General Questions

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What is the difference between editing, enhancing and retouching?

Editing

Over the course of an event, we photograph a lot of images! For example, a wedding may have 3,000 images, including many amazing photos. There will also be different exposures, angles, lighting, etc. This is because we are being creative, and making adjustments while thinking on our feet. We are also working to provide lots of coverage.

Although there will be definite standouts, we do very little removal of photos (editing), as we feel you should have everything. This is because there may be images that resonate with you for any number of reasons. For example, there may be a friend or relative included in a specific photo that is especially meaningful to you. Even if there are other images in the series with better composition or smiles, we will still include that photo in our deliverables. That way, you have the photo for life. You can always select out your favorites, and return to those most often, but we believe you should at least have all the moments captured. You never know which image will have impact years down the road.

Enhancement

Enhancement of a picture is basically the stylizing of the image. Our package include basic enhancement to all images, which involves adjustments to color and contrast. We also hand-select our most favorite images to undergo premium enhancement. This involves meticulous fine-tuning, such as boosting the colors of the image, to create the mood and feel of the photo. This premium enhancement to our favorites is included as part of our process and included in the packages. You will also have the opportunity to select your own favorites for premium enhancement. That way, we are able to devote extra effort and attention to the images you will enjoy most!

Retouching

Retouching is adding or taking away something from the image that didn't exist. It is included in many cases, such as in our Photographers Favorites, premium digital files, fine art prints, and wedding albums. All retouching is done at the discretion our studio. When retouching is included, we focus on a few small improvements that will benefit the image, while preserving the original composition. For example, taking a blemish away, cleaning up flyaway hairs, eliminating distractions, or slightly thinning out arms or legs. These are the types of retouching that may be done as part of our normal retouch process.

Custom Retouching

When the work involves creating a composition that didn't exist in real life, it becomes much more labor intensive. So for specific post-production requests, or retouching beyond our normal process, there is an extra fee. For example, removing people, adding a smile from one photo to another, or taking away large objects. These kinds of requests involve rebuilding or drawing in parts of the image by the digital artist. It is a very meticulous process.

The approach taken with the retouch completely depends on the complexity of the image. Most clients typically ask for very little retouching because so much of the feel gets accomplished within the included enhancement. When there is a custom request, our studio is very efficient, and can typically get a lot of retouching done to images within a smaller amount of time.

How many images will result from our engagement shoot?

There are no limits to the number of photographs taken during an engagement shoot. However, our focus is much more about quality versus quantity. You can expect an average of 100-150 finished images from a one hour shoot, with the goal of capturing 10-15 absolutely amazing photos.

Do you provide us with the raw images you shoot on our wedding day?

Rather than providing the raw files, which are not printable, we provide you with all of the images of your wedding day as high resolution JPEGs. That way, your images are viewable and printable everywhere.

Can we choose which pictures are enhanced in order to save money?

Image enhancement is critical step in the process, and an integral part of the service you receive from our studio. Images without enhancement are like raw materials and are not as pretty to look at :) That is why each and every image goes through a standard enhancement process, to adjust for color and contrast.

From there, we focus our time and attention on the images we feel are the absolute best, and give these an extra round of premium enhancement. This involves reviewing and correcting these favorites by hand, and crafting the final product. You will also have the same opportunity to select your most favorite images for premium enhancement.

Are there any additional fees that are added to our contract once we book?

We believe in being very straightforward and upfront with our contracts. On your contract, you will see a breakdown of exactly what is included, and the total amount specifying what is owed. We have accounted for factors that might affect the price, so there will be no surprises. For example, parking fees charged by the venue are included in our cost, and will not be added on later.

Also, if travel is necessary, we anticipate these costs and build them into your contract price. To see this feature in action, you can calculate potential travel costs by entering your venue's zip code in our online booking system.

Even though your contracted price stays firm, we still provide the flexibility to add to your package, such as additional hours of coverage, albums, fine art prints, etc. These additional products and services would be a separate purchase/charge, and we will always confirm approval before adding to your package.

