Frequently Asked Questions

This page is to help existing and future clients of Bella Photography Ottawa find answers to common frequently asked questions related to business, weddings, general portrait sessions, and post processing. If you have a question and you are not able to find the answer in this list, please do not hesitate to contact me! I am always willing to answer any questions you may have!

 

General Questions

Q:         How long have you been in business?

Q:         When should we book you for our wedding/portrait session?

Q:         Can you hold my date(s)?

Q:         Which form of payments do you accept?

Q:         How do I reserve you for my date?

Q:         Do you have liability insurance?

Q:         What is an online gallery?

Q:         Can you give us photos in black & white and colour?

Q:         Do you back-up your photos?

Q:         Do you shoot in JPEG, or Raw?

 

Wedding Questions

Q:         I know that it is important to not only hire a photographer whose work I love and who has great experience, but also one that I will feel comfortable with throughout my day… how can I find out more about you?

Q:         Which package is right for me?  How many hours do I need?

Q:         How much time should I set aside for family/portrait photos?

Q:         How do I make sure we don’t miss anyone during the portraits?

Q:         Do you bring back-up equipment?

Q:         Will you be staying for dinner?

Q:         Do you have an appearance policy?

Q:         I have downtime between events on my wedding day. Will I be charged for that downtime?

Q:         What happens if we go over the contracted amount of time?

Q:         Do you have a backup photographer in case you get ill the day of our wedding?

Q:         Do you think a second photographer is necessary?

Q:         Have you ever shot at {location} before? It’s where our ceremony will be!

Q:         We live out-of-town. Is it possible for our family/friends to meet with you instead?

Q:         We’re very busy and won’t be able to meet. Are there any other options?

Q:         Do you deliver every image you shoot?

Q:         Is there an estimated number of photos we will get?

Q:         What is your wedding photography style?

Q:         Can I see a full event from start to finish?

Q:         My venue is very dark. How does your studio handle these situations and can I see samples?

Q:         Do you offer any discounts on weekday weddings, Sunday weddings, or weddings during the off-season?

Q:         Can we give you a “shot list”?

Q:         Are you open to some of our ideas and suggestions?

 

Portrait Questions

Q:         Which locations do you recommend for a Portrait Session?

Q:         How should we prepare for Portrait Session?

Q:         What happens if we are running late or vice versa to our shoot? Will you extend the shooting time?

Q:         What if it is raining during our session?

Q:         Is there an estimated number of photos we will get?

Q:         When can we expect to see our photos from our session?

Q:         What days can we schedule our session?

 

POST PRODUCTION QUESTION

Q:         Do you post process all the images in our image download?

Q:         What do you mean by “touching up” the photos?

Q:         What size can we print our photos up to with our full resolution image download?

Q:         What rights do I have to the digital prints?

Q:         Do you provide the RAW files from my session or wedding day?

Q:         Do you back up our images? How can we ensure that our images won’t be lost?

Q:         What if I lose my images?

 

 

 

General Questions

 

Q:        How long have you been in business?

A:         I’ve been in business since 2015!

Q:        When should we book you for our wedding/portrait session?

A:        Due to the limited weddings and portrait session I take each year and to avoid the dates getting booked up, I recommend as soon as possible. Most client’s book one year in advance for weddings and portrait session are usually booked 1-2 months in advance.

Q:        Can you hold my date(s)?

A:        I accept bookings on a first come/first serve basis. To be fair with all potential clients I can’t hold a date without a retainer and a signed contract.

Q:        Which form of payments do you accept?

A:        For easy payment of your retainer and package I offer a comfortable online Invoice payment options. All major credit and debit cards are accepted.

Q:        How do I reserve you for my date?

A:        All dates are reserved once we receive your signed contract and retainer.

Q:        Do you have liability insurance?

A:        Yes. I have liability insurance through State Farm and I am a Registered Business with the province of Ontario!

Q:        What is an online gallery?

A:        The online gallery is a link where all of the wedding or portrait photographs will be hosted online (for a specific time frame) so you can share them with your family and friends. Your images are available for download, and there are also options to print the photographs through our shopping cart feature.

