FAQs


PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Why choose Samantha Ohlsen Photography?

Personalised service – As a boutique service, I shoot every wedding myself with my assistant/second shooter. We will always make an effort to get to know you well before your wedding day so that our presence on your wedding day is more like two friends in the background rather than a couple of strangers invading your space on your wedding day.

Dedication – We will stay till the end of your wedding so that you don’t have to watch the clock. Instead, just enjoy your day and we will be there to capture your sparkler exit, the finally hug with your Dad, and your exit in a cool getaway car.

Organisational skills – As a military officer with over 15 years experience I have a unique ability to assist in the planning of your event. We will work with you to ensure that your wedding day plan allows for those unexpected delays so that you can remain calm throughout the day.

Passion – Passionate people go to extraordinary measures to achieve success (that means the success of achieving some beautiful images of your wedding day). My background as an Army nurse gave me the privilege of assisting people during the most tragic days of their lives. I have a unique reason for now wanting to capture the joy that is present on a wedding day.

Crisis Management – Nothing on a wedding day can come close to the pressure of treating a critically injured patient in a war zone. Therefore you can be assured that I will be able to assist you to overcome any obstacle that may challenge your perfect wedding day.

Attention to detail – Not only a personal trait but this has been instilled with 15 years of military experience. I will work with you to have contingency plans for your wedding day. This will allow you to relax knowing that all the little things have been done and this minimises the chance that I will need to use any of the crisis management skills.

People skills – As a registered nurse I have worked with a variety of cultures, religions, ages, genders and ethnicities. Respect is something that is expected of a nurse. This means you can always expect me to be an absolute professional at all times. Don’t worry I still come with a sense of humour.

Why should I hire a professional wedding photographer?

For the guarantee of a quality finished product. Hiring a quality professional photographer gives you piece of mind that your special day will be covered in a beautiful manner. You are paying for the photographers technical ability, experience, professional equipment (inc backup equipment), and artistic vision (such as posing groups of people and design of your wedding album). Many people consider having a friend or family member take photos for their wedding day. Whilst this is certainly an option it comes with a number of risks. The art of wedding photography is arguably one of the most difficult forms of photography due to the stress of the day, time constraints, equipment malfunction and most importantly in inability to go back in time and capture moments that may be missed by an inexperienced photographer. Many brides have been left in tears after receiving blurry, under/overexposed photos from inexperienced photographers, that no amount of Photoshop can fix. When you consider that your wedding album and photos are usually the only thing that you keep long after your wedding it makes sense to invest in this portion of your wedding day. These photos will capture your lasting memories of your special day.

Why is wedding photography so expensive?

Wedding photography is certainly an investment however it really isn’t that expensive when you consider the time involved. Most people assume that wedding photographers get paid just for the 8+ hours (in our case this is often 12 – 14 hours) they spend on the wedding day. The reality is actually much different. My team and I average 40-60 hours per wedding. This includes meetings with the couple, scouting of suitable locations for your photo shoots, sorting through thousands of images and then editing them. These images then need to be backed up on multiple systems for safe storage. Finally the completed images are loaded into album design software and we design your album.

THE ENGAGEMENT PHOTO SHOOT

What is an engagement shoot?

An engagement shoot is simply a photoshoot for an engaged couple.

What is the purpose of an engagement shoot?

– Primarily a photoshoot is about getting you comfortable in front of a camera and gives me an opportunity to get to know you as a couple much better. The better I know you, the better I can anticipate candid moments on your wedding day and more importantly I will understand things that are significant in your relationship as a couple. Remember, my team and I will spend almost the entire day with you on your wedding day and we would love for you to see us more like friends than random strangers.

– The second reason is to get some your casual and natural shots of you as a couple. These images can be used for Save the Date cards, wedding day signature books or boards.

– The final reason is it gives us an opportunity to teach for a few tips and tricks for posing that will allow us to enhance your strongest features and minimise any areas that you see as problem areas.

What locations do you use for the shoot?

You can choose any location in Sydney that you wish to have your photoshoot. Many couples choose a location that has significance to their relationship. It might include a local park or beach. Alternatively, we can provide some recommendations of locations. Some of our favourite locations include:

  • The Rocks and Harbour Bridge area
  • Luna Park
  • Watsons Bay
  • La Perouse
  • Lavender Bay

How long does it take?

Usually 2-3 hours

What time of day is an engagement shoot usually done?

