Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Emily
(about an 8 minute read)
How do I book?
First step is to fill out the inquiry form on our website! We will send you our pricing guide full of information and once you have selected which wedding experience you need, we will send you a contract! Once the contract is signed and retainer is paid, we are official! 🙂
How far in advance do you book? How many weddings do you book each year?
We typically book with a couple anywhere between 8-18 months in advance. We limit ourselves to 20-25 weddings each year. We limit the number of weddings so that each of our couples receive the best experience possible!
How long have you been photographing weddings?
James and I have been photographing weddings together since 2016. Our name started out as James Hancock Photography until we switched the business name to Emily Hancock Photography in 2018. We received feedback from couples stating they felt they could trust a female photographer more than a male to capture their vision. So we kept the same team but switched it to my name!!
How many photographers are included? Who are the photographers?
Two photographers are included in our packages and you get the husband and wife duo! When we can, we love to bring wedding day assistants to capture the day through social media (Abby was our wedding day assistant in the photo below.)
What are the roles for each photographer on the wedding day? What is it like to work with you?
James will be with the guys and I will be with the girls. We do this so that we can gently guide the bridal party through the morning.
This approach makes sure no one is late to the ceremony, everyone has the right attire, and no one is forgotten! This also means that no one has to memorize the timeline because James and I are there to keep everyone on time! 🙂
What parts of the wedding day do you pose and what parts of the day are candid?
This ties in with the question before about our roles on the day. We pose different parts of the day and keep it candid for other parts of the day to keep things on time. During the bridal party prep we may do some posed shots (like bridesmaids in robes) but otherwise it is just candid so that everyone can do hair and makeup quickly.
We pose other parts of the day to keep everyone focused and roll through those necessary wedding day portraits such as: family formals, bridal party group shots, bride and groom portraits, friend group shots during the reception, the exit, etc.
Other parts of the day we feel should be left completely candid to preserve the moment such as: bridal party prep, first looks, the entire ceremony, cocktail hour, most of the reception, open dance floor, etc.
How do you incorporate special requests for photos that we have along with the photos you normally include in the gallery?
We do accept a reasonable shot request list. However, we cannot guarantee that every photo requested can be taken on the wedding day for many reasons. Sometimes the conditions on the wedding day prevent a photo or sometimes weather & scenery are not cooperative.
If you have a group of friends that you want a group shot with or maybe your grandmother gave you a special ring we can definitely make a note to capture that for you! We also have our own “checklist” during the day so it’s not necessary for you to make an extremely detailed photo list.
Do you have a backup plan for weddings day (& sessions) if the weather is bad?
For sessions we usually reschedule if the weather is bad. If our clients are game to make their photos unique, we sometimes do the sessions in the weather (we’ve shot in snow and rain!).
On the wedding day, of course, we can’t reschedule. So my best advice is that you prepare for the day with an indoor option. James and I aren’t scared of the weather and know how far we can push our gear. All we need is a covered porch and we can tackle the rain!
Bonus tip: Maybe have a reception dress to change into in case it is raining! This way, we can do some fun and unique portraits in your wedding dress and you can change into a dry reception dress to dance the night away.
What is your backup plan for if you are unable to work our wedding for any reason?
In our 5+ years of photographing weddings James and I have never missed a wedding. While that is our goal to keep that record straight we can’t guarantee anything in the future, no one can! Our back up plan is laid out in your contract for you to review the terms if you want to choose your own replacement or go with our back up photographers.
Should you choose our replacement, it would not cost any extra to you. We have very talented friends in the area and are in education groups with over 10,000 other photographers from all over the world. So we know that no matter what happens we would be able to find a replacement should there ever be a need. BUT we make every preventative measure possible to ensure it’s us at your wedding!! 🙂
So you travel…what is involved with the travel costs?
This has changed recently due to the pandemic. To keep things super simple for our couples, we are now including all wedding day travel fees in the package price. This takes the stress of our lodging, travel fees, etc. up to James and I! There are no extra fees to worry about unless your venue changes and it requires a significant travel update! But we can work out the specifics if that does come up. We have found this all inclusive travel set up to be easy both for you and us!! Engagement sessions local to Virginia are also included in this all inclusive rate. If your engagement session is a destination location or includes travel outside of Virginia there may be extra costs! If you have specific questions about travel though, please don’t hesitate to reach out!!
How do I receive the images after the wedding day?
You will receive your photos via an online gallery called CloudSpot. As a bonus, our couples also receive a unique app for their phone to access their photos on their mobile devices! Here is a screenshot of a wedding gallery we delivered to Mitch & Mariah:
How long does it take to get my photos back after the wedding day? On average how many images do you deliver in a final gallery?
5 years. No, I’m kidding! My contract gives me 3 months but I have never taken that long to deliver a gallery. In the busy season it could take 1-2 months but it won’t take years!!
