FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
Questions and maybe concerns? Not a problem, we answer them here.
Please take a look at the FAQ section right below to find our most frequently asked questions from our couples.
We’d love nothing more than to hear from you and start the wedding client experience by getting to know you and your future spouse, story, and wedding plans.
Where are you based out of?
We’re based out of Southern California in Alhambra (near Pasadena, east of Downtown Los Angeles), where our home studio is located.
Are you willing to travel out of southern California for our wedding?
Yes! We love both local and destination weddings. Be it a two-hour drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara or San Diego, or a bit further in other parts of the country and even world, we’re ready and willing to travel anywhere for your big day.
There are different photography rates for local versus non-So Cal weddings. Please give us a call at (424) 274-1041, email us, or fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch with you within a few hours with our availability and full pricing.
Do you do other types of photography besides weddings?
Our focus at Aevitas Weddings is entirely on weddings and engagement sessions. We want to make sure we don’t divide ourselves too thin, and are more than 100% ready to capture your special day.
That being said, we do limited family portrait sessions each year, primarily for couples whom we’ve had the pleasure of working with as their wedding photographer.
What would you say is your style of photography?
We pride ourselves in letting our couples determine that through the images they see on our website and the ones we capture on their special day.
That being said, folks in the past have used phrases and words such as, “Modern but timeless, creative, telling our story, dramatic, classic, unique, capturing moments in an unobtrusive but personal way, colorful, artsy, and focusing on the candids without forgetting about the details and traditional portraits.”
Have you photographed at our venue before?
Chances are if you’re getting married in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, then we’ve had the pleasure of working at your venue before. And if we’re a referral from your venue, then more than likely we’ve worked there multiple times.
However, if we’ve not photographed at your venue, please rest assured, as we’ve had experiences working in places with similar settings and challenges (lighting, backdrops, rules, etc.).
If your wedding is at a venue we’ve never photographed, especially an out of town one, we make sure to do our homework ahead of time (looking at the venue’s website, past wedding images online, getting in touch with the coordinator, and showing up extra early to scope out the place for the best photo locations).
For what it’s worth, nearly half the weddings we photograph these days are at new venues. Please know we’ll do everything we can to be fully prepared as your wedding photographer.
Have you photographed weddings of various cultures and faiths, and if so, how comfortable are you?
Yes and it’s one of our absolute favorite aspects of weddings! Among many reasons why we love photographing weddings, one of the biggest is because we get to learn so much about the cultural, religious, and personal backgrounds of our couples and their loved ones.
We’re happy to let you know that we’ve captured a wide variety of cultural/religious weddings, such as Catholic, Indian (Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Vietnamese, Nigerian, Russian, Middle Eastern (Persian, Armenian, Palestinian, Jordanian), Korean, and lots more. And we’re very comfortable with them all!
We can only imagine how important the cultural and religious aspects of your wedding day are. And if your wedding happens to be one that we haven’t photographed before, rest assured, as we’ll do all our homework well ahead of time to make sure we don’t miss any of the important moments.
What are your normal office hours for a meeting?
Although we try to be flexible and accommodating to our couples’ schedule, the best times for us to have a meeting are during the weekdays from roughly 8AM-3PM, as weekends are generally taken up by weddings and travel. We can also meet later in the evenings and a few Sundays provided we’re available.
Do you have a studio we can visit?
Absolutely! We’d love to invite you and your fiance to our home studio in Alhambra (in Southern California near Pasadena). We’ll spend some time getting to know you, going over your wedding day plans, sharing with you our wedding photography services, and answering any questions you have.
Can we have a virtual or phone meeting instead?
Absolutely! We’ll be more than happy to set up a Skype, FaceTime or Google Hangout meeting, or even a phone telecom with you and your fiance. These days, over half of our meetings are actually virtual or over the phone, it makes things much easier for our couples.
Are you able to meet at a place other than your studio?
To ensure we provide you with the best experience, it would be best for us to have our meeting here (in Alhambra). We have a quiet and comfortable space to get to know each other and discuss everything. No need to worry about finding a table or hearing background noise from others at a coffee shop :).
What information should we have ready before our meeting?
There’s no set list, but at the very least the info requested on the contact form: wedding date and venue, a rough idea of what photography package you have in mind, and most importantly, willingness to share with us your story and wedding day plans!
In addition, before setting up a meeting, we’ll send you a special form that asks a few additional questions. That will allow us to be fully prepared before our consultation.
