FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are there a specific minimum number of images we will get from our weddings?
We often get asked this question. Whilst there is no guaranteed number of images, you will often receive at the very minimum the quantity specified in your wedding photography booking agreement. It is a modern trend to have so much detail during preparation of the bride and groom, gifts for the bridal party and often for parents of the couple too, then the decor and reception detail, detail at the ceremony and add the must have images that tell of a wedding day and often this outweighs the quantity put down on paper. Because we are absolute romantics, we often hunt the special emotional moments, the nuances and the playful moments in-between the formalities and this includes moments between you your guests, family and friends, kids playing and everything in-between too. So often these images are priceless and we gladly add them to your USB in order to not only preserve these precious moments but celebrate them for years to come.
Do you visit our venue prior to the date?
Yes indeed. If we have not yet photographed at a said venue, it is vital that we do a site inspection. This inspection is not included in the cost of your wedding booking and will attract a consultation fee and travel fee.
At such an inspection, we recommend we meet with you, your planner and the venue coordinator to “walk through the day” and this has proven to be integral in making small changes that will benefit all the various aspects of aesthetics, timeline flow and the smooth running of the day as a whole.
Often we shoot at the same wedding venue’s and because we have built relationships with venue owners over the years, know some of the challenges and venue rules better than others, it might not be needed for us to do a site inspection. Chat to us about this option if you feel this is something you wish to add to your planning and we will gladly set up an appointment to attend.
How does timeline planning work
There are so many variables depending on:
If you have a morning or afternoon wedding
If you are having your wedding at a single venue (getting ready, ceremony, canape’s, photographs and reception)
If you are having one or two photographers the timeline will be different to when you have a single photographer package
If you are having a photographer and an assistant the timeline will be similar to that of a single photographer package
Chat to us about your day’s plans and we can work out an ideal timeline around what we need to allocate time for and how to ensure it flows elegantly.
Timeline planning consultations are also available as a stand-alone offer to bridal couples who did NOT book with us and are planning their own wedding. Chat to us to book your timeline consultation that will add the backbone of your planning structure.
Do you have a contract with your clients?
Yes. We have a wedding booking agreement that is signed by all parties in order to secure your date. We feel having an agreement in place serves the interests of all parties involved and clearly defines what you are receiving as part of your wedding investment with us.
What is included in the wedding investment?
Well, this is a great question! Since most people are not photographers, and have office-based professions where they arrive at a set time and depart at a set time for a fixed fee per month… the idea of what a photographer does is often perceived as arriving in the morning of the wedding and leaving at the end of the evening and with this mindset it is understandable that the fee might seem rather steep.
BUT let’s do a quick breakdown:
– social media, website, subscriptions, AdWords, SEO, stationery, branding
– email inquiries/responses, agreements, confirmations, social media messaging, what’s app messaging
– fixed monthly wifi at home office, mobile data for on-the-go
– travel, wear and tear, parking, coffee tab, time and skill
– time, skill and experience, timeline, calendar updates, engagement confirmations, storyboard planning, communications
– travel, wear and tear, parking, the session time, skill and experience, wear and tear on gear, editing software, editing skill and
experience, editing time, an online facility to view images, data, on the job insurance, third party insurance
Pre Wedding confirmations/communications
– time, skill and experience, calendar updates, vendor confirmations, storyboard confirmations, communications
– time, skill and experience, travel, wear and tear on the vehicle, wear and tear on equipment, set amount of hours coverage on the day,
timeline control, liaising with the MC at all times while things are being juggled due to time constraints if running behind schedule,
additional time often not charged for, additional travel often not charged for, social media preview editing, editing software, editing
skill and experience, editing time, branded USB and personalised packaging, hand over consultation, data, social media folder with
highlights for easy sharing
– me – medical aid and fitness care (healthy body, healthy mind), my experience, my skill level, workshops, training
– equipment – using top-level equipment to get the job done right and professionally, this is not entry level equipment but serious
professional gear I use to create the best possible imagery for you, replace, update and keeping up with latest technology and
trends that benefit the quality of my offering, insurance at home and on the job, risk insurance for theft on the job, and accident risk
These are simple things that make up part and parcel of the overall wedding excluding product and product design and prep.
The actual profit from a single wedding is embarrassingly low and living expenses are high. Thus having multiple weddings per month is required to create a sustainable income for any full time working professional photographer.
Do you require a down payment to reserve our date?
Absolutely, a signed booking agreement and a full 50% of the overall fee is required to confirm the booking of your date on our booking calendar. We book dates on a first-come-first-served basis. We always give courtesy to the first couple to inquire about a date, but ultimately the first couple to pay their retainer gets the date.
One of my guests is a professional/hobby photographer and would like to take some pictures to build their portfolio.
