SMS Photography Blog » austin wedding photography {i like to photograph pretty things}


1. How long have you been photographing weddings?

I have been in the wedding industry for over 12 years and I have been shooting weddings on my own since 2006.

2. Did you study photography?

Yes, I graduated with an Associates Degree from ACC with a background in fashion and commercial but discovered my love for weddings after assisting with a local photographer. I also loved that I could blend my style and aesthetic from fashion and commercial work into my wedding photography. i also taught photography at ACC for 7 years but left to pursue wedding photography full time. Which is my love! Well, right up there with my husband and 3 dogs.

3. Do you have an assistant or second shooter that comes to shoot at weddings with you?

Yes, I have a part time employee and her name is Carolann. She has been with me for over a year. She is first and foremost my assistant, she helps set up group formals and grabs gear when I need it but when she is not doing those things she is shooting! So she is mainly a second shooter. :)

4. Do you shoot Canon or Nikon?

I shoot Canon 5D Mark II’s and lots of lenses and plenty of back up gear!

5. How long does it take to get images back from our wedding?

The typical range is 6-8 weeks but can be less or a little more depending on time of year. We try to get them to you as soon as possible but we spend about 20 hours of editing, post production which includes, color correction, cropping and minor retouch on every wedding we shoot. But to keep everyone settled and happy we try to get a blog post done within a few weeks of the wedding.

6. Do we get all the files from our wedding, even the RAW?

This question has been surfacing lately and I think there is some confusion about what that means. You will not get every photo that we take at the wedding, you aren’t going to want them all! As part of our post production, we go through and select the best of the best photos! Take out any blinks or photos that just don’t make the A grade. We then deliver HiRes Jpegs to our clients. RAW is a type of file that is captured by our cameras, it takes special software for your computer to read it. Plus all that beautiful post work we do on your images is part of the beauty of your wedding. Images that are RAW or straight out of camera (SOOC) do not have the depth and richness or retouch that we spend hours creating for you. We do try to deliver as many photos in color with a selection of B&W. We believe in staying true to natural colors because you can always change a color image into black and white or another effect but not the other way around. But if you love more black and white or a specific look then we can go heavier in that style to customize your wedding for you! Once the edit is done, we upload all the edited images onto a password protected gallery for 6 months and you can share that with any family members and friends. You can also order prints directly from there and create your album selections.

7. How many images do we receive?

Typically about 75 edited images per hour that we shoot.

8. How will we receive our images?

Right now we burn 1 set of DVD’s and you may purchase additional ones for other family members. We are transitioning to uploading weddings through Dropbox, where you will sign up and download them directly to your computer, hard drives or other storage media. Make sure you back up everything!!!

9. If I forget to back up and lose my images will you have a copy for me still?

While we take every precaution and back things up in a number of ways we can not guarantee having your files for more than 1 year after they were originally delivered to you. So it is important once you receive them to back them up on your end!

10. How far in advance do you book weddings and do you limit how many weddings you shoot?

My typical booking about 6 months to a year out from your wedding date but sometimes I get calls or emails for a wedding a month away! If I am available and I have not reached my quota then I am happy to shoot a wedding just around the corner and there may be a discount too. :) I try to shoot around 30 weddings a year, that number usually involves some destination weddings and so that I can make sure I have time for all my couples and their engagement shoots or bridal shoots, I try not to go over that number. I want to be there for my clients and not for you to feel rushed through the process.

11. How do we book you?

Please send me an inquiry through my contact page to ensure availability. We can set up a meeting or phone conference or I will send you a contract and some additional information regarding your weddings date. Then it’s just an $800 retainer fee plus the contract to hold the date officially, so please get those in! Your retainer must be paid with check and final payment is due 30 days out from wedding and can be made with a credit card.


Engagement and Bridal FAQ

1. When should we schedule our engagement session?

If you are using images for a website or save the date, then we recommend about 6 months out from your wedding date. If you are just doing them for fun, then we can do them anytime until about 1 month from the wedding. Also, we schedule engagements and bridals during the week. We are typically shooting on weekends and if we aren’t we may have a day off. But another big reason is that Austin is growing and fast! We find that weekends tend to have festivals, more crowds and are just harder to navigate and be more intimate. Weekdays are just a little slower and easier to work around. We also schedule sessions about 2 hours before sunset for nice light, cooler weather (if shooting in the summer) and sometimes you might just need to leave work a little early or you are already off for the day!

2. Do we need to do an engagement session?

No BUT I highly recommend them! It’s a great chance for us to get to know each other even more. I also find a lot of my clients feel more at ease on the wedding day when they have had a session before hand. You are more familiar with my style and how I will interact with you and how I want you to interact with each other. Overall creating much more natural photos and a faster process. Also, if there is something you don’t like, a certain angle or if you did a trial makeup or hairdo for the shoot, better to test that out on a shoot instead of the BIG DAY!

3. Where do we go for our engagement session?

I love to incorporate as much of my couples personality into the photo shoot. I like for it to be a relaxed shoot with some direction, just to show off your best features. But it will be fun! If you are a dog lover (such as myself) then let’s bring the dogs out! If you are more urban, then maybe a downtown shoot or 2nd street shoot is more for you. If you guys are campers and hikers, then let’s pick a natural setting for you. Do you love to cook breakfast together and do the crossword puzzle together, then that may be the perfect setting for your session. Favorite date spot? Where are you most comfortable and where are you truly yourselves!? We will typically pick 1 or 2 locations (locations must be close) and spend about 1.5 hours together. We can discuss options and pick a place that suits you both!

4. Do we need to bring a change of clothes?

Entirely, up to you! Most couples will do dressy and then something casual but if you’re not dressy then skip that part and do 2 comfy outfits or just one! I don’t recommend more than that though, we want to spend time shooting!

5. Bridal sessions, this is a southern thing but spreading like wildfire! ;) Why should I do a bridal session?

Well, if your mom wants that photo of you for her mantle and to display on the wedding day then that’s one reason! ;) But I love that brides get to wear their dress more than just one day! Plus, again, it’s a great way for you to try out your makeup and/or hair do, just to ensure you like the way it looks in photos. Another big reason is to make sure you can move in your dress and that no other adjustments need to be made. You are used to standing on the pedestal but have you had a chance to sit or walk in it??? This is sometimes a huge eye opener. You may realize after moving around in your gown that it needs some cinching here and there or that ruffle is just sitting a little weird… You want to make sure it is comfortable and perfect for the day of!

6. When do we schedule our bridal session?

As soon as your dress is ready and finished with alterations. 1-2 months before your wedding but even if we are just a couple of weeks away we can try to work something out. RUSH fee may apply.

7. Do we need anything else for either of these shoots?

For engagements, just extra clothes if you are doing a change, comfortable shoes we might be walking some. Water, if it’s hot! Dog treats if you bring the dogs along.

For bridals, I recommend a bouquet, a great way for your florist to to a trial (but remember some flowers may not yet be in season). Some other shoes besides your wedding day ones, to walk around in. Any other accessories you may want to try out.

8. Will my dress get dirty?

We try to make every effort that the dress stays as clean as possible. Some brides do a little dry cleaning after the shoot, some are just fine. We will have you sit on a towel or something for those shots but we don’t recommend putting a sheet down every time we change spots. We want the session to be relaxed and fun. If you are too worried about your dress then maybe a session after the wedding is more your style! We can discuss these options too.

9. What comes with the bridal and engagement sessions?

If you have booked a package please refer to that. If you have purchased a session only, you will receive a print credit to purchase prints OR towards purchasing the HiRes DVD (note DVD does not come with most packages) Please inquire for more info!