Q: What kinds of portraits do you do? A: All kinds! I photograph families, children, newborns, pets, maternity, professional headshots, modeling headshots, senior portraits, artist portraits, and more.
Q: Do you do product photography? A: You bet! I do both small and large items: jewelry, food, clothing, furniture, cars, etc. I also do product staging, soft boxing, and modeled products (such as with clothing or handbags). Given that my current volume of product photography shoots is relatively low, I do not have pre-set package prices listed on my website. Please inquire directly for a quote.
Q: Help! I'm not good at pictures--how do I get the most out of my session? A: I've got several articles on my blog to help you get the most out of your photo session, be it prepping your pet, your toddler, or dressing your best. Check out some of the articles below: "[article link]" "[article link]"
Q: How many weddings have you photographed? A: To be honest, I lost track after around 100. About 70 of those weddings were as the lead photographer, and the rest as a second shooter. What's the difference you ask? A lead photographer is doing a lot of the directing, coordinating, communication with the client, shot planning, time management, that sort of thing. A second or associate photographer is a photographer the lead brings on to help capture supplemental shots such as detail shots, wedding guest/table portraits, or shots from a second angle during important moments. While the lead role is certainly more responsibility-heavy, each role is uniquely important, and demands a slightly different skill set and perspective.
Q: What kinds of weddings do you have experience with? A: I've been really lucky to shoot a very wide array of weddings during different times of year, varied weather, and even in different states! I've photographed in rain, snow, heavy fog, hot summer sun, and high winds. I even once did a wedding which took place as a blizzard was getting started along the Massachusetts Cape. Driving home that night was sure something! I've photographed a (shortened) Cambodian ceremony, traditional Indian ceremonies, several Catholic weddings with full Mass, Jewish ceremonies, and plenty of secular ones. I've photographed weddings as large as 400 and as small as 10. I've photographed in large historic churches and small community ones, on beaches and in forests; in backyards, barns, restaurants, country clubs, and event halls of all sorts.
Q: What is working with you like? What can I expect? A: Prior to your big day we will discuss at length the outline of events, location, and guest list. I take meticulous notes and will have plenty of questions for you during our meetings and research the venue ahead of time so as to be as prepared as possible for the shooting conditions on the day of your wedding. Throughout most of the event day I shoot with one camera, though I use a two-camera setup during the ceremony. The specific equipment I use varies depending on space, lighting conditions, need, and client preference; though I bring with me 4 off-camera flashes and stands, flash umbrellas and reflectors for portraits (if needed), as well as a variety of lenses. My goal is to be as unobtrusive as possible throughout your day, and I adjust my shooting strategies accordingly as I go. I aim to capture largely candid, natural moments when and where I can, though I will step in to pose or stage shots when natural moments don't pan out quite "picture perfect".
Q: Wow, it's overwhelming choosing a wedding photography package! What do you recommend as essential inclusions? A: For a typical 6-8 hour wedding, I recommend getting at least 300 JPEG's with editing, a flash drive, and a 50+ page photo book. In my experience, that is the bare minimum a client will still be really happy with years down the road. However, if photography is a big component of how you plan to remember your day in the future, or is important to you generally as a medium, I would recommend instead opting for the full day's photos with editing, a flash drive, a 100+ page photo book, and at least 1 medium-large sized framed print or wall canvas. This is a big topic though, and I go into it in greater depth in this blog post. Be sure to give it a read!
Q: I'm on a really tight budget. Where can I cut costs without losing out too much? A: This may seem contrary to my answer above, but hear me out. Generally, I would recommend cutting out the photo book, and trimming down on the number of images included in your package. What I would not recommend is whittling down your coverage hours. While this isn't true for all photographers, it is true for me: I hold on to client photos for a minimum of 3 years (though in all honesty, I'm still maintaining my archive all the way back to 2012). If finances change down the road, you can always come back to me and purchase editing, licensing to more photos, or a photo book. What you can't do is go back in time and have a photographer cover the hours you originally opted out of on your wedding day.
EDITING & STYLE FAQ's
Q: What is the difference between 'editing' and 'retouching'? A: 'Editing' is when I take a raw photo (unaltered, straight from the camera), and make basic adjustments to the image to give it a clean, professional look. These adjustments include color balance, exposure, contrast, sharpness, cropping, and lens correction, among others. 'Retouching' is taking an edited photo and making further adjustments, usually in relation to the subjects within the photograph: smoothing blemishes, removing flyaway hairs and small background distractions, or compensating for unsightly shadows. You can see some examples of the differences below.
Q: Do I need retouching on my photos? A: Retouching is ideal for certain types of single subject portraits, like professional headshots, or when there is a particular known issue you would like addressed in your photograph such as an acne flare up or a recent cat scratch. For example, I once did a fall senior portrait where the young man had spent the summer caddying on a golf course and got a distinctive hat tan line on his forehead. In his portraits, the client paid to have this removed. In another instance, I photographed an outdoor wedding which suffered unexpectedly high winds. Many of the wedding portrait subjects had flyaway hairs which the client paid to remove. Barring the instances described above, in most circumstances basic editing alone is more than sufficient to achieve a stylish, professional look to your session photographs.
Q: How would you describe your photography style? A: I tend towards the candid and documentary--what's often described as "lifestyle" photography. It emphasizes the natural and steers away from the posed and artificial--capturing people as they are in real life, artistically. A large part of what I incorporate into my work is getting to know my clients--their personality, interests, and life experiences--so that I can capture and convey those things about them in a natural and aesthetically pleasing way. Now that doesn't mean there is no posing involved! I often guide or prompt my clients, show them where best to place their hands, use supplemental lighting, tell jokes, stage important moments in a wedding or event if the moment didn't naturally pan out "picture-perfect".
Q: How long have you been doing photography? A: Professionally, since 2012! So, over a decade, now. I transitioned to being a full-time professional in January of that year, though I had been doing photography semi-professionally during college as well, from roughly 2008 through 2011.
Q: What do you like taking pictures of the most? A: Well... that's a tough question! If you read my About Page, you'll know I enjoy quite a lot of things! Narrowing down my favorite subject to just one is tough. But I suppose, if I had to, I'd say I love taking photos of California. Having been born and raised in the Sacramento valley, I love the agriculture, the native plant life, the geography and the history. These things are frequent topics in my personal works.
Davis-based, Northern California wedding, event, portrait, and commercial photographer. Copyright Kirstin Adams, all rights reserved.