The mission of my blog is to help couples envision their story through my eyes. Also help them enjoy their wedding day planning with tips and ideas from my experiences as a wedding photographer. - Sarah Kossuch, Rochester MI
Often times we come across frequent questions for weddings and engagements and we thought it would be a good idea to compile those together and create a blog. This is a great resource for current or even future clients. In the future we definitely plan to add to this as we feel there’s never a “dumb” question asked. So check back and you may see more added to this as it gets closer to your day!
Before you book:
How far in advance do I need to book you? Weddings book up fast, especially during popular seasons for weddings (Spring, Summer & Fall). Securing your date as soon as possible is the best advice I can give because I never know when a date will book. Couples typically book their wedding photographers a year to 18 months in advance. If your wedding is only a few months away, don’t be afraid to reach out to check and see if your date is still available!
Do you have a portfolio of recent weddings you’ve shot that I can see? Definitely! When you come in to the office for a consultation we can go over what a whole wedding day will look like! You will be able to see my style in person and what type of photographs that I take in addition to what you see online. The wedding that I show you during the consultation will be similar to the type of wedding you are planning so you can have a similar view of what your day will look like!
Do you have liability insurance? Absolutely, we are covered! Should your venue request a copy, feel free to direct them right to me and we’ll get it taken care of.
When will I receive a written contract? When you are ready to book, you can review the written contract. Once you book you have one week to sign the contract. The contract needs to be signed to reserve your wedding date!
How much is the deposit? When is it due? The non-refundable deposit is 25% of the wedding collection cost you choose. This is due within a week of booking with your signed contract in order to reserve your date. The remaining balance is due thirty days before your wedding date.
Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding? If not, who will? If you are, will you have any assistants with you? Yes I am! Unless you book with my executive, Amanda, Nicole or Lindsey. You will know when you book who you are booking with! Both Each of us will likely have an assistant with us on your wedding day to help us carry equipment and setup lighting.
Do you include engagement photos in your packages? Yes! For more information about engagement photographs, head down to the section about engagement photography.
If my wedding location is outside your normal area, do you charge a travel fee? If your wedding location exceeds our typical radius, you will receive a custom travel invoice that covers our costs of travel, including driving, airfare, and hotel reservations.
You’ve Booked, Now What? There are still questions to be answered!
Engagement Photographs ::
How long do engagements shoots typically last? Depending on the collection you choose time wise engagements vary. I will say a typical engagement shoot lasts about hour.
How many locations do you allow for an engagement shoot? We suggest that you choose one or two locations (close together) for your engagement shoot. We move around and photograph in different areas of each location.
How many outfits should we bring to an engagement shoot? One or two is perfectly fine! Most couples that choose to bring multiple outfits will choose a more casual outfit and one that is a little dressier.
How long will it take until I receive my engagement photographs? We will post your high-resolution engagement photographs in an online gallery within three to six weeks of your engagement session.
Things you may want to know…
How many years have you been photographing weddings or how many weddings have you photographed? Including this season Sarah, Amanda, Nicole + Lindsey are at a combined 500+ weddings and engagements with 20 years of experience! We are SUPER proud of that!
What is your photography style? Sarah Kossuch Photography takes a photojournalistic/editorial approach. And we truly mean photojournalistic where nothing is staged and we document your day as it happens. We are not about stuffy, posed, formal, contrived photographs. Our informal style follows the day of your wedding exactly how it happened. Rather than posing every photograph, we capture the day how it unfolds so that we can tell the best story possible. We capture the quiet, subtle, beautiful moments just as well as we do the loud, outrageous, crazy, gorgeous events that happen during your day.
What is your style when you are photographing a wedding? During your wedding day, it is our style to capture events how they naturally happen. We do not plan every moment for you or constantly pose you. We want you to be natural and relaxed. We want to be part of your wedding day, but not stand out as that obnoxious wedding photographer that is always in the way.
What type of equipment do you use? Do you have any backup equipment? We use professional grade Nikon equipment and have multiples. If you want to know the specifics, feel free to ask! We have a variety of lenses, cameras and flashes that we use on your wedding day to ensure we capture every moment perfectly. And yes, we definitely have backup equipment!
Do you use natural light or flash? Both! But we definitely seek out during the day the best possible natural light situations. We believe it produces the best, most beautiful lighting. However we are super obsessed with using off camera lighting in situations that call for it. We will use flash during the processional (if the lighting is not fit enough for natural shots), and formals, then during your reception as there is often no natural light during that time.
All Things Wedding
What do all wedding collections include? Our wedding collections include wedding day coverage, hand picked edited wedding day images, lifestyle engagement session with hand picked edited images, and high-resolution images with printing rights.
Do all wedding collections include an album? Not all our collections include albums. But if your collection includes a wedding album, we will create a custom, beautiful design that tells the story of your day. You will be able to review and approve the design before it is created. The hand built, leather bound album will be delivered to your doorstep.
What information do you need from me before the wedding day? Client communication is vital to a successful wedding day. If you live in the area, we will have a face to face meeting or if you are out of town we will phone or video chat to sort out the details of your big day! We will also send you a questionnaire that we need filled out at least two weeks before your wedding date. This includes information such as the timeline for the day, locations, and written list of requested images, and family formal group for photographs.
Can you come visit my venue prior to the wedding? We have a lot of experience photographing at a variety of wedding venues in the area. We’ve likely photographed at your venue or one very similar to it! We will do some research online to look at your venue and we arrive early on the day of the wedding to scope out the area! Rest assured, we’ve got you covered!
Will there be a second shooter or any assistants? Is there an additional fee for each? How do you choose your second shooters? Depending on the collection you choose. But most of our collections include second photographers. We carefully select each second shooter. These are not individuals who are training to be a wedding photographer or trying to get more experience, they are professional seasoned wedding photographers. They all shoot their own weddings and are completely capable of photographing the full wedding day. If my partner, Amanda, is available she is my second shooter. If not, I have a list of photographers I’ve worked with before and highly trust to document your day with me.
What happens if the wedding photographer gets sick or there is an emergency? Do you have a backup plan? That is a great question! Unfortunately some things are out of our control, but by having a second photographer you will be covered for any unforeseen thing! Like I mentioned previously, the second shooters are wedding photographers and can completely photograph a wedding from start to finish in a similar style so I would feel 100% confident in them shooting your wedding. In the case that I was unable to photograph your wedding, the second would become the main shooter and we would bring in another (trusted) second photographer in an emergent situation within our network. All seconds that photograph with me know my style, photograph in a similar style, and all the images will be edited by me.
Can I give you a list of specific shots we would like? Of course you can. We recommend that if you have specific shots you want, let us know beforehand. It is helpful to know what inspires you and what you are looking for. However, understand that while an image you see on pinterest may really make your heart skip a beat it is unlikely that that image will be duplicated exactly the same. There are a variety of restrictions from the lighting, to the environment, the people, the mood etc… One thing we don’t do is carry a shot list around with us all day. It’s super distracting and does pull from the true raw emotions that flow freely through your day. We are documentary photographers, we document. If we are constantly looking at images of how we should photograph, we will miss all the beautiful moments. We will keep those images in our minds for reference, but we can’t take hours trying to duplicate a shot. This also includes images that are requested (for example :: bride and groom with a specific person). We will do everything we can to make sure these images are captured but we just can’t guarantee that can happen.
On the wedding day, do you pick out the locations to photograph at? How many can we choose? It’s all you! You plan your big day, from the guests and dress to the location venues and yes where you want to be photographed. But don’t worry we are here to help you with locations that we are experienced at, so ask us anything! Ultimately it is up to you to decide where you want to be photographed but we recommend that you don’t fill up your day with multiple locations (or ones far away from your venues). Keep it simple and choose one – two spots to capture bridal and/or bridal party photographs. One thing we try to stress is if there’s time between the ceremony and reception do things or go to locations that you want to have fun at. It’s your wedding day! We are all about documenting YOUR story of happiness especially at locations that have meaning to your wedding day.
What time will you arrive at the site and for how long will you shoot? We will always arrive at your starting location. We want to ensure that we are not late and have time to mentally prepare for your big day so we try to arrive 15-30 minutes early! This does not mean we will knock on your door a half hour or hour early, expect us to be on time. With any extra time we have when we arrive and before we start photographing you, we often scope out the site, go over the schedule for the day, and review your shot list one last time to make sure everything is fresh in our minds!
If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge? Prior to your wedding day we go over a specific timeline, by doing that we are a really good idea of the coverage for your day. Anything over ten hours, we hire a third photographer to finish the day with you. This is always scheduled a head of time and we know about it prior to your wedding day. If we are at your reception and you need an extra hour to capture the guests party, we will definitely do that! Our overtime rates are $350 per hour and that includes your main photographer, the assistant and the edited files.