Usually late in the afternoon till early evening to ensure the better light conditions. This allows some late daytime, sunset, and night photos. However, should this time not suit we can shoot at any time of the day or night.

What should I wear to the engagement shoot?

Most couples choose 1-3 outfits for the shoot. The photoshoot should reflect your personality as a couple. Some couples choose shorts and a t-shirt and others will wear a formal gown and suit. The choice is yours. Once you have booked your engagement session we will provide you with additional information on what to bring or wear on the day.

What is included in the price for an engagement shoot?

You will receive at least 20 professionally retouched images for you to use. These will be provided as an online gallery that will allow you to download (and print yourself) or share via social media your images. We will also provide a link to you so any of your friends or family can also look at and share your images. Should you wish to keep this gallery private please let us know and we can password protect your online gallery.

Do you offer any additional products from our engagement session?

Most of our clients then choose to select to purchase one or more of the following products:

  • Guest signature board
  • Guest signature book*
  • Save the Date cards
  • Unframed or framed prints
  • Canvas wall art
  • Metallic wall art
  • Premium linen or leather album*
  • Acrylic blocks
  • Slideshow with music (this can then be loaded onto YouTube to share with friends and family)
  • USB of all images retouched as high resolution files

* All images contained within an album or signature book will be provided to you retouched as high resolution files

PRE- WEDDING PHOTO SHOOT

What is a pre-wedding shoot?

A pre-wedding shoot is an elaborate photo shoot that includes dressing in wedding gowns and beautiful formal dresses with your hair and makeup done. It usually occurs 6-12 months prior to your wedding. Of course, your fiancé will join us during the shoot to get some magical images of the two of you. Pre-wedding shoots are more popular with our Asian clientele, many of who specifically fly to Sydney for this unique photoshoot.

What is included in a pre-wedding shoot?

A pre-wedding shoot is a highly personalised service and is tailored to individual client needs. As a minimum our packages include:

 

  • Photographer with assistant
  • Transportation
  • Hair and Makeup artist

We recommend that our male clients bring their own suit/s, shirts, and tie/s. However, we can recommend a suit hire establishment within the Sydney city area should you require this service.

Female clients are encouraged to bring 2-3 outfits such as a formal gown/s or even your real wedding dress.

What finished products are available?

All clients will receive a minimum of 20 professionally retouched digital files. Most of our clients then select one or more of the following products:

  • Unframed or framed prints
  • Canvas wall art
  • Metallic wall art
  • 12 x 12 inch premium leather album
  • Acrylic blocks

What locations do you use for our photoshoot?

Anywhere within Sydney, you choose which locations you wish to visit. Our favourite locations include:

  • The Rocks and Harbour Bridge area
  • Observatory Hill
  • The Sydney Opera House
  • Hyde Park
  • St Mary’s Cathederal
  • LaPerouse

How long is a pre-wedding shoot?

Our minimum packages last 6 hours. This includes 2 hours for dress selection, hair and makeup all done in your hotel room. We then head out for a minimum 4 hour photoshoot. Most clients choose to a photoshoot of 6-10 hours. A longer photoshoot allows you a greater choice of locations and to have daytime photos, sunset, and then a night photoshoot in Sydney.

GENERAL QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE

I don't have a wedding planner. Can you assist with my wedding timeline?

Absolutely. This is part of the personalised service that is included to all our wedding clients. In fact this is what makes us different from other photographers. With over 35 collective years in the military within our team we have the expertise to plan complex events, so assisting with a wedding timeline is just part of the service.

READ FEEDBACK FROM A WEDDING CLIENT REGARDING WEDDING PLANNERS:

I’m a bit of a DIY person. I never use travel agents or anything if I think I can do it myself so of course I didn’t think I’d need a wedding planner. This was possibly a little misguided so I was really lucky to find Sam. Sam was like a wedding planner herself. She thought of everything and had a great list of contacts. Our day definitely ran better because of Sam’s advice.  

What style of wedding photography do you offer?

My team specialise in experiential wedding photography. This is a highly personalised service where the focus is on maximising the experience of your wedding day. In terms of the style of photography, we will use a combination of traditional and documentary methods and can vary this to tailor a service that best meets the needs of our bridal couples.

How many hours of wedding coverage do you offer in each of your wedding packages?

