R Spears Photography | FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


 

  1. How Much Do You Charge For A Wedding?
  2. My Uncle Has A Camera...
  3. Do You Require A Deposit?
  4. Okay, I'm interested, now what?
  5. Do you do VIDEO?
  6. Do you photograph a Quinceanera?
  7. How far in advance do I need to book with you?
  8. At what point are you officially BOOKED for my wedding?
  9. How long after the engagement session/wedding will I get the proofs? Will they be viewable online?
  10. With the $800 package that has the two extra engagements sessions, does each engagement session strictly involve me and my fiance? Or can we have a bridal session and the last one could be my fiance and our 3 kids?
  11. How long after I order my photos/album will I get them?
  12. When will I receive a written contract?
  13. How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan?
  14. What is your refund/cancellation policy?
  15. Will you have backup equipment available? And what happens if you get ill?
  16. What time will you arrive and how long will you stay?
  17. Are there any additional charges not mentioned?
  18. How many photos come in each package?
  19. What type of equipment do you use?
  20. How would you describe your photography style?
  21. Do you have a portfolio that I can view? Are all the images yours? Is the work recent?
  22. Do you shoot in color or black and white?
  23. Can I give you a list of specific shots we would like?
  24. Can you put together a slideshow of the engagement session to play at the wedding?
  25. What information do I need to provide you with before the wedding day?
  26. Are you photographing other events the same day as mine?
  27. How will you be dressed?
  28. Is it okay if my Uncle Bob takes pictures while you're taking pictures?
  29. Can I customize the wedding package to fit my needs?
  30. What type of album designs do you offer?
  31. Do you provide retouching, color adjustment or other corrective services?
  32. If I want to order additional 8x10 prints how do I do it?
  33. Can I take the negatives to Walgreens and have additional prints made?
  34. Can I pay online?

Answers

 

 

  • COST -
    Wedding Vow It depends. No one likes a vague answer, but it's really the only honest one. This is why you should establish good communication with your photographer, and do a lot of planning. In this way there are no surprises, and everyone knows what is expected.

    If you've done any shopping, you're probably amazed at the variety of pricing that different photographers offer. We have several wedding 'packages' that are guaranteed to be some of the lowest pricing in the San Antonio area. Our Economy package starts at only $200.

    One prominant wedding photographer in this area charges a minimum of $5000. Are they good? Absolutely. But like many things you are paying a premium for the name at the bottom of your portrait. We are establishing our wedding business, so our prices are low. Does it affect the quality of the prints, or our professionalism? Not at all. You'll get some of the most artistic wedding photographs you've ever seen.

    The more time we spend on site, and the more time for editing will increase the price. There will also be travel expense to consider. We look forward to discussing your wedding and we will give you a fair quote.

     
  • Uncle Bob Has a Camera... Why Can't He Photograph The Wedding? --
    3 (116K) Everyone has a camera in their cell phone. Logically, you would think that photographers would be out of business. The reality is that when you book a photographer, you are booking his/her experience, and the specialized equipment. Professional photographers bring cameras and lenses that are designed to work well in low light, and still deliver a quality image that can be printed in a variety of sizes. Photographers also bring flash equipment that can handle the workload of a wedding shoot. It's not uncommon for a photographer to take over a thousand pictures in one wedding. Most point and shoot cameras don't have that capability or flash capacity.

    Most importantly, professional photographer's have the artistic eye that Uncle Bob may not have. Do you want to show your friends and family your wedding album and explain why the top of the groom's head is cut off in every picture? At R Spears Photography, we will be in the right position to take the perfect picture of the couple's first kiss. It will be focused and no one's head will be cut off.

     



  • Deposit
    Yes, we do require a small deposit. We understand that there are so many expenses for the wedding that it can be overwhelming. We can work with you on how much of a deposit is required. You will be asked to pay a $100 deposit when the booking is made. We accept cash, check, or PayPal.

     



  • Interested!
    Great! Use the Contact Form Click Here And send us an email with your wedding date range, and we'll get right back to you to let you know if we have that weekend open. We'll also set up a meeting so that we can discuss the engagement session and album options. You can also call or text at (210) 259-1385

     



  • Video?
    Right now, we're not set up, equipment-wise, to do videography at weddings. We do, however, have the ability to take small video clips at various parts of the wedding that we include in a video slideshow that is available on DVD in our Delux package. This is a GREAT item to send to relatives after the wedding or to friends who couldn't make it.

     



  • Quinceanera?
    daughter

    Yes we do! We will photograph your daughter's special day much the same way we work weddings. We will do our best to provide your family with lots of memories and great pictures of your daughter. Our Quinceanera package starts at $200. You can also add a portrait session with prints.

     
  • Advance Booking
    Ummm.... NOW. Seriously, While some of the high end expensive photographers may only shoot a handful of weddings per year, my schedule seems to fill up pretty fast. The faster you get a date booked, the sooner you can breathe a sigh of relief that you have one less thing to do as far as planning your wedding. You don't want to get caught in a situation where you have 3 months til your wedding, and all the photographers are completely booked. If you'll send me a message from my Contact Form I'll respond quickly and let you know if I'm available for the date you have your wedding planned.

