Frequently Asked Photography Questions
Will you be the main photographer at my wedding?
Yes, when you choose Crane’s Photography, I (Randy) will always be your primary photographer. If a second photographer is used, they’ll be from my team (unless otherwise agreed before booking).
How long have you been in business? How many weddings have you photographed?
I launched Crane’s Photography since 2007 and have photographed more than 300 weddings. Believe it or not, I remember them all and appreciate working in an industry that has me all over the place! I’m truly honored to be part of my couple’s big day and take my responsibility very seriously.
How many weddings do you shoot per year?
I shoot an average of 30-35 weddings annually. I operate a boutique studio, so we focus on quality over quantity. Client relationships, premium products and artistic, creative photographs are central to our philosophy.
How long will you stay at my wedding?
All of my wedding packages include full-day coverage. I like to arrive once the bride’s hair and makeup are complete so I can photograph the finishing details, such as lacing the dress or putting on jewelry, with everyone looking their best. I continue to work through the ceremony and reception. My goal is to document a start-to-finish timeline of your wedding day. I take the greatest care to capture all of the important moments, as well as the unexpected, candid ones. A lot of different timed factors go into a wedding day and I like to make sure I’m on hand for everything that’s important, without my couples worrying about 6- or 8-hour blocks.
Why do you publish your photography price list online?
It’s my belief that pricing should always be transparency. Some of my colleagues offer custom quotes, resulting in what I see as price discrimination. The same service shouldn’t cost more depending on your ability to pay. My rates are honest and can be viewed at any time on my website.
Have you shot at my venue before?
Probably! I’ve taken pictures at hundreds of photographs in the Chicago area, so chances are I’m familiar with yours. If not, I’ll probably arrive at the venue early or stop by at an earlier time to walk through and get an idea of the lighting, backdrop and configuration. I also do a lot of research online beforehand.
I enjoy working at venues I’m familiar with as well as new ones. Honestly, a skilled photographer can take amazing photographs anywhere. If you shoot at the same place all the time, you get bored and the images stop being fun and interesting. I enjoy visiting new locations as different visual aspects always inspire me.
What if you get sick?
I’ve been in business since 2007 and I’ve never had to cancel a wedding. That being said, I’m very involved with the Chicago-area photography community and have many highly skilled, very professional friends in the industry. We’ve formed an emergency group to service couples in the event of a major emergency. If something were to happen to me, one of the experts in my group would fill in. Again, this has never happened in more than 300 weddings.
Do you provide partial-day coverage?
I generally do not offer partial-day coverage. All of my packages include full-day coverage. I understand that some extenuating circumstances, like elopement, may require a different style of photography. Please contact me and we’ll discuss your options.
Do you give discounts for Friday, Sunday and off-season weddings?
Discounts are available. Please contact me and we’ll discuss your options.
Will we have a consultation before our wedding day?
Of course! Getting to know each other is critical, in my opinion, to exceptional wedding pictures. I want you to know what to expect from me and I, likewise, want to know your personalities, your story and your goals for your wedding photography. Click here to learn more about my approach.
Style & Quality Questions
What style is your wedding photography?
I draw from a couple different photographic styles, but ultimately would call my style photojournalistic. I use my camera to tell a story, taking full advantage of natural lighting, authentic expressions and displays of emotion. I also, however, excel at formal portrait photography.
Are you a natural light photographer?
It depends how you define the term. I’ve been educated in and have years of experience using flash. That being said, I prefer natural lighting for the beauty it instills. If wonderful natural lighting isn’t available, no biggie! We’ll use flash. One of my strong points as a photographer is finding and using the best lighting possible.
Do you take posed portraits during the wedding day?
Yes. Formal portraits are a part of every wedding. Many families gather from across the country or around the world for weddings and portraits are very important.
Do we need a second photographer?
I highly recommend a second photographer. I have the ability to photograph weddings independently, but some scenarios and style preferences call for a second photographer. Large weddings or events with multiple locations almost definitely require a second photographer. Also, depending on your expectations, you may want to opt for a package with a second photographer. I work tirelessly to capture all the special moments during your wedding, but a second photographer is very beneficial. They add a second perspective and are able to be in places I physically can’t.
Equipment & Technical Questions
What type of equipment do you use?
I use professional-grade equipment from Canon. I’m a long-time Canon user and love their cameras and lenses. I save all images I shoot to two memory cards for added protection. Even more important than the gear, in my opinion, is how you use it. I have more than a decade of experience and am very skilled with my equipment and different photographic elements, like lighting.
