FAQ Weddings

What is Goddard Studios?

Goddard Studios is a boutique photography studio that consists of 2 photographers: Anna and Collin Goddard. All the work is done solely by us (photography, editing, album layout design etc), nothing gets outsourced. We’re based out of beautiful Laguna Beach, California, but travel the world for assignments as well.

 

How do you describe your style?

Creative, spontaneous, documentary, sense of humor, voyeuristic and editorial.

With experience you learn when certain moments are going to happen, we are 98% of the time always there. We don’t like the “overly dramatic”, but rather capture what’s real and natural, and bring out who you really are.

Even though we do provide guidance during certain moments of the wedding day, what evolves from that will always be spontaneous and therefore fantastic! We’d like to surprise you, get creative with you, have fun, get you moving, let you be intimate, and at the same time make sure we capture you in beautiful light and in front of great backgrounds, which we constantly seek out. Our photos are artistic, but again not “over done” and they are always “alive”, showing true and raw emotion.

 

Do you take posed family images?

Yes of course! We realize the importance of posed family images at a wedding and will set out a certain amount of time to take the traditional photographs in a beautiful place/backdrop with great lighting.

 

Can we give you a list of photographs we want you to take?

If you want to provide us with a list for the traditional shots of the family and bridal party, please do so!  It’ll be better for yourselves to make this list as well, this way you won’t forget anybody.

The rest of the day though will evolve naturally. All the “getting ready, details, big moments and everything in between” will be covered. We have years of experience with documenting weddings, and between both of us we will make sure no moment is missed.

Please keep in mind though that we don’t know your family/friends and who has for example traveled far distances to be part of your wedding. If you want to make sure we take pictures of you with them, then please include them to your list of the traditional photos with family/bridal party (to be taken before and after ceremony), or make sure to grab one of us during the reception and tell us to take a picture. Please do not hesitate to do this, your wedding cannot be re-shot and your friends/family might have traveled back again.

 

There are a lot of couples on your website that look like they could be models. We are not, we don’t know what to do! We don’t think we can look as good.

 They are not models and most (probably 99%) just like you have had no experience with being in front of the camera. Because we both have had experience in front of the camera and a background in fashion, we know exactly how to guide you; it gives us a unique edge as we can place ourselves in your position, know what looks good and help you.

Lighting is extremely important as well, and we always know where to place you so it’s most flattering.

Outside of that, EVERYBODY can be photogenic. You don’t have to look like a model; everybody has great qualities, character or an interesting look that can be accentuated and which we’ll for sure (and love to) bring out.

One bride for example  told me about her fear for cameras, never thought she looked good in pictures and told me she was literally terrified of it all. It didn’t help that she already had her engagement pictures taken with a friend, and they had come out disastrous (her words, not mine). I guaranteed her that the experience would be different with us…..

Yolanda was all of about 5 minutes very nervous when we started our engagement session, but then got caught up in the moment after giving her and and her fiance some guidance and talking them through it. That’s what it’s all about! I don’t want to tell you all the time “do this, do that”, but I have a way to show a couple what I want them to do, and then they takes it from there. This always works, with anybody.

Yolanda was over the moon when we started showing her some pictures on the backs of our cameras during the “getting ready” segment of her wedding day. “Oh my God”, she exclaimed, “I AM beautiful”!

Another example is “Mike and Diana”. Diana had the same fears as Yolanda. So cute, she had this terrified face when we met with them in New York City, where we shot their engagement session. She called me prior to ask if she could take her dog, this way it would keep her mind off the fears she had. We had SO much fun which is evident by looking at the pictures.  She was so much more confident on the wedding day as she trusted us- and herself. Their wedding ended up being published in Ceremony magazine, Style Me Pretty and The Wedding Channel.

 

We wish we could meet with you, but we don’t live in Orange County. Is there a different way we communicate and see your work.

 Yes! Most of our clients are from out of town whom we’ve never even met prior to the wedding. Of course we can communicate by phone, email and of course Skype as well. Whatever you prefer. There are also many slideshows, album samples etc I can share without having to actually meet.

