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Wedding Day

THE ULTIMATE 

GUIDE AND SHOT LIST

Thanks for your interest in The Ultimate Wedding Day Guide and Shot List!

 

Please click the link below to download the guide.

Interested in more helpful wedding photography tips? Check some of these great resources below!

12 MONTH PLANNER

Download the ultimate 12 month planning template which includes budget,table planning,service provider details and a whole lot more

WEDDING DAY SCHEDULE

Having a well thought out schedule is a critical part of how relaxed (or how stressed) you will be on your very special day.

I have put together a guide to help plan your day so everything runs smoothly, Take a look now !

WEDDING SURVIVAL KIT

A Wedding Survival Kit is a must for your big day. As much as we would love to believe that every wedding will go exactly as planned, that is simply not reality! I

Faq

Frequently asked questions

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How many images do you take during a wedding reception or ceremony?


We take as many images as we think are required to capture the events and record the emotions during each wedding day. Like a book cannot be constrained within a certain number of pages in order to tell the real story and communicate the author’s ideas completely, a wedding photography cannot be measured by the number of images it produces.Some photographers would capture large amount of unflattering or uninteresting images, while others would know which image and moment to capture. I believe that with years of wedding photography experience, I do know which image to capture, which moment to record and when the event worth capturing is going to unravel. I capture as many images and moments as possible on your special day and present them to you in as a complete wedding story.




What service do you offer?


We specialize in wedding photography. If you are looking for any other service (video, flowers, venues etc) we will happily recommend some - we know all the best ones.




Can I have every single image you take from my wedding?


No and there is a simple reason for it. I eliminate all duplicate and test images, out of focus images, images with bad expressions as closed eyes or weird looks and all other images that doesn’t tell the true story of your wedding. Weddings are very dynamic and feature moving subjects in all directions. I usually take a sequence of frames to capture a specific moment so later I can select and present to you the perfect frame with perfect facial expression and absolute sharpness.

Imagine you have to scroll through thousands of images for countless hours, zoom into each image to select the one with the sharpest focus. You are paying for the best wedding photography service, so I spend hours doing that on my end. mu photojournalistic style captures candid laughs and emotional tears which are real emotions and very spontaneous. We start capturing these moments before they fully unravel and after they happen to make sure we capture it and have the perfect image with the ideal expression for the moment.

Having duplicate images of the same moment with not an ideal expression in addition to the ideal expression is simply overwhelming and dilutes the real moment the viewer should experience. With years of wedding photography experience and post processing few hundred thousands of images each year, we know how to eliminate the ones that we feel are duplicates and only deliver the best ones.




Have you photographed before at the venue I have selected for my wedding?


Over the years I have photographed on hundreds of venues in the area and at remote destinations, so there is a good chance that I have. Mention the venue you are considering or already selected and I will confirm back with you. In case I am not familiar with the venue, I will do my research to get familiar with the location and would allocate time prior to the start of your wedding complete a walkthrough.




Are you available for destination weddings and what are the associated additional fees?


I am located in Seapoint Capetown but serve clients all around the world. My destination wedding photography packages are simply my standard wedding photography packages plus the cost of travel and reasonable accommodations including meals. Email me at: nikolai@nikolaip.com your destination and wedding details and I will provide an exact quote for your destination wedding.




Do you provide videography service with your wedding or event packages?


I specialize in wedding photography only and focus my attention on photographing the wedding events only. However, we collaborate with wedding professionals in the area and can team up with a videographer team to deliver the complete service you might require. Mention the need for a videographer when contacting us to book a wedding date and I will provide you with options and estimates for a videography service.




Do you provide a partial wedding day coverage?


We do provide different wedding packages with different durations. We understand that not all weddings are planned to be equal so we provide the flexibility for you to book different wedding photography packages and receive the coverage you are looking for.




Who will be the Primary Photographer on my wedding?


I am the primary photographer for your engagement session and wedding day. if you require a second photographer to be added to your package we will arrange it for you. You can be confident that we are not going to have some random person photograph your big day! We partner with premiere wedding photographers in the area and can ensure your experience with both the primary and secondary photographers would be the same.




