WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY FAQ’s
Charleton Churchill Photography. Here are some frequently asked questions from couples.
Describe your style
Natural, elegant, stylish, bold, adventurous, candid, documentary, and Epic for those images on Mt. Everest, on top of Yosemite’s cliffs, or in the blizzard freezing ice caves of Alaska.
Were you the photographer behind that Mt. Everest base camp wedding that went viral?
Yup, that was me. Read the whole story on the blog post HERE.
How did you get started in wedding photography?
I started planning a summit bid for Mt. Everest in the early part of 2000. I made a check-list of what I needed to purchase and learn. I trained and climbed mountains, took classes, trained in crevasse rescue, wilderness survival skills, trained with fellow mountaineers who made the summit of Everest without oxygen. I took up photography seriously as a hobby in order to capture the sheer awesomeness and power of the mountain I would be climbing. I wanted to capture the intimidating Epic radness of what I viewed since I only had one chance. A friend of mine was shooting weddings at the time. I thought wedding photographers were mostly women who told the bridesmaids to turn around and blow kisses, which I hated. As I tagged along with a friend for a few weddings, I decided wedding photography wasn’t actually bad. Quite the opposite, it was a genius creative outlet waiting to be explored. Little did I know what would happen as a result.
I said yes to some friends weddings in 2009, and from there, friends told friends who told friends. Suddenly, I’m getting voted best photographer, traveling here and there across the nation, getting booked up 40 weddings in a year.
And now fast-forward to today, this 2017 year, the Mt. Everest base camp wedding I photographed went viral internationally, crashing my website, appearing on many talk shows and news networks, and trending across the globe. I’ve been selected to give a TEDx talk this year. Reality shows have contacted me to appear on their show. I was selected in the top 100 best wedding photographers in the U.S. and Canada in 2016, via SLR Lounge, as well as won multiple awards including being the recipient of the 2016 Sony Impact Award at the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) awards show for assisting in raising funds to rebuild Nepal. I’m proud to be an instructor who speaks at conferences, universities, workshops, on top of shooting nearly 40 weddings in a year, plus engagement sessions and other shoots, writing articles and being published in top photographic industry magazines. I thank God for giving me gifts and allowing me to shine.
What if something happens to you and you can’t photograph my wedding?
I am well connected to many great photographers in the photographic industry, locally and nationally, who would come to my aid if something were to happen, just as I would on their behalf. My wife has a list of photographers to call just in case something were to happen. Even if I were in an accident or I became horribly sick, I’m pretty pain tolerant. I would probably show up with a broken leg. If I die before your wedding, chances are slim, but hopefully you’ll have compassion on me, and of course my family.
What are your rates for weddings?
If you love my work, go ahead and visit my contact page and send me a request for my rates, and I will gladly send them over your way.
Do we get the full sized digital files to print?
Yes, every wedding couple gets full-sized JPEG’s to print without any watermarks via download. The higher packages offer a USB stick on top of the download.
What is your return time on the delivery of images?
Typically 4-6 weeks. I shoot up to 40 weddings in a year plus engagement shoots, plus adventure shoots, and other requests, while traveling in and outside of the U.S., so 4-6 weeks is great.
Do you send us all the images you shoot from our wedding?
Most definitely no, and I wouldn’t want all my unflattering photos sent to me either. I photograph throughout your whole wedding day, and you don’t need the testing images, light setup images, out of focused images, one eye opened and the other half closed, duplicate images, the awkward horse face laugh, you get the point.
How many images do you deliver typically for a wedding?
That depends on how many hours you select in your wedding package, if we have to travel from place to place, if the bride or groom arrives two hours late (happened before), if you have a large wedding or a small intimate wedding, or even an elopement in the woods, but typically 75-100 images per hour.
Do you edit the photos?
I prefer to get it right in camera, but yes, I do make sure to process every image you receive according to my style. I make sure exposure and color look good in my images, skin tones, and I adjust clarity, contrast, sharpening, cropping, highlight, shadows, etc. as well as other corrections as needed. Every image is processed with those standard corrections. If you want “Advanced Photoshop treatment”, which is typically anything that requires extensive time, like removing people or objects from an image, changing the size of body parts, doing makeovers, tanning skin where it’s obviously white from straps, shades or even hats, or any custom requests, then a fee is charged dependent on the size of the request. My standard processing of images look great from delivery and you can request to see a full wedding gallery before booking. Further, if you want to know how a wedding photographer edits a full wedding (which they deliver to a client), request to see the full gallery of images from a recent wedding, not just select images from a blog.
How do I prepare and make the best of my wedding photos?