     
  • When Are We BOOKED?
    A wise man once told me, it ain't official until the paperwork is finished. I wish that we lived in a time where a verbal agreement over the phone was all we needed. Unfortunately, the way I must handle this is the legal way. You don't have me officially BOOKED until we have a signed contract, and your deposit (Booking Fee) has been paid. Usually after you tell me that you have selected me as your photographer, I'll set up a meeting that is convenient where we can sign the contract, and I can collect your deposit. (If you'd like to pay in full, that is wonderful too). If you are too far away, I can send you the contract via email, and you can sign it, scan it, or snail mail it back to me. You can send me your deposit via PAYPAL.

     
  • Proofs
    Your proofs will be ready for you to view within 7 days. Usually I get them online quicker than that, but editing takes time and I want to be sure that these are quality pictures. You can view your proofs and select which proofs you want printed. If you prefer a CD to viewing them online, I can arrange that too. We can make your pictures available for your family and friends to view, or we can make them private. It's up to you.

     
  • Photo Sessions
    They are your sessions. You can pose with your fiancee, your dog, kids, it's completely up to you. A popular option is for a bride to schedule a Boudoir session for a romantic gift to her husband. You are only limited by your imagination. Hey, book an engagement session at SIX FLAGS!! I love roller coasters!

     
  • Album Arrival
    Although I use one of the largest and most professional print labs for my wedding albums, this is something that I don't have control over. Generally, the albums will ship within 7 business days from the time that I upload the pictures to them. They've never let me down... yet. I tell brides to give me at least 2 weeks to get the album to you.

     
  • Our Contract
    I've recently changed the way that I handle the wedding contract. Being the computer geek that I am, all my contracts are done electronically on my iPad. When we meet to discuss the details of the wedding, you'll sign the iPad electronically, and it emails a PDF copy of your contract with both of our signatures on it. Everything on the contract is in plain language. It's a standard contract for wedding photography.

     
  • Money
    The deposit is a non-refundable Booking Fee. It is $100. It is due the day that we sign the contract. The balance must be paid before the wedding. Yes, I do work with brides who would like to pay out the balance over time.

     
  • Refund/Cancellation Policy
    The Deposit/Booking Fee is non-refundable. Here is the wording from the contract about cancellations:

    "If Client fails to perform duties pursuant to this Agreement for any reason including, but not limited to, canceling or postponing the wedding, the retainer fee will not be refunded to Client for any reason. If Photographer is able to contract another wedding assignment of at least equivalent value for Wedding Date, and Client has made Payments in addition to the original retainer fee, Client will be refunded the full sum of the additional Payments that have been made to date. However, if there is any deficiency in the value of the new booking relative to this Agreement, or if no replacement booking has been made, Client is responsible for liquidated damages equal to the sum of the deficiency and shall make payment in full to Photographer at least 10 days prior to the previously agreed upon Wedding Date. If the liquidated damages are less than the sum of Client’s previous additional Payments, Photographer will refund the remaining balance of the Payments to Client. Photographer warrants that reasonable efforts will be made to secure a replacement assignment of at least equal value."

     

    Basically if something happens, and you need to cancel or postpone the wedding, if I can get another wedding booked for that weekend, everything is good, and you can be refunded any payment that was made after the booking deposit. If I can't book another wedding, then the client could be liable. Ugghh... Knock on Wood.
     
  • Backup Plans
    One thing I've learned over the years, is that the probability of equipment failing is directly proportional to the cost. The cheap stuff never fails. I always shoot wedding with at least two camera bodies. The probability of both cameras failing on the same night is up there with the lottery. I try to have backup spares on every piece of equipment. The other good thing is that I adapt pretty quickly, and there isn't much that can't be fixed with duct tape.

    I've also had people ask what happens if something happens to me? If I got sick, or hurt or something. Your wedding would still be beautifully photographed. I work as a team with my wife Judi, and she would take over if need be. Again, a little duct tape, and I'll be fine.
     

  • Time
    The simple answer is that we arrive early, and stay until the job is done. Even with our Budget Wedding Package, we will arrive two hours before the ceremony and begin with the preliminary photographs:... the shoes, the dress... the rings. We'll photograph the bride getting ready for her big day, getting her make-up, and her maid of honor holding her hand. We'll get the pictures of the groom getting ready and trying to remain calm. After the ceremony, we stay until everything and everyone that should be photographed... is. We want to capture the mood on the dance floor. The bouquet toss, and the first dance as husband and wife. We'll take candid shots of everyone at the reception. All the hugs, the tears, and every laugh. We get it. Some photography companies take off after the portraits are done. We stay at the party, because it's fun, and those are memories too good not to capture.

