How would you define your style of photography?
My style of photography is a blend of photojournalism and portrait photography, a mixture of artistic posed portraits and fun, natural shots. This blend of photography allows me to document your story in a unique way, and I am thrilled to be writing the book through my camera lens!
How involved are you in the process of consulting me in terms of my photographic goals?
I enjoy spending as much time with each of my clients as possible and I realize how exceptionally fortunate I am to do what I love every single day. I approach each project from the standpoint that in order for it to be a success, I combine my extensive experience with my talent as a photographer and meld that with your desired outcome.
Why did you decide to specialize in wedding photography primarily?
I decided to specialize in wedding photography primarily because it incorporates everything from portraiture to landscape to architecture to photojournalism. I find wedding photography to be some of the most challenging and most rewarding type of photography a person can undertake.
Have you received any formal training as a photographer?
I have taken numerous courses in the photography department at Austin Community college.
If I hire you who will photograph my wedding?
I photograph each wedding personally. Some larger studios hire photographers with little to no experience in an effort to keep their prices down. While their portfolio might look great you do not have the guarantee that you will receive the level of service and quality images that you should expect. It is important that the person you talk to is going to be the photographer at your wedding. A large percentage of the time the images you are shown were shot by a photographer who is no longer there.
Is it just you or you work with a second shooter?
This is entirely up to you. You have the option of just hiring me or adding a second photographer to get different perspectives at your wedding. A second shooter provides twice the coverage at a much lower cost, and allows for a greater number of shots in some cases. You can add a second photographer for just a couple of hours to cover the ceremony or for a full day coverage. I have a network of professional and reliable photographers that I enjoy to work with.
I like your work. Can I see an entire wedding?
Absolutely! Just email me and I will be happy to send you a link to a full wedding in a password protected gallery.
What do I do to hire you for my wedding?
Please email me to see if your date is available. We can then schedule a meeting so you can see samples of my work and build a package that suits you best. If you are not available to meet in person we can schedule a phone or skype call or do it through email. I require a 50% retainer and a signed contract. The rest of the balance is due two weeks prior to the wedding.
What if something happens to you and you can not make it to my wedding?
It never happened that I was not able to photograph a wedding , however life is unpredictable and If something tragic were to happen, I have a network of Professional Photographers whom I can contact to cover your event.
Do you have a back up equipment that you bring with you?
Of course! I have the best equipment in the industry and I always have back up cameras, lights and different lenses for close-ups, wide angle, zoom etc with me.
Do you back up the images you take at weddings?
Absolutely! Even before I start editing your photos I create multiple backups. Once the editing process is complete and the photos are online, I make more copies of the final proofed images in high-resolution JPG format.
Will I get my photographs on a DVD?
Yes, you will receive a DVD with high resolution images and a copyright release for personal use only. Along with the full resolution DVD you will receive a medium resolution DVD for online use (facebook, emails, etc).
Are the pictures on the DVD edited?
Each and every photo has a standard edit for color, exposure, and contrast. Some images are converted into black and white or sepia. Extra edits may be applied for album & print orders upon request.
Why will I order pictures from you if I receive a DVD with hi-res images?
Even though you receive your images on a DVD with the copyright release it is best to order prints from Svetlana Photography. I offer printing services online, to make it as simple as possible for you or your family to order prints. The prints are made in a professional lab that only prints for professional photographers to ensure that the final product is a high quality print that has the correct color, and finish. I assign a specific “printer profile” that the photo lab uses to ensure that the colors look the same as they do on the screen of my color calibrated computer monitor. By ordering your prints through me you will ensure the highest print quality level possible.
If you choose to print yourself please consult with me prior to placing your order. Be sure to instruct the photo lab NOT to use their inherent “auto correct” option! The quality of the photos will be significantly diminished otherwise! I assume no responsibility for any photographic prints that are not printed by me or through my online gallery.
How many pictures will I have on my DVD and do you include all of the pictures you take?
I usually take anywhere between 900 – 3000 photographs depending on the length of a wedding and then narrow them down to 1/3 of that during the editing process. Often times I take as many pictures of the same pose as I need to get the perfect shot. That’s the beauty of digital photography! Therefore I do not include the duplicate photos, blinks, blurs, and wrong exposure. This makes it easier for you to pick your favorite images for the album and I assure you that there is nothing you would miss!
Why will I take bridal portraits or engagement session before the wedding?
I prefer to be a part of at least one portrait session with the bride and or groom because it is an important step in getting to know me as a photographer and me getting to know you as clients. It helps the wedding day run smoother because of your comfort with me. It also gives me a chance to get some creative photographs without the stress and limitations of the wedding day. In addition you can use these pictures in a custom designed guest book. It is so much nicer and more personal to make one with your photos from engagement session or bridal portraits than buying a ready-made one.
When do I book my Bridal / Engagement / Boudoir Session?
As soon as possible. I suggest scheduling the engagement session first especially if you plan on using images for save the date. All sessions should be booked no later than one month before the wedding to allow enough time to edit pictures, order prints, and design books.
How long is the portrait session?
Bridal / Engagement / Boudoir Session usually lasts 1 to 2 hours.