Can our engagement photo shoot take place during the weekend?

Yes. This is much more doable during our slower season, which is primarily November – March. During the spring and summer months, our weekends are typically all booked up photographing weddings, so weekdays are much more feasible. Also, throughout the summer, it tends to stay light until 7:00pm or later. Since the best lighting opportunity is about an hour before sunset, it generally works well to photograph during the week, after work hours. We want you to show up relaxed and comfortable, so we will ensure the time and date work well for you. If the weekend in the summertime is a must, we will do our best to accommodate.

Will you put a hold on a specific date for us?

Yes. We are happy to put a soft hold on the date for you. Before you request a soft hold, we ask that you be completely interested in booking our studio, and just need to finalize your plans. The soft hold means that if another person calls inquiring about booking on the same date, we will let you know, and give you the opportunity to book before we book with them. However, if a couple books the date online without speaking with us on the phone, we would have to give the date to the other couple.

Since dates do fill up, and can be booked at any time, we suggest booking as soon as you have made the decision to hire our studio, even with a soft hold in place.

How much of a deposit is required, and when is the final balance due?

We completely understand that paying all of your vendor deposits at once can be challenging. We wanted to make it easier, so we set up three different payment plans. In addition to paying half of the contract as a deposit, couples now have the option of making monthly or quarterly payments instead. If you choose monthly payments, for example, and your wedding is one year away, we would take your total contract amount and divide it by 12 months. That way, you don't have to come up with a large deposit. If you select quarterly payments, we will divide the payments by four, and evenly spread out the balance until the wedding day. If you prefer to pay half upfront, the first payment would be made upon booking, and the final payment would be charged one week prior to the wedding date.

No matter which plan you choose, there are no fees or interest added to the plan. It is completely set up to make payments more convenient for you.

Do you have a list of preferred vendors you can share with me?

Absolutely! We have many preferred vendors who we have enjoyed working with over the years, and who we highly recommend. We have vendors listed from almost every category, and you can find the complete list by clicking on this link.

What will the photographers wear the day of the wedding?

Our formula for what to wear is to look professional, and to blend in. We don't want to under-dress where we stand out in a negative way, and we don't want to overdress and be fancier than the guests or wedding couple. We make sure to ask about your dress attire for your guests, and then follow suit. If your occasion is black tie, we will go black tie. If you're on the beach, decked out in Tommy Bahama and flip flops, we will be right there with you.

Will you photograph the rehearsal?

We have been photographing for many years and always go through the wedding timeline about one month before the big day :) The rehearsal's intention is to ensure that the bridal party, couple and family know when and where they are to walk down the aisle. As photographers, we will be in position and will be ready to capture the event as in unfolds. As for photo opportunities, we suggest saving the ceremony pictures for the actual wedding day.

Many couple's will have a rehearsal dinner afterwards, which we are more than happy to photograph. It is a nice opportunity to capture really fun images, as well as a great way to get to know the entire family better before the wedding day. The rehearsal dinner rate is counted as regular booking time, and there is a two hour minimum. If you are wanting coverage of the rehearsal dinner, we suggest you add the number of hours needed for the dinner to the total wedding day hours when booking us online at this link.

When you book us for a rehearsal dinner shoot, we guarantee that it will be photographed by one of our True photographers on our team. Also, whenever possible, we try to have your wedding day photographer be your rehearsal dinner photographer, depending on availability.

How does your photo registry work?

Our online registry is provided at no cost to our wedding clients. It is very simple to use, and lets guests contribute to the cost of our photography products and services. This helps the budget to go further :) Shortly after booking with us, we'll send you a personalized registry link that you can email, add to invites, and share with your guests.

Whenever a guest makes a contribution, they can choose how much they would like to give. After an amount is selected, the guest's credit card is charged, and they receive an automatic notification and "thank you" by email. You will also receive a confirmation each time, letting you know who contributed, and the total amount given.

