How to design an album ?

Now that it is a busy time of year for wedding album design, I thought I’d offer some tips for brides and grooms who are selecting photos for their albums. It can be difficult to choose the right pictures, especially when you can’t visualize how they will all go together in the book.

Because your photographer is experienced in album design, he or she will know what sorts of photographs to include. If you have any concerns about the selection process, I urge you to have your photographer select the photos. I offer my clients a choice: they can choose all the photos, or I can do it. After I design a first draft of an album, my clients can request any changes, so they always have total control over the photos that go in the final book.

If you’d like to choose the photos for your book, here are some tips to follow:
1. Start with a cover image that is meaningful and appropriate.
2. Choose a photo that would make a great opening image on page 1.
3. Include several photos of the details.
4. Include photos that show both action and reaction.
5. Be consistent with photos of family within the general flow of the album.
6. Don’t choose photos that won’t fit with any other pictures.
7. Trust your photographer’s judgment about color vs. black and white.
8. Choose a closing photo for the last page.

1. Start with a cover image that is meaningful and appropriate.

If your album will have a photo on the cover, don’t forget to specify which photo you want to be there. I recommend that you choose a portrait of the two of you, but some candid moments work well, too. If your cover will have a small inset photo, the best choices are simple images that will look good in a small size. Make sure the colors in the photo will look good with the color that you’ve chosen for the cover material. If your album will have a full photo cover, you can choose an image with more detail, because it will be larger and easier to see.

As standard all our albums come with a black leather cover. We offer as upgrades: photo cover, crystal covers, metal and canvas. Small inserts are available as well. Please make sure to check out our Product brochure and our Album options post to see all the available upgrades your book can have.

 

2. Choose a photo that would make a great opening image on page 1.

If your wedding took place in a scenic location, a landscape photo will be a great way to introduce the setting. A photo of the venue is also a good scene-setter for the first page. You can also begin with a photo of the invitation and/or rings, as an introduction to the events of the day.

A portrait of the two of you also makes for a great opening page, if you don’t mind that it will be out of chronological order from the rest of the book.

3. Include several photos of the details.

Detail photos reveal a lot of information about the theme, mood, and appearance of your wedding day. Be sure to select related sets of detail pictures, so they can be grouped together in the book. If you choose one picture of a bouquet or centerpiece, and no other details, it’s difficult to find a place to put those pictures within the album.

I like to start with getting-ready details before the ceremony.

A layout of ceremony details is a great way to introduce that part of the day.

Some of the most beautiful details are found at the reception, so be sure to include several of those photos.

 

4. Include photos that show both action and reaction.

This is also my philosophy when taking photographs. The story is best told by documenting the main events that occur, along with people’s reactions to those events. It’s worth the cost of extra album photos to tell the complete story.When the groom sees the bride for the first time, be sure to include pictures of her arrival as well as the look on his face when he sees her. During the toasts, be sure to include not only the speakers, but also the people laughing or crying in response. By looking at these example photos, you can tell that the speeches were hilarious, which gives a lot of information about the story of the day. Instead of showing only the father-daughter dance and the mother-son dance, include a photo of the bride’s mother crying as she watches. Her tears reveal a lot about the closeness of their family.

 

5. Be consistent with photos of family within the general flow of the album.

Try to choose a fairly even mix of pictures of both sides of the family, but keep consistent with the major events of the day. The most common mistake I see in photo selection is that people choose photos of family that don’t fit into the events of the day. Lots of my clients will count photos of their family and try to keep that equal, instead of considering how those photos will fit into the album. (For example, “I have four photos of my mom, and four photos of his mom in the book. So it’s equal.”) But make sure that you choose the right timing of the day to keep these photos truly equivalent.

For example, if you include a picture of the father-daughter dance, definitely include one of the mother-son dance. Often people will omit one or the other, choosing instead to use a different photo of their parent later in the reception. Although that might seem equal when you are counting photos of individual people (“four photos of mom”), it doesn’t make sense because you have eliminated an important event in the day. Showing the father-daughter dance without the mother-son dance is not an equal distribution of family photos, no matter what the overall count may be.

My advice: Don’t count photos of people. Include important moments and tell the story. The same concept applies to other events of the day. For example, if three people give speeches, include photos of all three of them. Even if there is a better photo of your best man from a different part of the day, don’t leave him out of the speech photos. He worked hard on that toast. When choosing family formals, be consistent between families. In this example, each page shows a photo of the bride or groom with the parents, and then a full family photo with siblings. It doesn’t matter which formals you want to include, but do make them consistent between families.

In this example of wedding party photos, the bride and groom selected a relaxed group picture of the ladies, and then a similarly relaxed one of the guys laughing. Be consistent between groups.

 

6. Don’t choose photos that won’t fit with any other pictures.

Another common mistake that I see are pictures that aren’t chosen as part of a group of related images. For example, if you choose several photos of the ladies getting ready, and only one of the guys getting ready, it will have to go on its own page by itself. That one photo won’t belong with any others in the book.

I often see people choosing one candid photo that occurs during the formal portraits. Those pictures are especially difficult to fit in the book. Typically the pages before the formals are the ceremony, and the pages after the formals are the portraits of the bride and groom. If there is one picture of a bridesmaid laughing during the formals, I don’t know where to put it.

7. Trust your photographer’s judgment about color vs. black and white.

It’s not desirable to mix color and b/w photos on the same page, because it’s distracting to the eye and doesn’t flow together well. If your photographer wants to have a page that is all black and white, it is probably done with very good reason. The photo on the right was originally black and white, but it looks much better in this layout as color. Don’t be alarmed if your photographer changes it for the sake of the album.

