Choosing a Package
Deciding on a wedding package can be a daunting task; how do you ensure you’ve chosen the package that offers enough time for all that you’d like captured on the day?
To help you decide, here’s a breakdown of just how much I can squeeze in for the given hours included in each of my packages:
- Storyteller I Package: This offers 6 hours of continuous coverage on the day. Provided everything is happening all at one venue, this offers enough time to capture: dressing and styled detail photos of each partner, chapel and reception decor, the ceremony, family & group photos, couples & individual photos and key moments of your reception provided they are scheduled close together at the beginning of your reception.
- Storyteller II Package: This offers 8 hours of continuous coverage on the day. This offers enough time to capture: dressing and styled detail photos of each partner, chapel and reception decor, an optional per-ceremony first look, the ceremony, family & group photos, couples & individual photos and key moments of your reception provided they are scheduled close together at the beginning of your reception.
- Poetry Package: This offers 10 hours of continuous coverage on the day. This offers enough time to capture: dressing and styled detail photos of each partner, chapel and reception decor, an optional per-ceremony first look, the ceremony, family & group photos, artistic couples & individual photos and key moments of your reception
Also remember that there are a myriad of other factors that can affect the time you need on the day, namely: having a large number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, having key people getting ready at different venues, and the ever present possibility that something may go wrong on the day.
Each of my packages offers you a guaranteed minimum number of edited photos. This is the absolute lowest number you receive, however I edit as many as it takes to tell the complete story of your wedding day; all at no additional charge for what is often between 75 and 200 extra photos. Factors like how many wedding guests there are, activities on the day and time allowed for capturing all aspects of your day affect this number- basically, the more there is to capture and the more time I’m afforded to, the more images you will receive.
Assistant vs. Second Shooter
There is a difference between an assistant and second shooter for your wedding day, with each fulfilling very different roles. Simply put, an assistant is there to assist me capture your day by being a second set of hands for equipment management, as well as being a second set of eyes for details during shooting to ensure images are perfect straight out of the camera; on the other hand, a second shooter is there as a secondary photographer to capture extra moments.
For the past four years I have worked on and off with a variety of second shooters, but have found that I end up using only between 10 and 20 of their images in your final edited photos simply because I managed to capture what I needed myself. For this reason, and to improve overall image quality and reduce my package fees, my packages instead include an assistant.
As is industry standard, wedding packages do not include traveling fees for weddings outside of Middelburg, Mpumalanga. My traveling fee is based on AA rates and is charged at R4.50/km, excluding toll fees. Due to safety concerns and depending on how rural your venue is, I do also ask for accommodation for myself and assistant for weddings 80km and further from Middelburg.
In order to reserve my services for your wedding day I ask for a non-refundable booking fee of 30% of your package total with a completed wedding photography contract, all of which is industry standard both within South Africa and internationally.
Your Engagement Session
Included in your wedding photography package is a complimentary engagement session; it’s a great way to experience how I will be working with you on your wedding day and gives you portraits you can use for save-the-dates or incorporate into your wedding day details. This package includes a 20-30 minute outdoor session and 20 fully edited images in a private online gallery, valued at R1250 as a gift to say thank you for booking with me. Booking your engagement session is as easy as contacting me to set a date, time and location/venue within Middelburg and then we can handle further planning from there.
The Pre-Wedding Form
In order to successfully capture your wedding day, I need to know a variety of details and that’s where my pre-wedding form comes to the rescue. This gives me all the info I need so I know where I need to be at certain points of your day, important styling info and much more. I do also ask for contact details of other vendors so that if you would like, I can save you the trouble of having to send them photos after your wedding. It would be greatly appreciated if you could download the form, fill it in and return it to me by email no later than 10 days before your wedding day if you book with me.
Wedding Photography Tips
Every couple wants gorgeous photos of their wedding day that they can treasure for decades to come. While I do bring my years of skill and a range of equipment to your wedding to capture your big day, there are two factors that can vastly improve the quality of your images: lighting and scheduling.
Without it, no photo would be possible and it’s one of the most important factors to influence the final look of your photos. My personal shooting style is to work with natural light as much as possible; this ensures your photos are a more honest reflection of how your wedding looked on the day.
It’s important to remember that if your venue is very dark and shady, that your photos will have a darker look to them; if you would like lighter photos in such a venue then flash would have to be used to fill in the shadows. On the inverse, if your venue is abundant in natural light, then that will reflect in your photos; it also means that achieving my signature ‘dark and moody’ style is more difficult.
