Frequently Asked Questions
does the word "Photojournalism" mean?
Photojournalism means a lot of things to a lot of people. Because it is
currently a very popular word with brides, many photographers are using the word
without photographing in a photojournalistic way. Photojournalism to us is
photographing in a very unobtrusive way, and capturing the emotion and
interaction that took place throughout the day. Formals are kept to a minimum,
are posed very quickly, and are photographed with the concentration on
expression, not perfection. Photojournalism concentrates on finding individual
moments and photographing them from interesting angles to show you a side of
your day you would never have seen. Memories that are only remembered through
Q: CAN I HAVE BOTH TRADITIONAL POSED
PICTURES AND PHOTOJOURNALISM STYLE PHOTOGRAPHY? Yes, you can! If you want,
will document both the events and your guests who were there in a more
traditional, posed style. We will also capture the candid emotional moments that
can't be posed, in a non-obtrusive way.
Q: WHAT TYPE OF EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE? IS
MEDIUM FORMAT BETTER THAN 35MM?
We use professional medium format cameras for the
bridal portraits and formal pictures and 35mm professional camera systems for candid and
photojournalism coverage. We bring portable lighting for formal portraits
and we always bring backup equipment to every wedding. For enlargements
smaller than 11x14, there is not a noticeable difference in quality between
medium format and 35 mm.
Q: Who will my
The owner, Greg Vincent, is the principle photographer and will photograph each
wedding. For most weddings,
Greg will bring along a second photographer to assist and photograph from
Q: Do you have
a studio? We work out of our home, so we shoot only on location. All of
Louisiana is our studio!
What are the relative merits of large studios vs.
independents? Quality of work and service are more important than size. Large
studios offer resources and backup in case your assigned photographer gets sick.
Some feel more comfortable in dealing with a larger, more substantial firm. Most
employ subcontractors, many of whom use photography as a supplemental income
source or are just learning the trade. Some big studios are geared to low-budget
events. Small studios and independents excel at individualized personal service.
You will most likely have your first contact directly with the actual
photographer who will do your event. The advantage here is that your album will
more closely reflect your personal wishes.
Q: CAN I HAVE BOTH COLOR AND BLACK &
of course. I use professional color negative film and
true black and white film . We can also print from color negative film
onto sepia or black and white paper with good results.
proofs will I see? How many pictures will you take? This depends on each
individual event. It can range from 200-600 images depending on the package. We promise you this: We won't skimp on film. If things are happening
we are photographing! We will post your proofs online for easy ordering and
so you can share your special day with family and friends. We also offer
proofs as prints and on CD.
Q: Do you sell
proofs and negatives?
We include a set of proofs with each package -
choose from a CD with digital files, a portfolio which includes a 4 x 5
print of each image, or an Art Leather proof album. The negatives are included in
Q: DO YOU HAVE PACKAGE PRICES, OR CAN
I CHOOSE A LA CARTE? You can choose from one of 5 packages (and save lots
of money), and add any of the many offerings from the A La Carte menu.
You won't get locked in to buying something you don't want.
I am a firm
believer in up-front pricing for what it will take to deliver the result the
client expects without depending on add-ons later.)
There are no big surprises or hidden film and print costs!
Q: HOW DO I RESERVE A DATE? Contact me by phone
(504-368-3119) or e/mail me to find out if your
wedding date is available. A $300 non-refundable deposit is required to
reserve your date. The deposit is applied to your package or A La Carte
Q: Can we make
Yes, couples may make payments throughout the year while
others may choose to pay all at once. However, the balance of your contract is due 4 weeks
before the wedding. We accept Visa and MasterCard via secure transactions
Yahoo PayDirect (these sites are popular with Ebay users).
Q: Do you take
Yes, as long as it doesn't conflict
with a wedding.
Is it better to do the
formal pictures before or after the wedding?
If you can actually get all of your family
members and the wedding party there before hand, it may be less stressful to do
them before the ceremony. It also will be more convenient for your guests. You will have to have access to the church at least 1.5 to 2 hours before the
ceremony. Another problem arises if important people are late or the wedding
party and family arenít ready for when pictures are scheduled to start. If that
happens you'll end up doing formals before and after the ceremony.
How long do the formals take?
No matter how fast we go, it always seems too long. Depending on the
size of your families, they generally take 30 minutes to an hour from the time
we start shooting. Having a logically ordered shot list beforehand goes a long
way to getting through the formals quickly. If we do the formals prior to
the ceremony, we like to be done at least a
half hour before the ceremony starts. This gives us time to put away equipment
and the bride time to drop out of sight as guests are arriving.
What makes a good photograph?
- Sharp, clearly focused image - at least the main part
- Full range of tones from the whitest white to the blackest black
- Attention drawn to the main subject of the photograph
- Clear, distinct center of interest or emphasis without distractions
- True, vibrant colors
- Definite subject or theme
- Good finish quality.
What makes a good album?
- Sequence of images tells the story of the day and makes sense
- Good photographic quality throughout
- Logical flow from one image to the next
- Consistent color and quality throughout
- Solid mechanical feel and workmanship
- Good protection and alignment of photographs.
What are the possible situations for photography?
- Informal environmental pictures, with B&W glossies for newspaper engagement
announcement, gifts for
the families, wall-size display, or creation of a sign-in card for display at
the wedding reception (guestbook replacement)
- Formal bridal portrait in gown, taken in advance - for newspaper, etc.
- Wedding couple's portrait session in advance
- Wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
- Bride getting ready at home
- Pre-ceremony preparations at ceremony site
- Pre-ceremony portraits on wedding day or different day
- Ceremony (with and without flash) with processional, etc.
