Aimee Custis Photography
boutique weddings + portraits
ac2.jpg

FAQs

DC MD VA wedding and portrait photography. Content and images © 2014 Aimee Custis, DC MD VA wedding and portrait photographer

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

 

GENERAL FAQs

What kind of photographer are you?

I'm a fine art wedding and portrait photographer. When it comes down to it, warm and expressive photos that convey or evoke a story are what make my heart sing. My photos are magazine-inspired, natural, and lightly posed.

 

Can we see what other couples have said about your wedding photography?

You bet! Check out these testimonials, or head on over to my WeddingWire page for third-party reviews. I now have some reviews on Google and the Knot, too!

 

Are you LGBTQ-friendly?

Yes, absolutely, from the bottom of my heart. I deeply believe everyone has the right to tie the knot. I am a proud member of the Wedding Equality Alliance, and I strive to make sure that all of my couples -- queer, straight, young, old, quirky or traditional -- have photos and a photography experience that values and showcases who they are and their unique love.

 

What's in your camera bag?

I shoot with a Canon 6D and (primarily) prime lenses from Canon's L Series.  And I always have backup gear and lip balm. Seriously, there's always a tube of Burt's Bees in my bag. (Sometimes two!)

 

Are you insured?

Yes! I have standard photographer's liability insurance. If you need a certificate of insurance for your venue, I'm happy to provide one.

 

WEDDING FAQs


Why do you limit how many weddings you accept each year?

I have a full-time 9-5 career that I adore, and for me, photographing weddings is a labor of love. By capping my wedding commissions each year, I can focus on you as your unique selves and give you the attention you deserve and really get to know you -- and that makes a big difference in my approach to photography.

Homemade cookies > factory-made cookies, right? I apply the same principle to wedding photography.


Do you travel for destination weddings? What are your travel fees?

Yes! Yes! and Yes! I LOVE traveling and when I get the opportunity to travel and shoot a wedding at the same time, I'm in heaven! For anywhere outside of 60 miles from downtown Washington DC, I calculate the cost of travel and accommodations, and include that amount in the booking deposit. Contact me for a custom quote. Or occasionally, if you're getting married somewhere I'd really like to visit, we might be able to make an arrangement -- so if you're getting married somewhere like Paris, Hawaii, or Tahoe, drop me a line and tell me what you're planning! 

 

Before I book you, can I see a full wedding from start to finish?

Yes! Once you've contacted me to confirm I'm not booked for your date, I'll send you links to full online galleries of complete weddings that best match your own big day.

 

Why do your wedding day collections include two photographers?  

To be honest, it's better for you, and better for me. A second shooter brings three big things to the table: 

  1. Peace of mind: should something happen, like me breaking my ankle minutes before your wedding ceremony, you've still got one amazing pro ready to shoot things without missing a beat.

  2. Same moment, two views: Things happen at the same time on a wedding day, and one photographer can't capture them all. Getting ready, you both get a photographer to capture your morning. Ceremony, I capture one of you walking down the aisle, while my second captures the look on your partner's face.
     
  3. Divide and conquer: At key moments in the day, I'm focused exclusively on you, and that's only possible because my second shooter is setting up lighting equipment, wrangling your 16 college friends for that group photo, or answering Uncle Bob's questions.
     

If we book you for our wedding, will we get you, or someone you work with?

When you book me for any shoot, you get me. Guaranteed. Written into the contract. In fact, you'll almost certainly get me+, meaning an awesome second shooter (and sometimes an assistant!) working with me on your big day, to make sure we catch every moment possible.
 

DO YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTIONS INCLUDE TAX?

Because I'm in the District of Columbia, I only collect sales tax (5.75%) on physical products, not services! (Woohoo!) That means that only albums and USB drives are taxed -- and you'll see that tax listed as an additional line item on invoices and in contracts.  For prints and other products that my clients purchase through their online galleries, those purchases are fulfilled through a third party vendor and any applicable  taxes are automatically calculated and applied just like any online purchase you may make.
 

We want to book you for our wedding! What now? Can you save our date?

Woohoo! Contact me to confirm I'm available for your date. We'll schedule a consultation to chat about details over coffee or drinks, and make sure we're a good match. I prefer to meet in person, but if you're far away, we can do by phone. A note that if we meet by phone, I do require that we meet in person (whether for a follow-up consult sometime before the wedding, or for your engagement photos)! 

After the consultation, whenever you're ready I'll send over a contract. Once you've both signed the contract, and I've received your 15% booking fee, I'm all yours!

 

How do you feel about first looks? What should our wedding timeline look like?  

There's no right or wrong answer on first looks, but I've compiled my advice on them in this handy blog post. And I've got lots of helpful hints about day-of timelines in my blog post, 8 day of timeline tips for a-stress free wedding.

