Q. Do you have wedding packages other than packages with albums?
A: Yes I do! However, I highly suggest getting a regular package because they not only cover the whole day, but include the album at a significant discount off of the a-la-carte price. Otherwise all you will have will be digital files. End goal is some sort of actual product that you can look at and pass on. A flash drive WILL go bad or obsolete. A print or album lasts more than 100 years. That said, if you are insistent that you don’t need anything but digital files, you can still contact me and get a package that does not include anything but digitals. All album packages will also include digital photos.
Q. How long have you been doing this professionally?
A: I started doing weddings in early 2012 and I have shot over 120 weddings since then on my own and for other photographers.
Q. How many weddings do you do per year?
A: Each year I photograph approximately 20-30 weddings all over Michigan.
Q. What makes you different from other photographers?
A: 1. I’m a full-service photographer with lots of product options available to order.
2. I have 7 full years of wedding photography experience and have been trained by not only active local photographers who continue to work in the field, but also some of the top photographers in the United States, including Michael Anthony (Los Angeles), Salvatore Cincotta (St. Louis), Bambi Cantrell (Los Angeles), Susan Stripling (NYC), and Scott Robert Lim (Los Angeles). I invest in continual education both by attending seminars and live training sessions by industry experts, but also continual online education. I’m a huge HUGE believer in continual education in an industry that continues to change and evolve as technology evolves. These names may not mean a whole lot to you, but these are some of the best working wedding photographers in the country.
3. I have high end gear that I know how to use. My lighting rig is hands down a lot more complete than almost every other photographer in West Michigan has. This is how I’m able to get you those incredible wide and dramatic images with colorful and dramatic skies (not white and blown out). I’m also able to fully light your wedding reception, no matter how dark it is, or take photos of you at high noon outdoors without having strange shadows all over you. I don’t put flash on everything, but I know when it is going to take certain photos to a level that could not be attained with just natural light. Usually the photos I’m finding out really drew people to my work are the ones where I’ve used a very specific lighting technique that almost no one around here is replicating.
4. I truly love what I do. This is not just a paycheck for me. I care about your wedding and I want to get you the types of photos that make YOU happy.
Q. Do you do destination weddings?
A: Actually a lot of the weddings I do are destination weddings that people from other states do here, usually on the lakeshore or Mackinac Island. Yes, I will go to other states as well. Just inquire for a quote!
Q. Do I get to own the copyright on my photos?
A: This one always seems to confuse people so here’s the simple answer. I took the photos so the copyright remains with me (as it would if say an artist painted a picture and you bought it). What you will get is a print release, so that you are able to make prints for personal use, if you desire. You just can’t sell the photos, or give them to other parties to publish in any manner, without written permission from me. If you want to try to get them published in a bridal magazine or blog, I would be happy to help you with that.
Q. What kind of gear do you use?
A: At minimum I use 2 camera bodies, with my main being a Canon 5D Mark III, which produce photos with incredible sharpness and detail so that you can print them to large wall sizes with no loss in quality. I use an assortment of lenses which include some of Canon's finest L-series lenses and Sigma Art series lenses. This ensures that you will get everything from stunning wide angle shots of the church/venue all the way to stunning close-up shots of your rings. I have a high end Profoto lighting rig that is powerful enough for me to get you beautifully exposed photos whether it is high noon on the beach or pitch black in a basement. I use natural light whenever possible, but use lighting if I feel it will enhance the look of the photos. Should I ever decide to switch gear, it would always be to something newer, with a higher resolution, and better features, as technology does continually change.
Q. How long does it take to get my pictures back?
A: You will have a reveal and ordering session 3 weeks after the wedding date. In the rare chance of a delay, you will be notified at least 72 hours prior and will be able to set up a later reveal session. During this session, you will be able to choose photo products and albums. Albums arrive approximately 4 weeks after final image and layout approval and payment. Prints are typically available within 2 weeks of the reveal and ordering session and payment. Digitals files are delivered at the end of the reveal and ordering session. If you do not live in the Muskegon area or are unable to do a reveal session here, I also offer Skype reveal sessions.
Q. How many pictures do I get?
A: This depends on the wedding but usually for 8 hours of coverage I deliver on average 500-800 photos. If you love to have photos taken of yourself and frequently pose and smile, you will get more photos. If you are the type that feels weird about yourself in photos and don't want to pose for very many, you obviously will get less. This is why it is critical to have at least an hour of time that is dedicated to just photos of the bride and groom and wedding party. Basically the more "photo ops" you have, the more photos you will get. Weddings that have a lot of special or traditional elements like cake cuttings, bouquet toss, special dances, etc tend to get the most photos. Working with us on your timeline will also ensure that we have the time to set up properly to deliver the best quality photos to you.
Q. Do I get all of the photos that are taken?
A: When I take photos, I often take a lot of extras to ensure that I’m not getting a weird facial expression or blinking. I choose the very best of each pose and anything that I feel is up to professional standards gets delivered. I do not deliver photos of closed eyes, turned heads, and anything that is unflattering if I am already delivering a similar photo to it.
Q. Can I order a digital package and wait to order an album after the wedding?
A: Yes. The only thing is that my albums are discounted when purchased with a package. So if you’re thinking you eventually might want an album, its a significant savings to get it with a package.
Q. What happens if you can't make it to my wedding?
A: I take wedding bookings very seriously and do everything in my power to not miss them. The only force that could pry me away from your wedding would be severe illness or a family emergency. This has never happened to me yet (knock on wood!) but I do network with several other photographers with a similar style to mine who likely would fill in and take over the wedding. I actually shot 2 weddings during one weekend in 2015 when I had a wicked case of strep throat (Didn't know it was strep till I went to the med center after the 2nd wedding). I had my second shooter take over a few more of the lead responsibilities and I made sure not to touch anyone and washed my hands a lot. We photographers have each others' backs when it comes to emergencies and tragedies as well, so if the situation arises where I just cannot make it, there is a backup plan in place.
Q. Who is your 2nd photographer? Can they go photograph one thing while you do another?
A: If you book a package with a 2nd photographer, I choose from a handful of other photographers that I know who have similar gear and talent as myself. Some of them have been working with me for 2-5 years. I make my decision on a second based on not only who is available on your wedding date, but also your priorities. If big wide shots are your priority, I get someone who excels at that. If you really love lots of little detail photos, I get someone who excels at that. I do not send my second photographers off to photograph things alone, other than occasionally the groom and groomsmen getting ready. They are with me to get extra angles and perspectives, and to do some light assisting. I’m often asked if they will do reception details while I do formals, but I have a unique lighting style for reception details that others have not been able to replicate. If this is not important you, I can occasionally make exceptions, but I do not normally do that.
Q. Can I see a full wedding?
A: Yes of course! Just let me know and I can send you links!
Q. Can I split the hours in a package? I expect downtime during the day when you can take a break.
A: Unfortunately, no. Long story short, I cannot schedule anything during a partial-day break. I’m still there for you on your big day, and breaks are often used to set up lights, plan the next location, and take photos of the venue and decorations. I can work with you to plan the most efficient timeline that allows downtime without having excessively long breaks during the day. So for that reason, hours are always continuous.
Q. Are you insured?
A: Yes! I have a policy that covers liability. If your venue requests proof, please have them contact me and I will get them the necessary paperwork.
Q. Do you have “All Day” Packages?
A: Real talk. Out of the 100+ weddings I’ve photographed, I’ve never actually been needed more than 12 hours. The VAST majority of time, 10 hours is more than enough. 10 hours IS all day. Its 11 or 12AM till 9 or 10PM. Its enough time to get everything from hair and makeup till sunsets and drunken dancing. I have done “all day” packages in the past, and they’ve always wound up being about 10 hours. No one has ever put photos of themselves eating breakfast into their album, and usually everyone hides from the camera until they look presentable.
Q. Do you do packages that include video?
A: Although Crystal V Photography does not have a dedicated videographer on staff, we have favorite videographers that do an amazing job that I’m happy to recommend and work out a bundle deal with them. The reason we do not currently have exclusive photo and video packages is because we feel the quality of photography is much higher when any photography business focuses solely on taking still photos, rather than trying to juggle both services. If you are just looking for a short montage of video clips with a song, we have some options that may work for you. Please ask us. There are some simpler video options available that we can handle, but we leave the heavier stuff to videographers who specialize in the craft.
Q. So I like your work, and I want to book. What do I do?
A: Email me through the contact form on this website or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know which package you want or if you are thinking something different. I will be happy to e-mail, call, skype, or meet in person… whatever makes you the most comfortable. Contracts and invoices are done online for your convenience.