Book me and I’ll give you some of my secrets. I will say there’s way more involved in making a good photograph than having an expensive camera. Many couples tell me they are not photogenic, and don’t know how to pose or act around the camera, but then they end up featured in a magazine or on a front cover. I’ll take care of you.
When do we schedule our Adventure session or Engagement session?
You can schedule any time of the year, within a week of your wedding, a year before your wedding or just after. Adventure sessions and Engagement sessions are planned during the weekday only (Monday thru Friday) locally here in Sutter Creek, California, which is no charge. If you would like me to travel for your session, which I do, the cost is $100 per hour of travel. If you desire something out of state or country, talk with me about a custom quote. Weekends are for weddings. Also, I have multiple places I’d love to shoot and we may be able to share the cost if you’re open to it.
Do you carry insurance?
Yes, absolutely I carry insurance. I don’t mess around with weddings. I’ve heard too many bad stories. For me, if a photographer doesn’t carry insurance, they do not value their business nor the couples they photograph. I can provide a certificate of insurance if your venue requests one.
Do you photograph getting ready photos, family portraits and reception photos?
Yes, most weddings I photograph couples getting ready if you want that in your timeline, plus reception photos with speeches, cake cutting, etc.. With Family Portraits, you will need to make a list of who you want photographed during that time. Please include your parents in that decision so we get them all. At the same time, family portraits after the ceremony can be an “energy and time sucker” trying to stand and smile the whole time. So please design your list to be necessary and efficient.
How many hours do I need to book you for my wedding?
When you fill out the contact page, I can send you timeline samples upon request. Typically, I shoot 6 hour, 8 hour, and 10 hour weddings, but I also photograph elopements that are shorter or full day wedding coverage. Many times, I photograph destination weddings and the couples have me shoot their wedding on day one, and then on day two, they book me for an adventure couple’s shoot where we hike and get some epic photos in the wilderness, near a waterfall, or wherever.
How long does it take to receive an album?
When you choose your favorites for the album and then officially “approve” the album design, color, and material used, it only takes 4 weeks maximum.
Can you carry a list of Pinterest Photos we want you to shoot?
I don’t mind shooting a few images at your request, and giving me a heads up on people or moments that I may not understand, like a grandpa who is passing soon of cancer and needs some close photos with the bride dancing. Those are great, and I love hearing what is important to the family. I also request a family list for the family formals time just after the ceremony.
However, I do not carry posed Pinterest photo lists from couples to check off. Honestly, it keeps my eyes focused on a check-list, rather than being present, aware, and creative of my surroundings. My job for most of the day is to capture and anticipate real moments, raw emotions, and tell your story, creatively like you’ve never seen. Couples who book me usually trust me, as they hired me for my distinct style, something different and fresh from others. I consider myself an artist and want to dig deep for my couples. Sometimes my couples have to work hard for their images, like hiking in the wilderness or Ice-caves of Alaska. But, in the end, what they are getting is something rare, beautiful, epic, and priceless.
Can we meet with you?
Yes, I would love to meet you both before booking and get to know you and your wedding plans. If you would like to travel to Sutter Creek, California, we can schedule when I’m in the area. Otherwise, most of my meetings happen online via Facetime or Skype since most of my couples live a myriad of U.S. locations, or I’m traveling. Regardless of whether it’s in person or online, I require to meet before booking.
How do we go about booking you?
Look over my wedding packages and information and tell me what you want. Then return the signed agreement with a 35% non-refundable retainer (or minimum of $2000, whichever is greater), paid preferably by check, cashier’s check, money order, or cash. If you need to pay by credit card, no problem, I can send you an invoice to pay online. I cannot reserve your date until both the agreement and retainer are received.
Do we have rights to our Digital images?
Yes, you have the right to personally print your images wherever you want, even though I provide a great lab for printing and great rates. However, as is standard in the wedding photography industry, you don’t have the right to sell the images for profit or to publish your images anywhere without direct consent of Charleton Churchill Photography.
Do you backup your images?
Yes, I’m crazy about backing up my weddings redundantly. I have repetitive backups, raid drives, online backup systems, and other systems where your wedding will be secure. After downloading your images, I encourage you to make multiple backups on and off site. Your images will be available up to one year after your wedding.
How long do I have to download the images?
You have 60 days to download your images once they are made available online. If you would like more time, or to re-upload them after they have been taken off, the fee is $50 for another 30 days.
Do you have a life?
Yes, absolutely. Balance is key. I have priorities and values. I have an amazing supportive wife who works just as hard and we’ve been married for 18 years. I have three lovely daughters. I hike in the mountains often for exercise and sometimes with my family. I play in the band at church, assist in coaching soccer, and support our teens in our community. Jesus changed me, so I’m a thankful person, I love to give back. I read often and continue to push myself to learn and grow. So yes, I do have a life.