Any time you receive a registry gift, the credit will go directly into your account. Your registry credit can be used towards any purchase on our online shopping cart, such as wedding album, enlargements, add-on photo shoots, or other photography services. You can check your available credit any time by logging into http://shop.truephotography.com and clicking on "My Account" at the top of the site.

There are a few additional optional features available to you:

  • If desired, you can change the default message your guests to make it more personal, which you can do on your own.
  • You can choose a maximum dollar amount for your registry by contacting our studio. As soon as the maximum is reached, the registry is automatically closed. For example: let's say you register for $1,500 towards an album of your choice. Once your total gift contributions reach that total amount, the registry is closed. Otherwise, your registry is left open-ended :)
  • If you send us 2-3 photos of the two of you, once your registry is ready, we we will add them to your registry page.

If you are a client and for some reason don't have a registry, and would like one, please contact us. We'll get you set up!

example of wedding photography registry

Can you suggest a nice engagement shoot location?

San Diego offers many amazing locations for a perfect engagement shoot. In order to be most efficient with your engagement shoot time, we suggest choosing an location with a lot of cool backgrounds within a close proximity. That way, we spend your allotted time photographing, rather than driving. Here are a few spots that we are drawn to:

  • Downtown San Diego / Gaslamp District: This is one of our top suggestions. Our headquarters in the Marina district is a great place to kick off your shoot. In every direction, you'll find diverse and picturesque backdrops, including century-old buildings, a waterfront view, trolley stops, and eclectic storefronts. It is near the hustle and bustle of downtown, but has its own cool vibe. There are beautiful city parks nearby, as well as attractions such as Seaport Village and the Headquarters at Seaport District. And the Gaslamp District is a few short blocks away, which makes for great nightlife photos!
  • Solana Beach: We were located on Cedros Ave in Solana Beach for several years, and it is for a good reason. Location, location, location :) Cedros is perfect because it's an artistic street with many different backgrounds. Cool spots that are steps from our studio include a bridge, bright red and blue brick walls, lush vegetation, an iconic music venue... the list goes on. You can walk 100 yards and it looks like you went all over the city. The other nice part is that it is a 2-minute drive to the beach (Fletcher Cove). Because Fletcher Cove sits on a bluff, it has cliffs overlooking the ocean, as well as nice sandy beach areas.
  • Balboa Park: Balboa Park has many great backdrops. You can have photographs in the trees, under archways, in rose gardens, by a pond, and in a funky cactus field. There is also a Merry Go Round just down the street, which makes for more fun shots!
  • Salk Institute and Torrey Pines Glider Port: These locations are right next to each other and make for a diverse photo shoot. The Salk Institute offers minimalism at its finest. It is all concrete, and is understated and modern. If you are looking for that clean, sleek look, this is the place to be. Just down the street is the Torrey Pines Glider Port, which features cliffs overlooking the ocean, for a nice backdrop. If the timing is right, there may even be hang-gliders and para-sailers in the background of your photos.
  • San Dieguito Park: This park is very natural looking, with big lush trees and colorful fall leaves. Although it is groomed, it doesn't feel overly manicured. Other features include a nice pond, big rocks, and open space. If you are wanting all-natural, colorful scenery, this is the place to be.
  • Belmont Park: If you want more of a seaside carnival theme, and would like to be kids the day, then Belmont Park is the perfect spot. There are rides, skill games, and an overall nostalgic vibe. Also, it is right by the beach, which means scenic natural backdrops within walking distance. One consideration is that it can be crowded at times, especially the nearby beach areas.

These are a few of our favorite and most requested spots. For more insight and tips, please visit our engagement shoot guide. If you have any questions regarding our engagement shoots, please feel free to contact us!

How do I log into shop.truephotography.com to view my photos?

We are definitely happy to help. Here is the process:

Step 1 - Your Event Code
Typically, when your event is ready to be viewed, we provide you with an Event Code via email. This Event Code lets you view and enjoy your online gallery, and browse and order digital images, prints, books and albums.