We're already interested in booking you, do we still need to have a meeting?
Thank you! We never take for granted the feeling of being hired well before we exchange a “Hello” or put faces to names. We can communicate solely through email and make everything official online with the contract and 25% retainer deposit.
We’d be more than thrilled and honored to be your photographer, and can actually start talking more about the details of your big day or start planning for your engagement session (if you like to have one) after we take care of the contract and deposit!
We'd like to book you, what do we need to make everything official?
Thank you so much! We’re thrilled and honored to work with you! To make everything official, you just need to determine the photography package of your choice and its investment, fill out and sign our online contract, and pay the 25% deposit retainer.
We accept both check and credit card. Rest assured every step will be outlined and detail documented in emails to ensure there’s no surprises or miscommunication.
We're interested in booking you but aren't quite ready yet. How long can you put a soft hold on our wedding date?
We understand making the important decision of your wedding photographer is a huge commitment, and we want you to take as much time as you need. By default, all bookings are on a first come, first serve basis (signed contract and 25% deposit retainer).
However, with an in-person, web or phone meeting, we can put a soft hold on your wedding date for 72 hours (3 days). Afterwards, unless further notified by you, the date will be open again.
What can we expect from you between the time of the booking and our wedding day?
We plan on totally not being prepared and just showing up to your getting ready location on your wedding day. Okay, just kidding :).
On a serious note, we believe getting the best wedding photos require a good amount of planning and communication well before you walk down the aisle.
You can expect us to only be a phone call or email away from answering any questions you have. That being said, we typically send out a formal “touching base” email with helpful links and to-do items 2.5-3 months beforehand.
We’ll then schedule a meeting roughly a month before your wedding to go over all the final details, give you helpful tips/suggestions, and answer any last minute questions you might have.
What happens if after we book you, you're not able to photograph our wedding?
Oh dear! Thankfully eleven years and over 400 weddings later (all by yours truly Henry), we still have perfect attendance. We’ve never missed a wedding and certainly don’t ever plan on doing so.
Your wedding day is our absolute, without a doubt, top priority on that day and the weeks/months leading up to it. We won’t miss your wedding for anything, and we truly mean anything. If we’re a bit under the weather, we’ll be there (and hopefully not get anyone sick!).
If our best friend ends up getting married on the same day as your wedding, congrats to them but we’re committed to your big day. If our family ends up going on a vacation that weekend, too bad but we’re going to miss it as we’ll be photographing your wedding.
It would have to be something catastrophic *knock on wood* for us to not be able to photograph your wedding (only the unimaginable). If somehow that happens, we will notify you immediately and propose that one of of our other amazing photographers at Aevitas Weddings step in and capture your big day.
The great thing about having a small team of like-minded and similar-style photographers is in case of something unforeseen, one can step in for the other. And if somehow that’s not possible, we’re connected to a network of other wedding photographers, who will do an admirable job in capturing your big day.
In this unlikely case, Aevitas Weddings will compensate you accordingly for the inconvenience. Please rest assured we’ve never come close to missing a wedding, but do have contingency plans if that were to ever happen.
ENGAGEMENT SESSION QUESTIONS
Is it necessary to do an engagement session?
Although we highly recommend doing an e-session, it’s not necessary. Circumstances such as your work schedule, living in another state, and simply not needing photos of you and your fiance are more than understandable.
We would say about 60-70% of our couples decide to have an e-session (usually a 2-3 hour shoot and anywhere from 3-6+ months before the wedding); and the rest decide to not have one for a variety of reasons.
What are the pros and cons of doing an engagement session?
The pros are: you get to work with your photographer prior to the wedding, be comfortable in front of the camera (super helpful if you or your fiance is camera shy), have some lovely photos of you two that you can use in a variety of ways (save the date cards, wedding website, prints at the wedding, etc.), and an excuse to go shopping for new clothes!
The cons are: possibly having to take some time off of work for the shoot and investing a bit more into your photography collection. We think the pros far outweigh the cons, but there’s definitely no wrong choice.
How long will our engagement session be?
Typically it’s anywhere from 2-4 hours. We think anything less than two hours is way too short, as usually the first 20-30 minutes is just warming up to the camera. Plus if you’d like to get a variety of photos and go to multiple locations with an outfit change or two, then it’s necessary to allot more time.
And if you’d like to get both late afternoon/early evening shots (when lighting is the best) plus creative nighttime portraits, we recommend around 4-5 hours. This allows us to get the best of both worlds without rushing things.
