Hello and thank you for considering Zoe Larkin Photography as your wedding photographer for your Bay Area wedding! I love to get to know my couples and explain hopefully in person a little about what the process of working together involves. However, there is more info than you can possibly take in – and I prefer to keep our sessions more about you and less about me!

So, this is a quick take-away guide to give you the lowdown as to what you can expect when you choose Zoe Larkin Photography as your wedding photographer.

More information about my services before you reach out: Bay Area Wedding photographer – Info, pricing, about & portfolio

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What should I be looking for in a wedding photographer?

I have separate articles devoted to exactly this topic as it is a huge one. Check out my resources linked below.

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To summarize, the main considerations are: value, consistency, quality, level of experience, style, professionalism, speed, passion and attention to detail – to name but a few! If you like what you see with my work, reach out.

Step 1. Making contact

I recommend reaching out to your photographer when you’re essentially ready to book. That may mean making sure you can access funds that will be used to pay your photographer’s deposit or reservation fee. It’s best to do this beforehand, because once you’re talking to a photographer you will want to move fairly quickly because we are talking to other couples vying for the same date.

It’s first-come, first-served, so you want to be sure you can be the first to move forward.

Reach out and begin a conversation. You’ll find out whether we’re available for your date and be able to see the full pricing guide (full pricing is also available publicly on the internet it’s no secret) and more information about how to get the most out of the experience.

It’s about making sure that what I offer and what you expect are aligned, and what your vibe, style and values are as a couple. I’m always happy to give recommendations for other photographers. I can’t possibly be the best photographer for everyone, and that’s OK.

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Step 2. Understanding pricing & services

I favor an a la carte model. From there, add on items as your budget and needs dictate. Wedding photography is rarely ‘one size fits all’; my clientele is extremely diverse.

I have a dedicated article about what photographers typically include in their offerings, breaking down the jargon:

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Another major plus of this model is that you can add items on as the planning takes shape at the same rate we spoke about, rather than having to make all the major decisions when you’ve just got engaged. Chances are, you won’t actually know what you’ll need come wedding day – but don’t want to miss out so may pay over the odds if there are bundled items.

My pricing is extremely clear but do let me know if you have any questions about pricing.

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Step 3. Watch the video presentation and read through content

Over the years I’ve refined my processes, and I now provide extensive resources for couples to dive into, as much or as little as they want to.

Content is the cornerstone of my business, and if we’re going to work together, it’s important that you’re comfortable consuming content that I’ve already provided which answers all the questions you have, and explains how it all works when you choose me as your wedding photographer.

The most important resource to check out is my video presentation which is only available to people that inquire with me. You will be sent the link via email.

You’ll either receive the video for regular (non-City Hall) weddings, or for City Hall weddings.

For any questions not already addressed, or to share with me information about your unique event, you can email me or add your timeline or your questions surrounding your timeline, to the Photography Planning Document. More on that below.

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Step 4. Check out your photography planning document

As soon as you’re ready to receive it, I will draw up your own personalized Photography Planning Document and send it to you so you can fill it out.

This simple, editable Google Doc will be the basis for everything I need to know about your wedding day. Adjust your personalized wedding timeline as you see fit. Just let me know by email if you make any major changes, or have questions that require my input.

Part of my job is managing expectations and letting you know what’s reasonable – and what wedding-day events may take longer than you think. That’s why it’s so important for me to draw up this planning document for every couple that’s serious about our services.

The Photography Planning Document contains several fields where I’ll need to grab information from you. Pre-contract, you’ll only need to fill out sections 1 and 2, but feel free to scroll all the way through it as this document is packed with information tailored just for you (including your timeline, vendor referrals, useful links and more)

Step 5. Mull it over and let me know!

Let me know when you’re ready to move forward (or if you do in a different direction, it’s also helpful if you let me know to close the loop). As I’m sure you can appreciate, dates cannot be held without payment. Leave it too long, and someone else may have swooped in as our services are in extremely high demand currently (2022 as I edit this).

I advise couples not to delay if they wish to book their photographer. I’m often communicating with multiple couples for the same date – so whoever moves forward with the onboarding process first (signed contract then invoice paid), secures the date.

There is no telling which random dates may be highly sought-after. I receive sometimes up to ten new client inquiries in a single day, so it’s not possible to hold dates indefinitely for couples while turning away other potential clients.

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I also have a dedicated FAQ one-pager of my long, legalese contract so you can get the summarized version. You’ll get a week to review the contract before the first payment is due.

Want privacy for your wedding? This is something I ask about right when you first inquire with me – the contact form. If you are interested in privacy surrounding your wedding, you’ll be sent this article straight off the bat. This is so important, hence why I ask about it before we’ve even begun a conversation.

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I always try to be open and transparent, encouraging clear communication.

oakland museum wedding ceremony with information about your wedding photography experience with Zoe Larkin Photography

Step 6. Sign your contract and then pay your invoice

To finalize your wedding photography arrangements I will need two things.

1) your signed contract and 2) your booking fee of 50%.

