Frequently asked questions
Q: This is a really long F.A.Q. Do I need to read all of it?
A: There are a lot of important topics that you may not have thought about and things that can help you plan your wedding. 80% of the success of the outcome of a shoot, no matter a wedding or portrait sessions lies in these two attributes. Ready for it? Communication and planning. This F.A.Q and my Guides help communicate, set expectations and let us plan.
Q: Where are you located?
A: I am based out of the San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. We travel further so please do not hesitate to ask.
Q: I sent you an email, when should I expect to hear back from you?
A: Please allow 24 hours for me to get back to you. I book shoots on all days of the week so I may be busy when you email me. If it’s an emergency please call 510-499-0638 and I will get back to you as soon as I am able to.
Q: Do you deliver every image you shoot?
A: We deliver roughly 50-100 images per hour that we are shooting. A typical 8-hour wedding will end up with or around 400-800 images depending on the event, guest count and activity of the event. As we try to get photos of many different people at your event we want to highlight the importance of having family formals with key individuals at a designated time on your wedding day to guarantee photos of important people.
Q: When will we get the images from our wedding?
A: 10 weeks after your wedding. I know, I know… this feels like an eternity but I need time and thank all of my clients for understanding and respecting this. We edit all our weddings ourselves. Some months and seasons have a lot more weddings/projects than others so it can take longer to get each wedding/project out. I do not rush edit or deliver photos. I edit each wedding/project in order as it was shot on my calendar. Every project has a due date in my calendar so your images are not forgotten about. Emailing me and asking about your images is just fine! I always love to hear from my couples and clients but just in advance, but they may not be ready until the due date.
Q: How do we receive our images?
A: As soon as the images are uploaded to the gallery, I will send you an email with a link to your gallery. Within that gallery, you will find a button that lets you download the high res images immediately and directly to any device you are using! It’s so easy and fast. You will immediately have all of your high res images for use.
Q: Do you offer albums ?
A: Yes. We believe in and hold value to real life tangible prints and albums. We offer high-end luxury and elegant albums for our clients. We believe that not only are albums so important to have but the quality of your album is extremely important. Our albums are made to be passed down from generation to generation. With every purchase of an album you have the option of adding up to 4 discounted parent albums. Email me with any inquiries and I’d love to fill you in on the goodies. If you continue to read the faq’s there is more information about albums as well.
Q: Do you charge for mileage when you drive?
A: We charge $2.00 per mile after 30 miles each way or 60 miles round trip from Richmond, Ca.
Q: Do you shoot with one photographer or two at weddings?
A: I have package options for both one photographer or two for weddings. Email me for the options!
Q: Is this your full time job?
A: Yes! I have been doing this for 10 years. I do give myself working hours so I can still have some free time and enjoy hobbies. My office hours are 9am-5pm. Meetings times are determined by what works for everyone. My shooting times are based on contracted days and times. If I’m not booked for anything on the weekend I reserve them for myself and take them off.
Q: Do you provide partial day coverage on weekends?
A: For larger events and weekend weddings we start at 6 hours. For weekday civil ceremonies and elopements we start at 1 hour.
Q: You shot my friend/family members wedding a year or two ago, your pricing is different now. Can you shoot my wedding for what you charged them or give any sort of discount for me?
A: When deciding to make a buying decision on something as valuable and sentimental as photography, you may encounter multiple feelings. Why? Because photography IS important and for quality, it can also become an investment, which can then arise conflictions inside if you are on a budget. Because photography has such a wide based market it is imperative that you choose a photographer that you feel fits you perfectly. There is a right photographer for every single couple whether it’s based on price, style, personality or all of the above. I take multiple factors into consideration when setting the pricing for my business. I take into account: Costs that will be associated to me to shoot weddings, my gear that needs to stay up to date and maintained, my years of experience, the quality of service and quality of products I offer, the average prices of my colleague who are in the same market and quality as me, my time, as well as supply and demand. You will find photographers who are more expensive than I am and I guarantee that you will find a photographer who is less expensive than I am. You should choose your photographer for reasons that hold value for you. My clients place a high value on photography itself and investing in it is important to them. I try to have a starting point that I feel comfortable knowing I will be fully compensated for what I give as well as lets people who have a smaller budget able to have me as their photographer. If I happen to be above a certain budget and you do value photography, I would be more than happy to refer you to a photographer who may be within a price point that works for you. There are many part-time and amateur photographers available who may be new but still have a good eye. Yet, you must be willing to take on the risk. There is often a reason a photographer is willing to work for free or cheap. As a professional photographer, I don’t recommend hiring free photographers.
