A few years ago we switched over to digital format cameras and we've never looked back!
You'll probably hear arguments over which is best or why digital will never be as good as film and so on... but with all the considerations we have to determine - quality, cost, speed, versatility, and turnaround time - there was no question for us at all.
Digital cameras (at least the high-end SLR ones we use) have come a long way in the past few years. I don't believe that you (or even those film junkies) could ever tell which was which in our final prints... and with that being the case and point, what else should matter?
We use all Canon® digital cameras and accessories whenever possible. Our digital SLR cameras are the Canon 50D® with the professional Canon EOS® series lenses.
For lighting we use the Interfit® 1500 strobes with modeling lamps and also supplemental Canon 580EXII® flashes.
First of all, our negatives aren't really negatives at all. Since we shoot entirely in digital format, the question should actually be "Do we get to keep our full resolution images, and can we use those images to make photos without restriction?" (But either way, the answer is determined by the package you've selected.)
With the Gold and Platinum packages, those images are included on a DVD-ROM (or CD-ROM, depending on your preference) with our "Copyright Release". Otherwise, the disc(s) of images are available for purchase. (See: Photo Options Purchased Separately)
There is no charge for treatments and effects on any photo order.
For subtle or small photo manipulation like scar removal, background changes, and other requests, we usually will do those for free (but that could also depend on how many images need to be changed).
Larger jobs, multiple fixes, and time consuming work could require our hourly rate, however we would always let you know beforehand so you wouldn't be charged if you didn't think it was worth it.
We don't charge outrageous prices for our photographs. In fact, we do a lot of checking around and our prices are about as good a they get! (See: Price Calculator)
And if that wasn't already good enough... we give you an ample amount of purchasing credit in most of our Photography Packages that you can apply to your photo order!
If you exceed the amount of credit you have with your chosen package, you only pay the remaining balance that isn't covered by your credit.
The normal time for photos to be posted to your online gallery is about 2 to 3 weeks. After that you have several options available to you through our Online Gallery. However, when your order is placed, it usually doesn't take long at all. Most photo orders can be in the mail within a week. ¹
Depending on the complexity and materials of the product that might be needed to complete the order, some products - like larger albums and specialty items - could take longer and are subject to the manufactures specifications.
Although there are several conditions that determine the amount of time needed; location, weather, group size, and your chosen package, we suggest 2 hours of dedicated time for portraits, family, and wedding party photos.
If the photos are scheduled before the wedding, we suggest allowing at least an additional ½ hour between photos and ceremony for you to relax and avoid arriving guests... and for us to prepare for the event too.
Couples that do not wish to see each other prior to the ceremony should schedule at least an hour prior to the ceremony for independent photos, and then sometime after the ceremony there should be another hour for portraits and group shots.
What works best, if you follow our suggestions above, is to also allow a little time later in the day when the lighting is best for some more intimate portraits. It doesn't have to be very long or even scheduled... as long as you plan on breaking away for a few minutes.
Absolutely! We have no problems using your shot list or even re-creating photos that you specifically request. Besides, if it isn't something that we already do or have on our own list, then we'd love to see what you've got.
We do provide a shot list (by request only) that covers a huge range of shots as well as our favorites and an area for your specific requests too.
Camera formats are not all the same. Some cameras capture an image that is square while others are more rectangular. Most common are the 2(h)x3(w) ratio cameras.
Our cameras shoot at a 2x3 ratio, so our images (without cropping) are expanded or contracted by that ratio.
|4x6||5x7||½"||5x7 & 8x10|
Cropping an image isn't a bad thing at all... It's just something you need to be aware of when important parts of a picture are near the edge of the image or if you are picking a photograph for a specific frame.
The nice thing is that you can use the cropping tool in your online account to make the picture cropped to the specifications that you choose.
( See Online Gallery Crop Tool )
There is nothing like a professionally made DVD to capture all the sights and sounds of your wedding day - an event which now has become one of the major social events in a person's life. What better opportunity to capture all of your family and friends sharing the day with you and create a classic heirloom to be cherished for years to come? Most couples say that having a DVD made was the best thing they did on their wedding day.
Reasons couples decide to get a professional wedding video:
• To send copies to friends and relatives who were unable to attend.
• To share these special memories with their children.
• They want to capture all the sights, sounds and emotions of the most important day of their lives.
• They want to look back at why they put so much hard work and effort into planning their wedding.
• The wedding day is a blur. It's nice to sit back and watch your wedding unfold when you aren't the center of everyone's attention.
Sure, but not like we do it!
This is a one-take one-time event, with no chances to go back and correct mistakes or oversights. We have professional 3-chip cameras, digital mastering and effects, professional wireless microphones, and plenty of backup equipment to create a true broadcast quality production. Plus, all that equipment is used by trained professionals who know how to use it correctly.
