Why do you broadcast your faith on your photography business website?
Our faith in Christ is what makes us who we are. We are not ashamed of it. It shapes the way we run our lives and the integrity we hold in our business. Our faith is what drives us to treat our clients right and it ensures we deliver high quaility work to every family we serve! God is the one who gave us this talent, and granted our ability to start a photography business. After all, our business name is a tribute to our faith in Christ as the only true way to God. But we still find it a joy to photograph families and couples even if they don’t hold our same convictions!
How come you don’t sell prints to your photographs?
It is much more affordable for families to order their own prints than to pay a photographer to do so. Our goal here is to save you money. If you’d like, we can recommend affordable ways of printing your pictures.
What are your hidden costs?
We have none. We are totally up front with you in what we charge. The only additional cost is travel and lodging if applicable. Oh, and we ask to be fed during the reception. Food is a high priority for Michel 🙂
What are your travel fees?
My wife and I will travel just about anywhere to do your photo shoot so long as time and scheduling allows!
The first 15 miles of travel are included in all of our shoots and wedding coverage. If we calculate that our driving distance is more than 15 miles, we charge $1.00 per additional mile. We will always let you know ahead of time what the travel cost will be!
What will you be wearing on our wedding day?
Some photographers pride themselves in the fact that they will show up to your wedding wearing a suit and tie and look like one of the guests. Sorry, but that’s not us. Not that we’re going to show up wearing a pair of sandals, surfer shorts and a tank top, either. We’ll wear clothes that are professional, but casual. Why? Because personally we’re not going to let our clothes get in the way of the photographs we need to take for you. Michel is often climbing things (all the time, in fact) and getting low on the dancefloor to get the photos you want. It simply wouldn’t be smart if we did that wearing a suit and tie. The clothes we wear on your wedding day should not be more important than the quality of work we deliver to you!
What’s your personality like while you shoot?
On a wedding day, Michel is madly focused on getting every shot. And Heather is awesome at strategizing, posing couples and holding Michel back when he goes a little bonkers with his ideas. Michel is a workaholic, but he loves having fun with the bride and groom and making the whole bridal party feel at ease with him. We like to joke around, poke fun at ourselves and make you guys laugh when things get a little stressful. Michel will even bust a move or two (badly so) when the music is on so that your guests won’t feel so apprehensive about their own dancing… but he always keeps the camera at the ready. Always. We like to get the job done, and do it right.
When we photograph families, we especially love interacting with the kids and joke around with them. We’re like the crazy aunt and uncle with the camera your kids love, except our pictures actually turn out good.
What makes you different from other Pittsburgh photographers?
I have been a photojournalist for several years now with the U.S. Army & have worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. My goal is to capture all the moments as they happen, while combining a touch of modern and traditional style in my posed portraits. Many photographers tend to stick to a formula that they’ve established, but we try to include something new and creative on every photo shoot we do!
Where did you study photography?
I never went to school for photography. I learned photography with a Nikon camera in my hands, with a desire to learn everything I could. My experience comes from more than 7 years in the Army Public Affairs as a photojournalist and with shooting photography for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In 2008, I deployed to Iraq and came back with more than 10,000 photos I took with professional Nikon equipment.
How many pictures do you take?
During our portrait session, you will receive between 100-250 photos. Compare that to a photo shoot at the mall photographer where you pay for each picture, and it’s easy to see why we’re such a great value.
In our 8-hour package we typically deliver a thousand images (often more), all of which are professionally retouched. Think of that! A thousand images. If you were to print all of your wedding photos as 4×6 frames, there would be enough photos to cover every inch of every floor of a 1,500 square foot home!
Do you work well with other Wedding Vendors, such as the DJ and Videographer?
Absolutely! The DJ is always our go-to guy during the reception to make sure we syncronize everything together. We give them a heads up of what we’re about to do, and we touch base with them frequently since they’re usually in charge of the events list.
Also, we’ve worked with a few videographers at weddings, and it’s never been a problem. We have a high respect for the work videographers do, and we try to make friends right away to make sure we don’t mess any of their shots. Usually it’s a pretty simple solution for us to maneuver so we’re not in eachother’s way. We understand that you hired a Videographer for a reason, so if we make them unhappy, we’ll probably make you unhappy, too!
Can my mom/parents come to our consultation meeting?
Moms (and parents) are always, ALWAYS welcome at our consultation meetings. If your mom has any concerns or questions, we love making sure that she feels just as comfortable and reassured about us as you are.
But just remember, you’re the bride, so we’re there to serve you first and foremost. If you and your mom should disagree on something, our goal is to satisfy you. Just make sure you make decisions based on your own vision and desires for your wedding day. We’ll make sure we help you form that vision and match it with our style of photography.
Can I provide a list of photo ideas we like?
Absolutely! We encourage brides to give us their ideas. But don’t worry, because we’ll come armed with plenty of ideas of our own. Every wedding and photo shoot we do gives us new ideas to try out. Our goal on each shoot is to create images with you that we’ve never done before with any other client. We love to flex our creative muscle with each shoot!
