FAQ Brandi Burkett Photography

Planning a wedding can feel like starting a new job! There are tons of new terms to learn and decisions to make. This collection of Frequently Asked Questions addresses many of the queries that crop up frequently, however please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you don’t see your question here.  I look forward to hearing from you!

I know, it’s frustrating that nobody has pricing on their website, right? My packages and services are constantly evolving in response to customer feedback, new technologies, and my quest to use the best vendors in the business. I want to make sure the information you get is always up-to-date, so when you fill out the contact form, I’ll email you a complete list of services and prices.

Yes! I have several packages and all of them include discounts for bundling services. Lucky you!

Sadly, no matter how much I love you back, I can’t hold your date without a retainer. My retainer is 50% of your contracted services. The remainder is due the week of your wedding.

Many of my couples book as much as a year out. I offer a limited number of bookings each year so I highly suggest booking immediately. I occasionally still accept bookings after my initial schedule is full, but I do so at an increased fee.

I accept Paypal, cash or checks. A 50% retainer is required to hold your date and the remainder is due the week of your wedding. I don’t accept other advance payments on the remainder.

My style is romantic, emotive and timeless.

On your wedding day, my goal is to direct as little as possible. I shoot what is happening without inserting myself into the moment because I want to record the organic emotion and interaction without influencing it. I also LOVE detail shots. They are an important storytelling aspect of your day, so expect lots of those!

Before moving to Texas, I lived in Los Angeles and planned to pursue a career in special effects makeup. Then I fell in love with a charming Texan who whisked me away to his home state, and I had to rethink my career goals!

When I was a kid, I loved hanging out in my dad’s garage darkroom while he worked on his hobby photography. With that memory in mind, I decided to take a few classes and see if photography would be the creative outlet I was seeking.

I shot my first wedding in January 2005 at the suggestion of a dear friend. It was a natural fit, blending creativity and my passion for all things beautiful and heartfelt. As word got around I began getting requests from friends and family to shoot other weddings!

When I decided to pursue wedding photography as a career, I sought a position as an assistant with a well-loved local photographer. He gave me a unique opportunity to learn and grow in the field and I will be forever grateful for his generosity and teaching. I began professionally shooting solo full-time in 2007.

While I do use an assistant to carry equipment and set up lights, I do not employ a regular second shooter as part of my standard coverage.

Unless the second shooter is a spouse or business partner, they can walk away at any time. My pastures are emerald green and I’ll be staying right here, but anyone good enough for me to employ as a second shooter is good enough to run their own show. That means I can’t promise they will still be in my stable on your big day. This is an unacceptable possibility. The only person I’m completely able to guarantee is me. I’ll be at your wedding, even if the zombie apocalypse starts.

If your heart is really set on having a second shooter, do not dismay. I do contract with a very talented and reliable independent photographer by request; just ask for details when you request a quote.

Absolutely, yes. Did I say yes? What I meant was YES! I’ve never had a couple that chose the first look say they regretted the decision. I do however hear from lots of brides who wish they had chosen to share that special, quiet moment together before the ceremony.

This is a topic best discussed in detail when we meet to book your wedding. If you’re adamantly opposed to the idea, I’d love at least 30 minutes alone with you after the ceremony to shoot some informal, romantic portraits.

I’ll offer more guidance about posing and control the light during these shots, but will still give you space and time to respond to each other naturally.

Absolutely! While you won’t see the virtue of these images extolled on Pinterest, they are some of the most important photos taken on your wedding day.

These photos become a very important part of your family history, conveying vital information about generations past to the great-grandkids you can’t imagine having yet.

I’ll work with you to make a formal shot list about two weeks before your wedding. This helps us keep the photos moving quickly and ensures that the groupings are appropriate and meaningful to your specific family situation.

I’m happy to sit down with my couples and discuss how best to group formal family photos. This is also a great time to let me know important details like that your cake topper is an heirloom or that the groom’s brother has come in from overseas so I can direct my coverage to what is uniquely important to you.

Beyond that, I find that your wedding looks best when it’s allowed to be itself. Some wedding planning sites list photo ideas like “a touching moment with the groom and his pals.” I’m passionate about capturing these moments, but they’re only touching when they happen naturally!

Sites like Pinterest and The Knot can be great tools to discover what kind of imagery and poses speak to you. At our planning session, I am happy to go over the images you find inspiring, so Pin away and we’ll go over your boards at the meeting! Just keep in mind that you are seeing singular magical moments from dozens of individual weddings. Your wedding will have those moments too. I want to facilitate capturing who you are as a couple, that magic that’s just between you. Following a list can never replace that.

The number of images I deliver depends largely on your event. The length of your reception and whether or not you choose to do a first look affects image count.

Generally my range is somewhere between 500 (for small, short weddings) and 800 (for bigger weddings with long receptions), or 75-100 images per hour.

Yes. Once I’ve downloaded and backed up your images, I begin the process of selecting the images that will be edited and included on your disc. I remove blinks, lighting test shots, duplicates, inadvertent derp faces, etc.

Everything else -and there will be hundreds left- is edited one image at a time. No batch processing for this girl! I carefully edit each and every image individually for proper color, sharpness, exposure, white balance and contrast.

This is a phrase I hear often. People, distracting elements, visible scars, blemishes, etc. will not be removed from images as part of my standard editing process. Extensive, time-consuming retouching like this is done by request at $35 an hour.

A selection of images will be made black and white or creatively processed in a manner consistent with the images represented on my blog and website. Images that have been creatively altered will also be offered in an original color version. Altered images will be designated with an “a” following the file number.