Q: I would like to book your 8 or 10-hour package but I do not need or want an engagement with it, can I get a discount or add extra hours to my wedding day in place of the engagement shoot?
A: We charge by the hour that we will be present to work your wedding. The engagement session in an 8+ hour wedding is a complimentary item. If you do not want this you have the option to not take advantage of the extra photo shoot or book but our rates are final.
Q: What is your photography style?
A: We are lifestyle wedding photographers. We aim to capture portraits/people in real-life events in an artistic manner. During couples portraits, I shoot with intention. I direct my couples by telling them what I want them to do. A lot of my direction involves movement to keep it natural looking. I want my images to look like they were moments that happened naturally rather than totally staged even though direction was involved. I may do a certain direction a few times until I get the ending result I’m looking for. Once in a while, I may ask for you to hold a direction in a static stance when I’m trying to highlight a certain detail like a ring shot. Emotions drive and inspire us, so we aim to capture emotion in most of our images. Especially laughter. I LOVE laughter. I keep my couples natural and use the nature or architecture around us to bring in any sort of drama to an image. Outside of the portrait area of the day, my goal is to capture authentic storytelling moments and the majority of the images will be photojournalism.
Q: What words would you use to describe your photography?
A: Romantic, elegant and timeless for fun and happy couples.
Q: Every couple has a photographer who fits them, If you explained a couple who fits you and your brand, who are they?
A: My couples tend to be in their 30’s and up. They are career motivated and most likely already live together. They enjoy weekends together getting coffee and brunch at new cafe’s and restaurants and enjoy traveling once or twice a year to a new city. They typically love animals and may have a dog. They know what they want and care about aesthetics while still being down to earth and caring for others. They value an album’s worth of amazing heartfelt images over hundreds of mediocre images. They are a modern couple who share responsibilities. They are filled with empathy, love, and they laugh a lot.
Post Production Questions
Q: Do you shoot in JPEG, or RAW?
A: We shoot all of our images in full RAW format. We love to have full control over the images and with jpeg you can not edit the photos in post-production without damaging some of the pixels every time you do a new edit. Using RAW format, you get beautifully edited photos at top-notch quality. We deliver jpegs.
Q: Do you touch up all the images?
A: Yes, every single image you receive will have been through our basic post-production editing process. We ensure that the colors and quality of your images meet our standards. We use the latest in digital image editing software on color calibrated displays. We never give an image un-edited.
Q: What is basic post-production?
* Included in All Packages
We perform basic post-production on each and every delivered image at no additional charge. The goal of basic post-production is to create print-ready, professional-quality imagery that is vibrant yet natural. We want your images to pop with all the natural colors of our world without looking over edited or over saturated. It is extremely important to us that many years from now , when our couples look at the images we delivered they are looking at memories and not reminded of a fad that was happening at that time with post processing on instagram. We aim for our colors to resemble Portra 400 and Fuji 400 film. When I use film and not digital, those are the films I’m using.
Included in basic post production is the following:
Color Correction: We make sure an image is corrected for temperature and tint.
Exposure Correction: We adjust the exposure and brightness to ensure that an image is not too bright or too dark.
Other Adjustments: We apply a variety of effects and tools to get our end product.
Black and Whites: We use our judgment to determine which images should be in turned black and white based on a variety of factors.
Scroll through to see examples of before and afters of my edits.
Q:What is advanced Post Production?
A: Advanced post-production involves much more expertise and in-depth development. In advanced edits, things can be taken out of images like distracting objects, more in-depth editing on skin, eyes and teeth like getting rid of blemishes and whitening teeth. As photoshop sometimes intertwines with photography, I like to educate my couples that not all professional photographers are professional photoshop editors and it shouldn’t be assumed that they can fix anything in photoshop. They are in fact two different careers. As I know some photoshop and did the bottom image as an example for what photoshop is, I am no way a professional at it. I know some basics. I do not do photoshop on delivered images, so if there are things you would like done, such as ANY body altering or large removal of objects, changes on attire, I will be more than happy to refer you to professional photoshop companies who will be able to help. I want my couples happy so it’s better to let the professionals stick to what they are professionals at. I am a professional photographer.