 

8. Choose a closing photo for the last page.

Think of how you want to end the story of your wedding, and be sure to include a photo for that purpose.

 

The most important things to remember:

1. Your album is a book that tells a story.
Select photos that include the important moments and tell the complete story.

2. Your album is an art piece.
Select photos that you find beautiful.

3. Your album is a family heirloom.
Select photos that will be important to you and your family many years from now.

That being said, we look forward in seeing your selection.

Family Pictures

One of the first questions we always receive is when should we do them? Well, it is up to every couple when to do their family pictures but here are some good ideas:

  • if you are getting married at the church, we always suggest photographing the family pictures immediately after the ceremony. In that way, we have everyone there and we can easily get them together
  • If you are getting married at the venue, we always suggest to do them an hour before your ceremony starting time. We usually set them up in such a way that when we finish them approximately 15 minutes before the starting time of your ceremony, so you and your soon to be husband get a chance to take a break and refresh yourself
  • If you are getting married at a venue but do not want to do combined pictures before hand, then we should do everything possible in terms of pictures before hand and the rest immediately after your ceremony in the begging of the cocktail hour.  In this case, telling the people that they need to stay close by is a must. Getting them back from the cocktail hour will take away from the time you and your fiancee will have to enjoy it 

After this first question, the next one is who gets involved in family pictures and how we arrange them?

To answer this question here is a chart that breaks down our most common combinations that we photograph:

Bride + Groom w/ Flower Girls & Ring Bearers (comma separated names)

Bride + Groom w/ Bride’s Parents (comma separated names)

Bride + Groom w/ Bride’s Parents & Siblings (comma separated names)

Bride + Groom w/ Bride’s Grandparents (comma separated names)

Bride + Groom w/ Bride’s Parents & Grandparents (comma separated names)

Bride + Groom w/ Bride’s Parents, Grandparents, & Siblings (comma separated names)

Bride + Groom w/ Groom’s Parents (comma separated names)

Bride + Groom w/ Groom’s Parents & Siblings (comma separated names)

Bride + Groom w/ Groom’s Grandparents (comma separated names)

Bride + Groom w/ Groom’s Parents & Grandparents (comma separated names)

Bride + Groom w/ Groom’s Parents, Grandparents, & Siblings (comma separated names)

Bride with her side of the family

Bride with parent\s

Bride with sibling\s

Groom with his side of the family

Groom with parent\s

Groom with sibling\s

When it comes to organizing all this images, one important aspect is to let the people know.

After we’ve finalized your family photo list, you’ll want to contact each person you hope to have in your photos and let them know that they’re included in your family photos. To help keep the chaos at bay, I typically recommend that you ask extended family members stay in their seats after the ceremony and await additional instructions. In some cases, those instructions might be passed along by the Officiant—immediately after the recessional. In other instances, based on the peculiarities of the venue, I might return to those seats and provide those instructions to family members. Finally, for some venues, I may have a location already picked out for family photos; in that situation, you’ll be able to share that location with family members prior to your wedding day.

When you contact the folks on your list, you’ll want to stress the importance of family photos to you and your fiancé. You’ll particularly want to stress how you don’t want those family members to disappear after the ceremony. If you don’t make this kind of specific request, some family members may wander off to grab a cigarette, a drink, or visit a restroom. If you warn those folks beforehand, they are more likely to be around when we need them for their photo.

Another shot that we also do is everyone at the photo. What we normally do for that is that we speak with the dj to get everyone up during the reception. This can be a great way to start the dance set and it allows us to get it done in a very unobtrusive way.

Still have questions ? Do not hesitate to contact us at office@montclairstudio.com and we`ll be more then happy to assist you.

Wedding planning tips

1. ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS

Engagement photography sessions are wonderful for many reasons. Engagement photography not only provides you with wonderful imagery capturing your pre-wedding romance, it also gives you the chance to create a wonderful presentation at the wedding. By request, we often use engagement session imagery to create wonderful slideshows, guest sign-in books, event cards, invitations and more!
In addition, the engagement session also allows you to get to know your photographer a little more prior to the wedding. This allows you as a couple to build a better relationship with your photographer. This relationship will allow your photographer to create more natural and unique imagery since he/she has a good understanding of your unique personalities and tastes.
Here are two tips to get the most of your engagement session. First, think of a meaningful place to the both of you. For example, the place you went on your first date, where you proposed, or another special date place for the two of you.
Second, plan the engagmeent shoot session as early as possible. The rule of thumb is at least 90 days from the wedding date. But the further out from the wedding the better. You will be able to enjoy your images in your home, create nice wedding invitations and stationary, and you won’t be rushing to add one more thing in your already busy schedule.
2. PLANNING FOR HAIR & MAKE-UP

Hair/make-up artists are notorious for making brides late. As the bride, tell your hair & make-up people that they need to be done a whole hour before they actually need to be done. For example: If their pictures start at 3:00, schedule your hair and make up to be done at 2:30. And if you do get done at 2:30, then you have that time to relax with your girls.
* If hair/make-up is done off-site, only travel with one other and be sure to schedule that person’s hair and make-up appointments with yours. You will need to be ready for pictures a whole hour earlier than the rest of your bridesmaids, so traveling with all of them in one car is sure to make you late.
3. LIMOUSINES & CLASSIC CAR DRIVERS