How do we pick what locations to go to for your engagement session?
Of course! First we’d like to find out what you and your fiance like to do, such as hobbies, interests, and where you like to hang out during your free time. That’ll give us an idea of the types of places that fit into your personality, i.e. nature, architectural, beach, modern, fields, etc.
Then we’ll narrow down around what areas you’d like to have your e-session. For example, in Southern California, we can go anywhere from Malibu to San Juan Capistrano and more inland like Anaheim as well. From there, we’ll select a few locations.
What should we wear for our engagement session?
Although we’re not fashion experts, we do recommend bold, solid colors. A few stripes and patterns are okay provided they don’t distract from the main focus (you and your fiance!). Complementary color combinations always work well; try to avoid holiday or “interesting” color combinations, i.e. red, white and blue or yellow and black. Unless you’re really patriotic or love Halloween :).
In general, treat your e-session like going on a date. It can be as fancy/formal or laid back/casual as you’d like, and the clothes you wear should reflect that.
How much direction and guidance do you give during your engagement sessions?
We prefer your engagement session images to not be overly posed but at the same time we’ll give you lots of direction and guidance. Our goal when it comes to posing (both at the e-session and on the wedding day) is to have you and your partner look as natural as possible while getting some beautiful images.
We’’ll be constantly communicating with you both throughout the entire shoot and providing directions, but not so much where the poses become too “posey”. In other words, we want the images to look like you and your partner were on your own and we were never there to give you any instructions. We find the best images are not only when the couple is looking great, but also feeling great!
What if we are very camera shy or just don't like to have our photos taken?
No worries at all, so are some of us here at Aevitas Weddings are the same way (why we’re on this side of the camera!). We’ve had couples that couldn’t get their hands off each other to ones that were too shy to even look each other in front of the camera.
Please rest assured after 10-15 minutes being around us and our cameras, you’ll feel very much at ease and dare we say even having some fun! We’re happy and certainly willing to work with you and your fiance provided you you bring lots of energy and love. We’ll take care of the rest, promise :).
WEDDING DAY QUESTIONS
How many hours of photography coverage do we need?
We can’t speak for all photographers, but we absolutely prefer to capture as complete of your wedding day as possible. It’s like an author of a book or a director of a movie, as a documentary photographer, we want to tell your entire wedding day story.
That being said, we typically photograph about two hours of getting ready (bride’s details, hair and make-up, finishing touches after getting into the dress), followed by possibly a first look and pre-ceremony portraits (couple/bridal party portraits and immediate family formals) ceremony, then post-ceremony portraits (couple portraits and extended family formals), and the reception.
Although we’re happy to stay as late as you’d like, we normally say our farewells about half an hour to an hour into open dancing. On average, we’re at a wedding for 10 hours, from roughly 12-10PM. But we’ve had photography coverage as short as 2 hours to as many as 20, and starting as early as 4AM to ending as late as 3AM.
No matter what, we’re more than happy and ready to stay at your wedding for as long as you like. It’s one of the most important days of not just yours and your future spouse’s life, but also ours…and want to make sure we capture a beautiful AND comprehensive story of everything!
What attire do you wear to weddings?
Yes, we’ve been asked this! We normally just say, “Clothes”, but we’re thinking our couples want a more specific description :). Unless it’s a beach wedding and everyone, including the photographer, needs to wear beachy outfits, or any other themed-wedding, our goal is to dress professionally and blend in with your guests.
The team at Aevitas Weddings dress as follows: guys are in black slacks, white or black long-sleeved dress shirts, black dress shoes, and almost always a tie; girls are generally in all black, occasionally a white or grey top and black shoes/boots.
Rest assured we won’t be showing up looking casual or too comfortable. So definitely no jeans, tank tops, short-sleeved shirts, tennis shoes, outfits with logos or anything that just screams “unprofessional”. We want all the attention to be on you and your future spouse, not on us :).
Do you also get more traditional, camera-aware photos?
Although our focus is to capture beautiful moments, our goal is to tell a comprehensive story of your wedding day. That includes the traditional, looking and smiling at the camera photos, i.e. the ones our parents love and will probably end up printing and hanging on their walls at home!
Throughout your wedding day (not just during the couple/bridal party portraits and family formals time), we make sure to get images of you, your future spouse, bridal party, and/or family all looking amazing AT the camera. We’ll also be providing directions on where to stand and when to smile.
