Wedding & Engagement Photography FAQ - AbigayleRayPhotography


Wedding & Engagement Photography FAQ


We understand that planning a wedding is both exciting, time-consuming, and time-sensitive. To help you make the best decision as quickly as possible, we have included below a list of frequently asked questions.


Style of our photography:


What is the style of your wedding photography?

Our style is properly described as photojournalistic wedding photography or wedding photojournalism. It takes the hands-off, documentary approach of photojournalism and applies it to wedding photography. Throw in a good eye for lighting, careful composition, and the patience necessary to catch a meaningful moment, and the result is the beautiful and intimate wedding photography found on our website. Our goal is to capture the feelings of the day—yours, your family’s, and your friends’—not just what you looked like dressed in the latest and greatest. Ultimately, trends and looks will go out of style, whereas fleeting moments of emotion will be caught to last a lifetime.

Why should we hire a professional photographer?

A professional photographer is your best chance of getting both the style and caliber of pictures that will become family heirlooms as the years go by. Through the course of a year, your photographer can be involved in as many as 100 or more photography sessions, which gives them a very good idea of what will (or can) happen at your session, this translates into less unpleasant surprises for you and your family. While many amateur photographers take wonderful pictures, a professional photographer will be more consistent in their photographic skills, giving you more pictures of finer quality. Many family members seem to respond better to directions given by a professional photographer than they do to a friend or family member.


Wedding Photography FAQ's


When should we schedule our Wedding?

We recommend reserving your wedding date as soon as you decide that we’re the right wedding photographer for you. Booking early has the benefit of providing you with the ease of mind of having secured your preferred wedding photographer, which means that you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

We usually recommend no later than 3 months prior to your Wedding date, sooner than that if possible.  This will allow time for us to meet with you, go over the shot list, visit the venue and meet with other vendors (DJ, Event Planner, Venue, etc.).  Last minute bookings are accepted (usually no more than a month from date of your Wedding), but this takes away valuable time getting to know you and what you want.

What can we expect?

Prior to your Wedding we will meet with you at least twice in person to go over everything with you, this is a requirement from us so that we can provide the very best coverage to you of your Wedding Day.  You'll also receive an email from us with a shot list and special request.  During your Wedding we want you to relax, have fun and enjoy your day.

Will you take posed photos at our wedding?

We always encourage a set of formal portraits with members of your family and wedding party. We typically designate a 45-60 min period after the ceremony that is convenient for everyone to ensure that no one is missed.  We typically try to do the formal shots between the ceremony and reception (This is a great time for a "cocktail hour" for your guests!). Also, be mindful of sunset times if you want to incorporate that into your photographs.

With the exception of posed portraits, our aim throughout the day is to capture the real and spontaneous wedding moments while being as inconspicuous and unobtrusive as possible.

Do you accept a list of specific shots to be taken?

During your pre wedding consultations with us, you will be provided (and or emailed) a standard list of shots for pre wedding (if you are having those done), ceremony, formals post ceremony and reception. You can make additions or deletions to the list that we have as well as any special request that you may have. Please keep in mind the more that you request the longer it will take in time to complete.

Will you be editing our photos?

We personally edit every single photograph that is sent to you and we do not outsource any editing to third-party vendors. Unlike some photographers who edit using general presets, we process each image individually to suit the composition. You will see only the images that meet the high standards of the studio. Images captured of eyes closed, people talking, unflattering poses and duplicate images are removed permanently after we complete the selection process. The selection process is done at the sole discretion of the studio and is part of the custom portrait process. A few images will be presented in black and white, These are produced at the photographer’s discretion.  

When editing images, we abstain from trends and aim for a pleasing recreation of the ambient light and color present during each scene. This can involve adjustments to color balance, contrast and tone, clarity (micro contrast), sharpness, cropping, and conversion to black and white (if applicable). Minor retouching may be done at our sole discretion and is limited to a blemish here and there, exclusive to the couple only. Professional retouching beyond the aforementioned is available for an additional fee per image, please inquire for further details.

How many photos do you usually deliver?

We usually deliver an average of 30 images per hour of edited photographs. These are carefully curated to tell the visual narrative of your wedding day.

Do you offer wedding albums?

Absolutely!  We offer premium wedding albums and wedding books. Please inquire for details and pricing of our wedding albums.

How long after the wedding do we receive our photos and/or album?

Please allow 6-8 weeks for your USB drive of your photos to be delivered. As for albums, that depends on the complexity of the package, which can range from 2 to 3 months from the time the order is placed.

Who owns the copyrights of the images you photographed at our wedding?

We retains full ownership and copyright to the original works. You will receive a license for personal use, such as printing and web publication. You provide us with the right to use images of your likeness for online and print publication and advertising, and other various uses.

Can we have all of the photos you took, including the RAW files?

Photos that were rejected and did not make it into the final selection are never available. Because we take great care to edit each and every individual image to meet our strict artistic requirements, RAW images are never released.

Do you offer engagement photography?

Yes! We do offer engagement photography and you can find more information and pricing in the wedding & engagement investment section on this website and also at the bottom of this FAQ page. If you book a 4 hour or longer wedding photography session with us you will receive your engagement session for free. Please contact us for more details.


Availability, Payment & Retainer Information:

What is your wedding photography payment structure? Do we have to pay a retainer?


Wedding photography payment/retainer fee:

You have two options when it comes to paying for our wedding photography services.

