Sacramento Wedding Photography FAQ questions and answers page -- updated March 2012

Frequently Asked Questions
about Wedding Photography


Northern California local area
No travel charge within 100 miles distance of Sacramento

(916) 782-7536

Are you an analytical thinker, with a hunger for details? Well, this is your lucky day!

I squint and blink if I pose in bright light. Can you help?

We have great news! ...Click here


What is your style of photographing weddings?

75% photojournalistic combined with 25% traditional.

We excel at capturing all those unexpected, special moments as they occur!

We suggest that a SMALL NUMBER OF PLANNED family poses will turn out to be really valued by many customers. Weddings may be your only chance to catch family members together in pictures. Today's trendy pure "photojournalistic" style may overlook these.


Do you cooperate with video cameras?



How many pictures do you take at a wedding?

Average of 400 to 1,000 but exact number varies depending on the number of guests, size of family, amount of activities such as dancing etc.


Why so many? 

By taking far more pictures than we'll need, we have alternative shots for when people blink. And of course we catpure great spontaneous candid shots of people who are important to you.

The real goal is to end up with a smaller number of really great images. Professional wedding ALBUMS average 20 to 40 enlargements -- that's all. (Though styles are available to handle many more images if you want.) 

Many clients like to add a second, less-formal album for candid shots. A popular option is an "electronic" album of candids on an iPod or similar device. You can do this yourselves or order through us. See examples on our albums page


 What happens if we have to change our wedding date?

No problem for us. We'll accommodate your new wedding date if possible, otherwise we'll refund your deposit.


Our uncle wants to be the photographer, he got this expensive digital camera from Best Buy. Should we use him instead of hiring a professional?

Wedding photography is more complicated than regular photography. Much more complicated. When your uncle or cousin messes up, you'll be enemies forever! See example here.


Suggestion:  If you need to appease your uncle, why don't you ask him to take some candid photos during the ceremony and reception.


Do you carry backup equipment? What happens if your camera breaks at our event?

We have been doing this a very long time and have lots of equipment available.


Will the photographer accept our ideas for special poses?

Absolutely! We are there to serve you and are happy to accept special requests!

If you have special poses you've seen published in a bridal magazine, and you can bring us a cutout of what you like, that is terrific. Bring these to us BEFORE the wedding day so we can work your ideas into our own list.

And if you don't have the time, but just want us to use our own judgment on poses, we'll flow with that too.


My mother got a list of special poses from a bridal magazine. Will you photograph every pose on it?  

No! Not from that bridal magazine list!

Actually we could photograph everything on it, but you wouldn't have any time left to see your guests.

Experienced photographers must use professional judgment to cut poses down to a manageable number. The concept is, don't monopolize the couple's time at their own wedding for the sake of less-important poses.


On the wedding day, do you ever stop family & friends from taking pictures with their own cameras?

Mostly we cooperate with guests and often will take a picture for them using their own camera. We don't consider guests in "competition" with us.

Exception: On rare occasions we must stop amateurs from taking pictures during formal group portrait sessions. We want to get posed pictures completed quickly so you can return to your guests. If amateurs keep distracting or delaying our group poses, it slows things way down, and affects the photo quality too. We're hired to secure your best interests.


Can you do special effect photos - such as vignettes, soft focus, cropping, black & white, sepia? 
By the way, what are those things?

Of course!

Click below for explanations/examples...

Special effects Cropping Black & white



How much in advance should I book a photographer?

The sooner you book the photographer of your choice, the sooner your date is saved on his calendar. No photographer will reserve a date without a paid deposit.

The best time to book a photographer is after you've determined the wedding date, which may depend on availability of the wedding or reception site you want. Things will fall into place after you've settled upon a location.

Caution though...most wedding sites have non-refundable deposits so it's hard to make date changes after that.


How long does it take to get our pictures after the wedding?

1. Editing: We average 3 to 6 weeks after a wedding date, to perform our digital editing & organizing of the important poses. (However we can e-mail you some preview shots almost immediately or post them on our website. Let us know your preference.) 

2. Prints:  For ordering reprints and enlargements, photo labs are pretty quick now because computers have streamlined their work flow. The photographer should digitally edit/enhance each image that's ordered before it's sent to the photo lab.

3. Albums: Album completion time varies depending on the complexity of the album you decide to order. Basic albums may be done in a couple of weeks. High end coffee table albums with custom layouts and special cover materials take longer. It depends on each manufacturer's workload. (Most albums are now assembled by companies that produce them in their own factories, and all of us photographers use the same group of suppliers.) 


Can we make copies of photos that you take at our wedding?

Yes.. That's why we never use copy protection or digital rights management (DRM.) We recommend against those technologies. We copyright release our wedding photos for your personal use.