Our shooting schedule, style of working and experience are designed to achieve a great set of imagery for all our clients, accomplished with good humour and enjoyed by all concerned. Your wedding day timeline does not factor in duplicate photographs by multiple photographers where one needs to wait his turn or holds up the mandated photographer and this will certainly cause delays.
In cases where the wedding does not run on time or anyone present at the wedding (guests, videographer or any other vendor, children or parents) prevent us from fulfilling our mandate, we cannot guarantee to take our normal set of photos although in such circumstances we will do our absolute best to compensate.
Please note that should there be delays and the timeline is not adhered to, the hours you mandated us to cover may not be enough to cover the normal set of images that were discussed for your timeline and you may need to, on the day, make a call on us leaving when our time is up, or paying overtime in terms of your agreement with us.
Choosing to have someone else practice on your wedding day may cost you either in a lack of images or in overtime, both which will leave a bad taste after your day is done and dusted.
For this reason, we do not recommend this, but the choice is always yours.
We do host one on one sessions, mentoring and sometimes workshop for photographers wanting to expand their skillset and invest in personal growth in the photography field. Chat to us about setting this up should they be keen on building a portfolio or learning more.
Can we have the RAW files as well?
RAW files are like an artist’s unfinished project. No artist will put up an incomplete project under any spotlight because it is not complete.
It is like asking a baker for the raw ingredients to their wedding cake recipe and then making it yourself, but lacking the skill and experience as well as the tricks of the trade to finish it off the way that a professional baker would present it to you on the table at your reception.
Or calling the motor vehicle company and ask them to ship you the parts to a luxurious sports car. Then putting it together yourself but lacking the skill and experience and tricks of the trade to put it together the way it is presented to you when it leaves the showroom floor.
I take great pride in my editing process and for this reason will provide you with beautifully curated images, in high resolution, ready for print, but never the RAW images as this is merely one ingredient to the end result of each and every image I present to you on your personal USB.
Who owns the copyright?
This is a great question indeed. Often clients think because they pay for the images that is what it is for, but in fact you are purchasing the rights to use the images for personal use, what else?
Well, there are else’s involved such as third party users. And this is where copyright law becomes important to understand.
As the creator of the artwork, the images, I am the copyright owner of all unedited and edited images and you will own the rights to use them as you please together with your friends and family, provided that it is used for personal use only. You can create unlimited reproductions and blow them up and make books and prints as you please.
However, they are NOT allowed to be used commercially. As in no one is allowed to use my copyright images for financial gain. Should anyone want to do so, they need to request permission, which will not necessarily be refused, but an arrangement will be reached that stipulates the terms and conditions that need to be agreed upon by both me, the copyright holder and the entity wanting to use my images for financial gain/commercial use.
As for you, the client, this should not be a problem as you are getting married and want to have professional images for that wall canvass, or brag book, or to upload to your social media, you are free to upload as many times as you like!
Master Copies in case you lose yours
Unfortunately, due to the years of being in the wedding industry, I have taken over 240 weddings to date and can impossibly keep everyone’s images. The amount of external storage that will be required to keep RAW files as well as the edited hand over copy is insane. In my early years this was no problem, but sadly I simply do not do this anymore.
Generally, I keep them for about a month or so and then start going through them with the view on keeping only the images I can utilise in future marketing or workshops and finally delete the ones I won’t be using.
I HIGHLY suggest you back up and then make a few back up’s of back up’s if this makes sense to you. I effectively hand over to you the Master Copy and please know that USB’s are not a save method of saving back up’s as they are known to have a short lifespan. I suggest cloud or dropbox etc.
When will we be receiving our images, we are so excited!
We absolutely love it when our clients are excited! And you should be, your most precious of days are over and all you have to look forward to is your images.
With this said, we have over the years prepared a good working balance between editing (culling, selections, basic corrections, artistic additions, saving of some and enhancing of others), but do remember that your wedding is not the only wedding we have to edit, and editing is not all we do.
We market, respond to inquiries, negotiate, do presentations, mentor, do and attend workshops, manage social media marketing, update websites, run competitions, promotions, do collaborations, styled shoots, lifestyle shoots and this is done 7 days a week.
We also have out of office hours – family, friends, romance, relaxation is key to healthy minds and bodies after all!
Please refer to your booking agreement for the “when” – we assure you that it will be ready around that date. We will most certainly contact you once we are ready to burn to USB and package to set up your collections appointment with you and are as excited to show you your images are you are to see them… But please repetitively asking us is not going to change your due date, so perhaps give us the space we need to be creative in during the process and enjoy your honeymoon period just a little longer.
Cropping, Filters and Social media
My reputation that led you to my work, is governed by my editing style, and no cropping, editing or filters is allowed on my images at all, unfortunately.