Q:        Can you give us photos in black & white and colour?

A:        Yes. Advise us if there are any specific images you want in B&W or colour within one week of publishing of the online gallery.

Q:        Do you back-up your photos?

A:        Yes, I always back-up my photos! I even shoot with a back-up memory card in my camera just in case. Once I’m done editing your photos, I double back-up those finalized files and keep them forever!

Q:        Do you shoot in JPEG, or Raw?

A:        All of my images are shot in RAW to provide the best creative control to your images during post processing. My second (backup) card shoots to JPEG.

Wedding Questions

 

Q:        I know that it is important to not only hire a photographer whose work I love and who has great experience, but also one that I will feel comfortable with throughout my day… how can I find out more about you?

A:        I would be happy to book a meeting at a mutually convenient time so we may get to know each other better in person.  Phone or Skype consultations are also available if you are not within a convenient drive-able distance from the Ottawa Area.

Q:        Which package is right for me?  How many hours do I need?

A:        How many hours you’ll need depends on your day’s itinerary and what parts of your day you would like photographed. I suggest taking a look at what your timeline looks like, and note the parts that are important for you to have pictures of, you can usually get an idea of how many hours you will need.  Packages are built based on only the number of hours you need, making it easy for you to fully customize your coverage.

To tell a full story of your day, usually 8 – 10 hours is recommended, but if you are on a budget or are having a small intimate affair, you may only need 4 hours!

Q:        How much time should I set aside for family/portrait photos?

A:        I suggest an hour and a half to capture the family portraits, wedding party photos & portraits of you as a couple. If you have a large family and would like portraits incorporating several different family groupings, or if you want to trek to different locations with your wedding party, a longer amount of time should be set aside.  If you have a small family, or do not want any complex groupings, one hour should suffice, however that is at a minimum!

Q:        How do I make sure we don’t miss anyone during the portraits?

A:        It’s always recommended that you prepare a list of people before the big day of people you would like portraits taken with.  You can either send this list to us beforehand or give it to someone close to the family that might act as a family coordinator (or both).  If someone is appointed that knows the family members, it allows us to continue shooting candid shots in between portraits while someone else is interacting and organizing your family.

Q:        Do you bring back-up equipment?

A:        Of course!  I always bring a second camera body along with extra lenses, multiple digital memory cards, and a sloo of batteries and accessories to make sure that we don’t miss a moment!

Q:        Will you be staying for dinner?

A:        As I will be by your side for the better part of the day, I always appreciate being included in any and all meal arrangements that fall within our booked time.  It is also best to designate a spot in a back corner (usually close to the DJ) so that I am close to the action and ready to jump up at a moment’s notice, but am not disturbing the guests who are eating while doing so!

Q:        Do you have an appearance policy?

A:        Absolutely.  Your wedding deserves respect.  My attire on your wedding day is chosen to fulfill our needs as a photographer as well as promote a professional impression.  If you’re having a theme wedding, we will attempt to blend in with your theme as much as possible.

Q:        I have downtime between events on my wedding day. Will I be charged for that downtime?

A:        For a variety of reasons, I have to charge for the time in between events. The fact is, I’m never truly resting during the day, whether backing up images, setting up for the second venue, traveling to the second location, taking venue shots, or making up for lost photo time because of unforeseen wedding day delays. In many cases, I use that “downtime” to take you and your significant other out for a photo session or more family portraits.

Q:        What happens if we go over the contracted amount of time?

A:        We understand that not everything goes as planned during a wedding. I never pack up before the contracted time, and I will never leave without asking you at the end of your contracted time whether or not you would like to extend. If you would like me to stay, we will charge the rates specified in your contract by the hour.

Q:        Do you have a back-up photographer in case you get ill the day of our wedding? 

A:        Should I get sick (though I rarely do) I will send a back-up photographer. I work with a community of talented photographers so should the unthinkable happen and I get sick, you will certainly be great hands!

 Q:       Do you think a second photographer is necessary?

