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.
More information about my services before you reach out: Bay Area Wedding photographer – Info, pricing, about & portfolio
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
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 they 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 see detailed pricing menus and more information about how to get the most out of the experience. I always want to learn a little more about what you are about as a couple.
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 possible be the best photographer for everyone, and that’s OK.
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. 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’; my clientele is extremely diverse.
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 the ‘package deal’, so may pay over the odds.
My pricing is extremely clear but do let me know if you have any questions about pricing.
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! 2021 edit: Failing that, we can jump on a video call or a phone call. Hello, Google Meet.
The idea is for you to get comfortable and relaxed. We’ll chat and learn about each other. You may not have all the wedding specifics sorted 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. Pssst, 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!
Let me know when you’re ready to move forward (or if you do in a different direction, hey, no hard feelings but it’s also helpful if you let me know). Unfortunately, dates cannot be ‘held’, so it’s advisable to make sure you’re ready to book if it turns out you DO want to go ahead with a photographer you’re speaking to. Leave it too long, and someone else may have swooped in!
I advise couples not to delay if they wish to book their photographer. I’m often speaking to multiple couples for the same date – so whoever wants to move forward with the onboarding process first, secures the date.
We are used to dealing with dates both at short notice (hello, COVID) and also 2 years out. There is no telling which random dates may be highly sought-after. I receive new inquiries every single day, so it becomes a logistical nightmare – not to mention bad business – to hold dates indefinitely for couples while turning away other people.
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, and I give you 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.
I never want it to feel like I’ve sprung this on you, so always try to be open and transparent, encouraging good communication.
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 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% 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 done online. Other payment methods may occasionally be available, so please inquire.
I am happy to decrease the amount required for the reservation to 30% if the value of your photography package is over $1,700. Just let me me know before you sign the contract, because our arrangement will be formalized there.
Currently in 2021, I am asking for the remainder of the balance within 1 week of the wedding day. This is so that, what with all the the uncertainty surrounding events in the year 2020, we can be as sure as possible that your wedding will be going ahead in case we ever get a repeat performance.
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.
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.
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 articles linked below.
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. Honestly, I used to deliver these as standard, but I soon realized due to the number of weddings I was shooting, it was unsustainable to continue to deliver these for free, given they take at least 1 hour to create (and I’m not sure if some couples even have time to check them out before the final gallery’s delivered), and I’m often rushing to get them done at stupid hours into the night.
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.
Please check your pricing guide for the current sneak peek rate.
I also post an image or a carousel of images to Instagram within a day or two of your wedding. I’ll tag you if you consented to being tagged, and all the vendors. You can feel free to ‘repost’ these using an Instagram repost app.
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 in any of my photography packages, 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 package in my pricing guide.
Final image delivery happens within the time specified on your contracts. Currently at the time I’m editing this article, my lead times are up to 6 weeks for all wedding types.
However, as weddings pick up (2021 and 2022 are expected to be extremely busy!), there is every chance this may increase to two months, so please check your contract for your own custom timeframe. If you’re not yet contracted, contact me for an up-to-date quote. I always endeavor to deliver well before the end of the time frame.
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 : )