What is your style?
Of course, our style is our own—something true of any photographer—and while we prefer not to have to label our style, some might say we're a mixture of photojournalistic (a label that wedding photographers seem to like to toss around a lot) and quirky fine art. But really, the more important question for you to ask yourself is, are we your style? If you love our photos, then you'll love the photos we'll take for you!
So how many photographers will be at our wedding?
With Birch Blaze you get two professional artists, not just one photographer, or the photographer and a "second shooter." This means that all your wedding day photos will be of top quality and in keeping with our artistic vision. An added benefit of being a husband & wife team is that Taylor (the Wife) can spend as much time with the bride as needed, while at the same time Kerry (the Husband) can hang out with the guys and capture all the shenanigans. Two of us also ensures that we get different perspectives and capture all the important moments that could otherwise get missed when covered by only one photographer. Oh, and by the way: One day = one wedding. This is your day and we're all about you!
What kind of equipment do you use?
We use professional Canon DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras and flashes. We prefer prime (fixed) lenses for their exceptional sharpness, color and shallow depth-of-field (that's the beautiful effect of a buttery, blurry background and foreground, drawing the viewers attention to the subject), but also employ choice zoom lenses when we need to be unobtrusive.
Do you shoot digital?
Yes, we shoot primarily digital but also have a classic Hasselblad medium format film camera available as well as a lo-fi Holga for some very cool vintage effects.
Do you have backup equipment?
Yes, yes and yes! We always bring backup cameras, flashes and memory cards to every wedding.
How many pictures will we get?
You can plan on receiving in the area of 500-800 images. All photos will be taken in a RAW/uncompressed format to assure the best image quality. This means that the pictures will all begin life in color, but we also have the option of transforming a number of images that we feel will better lend themselves to becoming beautiful black & white photos. If you have select images that you would like to see as black and white, let us know (this may incur additional charges depending on the number of requested B&W conversions).
How do we secure our wedding date?
If you want to secure your wedding date, we require a non-refundable retainer fee of 1/3 the total price of the wedding package you choose. We also require a signed wedding contract. Your wedding date will not be reserved until we receive both of these items. Birch Blaze bookings for wedding dates are given on a first come, first serve basis.
When will I receive my pictures?
Your online slideshow will be ready in 2-4 weeks after your wedding. Your password-protected, online gallery (where you can order prints) will be ready in 4-8 weeks. If your package includes hi-rez images on disc, please allow 8-12 weeks. We know you're super-excited to get your photos and we promise to do our best to get them to you ASAP! For albums, once the final design is approved, please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.
What about the individual prints?
We offer almost any print size you can think of, from 4"x6" up to 30"x40" and beyond. They are professionally printed at a lab on the east coast on lustre-finished paper, which is a beautiful combination of gloss and matte that you have to see to truly appreciate. We can also do wrapped canvas prints, metallic paper, even large format printing. Typically the prints we include in our wedding packages are a combination of 4x6, 8x10 and 16x20. Refer to your contract for specific details on what you are entitled to. Once we receive your image choices for the prints, we can submit the order within a couple of days. The turnaround time, including shipping, is usually around 10 days. If I have your address they will be shipped directly to you. As always, you and any friends and family can order additional prints from birchblaze.com.
Do you retouch the photos?
Yes, we do. We do basic cropping and color correction on all the photos (something that is required for 99% percent of all digital photos no matter who is taking the picture). We do an additional round of retouching for the favorites, yours and ours. These are photos that will be the popular print and album choices. Typical retouches would be blemish removal, skin smoothing and subtle whitening/brightening of teeth and eyes. Feel free to let us know if you have any specific requests for retouching in any of your photos.
We have a list of 'must have' shots we'd like you to go by,
is that ok?
We do encourage a reasonable list of desired formal group shots; i.e. the wedding party, parents of the bride, parents of the groom, etc. We understand that there are wedding photo checklists on the Internet that you can print out and hand off to the photographer, however, it is our desire to tell the story of your wedding day as it unfolds naturally, capturing the key moments that all couples and their families want to remember in photographs. We have found that being tied to long, detailed photo checklists drastically interferes with our artistic documenting of the day the way we need to in order to achieve a classic Birch Blaze capture. After all, that's why we were chosen, right? For that reason, we cannot incorporate detailed, day-long photo lists. If there are a few select people or events that you really want to be photographed throughout the day (besides the classic wedding events; cake cutting, first dance, etc.), certainly let us know—though we can't guarantee delivery of a requested informal photo due to people and circumstances that are beyond our control.
For formals, we actually prefer to work with a checklist of up to 12 groupings. We encourage you both to give ample thought to this list (especially giving considering to potentially awkward pairings, balanced coverage of both families and making sure no one "important" is left out, etc.) and present it to us well ahead of time. We also ask that you designate one person (usually the maid/matron of honor, best man, or another member of the bridal party who is familiar with the people on the formals list) to to act as "wrangler," so that the formal picture-taking can go as smoothly and quickly as possible. We find it best to start with the large groupings and work our way down.
What's the deal with copyrights, don't the photos you take of us belong to us?
Another great, though sometimes “murky” question. Copyright is, literally, the “right to copy” a specific work. The copyright of that 'work' is owned solely by the originator of it from the moment of its creation. Copyright violation, even if unintentional, is a violation of federal law. So, Birch Blaze Studios owns the copyright to all the photos we take, including proofs. Images may not be copied, scanned or reproduced in any way without written permission from Birch Blaze Studios. That said, we, Birch Blaze Studios—in most cases—grant our wedding clients, unlimited personal use of the photos we've taken. That means you can post your wedding day photos on Facebook, email them to your friends, etc. Of course, any commercial use (for instance, using Birch Blaze photos to promote your or a friend's business, reselling the photos, etc.) of Birch Blaze photos is not permitted.
So can I print my pictures myself or somewhere else?
Yes, you can reprint from any of the digital files your package includes. However, the professional print lab we use consistently delivers much better results—hands down—than the your typical drugstore, X-mart photo lab. The colors, contrast and sharpness they achieve are stunning, almost 3D. It would be kind of like buying a brand new car, but then painting it with a roller after you get it home, just to save a few dollars.
Do you travel for weddings?
Absolutely! We are based in New Hampshire but we can travel anywhere in New England (now included with our 2012 packages), the United States or the world to photograph your destination wedding. Just let us know what your plans are, and we can provide a custom quote.
What is “First Look?”
First Look is something that is quickly gaining popularity with couples these days. Of course, we're all familiar with the tradition of it being bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding. If you feel strongly about this then you can skip this next little bit. First Look is the idea that, hey, wait a minute! I don't believe it would be bad luck for us to see each other! In fact, I love the idea of having a private few minutes together before the ceremony. From our perspective (as photographers), it's also a great time to get some wonderful photos of the two of you sharing the excitement and beauty of the moment. Even better, would be to schedule up to an hour to sneak away to some great nearby spot to enhance the images we capture even more. So if you're up for it, so are we!