Sacramento Wedding Photography FAQ questions and answers page -- updated June 2013

Frequently Asked Questions
about Wedding Photography


Roseville, Sacramento
and Northern California
No travel charge within 100 miles of Sacramento


(916) 782-7536

 Are you a detail nut? Cool! Read on! (This page has far more info than most customers will need to bother with. If your eyes start to cross just go on to a different page.)

I squint and blink if I pose in bright light. Can you help?

We have great news! ...Click here


What is your style of photographing weddings?

75% photojournalistic combined with 25% traditional.

We excel at capturing all those unexpected, special moments as they occur!

We suggest that a SMALL NUMBER OF PLANNED family poses will turn out to be really valued by many customers. Weddings may be your only chance to catch family members together in pictures. Today's trendy pure "photojournalistic" style may overlook these.


Do you cooperate with video cameras?

Yes! And we'll allow your video person to include our still pictures in his video.


How many pictures do you take at a wedding?

Average of 500 to 1,000 but exact number varies depending on the number of guests, size of family, amount of activities such as dancing etc.


Why so many? 

By taking far more pictures than we'll need, we have alternative shots for when people blink. And of course we catpure great spontaneous candid shots of people who are important to you.

The real goal is to end up with a smaller number of really great images. Professional wedding ALBUMS average 20 to 40 enlargements -- that's all. (Though styles are available to handle many more images if you want.) 

Many clients like to add a second, less-formal album for candid shots. A popular option is an "electronic" album of candids on an iPad, Galaxy Tablet, smart phone or similar device. You can do this yourselves or order through us. See examples on our albums page



What happens if we have to change our wedding date?

We'll accommodate your new wedding date or refund your deposit!
We refuse to make a profit from non-refundable deposits.


Our uncle wants to be the photographer, he got this expensive digital camera from Best Buy. Should we use him instead of hiring a professional?

Wedding photography is more complicated than regular photography. Much more complicated. When your uncle or cousin messes up, you'll be enemies forever! See example here.


If you need to appease your uncle, why don't you just ask him to take some candid photos while you're getting ready, and during the reception.


Do you carry backup equipment? What happens if your camera breaks at our event?

We have been doing this a very long time and have lots of backup equipment available.


Will the photographer accept our ideas for special poses?

Absolutely! We are there to serve you and are happy to accept special requests!

If you have special poses you've seen published in a bridal magazine, and you can bring us a cutout of what you like, that is terrific. Bring these to us BEFORE the wedding day so we can work your ideas into our own list.

And if you don't have the time, but just want us to use our own judgment on poses, we'll flow with that too.


My mother got a list of must-have poses from a bridal magazine. Will you photograph every pose on it?  

No! Not from those bridal magazine lists!

Actually we could photograph everything on it, but you wouldn't have any time left to see your guests.

Experienced photographers must use their professional judgment to cut poses down to a manageable number.


On the wedding day, do you ever stop family & friends from taking pictures with their own cameras?

Mostly we cooperate with guests and often will take a picture for them using their own camera. We don't consider guests in "competition" with us.

Exception: On rare occasions we must stop amateurs from taking pictures during formal group portrait sessions. We want to get posed pictures completed quickly so you can return to your guests. If amateurs keep distracting or delaying our group poses, it slows everything down, and affects the posing quality too. We're hired to secure your best interests and to maintain best-practices professional standards.


Can you do special effect photos - such as vignettes, soft focus, cropping, black & white, sepia? 
By the way, what are those things?

Of course!

Click below for explanations/examples...

Special effects Cropping Black & white


How much in advance should I book a photographer?

The sooner you book the photographer of your choice, the sooner your date is saved on his calendar. No photographer will reserve a date without a paid deposit.

The best time to book a photographer is after you've determined the wedding date, which may depend on availability of the wedding or reception site you want. Things will fall into place after you've settled upon a location.

Caution though...most wedding sites have non-refundable deposits so it's hard to make date changes after that.


How long does it take to get our pictures after the wedding?

1. Editing: We average 3 to 6 weeks after a wedding date, to perform our digital editing & organizing of the important poses. (However we can e-mail you some preview shots almost immediately or post them on our website. Let us know your preference.) 

2. Prints:  For ordering reprints and enlargements, photo labs are pretty quick now because computers have streamlined their work flow. But the photographer needs to digitally edit/enhance each image that's ordered before it's sent to the photo lab.

3. Albums: Album completion time varies depending on the complexity of the album you decide to order. Basic albums may be done in a couple of weeks. High end coffee table albums with custom layouts and special cover materials may take several months due to the album factory's workload. All of us photographers use the same group of suppliers.


Can we make copies of photos that you take at our wedding?

Yes. That's why we never use copy protection or digital rights management (DRM.) We recommend against those technologies. We copyright release our wedding photos for your personal use.

Digital Rights Management or copy protection are dangerous software technologies that could prevent your digital images from being readable in the future.


Can I have another photo lab make prints from photos you took?

Yes. We make you legal by providing you with a Copyright Release.

You can even use your home ink jet printer. (See our page with helpful instructions.)

For better quality you can order enlargements through a professional photo lab or through us. Locally Doug recommends CaliColor in Sacramento, and ImageProsPhoto in Orangevale.