How would you describe your photographic style?
We do all of our family sessions with a photojournalistic mindset. This means that our goal is to capture all of the candid and natural moments and to tell a story with the pictures we take. For our wedding photography, we use this style to catch the events of your day, but we also blend a touch of both traditional and modern photography into our style. Our modern style strives for energy, creativity and a fresh look, while we also maintain a traditional beauty and glamor to your portraits.
When it comes to posing, we aim for creativity. We do quite a bit of posing, but we always aim to capture a natural quality to the way we photograph. A lot of the times, we simply tell you, “Forget we’re here. Flirt a little. Ignore us!” These often capture the best moments!
Who will be shooting our portraits?
Heather and I do almost every wedding and photoshoot together. Only during specific circumstances (such as Military obligations or Pregnancy) do we hire another shooter to help us with our photos. We only work with photographers we trust and whose quality guarantees that we can deliver you with our best work! Heather and I are still the core and the heart of our photography business, and our goal is to work together in capturing your images. On certain photo sessions, we may have only one of us conduct the shoot.
Can I keep the raw images?
We believe that a self-respecting photographer should deliver only quality and finished work. We retouch every image that we deliver to you to ensure the color, contrast and vibrance is perfect to send to print. Often we include different edits of the same image to give you some variety and options, but we never give clients the “raw” photo that came straight out of the camera. We believe that this practice is highly unprofessional.
That would be like going to a fine restaurant and receiving a plate with all the ingredients tossed somewhere on the plate without any care for presentation. Or worse, ordering a meal, and it arrives to the table uncooked!
We spend hours and hours after the wedding is over to make sure we give you the highest quality images, and that they are professionally retouched and cared for.
How long does it take to receive our images?
We are insanely obsessed with the photos we take. Well, Michel is definitely more insaneabout it than Heather is. Often, we want to go straight to work on the images right after a shoot!
We don’t rush the editing process, but we do work quickly because of the work flow we have established and the editing software we use. Our goal is to deliver the photo disk from a regular shoot in less than two weeks, and the photo disks from a wedding in less than a month. We don’t guarantee this timeline because it often depends on how many other photo shoots we have the same month (some months are way busier than others), but this time frame is definitely our goal!
What kind of equipment do you use?
We work with with Nikon professional DSLR cameras and fast glass lenses. We have two bags full of lenses and flashes that we take to each wedding.
We also have some lighting gear and stands that help us take some phenomenal photos on the dance floor of your reception!
What are your standard payment terms?
We accept checks or cash. We require a 20-percent deposit upon signing the contract to reserve your wedding day. You can pay the rest in various payments or in one lump sum. We require that the full payment is received at least 2 weeks prior to your wedding date.
What is a “Rock the Dress” or “Trash the Dress” session?
This photo session can be a lot of fun! Usually, it’s for the adventurous and fearless at heart! After your wedding day, you may want to do a last “Hoorah!” with your dress and rock it out one more time.
It could be in the streets of Downtown Pittsburgh or maybe a crazy jump into the middle of a swimming pool. Whatever the case, this is an opportunity to take photos you would never dare to take on your wedding day at the risk of getting the dress dirty or torn. “Rock the Dress” is usually more glamorous in style, while “Trash the Dress” is your opportunity to make a mess and come away with some fun, energetic and artistic shots! This is especially great if you didn’t have a ton of time for photos on your wedding day, or worse, you hired a photographer you later regretted. Didn’t get the photos you wanted? Here’s your chance!
Is it required to meet in person before our wedding?
We believe that hiring a photographer is different from most other services you pay for. You should feel comfortable and at ease with the photographer you hire. Our goal is to build a rapport and relationship with you. It’s also important for us to get to know you so we can serve you better. We want to deliver photographs that will make you cry with joy! Our initial consultations usually last about an hour, but we like to think of it as an opportunity to get to know each other over coffee. There’s plenty of great coffee shops in the Pittsburgh area, and that’s usually the setting we choose to keep things as casual and pressure free as possible.
Are you going to pressure us into hiring you as our photographer?
Absolutely not! You will not believe how pressure-free we are until you actually get to meet with us! In fact, we don’t even sign a contract or ask you to commit to ANYTHING on our first meeting! We encourage you to meet with at least two or three photographers before you finally make your decision. Look around the web and pick the best photographer for you! We even have photography friends we suggest to clients if we’re unavailable.
I remember when I was shopping for Heather’s engagement ring, I almost bought the wrong ring three different times because of the high-pressure tactics of the jewlers I visited. It made the whole shopping experience horrible! Fortunately, I walked away each time and gave myself some time to think and keep searching. Eventually I ended up with an engagement ring that Heather LOVED! But that was almost ruined by salesmen who were more interested in making a fast buck than in helping me select the best product!
We want to be the best photographer FOR YOU! That’s why we find it important for you to look around and take your time before you decide to hire us!