From the Meet and Greet to the Delivery of your Album: The Wedding Photography Timeline

Every so often I post a FAQ list of what I noticed clients would often ask me.  The idea is to help out a new visitor to the site and try to answer ahead of time questions they may have.  I thought I'd supersize that idea this time around by taking you through an entire timeline from our initial meet and greet to your wedding day all the way to when the final album is delivered.  This is going to be very detailed, so let's get right to it…

  1. Take a look around my site and decide if the images meet your style.  The Gallery Page has wedding as well as engagement photos along with sample wedding album pages.  To see me and get an idea of my personality, check out the About Me page.
  2. Please fill out the Contact form.  I'm checking email all day.  Calling the business line (219) 779-7137 will work as well.  I will check to see if your date is available and then I'd like to set up a meet and greet to hear about your big day.
  3. You can come to my home studio for images on the big screen or I can buy you coffee and do a mobile presentation.  Either way, I will have sample books, prints, digital images - all my stuff!!  Most importantly, you get to meet the person who owns the business AND the photographer as well.  It happens to be me in both roles.  :)  I also get to know you and find out your needs.  I learn about your locations and we even sometimes decide together interesting shot ideas and locations for your wedding photography
  4. We sign a contract either that day or at another time.  I ask for a 50% retainer of the package cost.  I accept check, cash or credit / debit.  Don't hesitate to schedule a meeting if you don't have your funds in order yet.  That is perfectly fine.
  5. I go to work for you immediately.  I put notes into my computer and if it is a new location, I try to check it out beforehand.  Your date is now in my calendar.  Nothing else will be scheduled as I'm yours for the day.
  6. We have another meeting before the wedding, preferably in person or over the phone if there is distance involved.  We make sure we have our timeline of the day in sync.
  7. Approximately 10 days before the wedding, I send you a balance due invoice either via regular mail or an ebiil in email.  This gives you plenty of time to take care of payment.  I like to avoid dealing with money on the day of the wedding as I want to concentrate on shooting and I think you are going to be a bit busy as well!!
  8. I provide all day coverage so I will see you at Getting Ready.  I usually have my assistant arrive toward the end of the Getting Ready part as I need her help with formals before and after the ceremony.  Her job is to help the Bride out on occasion with the dress, position my lighting and to help organize family members for group shots, etc.  We don't want the photographs to drag for you or your family and friends.
  9. Toward the end of the reception I will check to see if I have covered everything.  I will approach you to make sure and I won't exit until we are both sure I captured everything.
  10. I upload the images that night to my main computer and then to 3 other drives for safekeeping.  
  11. Professional digital photography is a lot like film of the past.  For true quality, each image must be "developed" from scratch.  This means I open every single file by hand and make it into an image.  This doesn't mean "fixing the photos", it is simply taking the digital negative and making it into a picture.  I'm fairly quick, however it does take some time.  I'm shooting other weddings and events, making albums, etc.  My goal is to have you seeing your images in 3 to 4 weeks.
  12. I will then get a hold of you for Premiere Night.  It's a fun time and family and friends are welcome.  We view a mini movie of highlights, view each image one by one, pick out your book covers, disc packaging, prints, etc.  I serve snacks and refreshments.  A good time is had by all.
  13. I have your online gallery ready about a day after Premiere Night.  Friends and family can view these images, share on Facebook and order prints right from the site.
  14. The prints come in first about a week later.  I get them from a pro lab - no drugstore chain printing!!  
  15. I will be designing your wedding album and then sending off to the printer.  The disc also has premium packaging and is delivered with the wedding book. This takes approximately 3 - 4 weeks to design, print and deliver into your hands.
  16. Delivery day!!  This is when I get your book and your Disc Package to you.  Hopefully you will have been so impressed with my services that you then run into the streets with your wedding images shouting my praises (and dropping my business cards) to friends, family and strangers alike.  :)

I hope this helps to answer the 'How does all this work?' question I sometimes hear.  If I missed something, just ask.  Also, if for some reason I'm not the right photographer for you, let me help you find somebody who is.  I truly want you to get some great images and have a fun experience with your photography on your wedding day.