- Formal groupings after the ceremony
- Reception activities, plus informal groupings of families and
- Next-morning brunch, if held.
I offer all of the services shown above.
Rehearsal dinner photography? Next-Morning Brunch?
Yes, here are two great opportunities for spontaneous photographs of the
couple with attendants and families. While no substitute for wedding day
photographs, this captures a
spontaneous part of the wedding celebration that is often missed. It also can
provide a more natural "everyday clothes" photograph of the wedding couple if a
casual environmental portrait is not done.
Q. What about having a friend or relative
I advise against imposing on friends and relatives to do the official
photography. Also, a competent friend may be to an incompetent
"professional." It is unfortunate when a couple truly limited in budget gets
poor results. (I cover this about six topics ahead.) There is another big
danger here. If the photography fails for any reason, then there is lifelong
damage to the relationship.
Amateur coverage usually fails due to:
- Inadequate flash and battery power for the long distances and large rooms
- Unfamiliarity with church or synagogue photography rules
- No tripod and no remote shutter release as needed for non-flash ceremony
- No backup equipment and procedures in case something fails
- No experience with dealing with common wedding situations
- Improper film which is too contrasty and unflattering
- No experience with proper posing and grouping
- Inadequate technical knowledge of photography beyond automatic cameras
- Inability to work effectively under the time pressure
- Inability or unwillingness to forgo enjoying the party to concentrate on
doing the photography
- No knowledge or access to professional processing, printing, retouching,
and album supplies
- Use of 35mm or smaller formats in situations which demand medium format
are the popular album types?
Library Bound - simply the best. Bound as a real book. Photographs are
individually matted, then matte-pages are bound as a book with a personally
tooled leather cover.
Z-Page - photographs are slid into the page, which forms the border or
matte. The page has steel pins on one edge for snapping into a cover. Most
covers are of simulated leather, such as Art
Leather's Aristohyde. It's cheaper than library-bound and allows pictures to
be changed later, but it's less elegant. This style is the most popular in US
can we get away from the standardized "posed" look?
First, put enjoyment of the wedding day ahead of posing for pictures!
Choose a photographer
whose samples illustrate the look you want and who is willing to work with you
in creating a unique repertoire of images. If you have some unique or novel
ideas, share them with your photographer. Do some brainstorming together before
the wedding day.
photographer who works unobtrusively and goes for natural expressions. If
doing formals and portraits, schedule as many as possible early in the day -
before the ceremony, or even on a prior day. Make sure the photographer is
keenly aware of your wishes.
the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony for portraits? Don't worry
about this unless you want lots of portrait groupings or
combinations which involve the bride and groom in the same picture. I firmly
believe that couples who are opposed to a pre-ceremony photo session in wedding
attire, for whatever reason, should not be pressured, coerced, or embarrassed
into it. But they must also be made aware of the consequences with respect to
picture results or impact on the flow of the day. If you want lots of posed
romantic portraits, there's no other way, unless you are willing to take time
out from festivities or don wedding attire a few weeks later for photos.
we need to feed the photographer? The photographer's day starts several hours before the wedding and
goes on for several hours after the party's over. It is a long, hard, tense day
of being creative under pressure. It is in your interest to help him function
comfortably and effectively, and providing a suitable meal helps; it doesn't
have to be a full banquet meal. Your caterer may offer a sandwich or snack
that's just right and will be greatly appreciated.
can we get everyone in at least one picture?
This is easy for very small events, but challenging when the guest
list climbs toward 100 or more. In my experience, the best way, when having
formal seated dinner service is to get table shots (before main course,
preferably). Or, have the master of ceremonies call for a huge group shot of all
the guests. It's fun and makes a great shot for the album!
can we best preserve our photograph album?
Keep the album closed and flat; don't store it vertically. Keep it in a
cool dry place. Don't expose the pictures to excessive UV from sunlight or
fluorescent lights. Avoid abrasion. When kids arrive, store the album till they
are old enough to respect it. And keep the photographer abreast of address
changes so you'll get the negatives before he trashes them.
can't we just copy the proofs to save money?
- It's illegal, unless you have been given written permission to do
- Quality will be very poor.
- Prints from negatives give the best quality.
can we be sure our photographer won't mess up?
Photography inherently involves an element of risk and speculation due
to its technical nature. You can lessen the chance of problem by booking a
competent photographer and clearly communicating your event information and
expectations. But mess-ups happen. Film jams. Labs ruin film. Cameras break.
Most photographers are very sensitive to customer perceptions and will try to
remedy the situation or compensate you in some way.
What if our photographer gets sick or has an emergency?
Most have a contract provision that says, in effect, that in such
instances they will attempt to get a substitute, but that their liability is
limited to a refund. However, realize that all the details
of your wedding involve an element of risk.
can we get the most from our photography investment?
- Establish a win-win relationship with your photographer
- List the essential and important people to be photographed
- Be on time for your portrait sessions
- Insist that your wedding party and family members be on-time
- Tell them how important your pictures are and that you consider
cooperation a personal favor to you
- Ask your guests (or have the best man do it) not to interfere with
the pro when he's doing group shots and formals
- Most importantly, ask your photographer, "What can we do in terms
of cooperation to help YOU do the best job for US?"
photographer did a great job? Is tipping appropriate?
The size of your order for additional prints is one indication of
your satisfaction. The most valuable gratuity is your recommendation of the
photographer to others. Also, a very special token of appreciation is a personal
letter of recommendation to the photographer.
or where can we learn more BEFORE MAKING A DECISION?
Work as an assistant for a photographer for a day to observe from the other
side of the camera. Take Photo 101 at a community college or seminar.