Frequently Asked Questions

see also: What to Expect

"If we cancel because of Covid-19, will we get our deposit back?"

All deposits are nonrefundable which is standard for most vendors, because I will be turning away all other weddings for your date, however, at this time I'm not charging any kind of rescheduling fees for switching to a new date if you find yourself in the situation where you're either forced or simply choose to reschedule because of Covid (or any other emergency situation that could come up in life). I am even allowing people who have decided to cancel their weddings completely to use their deposits as credit toward any photoshoots or other events that they want to use it for. I will always be as flexible and helpful as I can. I do my best to always be empathetic of other people in business and in life in general. All of my couples in the first shutdown were able to quickly and easily check with me about my availability when they made the decision to reschedule and we simple re-signed their contracts and shifted them to their new dates. *It's important to understand that other vendors may have different business structures and may or may not be able to have the same flexibility (especially venues and other vendors who have higher overhead costs) and that in the future my own policies could also change if not charging rescheduling fees is no longer sustainable for my business.

"Do you travel outside of Austin-San Antonio?"

I travel anywhere in Texas! For weddings, travel is included. For engagement sessions and other photoshoots that are outside of a 1 hour radius of my home in New Braunfels, there is an additional travel fee of 54¢/roundtrip mile. 

"How much is the retainer to book you?"

For weddings, a 50% retainer is needed to reserve your date, with the remaining 50% due 1 week before the big day. For photoshoots not included in a wedding package, the full payment is due at the time of booking and can be used as credit if rescheduling is needed for absolutely any reason (no questions asked). 

"Do we need to meet in person to book?"

Nope! If you'd like to meet in person before making your decision, we absolutely can, but my contracts are digital and signed through Docusign.com and the deposit is paid through a Paypal invoice that I send by email. The majority of my clients book me entirely through email and then we get to know each other during the engagement session, many meet me first over a video chat or phone call, and only some meet with me at a coffee shop before booking. Any of these options are fine with me!

"How do we choose a location for our engagement session and/or bridal session?"

If you have a engagement or bridal session in your package, I will send you my list of favorite locations in the Austin-San Antonio area to choose from, OR you are free to suggest your own if you have another idea! 

"What does the second shooter do?"

The second shooter is not only somebody to assist me, take extra photos, get more angles, and help me be in two places at once, but I always tell people that the second shooter is for security above all else. If I were to have an emergency on the day of your wedding and was forced to leave, my car broke down, I spontaneously combusted, etc., you would have the security of already having a qualified back-up photographer that I've handpicked to step in for me. They would shoot the wedding, give me the cards (assuming I'm still alive lol) and I would edit the wedding to match my style and deliver as usual.

"How do you deliver the photos and how soon will we get them?"

My contract says that I will deliver the full gallery within no more than 6-8 weeks of the wedding date, but I always aim for no more than 5 and typically meet that goal. For weddings during some of my slower months (typically January, February, May, July, and August) I'll often have a wedding completed in just 2 weeks. For engagement sessions and other photoshoots, I usually have those finished and delivered in just a few days. You'll receive an email with a link to an online gallery where you'll be able to download the entire thing with the click of a button. 

"Do we need to give you a shot-list of the photos we want?"

2-3 weeks before your wedding (when all of the planning is wrapping up) I'll email you with an invoice for your final balance, as well as a pre-wedding questionnaire to fill out. This will include everything that I need to know to shoot your wedding, including a guided shot-list where you'll be able to click through a checklist of common shots to give me a good idea of what you expect from me as your photographer, plus groupings for family formals, with spaces to type out your own if they aren't already on my list. The questionnaire will also be where you tell me exactly what time I should arrive and leave, and a few other specific times that I need to know to stay on track.

"Will you help us make our wedding day timeline?"

I can help if you need me to! I've also made some example timelines that might be helpful to you. 

"What happens if it rains?"

If it rains on the wedding day: Depending on the venue, we should be able to avoid the rain and find pretty places to shoot. I have tons of experience and can always find something to work with! I also have clear bubble umbrellas (for letting the light still shine through) that we can use if you feel like venturing out into the rain!

If it rains on the day of your engagement, bridal session, etc.: We'll reschedule to the next possible date.

"What happens if you are sick/have an emergency on the wedding day?"

If I have any symptoms of illness on your wedding day that would force me to stay home (with Covid, my days of shooting a wedding through a cold are over), or have some other emergency, my second shooter would already be ready to take over for me and I would edit the wedding. If I have enough time to find someone else to step in as the new second shooter then I would also do that.  If the package you chose doesn't include a second shooter, then I would do everything I can to find somebody to step in for me but it is a possibility that I would not be able to find somebody especially if I had a last minute emergency such as a car accident on the way to the wedding. If that were the case, you would receive a full refund of any money you've paid. That is a worst-case scenario that I would avoid at all costs and would never want to happen to anybody. My number one take-way that I want you to have from me is that I am reliable, professional and would only ever miss a wedding if I had absolutely no choice. 

"Can we see some full galleries before we book you?"

Of course! It's a good idea to ask to see at-least two full galleries from any photographer that you're considering for your wedding so that you can get a good idea of what you can expect from every part of the day and make sure that that aligns with your expectations. Feel free to ask and I'll send you a few recent weddings to browse through!

"What kind of editing do you do?"

All of my photos that I deliver are edited with the same base preset to keep my consistent style, and then from there I carefully adjust the color balance, cropping, exposure, etc. until they're just right. I remove background distractions when I feel like it will improve the photo, and I will remove other distractions on people such as bruises, blemishes, lint on the Groom's tux, etc. if I feel like they are drawing my eye to them too much. I won't ever alter anybody's appearance by liquifying their body, changing their facial structure or otherwise taking away things that are permanent like birth marks or freckles (unless you ask me to, of course). I don't typically do any major retouching or smoothing of the skin unless it's an extreme close-up and I want to reduce the super-high resolution detail, but the brightness that I edit with naturally blurs and reducing imperfections so it's not really needed anyway! 

"Will we be able to print our photos as many times as we want?"

Yes! You'll have printing rights and personal usage rights, meaning you are free to print from any lab that you want for the rest of your life, and you can post them online to your hearts content as long as you aren't claiming the photos as your own work or using them to make a profit in some way. 

"Does it matter if you've never shot a wedding at our venue before?"

There are some advantages to shooting a venue that I have experience at, but really some of my best work has been at venues that I was seeing for the very first time. I'll just get there a little early to scout the property a little, and that's really all that I need. 

"Do we tip you?"

Okay, so nobody has ever actually asked me this but I wanted to include it, lol! Some couples pass out tips to all of their vendors on the wedding day, and that's obviously much appreciated, but the best tip you can possibly give me is a great review on Facebook, The Knot, Google, Yelp, or Wedding Wire! :) Good reviews help my business more than anything, help prospective clients get a feel for how other clients perceive my personality and what was important to them, and even help me show up higher in search results in some cases. 

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©HARPER BLANKENSHIP PHOTOGRAPHY   |   AUSTIN / SAN ANTONIO / TEXAS   |  FINE ART WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER