How much do you cost? Will it help if I tell you that I’m on a budget or I have a small wedding?
Head over to our pricing page for our current starting rates. We understand that every single person has a budget of some sort for photography, some larger than others. If you’re here on this website and taking the time to read this, photography is important to you. It’s one of the only tangible things you’ll have from your wedding day to look back on, and you only get one opportunity to do it right. We take what we do very seriously (despite our constant love of sarcasm and jokes), and it’s not cheap or easy to be a full time photographer. We put the same amount of heart and effort into a wedding regardless of size. All weddings are equally special and important.
How do we book you? What’s the whole process like?
First we need to meet you. If you’re in San Diego or the Southern California area a face to face meeting is preferred. Alternatively we can set up a Facetime or Skype video call. If that doesn’t work there is always a trusty phone. It’s in both of our interests to make sure that our personalities are the right fit for your day. When you’re ready to book us you select the package that fits you best. Then we send you over an online booking link that contains a contract and an option to pay the retainer ($995 to hold the date) either by check or credit card. The balance is due 30 days before the event. You can upgrade your package or add additional services at any time.
I only want a disc of images. That’s not a question, why are you answering it like it is?
There’s a good chance your computer doesn’t have a disc drive anymore, and who knows how long USB ports will still be around. We include an electronic transfer of all of the high resolution images with all our services. However, your photos deserve to make it out of the computer and into a book or on your walls at some point. Our online galleries have printing options, and in addition we include a print release on the extremely rare chance you might need to get a print made from someone other than us (GASP). We also offer a big album that will stand the test of time in being handed down to your kids and their kids. We can’t guarantee they won’t be making fun of what was the current fashion trends of the time, but no one can put a price on having that historical record. Everything (that’s absolutely EVERYTHING) looks better in print. The magic of photos comes from seeing them daily, and remembering the people and the moments associated with them. They deserve more than just getting filed away on a hard drive.
Will you travel? Do you charge for travel?
Yes we definitely will travel & do so often! Our passports are current and we love to shoot in new environments. We generally work most travel fees into our packages for out of state (or out of country) weddings. It works better for us if we are able to book our own flights and rental cars. We do prefer our clients to book us a room at the hotel where their guests are staying if possible (especially if the event is taking place there). We always keep our travel expenses to a minimum so having us at your destination affair won’t break the bank.
You guys never show family photos in your blog posts, do you take them?
Yep, we take them – and even if our clients hate them we still suggest setting some time aside to take them to appease your family. Trust us, they are really not much fun for anyone involved – yet if you don’t take them people usually get upset. We make the process as quick and as painless as possible. We just would rather focus on stuff that is more fun on our blog.
Who will be shooting our wedding? Will you have assistants?
Josh is the primary photographer at all of our weddings. All of our weddings include an experienced weddings second photographer, someone who could if necessary take over the primary role in an emergency. Melissa is involved in a lot of the communication and logistics of our weddings, and sometimes fills in as an additional photographer or lighting assistant on the day of the wedding. The only time the potential of a third team member would impact your planning is if it were necessary for them to stay through the reception, in which case you’ll need to feed them, lest they starve and begin devouring your guests.
Do you shoot video?
Video is a very different set of skills from still photography, so we do not offer video. However we regularly team up with an amazing cinematographer and can work together to combine our services. If you are considering video you should hire someone just as talented as your photography team – because bad videographers can very easily impact the photography. Having a videographer present also impacts the timeline of the day, so it’s important that if you’re considering a video team – that they are hired early on in your planning process.
Can you help me put together a dream team of wedding professionals?
Totally. We know some really awesome people in the industry, and the more people you hire who are working together as a team – the more seamless your day will run. Furthermore we go to a lot of weddings, and we’re happy to give you advice on other aspects of your wedding planning. We want your day to be awesome, and to have as much fun as possible.
How much time do we need to book you for?
Our coverage begins with up to 8 hours. We say up to 8, because of course you don’t have to have us there that long if you don’t want us there. However in our experience having shorter package options compromises the ability to really cover all aspects of the day. We typically start towards the end of the hair & makeup process and stay through most of the open dancing. If you’re unsure of your timeline in the beginning, you can always book more hours if you need them.
How far in advance should we book you?
Here’s the deal – like most businesses we run on a first come first served basis. There is no safe amount of time to wait to book any wedding professional. We accept bookings as far out as 18 months in advance. Because we only photograph one wedding a day… once the day is booked you are out of luck. So if you love any wedding vendor – book them. We don’t advocate hasty decisions, but when it’s right it’s right!