Some drivers might not be as punctual as you are. Make sure that you are adamant about pick-up and drop-off times, and also be sure to give them accurate directions. Allow for plenty of time so the driver is not rushing the photographer to be done before their next job’s pick-up.
4. BRIDES, BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR DRESS

Do not let someone else cart around your dress. For example, we love mom, but, on more than one occasion we were sitting around ready to go, without a dress. Thus wasting valuable photography time.
5. ORGANIZING FAMILY FORMAL PICTURES

If you have family members that you know typically run late in your immediate or extended family, be sure to give them a 30 – 45 minute buffer. For example: Tell family members to be there at 4:15 – 4:30 if their scheduled picture time is 5:00. Be sure to give them accurate directions. Another special thing to do that will also assure that everyone is informed on picture times is to send a personal note, e-mail, and or phone call to each member saying something like, “We really love you and care about you, and want you to be a part of our special day…Here is the time, place, and accurate directions to get there. For the family photos, always assign a family member that is more dominant (loud) to help us out with making sure your family combinations are there and are ready to go. We use any lists for organizational purposes only but ultimately, you are responsible as a bride along with the person who you assign who gets photographed in your family photos.

Ideal times for photography and cinematography

With the diversity of the cultural aspects of our weddings, it’s difficult to pin point an exact wedding photography timeline template. However, there are ideal time frames you should consider when planning your day. Some of these times may seem long on paper but keep in mind that 1) the day will fly by, 2) most weddings run slightly behind schedule, and 3) we’ll make these photo sessions fun, so it won’t seem like a long time.
PREPARATION AND PORTRAITS

RINGS, DRESS, SHOES, AND OTHER DETAILS
* Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning
* Ideal Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite
* Advice – Having at least 30 minutes for details ensures that we have plenty of time to get that perfect photo of the dress, rings, shoes, bouquets, and the other details of the day.
There are times when a hotel room is too crowded or simply unappealing and we have to take the dress all the way down to the lobby or even outside. This can take some time, but as you can see from the results, it’s well worth the additional work.

PREPARATION
* Ideal Time Allotment – 45 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
* Ideal Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite
* Advice – Having 45 minutes to an hour of preparation is ideal for our style. During this time, we are getting close ups of the make up and hair being applied as well as the candid moments and the bridesmaids and groomsmen get ready for the day. Keep in mind that these are some of the most emotional and fun times of the day so you definitely don’t want to cut it short.
The lead shooter will be with the bride, while the second shooter will be with the groom. While it doesn’t take guys an hour to get dressed, there are still tons of great moments during this time between the groom and his family and friends.

INDIVIDUAL PORTRAITS
* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
* Ideal Location – Bridal Suite, Hotel Suite, Venue Lobby, or Venue Garden
* Advice – Right after prep is the best time for individual portraits of the bride and groom (separately). Besides make up and hair being completely fresh, the day hasn’t gotten hectic yet so we can take our time and really get those perfect portraits.
Also keep in mind that the window lighting in most hotel rooms create a unique look that can’t be duplicated in any environment throughout the rest of the day.
FIRST LOOK, WEDDING PARTY AND FAMILY

FIRST LOOK
* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
* Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Empty Venue Hallway (shaded areas with natural light)
* Advice – A first look should be around 20 to 30 minutes. During this time, the bride and groom enjoy seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day. While the actual first look might only be 5-10 minutes, the rest of the time is spent on a few basic portraits of the bride and groom.
Ideally we are saving the bulk of the couples session for later (see the “couples session” section below). However, if there is no other time in the day, it is best to allocate another 45 minutes to an hour here so that we make sure we have enough photos of just you two.

WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS
* Ideal Time Allotment – 45 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
* Ideal Location -Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location
* Advice – Wedding Party Photos should be around 45 minutes to 1 hour. During this time, we get a variety of shots in a variety of poses. We start off with the basic, classic photos focused on great expressions and lighting. Then we move into a set of fun and creative shots. Finally, we know how much your wedding party means to you so we are sure to get pictures with you and each one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen individually.

IMMEDIATE FAMILY
* Ideal Time Allotment – 45 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
* Ideal Location -Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location
* Advice – Immediate Family Photos should take another 45 minutes to 1 hour. It’s important to have additional images with your parents, grandparents, and siblings beyond the basic formals (mentioned in the section below). We all know how much weddings mean to the immediate family and we want to make sure we’re capturing enough pictures with them.

CEREMONY DETAIL AND VENUE
* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Ideal Location – Ceremony Site
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
Advice – Please allow 20 minutes for the second shooter to take pictures of the ceremony site, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area. You’ll never get to see the complete set up of your ceremony site before any guests are seated so it’s important that we’re there to capture these images.

FORMALS (EXTENDED FAMILY, IMMEDIATE FAMILY, AND FRIENDS)
* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon (Post Ceremony)
* Ideal Location – Ceremony Site
Advice – Formals should take around 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of your family and depending on who you want formal pictures with.
Some couples have decided that they want a picture with all guests, while others have decided that they only want pictures with select VIPs to save time. We recommend something in between.
We also recommend being very organized, with a list of groups and helpers from each side of the family to help round people up.

COUPLES SESSION
* Ideal Time Allotment – 1 hour
* Ideal Time of the Day – Late Afternoon (Sunset)
* Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Beach, Hotel Lobby, Park
* Advice – Couple session should be around 1 hour and should take place ideally 30 to 45 minutes before sunset. The is the best time in terms of lighting.
It also allows us to capture the awesome scenic shots with colorful skies. If your wedding is in downtown or in an area with tall buildings, it’s not as important for us to have this specific time frame (although it still helps). However, if you booked your venue because of the spectacular view of the ocean or the gorgeous vines in the winery, it’s essential to follow this advice in your timeline.

WEDDING RECEPTION TIMELINE

RECEPTION DETAIL AND VENUE
* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Early Evening
* Ideal Location – Ceremony Site
* Advice – Please allow 30 minutes for the second shooter to take pictures of the reception room, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area.
Similar to the ceremony details, this is the only opportunity we have to capture the beauty of the reception room prior to guest arrival.

COUPLES SESSION – RECEPTION SNEAK OUT
* Ideal Time Allotment – 10-20 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Dusk to Night Time
* Ideal Location – Areas with interesting lights, fountains, city scapes and mirrors
* Advice – During the reception, please plan on sneaking out for a couple of night shots. We only need 10 minutes, as we understand the importance of being a good host. However, this time is important of you appreciate the night photography that we deliver. The ideal time for this is right after you grab a bite to eat or maybe right when the dance floor opens up.

OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

Table Shots – Table shots are when you go around visiting tables. There are two options for photography during this time. 1) You can take formal pictures with each of these tables or 2) we can simply focus on photojournalism, capturing the smiles and hugs as you mingle with each table. If you’re planning on doing formal table shots, please keep in mind that these will take a significant time (up to 1 hour or more depending on the size of your wedding). We highly recommend option 2, the photojournalism route with exceptions for the VIP tables.

Engagement Session Locations

Now that the winter season is almost over, most of our recently engaged couples are looking to do their engagement photoshoots and we want to help you to find the best location for you and your fiancee so we prepared a few of our favorites. There are in no particular order so please feel free to browse trough them all.

1. Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park is a waterfront park along the East River in New York City. The views of the city and the traditional city feel of the area make it one of our favorite places to do an engagement session.

2. New Jersey Botanical Gardens – Skylands Manor

A popular place in NJ is the NJ Botanical Garden. Located in Ringwood it provides a wonderful background that has everything from lucious greenery to amazing architecture. 

3. Grand Central Station

This epic landmark will provide each couple with a unique modern and city feel to their engagement. Usually on a engagement that we photograph over here we like to stop by the Bryant Park to make the journey complete.

4. Branch Brook Park

A hidden gem of New Jersey is the Branch Brook Park located at the border of Newark and Belleville. This amazing park is stunning during the Cherry Blossom Festival being the 2nd most popular park in the US after Washington D.C.

5. Verona Park

Wheter it is to spend a Sunday afternoon or to do your engagement session here, Branch Brook Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Essex County . Weekdays are usually ideal since the park is quiter and we can simply focus on the two of you and not have any other distractions.

6. Van Vleck House and Gardens

The Van Vleck House and Gardens is one of the hidden gems of Montclair. The gardens are right of Valley Rd coming from Route 46 and they are beautiful taken cared of by the Van Vleck Association.

7. Liberty State Park

Right of I 78 in Jersey City , the Liberty State park offers wonderful views of New York City . For all our couples that are engaged and look for a city background this is one of the most beautiful spots to get your images taken at. The park overlooks the Financial District and Staten Island.

8 . Brooklyn Bridge and City Hall

If you are a fan of NYC and would like to try something different here is a more unique place to go to . The City Hall Park and the top of the Brooklyn Bridge. It is modern, fresh and always makes us think outside the box.

9. Hoboken Waterfront

Similar to the Liberty State Park , the Hoboken Waterfront is a oasis of tranquility and great landscapes . Overlooking Midtown, the park has a nice feel and can be a great backdrop for your images.

10. Hoboken Train Station

We do like Hoboken quite a bit and this is something we think can create some trully creative images. Make sure you stop by and check it out.

11. Old Bridge Airport

Located close to the Raceway, the Old Bridge Airport is run by one of the nicest people in the world. Make sure you ask for permission and a ground of airplanes can become your background and if the owner is there maybe he`ll even take you on a flying lesson.

12. Central Park

What can we say about Central Park … Over 70 streets long and 5 avenues wide. There is a photo at every corner.  We usually like to start at the corner of 5th ave and 59th street and finish close to the Fountain at Berthesdas Terrace.

13. The Jersey Shore

With miles and miles of beautiful beaches, the Jersey shore can be a great place for a more summery feel to your images. We do usually go towards the Point Pleasant area for some on New Jersey`s best spots.

Wedding Photography Timeline

When it comes to your planning sometimes it is easy to forget all the details that we discuss when we are at the office. That is why we want to offer you this comprehensive timeline that will better help you understand how we do business.

We will explain how long it takes to get your images , how we deliver albums and many other small things that sometimes get forgotten on the mist of wedding planning.

Before the wedding day

1. Initial meeting with our photography team

We suggest you meet with us 6 months in advance of your wedding day ideally. We are always booking new events so the earlier you come to meet us the easier will it be to get a chance to have your wedding captured by Montclair Studio.

2. Contracting Montclair Studio for your wedding day

Most couples usually need a few days to see all their options and see who is a good fit for them . If you decide on booking Montclair Studio, we ask you to send us an email via our CONTACT form on our website with your name and package that you have decided to go for. Within 24 hours, we will get back to you and present you with your online contract. For each one of our clients, we offer an individual CLIENT PAGE where we store all the paperwork for your wedding.

Once you receive your contract, please sign it. Once so , we will follow up with an invoice for your deposit. Once the contract is signed and the deposit payed, you are officially booked for your photography and/or cinematography with Montclair Studio ! Congratulations !

For paying your invoice, we offer the option of paying with check , credit, debit or cash. For the check and cash options, please visit our store.

3. Your wedding questionnaire

Now that your wedding contract and deposit are taken cared of, the next step is your wedding questionnaire. The form that is provided for you on your CLIENT AREA is what we have with us on your wedding day. We try to gather as much information as possible and find out all the images that you would like to have and all the moments that you would like to have captured on video before the day . In this way, we hope that on the wedding day you will only enjoy your day and not have to worry if everything you expected and wanted was captured.

The questionnaire is open for editing up to 1 week to your wedding day.

4. Engagement session

If your wedding package includes an engagement session, then here are the steps that we take:

  1. Booking the session – to book a engagement session, please go to www.montclairstudio.com and click on the BOOK YOUR SESSION. Then click on ENGAGEMENT SESSION. A calendar will appear with all the dates and times that we have available as of now, so you can pick a time that would work best with your schedule. On the NOTES part please let us know of your desired location. We offer free of charge engagement sessions within 25 miles of our Montclair store.
  2. On the week of the engagement session, your photographer will contact you to make sure we are all set and ready for your session. All the last minute details will be discussed at that time .
  3. On the engagement day, just bring your smile  Our engagements are 60 minutes long and in average we capture 100 to 150 images that you will receive.
  4. Two to three weeks after your engagement session , your DVD will be ready. Once your DVD is ready we will email you so you can pick it up from the store. Alternatively, you can also have your DVD shipped to you for a modest fee.

5. Check up call

Two weeks before your wedding, we will call you to go over all the details of your questionnaire. Any questions you might have can be addressed at that time. Once we discuss all this details we are all set and ready to capture your Big Day. Please feel free to call us if this time doesn’t work for you or if you would like the check up call to happen sooner.

For your check up call, we will use the number that we have on our CLIENT AREA so please make sure is updated and correct .

On the wedding day

On the Big Day there is nothing really that needs to be done on your side. We will have your client questionnaire with us and all the photos and video that you would like to have captured is already there. We want you to enjoy your day !

After the wedding day

1. Image delivery

After your wedding , your images are the first ones to be ready . In average it takes us 30 to 45 days to finish your online gallery and your Wedding DVD`s . The images that we upload online to share with your family and friends are watermarked but all the images that are on your DVD are free of any markings and come with copyright release. Once your images are ready we post them on our website at www.montclairstudio.com under our PORTFOLIO – CLIENT AREA. All our images are stored online for 12 months.

The password to access your wedding images is your wedding day as MMDDYYYY. For example May 5, 2013 is 05032013 . You and your friends are more than welcomed to share, comment  and buy prints from our online gallery. The images will get delivered to their house and payment can be done online. The images are printed by Mpix Pro, one of our nations most comprehensive photo labs.

For your wedding DVD with all your images , we will have it ready at our store. You can pick it up at any time or have it shipped for a modest fee.

2. Album design

Once you have received your wedding DVD, the design process of your album can begin. We have included a detailed description on how to design your albums here: http://clients.montclairstudio.com/after-the-wedding/wedding-albums/ and also we included all the available options here: http://clients.montclairstudio.com/after-the-wedding/album-options/

Once you have submitted your images for the album, it takes us 10 days to create the first draft of your wedding album. Once received you can review it and let us know your thoughts on it. We offer three complimentary reviews to your wedding book. The editing time is dependent on the time, you take to review your books. Our albums are being proofed via ALBUM PROOFER by FUNDY

For all the books our printing time since you approve your album and select your cover is 30 days. Shipping can be done either at our store or at your home.

3. Cinematography packages

For all our cinematography packages, the turnaround time is 90 days. For our videos, we use the songs and the information that you have provided us with on your CLIENT PAGE to create your video. Once we have all that informations, we start working on it.

For all our cinematography packages, we offer 2 videos. One of them is the highlight video, which is based of a song that you choose and a full length video that includes all the important moments fully. The highlight video is 3 to 5 minutes long and the full length video is 45 to 60 minutes long.  Being that every wedding is different, all our videos are different and try to be a representation of your day as we see capture it.

Once your video is edited , we will send you a DROPBOX link to approve it. Unlike other studios, we want you to be happy with your product so we offer you a complimentary review. In that way if something needs to be changed we can do that for you. Additional reviews are $300 and can be made at the clients request. Once you approve your video, we will create a custom menu for it and transfer it into a DVD or BLURAY format. Same like your DVD`s with images, we will have it ready at our Montclair Store. Shipping is available to you at a modest fee.

For the RAW footage, we ask you to provide us with a external hard drive to transfer to . There is no upcharge on receiving the raw footage.

If there are any other questions we can help you with , please do not hesitate to call us or email us. We are here to make sure you have a wonderful experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Q&A is divided into sections based on the topic. If you have further questions, email our studio manager at office@montclairstudio.com

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Q: “Do you deliver every image you shoot?”
A: No we do not. We eliminate duplicate images, test shots, missed focused shots, shots with bad expressions and other images that may dilute the overall product delivery. For example, because we shoot with low apertures, sometimes we take a few extra shots to make sure we have the perfect focus. We don’t expect you to have the expertise or the time to zoom into each image to select the one with the sharpest focus, so we spend hours doing that on our end. In another example, candid laughs and emotional tears are some of the best images from the day. Unfortunately, they can also yield some unflattering facial expressions. We might snap a few extras of any of these moments to make sure we have a great shot with the ideal expression for the moment. With our expertise if processing millions of images each year, we may eliminate ones that we feel are duplicates and only deliver the best one.

