Frequently Asked Questions
All the details about Photography by Erin Leigh Weddings
- My goal is always to approach each event as unique, looking for and capturing genuine moments to tell your story in a timeless, beautiful way with photos that not only take you back to a time and place, but transport you to an even softer, more beautiful version of it.
- My portraits are gently styled without feeling overly posed, creating an artistic, effortless elegance.
- My clients tell me that my approach to weddings makes them, their families, and their friends feel relaxed and calm. I speak up and give plenty of direction when needed, while still allowing moments to unfold and be captured naturally.
- Clean and rich colors.
I aim for timeless, understated elegance. Trends come and go, and overly stylized images can quickly become dated. I shoot the feeling of each particular wedding day to capture the essence of my couple and process my imagery with a classic, timeless approach as opposed to succumbing to industry trends so that my photographs will still hold their power in 25 years.
- The ability to embrace the natural flow, pace and energy of each wedding while always finding the most creative and emotive viewpoint of the moment. The result is a visual story that artistically and uniquely reflects the true personality and individuality of each couple’s wedding. I have a dynamic style that adapts to the rhythm of the day; delicate when elegant; energetic when celebrations begin. My portraits are the perfect balance of editorial and intimate.
- My experience and personality; having shot hundreds of weddings, I can calmly but quickly assess every scene in a way that achieves the results my clients enjoy. Also, my love of travel and documenting new places is leading to a growing number of destination weddings.
- From the second I pick up my camera, my goal is to make people in front of it feel beautiful and comfortable. I bring encouragement and positivity that help settle the butterflies, direction when needed, subtlety when a moment unexpectedly unfolds – and a good time when the music starts. I love to represent both the formality of the occasion and those off-guard moments which truly reflect the spirit of the event.
- Experience has allowed me to become good in less than ideal shooting conditions.
- I love easy-going, stylish couples with creative minds, who trust my eye with no hesitation and are looking for photographs with a timeless style. Having that connection where a client just gets it really lends to an environment for me to create my best work.
- The artist. The entrepreneur. The athlete. The virtuoso. The dreamer. Within a diverse scope of vocations, my clients have one strand of commonality: a desire for beautiful imagery, precision, and artistic authenticity.
- Couples with a good sense of humor are my favorites. Having fun together is always the best!
- A couple who is truly in love and radiate happiness – and who can be vulnerable enough to show it. I tend to fall in love with very small and intimate weddings. At those events, I have the chance to fully immerse myself around the couple’s family and friends, and that leads to extremely intimate and amazing imagery.
- I love venues where dreamy landscapes and archaic venues collide; rich textures, natural light reminiscent of an Italian Renaissance painting, and bold botanical fashions all light up the artist in me.
- I am an artist first, and am constantly evaluating composition, light, and nuances of gestures as I shoot. I want images to have balance and feel very real with a hint of curated artistry.
- The months of extensive research and strategic planning I do prior to the wedding. I prepare in every way possible to get to know my clients and maximize opportunities for beautiful photography and create a seamless client experience. I also offer my couples direction and guidance on lighting, clothing, create them a custom timeline and more to provide the best experience possible.
- I welcome diverse environments and the challenges that come with them. From beaches to cathedrals, I embrace each individual location with a fresh set of eyes and try to visually tell the story of each event. I’ve been photographing for over a decade and have traveled coast to coast for my amazing clients.
- I know how to navigate a wedding day.
- I go into each wedding with a blank slate, ready to document the day that plays out in front of me. Inspiration comes from the people, the light, the way the wind is carrying the bride’s veil, the way the grandmother smiles at the ring bearer – all things that are unique to the day, and can’t be planned. I’m always looking for that magic.
- I wear many hats the day of the wedding because I’ve seen it all: I pin boutonnieres, place and remove veils, bustle dresses, and I can’t even tell you how many pictures I’ve taken with iphones for guests at weddings – and I love it all because it just makes the day that much sweeter for everyone!
How many photos will I receive?
- Every wedding and shoot is unique, but you can expect to receive an average of 100 photos per hour of coverage (and a minimum of 50 photos/hour).
- Turnaround time for engagement session photos is approximately 2-3 weeks. For wedding photos, you can expect your full gallery to be ready in 4-6 weeks.
Have you shot at my venue before?
- I’ve shot at dozens of venues over the years, so there’s a good chance I have. However, if I have not, I do research prior to your big day and if your photography is beginning at the venue, I will get there early on the day of to perform a walk-through to scout out the best photography locations. Since a large part of my work is dependent on lighting conditions that day, there’s no need for me to visit the site prior to the wedding day. I actually love new environments – they keep me feeling inspired and give my work a fresh and cultured point of view.
My venue is very dark. Can you handle this?
- Of course! Weddings introduce a whole range of tough lighting situations. I have shot in the darkest of dark churches and reception halls so no need to worry! If the situation allows, I will set up additional lighting to ensure you get the best results. Most churches do not allow for flash photography during the ceremony; and for that reason, I shoot on cameras with superb low-light performance and high-quality lenses.
Can I see a full wedding start to finish?