Digital Rights Management or copy protection are dangerous software technologies that could prevent your digital images from being readable in the future. That matters a lot if your original photos become damaged or lost.


Can I have another photo lab make prints from photos you took?

Yes. We make you legal by providing you with a Copyright Release.

You can even use your home ink jet printer. (See our page with helpful instructions.)

If you prefer you can order through a professional photo lab or through us.



Can any computer read the digital photos you take? 

Yes. We use only common file formats that are recognized by EVERY VERSION of Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh. Both brands have file viewing software built in. So you can view photos without installing any special software.



Is a deposit needed to reserve a wedding date?

Yes, $350. We normally book the first person who gives us a deposit for a particular wedding date. Giving us a deposit also means client agrees to the terms of our Standard Contract which includes a Limitation of Liability clause.

If another photographer offers to "pencil you in" for a date that is a marketing gimmick with no legal meaning.


When are final payments due?

We are ok with half of the total being paid on or before the wedding day. Any remaining balance should be paid by the time we ready to deliver high-resolution digital images (typically 3 to 6 weeks after a wedding, depending on workload.)

Album expenses are a la carte and do not have to be paid before the wedding. (But an album must be paid in full at the time of order.)  A la carte items are not required purchases.


How many weddings does Doug shoot per weekend?

We usually photograph only one wedding per weekend.

Sometimes other photo studios ask Doug to help them out when they have a scheduling emergency - such as if their staff photographer suddenly quits. Professional photographers help each other out in emergencies. We may be competitors, but most of us are nice people too.


Can we change photo packages if we decide we signed up for the wrong one?



Do you accept checks?



Do you accept debit or credit cards?

Yes, but not in the field. We appreciate advance notice so we'll have our online Pay Pal account ready. Pay Pal is a division of eBay.


Do you have any special tips for weddings that will be outdoors?

Yes! If you aren't using a professional wedding planner, here are some issues to consider that will help your day go better. Click here  


Why are photographers' prices so high? Since photographers don't have to buy film any more, shouldn't fees be very low? 

Really good photographers have years of experience and never stop learning. These years will be reflected in the costs, just as hiring a master carpenter costs more than hiring a trainee who can't quite nail the cabinets straight.

Pro-grade cameras & computers require periodic upgrades. Upgrade costs must be recovered through those "high" prices --- or the photographer will not stay in business.

Doug doesn't just spend 6 hours at a wedding --- image editing time & post production duties easily add 40 hours work to each wedding.

Some photographers charge lower fees don't spend proper time in digital editing or don't really know what they're doing. Tsk tsk...


Does Doug use an assistant or second photographer?

In most cases yes. But it can vary with scheduling availability, price and other factors.


Do you photograph Quinceaneras, Bat Mitzvah & Bar Mitzvah photos?

Yes. We have a knock-your-socks-off portfolio to show you on request. Bar Mitzvahs and Quinceaneras are photographed almost exactly like weddings.


Do you shoot modeling portfolios?

We specialize in wedding photography. Plus some family portraits, architectural & commercial photography.

We can shoot "amateur" modeling portfolios on a TFP basis. But if you're serious about modeling career, your portfolio should be created using full studio facilities. We can refer to you to local photographers who have a good reputation in that specialty.


I noted your website's domain name changes slightly when I navigate through your website! What's going on? 

We have a primary website and what's called a "mirror site." It's similar to a business having more than one phone line, but it's the same business.  


Will digital images last as long as film? 

The short answer is current digital prints and enlargements are expected to last from 60 to 200 years. But preserving digital image files on disc is a little more complicated. We HAVE figured out how to do it but don't want to bore you with thedetails.

If you're a techie Doug explains all the fun deteails in an article here.


Is digital or film better?

See a direct comparison with your own eyes here.




Cutting wedding photography costs?

Prints -- How to print wedding photos (you can order them thru us, or thru a photo lab, or print them yourselves)

Copyright policy -- When comparing photographers' prices please ask about their copyright policy. We're proud to show you ours.

More info...

Cropping: -- Can a photo be zoomed in to see details closer up?

Galleries -- See our wedding sample photos from several specific, individual weddings. Why that way?  Because bride magazines recommend customers look at samples from individual weddings, instead of just "best of" photos. This shows whether a photographer's style and quality are consistent throughout a wedding.

Wedding planning -- What to ask a church before you sign up to get married there

Marriage license fees click here

Contract -- Wedding agreement (Standard Contract) required for us to perform wedding photography. We wrote ours in Plain English

Privacy Policy -- Privacy Statement for this website. We do not sell mailing lists or become marketing pests. We do not sell or trade private information.

We perform photography in Northern California and adjacent areas (including Lake Tahoe, Reno, Oregon, and as far away as San Diego. )  

All photos on our website Copyright 2012 all rights reserved.





Wedding tips!