Here are some common questions about Elegant Studio.
Where are you based out of?
Are you willing to travel out of Tampa for our wedding?
Yes! We love both local and destination weddings. We’re ready and willing to travel anywhere for your big day.
There are different photography rates for local versus non-local. Please give us a call at (813)444-8986, email us, or fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch with you within 1 day with our availability and full pricing.
What types of photography do you do?
Our focus at Sweet Lighting Photography is on
That being said, we do limited family portrait sessions each year, primarily for couples whom we’ve had the pleasure of working with as their wedding photographer.
What information should we have ready before our meeting?
There’s no set list but at the very least the info requested on the contact form: wedding/event date and venue, a rough idea of what photography budget you have in mind, and most importantly, willingness to share with us your story and wedding day plans! Please give us a call at (813)444-8986, email us, or fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch with you within 1 day with our availability and full pricing.
We'd like to book you, what do we need to make everything official?
Thank you so much! We’re thrilled and honored to work with you! To make everything official, you just need to determine the photography package of your choice and its investment, fill out and sign the agreement, and pay the 25% deposit retainer. We accept both check and credit card. Rest assured every step will be outlined and detail documented in emails to ensure there’s no surprises or miscommunication. Please give us a call at (813)444-8986, email us, or fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch with you within 1 day with our availability and full pricing.
We're interested in booking you but aren't quite ready yet. How long can you put a soft hold on our wedding date?
We understand making the important decision of your wedding photographer is a huge commitment, and we want you to take as much time as you need. By default, all bookings are on a first-come-first-serve basis (signed contract and 25% deposit retainer). However, with an in-person, web or phone meeting, we can put a soft hold on your wedding date for 72 hours (3 days). Afterward, unless further notified by you, the date will be open again. Please give us a call at (813)444-8986, email us, or fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch with you within 1 day with our availability and full pricing.
What can we expect from you between the time of the booking and our wedding day?
We believe getting the best wedding photos requires a good amount of planning and communication well before you walk down the aisle. You can expect us to only be a phone call or email away from answering any questions you have. That being said, we typically send out a formal “touching base” email with helpful links and to-do items 2.5-3 months beforehand. We’ll then schedule a meeting roughly a month before your wedding to go over all the final details, give you helpful tips/suggestions, and answer any last minute questions you might have. Please give us a call at (813)444-8986, email us, or fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch with you within 1 day with our availability and full pricing.
What happens if after we book you, you're not able to photograph our wedding?
Thankfully after over hundreds of weddings, we still have perfect attendance. We’ve never missed a wedding and certainly don’t ever plan on doing so.
Your wedding day is our absolute, without a doubt,
If our best friend ends up getting married on the same day as your wedding, congrats to them but we’re committed to your big day. If our family ends up going on a vacation that weekend, too bad but we’re going to miss it as we’ll be photographing your wedding.
It would have to be something catastrophic for us to not be able to photograph your wedding. If somehow that happens, we will notify you immediately and propose that one of our other amazing well-connected photographers step in and capture your big day.
In this unlikely case, Sweet Lighting Photography will compensate you accordingly for the inconvenience. Please rest assured we’ve never come close to missing a wedding but do have contingency plans if that were to ever happen.
Do we need to hire a wedding planner/coordinator?
Every wedding is unique and has its own set of circumstances and challenges. Plus you and your fiance might have ample time and don’t mind doing all the planning, while others prefer to not deal with the added work and stress. That being said, we highly recommend our couples to hire a professional
The list of tasks they take off the couple’s plate is endless, and the amount of head/heartache they prevent is unquantifiable. Plus some venues require couples to hire one, even if they have their own in-house coordinator. We’ve noticed that the weddings with a professional planner/coordinator (not someone that just does it for fun or worse not very good at it), runs more smoothly than ones without.
We recommend checking with your venue to see if they require one, and assess your own schedule and desire to do all the planning.
If you need any recommendations, we have a network of professionals that we have worked with and know the quality of their work. Please give us a call at (813)444-8986, email us, or fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch with you within 1 day with our availability and full pricing.
ENGAGEMENT SESSION QUESTIONS
Is it necessary to do an engagement session?
Although we highly recommend doing an e-session, it’s not necessary. Circumstances such as your work schedule, living in another state, and simply not needing photos of you and your fiance are more than understandable.
We would say about 80-90% of our couples decide to have an engagement session (usually a 2-3 hour shoot and anywhere from 1-6+ months before the wedding); and the rest decide to not have one for a variety of reasons.
What are the pros and cons of doing an engagement session?
The pros are: you get to work with your photographer prior to the wedding, be comfortable in front of the camera (super helpful if you or your fiance is camera shy), have some lovely photos of you two that you can use in a variety of ways (save the date cards, wedding website, prints at the wedding, etc.), and an excuse to go shopping for new clothes!
The cons are: possibly having to take some time off of work for the shoot and investing a bit more
How long will our engagement session be?
Typically it’s anywhere from 2-4 hours. We think anything less than two hours is way too short. Usually, the first 20-30 minutes is warming up to the camera. Plus if you’d like to get a variety of photos and go to multiple locations with an outfit change or two, then it’s necessary to allot more time.
And if you’d like to get both late afternoon/early evening shots (when lighting is the best) plus creative nighttime portraits, we recommend around 4-5 hours. This allows us to get the best of both worlds without rushing things.
How do we pick what locations to go to for your engagement session?
First, we’d like to find out what you and your fiance like to do, such as hobbies, interests, and where you like to hang out during your free time. That’ll give us an idea of the types of places that fit your personality, i.e. nature, architectural, beach, modern, fields, etc.
