Dawn Kelly Photography
Wedding FAQ

Wedding FAQ


Q: What is your photographic style?
Who I Am
I would say that I don’t fit neatly into one “style.” My weddings are a blend of photojournalism and classic photography. Our tagline says a lot about us: “Unique. Elegant. Timeless.” I want your photos to be different than anyone else’s. I want you to look at your photos and realize they are all about YOU, not about me. I have a keen sense of reading people and situations, and I use that to bring my clients’ personalities out in their photographs. I listen to my clients when they explain the pulse of their wedding day so that I can give them images that will make them relive the day in an authentic way. I try to be artistic without being contrived.

I have a very non-obtrusive, hands-off approach to photography. I like to be in the background so I can capture authentic moments as they happen. I often put the bride and groom in a spot and tell them to interact with each other – no posing, just capturing their personalities. This is a great way to warm the couple up for their creative bride and groom portraits, in which I do some posing.

Who I’m Not
One thing I definitely don’t do is follow trends. If you’re looking for a photographer who will work off a Pinterest board or copy poses from a magazine, I’m probably not the photographer for you. If I’m tied to a long list of photos I won’t be free to capture the artistic and photojournalistic images that drew you to my work.

If you’re looking for a super traditional photographer who will take only posed photos or a lot of photos of you smiling at the camera, I’m probably not the photographer for you. I photograph my clients in artistic, romantic ways. I love to give my clients those sweep-you-off-your-feet images, those OMG-they-look-so-into-each-other images. My photography is all about emotional connection between the bride and groom, and I don’t feel I can capture that if you are just smiling at the camera.

Q: Do you shoot film or digital?
I shoot film! I love it because it’s artistic and authentic. I like to use a mixture of 35mm and vintage Polaroid instant film. Typically, we only pull out the digital camera for embarrassing photos of each other.  Read more about this on our About page

Q: Can we give you a list of poses and photos?
Every client receives a photographey planner to fill out so we are sure to capture all the family photos you would like, as well as any special circumstances and events that bear special significance. However, repeated requests for posed images and having us work from a checklist is counterproductive to the artistry and natural style of our photography.

Q: Can we get the black and white images in color?
No. All of my black and white images are taken with true black and white film, so the images can’t be printed or scanned in color. If you’d like more color than black and white images, please let me know and we’ll be sure to cater to your desire.

Travel & Coverage

Q: How much are your wedding packages?

Check out our Pricing Page.

Q: How many photographers will cover our wedding?

Each wedding is covered by myself as the main photographer and Mark as my second shooter.  He also falls into the "assistant" role if something is needed.  We pride ourselves in SUPREME customer service. We don’t want to miss ANY shots. We also want to be able to help you if something goes awry. This requires us to have the man-power in order to do the very best job possible for you.  And when I say "man-power," I mean sending Mark to photograph the men, get the bride a snack, pin boutineers on groomsmen, or grab supplies from our emergency kit.

Q: What if you become ill and can’t photograph our wedding?

I would have to be VERY ill to miss a wedding. However, if I do become deathly ill or in the event of my death, the first step would be for Mark to contact another photographer in our area to take care of you.  We've already discussed this with several photographers who would help in this situation.

Q: How many images do you take and how many do I receive?

That entirely depends on the length of your wedding and how many amazing, special moments and events take place. When we talk about giving you “full coverage,” we mean that we will take photos of everything, from the bride’s earrings to people getting down on the dance floor and everything in between. I’ve been known to photograph the bride brushing her teeth, which turned out to be a very cute photo!

On average, when we shoot a six-hour wedding, we deliver approximately 600 images.

Q: If we go overtime the day of the wedding, will you stay?

Yes, absolutely. We typically check with the bride and groom about an hour before our time is up to see if we need to stay longer. If so, there is an overage fee, which we would invoice you for.

Q: What if it rains on our wedding day and we can't do photos outside?

We often shoot outdoors with umbrellas or under trees and structures. We also have the ability to do portraits inside with portable flash and video lights. However, if you'd like photos outside and we aren't able to do so on the wedding day, we can schedule a post session at the location of your choice.

Q: What is a post session?

A post session is a portrait session for the bride and groom, dressed in their wedding clothes. We do these for couples who desire outdoor photos but weren't able to do so on the wedding day. Popular places to shoot these are San Francisco, the coast, and Yosemite. Post sessions are $600 ($500 for Platinum clients), and travel fees may apply.

Q: Do you travel? How much is it if you have to travel to shoot our wedding?

Yes! We love to travel and photograph weddings in new, exotic places, particularly Hawaii and Europe.  Of course, we adore our usual destinations like Yosemite, San Francisco, and Monterey area. The cost of travel depends on where we are going and for how long. If it’s within driving distance we quote a fairly reasonable price. If we have to fly and/or stay overnight, we ask that you cover our airfare (for two photographers) and hotel stay.

Q: We don’t have a coordinator; how are we going to stay on time with photos?

During your pre-wedding consultations we will work together on a timeline for your wedding. Throughout the day we will do our best to stay on time, but we are not wedding planners or coordinators, so we can't be responsible for other vendors.

Q: Can our friends and family take pictures at the wedding?

Yes, absolutely. A wedding is a very special event that friends and family are going to want to remember with photos. People can take all the photos they want as long as they respectfully give us the “right of way” to take photos during important events. We have seen it all – family standing in the middle of the aisle at a church, people pushing us out of the way to get shots of the cake cutting, etc. We ask that we have a mutual respect and they don’t use their flash, which can ruin our photos.

Q: Do you have your own photo booth?

Yes! We have a fun, hands-on photo booth that you can commission in addition to your wedding package. Check out our Photo Booth web site.

Business & Policies

Q: I live out of state (or out of the country). Can I book you over the phone or via email?

We have booked many weddings for clients who live out of the area. I would have a detailed consultation by phone or Skype, and any paperwork that requires signing would be emailed to you. You would fill out and sign the contract and email me a scan.  Then I would invoice you online for the needed retainer fee to hold your date.

Q: When will we get to see our photos?

You will get to see a large sampling of your photos within three weeks of your wedding! I know I know! Amazing ha?

We do have a bit of turn-around before WE even get to see the images. The professional photo lab we use is within driving distance, so we get our photos back in about two weeks. Once I get them, I immediately post some teasers on Instagram and Facebook, then I put up the blog. Once all the photos are ready for viewing, we invite you and your family to come in, enjoy some champagne, and view a slideshow of your images.

Q: What if I do NOT want my photos posted online?

Our business model is built on showing our work on our web site, blog, Facebook, and Instagram. This is how we grow as a business. If you don’t want your images posted online, we probably aren't the photographers for you.  However, if you still really want to work with us, I would draft a document stating the perimeters of holding back all images from the web, and there is a charge for that.

Q: Do you have insurance?

Yes! We are fully insured. If your site requires a certificate of insurance we can provide one for them.

Q: Do you offer Military discounts, mid-week discounts, or off-season discounts?

We don’t have standing, set discounts; it's considered on a case-by-case basis.  We do discount for weddings that take place on a Monday through Thursday, and occasionally discount weekend dates December and January.  

Q: How do we secure our date with you?

Once your contract is signed we require a $500 retainer fee to secure your date. This can be done in person or via Square online.

Q: I had to cancel my wedding. Do I get my money back?

No. The purpose of your retainer fee is to hold your date, and once you book that date, we turn down all other jobs for that date.