 

 How do we arrange your travel if we want you to come to us or another destination?

 Usually we will book our own tickets and make our own travel arrangements. We will always find the most economical way to do this and will always ask for your approval of the cost, before we ask to be reimbursed.

 

 What do you do if it rains on our wedding day?

As much as rain can be unwanted on your most special day, it’s a known fact that it brings good luck! Since nobody can control nature, you’re just going to have to adjust, and we do the same. My 2 favorite albums to show potential clients, are of rainy weddings we photographed. There is a certain “je ne sais quoi” that happens when it rains, and people concede to the fact that “it is what it is” after the initial shock, and actually then it relieves stress. People tend to party harder when it rains, true fact (lol)! And a lot more spontaneous things happen during rain, which we of course LOVE!

 

Do I really need two photographers at my wedding?

Eighty percent of the time we work together, but sometimes if budget doesn’t allow, or if it’s a small wedding we’ll shoot a wedding solo. There are definitely advantages to having 2 photographers. First off it’s easier during the “Getting Ready” part.

Anna and Collin initially together shoot the bride and her bridesmaids (and whoever else is in the room while she’s getting ready).  Anna continues with the bride and all the detail shots (invitation, shoes, dress, flowers, rings etc etc). Collin is usually in charge of shooting the guys getting ready. Collin is a “guys guy” and always becomes “one of the guys” right after a couple of minutes and they don’t even pay attention to him any more taking pictures.

It’s very beneficial to have 2 photographers during the ceremony, especially when the bride and groom first see each other. One of us always initially focuses on the bride, the other on the groom, and we’re able to capture the raw emotion that goes along with these moments.

Also we carry different cameras with different lenses. Usually Anna will concentrate on a wider angle and Collin on a closer up angle with a zoom lense. It’s wonderful to capture each moment from different angles , and again to make sure every single moment and detail is captured.

There are many more advantages to having 2 photographers, but it’s best to show this when we meet or I can show in an online gallery when you make contact with us.

 

 Do you edit the images before we get them?

Yes, all images are edited and perfected in our extensive post production process. The 2 software programs we use are Lightroom and Photoshop. We are nutty for perfection, but never in a way that’s over done and makes you look like a doll. You will just look “refreshed” 🙂

We take care of blemishes removal, slight skin softening, color correction if necessary, contrast, punch up colors etc. Whatever is needed to make each picture great and frame- or album worthy.

You will not receive any pictures in which eyes are closed (unless it’s a real and emotional moment of course) unflattering shots, or any other shots you wouldn’t want anyways.

 

How many pictures can we expect to get?

With 2 photographers the bare minimum of a full day coverage, the bare minimum is 800 EDITED pictures. This is number I add to the contract to cover ourselves, but honestly our clients always end up with many more than that. Typically the number is closer to 1500-2000 edited pictures.

 

Do you shoot in Black and White as well?

Since we shoot digitally, all pictures are in color. In post production we can turn a picture into black and white or sepia. Some pictures are better in black and white, some are better in color, and some can be great either way. If the latter is the case, we make a duplicate of the picture and will give it to you in color and black and white. If the picture however only looks better in black and white, we will not give you the color version.

 

How long does it take to get our images?

Usually we can already show you some favorites and even send you some favorites for a Facebook timeline update (or any other social media update) after 1 to 2 weeks. All the rest of the images will be edited and uploaded to a proofing site in a time frame of 3 months. Sometimes we can have it done in 1 month, sometimes a little later, but never beyond 3 months.

The pictures get categorized into folders on the proofing site “Getting Ready, Details, Ceremony, Cake Cutting” etc etc.

We will send you a link to all the galleries which you can send to all your guests, friends and family as well. From here everybody can purchase prints and merchandise. You- the couple will however also receive the DVD’s with all the edited high resolution images when the album gets handed over.

 

How does the album design process work?