Q: “Does your studio provide videography services?”
A: Yes. To see examples of our cinematography services, please visit our cinematography portfolio HERE

Q: “Have you shot at my venue before?”
A: We have shot at hundreds of venues so there is a good chance that we have. If we have not however we will be sure to perform a thorough walkthrough with you prior to your wedding day.

Q: “Do you guys do destination weddings? What additional fees are associated with destination weddings?”
A: While Montclair Studio is based out of Montclair NJ, we serve clients all around the world. Our destination wedding photography packages are simply our standard packages plus the cost of travel and reasonable accommodations if necessary. Email office@montclairstudio.com for details.

Q: “Which Photographer will be shooting my wedding?”
A: The photographer you will have for your engagement session will be for your wedding day as well. We are assigning our photographers depending on the availability and personal preference. Don’t worry, we’re not going to have some random person show up on your big day! If you are wondering whether there are differences in style and quality between the photographers, please visit the bellow Style and Quality questions.

Q: “Do you provide partial day coverage?”
A: We do not provide partial day coverage on weekends. On weekends we only accept clients that require at least 8 hours of coverage or have a budget of $2,000.00 and above.

Q: “Does your studio do headshots, individual portraits, family portraits, commercial photography, or other types of photography?”
A: Although we do have experience in most other fields of photography, we prefer to excel and focus on wedding and event photography. If you need a good referral, feel free to contact us.

Q: “Do you shoot Quinceaneras, Debutants, Bah Mitzvahs, or Corporate Events?”
A: Yes. These are all considered ‘event photography.’ We have chosen to focus and excel at wedding and event photography; and we would love to cover your celebration.

STYLE AND QUALITY QUESTIONS

Q: “What is your photography style?”
A: The Montclair Studio team is acclaimed for developing a unique style of wedding photography that is deeply rooted in wedding photojournalism while influenced by fine-art and fashion photography. We love using creative lighting, unique perspectives, angles, compositions and artistic post production refining to bring out our clients personalities and beauty while telling their wedding story. We pride ourselves on not just being photographers, but rather artists creating unique and expressive imagery. To see examples of our quality and style, please visit our Portfolio as well as our Blog.

Q: “Can I see a full event from start to finish?”
A: Of course you may! We pride ourselves on the consistency of our work. We understand all photographers put up their best shots from each wedding on their websites so it’s hard to determine how well he or she will perform on the wedding day. That is why we encourage all of our potential clients to view full events from all photographers they meet with to see how well the photographer performs throughout the day.

Q: “My venue is really dark. How does your studio handle these situations and can I see samples?”
A: We have shot in the darkest of dark chapels and reception halls so no need to worry! If the situation allows, we will set up additional lighting to ensure we get bright crisp pictures. Some chapels do not allow for flash photography; and for that reason, we shoot on camera’s with superb low-light performance and lenses with low apertures.

Q: “Are there style or quality difference among your photographers?”
A: No. We take every measure to ensure consistent style and quality among our 4 photographers. First off, all our photographers started training at the exact same time under the same mentors. We’ve all been in business ever since, developing the unique style you see in our work; and once a week, our studio gets together and reviews images together to ensure that our quality and style are consistent. If one person learns a new trick or technique, he shares it with the other colleagues; and on the other hand, all mistakes, whether major or minor are scrutinized by the team in our weekly review sessions. We guarantee that the quality and style of photography you receive will be consistent.

BLOG/FACEBOOK ENTRY QUESTIONS

Q: “Why isn’t there a blog entry/facebook post for my wedding?”
A: In order for us to post a blog entry from your wedding, we require some information from you. We realize that weddings are intimate events and not all of our clients want their wedding posted, so this form ensures that we our clients are comfortable with the exposure. It also collects enough info so that we can give the vendors proper credit.

POST PRODUCTION QUESTIONS

Q: “Do you touch up all the images in our image download?”
A: Yes we do. Every image we deliver is post produced with our unique style of basic post production. This involves color correction, exposure adjustment, selective black and white processing, clarity adjustments, tone-mapping, and other corrections. Many photographers will not post produce any, or will only post produce “select” images from your wedding. This means that you may have pictures that are too dark, have strange skin tones, or other common photography flaws.

Q: “What do you mean by “”touching up”” the photo’s?”
A: “Touching up” in our studio is the same as signature (basic) post production. See the question below for clarification.

Q: “What is the difference between signature (basic) and advanced post-production?” and why are there additional costs for custom retouch?

A: Advanced post production includes touch ups such as removal of blemishes, removal of bags under eyes, removal of fly-away hairs, etc. On the other hand, custom post production is anything that requires extensive, custom work in Photoshop such as removing entire objects from the scene, changing the size and shape of body parts or other objects in the scene, adding objects to a scene, and other custom work. We charge hourly for the custom post production, as the time required ranges depending on the complexity of the project. Please contact our studio manager for a quote for custom post production.