What to expect at the bridal portrait session and can I take bridal portraits at the wedding instead of booking a separate session?
Chances are you will not be relaxed on your wedding day or have enough time to get your bridal portraits done. On your wedding day, it should be all about the wedding. Oftentimes there is a concern about being seen by your fiancé and the arriving guests. Getting your Bridal portraits done well in advance of your wedding day means you will have a gorgeous portrait of yourself in your wedding gown to display at the reception. Think of this fun session as a trial run for hair, makeup, and your dress as well as getting a feel for what it will be like to walk in it and sit in it. Also, whether or not your dress needs altering, etc.
Bring a bouquet (can be fake), lipstick and powder for touch ups, sheet or towel to keep your dress clean. Ask a friend or a family member to come along to help and to make your laugh!
If your schedule does not allow you to schedule a separate session for bridal portraits consider adding an additional hour to your wedding coverage.
Where will you photograph our engagement session?
It can be a sweet and simple shoot at your favorite location(s), or it can be something stylized, or something that reflects your interests and passions. This is completely up to you! Are there any places in Austin that are significant to you? Do you like nature or do you prefer an urban scene? Is there a favorite place where you go frequently on dates, where you went for your first date, where the proposal took place? All of these can be fun locations for a shoot. If you can’t decide, I will be happy to recommend some great locations.
What should I wear to an engagement session?
The most important thing is to wear something you feel comfortable and confident in. Bring different outfits to the session to choose from.
Have fun with your clothing! Layering, bright colors, and accessories are the way to go. But stay away from logos and busy patterns. Wear heels or fun flats, but please remember that we might walk a lot so please bring some comfortable shoes as well.
How long before I see my proofs?
Usually proofs are available in about 2 to 4 weeks.
When do you typically arrive at the wedding and what to expect on my wedding day?
I recommend scheduling photographer’s arrival 2 to 3 hours before the ceremony, depending if you are having a “first look” or not. (read below about what a first look is). This allows time for detail shots, such as shoes, bouquet, floral arrangements, dress, veil, cake, reception and ceremony sites, invitations/programs, close up of rings etc These are the first things to typically get photographed so make sure they are ready to go. I also like to take pictures of the bride and groom getting ready. The bride’s and groom’s rooms need to be cleaned of all clutter such as purses, food, plastic water bottles, hangers, plastic wraps from the dresses. You can put someone in charge of keeping the rooms clean.
I like to do as many portraits before the ceremony as possible, so we aren’t rushing in between the ceremony and reception. If you aren’t seeing each other before the ceremony, please allow at least one hour after the ceremony for your portraits. If you want to get creative shots of the Bride and Groom and/or the bridal party, then additional time is always recommended. It is very important to get these pictures! This will also help you determine what time the ceremony should start. Scheduling your outdoor wedding for late evening, about two hours before sunset will give you great light for your photos.
I like to get the couple alone after the ceremony for some more creative/intimate photographs but if your time is limited you might prefer to step aside sometime during the reception to take these.The few moments right before the sun goes down is the best time to take romantic pictures of the couple.
What is a first look?
The first look is a special private moment between the couple that takes place before the ceremony. We have the groom with his back to the bride and get some amazing shots of her walking up behind him. After that, the groom will turn around and the photographer will capture your expressions as you see each other for the first time. I’ve seen couples cry and laugh, giggle and play – you name it! After a few photos, I will leave the two of you for a moment to yourselves.
There are many reasons why I suggest doing this. First of all, it is less stressful on both of you and you can easily express your emotions versus seeing each other for the first time at ceremony with all the people looking at you. Second, you get more pictures, because we are not rushing and we have more time.
Please do not feel forced into this. Each couple has their preferences and I will respect your choice.
What is an “after” session?
This portraits session is held after the wedding. The bride and groom get dresses up in their wedding attire and we take pictures at different locations that the couple chooses. This usually lasts up to two hours, and can be exchanged or used in the place of an engagement session. This is a chance for you to have fun, let loose and get some amazing pictures without the concern of getting your dress dirty to add to your album or photo book!
Do you travel for destination weddings?
Yes! I LOVE traveling and I always enjoy opportunities to utilize my expertise in photography for couples planning destination weddings. I’ll travel anywhere to shoot a great couple in a great location! My travels have taken me all over the world and my photography has been featured on CNN, AAA Arizona Highroads, Preferred Lifestyle in Canada and many other venues. Ask me about destination wedding packages!
I am also fluent in Russian, French and Spanish.
- Always make sure you have your hair and makeup done by a professional! Pictures typically require almost twice as much makeup as you would normally wear.
- Do hire a DJ to ensure best sound and light systems at your reception. Talk to your DJ about adding ambient lighting to provide an amazing atmosphere! These lights can change the color in the room to red, blue, green, pink, or white; or you can choose to alternate colors. This add on does not cost a lot but makes a world of difference in photographs!
- If you are using sparklers for your send off, be sure to get the long ones specifically designed for weddings, the short ones never burn long enough.
- Stay away from paper runners in the aisle. They never look good in pictures. They always get messed up by wind or from people walking on them.