How do you backup our wedding images to ensure they won’t be lost


During the years of photographing weddings, I have developed an image processing and storage workflow to ensure no client images is ever compromised or lost. Capturing, storing and preserving your wedding images is out top priority and we take the responsibility very seriously.

To ensure we never lose a client image we follow this workflow:
We use newly formatted memory cards for each wedding and we never mix images from a separate wedding events on the same memory card We use two memory cards in each camera body and record two copies of each image on a separate memory card After the wedding day, all your images are downloaded into our image processing workstation and stored on two separate mirrored disk arrays A third copy of your images is created on a separate external hard drive All your processed and original images are stored on a DVD media and archived for future retrieval All of your processed images are uploaded to your private online gallery (third party image storage solution)
At any given point, there are two or three copies of your wedding images.




What day of the week we should schedule our engagement session for?


Engagement sessions are all about you and your fiancé soaking into the moment and displaying the deep emotions and feeling you share with each other. I pick locations which are both pretty and easily accessible but that means that other people chose to visit them as well. On the weekends there are simply so many people at the favorite locations that it makes most couples bit nervous and not fully relaxed during the session. Therefore I recommend to pick a weekday for your engagement session, late afternoon when the sunlight is very pleasant and the location is less crowded. If you must have your engagement session on the weekend, I can also accommodate this only if there is no wedding already booked for this date.




What is the best time to book our engagement session?


I advise my clients to contact me and book an appointment as soon as possible for their engagement sessions as during the busy engagement season the dates on my calendar are filling up pretty quickly. If you have a date in mind, please contact me in advance is a good time to book an appointment so we have time to discuss the location and me and you to prepare and plan for the session.




What locations you can recommend for our engagement session


Selecting an engagement session location will be done in collaboration with you. I do have favorite location from past clients but you have to like the location and feel comfortable on it. We can start with your favorite locations, or something that reflects your interests and brings memories back. This is completely up to you. Any places with significance to you is a good start. You can also pick an urban or nature location as well. Most couples like to be at the favorite place where they went on a date (first date location or where you met may be)? What about the place where he proposed to you? If you want me to suggest and pick locations, I would be happy to do that.




What should I wear to an engagement session


Having something which is both comfortable and simple would make you more confident during your engagement session. It should be fun as well as this is about you and your fiancé, your passion and feelings for each other. I recommend to bring multiple outfits, accessories and layer your clothing which is easy to add to and also change. Bright colors and clothing free of patterns or logos is best. If you decide to bring heels at the session, have also flats to use for walking as we will be moving from a location to location and you would have to walk.




How many images do you take and deliver after an engagement session?


During your engagement session we will be taking multiple images from the same pose and we will have you and your fiancé make different expressions and looks. I will also take multiple images just to make sure your facial expression and look is at its best in the final images. I usually take about 75-100 images per every hours of photography. These are curated during the post-processing and only the best are selected for the final set which will be delivered to you.

Therefore you can expect to have final set of 60-90 images for 1-2 hours of engagement session.




How long does it take to have our final engagement images and how we can see them?


It usually takes up to 3 weeks for me to process your engagement images and post them into your private online gallery. This includes making the final selection, adjusting the images, adding effects and uploading them to my website. If you need them earlier, there is a R800 rush fee and you will have them for one week after the session.




How many hours I should plan for each part of my wedding day for pictures?


I have general guidelines on what time of images are captured during each part of your wedding day in this article: How To Plan Your Wedding Day. The time depends on how long your wedding day would be, if you plan to have every stage of the wedding photographed or not, the time you would like to book my services for, etc. The article I mentioned would give you a good general understanding on what each phase includes and how long it usually takes. Please, have your wedding day schedule on the pre-wedding consultation and we will discuss this in details. Whatever you decide, it’s always good to have buffer time to avoid rushing from location to location or from setup to setup to make up the schedule. You need to feel relaxed and enjoy your day and your images would look much better if you are not under constant time constraints to cram the photography part.




Can you photograph pass the contracted time?


I understand that wedding plans could change as this is unchoreographed event. You can count us that I will not pack our gear and leave your wedding before the contracted time. I am aware of when the contracted end time is and I will always ask you or your appointed wedding coordinator if I am required to stay beyond the contracted end time. It’s your right to request an extension of the wedding photography service and our contract has specifies rate for the extended time. We will charge the rate specified in your wedding photography contract for all the additional time in 1 hour increment.




