What the FAQ? | A Guide to Your Queries | NC Wedding Photographer

What the FAQ?

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers!

A Guide to the Most Common Questions We’re Asked

Most of our clients are going through the wedding planning experience for the first time. Because of that we super don’t expect you know to ALL the things. So we’ve put together this handy dandy blog post to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get along with our answers. We’ve even gone ahead and answered the questions you’ll find in those “Top 10 Things to Ask In Your Photo Consultation” posts from the big wedding planning blogs in the second half of this post. We hope this helps your concerns and of course if you have any other questions or need some clarity, we’re just an email away!

<3 rach

p.s. brace yourselves, this is a lotta text!

Questions from Our Consultations

What makes your work different from other photographers’ work?
Our vision is fun, meaningful imagery that shows the real smiles off. At the end of the day we want you to enjoy yourself! We’re going to find a pretty place and go for a little walk and stop when Rachael squeaks signifying she found that good good light. If you’re up for hanging and can walk/roll, hold hands, and don’t mind smooching on your honey you’ve totally got this! We don’t expect you to show up ready to model for us, we gotchu! Before you know it you’ll have forgotten about the scary black box pointed your way.

Our style is clean, bright, vibrant images that stand the test of time! We’re inspired by true to life colors and believe that natural light is life! We love it and can’t get enough of it but that doesn’t mean we’re scared of flash. Jared and I are comfortable using off camera flash for your reception, sparkler exit, and maybe some dramatic night portraits. It’s something we feel sets us apart from the majority of natural light photographers in our market.

How does the engagement session work?
Ok so you got that shiny new ring and you’re ready to commit to a lifetime with your boo. Now all you need are some stunning photos of you two looking all cute and whatnot to spread the good news. Well guess what?! All of our wedding collections include an engagement session, awwww yeah!  So here’s the thing, we want to spend some time with you as a couple and get to know each other before the wedding rolls around. Believe it or not the people you spend the most time with on wedding day is your photographers. That’s HUGE! So we absolutely want you to trust us and be comfortable around us. Engagement session is where this all goes down (I promise we won’t make you do trust falls with us). We’re going to chat, goof around, oh and make those photos that you’re dying to post on Instagram. And then when wedding day rolls around you’ll know your BFF photo squad is there to have your back.

What if I’m awkward in front of the camera?
Don’t doubt yourself! Literally every client ever has told us they’re awkward, we don’t believe you. Give us 10 minutes to get you warmed up, nerves calmed, and you’ll be a pro in no time!  Don’t take it so seriously, this is supposed to be fun and a celebration of you two.  A lot of what we ask you to do are normal actions and movements such as walking, holding hands, or hugging. NBD, right? You totally got this! The engagement session is where you find out just how good at being cute you were all along. You’ll show up to wedding day knowing the moves and just how amazing you look too!

Why do you only book sessions Monday-Thursday?
We don’t mean to make it hard on you to schedule.  We specialize in weddings so that means almost all of our Saturdays + Sundays are spoken for.  We are firm believers in work/life balance so we highly value the few weekends we have that aren’t booked. This is our family + friends/sanity time that we use to recharge in order to keep rockin’ our weddings + sessions for all our amazing clients.

How many weddings will you book a year?
We take 25 weddings a year and after that we have to say “no”. We love what we do and we want to make sure we’re bringing our A-game to each and every couple we work with!

How many photographers will be there at our wedding?
There will always be two photographers at your wedding in order to get multiple perspectives and extra shots of all of the details.  Jared and I always plan to shoot together, however we do have a list of qualified photographers to call on in the event Jared is unable to attend.

How do we book?
You will be officially booked with us as soon as a signed contract and a 40% non-refundable retainer is paid.  Everything is handled online thanks to the magic of the internet.  Once you’ve decided on a collection, we’ll send you a link where you can view, sign, and pay online.  Use our contact form or send us an email to get going on that.  Keep in mind that certain months are in high demand so it is best to book sooner rather than later if you are ready.

We love you but you’re out of budget, can you cut me a deal?
We got the skills but we do have to pay the bills. Jared and I paid for our own wedding out of our own pockets so we certainly understand being in this space. If our range is close but just over what you can do, let’s talk and see if theres a way to customize a collection to make it work for your budget. However if you’re here to price shop, we’re not for you. We promise we didn’t pull these numbers out of thin air. We’ve spent a significant amount of time calculating our CODB and building in profit for us to be successful and keep the tax man happy. We fully believe that photography is the most meaningful wedding day investment and hope you do too!

You took so many pictures, do I get them all?
You’ll hear our cameras clicking a lot, we take a lot of images to ensure that we capture those perfect moments.  With that being said no you won’t receive every image we take.  We choose the best of the best then edit and deliver them to you.  We want you to have all the good ones!  Trust me, you’re not missing anything in those ones we don’t deliver, it’s all eye blinks, dupes, or someone walking through the frame.

When will my images be ready?
For SESSIONS we will post your images in an online gallery 3-6 weeks after your session.  With sessions you will receive a download pin that will allow direct downloads of your high-res images from your gallery.

For WEDDINGS turn-around is a bit longer (6-8 weeks) due to the high volume of images to be edited.  Once your images are ready we will give you access to a viewable online gallery while we ship you a USB device containing your high-res files and printing documents.