Do you use/have backup gear?
Yes! I bring at least three cameras, five lenses, flashes and at least 100 gigs worth of memory cards to every wedding. Every image is saved twice. Replacements are always on hand – we’re prepared for any challenges that come our way!
Do you backup my wedding images?
Yes. Wedding images are family heirlooms and we treat them with the respect they deserve. Every image is saved twice on two separate hard drives. One drive is used for editing, color correction and finishing. We save the other as a backup for 12 months after your wedding. Please note, your wedding files are not guaranteed indefinitely, but we do save them for a substantial amount of time.
Business & Booking Questions
How far in advance should we book?
As soon as possible. Most couples book my services 12 to 18 months before their wedding, although I’ve also had one book as little as 13 days before the big day. Some weekends and months are busier than others. I recommend scheduling my services as soon as you have a date and venue.
How do I reserve you for our wedding day?
I require a 30% of the final total retainer and a signed wedding photography agreement and we’re good to go! Both can be completed online. You may reach me by filling out the form on my contact page. I’ll receive your request, check the date and get in touch with you to discuss the details.
Can you hold a date for me?
I’m very sorry, but reserving my services requires a signed contract and a retainer. I cannot “hold” dates without these items. I accept all reservations on a first come, first serve basis.
What is your payment schedule?
Booking your date requires a 30% of the final total retainer fee. Then, you can pay the balance over the course of two payments: 40% about 5-6 months before the wedding and the remaining 30% the month prior. I’ll send you an email reminder to make the process easy for you.
Can we pay you part of the amount after the wedding?
I apologize, but I require the balance paid in full before the wedding. Additional products or upgrades, such as additional wedding album pages, are paid for after the wedding. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m an open book and will try hard to resolve any issues with you!
Once we sign the contract, can we keep in touch with you?
Please do! I’m always here if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions regarding your wedding photography. I also like to get to know my couples before the wedding to ensure I understand their expectations and they’re familiar with my style. This step also helps couples get used to me, so they feel natural being photographed when the big day arrives. I’ll get in touch with you to schedule a brief meeting about one month before the wedding.
Is there an additional fee if we pay via credit card?
Yes. A 3% credit card transaction fee is attached to all credit card payments.
We don’t live in your area. Can we arrange a meeting online?
Not a problem! Planning an out-of-state or distance wedding can be difficult, and I work hard with my couples to make their wedding photography is simple as possible. I’m available via Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangout.
Is there an extra fee to travel?
Travel expenses within 100 miles of Chicago or Milwaukee are included in my prices. Additional travel may incur an expense. For more information, please fill out the form on our contact page.
Will my photographs be edited?
Yes. After the wedding, I go through all of the images and discard any that are blurry, unflattering, test shots, etc. I then edit all the photos for skin tone accuracy, color balance, vibrancy, sharpness and saturation. Selective images will be turned into black & whites, depending on the mood and landscape captured. I avoid extreme photo-shopping as much as possible. All finished images are ready to be printed.
How long does it take before we receive our products and photographs?
Your images will be available in an online gallery and ready for download within six weeks of your wedding. You’ll also receive a USB thumb drive with high-resolution (12x18 @300 dpi) images. Your wedding album and any wall art will be ready within 12 weeks of the final design being submitted.
How many photos will I get?
I produce an average of 800 to 1,000 images for every wedding I photograph, detailing the day from start to finish. If you have any specific questions about image quantity, please let me know, so I can provide you with a detailed and accurate answer.
Can I see all the wedding images, even the ones that get deleted?
No. We’re renowned for our post-production quality and technique and have a unique ability to filter through your pictures, edit them and develop stunning wall art, albums and other products. Your wedding gallery and USB drive will have tons of pictures highlighting every important part of your wedding day. Rest assured, the only images we delete are ones that need to be deleted (ie. duplicates, test shots, blurry images, unattractive expressions, etc.).
Where will the photos from the wedding day be available to view?
Your wedding images will first appear on my blog followed by your personal online gallery.
Can we have black and white photos?
Yes! As you can see from my wedding photography galleries, I love black & white photography! It’s classic and stunning for weddings. I don’t offer every edited image in black & white, but I’ll selectively pick the best ones and edit them for you. I especially recommend black & whites for wall art.
What about raw files and digital negatives?
Sometimes couples want the digital negatives. Most photographers don’t offer these for a variety of reasons, but if you want them, I can make them available in a CR2 format.