As far as how many images, it really depends on several factors: hours of coverage, size of bridal party, # of wedding guests, how many details you have, if you share any first looks, your reception events, if your guests are dancers, etc. There are A LOT of factors haha
I would say anywhere from 50-100 images an hour is a good average but that is really dependent on what is going on. For our first look couples, they receive 40% more bride and groom portraits because they have bonus portraits!
What systems do you have in place to ensure no photos are lost from our wedding?
Our cameras record each photo to 2 different memory cards so if there is an issue with a memory card (that does happen!) we have a duplicate! In addition to the duplicate memory cards, before we leave your wedding, 90% of your wedding photos are already backed up on one of our solid state hard drives. – Fancy talk for a reliable back up system!
So we already have 2/3 copies of your images (Two copies on our Memory Cards and one on a portable solid state hard drive). The only photos that are not backed up twice when we leave your wedding are the last little bit of dancing shots we get and the exit!
But as soon as we get in the car leaving your wedding, we immediately back up that last card with those photos. So at the end of the day as you are on your way to your honeymoon, we have a total of 3 copies of EVERY PHOTO!!
Do we have full rights to the images? Are the images going to have a watermark on them?
First I wanted to explain what a watermark is. It’s that little icon on images that are usually the photographer’s logo or name. Basically it is to make sure that they are credited for the image (It’s an old school way of delivering images).
James and I choose to not watermark our images so that our couples can freely share their beautiful images without our name plastered on there! Our couples do receive the rights to their images and can print and share with friends & family freely! In return, we ask that whenever they do share photos on social media to tag us! 🙂
What is a JPEG image vs RAW image? Why am I not getting the RAW images?
James and I do not deliver any RAW images to our couples for many reasons: to protect our creative rights to the images, allow our couples to print their images, allow our couples to store their gallery on their computers without taking up a ton of memory, etc.
So what is a RAW image?? If you want the techy answer I can have James explain it… but I will use a metaphor to explain the two. Basically a RAW image is a pitcher of tea (a file full of data) and a JPEG is a glass of tea (the finished file). For our post process editing we take the RAW images and edit them in our bright, bold, and natural looking style. Then we save them as a smaller file so that you can print and share to social media with ease!
Am I able to purchase albums, canvases, and prints?
Yes! You can order any prints you want right through your online gallery. These prints are printed through a professional printing company and can be shipped directly to your door.
Albums can be purchased any time and I will design it for you! The album company we use is for professionals only and provide the best quality products and customer service out there! KISS BOOKS is incredible and we have loved using them!
What do you love most about photographing weddings?
I love working with James to serve our couples. He is my sidekick on wedding days and I love being reminded of our own wedding vows when we hear our couple’s during first looks and ceremonies!
Ultimately, we love being there for it all with our new friends and love being a part of the family for the day! We are invested even after the wedding day and we keep up with our clients months after their day! Community is a big part of life. I love finding those likeminded couples who are big supporters of marriage, love the Lord, and want to make the world a better place by using each of our unique skills!
I also love being able to use my love language (acts of service) in a way thats genuine to me! That’s why I provide so much in the form of guides, resources, timeline assistance, and more in my experience! I want you to feel loved and served well on one your best days ever!!
How well do you know your past clients?
We have Emily Hancock Bride reunions and I keep up with them on social media pretty well actually! I love seeing their families grow and thrive and love celebrating with them through Anniversary, Maternity, Lifestyle sessions, etc. On top of our reunions, our local brides love meeting for coffee/tea to catch up and have fun!
Side note: Some of our brides have actually become friends within the EH Bride community! It has been so cool to see these complete strangers become friends and go through the next phase in life together!
What is most important to you when working with your brides?
The most important thing is to make sure we are a good fit! I have worked with several brides over the years but I find that I work best with brides who are detail oriented, love first looks, prioritize photography, love bright and bold bouquets, and are pretty laid back. So if that sound like you, let’s chat!! 🙂
When was the last time you invested in education to improve your skills?
My last photography specific course was in 2019! I enrolled in a year long course with a select number of photographers. My mentor has continued to encourage and work with us! Since that education we have a fresh & new perspective on serving our clients!
I have also invested in a business coach & monthly mastermind call from February 2020-present. My favorite thing to learn & binge watch is called KJ All Access. This KJAA education is a monthly subscription where I watch behind the scenes coverage of a wedding photographer with 12+ years experience shoot weddings all over the world. So every episode I learn something new to improve my skills constantly!
Is there a question you have that isn’t on this list?
I would love to hear more about your wedding day??
Inquire with us & tell me all about it here:
inquire with us
Hey there, I’m Emily! James, and I are a husband and wife wedding photography team based in Lynchburg, Virginia. We specialize in weddings and engagements and serve Virginia, DC Area, South Carolina, and beyond.