What equipment do you use?
We use professional full frame sensor Canon camera bodies and L-series lenses. We shoot on the 5d mark III and carry 3 bodies with us to your wedding day. We use a variety of different lenses throughout the day to make our vision come to life. In our bag you’ll find the 85mm 1.2, 70-200mm 2.8,  50mm 1.2, 24-70mm 2.8, 24-105mm 4.0.  We also bring a full off camera flash setup with stands so we can rock your reception photos.

Do I have to order prints through you?
Short answer “No”.  We hook you up with a personal print release for your photos so you have the freedom to print where you would like. We highly recommend ordering prints through our galleries because we work with professional labs, but it is not required. We edit on color calibrated monitors that we maintain regularly so that what we see on screen is what prints at our labs. We keep our print costs low because we would much rather you order through us and get a quality product.  We realize it is very tempting to go down to your local drug store and run some prints off but trust us, it’s a bad idea!  Those drugstore labs do not color match files so it’s very likely your prints won’t look like the images we delivered. If you would like suggestions for consumer labs we can steer you towards some better options, however we cannot be held responsible for prints not purchased through us.

Questions from the Big Blogs

Do you shoot both digital and film?
No. We shoot strictly digital. Rachael learned on film in her art school days and still does for her personal projects but we’ve decided digital is the most practical choice for weddings.

Are the images in your galleries from real clients?
Yep! They’re from real weddings and sessions we’ve captured over the years. We do attend workshops and styled shoots occasionally, you’ll see posts on our blog from them. We make sure to label anything like that so our potential clients aren’t confused or feel mislead.

What is included in your packages?
Hop over to our contact form and we’ll send you the wedding collection guide with all this information.

Will you be my actual photographer, or will it be one of your associates?
Rachael will always be your lead photographer, we cap the amount of weddings we take so that we can build a bond and work with our couples personally.

How long after the wedding do we get to see photos?
We know you’re super excited to see images from the wedding! We get a sneak peek with a handful of images to you within 72 hours. 1-2 weeks after the wedding you can expect to see a blog post on our site with a selection of images from the entire day while we continue working on your final gallery. Your finished gallery will be ready 6-8 weeks after the big day .

How do you coordinate with the videographer?
We work in tandem with videographers because we all need to get our shots. Before the ceremony we’ll have a short chat with them to discuss where everyone will be standing so we can do our best to stay out of each other’s way. We do prefer that you ask us for recommendations so that we can steer you towards great options with videography teams we’ve worked with and know coordinate well.

How many weddings do you shoot a weekend?
Typically we take 1 wedding a weekend, on very rare occasions we will have one on both days. We never photograph more than 1 event/day.

Have you ever shot at my venue before?
In the case that we have not shot at your venue before we plan to arrive early to do a thorough walkthrough of the grounds so we can avoid areas with poor lighting and set you up for success. If your venue is close to our location and you would feel better doing a walkthrough let us know and we’ll see if we can set something up.

Do you follow a shot list?
We only follow a shot list for the family formals portion of the day. From our wedding experience we have a great idea of all the different shots we should be aiming to capture and then we like to get creative and add a few of our own ideas in as well.

What are the restrictions for sharing photos online or for publication?
After we deliver your photos we LOVE to see you posting and enjoying them! We do ask that you tag us on social media and refrain from adding filters or editing the images. We require that we are the only ones submitting the images for publication, the reason being that large publications require exclusivity of the images. We can only guarantee that to them if we have complete control over the submission process.

Do I own the copyright to the photos?
We retain the copyright on the images but we do grant you personal rights so you can print, post, and share with family.  Copyright essentially guarantees our exclusive rights to determine how the images should be displayed, distributed, and that we are the only entity that can make alterations to our images. A print release is different in that it gives our clients permission to reproduce the images for their personal use. If you wanted to make prints, canvases, albums, t-shirts, etc, you are more than welcome to do that for you and your family. You are, however, prohibited from using them for commercial reasons. For example, if you were approached by the owner of your wedding venue because they wanted to buy your wedding profile picture for the cover of their pricing magazine, you would have to decline as they are not yours to sell.

In short, with a print release:

You CAN:

– Post them on all forms of social media.

– Print an unlimited amount of them in any form (photo, canvas, album, etc.)

– Share them with your family so they can do the same!


– Edit or alter the images in any way, including cropping and filters.

– Claim the work as your own.

– Use them for commercial gain.

Can you provide us with references?
You’re more than welcome to view all the wonderful things our clients have to say about us on WeddingWire and Google.

Will my photos be retouched and color balanced?
As photographers, our job is to document you and your surroundings in a flattering way.  We strive to eliminate background distractions in the moment and in general get things right in camera.  All of your images you receive from us will be color, exposure, and crop corrected and be of a similar caliber to what you see on our website portfolio.  We take care of small temporary blemishes so if you wake up with a zit smack dab in the middle of your forehead on wedding day we have your back.

Retouching is a whole different beast.  I can’t tell you the amount of times we hear “Can you make me skinnier?”, “Can you take 10 years off of me?”, “Can you add Bob into this photo?”.  Photoshop is a powerful tool that certainly can do those things and we have spent years working with the program so it’s within the realm of possibility.  However “just Photoshop it!” is not as easy as it sounds.  Extensive retouching like this takes a significant amount of time and goes above and beyond documenting you.  We are happy to do the work however we do charge on a per image basis for extensive retouching requests.

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Rachael Bowman Photography is a husband and wife photography team capturing weddings, elopements, and couples. They serve Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina and surrounding areas.

We Do Photos Right.

north carolina - eastcoast