And if you’re not too fond of those camera-aware images, please rest assured it won’t take more than a few seconds here and there, and they won’t be very cheesy :).
How much photo-related direction/guidance do you provide on the wedding day?
Our intentions is to capture your wedding day in an unobtrusive and distraction-free manner. We’ve found that our couples and their loved ones are in their true, raw, real elements when we’re more of a “fly on the wall” rather than constantly giving directions, moving subjects around, and the worst…asking to redo something.
However, we’ve found that at every wedding, our couples and their loved ones are usually seeking direction/guidance from us, especially when it comes to the camera-aware/posed photos like couple/bridal party portraits and family formals. And we’re more than happy and willing to provide them.
Such as where to put our hands, where to stand, which direction to turn our bodies, lining all the subjects in the best order, etc. Perhaps during the getting ready, we want to make sure you’re in the best light when it comes to zipping up your dress or putting on jewelry. Or when it comes to cake cutting, we want to put you and your spouse on the right side since there’s a giant exit sign on the left.
Please don’t fret, all of this is done quickly, efficiently, and in a subtle and pleasant manner. Our goal is to give just the right amount of directions and guidance to get the best images, so everyone can go back to enjoying the day, and we can continue capturing those amazing candids!
I don't want to spend forever taking family formals, how long do they normally take?
We’re on the same page as you! On average, we won’t spend longer than 30 minutes of total time taking family formals. This includes pre-ceremony family formals (just with immediate, about 15 minutes) and post-ceremony (with immediate and extended, another 15 minutes).
About 2-2.5 months before your wedding, we’ll ask you to provide a list of all the family members’ names and relations, and which groups of formals you would like captured. That way, we can conduct the family formals in an efficient and dare we say pleasant manner :).
Don’t worry if you’re not sure about that list, as we have the essentials all memorized, i.e. with parents, with parents and siblings and spouses, with aunts, uncles, etc.
The family list is more for you to not forget anyone important, to get any “unique” combinations (one with all the cousins or co-workers), and for them to be present when we take the photos.
We see you mainly focus on the moments and portraits of a wedding day. Do you also take details photos?
Without a doubt! Although we love capturing unforgettable moments and beautiful portraits, we feel like details are just as important as they help you remember what your amazing day looked like.
We understand how much time, energy, and money! you’ve put into carefully choosing all your details, and we want to make sure we photograph all of them in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible.
From the getting ready with the dress, shoes, jewelry, stationery, and rings…to the ceremony with the florals, sign-in table, and programs…to the reception with the centerpieces, place cards, cake, favors, and the entire room…and everything else in between.
Less obvious items like the “I Do” sticker under the heels, grandma’s pendant, and the note/gift you and your future spouse got for each other…we’re always looking for details throughout your wedding day!
Do you work with a second photographer and/or assistant on the wedding day?
Every wedding we photograph is a team of either: main photographer (yours truly Henry Chen) and assistant, main and second photographer, or the main and second photographer plus an assistant. We’ve found that depending on the type and logistics of a wedding, it may or may not be beneficial for the couple to invest in a second photographer.
For example, if you want coverage of the guys getting ready and cocktail hour, more angles/perspectives during the ceremony and reception, and if there’s not much time for the main photographer to get details (among other things), we recommend including a second photographer in your wedding package.
But if the wedding is pretty intimate with a small number of guests (roughly 100 or less), everything is at one location, and there’s sufficient time to capture details (among other things), we’re confident a single, main photographer (once again yours truly Henry Chen) will be able to tell a comprehensive story of the day.
If you don’t invest in a second photographer, an assistant will be included to help the main photographer with miscellaneous things, i.e. fluffing the dress, holding lights, lining up the family formals, etc. Not to worry, as assistant fees are already part of the package and not an additional cost to you.
Is there a limit to the number of photos you take at a wedding? Of that how many do we get?
There’s no limit to the number of photos we take at a wedding and give to our couples. But historically, we provide on average about 80-90 images per hour that we’re contracted. For example, for a 10-hour wedding, you can expect around 800-900+ images.
Naturally, the more time we have for couple/bridal portraits, the more happy and not stressful moments that are taking place, the less driving between locations, and waiting for family and friends to be in the formals photos, the more images we’ll be able to take and give to our couples.
The beauty of weddings is each one is different and special in their own ways; but our approach remains the same: to capture as many beautiful, unforgettable moments, portraits, and details as possible to tell a comprehensive story of your special day!