Q: Can you edit a photo to look like that other photographers?
A: Every photographer has their own style and that’s what makes them them. IF a certain photographers work sticks out to you, it’s important you go with that photographer. Only they will achieve what they are showcasing and you run the risk of being unsatisfied should you ask the photographer you hired to do something they don’t normally do.
Wedding Day Questions
Q: How many hours do you suggest we set aside for wedding day photos?
A: I have made a link that will help with adding photography to your timeline. Please read it! Also remember, I am not a coordinator so making timelines or putting together your day isn’t my expertise. This is just what I have learned during the time I have been a wedding photographer and what works best for me. If you have a coordinator please share this link with them so they can add the appropriate times in your wedding day timeline.
Preparation Shots – At least 1 hour or more allotted time is amazing if possible. I need 30 minutes alone for stylizing details
First look – 15 minutes
Couples session – Duration: 20-25 minutes. (If you have a first look please keep this extra time in the timeline for sunset photos)
Bridal Party– Duration: 15 minutes. We also like to do separate bridal party photos during the preps (this can take 10 mins) to help cut down the time it takes to do them when they are all together. Unless your bridal party are hams in front of the camera they usually prefer to spend less time taking pictures and more time partying.
Family Formals – Duration: 20 minutes. We really like to get through the family formals as fast as possible. To ensure that you get the maximum time to enjoy your wedding day, we suggest talking to your relatives beforehand to be prepared to start formals within ten minutes after the ceremony. We encourage our couples to keep the formals to immediate family members going no further then aunts and uncles. If our couples would like to have formals done with cousins, nieces, nephews, other extended family and friends we can gladly accommodate those during the reception.
Ceremony Details- 15 minutes
Reception Details 20-30 minutes (normally during the last part of the cocktail hour)
Q: I have a lot of downtime in between events on my wedding day. Will I be charged for that downtime?
A: Yes, we charge half of our hourly rate per hour of “downtime”. We are not really off the clock because we are normally traveling to the second location, setting up at the second location or getting pictures that we were not able to get because of wedding day delays. Downtime doesn’t start unless there is 2- 3 hours of more of us just waiting for the next event to start. This should be discussed prior to the wedding and during the timeline making process.
Q: My relative or friend has a really nice camera, can they bring it to the wedding ?
A: Adam and I have no problem with family and friends bringing any kind of camera to your wedding. We want your guests to be able to take photos and enjoy themselves. However, as we don’t mind other people bringing cameras, we do ask that they do not “try to be the photographer” for the wedding and give us our space, especially during the important events of the wedding. We also ask that during portrait time that no other cameras are out while we are setting up poses and shooting. Most of the time we notice when family and friends have cameras out during this time, our subjects eyes are on their cameras and not ours that is being paid for. Having no other cameras out during this time keeps our photos from being ruined by other camera flashes and distractions that slow the process.
Q: Can I make you a shot list for my wedding?
A: Adam and I love to hear about a certain image that you would love to have, such as a photo that you saw and wanted to re-create or something that would be really special to the two of you. However, Adam and I do not work off of shot lists. We like to have the freedom as artists to create the photography for your wedding. Shot lists cripple that ability.
Q: I have certain items that I will be wearing or in my wedding that holds significance how can we make sure to get pictures of these?
A: If you have scheduled me to attend your preps, I have a link I made and will have had sent to you regarding preps to help you understand how I do them and what I need to make things go smoothly and to make sure we get the photos you want. Please read that here. During prep time is when I do the photos of details. I ask for all of your details to be placed together in one spot before I get there. This includes the dress, shoes, garter, perfume, Jewelry and so on. If there are things that hold a significance that you may not be wearing but have with you, place those items there as well. I then take the Items and stylize them for the photos. I may combine items or even take an item out of the room if there is better light somewhere else and people in the background or clutter that may devalue the photo. All of the same things go for Adam and the groom.