If I already paid for a wedding package, why there is a charge for the additional coverage?


We understand that by selecting a specific wedding photography package you expect and contracted us to provide service for a certain duration. We allocate time to travel to your wedding location, perform the services and travel back away from your location according to the contracted time. There are additional costs of having someone stay and continue to provide wedding photography service for additional time.

The additional images taken during the extra time add to the tear and wear to our equipment, the extra images have to be post processed after the wedding and if you requested an additional photographer he would expect to be compensated for his additional time, all of which adds to our overall costs.

We are no different than any other service professionals who price their services on hourly basis and use equipment which requires replacement and maintenance with additional usage.




When do you typically arrive at the wedding and what to expect on my wedding day?


I would arrive at least 30 minutes before you have booked me to start the wedding photography coverage. However, I would recommend that you add at least 2 ½ hours before the start of the ceremony during which I can take images of your wedding dress, shoes, bouquet, floral arrangements, veil, cake, invitations and rings.




Do you digitally enhance all the images we are going to receive?


Every single image. Like raw diamonds which only shine to their best when polished, I do spend a lot of time to digitally enhance every single image you will receive as part of your wedding photography package. Any of the images you will receive is individually processed and digitally enhanced as follows:

- cropping (to achieve the best composition and bring the main subject to viewer’s attention)
- straightening (to properly align horizontal or vertical surfaces or leading lines as they apper in nature. For example: water surfaces and horizontal are always horizontal and columns are always vertical, et )
- white balance (to achieve accurate skin tones on people’s faces and clothing)
- exposure (to achieve the accurate brightness of each image and make it pleasant to look at without the viewer having to squint his eyes to recognize a subject or object)
- vibrance (to achieve the distinct look and color tones saturation)
- sharpening (to make the focal point of the picture crisp and bring out both macro and micro details).

You will receive the best image quality after I digitally enhance each image and you will never get an image SOOC (straight out of the camera). Converting images in Black and White for adding an artistic look is also done during post-process process. I am using and have perfected a state of the art workflow in my post-processing process to ensure not only on-time delivery of your images but also a superior image quality.




What is the general order of a wedding day?


About 95% of weddings run in the same order. If you have a wedding that is out of the ordinary then we are happy to discuss that with you and figure out what will work best. The following information outlines how most weddings go. You can use this as a guideline if you need help with your planning or just to visualise the sequence of events. Read through all of our great wedding planning tips and advice. 1. We'll start by arriving at your wedding reception venue. Ideally, the reception hall will be set up and ready for us to go in and take photos of the decorations before your guests get in there. 2. We then head over to the Bride and the Groom for the getting ready photos. We also like to do some photos of you when you are ready and looking your best. 3. At the wedding ceremony venue, the Groom welcomes the guests and takes his position at the end of the aisle. 4. The Bride walks down the down the aisle towards her Groom and the ceremony proceedings take place.
5. Having kissed and sealed the deal, you sign the register, and the guests throw you with confetti.
6. If you want a group photo of all of the guests together we do it at this point followed by family and bridal party photos. 7. Now it's time for the real romance to begin. We get you guys alone for your couple photoshoot and hopefully some golden sunset photos.
8. The party has usually kicked in already by this point and it's the perfect time for your grand entrance.
9. Speeches, cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet, tossing the garter, first dance, father and daughter dance, guests letting loose on the dance floor to classic fun songs. 10. All your friends and family party the night away in celebration of your marriage.




What is the wait time to receive my pictures?


Standard turn around time for the completion of your wedding images is 6 to 8 weeks




What is the time to produce and for me to receive my wedding album?


The creation of the album starts with you reviewing the proofs of your wedding images, making a selection of images to be included into your album. As soon as you make the selection, I will start the design of the album which is putting all the images in a certain order so they tell the story of your wedding day. The images are arranged and cropped to fit the album pages and layout. Once the initial design is ready, it will be presented to you for review and approval before being submitted to the printing company.

You can request any changes and this will add to the overall time to produce your album. So quick response time on picking images and reviewing the album initial design helps to shorten the album creation time. Once the design is finalized, I will submit the digital layout with the images to the printing company which will produce the album. It takes about 4-6 weeks to deliver the album after placing the order. So in summary: expect 2-3 weeks for design and 4-6 weeks to printing, or total of 6-9 weeks.