After the event has been recorded, the real work begins in post-production. There is a lot involved in making your video smooth, professional and fun to watch. It's not a job for amateurs and those with weekend hobbies.
Hiring a professional allows your friend or family member to enjoy the festivities at your wedding, instead of being stuck behind the camera. (Plus, it will save you from the disagreements and disappointments when your wedding tape is not what you expected or hoped for, but it's too late to do anything about it.)
The difference between what we do, and "Uncle Bob" filming your wedding is drastic. Don't risk it!
Not at all. We strive to accommodate your specific needs and wishes without being in the way or distracting. We've seen enough "in your face" professionals to know that it isn't professional at all. We make every effort to record your wedding unobtrusively and tastefully.
We do not use distracting lights and noisy equipment. Furthermore we use wireless communication headsets to coordinate our shots, and we dress subtly and appropriately.
Our cameras are placed on tripods and are therefore stationary during the ceremony; however, even when we use a roving camera, we are still very discreet.
Clients ask us this question quite frequently. Usually because they have heard several opinions from several videographers who all suggest that their gear is the best.
Event videographers use one of the following formats. (The list is in the ascending order of quality)
1. Older analog formats (SVHS, Hi8,VHS)
2. Consumer digital format (DV)
3. Professional digital formats (DV PRO, DVC PRO, DIGITAL BETA)
4. High-Definition digital formats (HDV, AVC)
We use the latest Canon High Definition Digital 3CCD cameras in the High-Definition format (#4). These cameras are used in television and even major motion picture production and while they are extremely small and easy to use, they are also an industry standard in digital video.
Because our editing equipment is also digital, we retain the quality throughout the entire process. We are able to produce amazing, digital quality DVDs of your finished project right in our studio.
We do almost all our editing digitally on Apple computers. Our primary NLE (Non Linear Editor) is Apples Final Cut Pro III HD®, and we also use Adobe After Effects® for effects and graphics.
Our DVD authoring and production consists of Apple DVD Studio Pro® and Adobe Photoshop® and After Effects® for screen menus.
Most importantly, we need to know whether or not you want High Definition (HDTV) or Standard Definition (SDTV). Both formats are widely accepted and SDTV is what you've watched most of your life, but the future trend is moving to High Definition because of it's clarity, resolution, and standardization in all sorts of media.
If you choose SDTV (either by selection or default), you can also choose whether you want Widescreen (16:9 ratio) or Fullscreen (4:3 ratio) as your final output. (Widescreen - also known as Letterbox - is probably best known for the "Black Bars" on the top and bottom of the screen. It's not the most typical standard for viewing, but it has a classic look and many collector and movie buffs accept no substitutions.)
If you choose HDTV, the format ratio and output size is already set to Fullscreen. (If you still prefer the look of Widescreen in HDTV, it has to be simulated with a classic "Letterbox" effect; black bars on the top and bottom of the screen.)
These selections - with more in depth descriptions and examples - are preferences that can be selected in your Personal User Account.
( See Personal User Accounts )
The work isn't over when the event ends... actually its only the beginning. There are many options we offer that require your input so we need to compile those items first.
For example; the Photo Montage, Back Cover Story, Honeymoon Photos, Credits, etc... (depending on your chosen package) must be supplied before we can begin the finalization process.
After everything is checked off in your Personal User Account, we place your project in queue to be finished.
We work very hard to have the finished product in your hand in approximately six to eight weeks after all items are checked off. ¹
The average length of our DVDs is about 80-90 minutes. Anything longer then that and there is the possibility of visual compression degradation.
The period of time we allow for the DVD is ample for the edited video we produce. If you breakdown the parts of the video into scenes, you can get an idea of the average timeline (depending on the chosen package).
• Montage : 3-5 min
• Documentary : 15-20 min
• Preparations : 5-10 min
• Ceremony : 20-45 min
• Reception : 25-30 min
• Interviews : 5-8 min
• Credits : 3-5 min
Remote cameras can be a real lifesaver depending on whether or not certain conditions warrant their use.
Many churches have restrictions (See: What if my church has restrictions on photo or video) on movement because it's distracting, but must likely, they've had experiences with professionals who don't act professional and move all around during a ceremony.
Remote cameras are perfect for stationary placement where an operator can't be located, and it saves the expense of hiring more operators. (The drawback is that the remote cameras must be as good as the attended cameras so there isn't noticeable differences from one view to the other.) That's why we use all the same kind of video cameras. (See: What kind of video cameras do you use)
Yes, you can... but there are a few limitations.