All our wedding packages cover all day up until midnight. The last thing you need to worry about is your wedding photographer missing any of those special moments or watching the clock in fear of going over your hours of coverage. In order to provide an experiential wedding photography service we need you to just enjoy your day. When you, your family and friends are enjoying your day it allows our photography team to capture those natural candid moments. Some of our bridal couples elect to have night portraits and/or a sparkler exit from their reception, leaving you with some amazing photos. So we certainly wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity.

Who will be the actual photographer on the day?

Samantha Ohlsen will be the primary photographer at your wedding.

What happens if Samantha is sick on the wedding day?

I haven’t missed a wedding yet, however if I break a leg or similar I will insure that you will have a suitably qualified and experienced professional photographer.

Do you bring a second photographer or assistant?

Almost always will there be at least a team of two photographers to cover your wedding. This allows us to capture special moments from different angles and add a variety of images for you to choose for your wedding album. The only exception to this is usually when covering destination weddings overseas or interstate in an effort to minimise the costs to the bridal couple.

Can we meet with you to discuss our wedding?

Absolutely, in fact it is a requirement. Whilst we can organise a Skype meeting, it is our preference to meet in person prior to accepting a booking. This ensures that you can meet me and confirm that I am the right photographer to document your wedding day. Just keep in mind that you will spend almost your entire day with your wedding photographer.

Can you organise a custom tailored wedding package?

Absolutely, if fact many of our couples end up tailoring a package to best suit their wedding day needs.

Do you carry insurance?

Absolutely. We carry $20 million in public liability insurance (the industry standard). Should you need a copy for your reception venue, please let us know and we can provide a certificate of insurance.

Do you offer videography?

Whilst we do not offer video services we do offer slideshows of your wedding images to music. These are created as a movie file and can be loaded onto YouTube to show your friends and family. This service is significantly cheaper than adding a videographer.

Do you attend the wedding rehearsal?

Wherever possible I try to attend the wedding rehearsal. This gives your bridal party and family an opportunity to meet me and ask any final questions prior to the big day.

How do you choose where to have the photo shoot after the ceremony?

This is done with full consultation with the bridal couple. I am happy to go anywhere that time permits. I can also make recommendations of suitable venues should you not have any specific venues in mind. Please note that many locations charge a fee for taking wedding photos in their location eg. Sydney Botanic Gardens. If you decide to choose a venue that charges a photography fee you will be responsible for any charges.

Are you a 'shoot and burn' photographer?

No. My focus is on providing you with a professional quality product that will last a lifetime and be there for you to hand down through family generations.

Do you shoot family photos at the wedding?

Absolutely. In years to come these photos can be some of the most treasured possessions of any family. I will discuss with you a variety of options to get these photos that will fit into your wedding day. For example, some families have had their family photos prior to the ceremony, some immediately after the ceremony and others choose to have them done at the reception.

Can we give you a shot list?

Actually we will give you one. You will then be able to select the images that are the most important and you can include any special requests.

Do you cover weddings outside of Sydney?

Yes. Whilst we are based in Sydney we cover weddings across Australia and overseas.

Do you charge extra for weddings outside of Sydney?

Weddings located in the greater Sydney area, the Central Coast (north to Wyong), the Hunter Valley, Blue Mountains (west to Blackheath) and Wollongong are provided at no extra charge. Beyond these areas, reasonable travel and accommodation costs are charged. Should you be having a wedding in an exotic destination, please contact me as a special package may be available at reduced cost.

How do I book a date?

We can only reserve a date after receiving the $950 booking deposit. We are currently booking out to December 2015. As most couples tend to have their wedding on a Saturday these are the days that book out the quickest.

SPECIAL WEDDING SERVICES I OFFER

Do offer a 'First Look' and how much do you charge?

Yes and it’s completely free within each of our wedding collections.

What is a 'First Look'?

A ‘First Look’ can include the first look between and bride and her groom prior to the wedding ceremony or the first look between a bride and her father.

Learn more and see case studies: The First Look

First Look Q&As:
Q&A with Nicole and Jason
Q&A with Kirsten and Damien
Q&A with Joanne and Bill

For more info check out the following blog posts:
http://www.samanthaohlsenphotography.com.au/top-5-reasons-to-include-a-first-look-in-your-wedding-day/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-lin/your-wedding-day-is-a-blu_b_5879162.html

ALBUM

Is a wedding album included in all your wedding collections?