We will ask you to make a list with your favorites. Depending on how many sides to the album you purchased/came with your package, you can pick a certain amount of pictures. We don’t put a real limit on the amount of selected pictures, but it can get too crowded in an album and sometimes less is more. Or, you can purchase more sides for the album. 100 Sides is the limit. We will explain the process in great detail when it gets to be that time. (Sometimes we get asked to make the selections as people trust our trained eye. We can certainly do this).

Usually when we receive your list it takes about 2 weeks for us to make the album layout, and another 2 weeks to receive the finished product after your approval of the layout.

Our album layout design is a bit different from most. We work details in throughout the album, in the background and together with fades. Hard to describe, it’s something you have to see for yourself, which I’d love to show with the many album samples we have. One thing is for sure; your album will be a unique piece of fine art and definitely coffee table worthy 🙂

 

Do you do Engagement Sessions?

YES!! I (Anna) usually shoot the engagement sessions and I LOVE to do them. First of all, it’s a great way for you guys to get comfortable with me and my shooting style, and it’s a great way to become confident about yourselves in front of the camera. As mentioned before; Everybody can look good in pictures, and I will know how to bring it out of you.

I’ll have a list of locations you can choose from, but I’m always open to new ideas. If I’ve never shot at the location before, I will scout it out first. I always find great places at any location.

The reason I love engagement sessions is because I get to be creative with you, and ALL my couples usually are somewhat nervous and apprehensive for the first couple of minutes, until I get them going! Ha! There’s usually a lot of kissing going on and almost always I detect that my couples are a little disappointed when it’s over…

I think by looking at the “engagement gallery” on this website that it’s evident that all the couples I’ve worked with have had a great time- and great pictures to show for.

 

Do you have insurance?

Yes we have photography insurance and are covered up to $5000000. We can provide a certificate of insurance for each venue we have to work at.

 

What kind of equipment do you use?

3 Canon camera bodies: Canon 1 DX, Canon 1 Ds Mark III, Canon 5D Mark III.

6 Canon L-series lenses: One  24-70 mm Wide Angle, One 100/400mm f/4.5-5.6 L, One EF 50 mm  f/1.2, 1 x 85 mm, f/1.2, Two 70-200 mm f/2.8 IS II

Mobile Lighting; Two 600EX-RT Speedlites, One Steady light. Studio Lighting, softboxes.

 

Do you offer discounts for off season or non Saturday Events?

Yes occasionally discounts are available, but depending on the time of year and availability. If budget is of concern, please let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

 

Do we need to buy you dinner during the reception?

Yes please! It can be after everybody else has eaten dinner, but it’s better however if it’s at the same time. Nobody wants us to shoot them during dinner as they are eating (un flattering!) and usually right after everybody eats, some friends/family members want to do a toast. We wouldn’t want to miss these moments of course.

 

Can our family and friends take pictures with their cameras?

Yes they can, but we do want to be the only professional photographers at your wedding. When there are too many “photographers” it gets harder to “dodge” each other. We don’t like it when they’re in the way of the best angle there is to capture you, or they might end up in the background of each picture.

Usually guests with cameras are very respectful and understanding, and realize that we are the professionals and will make room for us.

 

What do you require to proceed?

If you want to proceed and book us for your wedding, we will draw up the contract and a deposit is due to hold the date. We can set up a payment plan of 2 or 3 payments (depending on wedding date). All monies have to be paid before the wedding date.

Some people have questioned this, but let me assure you that all credible wedding photographers have this policy. If you choose a photographer that has a list of great testimonials, years of being in the business, and a list of credible coordinators and venues they work with (like we do), there’s nothing to worry about.

Some people have asked if they can pay the last payment when they receive the album, and the answer has to be “no”. Why? Because a lot can happen after a wedding (God forbid) and we cannot take the risk of not getting paid. Some couples take over a year sometimes to provide us with a list of album selections. It is out of our control and we cannot make you give us the list sooner, but in the meantime, we have not been paid the final balance that was due.

How do we get in contact with you?

Email: Contact@goddardstudios.com

Phone: 949-499-4200