Then we’ll narrow down around what areas you’d like to have your engagement session. For example, in the Tampa Bay area, we can go anywhere from Clearwater or St. Pete Beach to Bradenton or Sarasota Beach and as well as more inland areas like Lakeland.
What should we wear for our engagement session?
Although we’re not fashion experts, we do recommend bold, solid colors. A few stripes and patterns are okay provided they don’t distract from the main focus (you and your fiance!). Complementary color combinations always work well; try to avoid holiday or “interesting” color combinations, i.e. red, white and blue or orange and black. Unless you’re really patriotic or love Halloween :).
In general, treat your engagement session like going on a date. It can be as fancy/formal or laid back/casual as you’d like, and the clothes you wear should reflect that.
WEDDING DAY QUESTIONS
I don't want to spend forever taking family formals, how long do they normally take?
We’re on the same page as you! On average, we won’t spend longer than 30 minutes of total time taking family formals. This includes pre-ceremony family formals (just with immediate, about 15 minutes) and post-ceremony (with immediate and extended, another 15 minutes).
About 2-2.5 months before your wedding, we’ll ask you to provide a list of all the family members’ names and relations, and which groups of formals you would like captured. That way, we can conduct the family formals in an efficient and pleasant manner 😉.
Don’t worry if you’re not sure about that list, as we have the essentials all memorized, i.e. with parents, with parents and siblings and spouses, with aunts, uncles, etc.
The family list is more for you to not forget anyone important, to get any “unique” combinations (one with all the cousins or co-workers), and for them to be present when we take the photos.
Do you work with a second photographer and/or assistant on the wedding day?
Most of the weddings we photograph were by photographer Chen. However, depending on the type and logistics of a wedding, it may be beneficial for the couple to invest in a second photographer. For example, if you want coverage of the guys getting ready and cocktail hour, more angles/perspectives during the ceremony and reception, and if there’s not much time for the main photographer to get details (among other things), we recommend including a second photographer in your wedding package.
On the other hand, if the wedding is pretty intimate with a small number of guests (roughly 150 or less) and there’s sufficient time to capture details (among other things), we’re confident a single photographer (Photographer Chen) will be able to tell a comprehensive story of the day.
Is there a limit to the number of photos you take at a wedding? Of that how many do we get?
There’s no limit to the number of photos we take at a wedding and give to our couples. But historically, we provide on average about 40-70 images per hour that we’re contracted. For example, for a 10-hour wedding, you can expect around 400-700+ images.
Naturally, the more time we have for couple/bridal portraits, the happier and not stressful moments that are taking place, the less driving between locations, and waiting for family and friends to be in the formals photos, the more images we’ll be able to take and give to our couples.
The beauty of weddings is each one is different and special in their own ways, but our approach remains the same: to capture as many beautiful, unforgettable moments, portraits, and details as possible to tell a comprehensive story of your special day!
How soon after our wedding can we expect to see the photos?
You can expect to see a sneak peek of your wedding photos (about a handful) a few days
Then about 4-6 weeks later (sometime sooner), you’ll then receive a link to an online gallery filled with all of your high-res, edited JPEG files, from the getting ready to the end of the reception.
Since we want to carefully go through all the images taken and remove the outtakes (someone blinking or not ready for the camera, test images, etc.), plus we want to give ample amount of love and care in color correcting/editing every single one of the images you’ll get, it takes a few weeks after your wedding, but we promise it’ll be worth it!
How will we be able to view, share, and obtain our wedding photos?
It takes about 4-6 weeks after your wedding (sometimes even sooner!) to fully color correct/giving some TLC to all your images, we’ll have them up on an online gallery for you and your future spouse to relive your special day!
We’ll be sending you an email with links to not only view and download the high-res, edited digital files, but also share your wedding photos with your family and friends. By default, this gallery will be online up to 10 years after your wedding. However, please still make sure to download and back up all your images.
Do you do any color correcting/editing to the images before we receive them?
We always strive to get the best image possible when we capture it in the camera. But all photos can use some editing, and that’s what we do to all of yours. Since there are hundreds to a thousand plus images to edit, it takes a good 3-4 weeks to go through them all individually and do the color correction.
The first level of editing is “color correcting” or basic retouchings like exposure, temperature, contrast, color, cropping, sharpening, and a few other tweaks. Yes, we go through each of your wedding images one at a time (no batch editing).
We want to make sure every single one gets the proper care and time before uploading them all online for you and your spouse to view and share.
We also have a second level of editing that reserve for prints like your albums; in addition, we like to pick our favorite images from your wedding and create a slideshow and blog post.
Those photos also go through this additional level, which includes more advanced retouching like removing stray hairs, smoothing the skin, removing blemishes and distracting backgrounds (all within reason).
Do we own the copyright to our photos and what are we allowed to do with them?
Per the contract, we own the copyrights to your wedding photos. But you’re more than welcome (and have the rights) to share, print, give away, use, and essentially do anything you’d like with your wedding photos provided it’s not for commercial/monetary usage.
If you decide to sell your wedding photos or use them in a profitable/commercial way, then we’ll both need to fill out and sign a separate contract agreement.
After all, if you’re planning on becoming famous and making some money off your wedding photos, we hope you don’t forget about your photographer 😊.
What do you intend on doing with our wedding photos?
On our end, we intend to only utilize your wedding photos to promote Sweet Lighting Photography, such as post our favorite images on ours and other (wedding-related) websites, i.e. WeddingWire, Yelp, Facebook fan page, Instagram feed, etc.
Aside from a few dozens of our favorites, all of which will be web-sized only, we won’t ever give away/share your photos to other vendors/third party organizations without your consent. Rest assured keeping your identity, reputation and any other sensitive information secure is our top priority.