Frequently Asked Questions
How do I book a session / event / wedding with you?
Contact me! I'd love to hear what you have in mind for your photos. A non-refundable retainer fee and signed contract are both due in order to secure your session / event / wedding. An invoice and contract will be emailed to you after we discuss your session and select a date / time.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Bank transfer (like Quickpay / Zelle), Venmo, check, or cash.
What do you mean by 'professional editing' of photos?
Most of my time as a photographer is actually spent at the computer editing and not behind the camera! After your session / event / wedding, I cull the photos to select the best ones. Once those are selected I adjust things like color balance, tones, contrast, exposure, highlights, shadows. Object removal, head swapping, and other photo alterations can be requested for an additional charge. All photos are hand edited one at a time.
When will I get my photos?
Depending on the time of year, photos for family sessions and small events will be available in 1-3 weeks. Weddings and larger events will be available in 4-8 weeks. A photo preview will be provided within a few days of your session so you can get a sneak peak of your photos. Expedited delivery is available for an additional charge.
What types of photography services do you offer?
I specialize in event, wedding, and family photography. To expand on those categories, I photograph family and personal events, business / corporate events, birthdays, religious events, marriage proposals, engagements, weddings, lifestyle newborn, fresh 48 newborn, maternity, high school seniors, and personal branding. Professional photo albums and prints are also available.
Do you have insurance?
You bet! I am a legal, fully licensed, and insured business. More and more venues are requiring photographers to submit proof of insurance before being allowed to photograph at their facility.
What is the best time to schedule my outdoor session?
The prettiest, most flattering lighting is 1-2 hours before sunset. Ideally I try to schedule sessions at this time; however, I will do my best to accommodate a different time if this doesn't work for your family.
What happens if it is raining the day of my session?
If rain is predicted, I will be in contact with you regarding monitoring the situation beforehand. Weather predictions for Illinois can change last minute. For this reason, I make the decision whether or not to reschedule 3-4 hours before your session. During busy season in the fall, I reserve a select few weekend slots in case of rain. Rain out dates may require your session time to change, location to change, or be rescheduled to a weekday evening. Your flexibility is most appreciated during peak season in the fall so that I can do my best to accommodate.
Where will my session take place?
Mini session locations will be chosen by the photographer and will take place in Arlington Heights, IL or adjacent suburbs. For full sessions, you have the option of choosing the location or I can offer suggestions based on your preferences.
What should we wear?
I have some styling tips / suggestions on my blog. While the emphasis is on fall outfits, there are also general tips that may help you coordinate your outfits any time of year.
Can I incorporate special ideas into my session?
I do not provide props or outfits for your session unless otherwise arranged or specified. You can definitely bring things with you for your session. I ask that you please let me know what it is you have in mind for your session if you want to do something special.
Can we meet you before booking?
Absolutely! I offer free consultations in person, over the phone, or video call. This will allow us to get to know one another, give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have, and go over the details of your day.
Should I have an engagement session?
I encourage all clients to have an engagement session before their wedding day. Not only will this look great for save the date or thank you cards, but it also gives you an opportunity to experience and get comfortable being in front of the camera. Engagement sessions also give me a chance to get to know you both better. By the time it's your wedding day, it'll be like hanging out with a good friend. Engagement sessions are discounted for wedding clients. You should do your engagement session 6-12 months before your wedding if you are planning on using them for save the date cards. Sessions can be done any time of year.
What is your photography style?
I shoot weddings mainly in a documentary style. I want to capture all the authentic moments as they unfold naturally while also providing great formal photos of with family and the bridal party. I believe the best moments are candid ones that highlight emotions and connection. I would describe my editing style as clean, classic, and vibrant. I'm always scanning for next smile, emotion, or fun moment to photograph. These photos are a part of your legacy so I strive to give you timeless and meaningful photos that you can look back on and enjoy for many years to come.
How much time do I need for family and bridal party formal photos?
We will need about 30 minutes for family photos after the ceremony and 1-2 hours for bridal party and bride / groom photos. Factors to take into consideration are the location of the photos and how many people are in your bridal party. This will ultimately determine what will work best for your situation. As your wedding photographer, we will plan out your wedding day photo timeline together from the start of your day to the end to make sure we get awesome photos.
How many photos will I receive? When will I get to see my photos?
I select and hand edit the best photos from your day and that is what I deliver to you. I have a process with this and promise you are not missing out on anything (think closed eyes or an unflattering expression of someone talking mid sentence). Given that each wedding is unique as far as the locations, number of people in the bridal party, etc - I do not guarantee a set number of photos. For a 10 hour day, you could expect to receive 500-800 photos. You will get to see a sneak peak of your photos on social media within a couple of days after your wedding. Your final wedding gallery and USB will be available 4-8 weeks after your wedding depending on the time of year. Professional albums are also available.
Do you offer videography?
I do not offer videography services at this time; however, I would be happy to give you recommendations and help you find a reliable videographer that is available on your date.
What is your payment schedule?
A non-refundable retainer fee and signed contract are due to secure your wedding date. The retainer is 25% of your total, the 2nd payment of 50% is due by 4 months before the wedding, and the final 25% is due in full 1 month before the wedding. Payment plans are available if needed.
What does a Jessica M. Photography wedding cost?
My pricing structure is a la carte and customized for you. You choose your hourly coverage and any add-ons you might like. Engagement sessions are discounted for wedding clients. Depending on what you need, packages start under $1000 but most brides spend between $2000 and $3000 for a full day package plus extras. For more details on wedding packages, contact me for a detailed quote.