I dread the idea of being in front of the camera, can you help?
Oh boy, I assure you, I feel the exact same way, trust me! The first time I took the plunge to get professional images taken was for my about page… and after taking some shots and chatting away, the photographer suddenly said: Dee!!! Please breeaaaaaaaatheeeeee!
It was then that I burst out laughing and the burst of images that followed was the best of the lot! It is here that I learned that what I need to do and say to get my subjects (you in this case) relaxed and as natural as possible to get the best shots I can possibly get.
Being in FRONT of the camera is tough! This is one of the main reasons why I encourage all my couples to do an engagement session prior to their wedding. The benefit outshines merely getting comfy with being in front of the lens, but it teaches me what works for you and what doesn’t and in turn you get a feel for how I operate and go about and then on the day often you are able to take the moment in and take mild direction from me. My images all boast a very natural look & feel and although direction is involved I encourage non posed real moments and having as much fun as possible!
My style speaks for itself! For more on costs for such sessions, both those who booked already and those who simply want to enjoy a love shoot Chat to us via our contact form or email [email protected] for a chat about what you envision and lets plan!
How do I book with Shoots by Design?
Would LOVE to capture your special moments!
Chat to us via the contacts page or email [email protected] directly with details around the type of session you wish to book if it is lifestyle, and if its a wedding, best to provide as much detail as possible such as date, hours if you know, venue, and some information about what you have planned – we always hunt great stories and your’s is worth telling with as much detail as possible!
Let us know your budget if it is at all possible and if we don’t have any packages to suit your needs we are happy to customise your very own package!
Will you travel for weddings?
Yes most certainly.
We go where your love story unfolds, be it local, elsewhere in the Western Cape, another province or even outside of South African Borders!
We have vehicles for driving shorter distances, airports for flying longer distances and other countries and we have our valid passports for travelling ready, just need to apply for visa’s so do let us know in advance. Kindly Chat to us to discuss and we can determine the best method and cost of travelling and start planning!
There is absolutely no place too near or far enough for me and my camera to follow.
What's in my bag?
I am definitely a Canon girl! Love the warm feel and the intensity of underexposure which is something I am really well known for in my field.
Canon (full frame) 5D Mark III
Canon (full frame) 5D Mark III (back up body)
Canon (cropped sensor) 700D
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM lens
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens (Canon)
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens (Canon)
Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD Lens (Canon)
Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di VC USD Lens (Canon) – always on my cropped sensor
Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens (Canon)
Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT Flash (x2) – 2 bodies shooting most of the time
Falcon Eyes Saber One LED Light 22W High CRI 4 Color Temperatures with Dimmable Power Output, Handheld or on Tri/monopod
Lastolite Bottletop Reflector 5 in 1 Kit 120cm
Sirui P-204SR+VA-5 Aluminum Monopod and Head
Vanguard Tracker 4 All Aluminum Alloy Professional Tripod with 3-way Panhead
3x Full frame camera battery chargers
2x Cropped sensor battery chargers
Saber One charter
Speedlight batteries (4 sets of 3 rechargeable port cases)
2x 8 gig Memory Cards
4x 16 gig Memory Cards
8x 32 gig Memory Cards
6 Lens cleaners
Extra Lens caps (always losing mine)
Massive case to keep all gear in one place with smaller containers and compartments
DISCOUNT vouchers for guests wishing to book for weddings and or lifestyle sessions
– pins, needle & thread, cotton buds, wet wipes, cotton pads, nail polish remover and 5 polishes (pink/red/brown/nude/coral), make up
(liner, mascara, 3 lip colours, gloss, 1 dark and 1 light Revlon concealer) toothpaste, detol, plasters, phone charger ports (Huawei and
Samsung), 5 Herbalife protein bars in vanilla almond/chocolate peanut flavour in case bridal party or couple is low on energy,
Herbalife instant herbal beverage (been known to give my bride and her girls bounce back) and lastly 2 perfumes (1 soft fragrance
and 1 sweet stronger fragrance).
In my Cooler bag:
– 2x Snacks for mid morning and mid afternoon – Herbalife protein bars
– Shaker with Herbalife shake mix paired with additional Herbalife protein drink mix and added acai seeds to keep me strong,
focused, full and fueled all day
– 3 L Water mixed with Herbalife 24 hour hydrate electrolytes keeping me hydrated and functioning for up to 24 hours on my feet
(often get asked how on earth we retain our energy and enthusiasm for all those hours at that pace and not get exhausted)
We would be simply delighted if you would accept our invitation to a free consultation to chat about various aspects of your day and get a feel for one another.
Please feel free to contact your wedding planner to set this up, or get in touch with us directly.