A:        I think second photographers are wonderful but they are not necessary for every couple. It completely depends of what is important to you as a couple. With a second photographer, I am able to provide more thorough coverage thereby telling a more detailed and complete story of your wedding day. Typically, my second photographer covers the groom and his groomsmen so I can focus on covering the bride and her bridesmaids before the ceremony. This saves LOADS of time primarily when doing the bridal party and groomsmen portraits. With a second photographer you also receive more photos because more photos were captured of your day!

Q:        Have you ever shot at {location} before? It’s where our ceremony will be!

A:        If I haven’t photographed at a location before, I will always scope out it out beforehand (preferably with you and your fiancé) so I have a game plan for your wedding day (i.e. where I want to do the first look photos, where I want to do couple portraits, what equipment will be used to provide you with the best possible photos, etc). I will also take the time to look up the venue in google to make sure I have a great idea of how everything will look.

Q:        We live out-of-town. Is it possible for our family/friends to meet with you instead?

A:        I’d love to meet your relatives, answer their questions and review our work with them. If possible, I’d like to at least webcam with you to get to know you better.

Q:        We’re very busy and won’t be able to meet. Are there any other options?

A:        I would love to meet with you prior to our engagement shoot or wedding; however, if you’re too busy or too far away, we can handle everything remotely. Just let me know what information you need and I will do my best to accommodate your request. For example, if you would like to see more of my work, I can gladly show you complete events online. If you would like to talk about packages and get a sense of my personality, telephone calls, and webcam appointments can be arranged.

Q:        Do you deliver every image you shoot?

A:        No, I do not. I eliminate duplicate images, test shots, missed focused shots, shots with bad expressions and other images that may dilute the overall product delivery.

Q:        Is there an estimated number of photos we will get?

A:        You will get all of the photos from your day excluding missed focus shots, photos with bad expressions/half open eyes, and exact duplicates. For 8 hours of coverage and 1 photographer, you can expect to receive around 1,000 photos. If you have a 2nd photographer covering your wedding, the number of photos you receive will increase.

Q:        What is your wedding photography style?

A:        I prefer to take a journalistic style approach to your wedding day. Acting much as a fly on the wall, I try hard not to interfere with any of the events during your big day! I like to capture everything as it unfolds and tell the story of your day through candid images. During your formal portrait session, I take a very classic approach to family images, with the bridal party, we are free to have a little more fun if the mood suits, and for the couple’s session, I like to do a mix of classic portraits and modern fun. To see examples of my quality and style, please visit my Portfolio as well as my Blog.

Q:        Can I see a full event from start to finish?

A:        Of course you may! I understand all photographers post their best shots from each wedding on their websites so it’s hard to determine how well he or she will perform on the wedding day. If you would like to see a full gallery, please let me know!

Q:        My venue is very dark. How does your studio handle these situations and can I see samples?

A:        I have shot in the darkest of dark chapels and reception halls so no need to worry! If the situation allows, I will set up additional lighting to ensure I get focused pictures. Some chapels do not allow for flash photography; and for that reason, I shoot on cameras with superb low-light performance and lenses with low apertures.

Q:        Do you offer any discounts on weekday weddings, Sunday weddings, or weddings during the off-season?

A:        I do not offer discounts for Sunday weddings. If you are getting married between November and February, you can save 20% on the total cost of your wedding package!

Q:        Can we give you a “shot list”?

A:        Yes. In your wedding questionnaire, I leave lots of room for you to specify family groups and other requested shots throughout the day!

Q:        Are you open to some of our ideas and suggestions?

A:        I love that! Collect photos, screen shots, or snippets of any cool and unique ideas that you have come across. Bring it to our consultation, or flip it to me in an email! While I cannot guarantee any particular shot, I do love seeing your ideas and what inspires you!

 

Portrait Questions

 

Q:        Which locations do you recommend for a Portrait Session?

A:        Ottawa is full of little gems!  The best places are where you feel most comfortable so you enjoy the session as much as possible. If you prefer that I suggest some locations, just let me know your location and what you are looking for! I’d love to talk about your ideas so just shoot me a message and we can get into the details.

