. Once received, this means I'm all yours for your wedding day. Simple as that.
If you have particular ideas about specific shots that you’d like, if you want to do family or wedding party posed shots, or if you are a person of details, let’s chat and figure it all out! Let me know what you’re thinking and the timing, and we'll go from there.
Light editing comprises all of the 'global' edits that I would do.....lightening an image, improving contrast, additing a tint, black&white, fixing the color temperature, etc. Retouching is comprised of 'local' edits that I would do such as removing blemishes or scars, smoothing skin, brightening teeth, brightening eyes, etc. Retouching/advanced editing does not include drastically altering images like taking someone out of a photo, making someone have more muscles, making someone skinnier, or dropping Beyonce into one of your dancing photos.
Q: What do I NOT take photos of?
Photography during dinner. No one wants a photo of them stuffing some food into their mouths, so I'll tuck myself out of the way during this time.
Table photos. This unfortunately is a hold-over from the olden days of wedding photography. Table photos almost always look bad. Like real bad. If you want casual or formal group photos of your guests that's cool, just, let's not do that with half the group sitting, plates of food in the foreground, and the centerpiece blocking someone's face.
Q: Can we meet up in person?
Of course! Some people feel it is helpful to meet up in person to discuss details of the wedding and answer any questions, and if you’d like to do this we can find some dates and times that work for both of us.
We can meet up at the venue and you can point out where wedding things will be happening, or we could meet up somewhere locally in philly for tea/beer/coffee and chat all about your wedding day. I'll answer any questions and we can review time lines, etc etc. Some clients prefer to do everything via email or phone and that’s fine too.