Do we need to hire a wedding planner/coordinator?
Every wedding is unique and has its own set of circumstances and challenges. Plus you and your fiance might have ample time and don’t mind doing all the planning, while others prefer to not deal with the added work and stress. That being said, we highly recommend our couples to hire a professional planner, or at least a day-of coordinator.
The list of tasks they take off the couple’s plate is endless, and the amount of head/heartache they prevent is unquantifiable. Plus some venues require couples to hire one, even if they have their own in-house coordinator. We’ve noticed that the weddings with a professional planner/coordinator (not someone that just does it for fun or worse not very good at it), runs more smoothly than ones without.
We recommend checking with your venue to see if they require one, and assess your own schedule and desire to do all the planning.
How soon after our wedding can we expect to see the photos?
You can expect to see a sneak peek of your wedding photos (about a handful) a few days afterwards, maybe sooner (on our Facebook fan page and Instagram feed). In addition, we like to put together a slideshow and/or blog post of your wedding photos roughly 2-3 weeks after your big day.
Then about 4-6 weeks later (sometime sooner), you’ll then receive a link to a password-protected online gallery filled with all of your high-res, edited JPEG files, from the getting ready to the end of the reception.
Since we want to carefully go through all the images taken and remove the outtakes (someone blinking or not ready for the camera, test images, etc.), plus we want to give ample amount of love and care in color correcting/editing every single one of the images you’ll get, it takes a few weeks after your wedding all the photos to you. But we promise it’ll be worth it!
How will we be able to view, share, and obtain our wedding photos?
It takes about 4-6 weeks after your wedding (sometime even 3 weeks!) to fully color correct/giving some TLC to all your images, we’ll have them up on a private online gallery for you and your future spouse to relive your special day!
We’ll be sending you a link and password to not only view and download the high-res, edited digital files, but also share your wedding photos with your family and friends. By default, this gallery will be online up to a year after your wedding. Please make sure to download and back up all your images before then.
Do you do any color correcting/editing to the images before we receive them?
We always strive to get the best image possible when we capture it in the camera. But all photos can use some editing, and that’s what we do to all of yours. Since there are hundreds to a thousand plus images to edit, it takes a good 3-4 weeks to go through them all individually and do the color correction.
The first level of editing is “color correcting” or basic retouching like exposure, temperature, contrast, color, cropping, sharpening, and a few other tweaks. Yes, we go through each of your wedding images one at a time (no batch editing).
We want to make sure every single one gets the proper care and time before uploading them all online for you and your spouse to view and share.
We also have a second level of editing that reserve for prints like your albums; in addition, we like to pick our favorite images from your wedding and create a slideshow and blog post.
Those photos also go through this additional level, which includes more advanced retouching like removing stray hairs, smoothing the skin, removing blemishes and distracting backgrounds (all within reason).
We're planning on ordering an album for ourselves but want to get a copy for our parents. Do you also provide them?
Yes! As much as we love putting together a gorgeous wedding album for our couples, we’ve found that doing so for their parents is special in a completely different way.
We can only imagine how excited and happy your folks would be when they get a beautiful book filled with moments, portraits, and details from your wedding. Perhaps a holiday, birthday, or a simply “Thank you” gift?
We can create the same design and sized as the main one for your parents, or completely start from scratch with different photos and a smaller or larger book. A popular album package includes three books: one for the couple, and two for the two sets of parents.
Do we own the copyright to our photos and what are we allowed to do with them?
Per the contract, we actually both own the copyrights to your wedding photos. But you’re more than welcome/have the rights to share, print, give away, use, and essentially do anything you’d like with your wedding photos provided it’s not for commercial/monetary usage.
If you decide to sell your wedding photos or use them in a profitable/commercial way, then we’ll both need to fill out and sign a separate contract agreement.
After all, if you’re planning on becoming famous and making some money off your wedding photos, we hope you don’t forget about your photographer :).
What do you intend on doing with our wedding photos?
On our end, we intend to only utilize your wedding photos to promote Aevitas Weddings, such as post our favorite images on ours and other (wedding-related) websites, i.e. WeddingWire, Yelp, Facebook fan page, Instagram feed, etc.
Aside from a few dozen of our favorites, all of which will be web-sized only, we won’t ever give away/share your photos to other vendors/third party organizations without your consent. Rest assured keeping your identity, reputation and any other sensitive information secure is our top priority.