Q:        How should we prepare for Portrait Session?

A:        Good mood is the most important thing.  Make sure you have enough time to prepare beforehand so you are not stressed, comfortable clothing fitting the season. Let’s consider staying away from the cliché white shirt and blue jeans. Though it is a popular choice because it is easy, it does not tend to be the most flattering combination. In general, I always recommend against lighter colored tops, as they wash out your face. Darker colors always look best! The colors you choose do not matter as much as staying away from clashing patterns. No flannel, polka dot, Hawaiian shirt, argyle sweater combos. Layers are a great idea, scarves, jewelry, and things like that! We can go through specific questions before your shoot so we can ensure you are well prepared.

Q:        What happens if we are running late or vice versa to our shoot? Will you extend the shooting time?

A:        It is my practice to arrive early to a shoot, as I like to scope out the surroundings and get my creative mind going. If for some reason I am late I will do my best to extend the time or if the time is substantial and the shoot is unsuccessful we will refund all or part of the money, or work to reschedule a session. If a client is late I will do my best in the time that is remaining to get everything we need, but I don’t extend the session time unless there are circumstances beyond the clients control.

Q:        What if it is raining during our session?

A:        In the case of rain or bad weather we will made the decision to reschedule the day before, unless you want to play in the rain! If it is a downpour and/or cold, however, then we will reschedule for sure!

Q:        Is there an estimated number of photos we will get?

A:         Each collection comes with a set amount of photos. Collection information can be found on my Investment Page.

Q:        When can we expect to see our photos from our session?

A:        Post production for portrait sessions are completed 2 weeks after the selections are finalized from your proofing gallery. If you require the images to be completed prior to the two, a rush process fee will be charged.

Q:        What days can we schedule our session?

A:        Because most weddings occur on Saturdays, I typically do not shoot Portrait sessions on weekends between June and August. If you can only do your session on a weekend, we can look at scheduling Sunday mornings for a surplus fee of $50. Weekday evenings at sunset are preferred as typically locations are typically less crowded.

 

 

POST PRODUCTION QUESTION

 

Q:        Do you post process all the images in our image download?

A:        Yes I do. Every image I deliver is post produced to include color correction, exposure adjustment, clarity adjustments, tone-mapping, and selective black and white processing. Many photographers will not post produce any images, or will only post produce “select” images from your wedding. This means that you may have pictures that are too dark, have strange skin tones or other common photography flaws. All formal portraits from a wedding, or all photos from your portrait session, will be touched up in addition to post-processing.

Q:        What do you mean by “touching up” the photos?

A:        “Touching up” includes post-processing, and additional edits such as beautify edits, skin smoothing, teeth whitening, eye enhancement, removing blemishes, etc.

Q:        What size can we print our photos up to with our full resolution image download?

A:        The images delivered in your gallery are full resolution, they are not cut down to be limited in the size you can print. That said, they are suitable for any size you should wish to print for a home.

Q:        What rights do I have to the digital prints?

A:        You have the right to reprint images and share your images with friends and family whenever you want. However, you may not sell your images for profit.

Q:        Do you provide the RAW files from my session or wedding day?

A:        Each of my packages comes with a full resolution image download. However, I typically do not provide RAW (unprocessed) files from my shoots because I believe in delivering a finished product.

Q:        Do you back up our images? How can we ensure that our images won’t be lost?

A:        I have never lost an image from a session due to the following backup workflow for each our events:

  • During the wedding or portrait session, I write your images to two cards simultaneously, this ensures that should one card go bad, there is another one taking the same images!
  • After the session, I load the images from the cards to the computer and transfer to a backup hard drive. In addition, I have an online cloud backup that will automatically back up all files.
  • As a final safeguard, I do not delete memory cards until the files are safely in all three locations!

 

Q:        What if I lose my images?

A:        There is a $50 archival fee charged to repost after an event has been archived. I strongly suggest you make at least one copy (or multiple!) of the download when you receive it from us. Images are only grunted by me for up to one year.