Absolutely, because every bride deserves a wedding album. Many couples we have met still have their disc of wedding photos in a desk and never get around to putting together their album or even printing some images. Instead our team will work with you to create your dream album. Our Silver, Gold, and Platinum collections include premium plush leather albums, printed and hand made in Melbourne.

How long after my wedding do I get to see my wedding album?

Soon as your wedding is over our team gets to work in editing your photos and creation of your digital wedding album plan. We aim to book a wedding planning meeting with our bridal couples 2-3 weeks after your wedding. For most people this corresponds with them returning from their honeymoon but prior to going back to work. During this planning meeting we will present a plan of your wedding album and then work through with you page by page to complete the design. After we have confirmed your album we will complete any required retouching work and then send your album to the printer. Our printer takes 4 – 6 weeks to complete your album.

Can I have extra pages in my wedding album?

Absolutely. In fact many of our couples choose to pre-order additional wedding pages at a discounted rate prior to their wedding day.

QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT IMAGES AND PRINTING

Do you include digital files in your wedding collections?

Yes. All collections include an online gallery that will store your images for 10 years. During this time you may use these photos to share on social media or to print. You can even send the link to your friends and family so they can do the same anywhere in the world.

Are the images we receive watermarked?

No. Your final USB will have all fully edited images without watermarks. Any images we use for advertising or post on social media may carry our watermark.

Do you retouch all the photos we receive from our wedding day?

Yes. Basic retouching is included for all the images on your USB. This includes: colour and tone adjustments, cropping, B&W, sepia, and application of creative effects. Images that are selected for your wedding album then undergo further enhancements such a skin retouching. Any images you choose to have printed with us will then be sent to a specialist fashion photographer that specialises in portrait retouching.

Can we print the digital files ourselves?

You will be able to print any of the images we provide at home or at the photo lab of your choice. You can also choose for us to have them professionally printed with us.

What are the benefits of having you print my photos?

Firstly we only use a professional printing service that is available only to professional photographers. Each of the images you choose to print with us is then professional retouched and then resized to your desired print size. The printing materials are the finest available and therefore guaranteed to last significantly longer than standard printing lab products. If want even more reasons check out this Huffington Post article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-trenske/the-case-against-good-enough_b_2967170.html

What other products do you offer?

We specialise in wall portraits printed in your choice of art paper, photographic paper, canvas, acrylic, or metal prints. These are available in a variety of sizes. Additionally, you can order acrylic blocks and parents albums, which make great gifts.

How do you back up our wedding images?

All your completed wedding images are stored across three separate storage systems of which one will be online and another will be offsite from our studio.

THE WEDDING DAY

What if it rains on my wedding day?

Then we will do a little Irish jig as we love the rain and the photographic opportunities that can present themselves on a rainy day. We also keep a number of specialised wedding umbrellas for such a day. If you are more adventurous and willing to brave the rain, we can offer some unique photo opportunities if you are not afraid of getting a little wet. As planning gurus we will have also discussed a wet weather plan with you prior to your wedding day.

EQUIPMENT

What equipment do you use?

All professional Nikon and Sony equipment. I admit I am a bit of a gear freak, so I am never at risk of having too little equipment. Some of the equipment I carry includes:

 

  • Nikon D4S camera body
  • Nikon D3S camera body
  • Nikon D800 camera body
  • Sony a7S camera body
  • Sony a7SII camera body
  • Sony a7II camera body
  • Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR II lens
  • Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens
  • Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 lens
  • Nikon 105mm f2.8 macro lens
  • Nikon 85mm f1.4 lens
  • Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens
  • Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8 lens
  • Sony 16-35mm f4
  • Sony Zeiss 35mm f1.4
  • Zeiss 25mm f2
  • Zeiss 85mm f1.8
  • Lensbaby 35mm & 85mm lenses
  • Nikon 1.7 teleconverter
  • 3 x Nikon speed lights
  • 1 x Sigma speed light
  • 3 x Icelights
  • Elinchrome Quandra Ranger Strobe system
  • Multiple light modifiers

My second shooter will also be carrying additional equipment. In other words, no need to worry if any of my equipment breaks, as there is plenty of redundancy.

DID NOT FIND THE ANSWERS IN THESE WEDDING FAQ'S?

In case you have not found any answers here in our Wedding FAQ’s or you have more inquiries to ask, please feel free to drop us a message and we will contact you back very soon.

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