What to Expect When You Book | Virginia and West Virginia Wedding Photography
Wedding planning is stressful enough without having to worry about photography too so here’s a quick guide to your Kara Leigh Creative timeline from inquiry to delivery of photos!
Through a Google or Instagram or Facebook search — you stumble on Kara Leigh Creative. You love our lifestyle approach to wedding photography that still includes classic portraits and real color. You send me a message. I check messages between 9-5 Monday through Friday. So if you send the message on a Saturday, you probably won’t get a response until Monday. But during the workweek, I’m generally really quick. You’ll get a response in 24 hours and sometimes as quick as within the hour. Responsiveness and communication is really important to me so throughout the process you know you can get in touch for questions, concerns or to update me on something.
Once I receive your inquiry, I’ll respond by emailing you my Welcome Guide, which goes over how I shoot and investment information. The average couple spends about $3500 on their wedding photography with me but I offer a wide range of packages as well as a la carte pricing that is designed to help couples customize their wedding package to fit their needs.
In my response to your message, I’ll also invite you to schedule a consult. Consults can happen in-person or on Skype/FaceTime.
Because my style of shooting focuses on storytelling, I do a consult with all couples before booking. During the consultation, we get to know one another, you can ask any questions you might have, I’ll show you a sample wedding album if that’s something you’re interested in, and basically get a feel for if I’m the right fit to shoot your wedding. I truly believe that there are couples for whom I’m the right fit and there are couples I’m not. For instance, I don’t do a ton of posing with portraits, instead relying on prompts to draw out genuine interactions, so if posing is something you want, then there may be a better photographer for you. If you love candid, lifestyle/documentary-style images, then my style of shooting will shine for your wedding.
Fundamentally, consults are low pressure. Sometimes, after a consult, a couple will tell me they want to book right away. Sometimes, after a consult, we go in different directions and that’s ok too.
You’ve looked through the Welcome Guide, picked your package and we’ve met for consult. Now you want to book! I’ll send over a contract and invoice through an online portal. In order to hold your date, 30 percent of your package is due as a non-refundable retainer and you’ll need to return the signed contract (which basically means signing electronically and hitting submit). The rest of your invoice is due 30 days before your wedding. Some people opt to pay in one lump sum, but you also have the option of a quarterly or monthly payment plan if that’s something you’re interested in.
Two of my packages include a complimentary engagement session so after you book we’ll work on setting that up. My calendar does book up so when possible, I like to schedule your engagement session right away — even if we won’t actually shoot it for a couple of months. Once I have your engagement session on the books, I’ll work on crafting a proposal for locations and times that fit your personality. You’ll get your engagement photos back within three weeks of the shoot date in an online gallery. From that gallery, you can download your photos, share to social media, print yourself or order professional prints.
A month before your wedding, I send out a questionnaire. The questionnaire goes over start times, if there is anything I need to be aware of (family drama, a grandmother you want lots of photos of, heirloom jewelry etc.) as well as the family formal shot list. The family formal list is the only shot list I need for the day and basically outlines what combinations of people you want photographed (bride+mom, groom+brothers etc.). Once I get the questionnaire back, I’ll either send you a draft timeline to review or go over the timeline with your wedding planner if you have one.
If I haven’t been to your venue before, I come a little early to check it out. Otherwise, I come in, say hi to you and your partner, grab the details and begin shooting! If for whatever reason you are running late and we didn’t get all the events we talked about documenting (first dances or toasts for instance), I’ll check in before I leave to see if you want me to stay for an extra hour a la carte. Regardless, I always say bye before I head out!
24-48 hours after your wedding, I’ll send you a sneak peek of your wedding photos.
Your edited, high-resolution digital images are delivered 8-10 weeks after your wedding day in an online gallery. That gallery is good for three months and you can download your images from there or buy prints. I’ll also mail you a USB with your edited images on it. If your package included an album or you’ve decided you’d like to purchase one, we begin the design process. I’ll go over albums in another blog post!