How will you be dressed? We will be dressed professional to fit the style of your wedding. We want to blend in, so you will not see us wearing flashy, outrageous clothing. We also want to be comfortable, that means wearing clothes that allows us to move around and shoes that don’t hurt our feet, so you won’t see us in high heels. But we also want to be comfortable with our style! In order to perform the best way possible, we will dress comfortably dressy.
Should we do a first look? This is a question that a lot of couples ask and ultimately it is your choice, but there are some benefits to doing a first look. A first look is a predetermined time when couples see each other before the ceremony, often done privately without family or friends. It is a great way to settle any nerves before the ceremony and spend some precious moments together before the hectic day. It helps couples, and photographers, to avoid stress during the wedding day, as it makes the timeline more flexible. It allows you to get the couple portraits done beforehand too, so you can actually enjoy your cocktail hour! As the photographer, we do document the first look and these are often the most beautiful photographs that capture the pure emotion and love between the couple. Most of our couples choose to do a first look because of timing and relaxation. For the more traditional couple it is okay if you want to wait until you are walking down the aisle to see each other! Never feel pressured to do a first look. We will help you with your timeline to assure we fit everything in.
Is it okay if other people take photos while you’re photographing? Your family and friends are going to want to take out their phones and cameras to take pictures, and that’s okay! It’s a wedding day and they are excited! If it becomes a problem where guests are causing us to miss important moments we will ask that they refrain from taking photos.
How can I make sure I look good in my photos? The best way to ensure that you look amazing in your photographs is to relax and trust us that we are going to capture your day beautifully. If you are stressed, it will show in your photographs. But when you are relaxed and yourself, you look so much better! Also, make sure the schedule of your wedding day isn’t too hectic (which we will help with and know prior to your wedding day), this will cause you be rushed and ultimately stressed. Plan LOTS of time for photographs, family portraits, wedding party photographs, and couple portraits.
How many photographs will you take? How many photographs will you deliver? We take anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 photographs on your wedding day. Once your wedding goes through the editing stage we select the best of the best to tell your story. In the end we typically deliver anywhere from 600-700 photos.
How do you ensure our images are safe? We are a bit crazy about making sure your images are safe! When we photograph, we have two cards that contain the images so we always have a back up. Because we use long measures to make sure images are safe we invest in 3 locations for backing up files.
How do you edit? All of your images are viewed closely and the best images are kept. From there, we detail edit your images. This includes adjusting exposure, toning, sharpening and giving it the Sarah Kossuch final touch. We do not detail edit every images by detail edit we mean removing objects, facial clean ups etc.. We select roughly 50 of the best portrait for details edits. We aim for all our images to maintain a natural look. We do not create commercial images with highly photo shopped bodies or airbrushed skin. We will remove some distracting elements and if you have a specific request for editing, we will gladly do it (within realistic means.) Any extensive editing will require additional charges.
I noticed you have two different editing styles, modern and fine art; do I select the style that I want my wedding photographs to be edited in? I’d love to hear what type of style you gravitate towards to know what inspires you. Ultimately each wedding unfolds differently resulting in a different style of edit. An outside vineyard or barn wedding is likely to represent a great fine art gallery. A wedding that has a modern, black tie affair feel, more upscale would best represent the modern edit. It really depends on the style of your day, so let me know what style you are leaning towards and I’ll choose the edit that truly brings out the personality of your beautiful day!
What are the restrictions for sharing photos online or printing? Do you own the copyright to the photos? Once your photographs are delivered to you, we provide web sized files for online sharing and you’ll also receive printing rights. You can print as many times as you’d like and as often as you’d like.
Will you be posting about our wedding on your social media sites or your photography website? Yes, we are really big on posting sneak peeks for you to share with friends and family!
How long after the wedding will I get my photographs? Can I download them online? Or do I get a USB? You will receive a full online gallery of your high-resolution images within eight to twelve weeks of your wedding. You can download them all from our website and you will be sent a USB with all your images, as a gift from me to you!
I hope this has helped answer your questions and alleviate any fear you have about your wedding day. If you have any other questions or concerns feel free to reach out to our office manager, Lindsey or I, we would be happy to answer them!
Follow along for more of my life abroad, work, style, and, of course, very attractive people. #skossuchphoto