The following are a few more light-related tips for your wedding day, but if you have any questions or would like any advice with regards to lighting on your wedding day, please don’t hesitate to contact me- I will be thrilled to offer insight.
- For brides, as much as I understand the slight fear that you’ll be seen before the ceremony, it’s best to have the curtains open in the room you will be getting ready in to allow enough light in.
- For indoor ceremonies, light is still essential. If your indoor area is dark and has dim light, flash will become necessary; alternatively if you don’t want any flash during such a special part of your day, then high ISO will be the only alternative and gives your photos a grainy look.
- For outdoor ceremonies, natural light gives you gorgeous photos. However it will be influenced heavily by the time of day and the type (if any) cover there is overhead.
- When it comes to your reception lighting, I know you want to have the right ambience so that it’s warm, intimate and inviting for your guests. Please remember that some light is necessary in order for cameras to focus and capture those moments you want to last forever; something especially true of your first dance. So while relying on low light solutions like candles does seem romantic, admittedly it does not make for the best photos if it’s your only light source.
- Fairy lights are an amazing way to add a magical touch to your photos. The trick though is to use enough of them to create the effect you want; and by enough, I mean LOTS.
It’s the key to a successful wedding, and perhaps your biggest headache to put together- the dreaded schedule. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be a pain in the butt; I’ve seen plenty of weddings from start to finish and will happily help you plan your schedule to ensure there is enough time to capture all those key moments. I do have an in-depth breakdown of how long it takes for everything to happen right here on my website. A few more important tips though:
- To ensure there is enough time for family and couples photos after your ceremony, schedule your ceremony to start at least two hours before sunset on your wedding date. You can use an online calculator to determine the exact time of sunset, like this one here.
- It’s typically best to schedule me to begin coverage 1.5 to 2 hours before your ceremony begins. That gives me enough time to photograph your style essentials, you and your partner getting ready and your decor too.
- Ensure you and your partner have all your style essentials together in once place, ready to be photographed; the easiest is to normally ensure you have everything in your shoebox (jewellery, perfume, garter etc). It saves time instead of having to find everything scattered throughout your room.
- If you have bridesmaids and groomsmen, remember that the larger your wedding party, the longer it will take for the getting ready portion, getting to the ceremony and all group photos, so schedule accordingly. Also, please remind your wedding party members not to wander off directly after the ceremony when they will be needed for group photos- waiting for a stray bridesmaid does hold up the timeline.
- If reception traditions are important to you, then schedule them to happen early on in your reception, leaving few time gaps between them. Your guests will also be grateful as they will be itching to start the party.
I know that once your wedding day is over, there is great excitement to relive it through your photos. This is why weddings take top priority in my editing workflow and I work hard on post-production so I can deliver faster than the industry standard of 6-12 weeks. The following timeline breaks down how long everything takes to happen and when you can expect previews.
24 Hours: Within a day of your wedding, your photos are transferred to computer harddrives and then backed up. If I have captured your destination wedding, then understandably this may be longer than 24 hours
1-2 Business Days: Your photos are prepared for editing and if selected on your pre-wedding form, a preview is posted to social media for you.
2-14 Business Days: Over the next two weeks, your photos will be sorted through; culling the odd dud shoot and selecting all of the best images ready for the next stage. Then it’s time for editing: making adjustments for exposure, colour, and contrast. The most time-consuming stage comes next as every single selected image is opened in Photoshop and further edited and colour graded, with skin retouching and if necessary, tidying up of images by removing distracting elements too. This process takes between 40 and 70 hours to complete.
10 Business Days: If selected on your pre-wedding form, a 60-100 photo extended preview will be posted to my blog for you to view and share with friends and family. Naturally, you receive the link before it is shared on social media ensuring you get to experience your photos before anyone else.
15-18 Business Days: The final stage of post production includes preparing your images for delivery. That means carefully creating black and white duplicates of your finished photos, and creating your private online gallery, ready to view, download and share.
18-21 Business Days: Delivery time!
Within 3-4 weeks of your wedding date, you will be notified that your wedding photos are ready- yippeee! To keep up with the times and offer you the most affordable packages possible, USB and CD delivery are a thing of the past; your photos are instantly delivered via a private online gallery that’s online for 3 months.
From there you can view and download your photos, curate your gallery for sharing with family and friends and order prints and albums from your own online store. Your gallery is password protected and hosted on secure servers, so it’s 100% private and only for you to view, along with the people you invite to view your gallery.
If you would prefer to go a more traditional route with USB delivery, you’re welcome to purchase a personalised USB or memory box combo at any time from your first consult to after your wedding.