Assuming you were provided with an Event Code, please visit http://shop.truephotography.com On the home page, where it says 'Find My Photos', please ensure you enter the Event Code provided and not an email address or any other password.

enter-event-code

If your Event Code is correct and active, you will now be able to browse the photos for your event. You are welcome to share this event code with friends and family, so they may also view and enjoy your photos, and order prints and digital files if desired.

Step 2 - Your Account
If you were provided with an Account, or would like to set one up, click the Account Login link in the upper left corner of the website. This is where you will enter your email address and password. If you have earned credit through your registry or other means, the credit will only be available when logged into your Account.

login-box
Unlike your Event Code, you will want to keep your Account private (do not share), since it will eventually contain purchase history and other personal info.

Step 3 - Account Credit
After you are logged in, if you have credit in your account, you will be able to see this by clicking on My Account. Any active credit shown will be available to use upon checkout, and may be applied towards any purchase.

Troubleshooting

  1. If we set up your account as a courtesy, and notified you via email, please ensure you are logging in with the account the email was sent to.
  2. If it has been several months since your event, your online gallery is likely expired. Please contact us to reactivate, if possible.
  3. If your event was prior to 2016, please contact us.
  4. If you are a guest and are trying to access a specific event, please contact the individual or couple directly to request the Event Code.
  5. For all other questions regarding online viewing and ordering, please contact our studio :)

How do you choose your preferred vendors on www.truephotography.com?

Our preferred vendors section on www.truephotography.com is truly representative of the vendors we work with frequently, and who we trust highly. Because every event on our main site is tagged, we are constantly aware of which vendors we work with most often.

To be a preferred vendor within the links section of our main website, a vendor must:

  • Work with our studio for a minimum of two years. Each time we work an event with vendor, the more visibility we give them throughout our site.
  • Receive consistently positive feedback and glowing reviews from our clients
  • Demonstrate their talents and creativity on a consistent basis
  • Run an ethical, organized, professional business
  • Be good, kind, quality people behind the scenes

In order to be considered for our preferred list, vendors must first meet all of these parameters. Then, out of the vendors who qualify, the ones that actively promote and refer our studio the most will be the ones listed. That way, we can continue working closely with vendors who have contributed to the success of past events.

Should we tip our photographers?

Tipping is never required. It is certainly appreciated if you choose to leave your photographer a tip for their efforts, but is not expected. If you choose to leave a tip, any amount is great. If you have to make a choice between tipping us or using it towards your photography needs, we would rather have you save it for your wedding day.  The power of a thank you goes a long way with us in showing your appreciation.

What kinds of takeaways do we get after the engagement shoot as well as the wedding?

What we include in your package are high-resolution, enhanced, digital files of all of the images. We feel that providing a digital file is way more powerful than a print. Having the file itself allows you to print a hundred of the same picture at any size if you wish, without having to pay our studio every time.

Of course, we would be happy to print up images for you. We offer professional printing and fine art printing through our online store. If you have accumulated studio credit from our registry solution, or other means, you are welcome to apply this credit to cover any print purchase.

At your preference, you may also print your image files at any reputable photo lab outside of our studio. It is completely up to you.

This question was submitted by our reader Anny :)

How many hours of photography is suggested for a wedding?

We find six hours to be the average amount of time needed to have a photographer on site. You may need more and you may need less. Typically, we arrive at a wedding about an hour and a half  prior to the start time. We don't show up at the start  of the "getting ready" process because when you're just starting out (putting deodorant on and brushing your teeth) it's not essential that this be photographed. What is important is that we get those final touches and details, such as pictures of the dress and accessories, and the girls helping put the bride's gown on.

The same holds true for the end of the evening. Fifteen minutes of dancing with two photographers photographing non-stop will look like three hours of dancing. So it is most important to think about when your last traditional event will take place. For example: the cake cutting, final speech, or bouquet toss. Then, add twenty minutes to that and you should be in great shape.