We’re from the planet Ork, will you be okay photographing a wedding from a strange culture?
We’ve photographed weddings from plenty of religious denominations and geographic locations in all shapes & colors. We like everyone. We are also Same-Sex Wedding friendly. WE DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH NAZI WEDDINGS (sorry not sorry Nazis).
I see you do engagement sessions? Should we have one of those? When do you do them?
Engagement sessions are a fun way to get to know each other and get some great photos in the process. They aren’t essential to get good photos on your wedding day, but we do recommend them if you’re feeling nervous about being photographed. Engagement sessions are very different from your wedding day experience because you won’t be doing creative portraits with us on your wedding day for two hours straight (although you could if you really wanted to…). The nice thing about an engagement session is it gets out all of that nervous energy and/or feelings of awkwardness some people have over being photographed. So it’s up to you to decide whether or not you think it’s a valuable addition to your wedding package. We definitely want both of you to be excited about doing it though – we’re not the sort of photographers who drag all of our clients kicking and screaming to an engagement session – you should want it. Ideally, your engagement session should take place six months or more before your wedding if you want to use the photos for save the date cards, on your wedding website, or in other aspects of your wedding decor. As far scheduling them, we very rarely do engagement sessions on the weekends (because we leave those days open for weddings). Since our sessions are primarily in the late afternoon a couple of hours before sunset most people don’t have trouble getting off work a little early for them. We suggest thinking of it as a special occasion worthy of a day off work. Take the day to primp and then go out for a romantic dinner afterwards. It’s always best to schedule these sessions as far in advance as possible. Because our calendar fills up quickly we generally do not cancel engagement shoots unless it’s raining or unseasonably cold (for Souther California that’d be 50˚ F or less). Most of our sessions happen in San Diego, but we regularly shoot in Los Angeles too. We are also game to do destination engagement sessions but additional travel fees would apply.
What do people do with engagement photos?
A lot of people use them for save the dates or announcements, wedding websites, and decorations at the wedding. We’ve seen them incorporated into table designs, displayed at various points in the reception area, and sometimes people have guestbooks made. If your goal is to do any of these things remember that we sometimes take up to 6 weeks in our busy season to finish the photos, so plan accordingly!
Will the photos be edited?
Yes. All of our photos are edited in Lightroom, where we make adjusts in exposure, color, and contrast. We will remove noticeable blemishes in close up photos of our clients for both engagement shoots and weddings. Additional retouching is carried out on a case by case basis, and additional fees may apply depending on the request. Generally if a request cannot be done in Lightroom we will charge additional post production fees.
Will you do special effects or process my photos like XYZ Photography?
We will not do selective color. Ever. We like contrast, bold colors, skies that look real, and skin tones that don’t look Cheeto. Part of why you hire a photographer should be that you like their editing style, and we hope that you’ll like ours.
Color or black and white?
Generally we edit our weddings entirely in color, and then do a full black and white conversion. In rare instances there may be a photo that for whatever reason didn’t work at all in color, but did in black and white. And likewise there are some black and white conversions of things like flowers and other details which don’t always work in black and white. It’s rare now for us to not offer a version of both.
How long does it take to get the photos?
Approximate 6-8 weeks for weddings, 4-6 weeks for portrait sessions.
How many photos do we get?
We’re not fixated on exact numbers. However, to give you a rough idea you will on average receive between 50-100 images per hour of service for weddings, and about 25 per hour for portrait sessions.
What is your style?
Mixed photographic. That’s sort of like mixed martial arts, just with cameras. Weddings are a blend of posed and non posed moments. It’s very difficult to shoot an entire wedding photo journalistically – and shooting a wedding where everything is set up and posed is definitely not our style. So it’s a blend of things – the important part (what we focus on), are making the moments real, even the ones we gently encourage.
What kind of camera do you use? Does this question even matter?