We only have a certain window of time to make hi-quality copies of your project on VHS. That is because unlike DVDs which are digital data that we can archive and then duplicate at some later date, VHS has to be recorded from our source files on our editing computers. After a month from the date of completion of your project, those source files are erased and the space is used for newer projects.
We've just concluded that if you haven't mentioned that you'd like copies by that point, you probably aren't going to be wanting them in the future... Not many people will.
There are several reasons why hiring your photo and video professionals together could benefit you.
First and foremost is the fact that you only need to deal with one person instead of several. That might not seem like a big deal at first, but when it comes to coordinating things, making payments, making orders, asking questions, not to mention the chaos that ensues during the wedding, it's a huge thing!
Also, we use small headset com-units to coordinate our shots during a wedding and it gives us the advantage of multitasking from different locations without getting in each others way or wasting time trying to communicate with people who don't know each other.
Before and after the wedding, you can view all our information in your Personal User Account which has all your photo and video options, payment status, contact information updates, and project status all together in one place.
We use all Canon® digital cameras and accessories whenever possible.
For Photography, we use the Canon 50D® digital SLR with the professional Canon EOS® series lenses.
For lighting we use the Interfit® 1500 watt strobes with modeling lamps and also supplemental Canon 580EX II® flashes.
For Videography we use the Canon HG® series HD units with Senheiser ambient and wireless microphones.
For editing we use a large suite of computers and software. (See: What kind of editing equipment do you use)
It's a fact of life that price plays a key role in determining your selection of professionals, and there is a Photographer and Videographer for every budget. Once you determine your spending limit and the product you want, then you can begin to evaluate your professionals for quality, experience and compatibility.
View as much of their work as you can... and don't limit your observations to simply the video or pictures! Does the quality of the promotional information look good? Did you ask for references? Were emails and phone conversations professional and courteous? Are they willing to adapt to your preferences?
Remember. You'll be spending a large portion of your day with whomever you hire so it's best that you like them, as well as their work.
When it happens (even the best of us aren't exempt) we take every effort to make sure your wedding day isn't compromised. We do this by normally overcompensating with backup equipment and extra bodies to be ready in case of emergencies. Seldom do we ever book one photographer or videographer (although one person might be all that is necessary) because of unforeseen complications and the inability to replace the only professional (should only one be scheduled) on such short notice.
In the very unlikely - and so far never experienced - event that both (or all) of us get sick, we'll either send in our backup crew or hired replacements, or refund your entire balance and still schedule a free photo shoot on a later date.
Furthermore - with Photography - if delays or unexpected disruptions are caused while we are in your employ, we would also compensate your trouble by doubling your purchasing credit.
With Videography - we normally allow a couple of extra hours of coverage at no charge, and throw in a few extra DVD copies when we are done.
It is the client's responsibility to find out if there are any restrictions on photography and videography wherever the event takes place and to notify us well in advance.
Many churches and synagogues have guidelines, such as no flash photography and movement during the ceremony which could limit our abilities during a ceremony.
This doesn't mean we can't do a great job - in part, because it is only one aspect of what we do throughout a full day - but also because we still can work within the churches guidelines.
Are you planning a destination wedding? Awesome... Take us with you!
We love to travel so there is really no restrictions on where we'll go for your special day. We've worked all over the world, from Australia to Sweden, Mexico to Japan, and almost every state in the USA.
Our travel costs are included in all our packages for free so you only need to select your region to get correct pricing. (See: Region Map)
At this point we keep backups³ of your wedding (both photo and video) on DVD-ROM for at least 5 years after the wedding - Guaranteed. However, we archive all our projects for the conceivable future and DVDs are supposed to last for a hundred years without data loss... So we'll probably have your information for much, much longer.
If you are getting into your photo gallery instead of your personal user account, the reason is that you are using your photo gallery password?
If you lost the email we sent you, or if the password we sent you isn't working, you'll have to contact us to get that fixed?
If you are one of our Photography clients, then you'll need two different passwords to keep your Online Photo Gallery separated from your Personal User Account. (Videography clients only need the Personal User Account)
Your Online Photo Gallery password is one that you'll want to share with family and friends, and people who know you and want to see your photos can easily figure it out if they know your name and wedding date.
Your Personal User Account should remain private and secure, so the password is different, unique, and assigned by us to minimize unauthorized viewing.
Whatever you may have heard, cookies do not pose any security issue to your computer. Cookies are simply a very small amount of text that gets stored on your computer so that a website can recognize your computer.
Cookies aren't a security risk at all, and it really helps keep things manageable for both you and us by allowing your computer to remember the selections and preferences you already entered previously, and it eliminates going through the whole sales pitch again... Which could get really annoying if you see that person a lot!
