Hello and thank you for considering me 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.
First off, know that wedding photography is truly THE BEST job! I get to artistically document the most beautiful, joy-filled day of my clients’ lives. I get to know you and what you value so I can create something custom and beautiful that fits your unique wedding.
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.
To summarize, the main considerations are price: 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
Reach out and begin a conversation. You’ll see detailed pricing menus and more information about how to get the most out of the experience. I also want to learn a little more about what you are about as a couple.
This is the part where I get to know you as individuals and as a couple. I want to learn what’s important to you. It’s about making sure that what I offer and what you expect are aligned. If it isn’t, that’s totally fine and I’d be happy to give you some recommendations for other photographers!
Step 2. Understanding pricing & services
I do not have any packages but favor an a la carte model. This means that couples choose what is important to them. The initial outlay may be lower, but it’s assumed you may choose to add on items as your budget and needs dictate, without the fuss of adding and removing items from a package. Wedding photography is rarely ‘one size fits all’.
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. You won’t actually know what you’ll need come wedding day – but don’t want to miss the ‘package deal’, so may pay over the odds.
If you have any questions about pricing, please let me know. I’m always happy to have an honest and open conversation about money.
Step 3. We meet up or chat on the phone
One thing that’s of paramount importance to me is to meet couples before we sign on the dotted line. I’ve learned through years of being in business that nothing beats a face-to-face meeting if at all possible. There is no substitute for good ol’ human connection! Failing that, we can jump on a video call or a phone call.
The idea is for you to get comfortable and relaxed. We’ll chat and learn about each other. You probably won’t have a ton figured out about your actual wedding yet, beyond the venue and date, which is fine. It’s really about getting to know one another.
You’ll be able to ask me your questions and I’ll give you a rundown of what’s involved with your wedding photography experience. Want to know the number one question I’m asked? Check out the article linked below!
Step 4. Mull it over and let me know!
You will let me know in your own time if you feel good about the next steps. Please be aware that dates are on a first-come, first-served basis but I’m usually able to let couples know if a conflicting inquiry looks to be moving forward.
Letting me know if you don’t want to go ahead is hugely helpful as I can free up that date for other couples and will put you on my ‘do no pester’ list. Maybe you have more questions about the wedding photography experience. Or maybe you want to give it a little time before making a decision.
Planning often happens in fits and starts, so I totally get it! You might also want to take a peek at my contract which I’m happy to provide for you as part of the decision-making process. I also strongly advise the use of a wedding planner (yes, particularly for small weddings!) Find out more below.
I also have a dedicated FAQ one-pager of my long, legalese contract so you can get the summarized version. It’s still worth taking your time to go through. I never want you to feel rushed, especially given the long lead times associated with weddings.
Step 5. Sign on the dotted line, pay + welcome aboard!
To finalize your wedding photography arrangements I will need two things.
1) your signed contract and 2) your reservation 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 (me and you!) and is considered binding once signed and the invoice paid.
Within a couple of days of me receiving the signed contract I’ll invoice you for your 50% reservation fee. It’ll be sent to both of you via email. This is payable by a variety of means including credit / debit card, PayPal, bank transfer and is most often done online (unless you would like to pay by check or cash!)
I am happy to decrease the amount required for the reservation to 30% if the value of your photography package is over $2,500. Just let me me know before you sign the contract.
Step 6. 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.
Remember how we said that you don’t need to make all the decisions for what you might need the minute you book me? This comes in handy here. Say if we thought 8 hours would work, but while building the timeline we find that actually a half-hour extra is probably a good idea?
No sweat, we can add that on and it’s the same price whether you book it at the outset, during the planning months or even on the day itself.
I’m happy to give my customized recommendations for other vendors that might be a good fit for your wedding. If you want to share budgets with me for your other vendors, as well as what style you’re seeking, that’s super helpful.
We will have a final timeline run-through about a week or two before your wedding. I recommend this for all types of weddings – even City Hall, which I specialize in.
Whatever kind of wedding you’re planning, the trick is to understand how long things will realistically take. This will avoid a stressful, rushed wedding day. Find out more about how I plan timelines for weddings and why.
Want to know exactly what’s included in the wedding photography package? Please visit my info + pricing guide which you’ll receive when you inquire.
To give you a brief overview, you’ll get 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 in any of my photography packages, but are always included as extras that can be purchased after the wedding.
More information about my services before you reach out: Bay Area Wedding photographer – Info, pricing, about & portfolio
Step 7: Wedding day!
You know the drill. I’ll be by your side, taking photos of you and loved ones. Pretty simple really! For tips about the day itself, check out my article linked below.
Step 8: Sneak previews
Also called sneak peeks. Unless your wedding is a late finisher or I just don’t get around to it that same day, I post an image sneak peek on Instagram late in the evening on your wedding day. I’ll tag you and all the vendors. It’ll usually be a carousel post with multiple photos.
Within two days of your wedding, I’ll send you a 30-image sneak peek gallery, which is shareable and downloadable. It’s the same format as your finished gallery will be, but with limited options as these sneaks are not the final image files. For example, they’ll be web-resolution, not print-ready. Photos will be edited further overall for consistency and a greater degree of finesse. They’re really just so you can see what the photos look like and for something to throw on Instagram! You can download these or share them online or send the gallery/ downloaded images to friends and family!
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! I never want it to feel like I’ve sprung this on you, so always try to be open and transparent, encouraging good communication. Otherwise it will feel like a surprise – and not a nice one!
Step 9: Final delivery
Final image delivery happens within two months for regular non-City Hall weddings, and within a month for San Francisco City Hall weddings taking place Monday – Friday.
For more information about editing and delivery, check out these articles linked below.
Step 10: Add-on sales and ordering your wedding album
If you’re interested in buying a custom-made, professionally designed album, crafted by pro color labs that aren’t available to the general public, you can stop by to view album samples. I have full pricing and customization options that you can check out at any point in the process, just ask!
These albums are guaranteed to last 100 years when properly cared for. You’ll also be able to select your images and proof your design online if you’d like to have a say on how it all looks. Or, if you don’t have the time, you can entrust me to produce an album myself, selecting the images and laying out the spreads.
A quick guide (without pricing information) is available at the link below.
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
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 : )