For those about to wed, I salute you.
Every photographer has a different approach to your wedding day; mine is as straight-forward and honestly as possible, with a lot of love.
My style of photography is a mix of candid photos (especially on the dance floor!) traditional, iconic portraits for historical record (your family photos and individual portraits) and some editorial shots of the special details you worked with your vendors to create (this photographer loves florals!)
I enjoy chatting and joking with your friends and family (at appropriate times, of course) and making everyone feel relaxed and have a good time. I tend to show up a little bit early to meet everyone before I pick up my camera. I also make sure to get the inside scoop from my clients on family dynamics.
Black and white or colour?
Both, mostly colour. If you want more black and white, let me know. Images are ONLY delivered in either colour or black and white and can’t be converted either way afterwards.
Do you want a shot list?
I will need a list of the family formals, and will ask for a list of about five special details you'll want captured that might not be immediately apparent (such as a memorial brooch on the underside of your bouquet, or a new wedding tattoo, etc.)
During your wedding day, I have a list of the usual things at the back of my head: shoes, rings, invitation, etc. so you need not worry about those. There is no need for an internet list that has "bride and groom together" on it, and I don't copy poses off of Pinterest.
How do we build our family formals list?
A few weeks before your wedding, we'll have a final list and go over everything together (we can do this over the phone or meet in person.) I'll then re-write it in a an order that minimizes moving around and makes family photos go smoothly. On the day of your wedding, your family formals will be quick and fun (I swear!) and we'll make sure no one gets left out.
Our family is loud and unruly. Are you you sure you can handle it?
Oh yeah. It's also a really good idea, though, to appoint a wrangler who knows everyone for the family photos, too.
What's your wedding photography style?
True photojournalism means I take a photo of whatever I see. I have no problem removing water bottles and ugly packaging, and picking a space for you to put your wedding gown on in the prettiest light. I write a bit more about this in my essay, "When the Photo is Sacred."
My style is to find the spark that that exists between two people in love and photograph it authentically.
All of my clients say, "We want candid photos, not stiff, posed ones."
You got it.
Even my well-lit, camera aware portraits have an authentic spark left in them, as I record the details of your faces and outfits are going to be so treasured, by you and your family for generations to come.
We'll bring some of those candid vibes in the editorial portraits, too. I'll have you walk, dance, and interact with each other for the most genuine smiles and organic, vibrant portraits that show who you really are, and use this fun method of posing for your wedding party, too. Nothing stiff about it.
Some of those blog articles call this style "traditional", but I shy away from that word because it can sometimes feel like it's leaving some folks out. I like "editorial" better, but I mean the same thing. I adore working with everyone, and we'll get photos that will look genuine and be cherished, no matter who you are, who you're marrying, what you're wearing, or what your gender expression is.
We don't want our photos to look super stiff. How do you handle posing if someone is shy? What about LGBTQ couples? We are super awkward, you know. We hate posing.
I think at least 80% of my clients have "warned" me about how awkward they are but it's never a problem. If you're really worried, though, have an engagement session. You'll get to know my style and how I work, and get a feeling for being photographed professionally.
We laugh and joke and smile during portraits - both at your engagement session and at your wedding - so your personality shines through. You’ll look back at your wedding photos and see two people in love.
I typically allow couples to fall together into their own patterns the way they will naturally, and go from there. This works well for everyone, no matter what their orientation, height difference, etc. (Seeing these lovely patterns everyone has is the best part of my job.)
Do you do engagement sessions?
I love engagement sessions. They're a wonderful time for us to get to know one another, and for you to see what it feels like to be professionally photographed before your wedding. Plus, a lot of my wedding clients find their wedding days are largely about family; these are just for focusing on you.
During high wedding season (May - October) I photograph engagement sessions exclusively on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (very occasionally, there is an exception to this). They take place in Brooklyn or Manhattan, although other locations are available and may be subject to an additional travel fee.
Ideally, we aim to begin our session an hour and a half before sunset, so 3pm in the winter months, and as late as 7pm in the summer. This isn't a hard and fast rule, though, and if you have something unique you'd like to do, let's talk about it.
Clients are responsible for obtaining all location permissions and permits necessary. This generally only applies to shoots indoors on private property; we do not need a permission to shoot in Central Park or on the streets of NYC, etc.