The contract is signed online by BOTH parties getting married regardless of who is paying the bill. The contract link will go out to you both separately so I’ll need both of your email addresses for that. Make sure you are happy with the payment schedule & amounts before you sign your contract. The contract locks in the obligations of both parties and is considered binding only once signed and the invoice paid.

Within a couple of days of me receiving the signed contract I’ll invoice you for your 50% booking fee. It’ll be sent to both of you via email. This is payable by credit/debit card, PayPal or e-check (bank transfer). Payment is done online only through my payment portal.

I am happy to split the payment schedule into 4 equal instalments. Just let me know before you sign the contract, because our arrangement will be formalized there.

The final payment is due 2 weeks before the wedding day.

Step 7. We plan your wedding photography experience

Now the booking process is done, we have plenty of time to collaborate together and build your customized photo timeline for the day. For me, the key is to make sure there is enough time for what you value. This will be a gradual process as plans for the day take shape over time.

You can always add on hours even after you’re booked and contracted. However, time cannot be removed once booked.

I’m happy to give my customized recommendations for other vendors that might be a good fit for your wedding.

For more complex weddings (that is, excluding City Hall ceremonies), we can have a timeline run-through call about 3 – 5 weeks before your wedding, or as soon as all the plans are set. This isn’t mandatory, but just in case you’d like to align more on the specifics of a long wedding day.

It’s useful to understand how long things will realistically take, even if your wedding planner has drawn up your timeline including the photography parts. This will avoid a stressful, rushed wedding day. Find out more about how I plan timelines for weddings and why.

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san francisco fun wedding photography wedding guests in limo - about your wedding photography experience

Step 7: Wedding day!

Me or an associate photographer (depending on what you’ve booked), along with a second photographer if booked, will be by your side, taking photos of you and loved ones. For more tips about the day itself, check out my articles linked below.

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Step 8: Sneak previews

Also called sneak peeks – a gallery of images containing a small number of edited photos so you have something to share online soon after the wedding.

Due to the amount of extra time it takes for me to personally create sneak peek galleries, and the fact that it’s not important to every couple, there is a small charge to cover this extra time. You can refer to your pricing guide or Photography Planning Document to view the pricing for your wedding.

If you choose to purchase the sneak peek gallery, it contains 20 photos delivered in high resolution as well as web-resolution, and is shareable and downloadable. The format is the same as your finished gallery will be, but with fewer options because you’ll want to make purchases and create favorites etc when you have the final images.

These photos will be edited further overall for consistency when placed alongside other images from the same set, and a greater degree of finesse.

For more information about how I handle sneak peeks, check out the dedicated article linked below:

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I also post a preview of some images or a video/reel/story containing images to Instagram within a week or two of your wedding. I’ll tag you if you have already consented to being tagged (noted on the Photography Planning Doc), and all the vendors. You can feel free to repost these using an Instagram repost app. Be sure to follow along prior to the wedding to make sure you don’t miss the first glimpse of the photos.

Step 9: Final delivery

You’ll receive at least 65 edited images per hour of photography and a beautiful online gallery to view them in, download and share. You’ll also have a print release for personal usage. No prints or albums are included as part of my services, but are always included as extras that can be purchased after the wedding.

I have full information on exactly what’s included in your wedding photography  in my pricing guide.

Final image delivery happens within the time specified in your specific contract. Currently at the time I’m editing this article, my lead times are up to 6 weeks for all weddings.

Engagement photography tends to be closer to 4-5 weeks.

I always endeavor to deliver well before the end of the time frame, but your custom timeframe on your contract is what we’ll agree on.

For more information about editing and delivery, check out these articles linked below.

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Step 10: Add-on sales and ordering your wedding album

I’ve moved to a fully self-service model for album and books, which means you benefit from lower prices and the best album suppliers which are only available to professionals.

Please inquire with me by email if you’re interested in having your album link set up. This is where you’ll be able to view pricing, design and save your album, choose your customization options, and order your album yourself directly from the top-quality print labs we partner with.


Thank you for reading and I hope this overview was helpful. Feel free to bookmark to come back to it during your wedding photography experience with Zoe Larkin Photography. If you haven’t reached out yet, I can’t wait to hear from you and let you know if we’re available on your wedding date!

Check out my ultimate list of wedding planning resources linked below to help you every aspect of planning your wedding

READ MORE  Wedding planning resources from Zoe Larkin Photography
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Want to be an A++ wedding photography client? For those that insist on going the extra mile, I’ve a special guide just for you : )

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Pin this to your wedding planning board on Pinterest!

What to expect with your wedding photography experience when you book me as your wedding photographer? It can be a daunting process to consider what you get when you book your wedding photographer and how to know if you're getting a good deal or booking with someone that actually cares about your wedding or will take the time to get to know and understand you. If you're struggling to find a Bay Area wedding photographer, this is for you! #bayareaweddingphotographer #weddinginspo #weddingphotography #weddingplanning | Zoe Larkin Photography

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What to expect from your wedding photography experience

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