 

Do you have recommendations about other wedding vendors who really rock?

Holy cow, yes I do! I am more than happy to connect you with some of my favorite like-minded wedding planners, day-of coordinators, videographers, DJs, florists, hair & makeup artists, caterers, bakers, officiants, and others who are totally on my wavelength when it comes to making sure you have the best possible wedding experience. Just ask me, and I'll be delighted to tell you who they are and why they're amazing.

 
DC environmental headshots

PORTRAIT FAQS

What do I wear? 

Clothes that reflect your personality, and that make you look and feel great! If you're uncomfortable in your outfit, it'll show. I've written this handy blog post with more details! Once you've booked an engagement or anniversary session, I'll send you a helpful guide with more info, too.

 

IS THERE A PERFECT TIME OF DAY FOR MY PHOTOS?

Yes! The golden hour (1-2 hours before sunset or immediately after sunrise), is my favorite time to shoot. The warm, glowing light in all of my favorite photos happens at this time of day.

 

How long will our session last?

I don't put a time limit on sessions, because working against the clock in a session is stressful. We'll take as long as we need to. But a good rule of thumb is about 30 minutes for headshot mini-sessions and 2 hours for engagements and anniversary session.

 

Where will we hold our session?

Is there a special place that is meaningful to you or helps tell your story? Let's shoot there. Need ideas? I'm happy to help. I love outdoor locations, and will choose them as often as possible, even for headshots. (Outdoor portraits are way awesome.) I do have some studio equipment that I can use for headshots and special projects, but I do not maintain a full indoor studio (it's just not my style). 

 

How do I book you for a portrait session?

Contact me to set up the details. We'll discuss a date and location, then arrange a 50% deposit.

 

PROCESSING + TIMELINE FAQs

When do we see our photos?

The day after our shoot, I'll post a sneak peek on social media so you can brag to all of your friends! Then, when I've completed substantial edits to your session or wedding, I'll share it in a blog post as my blogging schedule allows! I strive to deliver portrait sessions within 6 weeks (usually sooner). For weddings, I'll do my best to deliver your high-resolution JPEG files within 8-10 weeks. If you need your pictures delivered in a hurry, when my workflow allows, we can arrange an expedited schedule for a rush fee.

 

How many photos will we receive?  

For weddings, I deliver on average 40-50 images per hour of shooting time, but that exact number can vary, based on what your day-of schedule looks like, how much travel vs. other time there is, etc.

Portrait sessions, it depends on so many things... the set-up, the location, and more... but you can check out my portrait packages for a better idea.

 

Do we get the high-resolution digital negatives?

"Digital negatives" is a complicated term. I shoot in a format called RAW, which you won't be able to view or even open without specialized photo software. But consumer-friendly JPEG files are ALWAYS included... fully retouched, and in high resolution. Files come complete with a release for printing and posting. Post them. Brag about them. Make all of your friends and followers jealous.

 

Where do I get prints? Albums?

You can order archive-quality prints from a top national print lab directly from your online gallery. Many of my wedding collections include heirloom-quality flush mount albums in the package price. All of my albums are hand-designed, and I am always happy to show samples. But if that's not really your thing, the digital files are yours -- you can take them to any print lab or album bindery you'd like.

 

Do you deliver every image you shoot?

Nope, and believe me, you wouldn't want me to! Photographing people -- especially on days where emotions run high -- can yield some unflattering facial expressions, and I shoot with a high-burst shutter to make sure I have several facial expression for a given moment. I deliver only the most flattering one! Similarly, I shoot with very low aperture, which means sometimes I take a short burst of photos, and only deliver the one perfectly in focus. I don't expect you, my client, to take the hours and hours to do that! It's part of post-processing on my end. I deliver the best of the best photos (retouched to look their best -- see "retouching" below), in a way that fully documents and tells the story of your entire day.

 

Are my photos retouched?

Depending on the context in which it's used, "retouching" can mean different things, so it's always important to ask your photographer. All of the images I deliver to clients -- every single one -- is retouched, which means I've individually adjusted the colors in the image, removed major undesirable "flaws" in the image such as color fringing and distracting elements, to present you in your best light.

Retouching is different from the more in-depth editing, which involves Photoshop, and includes things like removing glare from glasses, making you look thinner, making you look younger, and removing hair styled to fall onto your face, or removing people from photographs. On select photos and at my own discretion, I may edit some photos I deliver in your final package. If you'd like to request editing of additional photos, I'm happy to accommodate reasonable requests for an additional fee.

Retouching is also different from SOOC ("straight-out-of-camera," or "shoot and burn"), which you may see some photographers offer. That means you're getting photos exactly as they were captured in-camera, with no color rebalancing, cropping, or other elements of retouching. I never offer SOOC photos -- every single photo I will ever deliver to a client has been at least retouched.