Option 1. A retainer of 30% of the total fees (plus tax) is paid at the time of reservation and signing of the wedding photography agreement. The balance is payable no later than 30 days prior to your wedding date.

Option 2. A retainer of 100% of total fees is paid at the time of reservation and signing of the wedding photography agreement.

Since we will reserve the time agreed upon and will not make another reservation for the specific period, retainers are non-refundable even if the date is changed or cancelled for any reason.


Portrait photography payment/retainer fee: (This includes engagements, families, seniors, maternity and newborn sessions)

A retainer of 100% of total fees is paid at the time of reservation and signing of the portrait photography agreement.

Since we will reserve the time agreed upon and will not make another reservation for the specific period, retainers are non-refundable even if the date is changed or cancelled for any reason.

Can you hold our wedding date before receiving the retainer and wedding agreement?

Unfortunately, we can’t afford to do this. Such a policy would put us in the uncomfortable situation of having to turn away eager clients before reaching a firm agreement with you. In situations where multiple couples are inquiring about our wedding photography for the same date, the first couple to sign an agreement and pay a retainer will receive our commitment. We believe this is the fairest approach for everyone involved.

How do we make our payment to you?

The retainer fee may be paid by cash, USPS money order, and credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express) only.

**Please note**  We DO NOT accept checks of any kind for payment of sessions with Abigayle Ray Photography LLC.  We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you, but we have simply had too many problems with checks in the past to continue accepting them any longer.

Sales Tax:

The State of Montana currently has no sales tax.

If we cancel the Wedding, will we receive our retainer back?

Unfortunately no. Retainers are used to reserve your date & time and are non refundable. Once we’ve reserved your date we do not accept new clients for your date.

If we change our Wedding to a different date, will we be able to use our retainer towards the new date?

Yes. However, if rates change from your original date to your new date, the new rates will apply. Also please check with us prior to committing to your new date to make sure we are available on that day as we do book up weeks and months in advance with other Clients.

Do you charge a travel fee?

For locations more than 35 miles from Livingston, MT 59047, a travel fee is added for the entire round trip travel time, please contact us for further details and additional cost. Time and distance are calculated using Google Maps. An additional travel fee is added for assignments requiring air travel, hotel accommodation or auto rental — please inquire for details.

Do we have to sign a contract with you?

Yes, We do require that all Wedding Clients sign a contract with Abigayle Ray Photography LLC. This is not only to protect us, but also you the Client. If you are under the age of 18 then a parent or legal guardian will be required to sign the contract as by law a minor can not enter into a contract.


Engagement Session Information:


Engagement photography sessions are wonderful for many reasons. Engagement photography not only provides you with wonderful imagery capturing your pre-wedding romance, it also gives you the chance to create a wonderful presentation at the wedding. In addition, the engagement session also allows you to get to know your photographer a little more prior to the wedding. This allows you as a couple to build a better relationship with your photographer. This relationship will allow your photographer to create more natural and unique imagery since they have a good understanding of your unique personalities and tastes. Here are two tips to get the most of your engagement session. First, think of a meaningful place to the both of you. For example, the place you went on your first date, where you proposed, or another special date place for the two of you. Second, plan the engagement photography session as early as possible. The rule of thumb is at least 90 days from the wedding date. But the further out from the wedding the better. You will be able to enjoy your images in your home, create nice wedding invitations and stationary, and you won’t be rushing to add one more thing in your already busy schedule.

What can we expect?

Prior to your session you'll receive an email full of helpful tips, do's/dont's and faq's. During your session, you can expect to relax, have fun and be yourself. Sure, we may set up the shots but, we want you to shine through! If you have certain shots in mind, please tell us. We want to give you the best photography experience possible.

What should we wear?

We get asked this a lot. It definitely depends on personal preference but, we can give you a bit of our opinion.  Vibrant colors pop and allow for natural eye color to really jump off the printed picture. Mix and match fabrics and patterns to give a variety of colors and textures and create a fun and interesting look. Avoid logos or large lettering that is distracting. Fun hats and jewelry are always a great choice.  A popular choice is all white or black shirts with denim. This works really well but, don't get hung up on matching each article of clothing. Add some fun accessories when going with the basic colors.

Where should we have our engagement session?

Again, it's up to you. We are located in Livingston, MT and we photograph on-location in the Southwest Montana areas of: Livingston MT, Clyde Park MT, Pray MT, Emigrant MT, Park County MT and Bozeman MT as well as many more areas of Southwest Montana's beautiful Paradise Valley. The travel fee for outside of that area depends on where the session is and the type of session. We can photograph your session at your house, the local park, a special spot to you or any of our favorite locations. If you don't have something specific in mind, let us know and we'll figure out together where would be perfect for your session.

When should we schedule our Engagement session?

This is completely up to you, but we recommend at least 3 months prior to your Wedding date if at all possible.  This will allow time to edit the Session and get it to you in a timely manor so that you have plenty of time to view the photographs and also possibly even use them for Wedding Invitations. 

• Please be advised:  Dates are booked on a first come, first served basis.  Dates are not held pending a scheduled meeting, after a meeting, or a phone call/email stating you want a specific date.  Your date is booked/reserved only after your session has been paid for in full, until then, other clients may book the date that you wish to have if they submit their contract and retainer/payment in the meantime.

Last Revised: July 8th, 2018

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