I will be your best friend-or (a vendor that becomes a friend). After 10+ years of working, I have seen it all, and then some. Below are some answers to FAQs and the best tips I can give to you so that you have the best fu#%*ng day ever.
That perfect gentle breeze that blows a strand of hair, the warm, sunny glow that warms you, the sounds of laughter and joy; the moments that will carry on when you step into the frame.
We're here for those fleeting moments. Those little in-betweens that make up the whole of your wedding day.
The more prepared the better off we are. I believe that the months leading up to your wedding are some of the most important. We will collaborate closely and create an open line of communication about what you love. Your wedding day is unique to you and your images will be an authentic representation of your wedding day.
What should we invest?
I have learned that every couple and their celebration is unique. Because of this, I quote every event & photoshoot on an individual basis. Connect with me through the contact form, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call me at 949-939-3039, heck, even dm me on instagram @leilabrewster and I can send you an investment guide of services that I offer.
I am so happy you asked. I think wedding videography is an invaluable investment, only to be realized the day after your wedding. I think it should be a completely separate business from photography. Elysium Productions filmed my wedding and it was easily one of the best investments my husband and I made.
YEP! Once you receive my investment guide, please let me know the individual items that best suit what you are hoping to receive in terms of deliverables. I will follow up with a tailored collection for you to review.
Once you have your date and custom collection, I will send a contract through an online portal for your review. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the legalese. I kindly ask that you return your signed contract within one week to ensure that your date is secured. With contract signing and 50 percent retainer, your wedding date is officially booked! YAY! The final balance is due 30 days prior to your wedding date.
I work with a second photographer who doubles as an assistant. My team is critical to how I cover events and they are so much more than just a second photographer to me. Throughout the wedding day, my team covers everything from getting ready to reception, but there are little pockets of time when they help me with gear & lighting or helping me prepare for the next segment of the day. Depending on the size of the event, additional teammates will be added on as needed.
Travel is not included in the initial investment guide, but some areas are frequented and considered home, so just ask! As each couple's needs are unique, I'd love to learn more about your wedding plans and what you need photographed. I then customize a quote and add it to your collection. I prefer to handle all of my own travel plans as I have status with airlines and hotels and have waived baggage fees.
Both! I'm what the wedding industry calls a hybrid photographer. By being well-versed in both mediums, I can apply my knowledge to the event and select the best option based on different factors, such as lighting and weather. I would say I use film about 85% of the time - filling in with digital where I see fit. I do carry both of my cameras on me throughout the day, so not a moment will go undocumented. After your wedding, all film and digital are edited for a cohesive gallery of artful wedding photos.
It's good luck, remember? While rain on your wedding day is supposed to be lucky, I understand that it's not what we typically hope for (I sure didn't for my own al-fresco wedding...). I do suggest purchasing a couple of clear umbrellas to have on hand, just in case. We know we can't control the weather, so I work to navigate different weather situations by working with your planner and venue to come up with alternative plans. No stress, some of my favorite images have come from the unexpected.
Yes and no. I recommend bringing to my attention any special family and friends, family heirlooms & details, or any surprises that may happen (feel free to let me know separately as couples often do surprise each other). I love to create new photos, to catch those fleeting in-between moments, capturing the day in its true and raw beauty. I work my hardest to create images that YOU will LOVE and to create images that will represent you and your beauty and love & light. So let the creative process be open and free on your wedding day. Enjoy your moments for they are truly yours.
One of the reasons why I love working with film so much is that skin tones are luminous - that external glow. I can photograph many skin tones at one time, making sure that every person is represented as accurately as possible. By doing this, all of the other colors fall into place. The final set of images are corrected for color and exposure. Each delivered image will have gone through a basic retouching, removing distracting elements such as blemishes or outlets and exit signs, whenever possible. Your final set of images will be heirloom quality and will represent your love.
I do offer additional professional retouching for any extensive requests. For this, I will provide a quote before any additional work begins.
I ask for twelve weeks to edit and deliver your viewing gallery, often delivering in under six weeks. The viewing gallery is where you can see your wedding pictures and order prints & products. These images are your final wedding photos, aside from any additional editing requests.
On your six-month anniversary, I mail you your USB of images. There are no watermarks on the images and you are free to make your own prints & products, however you see fit.
If you have pre-purchased an album, we work closely to finalize those details. There is a six-week lead time from finalization to delivery - please keep that in mind if you intend to gift the album.
I've been taught that we don't let our jpegs grow up to be jpegs. I love photography for the ability to create tangible elements out of intangible moments. One of the best ways to display your wedding photos is with an heirloom album. Your custom album is a handcrafted labor of love using the finest archival materials available that will have you reliving your wedding day again & again. We can get creative by in-laying your handwritten vows or your invitation suite, to custom covers & engravings. Each page will tell your story and nothing goes to print until you sign off. I look forward to creating a visual story of your wedding day.
Remember, have fun together. Those three words will ensure you have the most beautiful wedding photos ever. The months of planning, the many conversations, the cake tastings - your wedding day is today! You have hired a team of friend-ors to execute your vision. Everything is where it should be and your family & friends are here to celebrate you and your love. Take moments through the day to watch and to breathe it in. My team will be there so that you visually remember these moments for the rest of your life, but they are second to none your own memories. I love building in little bits of time so that you can sneak away and watch for a few minutes and to really be with each other. My couples often say these little moments together are some of their favorites.
Your engagement session is the perfect chance for us to get to know each other! I get to see how you two love each other and you get to see how I work to capture the moments. This session is the perfect time to see what makes you smile the most and which side you may prefer. We can let our imaginations run free, you can become more comfortable in front of the camera - that way on the wedding day you can focus on being in the moments.
The engagement session is a great time to do a hair & make-up trial so that you can have a general idea of how you will look on your wedding day.
One of the best things you can do for your own wedding day peace-of-mind is to a hire a seasoned planner. I say seasoned here because it is important to hire someone that knows what they're doing and what everyone else is doing. They are on the front lines, they manage the time, and they manage the caterers so that everyone is fed on time - we all know what happens when we aren't fed on time... ;) This allows all of your vendors to focus on what they do best.
A great planner can elevate your wedding vision beyond your wildest dreams and allows you to enjoy your little fleeting moments.
Typically, I arrive about ninety minutes before you get dressed in your wedding clothes. This is the perfect time to have any details set aside you want me to photograph - heirloom pieces, jewelry, your invitation suite, dress, shoes, welcome bag, etc... When looking for a getting ready space, I recommend looking for a space that is bright and spacious with plenty of windows - your make-up artist and I love that natural light.
I suggest couples to consider seeing each other before the ceremony for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we will have more time to create beautiful portraits of you and those closest to you in natural daylight. Secondly, this will give you and your favorite people a chance to enjoy cocktail hour - one of my personal favorite times of the wedding day to photograph, so much so that I nicknamed it smile-hunting hour. Don't worry, in my timelines, I build in a spot of time where we can sneak off during sunset for some romantic & dreamy portraits.
Creating a realistic & un-rushed timeline is the key ingredient for a relaxing and stress-free wedding day.
Cell phones and iPads often come out just at the right time. I'm being a little sarcastic here... You're coming down the aisle and there are at least 10 rows of guests on either side all with their devices photographing you. These devices end up being in your wedding photos, blocking the faces of your family & friends and sometimes, even you. I highly encourage you to have your guests silence & put away their devices and to watch & feel your ceremony.
Ask your officiant to make an announcement just before the start of your ceremony reminding guests to silence and put away their devices.
Have the time of your life.