Can any computer read the digital photos you take? 

Yes. We use only common file formats that are recognized by EVERY VERSION of Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh. Both brands have file viewing software built in. So you can view photos without installing any special software.



Is a deposit needed to reserve a wedding date?

Yes. We normally book the first person who gives us a deposit for a particular wedding date. Giving us a deposit also means client agrees to the terms of our Standard Contract which includes a Limitation of Liability clause. Our Contract is available to view on this website.

If another photographer offers to "pencil you in" for a date that is a marketing gimmick. He'll dump you for the first person who writes him a check.


When are final payments due?

We are ok with half of the total being paid on or before the wedding day. Any remaining balance should be paid by the time we are ready to deliver high-resolution digital images (typically 3 to 6 weeks after a wedding, depending on our workload.)

Album expenses are a la carte and do not have to be paid before the wedding. (But a high end album must be paid in full at the time of order.)  A la carte items means they are optional purchases, not required.



How many weddings does Doug shoot per weekend?

We normally photograph only one wedding per weekend.

On rare occasions we'll waive that, as when another photo studio may ask Doug to help them out in an emergency. Such as if their staff photographer suddenly quits. Professional photographers help each other out in emergencies. We may be competitors, but most wedding photographers are nice people too.



Can we change photo packages if we decide we booked the wrong one?



Do you accept checks?



Do you accept debit or credit cards?

Yes, but please give us advance notice so we'll have the equipment ready.


Do you have any special tips for weddings that will be outdoors?

Yes! If you aren't using a professional wedding planner, here are some issues to consider that will help your day go better. Click here


Why are photographers' prices so high? Since photographers don't have to buy film any more, shouldn't fees be very low? 

Really good photographers have years of experience and never stop learning. These years will be reflected in the costs, just as hiring a master carpenter costs more than hiring a trainee who might not nail the cabinets straight.

Pro-grade cameras & computers require periodic upgrades. Upgrade costs must be recovered through those "high" prices --- or the photographer will not stay in business.

Doug doesn't just spend 6 hours at a wedding --- image editing time in post production takes much longer. I've spent as long as 40 hours in post production for a large wedding.

If a photographer is willing to charge too low a fee, actually, there could be a problem.


Does Doug use an assistant or second photographer?

In most cases he has an assistant. But it can vary with scheduling, availability, price and other factors.


Do you photograph Quinceaneras, Bat Mitzvah & Bar Mitzvah photos?

Yes. We have a knock-your-socks-off portfolio to show you on request. Bar Mitzvahs and Quinceaneras are photographed almost exactly like weddings. Only a handful of special poses need to be added, such as, elevating the celebrant up on a chair, and family members reading from the Bible or Tenach. See our Galleries page.


Do you shoot modeling portfolios?

We specialize in wedding photography. Plus some family portraits, architectural & commercial photography.

We can shoot "amateur" modeling portfolios on an informal TFP basis ("trade for photographs."). But if you're totally serious about a modeling career, your portfolio should be created using full studio facilities. We can refer to you to photographers who have that specialty.

Just be aware the percentage of aspiring models who "make it" professionally is almost zero, especially in Sacramento. I'd recommend first reading some books by models in the industry, to learn how to not repeat their same mistakes.


I noted your website's domain name changes slightly when I navigate through your website! What's going on? 

We have two websites including a "mirror site" on a different server. It's similar to a business having more than one phone line, but it's the same business.


Will digital images last as long as film? 

The short answer is current digital prints and enlargements are expected to last from 60 to 200 years which is better than color film's lifespan.

But preserving digital image files on disc is a little more complicated. Doug HAS figured out how to do it but most readers would get bored with the details.

If you ARE a techie Doug happily lays out all the fun details in an article here.


Is digital or film better?

See a direct comparison with your own eyes here.

Bottom line is, digital quality mostly equals film quality, so photographers just shoot digital now because it's more convenient. On a very few recent occasions I've used film for some technical advantage, such as dynamic range in difficult lighting. See the recent photo of Pope Benedict on my photographer's biography page. That was done on film (but you would have never guessed if I hadn't told you.)


How long will digital photos last?  Is there any way to protect them from EMP damage? Click here
EMP stands for Electro Magnetic Pulse, of course.

Where do I apply for a marriage license and how long does it take? Click here


Cutting wedding photography costs?:Click here

How to print wedding photos: You can order them thru us, or thru a photo lab, or print them yourselves

Privacy Policy -- Privacy Statement for this website

Contract -- Wedding agreement Standard Contract for wedding photography

Fill flash:  -- Do you squint or blink a lot? What about heavy shadows outdoors? 

Cropping: -- Can a photo be printed to see details closer up?

Wedding planning questions to ask churches

How to preserve digital memories

Galleries -- See our wedding sample photos from several specific, individual weddings. Why that way?  Because bride magazines recommend customers look at samples from individual weddings, instead of just "best of" photos. This shows whether a photographer's style and quality remain consistent throughout a wedding.


Booking deposit is required. Phone or e-mail Doug to confirm your date is available.
We perform photography in Sacramento, Roseville, Placer County, Elk Grove, Lake Tahoe, Dixon, Vacaville , Chico, Paradise --- no travel charge within 125 miles of Sacramento





Wedding tips!