How many pages I can add to my wedding album?


Most albums can hold up to 60 pages and still not be heavy to handle and maintain their integrity after some usage. I can design and create album with any number of pages that don’t exceed this page number. Most couples order in the range of 20 to 30 pages albums but again this is a personal choice. There is a cost to design, print and collage each additional page . Contact me for info on the additional costs




Do you provide online gallery with my images and how I will able to access it?


I do provide to all of my clients a complimentary online gallery with their images. The gallery is password protected and hosted on my website. Each clients receives an URL (web link) to their private gallery and the password to access it. The link and password could be shared with friends and family and it is an easy and convenient way for everyone to see their images without the need to send e-mail attachments to all family members and relatives.

The images are available in the online gallery for up to 6 months after they are posted and can be accessed from any web enabled device (desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone).




How do I reserve your services for my wedding date?


In order to reserve our services, we first need to complete the complimentary pre-wedding consultation on which we understand the details about your wedding and you have a chance to understand the services we offer. We would provide a wedding photography contract which outlines the terms and lists of the services you are going to receive by booking a date with me. We expect you that you review the contract, agree or suggest any changes to the terms and we both sign the contract.

We then expect that you will provide 50% of the total fee as a booking fee to confirm your commitment to our services. With both signed wedding photography agreement and 50% fee deposit, we will then book the date for your wedding and send you an online confirmation.




Is my 50% booking fee refundable if we decide to cancel our wedding ot not to use your services?


Unfortunately NO. We require the booking fee in order to reserve your wedding day on our calendar and we will not book any other clients on the same day after the day you provide the deposit. When you cancel your wedding we are left with an opening date in our calendar and we have lost the opportunity to book another client for the same date by solely reserving the date for you. I am time driven and for profit business and there are limited number of days I offer my services and can monetize my time. Your deposit is retained and used to cover the lost opportunity resulting from a cancellation.




What about if I need to reschedule my wedding date or venue?


I understand that in some cases the wedding date needs to be postponed for whatever reasons. I always trying to accommodate such changes and work them out into my schedule. However many clients book their weddings and reserve the date in advance (in many cases up to 1 year ahead of time), so I might not be available on this date. I will make best effort and work to make the arrangements to have coverage on your wedding day. Your booking fee is not refundable in this case.




What is the service rate for additional wedding or engagement photography?


The specific rate for our overtime services will be listed into your wedding contract. The service rate for the overtime you might require is the same as the normal time. The overtime is billed at 1 hour intervals and is at the same rate as the normal rate. We always remind you when your normal coverage time is approaching and ask for your consent to extend the coverage. The extension is always requested by you.




Do you charge travel fees for your services and why?


yes, we do charge travel fees for weddings outside our service range (100 Km radius of Seapoint capetown . Travel fees are not intended to profit from our clients. The primary reason to add travel fee to each wedding photography package is to provide adequate compensation for the time spent in commuting to and from your wedding locations. Time spent in travel is time both the primary and secondary photographers are occupied with your wedding and the travel costs are a way to compensate them. For this reason, coupled with the costs of reimbursing the actual costs of travel (gasoline, car amortization, bridge fees, etc) , these fees are unfortunately necessary.




When do you charge travel fee for Wedding or Engagement packages?


There are no travel fees for engagements and weddings within 30 km of Seapoint If travel outside this area is required, there is a travel fee of R5.00 per Km to cover my travel expenses. If you plan a destination or remote location wedding, make sure to let me know during the pre-wedding consultation.




Can I arrange a face to face meeting to meet you in person and discuss my wedding?


Absolutely. We would love to meet you prior to the wedding day and have the complimentary pre-wedding consultation we offer to all of our clients in person (depending on your location and granted that we don’t have to travel more than 30km in one direction to meet you). Contact me at: 072 22 33 805 or email at: nikolai@nikolaip.com to arrange a meeting.





I Would Love to Hear From You

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Feel free to contact me by email or phone

nikolai@nikolaip.com  |   072-223-3805   |  9am-5pm mon - fri

11 kei apple road , seapoint , cape town, south africa

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© 2020 by Nikolai Polzenhagen