We shoot on full frame digital SLRs with dual memory card slots, and use an assortment of fast aperture prime lenses. However this question doesn’t really matter for the reasons people tend to think it does. Full frame cameras with super high ISO capacities and mind boggling megapixel numbers are nice but they are simply photographic hammers that help us drive our nails more efficiently and are only factors in producing great images. If I could eliminate one phrase from our photographic vocabulary it would probably be “that camera takes great photos.” The camera is just a tool, the great photo comes from the imagination and technical know-how of the photographer. We’ve seen amazing images come from cameras that have a fraction of the capabilities then the DSLR of the day in the special kit on sale at Costco. We’ve had 7 foot wide canvases printed from cameras that has less megapixels than the average point and shoot. We run from X brand is better than Y brand conversations. We’ve shot on Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, and who knows what the future holds. The most important factors in equipment are good lenses, backups, and two slot cameras. What’s a two slot camera? One of the most vulnerable parts of digital photography are the media cards that the images are stored on inside the camera. Every camera we use at your wedding will have two card slots in it, so every image we take is written to a duplicate backup card. Any photographer we hire as an second shooter will also have cameras with two memory card slots. We believe it’s our responsibility as photographers to use the safest methods possible in protecting your images – which is why we believe two slot cameras are worth mentioning, as well as having backup gear on hand in case something fails.
I read somewhere online that we want to get RAW photos and a copyright? What’s up with that?
There is a ton of misinformation out there, and a lot of articles about wedding photography that were written when digital photography was in its infancy. Most people by now know what a RAW file is – it’s a file format most photographers use when shooting digital images because it retains a ton of data. Unfortunately those files are ugly and almost always need some level of post production. If we show you an image on the back of my camera you’re not seeing a RAW file, you’re seeing a JPEG preview which always looks better. So why don’t we just shoot in JPEG? Well RAW gives us many more options as editors than a JPEG file does. We’d rather have those options even if we have to sacrifice speed. You should hire a photographer because you like their photographs and their editing style. Our unfinished work (RAW files) are never delivered to our clients, only finished edited JPEGS. Continuum Photography retains the copyright to all images we shoot. As a client all that means is you cannot take the images from your wedding day and alter them, or sell them for profit. We’ve yet to have anyone want to do either of those things. We do however provide you with a personal print release so you can have prints made wherever you’d like (prints through us are of course better…).
Should I back up my images when I get them, or let them stay in the gallery and undownloaded for all eternity?
When you receive your images you should back them up in two spots at the very least. Legally we are absolved from responsibility once your images are delivered, but we do keep backups ourselves. We do understand the phenomenon of not wanting to have to think about wedding stuff after your wedding is done, but please remember to do this.
I saw this 545 item shot list on the Knot, do you want me to send you that?
Nope. The only list of shots we require are for family photographs, and we’ll send you a questionnaire to fill out for that a few weeks before your wedding. If your photographer needs a checklist to remember to be photographing important moments and details during the day then you’ve hired the wrong photographer. Furthermore if we have a clipboard in our hands checking things off then we don’t have a camera in our hands which means less things will be checked off the list. It’s a whole catch 22 sorta thing. We’ve shot a lot of weddings, and we know that weddings are organic – they follow a formula, but things happen on their own. The less forced we make it, the more amazing the photographs will be.
Are you insured?
Yep. We can totally burn down your venue with impunity. Well not total impunity, but we are insured.
Can I see a full wedding?
Sure – we will try and find you a gallery of a wedding that is similar in location and guest count to your own.
Can I have the personal telephone numbers, addresses, and social security numbers of your past clients so we can see if you’re legit?
Well we do respect the privacy of our clients, so if you need something beyond the website or full wedding gallery, check us out on Yelp, Wedding Wire, and Google and read our reviews.
How do you handle Pinterest? What if I want to show you a list of photos I want to recreate?
Pinterest is the grey line between inspiration and replication. We are not replicators. Our take on it is while we it’s important to us that we know what you like, and what’s important to you – we want you to have unique images. We will not directly copy other photographers, and we make an effort when possible to not even copy ourselves. You’re worth having unique photos, and we’d like to provide you something that’s distinctly you.
How will I get to show other people my photos?
You will have your own password gallery that you can share with others if you choose. Our clients are also provided a set of smaller web-ready files that can be shared online.
Do you take photos other than weddings and engagements?
Yes. We take on a small number of weddings each year in addition to our work as branding and commercial head shot photographers. Our other site is called Your Face is Rad! And you can also check out Josh’s editorial work on his personal website, Josh Mitchell Photography.
There is a question that is not covered here. How can I find out the answer?
If you’re reading this before you’ve met us, jot down anything you’re wondering about and we’ll be happy to answer or make something up. If it’s after the meeting and we didn’t touch on it, just email us!