We rarely stay until the end of the wedding. Usually, the end of the evening entails a few people leaving in the dark, with a few other people waving goodbye. Your guests are partied out, a little sweaty, and maybe have had a few drinks, so the end of evening photos are not nearly as amazing as you'd think they may be.

Of course, there are exceptions to all of this. For example, if there is a big gap of time between the ceremony and reception. Or if you are having a late-night activity, such as fireworks or sparklers, etc. In these cases, it's best to discuss your timeline with our photography team, so we can create the best solution for you.

We always suggest  hiring us for the minimum amount of time that you know you'll need. That way, you're paying for the amount of time that you know you'll need. You always have the option to add on more time at the event if needed. Twenty minutes before we are scheduled to wrap up, we will come up to you to make sure that everything was covered. If we feel that there is more to photograph, we will try to get it done within that time period, or let you know if more time is necessary.

Here is an example timeline:

6hr package with wedding starting at 5:30pm

  • 4:00pm-4:30pm arrive to photograph final getting ready shots. Bride should be 90% ready with exception of dress being put on. Bridesmaids should be 100% ready
  • 4:30-5:00 photograph bridesmaids
  • 5:00-5:20 photograph groomsmen
  • 5:30-6:00 photograph ceremony
  • 6:00-7:00 cocktail hr (one photographer will head to cocktail hour and photograph the room details)
  • 6:00-6:25 photograph family (this is the most important part of the day, it is vital that all family know where to be and are present. If we are chasing after an uncle that went to cocktail hour by accident, there is a domino affect and it takes away from the couple's photos as there isn’t a lot of makeup time on the wedding day.) After the pics, the family heads to cocktail hour
  • 6:25-6:40 bridal party  (bridal party needs to stay and not head to cocktail hour until after the pictures)
  • 6:40-7:05 Pictures of the wedding couple (If more time is needed we will pull you out during salads to get a few more portraits)
  • 7:00-10:00 Photograph dances and traditional reception events

More time may be needed depending on your events taking place.

Do you offer albums with your packages? Are albums included?

We offer beautiful craftsman-quality albums. We feel it is best to choose the album after you see all of your images. It becomes much easier to select the style, size and number of images once you actually have pictures to look at :) Therefore, we keep album-related decisions and purchases separate from the initial main package.

On average, a nice wedding album starts at around $1200. There are books that run higher and lower, depending on the style you are after. When the time comes to order your album, we will provide suggestions and options that work at different budget levels.

We understand and respect that there are studios that offer albums within their package. We offer quality over quantity. We are focused initially on putting your investment towards producing the top level of quality in the photography. We never cut corners there.

When you hire our company for your wedding, you are hiring an entire team of experts. We put in time to research your venue and think of creative, innovative ideas. With two-photographer packages, both shooters are of equal caliber, rather than a first shooter and an assistant holding a camera. In post-production, everything is done by hand, in-house. Each step we take is to make sure that the images are perfect and the process is seamless.

We believe investing in the talent is much more powerful to have in the long run. You have the ability to get an album anytime in the future, but the pictures are typically either good or bad, you love them or you don't...there isn't usually a middle ground. We make sure they're amazing!

For more information regarding our wedding albums, please click here.

Can I stagger my first and second photographer hours to get more coverage?

Your first and second photographers work together as a team, dividing responsibilities and coverage during the contracted shooting time. For this reason, all photographers have the same start and stop time, and cannot be staggered separately throughout the day. If you are needing just one photographer up to one hour before or after the two photographers are photographing together,  this is possible and will be at the first shooter rate. For example: You have contracted our studio for 6 hours from 3pm-9pm. There is a little ceremony with just 15 people before the main ceremony at 2:30pm and you would like that captured with only  one photographer. We can accommodate that at the first shooter solo rate in an effort to help financially. Another example that gets requested is having one shooter from 2:30-8:30pm and the other shooter from 3:30-9:30pm. This would be billed with lead photographer for 7 hrs 2:30pm-9:30pm and second photographer for 6hrs 3:30pm-9:30pm. Additional time (for extended coverage) may be added to your contract at any point by contacting our studio.

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