If you have not scheduled me to be there for your preps ( when I do the detailed shots) and are fully dressed when we meet it will be very hard for me to get the detailed type shots you may have seen from some of my other weddings. If these are shots you want please let me know. Because in my mind, if you do not schedule me to be at your preps, these photos may not be important to you and/or you don’t want them. If you do want photos of the earnings you are already wearing, let me know when we meet on your wedding day and we can stage photos if that’s what I need to do to get the details of what you are wearing. Please don’t assume I know this is something you want. Let me know
A: Family formals. We ask that if there is someone you absolutely must have a photo of or with, they are in family formals. We also do not mind at all if you ask for photos with people throughout the day at anytime. We will be near you all day and it makes us happy to do so. We know that everyone invited to the wedding is important so we do our best to get lots of different shots of different people. You and your immediate family and friends take center stage so you will probably see more images of them. Ou goal is to tell a story of the day so unless you have a greeting line at the entrance where everyone is having their image taken upon entering the event, someone may be missed and that is why having family formals is really important.
Q: There is a few nontraditional shots that are really important for us to have; how can we guarantee that we will get those photos on the wedding day?
A: If there is a certain photo that you have listed that is very important to have, please make sure that you have designated a time and place to get that photo on your wedding day. The designated time can be during portraits, formals, reception or whenever you feel the time and place would be the best for the photo. You must make sure that the people/things for the photo are available during the time you designate for that shot. They should be prepared beforehand that they need to be available during that time for the photo. If there is someone in charge of certain things such as animals or objects, It is your responsibility to make sure they know it is their responsibility to be there with that item during a designated time to have everything available for the shot you want. (whew, that was a long sentence). If you would like to get my opinion on where that photo would look best I’d be more than happy to give my thoughts. It’s up to you or your coordinator to make sure that everything is in place for a specific photo and I am informed before the wedding on when in the day you would like this to take place.
Q: How should we do the formals (you know…the traditional shots of me with mom and dad, and so on)?
A: Formals can be taken anytime in the day. Before the ceremony, after the ceremony…whenever you want them to take place. The designated time for formals should be in the timeline provided to me before the wedding. All people who you want to be in the formals need to be informed beforehand that they are requested to be in formals at a certain time and should make themselves available and arrive on time (and stay there). If they are not told this they will disappear or not show up. Guaranteed. It’s really hard to keep a large amount of people’s attention when so much is going on and it’s such an exciting day. So be stern with them that this is when and where they need to be to keep things going in a timely matter. We don’t want Aunt Sally running off to find Cousin Joe for the photo. Now we have two people missing who will either not be in the photos or will hold up the entire process that will cut into other allotted time for photos. Making the group shots for the formals on your wedding day is your responsibility. To help you remember who should be in that photo, make lists on a paper. Please do not hand us the paper. Hand that group shot list to a family or friend to be responsible for calling out the groups (preferably someone loud and who knows most of the people). Make sure they know they have been giving this task before the wedding and they are responsible for having that paper during the time of the formals. If you need some guidance on how to make your shot list for formals please read the link that I made regarding photography and timelines.
Q:I have a coordinator/ wedding planner for my wedding, how soon should I introduce you both?
A: Right away, like months before the wedding! The sooner I can communicate with your coordinator or wedding planner and other hired professionals the easier it will be for me to get what I need for photography purposes. I will be able to tell them what I need to put the photography’s allotted time in the wedding day timeline. You spent a lot of money on your interior design and room decorations and want photos of those things right? Well I need to know when those things will be done getting set up and I need to have allotted time on the timeline that I can go get those photos. If I need to have everything set up by a certain time because of other conflicts during the wedding day like guests having cocktail hour in the same area as the reception, then they are the person that can make this happen for me. But this all needs to be talked about before the wedding.
Q: When can we expect to see our photo’s from our engagement session?
A: The photos from the engagement session are completed within 4 weeks after the session
Q: When should we do our engagement session?
A: It’s best to have your engagement scheduled 3-6 months before your wedding. Our calendar books up very fast so if you wait until a month or two before your wedding to book the engagement session, you may not be able to have it until after your wedding. My complimentary engagement sessions are good for up to one year after you sign your contract with me.