All the options that are included in your package are listed in your account with descriptions and checkboxes. The checkboxes that are checked are to let you know which of the options are completed.
Unchecked boxes indicate items that we are waiting on from you and those options require your input for some reason. (Example: Photo Montage, Credits, etc...), so we might be waiting on certain criteria from you in those unchecked areas.
We post your photos in you Online Gallery for one year from the date of the event, afterwhich the gallery will expire.
The gallery can be extended monthly (for an additional charge) for as long as you like by selecting to pay for the extension in your Pictage© shopping cart.
Now we simply upload our finished images to Pictage© for hosting and seamlessly integrate our website with their website so logging in and browsing through your images is a piece of cake.
If you aren't seeing how to order once you've sucsessfully enter the photo gallery, you'll need to contact us or Pictage© to find out what's happening.
So far, we've been thrilled with the feedback from our clients, and we know you'll enjoy the simplicity and ease of our new galleries features and functions!
No, not anymore... but it isn't a matter of mistrust or suspicion, but more about all of the complications that it creates when there is so much to do after the wedding that involves both "you" and "us".
If everything is paid in full by the wedding (as most professionals require), then we don't have to worry about you delaying or not getting us all the stuff to finish the project in a timely manner... or should I say... If you do delay, then it is your own prerogative - and we're fine with that because we don't need to pressure you for our livelihood - and you can take all the time you like. (See: When will my wedding DVD be finished for more details.)
Credit Cards are convenient, but they also cost a bit more money to use... And, depending on which system is being used, the amounts can vary as well.
PayPal™ charges 2.9%+.30¢ for every transaction, while our bank charges us 2.75% for direct credit card deposits. (These fees are taken directly from our deposits and cut into our already low prices.)
To keep our prices low, we pass on the charge for Credit Cards to only those who choose to use them; keeping our prices fixed for those who would rather not.
Not all DVDs are created alike, and what it takes to create a quality DVD isn't something that most Videographers can even explain! Just because the technology is available to the public doesn't mean that you are assured a high-quality DVD with outstanding results. There are no simple "cookie cutter" solutions with DVD and be wary of those who say there is!
Tip: View samples of what is being offered to see what kind of results you can expect. DVD technology isn't something that everyone can simply learn overnight and results will vary drastically. I personally author every DVD we create and I have had 2 years of multimedia schooling to prepare me for that.
Just because someone offers multiple camera angles doesn't mean that you are getting anything extraordinary - even though it may sound like it. It's what isn't said that matters.
Tip: Find out what kind of cameras are being used. Are they the same kind of cameras or different formats? Are there operators for these cameras or are they using remote cameras? Different camera formats will result in different picture quality between views. Remote or unattended cameras reduce the operating cost, but might compromise the final product if not used correctly. (See: How well do remote or unattended cameras work)
Hey, lets face it... There is always someone cheaper! But, with any product, you get what you pay for... This is a special occasion, why take unnecessary chances on something risky just because you'll save a few dollars.
Consider value, not cost. Who has ever looked back and regretted paying a bit more for something they really love... and in reverse, who hasn't regretted going cheap when they're unhappy with what they got?
Tip: Dare to compare. If you check around a little, you'll usually see who is offering a quality product and who isn't. See who is professional and courteous, who pays attention to your details and what you want, and most of all, see who has the product you will cherish for the rest of your life, and not who has the bill you can pay off the quickest!
( Tek-nó-bâb-bul ) : Using technical words and phrases that only rocket scientists could understand in an effort to make you feel dumb.
Tip: Don't feel overwhelmed or be discouraged. Yes, there are areas of what we do that are very technical, but it is our interest to make you feel comfortable with what we do and to answer your questions in "plain english". (We don't want to make you feel dumb.)
¹ Project due dates are projected by the average time it takes to return a finished project. Because all projects are unique and some require more time then others, due dates are not guaranteed.
Although our normal turnaround time for photos is usually very quick, there are times when we are out of town or have several weddings in a row. Therefore, we do not guarantee a specific turnaround date.
² Because wedding dates typically fill up months in advance, and we are limited by how many weddings we can work in a year, we reserve the right to hold off booking a Bronze or Steel package if it is more then 6 months in advance of the wedding date.
Our reason for implementing this restriction is that our Platinum, Gold and Silver Package clients should have a preferred status for reserving a date months in advance.
³ Backups are not specifically "finished or completed projects". Backups can be raw files, source tapes, DVDs, or whatever we have available to us during our project timeline. Projects that have expired or are past due my be exempt from completion due to the terms of the contract and the simple fact that over time, we upgrade and old items become obsolete and we're left with only what we had at the time of the projects expiration.