- Of course you may! I pride myself on the consistency of my work. I understand all photographers post their best shots from each wedding on their websites so it’s hard to determine how well he or she will perform on the wedding day. That is why I encourage all of my potential couples to view full weddings from all photographers they meet with to see how well the photographer performs throughout the day. When you see a wedding photographer who claims to be a natural light photographer, be sure to see examples from receptions that they’ve done! You can view my full client galleries at https://clients.photographybyerinleigh.com/
- I provide photography only. I prefer to do the absolute best job I can and provide the highest quality of work for you, and there is no way that I could do that if I were trying to do two things at the same time. I am solely focused at your wedding on capturing beautiful photos that you will preserve in your album and frame on your walls. I would be more than happy to give you referrals of excellent videographers who share a similar mindset.
Do you offer portrait sessions?
- Yes! I offer lifestyle sessions for maternity, newborn, family, and high school seniors. Portrait session information can be found at www.photographybyerinleigh.com.
Post Production Questions
Do you deliver every image you shoot?
- No, I do not. I eliminate duplicate images, test shots, shots with bad expressions and other images that may dilute the overall product quality. For example, because I shoot with low apertures, sometimes I take a few extra shots to make sure I have the perfect focus. I don’t expect you to have the expertise or the time to zoom into each image to select the one with the sharpest focus – that’s why you’re paying me to spend hours doing it on my end! In another example, candid laughs and emotional tears are some of the best images from the day. Unfortunately, they can also yield some unflattering facial expressions. I might snap a few extras of any of these moments to make sure I have a great shot with the ideal expression for the moment. With my expertise of processing hundreds of thousands of images each year, I may eliminate ones that I feel are duplicates and only deliver the best one. Your final gallery will end up with approximately 100 images per hour of coverage.
Do you edit every image you deliver?
- Yes. Every image I deliver is edited with my unique signature style of post-production. This involves color correction, exposure adjustment, selective black and white processing, clarity adjustments, tone-mapping, and other corrections. (Many photographers will not post produce any images, or will only post produce “select” images from your wedding. This means that you may have pictures that are too dark, have strange skin tones or other common photography flaws).
What’s the difference between signature editing & retouching?
- Every image I deliver is edited with my unique signature style of post-production. This involves color correction, exposure adjustment, selective black and white processing, clarity adjustments, tone-mapping, and other corrections. Retouching goes a step further and includes touch-ups such as removal of blemishes, removal of bags under eyes, removal of fly-away hairs, exit signs, etc. Retouching is complimentary on any printed products that you order through me, including prints and albums. If you want a digital photo retouched that isn’t going in your album or being ordered through me, that can be done for a per image fee.
You can photoshop that, right?
- Please see previous question about editing and retouching… More advanced and complex requests that require extensive, custom work in Photoshop such as removing entire objects from the scene, changing the size and shape of body parts or other objects in the scene, adding objects to a scene and other custom work can be specially requested on a per photo basis. Please contact me for a quote on any custom post-production.
Insurance & Backup
How do you keep my images safe?
- I have never lost an image from an event due to my following backup workflow. During the event, I use 2 cameras that each shoot onto 2 cards at the same time. This instantly creates a backup of every image in the camera. Afterwards, I save the images to a local server set up in a RAID configuration, as well as copy them to an online storage site. At any given point before delivery of the images, there are at least two copies of the files in separate locations.
Do you have liability insurance?
Booking & Payment
How far in advance should I book?
- On average, my couples book me 12-15 months before their wedding day, although I also book a lot of weddings that are only a few months out if I’m still available. My calendar does fill up quickly since I only book one wedding per day, and I cannot hold dates, so I recommend booking as soon as you can once you have a date and venue locked in.
You’re the photographer for us! How do we reserve our wedding date?
- Great! The next step is to email me to see if I’m available for your date. Then, if you’d like to get together for coffee or a glass of wine and see some of my albums and make sure we’re a good fit, we’ll get that on the calendar. If you know I just HAVE to be your photographer though, you’re welcome to request a contract right away. In order to be officially locked in with me, I require a signed contract and a $1000 retainer fee (can be split over 2 months) to hold your date (both of these things can be done online to make it easy for you). I can’t wait to work with you!
- A $1000 non-refundable retainer fee is required in order to reserve your date (can be split over 2 months). Both of these payments are deducted from your total cost and the remaining balance is due 2 months prior to the wedding date.
- Sure! I know having large amounts due can be tough, especially when there are so many of them for a wedding! You can make payments at any time leading up to the wedding, as long as it’s paid in full within 2 months of the wedding.
What Sets Me Apart?
There are a lot of good photographers out there, but what I bring to the table is my technical knowledge, calm energy, and always putting people first. This creates an atmosphere where my clients trust me and are comfortable and can relax in front of the camera.
I have a rare combination of creative and technical knowledge and skill, each of which have an invaluable position in wedding photography. No matter the circumstances — from shooting in harsh noon light to backlit sunset images to setting up technically complex/beautiful lighting for the reception — I’m able to do so in a relaxed, positive manner with a reputation for showcasing each wedding at its absolute best.
I believe my calming energy and my ease helps me to stand out as someone who can calm the nerves and reduce stress around an already demanding day. Wedding photography is a delicate job. We witness situations that require tact and good judgement. Trust between client and photographer is crucial, and I pride myself on the bonds I form with each of my couples – and their family and friends.
The people always come before the photograph for me. That motivation has enabled me to develop genuine connections with the people I photograph and allows us to work together with ease. The more I know about them, the better I can do my job. What they love inspires me to capture their day in the best way possible.
I tried to make this FAQ page as thorough as possible so that you should have a really good idea of what to expect. If you still have questions though, please ask and I’d love to help!