Q: What’s the best day to schedule our engagement session?
A: We typically schedule engagement sessions for Sunday – Thursday. Friday and Saturdays can be do-able but because most weddings are held on a Friday and Saturday we are not always available those days to do an engagement session. Sunday and weekdays work best. One thing to take into consideration is if you want to go to a popular sightseeing location a weekday will be less crowded than a weekend.
Q: How many images do you typically deliver from an engagement session?
A: Engagement sessions are 1 hour long and you would receive 60-80 of the best images.
Q: Are there travel fees associated with the Engagement Session
A: We will drive 30 miles each way or 60 miles round trip from Richmond Ca for free on both the engagement session and the wedding. Every mile that exceeds the 30 miles each way or 60 miles round trip will be $2.00 per mile
Q: Will My engagement photos look like all the other photos I have seen on your site?
A: Every session I do is never the same as the last. Of course, I can use some of the same poses/direction or even the same location but one session will never be the same as another. Every session is unique due to the couple and their personalities, clothing, time of year, time of day and so on. One session can be at at same location as another but come out totally different because one couple is super outgoing and laughs a lot or likes to be silly while another couple is very reserved and shy. A pose or direction I may use with one couple might not work with another. While staying true to my style, I try to form my direction to a couple’s personality. A shy couple may have soft, calm and romantic looking photos while a more outgoing couple will have more playful and outgoing shots. One couple may be willing to go the extra mile to help make a really awesome photo like standing out on the rock in the ocean while waves are crashing, while another would prefer to stay low key on a picnic blanket. If you come in casual clothes your photos will look different then the couple who came in formal clothes. If you get photos done in fall, the scenery will look different then the session that was done in spring. I can tell both grooms to whisper into his bride’s ear but they might whisper two totally different things that will produce a different reaction from the bride. Like I said, every session is unique.
Q: I feel like I get stuck in front of the camera and I make silly faces, what can I do to help me not do that?
A: This might sound silly and might be silly as well but totally worth it in the long run. Grab a magazine! Fashion, bridal, and or Victoria’s secret and look at the girls and practice the expressions in the mirror. You are gonna laugh at yourself, that’s ok!! It’s ok to have fun and be silly. Genuine laughs are always better anyways =) But do this. Practice lots of different expressions so you can feel more confident in what your facial expressions will look like in the end. I will also tell you to relax your forehead and little things like that as well if I notice a funny face =)
Q: Do you have any info regarding engagements and how to prepare that would help me out?
Image and Legal Questions
Q: What rights do I have to the digital prints?
A: You are granted limited personal use copyright over the images from your event. You have the right to get your images printed anywhere you like, give images away to friends and family and post them on personal websites such as Facebook or your personal blog. You may not sell the images for a profit or publish the images online or in magazines without the written consent of Nicole Blumberg Photography. The photos we deliver to our couples and clients are a representation of us as artists, our business, and our brand so we ask that you do not “re-edit” or alter the photos in any way and place them online.
Q:Do you provide the RAW files from my engagement session and wedding day?
A: No. We deliver JPEG’s. We like to deliver our work fully edited and ready to go for our couples and clients.
Prints and Albums
Q: What are the at-cost prints you offer?
A: At cost prints are prints that only cost what the lab charges for them.
Q: How long does it take to get my album?
A: After you order your album I then need 4 weeks to design it. After the 4 weeks, I can send you a proof and you may have up to 3 free image changes in the design. Additional layout changes may result in additional fees. Every image change after the 3rd one is $5.00. After you have approved the proof for the album I can then send it off to be built. It can take up to two months to get the album after it is sent in to be built.
Q: What albums companies do you go through?
A: We use Red Trees.
Q: How many pages and images do we get in our wedding day album?
A: Our albums come with 25 pages (50 sides) and 80-100 images comfortable.
Q: Can I add more pages and images to my album?
A: Yes! There is a fee to do so and everything will be in the order form.
Q: What type of camera/equipment do you use?
“When people ask what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes.”- anonymous
A: We use some of the most current and highest performing camera bodies available. Our cameras are equipped to handle the lowest of light and the fastest of speeds.