Do you use a second shooter at weddings?
Sometimes. You'll have the option to add one, and in our consultation we'll decide if you need one. Either way, there will always be a non-photographing assistant with me, even for intimate weddings and elopements.
Will you photograph our rehearsal dinner?
Rehearsal dinner photography coverage is a great addition, particularly for couples having destination weddings. You'll get warm, wonderful photos of your closest friends in family in a laid-back setting. You can add on this photography coverage, and will receive the photos along with your wedding day photos. Otherwise, I do not attend rehearsals.
How do we get our photos, exactly?
You'll be emailed a digital gallery of your images that you can download your digital images, and order your prints from. The set up is exactly like a typical online store, and you'll be able to share this link with friends and family so they can shop for prints themselves (read: you don't have to handle the ordering for everyone).
Are the digital images we download watermarked?
No. Some photographers do this to make sure they get properly credited, but I've never had a client have a problem putting "photo by @AmberMarlow" on their Instagram photos. My couples are the best.
Do we have to order prints through you?
I hope that you do, but no, it's not required.
What are your wedding album options?
I have a traditional Wedding Book album which is what most of my clients get, and the Marlow Signature album made with 100% cotton paper that is super luxurious and delicious. I also offer a small photo book.
How many photos do we receive?
"Enough to tell the story" is the best answer I can give you. This is a hard question because the answer changes based on the timing of your day and the number of details and family formals. You will have enough images to make a beautiful album, though, and no one has ever been unhappy. I'm very attentive to details.
How long does it take to get our images back?
My agreement says 6 weeks from your wedding day. I
How long have you been a professional photographer?
I won my first photography award in 1998 (I was 16), became serious about photography in college, accepted the first payment for photography in 2009, and shot my first wedding in 2011.
How many weddings and elopements have you photographed?
Tech & Legal
Do you have backup equipment?
Yes. Extra lenses, extra cameras, and so, so many batteries. The cameras I use have dual slots for memory cards so I go home at the end of the night with two copies of your images. I also shoot with two cameras.
How do you keep our images safe? We've heard horror stories of photographers losing all images.
The wonderful geniuses at the since-closed Tekserve helped me develop an extensive, state-of-the-art backup system, and I'm happy to share it if you like to get geeky about such things.
What is your process like?
I shoot RAW images. Every image is hand-corrected, with no batch edits or Instagram-type filters. For album images and large framed prints, I take it to the next level with a bit of extra Photoshop on the images (you won't be able to tell!) to make sure they are absolutely perfect. Your album will be filled with magazine-quality images. This is a source of great pride for me.
Can we have the RAW images?
I'm the only photographer I know that will allow you to have the RAW images from your wedding, but very honestly, I don't know why you'd want them. It's a bit like a baker handing you a few layers cake and a tube of icing and telling you to "go for it", when what you asked for was a wedding cake. They're incomplete; it's the RAW files, plus the processing after, that makes the image. You also won't be able to open them without software most people don't have. But yes, if, after knowing all of that you'd like them, the entire set is available for $2000, and they come on a hard drive.
What gear do you use?
Professional level Canon cameras and lenses. I've been shooting a Canon camera since I was a teenager in the 90's, and my grandfather did, too. This makes me feel elderly.
Are you insured?
Yes. Please let me know at least two months in advance if your venue specifically needs a certificate of insurance. Some venues do, some don’t.
What about permits?
You are responsible for acquiring all photography permits needed on the day of the wedding. If it’s in NYC, I can usually point you in the right direction off the top of my head.
What if something happens to you on the day of our wedding?
I've never missed a wedding due to illness. I take shooting your wedding very seriously, of course, and would never "call out sick" unless there was a circumstance so extenuating it could not be helped. Should this happen, you will be offered a 100% refund, or an alternative photographer from my network.
When should we book you?
As soon as you know you would like me to be your photographer. To book, I need to receive from you a signed contract and a retainer. Without these things, I cannot hold your date.
Can you travel?
Yes. My destination wedding clients are generally New Yorkers planning destination weddings.
Can we... ?
Yes, probably. I'm flexible, accommodating, adventerous, and - as a true New Yorker - nearly impossible to shock.