I offer free beauty retouching (blemishes, stray hairs, teeth whitening, minor body work) on anything I print for you, which is a great reason to forgo the work of printing yourself and let me stun you with beautifully retouched, pro images!

I don’t release RAW files to clients because that would be like the baker delivering flour and butter alongside your wedding cake.

I don’t charge clients by the image, so unless it’s an obvious outtake or a duplicate, it’s on your disc. You will receive every image I can deliver, professionally finished and ready to enjoy.

Yesterday’s negative is today’s hi-resolution digital file. Yes, you will receive a disc or flash drive with hi-resolution digital files and a print release allowing you to print the images at will.

Please beware, photo printers are calibrated differently (or not at all) at most retail establishments that offer photo services, so your prints may vary widely from your digital images. It’s always best to print with my pro lab but I’m also happy to point you to a quality consumer lab if you prefer to do the work yourself.

Rehearsal dinner coverage is available and can be added to your package. Otherwise, I don’t attend your rehearsal.

Absolutely! I have an overtime rate that will go into effect should you decide to continue your coverage once your contract hours are exhausted.

After your images are processed, I will design your album pages and provide you with a link to your digital proof via email. You’ll use the proofing software to either approve or make changes to each page.

Once you’ve completed your initial revision, I’ll make any changes requested and provide the revised proof and you’ll have another opportunity to make changes before we go to print.

Any changes after this second round will incur a $50 fee. Once we have the album content confirmed, I will work with you to select a cover material and explain your options for personalizing your album.

If you’re out of town the album will ship to you directly from the vendor. If you’re local, we’ll meet at the studio and enjoy opening it together!

Sorry, I do not. Venues offer discounts because they have overhead expenses whether the facility is booked or not, so it benefits them to offer deals to fill their calendars. Friday or Sunday weddings are still a great way to save money, just be aware that not all of your vendors benefit from offering discounts on off-peak days.

These things happen. In the event that you must cancel, your retainer is forfeited. The retainer acts to reserve your date. This protects you—I won’t take another offer for that day even if The Queen herself demands my services! It protects me too. Because photographers are contracted well in advance, I am unlikely to be able to rebook the date once it is cancelled.

If you need to change your date and I have the new date available, I am happy to accommodate. If your new date is unavailable, your retainer is still forfeited.

I love to travel! My passport is current and I will happily jet off to whatever fabulous location you have in mind. Travel arrangements are simple: I will provide you with a record of my travel expenses and you reimburse me when you return from your honeymoon. This does not mean that I will enjoy lobster room service at your expense! The particulars of what are considered travel expenses will be discussed and placed in the contract.

Locally, I will travel within a 40-mile radius at no additional charge. Mileage to locations outside of this radius is calculated at the current Federal mileage rate and added to your final balance.

My processing time is 4-6 weeks for bridals and engagements and 8-12 weeks for weddings.

I am not the right photographer for a bride who is looking for a same-day edit. I am deliberate and detail-oriented in my work. I edit each wedding as if it were my own.

These are the only wedding pictures you’ll ever take and they are the generally the sole record of a day that took months of hard work to plan. They deserve my time and my attention.

I know it’s hard to wait. The photos are the big thing you still get to look forward to after all the fun and frenzy are over, and I promise they’ll be worth it!

I come prepared with two cameras, seven lenses, three flashes and a variety of light stands, light modifiers, etc. I also carry ample CF cards and batteries.

For those who would like specific info:

Canon 5D Mark iii

Canon 5D Mark i (back up)

Canon 24-70mm L

Canon 70-200mm L

Canon 24mm L

Canon 100mm Macro

Canon 85mm EF

Sigma Art Series 35mm

Sigma Art Series 50mm

(3) Canon 600EX-RT (flashes)

Alien Bee B800

Reporters are always asking celebrities “what’s in your bag?” It’s generally expensive eyeliner and blotting tissue. THIS is what’s in my bag…and I can bend all of it to my will!

Yes. For better or for worse (sorry, I had to), wedding photographers work when we are so ill we’d rather crawl into a hole and die. This is the nature of the business and those of us who work in this industry give every wedding our all no matter what! In Mexico, I broke a toe and kept on shooting. If I can walk, I can shoot. In the event that I become catastrophically ill before you wedding, I will work with you to find a replacement photographer who you are comfortable with.

In the event that I die after your wedding, but before I deliver your images, rest assured that my husband has been left with a protocol for getting any unfinished work to a peer for editing and delivery. It sounds morbid…but I’ve had brides ask!

No, you do not need to feed me at your wedding. Some lovely brides have insisted that I eat and I have even photographed weddings where all of the vendors are invited to sit down and eat quickly. If you are providing vendor meals, it is wonderful to have them served along with the wedding party at the beginning of the meal service. This gives your vendors time to eat while you do and ensures that nothing photo-worthy is being missed. This is really the only scenario in which I feel comfortable eating at a wedding.

Generally, my sweet husband packs me a few snacks and plenty of water. I can refuel as needed without breaking stride!

This can be tricky. Generally, I love that there are lots of people at your wedding taking photos besides me. Snapshots can be a fun addition to your professional coverage.

However, I do not love it when I have a guest actively “second shooting” a wedding. They often get in the way of my shots, impede me from moving around as quickly as I need to and make it difficult for people to know which camera to look at.

You would not believe how many otherwise beautiful pictures have been marred by a row of cell phones and giant iPads obscuring faces or, even worse, blocking my camera’s view of your big moments. I suggest you encourage guests to pocket cameras and phones during the ceremony but to shoot freely during the reception and other informal moments.