Q: “Do you shoot in JPEG, Small Raw, or Large Raw?”
A: We shoot most of our images in Small Raw with certain situations where we move to Large Raw.
WEDDING DAY QUESTIONS

Q: “How many hours do you suggest we set aside for wedding day photo’s?”
A: The amount of time we suggest you set aside for photos depends on the time of day.
Preparation Shots – Duration: 1.5 hours
Ideally we would have 45 minutes for the girls and 45 minutes with the guys.
Couples session – Duration: 1 hour to 1.5 hours
We highly suggest doing this before the ceremony in conjunction with a “first look.” That way you can enjoy the rest of your day without having to worry about taking too much time out for photo’s. Also this is when the makeup and hair are fresh. We’ll set up a first look moment so it’ll still be a surprise when you see each other. Be sure to give us at least a full hour so we can capture the amazing shots you see in our portfolio.
Family Formals – Duration: 1 hour
Have a list of pictures that you want with your family/friends right after the ceremony. Typically this is done at the altar but we can do it any location you’d like. Also, have one person from each side of the family that is really organized (and loud) to move people in and out of photo’s.
Bridal Party (Optional) – Duration: 0.5 hour to 1 hour
This is where we take the bridal party out for some fun shots. This is also nice to handle before the ceremony so that you can rest and enjoy your day afterwards.

Q: “I have a lot of downtime in between events on my wedding day. Will I be charged for that downtime?”
A: For a variety of reasons, we have to charge for the time in between events. The fact is, we’re never truly resting during the day, whether we’re backing up images, setting up for the second venue, traveling to the second location, taking venue shots, or making up for lost photo time because of wedding day delays. In many cases, we use that “”downtime”” to take you and your significant other out for a photo session or more family portraits.

Q: “What happens if we go over the contracted amount of time?”

A: We understand that not everything goes as planned during a wedding. We never pack up before the contracted time; and moreover we’re not leaving on the dot when the contracted time is up. Instead, we will ask you at the end of your contracted time whether or not you would like to extend. If you would like us to stay, we will charge the rates specified in your contract rounded to the closest 15 minute increment.

Q: “Why do we need to charge for additional coverage?”

A: We’ve dedicated the entire day to your wedding, so we won’t be racing off to catch other plans that evening. However, we need to charge for additional coverage primarily because there are additional costs of having the team stay for additional hours. The lighting assistants and second shooters all require additional compensation. Furthermore, the additional photos taken all need to be post produced, adding to our overall costs.

ENGAGEMENT SESSION QUESTIONS

Q: “When can we expect to see our photo’s from our engagement session?”
A: Post production for engagement sessions are completed within two weeks after the date of the shoot. If you require the images to be completed prior to four weeks after the date of the shoot, a rush-process fee of $100.00 will be charged.

Q: “When should we do our engagement session?”
A: We encourage you to do your engagement session as soon as possible. The latest we suggest is at least six weeks prior to the wedding date due to the time necessary to post produce each image (2 weeks) and complete your product order(s) (4 weeks). See the engagement session post production delivery time and engagement session product delivery time FAQ’s for more details.

Q: “Can we schedule our engagement session for the weekend?”
Because most weddings occur on weekends, we do not shoot engagement sessions on weekends. If you can only do your engagement session on weekends, we can tentatively schedule your engagement session on a weekend, however, if a wedding is scheduled for that weekend later on, we will have to reschedule your engagement session. We also like to shoot on weekdays because locations are typically less crowded.”

Q: “How many images do you typically deliver from and engagement session? From a wedding?”
We typically deliver anywhere from 75-100 images per 1 hour engagement shoot and for weddings we typically deliver 100 images per hour.

Q: “I really like it when you Photoshop our name and date into the save-the-dates, is that included in the package pricing?”
Custom save-the-date images are priced at $100 per image and can be added on to any package through our website

Q: “When and where can we view our engagement pictures?”
Your engagement session images will be completed within two weeks after the date of the shoot. If you require the images to be completed prior to four weeks after the date of your shoot, a rush-process fee of $100.00 will be charged, unless other terms were discussed.

ALBUMS,PRINTS,BOOKS QUESTIONS

Q: “How long does it take to get my prints?”
Product creation times vary, however in general, print orders will be completed within four weeks after the product order is submitted.
Similar to the post production process, if you require rush-processing, a fee of $100.00 will be charged. Additional fees for rush shipping may also apply.

Q: “How long does it take to get my album?”
As with our other products, production times vary. However you can expect to receive your album 4-6 weeks after placing the order. The process before placing the order varies in duration depending on how quickly you respond to the instructions for the album design as well as the amount of changes you request after the initial designs. Some brides complete this within a month or two, others take over a year. Similar to the post production process, if you require rush-processing, a fee of $100.00 will be charged. Additional fees for rush shipping may also apply.

Q: “How long does it take to get my sign-in book?”
The sign in book takes around 4-6 weeks to print after the order is submitted. As with the album, the time it takes to get the order ready for print depends on how quickly you respond to our instructions and how many changed you request. Similar to the post production process, if you require rush-processing, a fee of $100.00 will be charged. Additional fees for rush shipping may also apply.

Q: “What albums companies do you offer?”
We have accounts with most of the major printers, including Graphi Studio, Queensberry, Leather Craftsmen, Willowbook Sequoia, and Finao. After testing the durability, print quality/consistency, and cover style options, we have narrowed our printing partners to Willowbook Sequoia for standard leather albums and Finao for the premium albums. However, if you prefer the styles of any other album makers, we would be glad to accommodate your request. However, additional fees may apply depending on the printer you choose.

Q: “How many pages and images do we get in our wedding day album?”
A: Our signature Montclair Studio 11×14 inch Wedding Album contains 30 pages and 90 images. If you’d like to add more pages and images, each additional page can be added at additional cost and includes the design time/revisions and three retouched images.

Q: “Can I add more pages and images to my album?”
A: Each additional page can be added for additional cost and includes the design time/revisions and three retouched images.

Q: “Do you guys provide framing services as well?”
A: We do not provide framing services, however we can provide you with recommendations on where to purchase and frame your images.