     
  • Hidden Costs
    The simple answer is There Aren't Any. The price we quote you when we first meet, is the price that you pay. Usually the only additional fee would be travel, and we'll discuss any kind of travel fee up front at our initial consultation. (There would be a travel fee if we drive greater than 50 miles from our house in Spring Branch to your location.) Each wedding package comes with our time, photography sessions, and prints. If you want additional prints, those are priced individually ala' carte.

     
  • How Many Pictures?
    We take a LOT of pictures at weddings. There's not a certain number of pictures that I try to take, or limit myself. Generally, I average between 700 and 1200 images per wedding. (That's the day of the wedding, pre-ceremony, wedding, portraits, and then reception) You'll get all of them on CD or DVD. The standard and deluxe wedding packages include 100 edited 4x6 prints of the best shots, as well as a collection of large prints. You can order additional prints at a very reasonable price.

     
  • Equipment?
    I use NIKON cameras and lenses.

     
  • Photography Style?
    I wouldn't say that my "style" could be described as being just one discipline. I like an artistic mix of Traditional "posed" shots and Photojournalism 'candid' shots. I've been told that I sort of blend into the background at the wedding, and don't make it obvious when I'm taking pictures. I love the elegant posed portraits, but I have the most fun with the candid shots. I think that's where you really capture the emotion of the wedding.

     
  • Portfolio?
    I have an online gallery and I also carry an 8x10 print portfolio where you can view some of my best work. I will have my print portfolio for you to view when we meet to discuss the details of your wedding. Yes, all the images are mine, and all are within the past year.

     
  • Color or Black and White?023 (51K)
    Since I only use digital equipment, I shoot all my pictures in vivid color. I have the ability to make any of them a stunning black and white image when I'm doing post production work on the pictures. You'll see from my portfolio that I love the dramatic look of black and white portraits.

     
  • Shot List?
    Of course you can give me a list of the shots that you want! More than likely, it's already on my list. If you've seen a picture in a magazine that inspires you, bring it with you when we have our consultation meeting! I love to get ideas from other photographers, and we'll do our best to put our own artistic spin on it so that it will be uniquely yours.

     
  • Slideshow?
    You bet we can! I can put together a great slideshow of your engagement session, and set it to your favorite music!

     
  • Information Before the Wedding
    That's a great question. We'll go over much of this when we meet for our consultation. I'll need the name and phone number of the minister or judge who will be doing the ceremony. I always check to see what kind of rules he/she has concerning photography during the ceremony. I'll also need the names and numbers of the maid of honor and the best man in case I need something and can't get in touch with the bride or groom. I'll need the address and the phone number for the facility where the wedding and the reception will take place. I'll visit it prior to the wedding date to see what kind of light there is, and the best areas for me to take pictures from. I'll keep in touch with the bride and groom in the days before the wedding to get any last minute changes or concerns.

     
  • Any Other Events That Day?
    No. When I have a wedding, I don't plan on doing anything else that day. I'll spend the morning checking all my equipment and loading it up. Only a crazy person would double book two events the same day!

     
  • Dressed Appropriately?
    I'll be wearing all dark clothing. My usual wedding attire consists of a black tuxedo jacket, black shirt, and black tuxedo pants with black dress shoes. an old pro photographer told me a long time ago not to wear a white shirt because it can cause reflections in the photograph.

     
  • Okay if Uncle Bob Takes Pictures?
    I would be HONORED to take pictures alongside with Uncle Bob! Seriously, my only rule is that there can not be any other professional photographer at the same event. It's not a pride issue, it's just practical sense. I don't want to have to compete with someone to be in the perfect spot to capture an essential picture like the first kiss or the first dance. Too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the soup as they say... Just remind Uncle Bob that I have a job to do, and ask him not to stand in my way.

     
  • Customize my Wedding Package?
    Certainly! I've put the wedding packages together that seem like the most popular options. You are more than welcome to add more prints, or add an additional photo session for a small fee. Let me know what items you wish to add during our consultation meeting, and I'll let you know up front what the total package price will be that is perfect for your needs.

     
  • Wedding Album Options?album (22K)
    I use a variety of vendors for my wedding albums. We can make it as fancy or as simple as you like. You can leave the design up to me, or you can be involved in the design of the album. You can order an album with only 10 pages, or 100. You can make the cover embossed leather, or metal. Check out the variety of album designs and options on our Products Page.

     
  • Retouching?
    Yes! I've been fortunate enough to have people tell me that I'm very good at retouching and correcting photographs. There's literally nothing that is impossible when it comes to Photoshop. I can change your hair color, your eye color, I can make you taller or shorter, and perfect skin. Retouching is included on a certain number of your prints and enlargements.

     
  • Ordering Additional Prints?
    All you have to do is send me an email with the file name of the print that you want, and the size. Your family and friends can also order prints from me if you'd like.

     
  • Prints at Walgreens?
    Yes. You'll receive original high resolution versions of the pictures on a CD. You can take them to any lab to have prints made. I'll also give you a letter that some labs require to re-print wedding photos.

     
  • Pay Online?
    That's not a problem. We accept PayPal for your booking deposit, and you can also make payments toward your wedding package online.