In my humble opinion, you should not engage the services of a professional who is not prepared to answer your questions openly. Doctor, lawyer whatever! And I include my profession in that as well. If a photographer won’t answer to your questions or listen to your input, and believe me there are many who still believe you must take what they offer, then my advice is find another photographer. Hopefully the questions below will provide some answers that help, but if there is anything not covered here, or it just doesn’t make sense, then please call or email.
Q. Who will take my photographs?
I will. Sandra Keddie Photography is all about me and my photography. I never sub-contract and I am not an agency. I always work with an assistant / second shooter for weddings. It is always me in the studio, and I retouch all my own images.
Q. Are you a full-time or part-time photographer?
I am a full-time and professional photographer qualified with the Master Photographers Association, the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers and also The Photographer Academy. Weddings, portraits and commercial photography is where I get my income. By being a full-time photographer I can concentrate exclusively on my customers and their photography. I can promise you will get a personal service.
Q. How many weddings have you photographed?
I stopped counting at 100! I have been in the wedding photography business since 2007. I am more than happy to meet with you and show you samples of my work, and to answer any questions.
Q. Do you have a studio or shop?
I have a residential studio and office in Hillcrest, KZN.
Q. How do you dress when working?
For weddings I always wear smart but practical clothes. Please remember I am not a guest. I will look smart and my colours are conservative, but I may need to lie down in the mud or stand in the rain if the perfect image requires it and while we do everything to keep you dry and out of the rain, this does not apply to me or my assistant. We get the best shots, no matter what the weather! In the studio I like to be smart casual and comfortable.
Q. Do you have insurance?
Yes, I have very comprehensive business insurance which includes Public Liability insurance.
Q. What happens if it rains on my wedding day?
I get wet, and so does my assistant! Strangely enough it rains in South Africa, but not so much and normally not for so long or as cold as in Scotland, where I used to work! I suggest that a good best man/bridesmaid thinks about having a couple of nice white umbrellas available for just in case. I normally have a couple as well, a habit I picked up in Scotland. When I arrive at the venue on the day of the wedding, I always introduce myself to the coordinator or event manager to discuss the running order of the day, which also includes what happens if the weather is poor. Good venues are used to this, and will have a plan. We will try to get outside, the light is so much better, but I do carry lighting equipment if we have to we shoot within the available space in your venue. It is always worth asking an event manager where the photographs are taken on bad weather days.
Q. What if you’ve never worked at the venue before?
If I’ve never worked at a venue before, I visit the venue before to familiarise myself with the venue. I will discuss timings and space with the event manager and make sure that I have ideas in my mind about where to shoot.
Q. What if your camera kit breaks down?
My equipment is all of a professional level. I have spare everything. I regularly maintain and replace my equipment. I am also registered with the Canon Professional Network CPN which means if my kit is lost, broken or stolen I can quickly get replacements.
Q. How long does it take to view images?
Wedding proofs are normally turned around within two to three weeks, portrait proofs within 5 working days and for commercial images within a few hours to two days depending on the task.
Q. Do you have an assistant?
Yes, I always have a second shooter / assistant for weddings. I sometimes have an assistant in the studio, if the lighting setup is complex, and mostly on location. Never for boudoir.
Depending on the circumstances or the size of the wedding, I may bring an extra assistant with me, to carry equipment or organise lighting. My assistant helps organise groups and poses, and also takes reportage photography, capturing casual and candid moments. I am currently married to my main assistant!
I keep clients details in a password protected database I have on my admin computer. Your data is completely private and secure at all times and I never pass on or sell personal details or contact information. I firmly believe that passing personal details onto other agencies is both unethical and completely wrong. Like all photographers, the copyright of the images is mine. Even if you purchase the images on disc and reproduction rights, the image remains mine. But I respect peoples right to privacy, so if you state in our contract that you do not wish your images used for marketing or sold then I will not use them.
Q. Why is wedding photography so expensive?
A. Consider first that you are hiring a professional. There are numerous costs involved in providing a quality service, including professional grade equipment, insurance, taxes, travel, training, etc. Then remember, it is not just about the wedding day: We meet at least once, probably twice, before the wedding to discuss your requirements. After the wedding day – which is a long working day – I process the images, present them, retouch selected images, design an album, present the album proof for your approval, adjust if necessary, then meet with you a final time to deliver your album to you.
Lastly, I believe that I am as inexpensive as I can be. I try to keep my costs as low as possible, working from home for example and trying not to charge travelling costs unless absolutely necessary. The main cost in your package will depend upon the type of album you choose. Graphistudio make beautiful albums that I am very happy to present. They are a gorgeous quality product, a truly breathtaking way to present wedding images – but they do attract a premium price. I also offer other albums which may better suit a budget while still being an extremely good product.
Q. Why should we choose you?
A. You are entitled to choose the person who you think will best suit your needs, whether that is for wedding, portrait, corporate or whatever. I believe I offer exceptional value for money. I believe that I present a creative vision that people enjoy, I hope that you enjoy my style of photographic presentation. I will work tirelessly for you, with a sense of humour, to get those images that you want to capture and I will present them just as well as I can to try to delight you. If you want something else from your photographer …
Q. What should I wear for my portrait photoshoot?
A. Wear whatever you feel suits the image you want to portray. Long sleeves are generally better than short for adults. Try to find outfits that are plain, rather than patterned, and it is normally better for people to wear a similar colour. For a one hour photoshoot I would recommend two outfits. I have a short guide that I send to photoshoot clients.
Q. What about boudoir?
A. Please read the other blog entries on my Stylish Sexy Boudoir offering.
Q. Will you take my pets portrait?
A. I will come to your home or to a location and we will agree a rate. I cannot bring pets into the studio because of possible allergies. Pets can be unpredictable and sometimes we will not get as many images as I would like. However I have yet to have a dog defeat me, and have always been able to get a portrait that an owner has been happy with.
Q. What do we need to do to book you for our wedding / event?
A. Firstly, please contact us to confirm we are available for your date and advise us of your requirements. Once we have met and agreed, we will send out two copies of our standard terms and conditions for you to sign, returning one copy along with the required booking fee. Once we have received these, and the booking fee (currently R2000) your booking is confirmed.
Q. If we cancel the booking, do we get our deposit back?
A. Your “deposit” is a booking fee which holds your day for a wedding and means that I cannot take other work on that day. Usually if I can find work on your day after you have cancelled then I will refund, but otherwise I am afraid it should be considered as a fee for the administration and planning involved in preparing for covering your wedding or event, and for my loss of earnings. For portrait and studio work, we can normally come to an arrangement on rescheduling. I may offer services or product to the same value instead of a refund.
Q. Your website mentions the MPA, SWPP and CPA – what is that?
A. I am a qualified member of the Master Photographers association (MPA
), licentiate member of the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers
, SWPP, both of which means I have displayed a significant level of photographic professionalism. To be qualified as a Master Photographer you need to be able to prove that you are a full-time professional and submit a panel of images that are judged. For SWPP you are required to submit a panel of images, again that are judged. CPA is the qualification of being certified by the Photography Academy
run by Mark Cleghorn, one of the UKs most successful photographers, which delivers mostly online training and mentoring.
If I have not covered your question here, please do not hesitate to contact me.
079 752 2124