Are our digital files watermarked?
No, they are not. Our high-resolution files do not have any watermarks.
Do you also provide video services?
No, I apologize for the inconvenience, but we’re solely photographers and do not offer video services.
How long does it take to get my album?
All of our wedding albums are handcrafted in Italy. A number of factors influence production time, the biggest being the design process.
Some couples are ready to complete the album design process in a month, whereas others spend a year mulling it over. After the design has been finalized and sent to our Italian team, the return time is usually 10 weeks.
What is an online client gallery?
An online gallery is a private, password-protected portal on my website when you and anyone you share your password with can view your wedding photos. I’ll give you a PIN to download the files.
How long does it take to get my fine art print?
Production times vary, but print orders are usually available at the same time as your wedding album.
How many pages and images do we get in our wedding day album?
20 pages with about 40 images come standard in each album. More pages and images can always be added for an additional fee.
What size can we print our photos up to with our full resolution image download?
Your Crane’s Photography images can be printed up to 20x30 without interfering quality. Larger sizes will require additional post-production edits. For pricing and additional information, please contact me.
What rights do I have to the digital prints?
You have the right to reprint all of your digital images, but you may not sell them for profit or publish them without written consent from Crane’s Photography.
Do I have to order prints through you?We do not offer printing services. You’ll receive a USB drive and online gallery and can order prints anywhere you’d like. A print ordering system is installed into the gallery, offering you the option to order directly from there. A third party lab processes the orders and the resulting images are very high quality and are delivered directly to your home. Your online gallery will be available for at least 12 months.
Coverage - Wedding Day Questions
Can our family and friends take pictures with their cameras?
Definitely! Your friends and family are welcome to do as they please and snap away. I only request that guests give me ample space during the family portraits. Too many people trying to take pictures is distracting and I’ll capture better quality images, making their efforts unnecessary. I also choose to photograph the bride and groom privately for these reasons.
Do we need to feed you at the reception?
It’s not required by any means, but a hot meal is always welcome! I do bring my own food and water, just in case. If you do choose to feed me, the best time is while you’re eating since I typically don’t photograph this time.
Can we provide you with a "shot list" or "must take pictures"?
I am happy to accept requests for family groupings – you know better than me who you’d like included in each picture. I’ll make recommendations based on my experience, too. Beyond that, I request that you don’t request “posed images” or other specific shots because being required to work from a checklist is counterproductive to my style of photography and the end result you’re looking for. I’m a professional. I know the best angles, poses, shots, lighting and other details. I’m very creative and am always trying to new styles, as well as my tried and true favorites. You can count on me to catch your best angle and make everyone look flattering.
Can my florist bring a photographer to shoot her details?
I request that no outside photographers be present. I will document every aspect of your wedding day, big and small, and will share the images directly with your vendors, per your request.
What happens if it rains during our outdoor wedding?While some consider rain a good omen on your wedding day, it’s definitely a disappointment for outdoor weddings. If you want to take pictures outside, we’ll accommodate you and find a way to make your dreams come true. Honestly, romantic, playful shots in the rain can be absolutely stunning – definitely not a deal breaker! You may decide to embrace the rain and use it as an amazing backdrop! We come equipped with flashes and other photography tools and can also move the action inside, if necessary.
Engagement Session Questions
Can we schedule our engagement session for the weekend?
No, I do not book engagement sessions on the weekend. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I am very busy with wedding photography on the weekends and am generally not available for engagement shoots. If the weekend is the only time you have available, we’ll discuss it and try to find a solution. Please note, additional fees may be required for wedding engagement sessions. Over-crowding is another concern, so please bear this in mind when considering locations.
Why is an engagement session necessary?
There are many benefits to an engagement session! First and foremost, you’ll only be engaged once and while it might seem like a long period, it’ll seem like a blink of the eye in a few years. This is an incredible, magical time in your life, filled with sweet, tender emotions that are beautiful to photograph. Secondly, the engagement session is an opportunity for us to work together, familiarize ourselves and prepare for your wedding photography. Many couples also use their engagement shots for guest books, save-the-day cards and in other fun ways.
When can we expect to see our photos from our engagement session?
Production times vary, but most engagement session images are available within 2 weeks of the shoot.
How many images do you typically deliver from an engagement session?
The total number of images varies depending on the day, location and other factors. You can expect to receive 100 to 135 images per 2-hour e-shoot.