Q: “How do I get started on my wedding album?”
The Wedding Album Design Process is outlined here: http://clients.montclairstudio.com/after-the-wedding/wedding-albums/
IMAGE DOWNLOAD QUESTIONS AND LEGAL QUESTIONS

Q: “What size can we print our photo’s up to with our full resolution image download?”
A: In most cases, you can print your photo’s up to 20×30 without any quality loss. If you’d like to print larger than 20×30, additional post-production will be required. For pricing on these services, please contact our studio manager at office@montclairstudio.com

Q: “What rights do I have to the digital prints?”
A: You have the right to reprint images whenever you want, wherever you want. However you may not sell your images for a profit or publish your images on a commercial nature without the written consent of Montclair Studio.

Q: “Do you provide the RAW files from my engagement session and/or wedding day?”
A: Each of our packages comes with a full resolution image download. However, we typically do not provide RAW (unprocessed) files from our shoots because we believe in delivering a finished product. In fact, we’re often shooting with the end (post-produced) product in mind. However if you absolutely want your RAW images, we will provided them to you along with our post-produced JPG’s.

Q: “How many images do you deliver on the image download?”
A: For a 1 hour engagement session we typically deliver 75-100 images and for a wedding we deliver 100 images per hour of coverage.”

Q: “Do you provide the digital negatives after the shoot?
A: Yes we do. All of our packages come with Full Resolution image download.

Q: “What if I lose my images?”
A: There is a $50 replacement charge for additional downloads after the event has been archived. We strongly suggest you make at least one copy of the download when you receive it from us.

EQUIPMENT QUESTIONS

Q: “What type of camera/equipment do you use?”
A: Click here to view our Photography Equipment

BUSINESS INSURANCE AND IMAGE BACKUP QUESTIONS

Q: “Do you backup our images? How can we ensure that our images won’t be lost?”
A: We have never lost an image from a wedding due to the following backup workflow for each our events:
During the shoot, we back up on a Epson External Hard Drive after each major event throughout the day. This leaves one copy on the CF cards and creates one copy on the Epson External Hard Drive. After the shoot, we back up the CF card to a local server set up in a RAID 1 configuration. Once the images are completed we upload the images to a offsite location and burn another copy for our archives. At any given point, there are two copies of the files.

Q: “Do you have liability insurance?”
A:Yes. Many venues require the photographer to have Liability Insurance. So before hiring Uncle Joe, make sure he’s covered.

MEETING POLICY QUESTIONS

Q: “We live out-of-town. Is it possible for our family/friends to meet with you instead?”
We’d love to meet your relatives, answer all their question and review our work with them. If possible, we’d like to at least webcam with you to get to know you better.

Q: “We’re really busy and won’t be able to meet. Are there any other options?”
A: We would love to meet with you prior to our engagement shoot or wedding; however if you’re somehow too busy or too far away, we can handle everything remotely. Just think about what you hope to achieve from that meeting and we can think of ways of achieving them. For example, if one of your goals is to see more work, we can gladly show you complete events online. If your goal is to talk about packages and get a sense of the photographer’s personality, telephone calls and webcam appointments can be arranged.

Q: “Do you travel to meet clients?”
A: Due to the limitations of our schedule, we currently do not travel to meet clients. If you would like to schedule a meeting please contact our studio manager, Monica at 973.233.1222 or email her at office@montclairstudio.com

Q: “How do I set up an appointment to meet you in person and see some of your work?
A: To create an appointment either call us or email us at office@montclairstudio.com or use our online Booking form at  : http://montclair-studio.reservio.com/
PAYMENT AND TAX QUESTIONS

Q: “How do I reserve you for my date?”
A: All dates are reserved once we receive your signed contract and deposit

Q: “What if we exceed our contracted time for our engagement shoot and/or wedding day coverage?”
A: Standard rates apply for overtime. Overtime is billed at the rate of $300/hour per Photographer and $150/hour per Assistant

Q: “Is there an additional fee if we pay via credit card?”
A: Yes. Our credit card processing fee is 1.5% of the total package price

Q: “If we cancel the wedding, will we receive our deposit back?”
A: Unfortunately no. Deposits are use to reserve your date. Once we’ve reserved your date we do not accept new clients for your date.

Q: “If we change our wedding to a different date, will we be able to use our deposit towards a future date?”
A: Yes. We will try our best to accommodate your new wedding day and make sure you have the same photographer for it.

Q: “Are there travel fees associated with the Engagement Session and/or Wedding Day shoot(s)?”
A: For all engagements sessions, the first 20 miles roundtrip (10 miles each way) of travel are included or thirty miles each way. All miles in excess of 20 miles roundtrip or 10 miles each way is charged at $3.00 per mile. All other engagement session destinations beyond 200 miles roundtrip are to be negotiated and will be handled on a situational basis. For wedding days we include 0 miles in our travel free of charge

“Why do you charge travel fees?”
Travel fees are not intended to nickel and dime our clients. The primary purpose is to provide adequate compensation for our photographers and our lighting assistants for the additional time spent in travel. Trips to Long Island , for example, can take over an hour each way, time for which we have to compensate our team. For this reason, coupled with the costs of reimbursing the team for the actual costs of travel, these fees are unfortunately necessary.

Q: “Do you offer any discounts on weekday weddings, Sunday weddings, or weddings during the offseason?”
A: We do not offer discounts on Sunday weddings and offseason weddings. As you know wedding season is almost year round so because of that we are shooting throughout the year. We will offer discounts on weekday weddings, as per event.