Primary camera body: (2)Canon 5D Mark 4
Backup camera body: Canon 5D Mark 2
Pentax 645n (film)
Canon eos3 35mm (film)
Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 L IS USM Telephoto Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L 2 USM
Canon 50mm F/1.4 USM Portrait
Canon 50mm F/1.2 L Portrait
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM 1-to-1 Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
(4) Canon Speedlite 580EX II Flash
(2) Pocket Wizard TT5
(2) Pocket Wizard TT1
Large reflectors and Softboxes, beauty dishes and multiple video lights.
DJI Phantom 3 Advanced (video drone)
Sometimes I bring my handy dandy 35mm canon EOS3 or 620 film camera and shoot with 120 Portra 400h, 120 Fuji 400h and Delta 3200
Business Insurance Questions
Q: Do you have Liability Insurance?
A: Absolutely. I am fully covered.
Q: Do you have a valid business license?
A: I do.
Payment, Tax and Booking Questions
Q: How do I reserve you for my wedding date?
A: Email us or call us to set up an in-person meeting. To book us for your wedding we would need to receive a signed contract and a retainer.
Q: Do you hold dates?
A: The only time we will hold a date is when we have a signed contract and retainer. It’s best to book us as soon as you know you want us to be your photographer because we get calls often for the same date. Being transparent and communication is obviously important to me (if you could not tell ) =) If after our meeting I get an email from another couple who is interested in my services that have the same date as you I will send you an email letting you know. I want to be respectful of everyone time so I will wait up to 24 hours to hear from you before I respond to the other couple and set up a meeting.
Q: I live out of town. Can we have a meeting via Skype?
A: Yes! Just email me to set up a meeting.
Q: If we cancel the wedding will we receive our deposit/retainer back?
A: Unfortunately no. Deposits are used to reserve your date. Once we’ve reserved your date we do not accept new clients for your date. Often we will receive 2-3 other couples asking for your wedding date after we’ve reserved it for you that we turn away. Because there is a limited time frame in which events can be booked for the season, if your event is canceled we will have missed the opportunity to re-book that date.
Q: If we change our wedding to a different date will we be able to use our deposit/retainer towards a future date?
A: Yes, as long as we are available for your new wedding date. Because we would lose the date that was originally booked and most likely missed out on booking opportunists with other couples for that date there is a 10 percent charge of your package price added to your final payment.
Q: Do we have to pay California tax and if I pay cash can I avoid it?
A: Unfortunately, collecting in cash does not exempt a photography studio from paying California sales tax on the amount of the entire package price when a physical product is delivered, whether that product be an album, image DVD or any other physical product. However, since we deliver everything digitally we are able to avoid charging tax. Any books or anything tangible you buy will have tax added to it.
Q: Can you tell me more about both you and Adam?
A: Sure! We are both in our mid 30’s and have been together for 18 years. We own our home in the East Richmond Heights and are both Ca natives. We really enjoy traveling to new places and try to go somewhere new and outside of Ca at least once a year. We love food and base our travels mostly on where we are going to be eating that day =) We are a 50/50 mix of outdoorsy and home bodies. We love things like camping, hiking, kayaking and being very adventurous on our trips, should the opportunity arise. If optional, we love to book ATV tours in new places we go that leave us covered in dirt or ride bikes down volcanos. =) Finding locations that offer amazing views are also a must so should it only be hikable.. so be it.
At home we both very much love our computers. While I work I am often listening to podcasts or audio books. Adam is often referring really great scifi audio books to me as well. I’m a creative so many of my hobbies revolve around being creative. I bake and try to make it look like art somehow. With my love for rocks and gems I use them to make jewelry on occasion. I have recently been diving into 3D using Blender and have fallen in love with it. If it’s an electronic toy, Adam will probably get it to play with. Electric skateboards, drones, VR, Go Pros, computer things.
We love animals. A LOT. We have a sweet golden retriever now. If I could have them all I would. Adam is a little more logical about these kinds of things than I am and reminds me that no.. we can’t adopt a monkey. So I do what I can and offer some of my time to volunteering with sheltered animals who need the extra love.
That’s us in a nutshell. I hope to get to meet you and hear about you both as well!