Wedding FAQs

 How long have you been a photographer? When did you start shooting weddings? I’ve been a full-time professional photographer for the last 9 years. I’ve had the opportunity to work with over 300 couples.

What is your photography style? I would describe my style as “artistic wedding photojournalism”. I specialize in more candid feeling images, but do set up some number of photos being careful to keep you looking natural. I’ve been told that I’m really good about keeping things light and always work with you to feel comfortable in front of the lens. Most of the time I focus on capturing the moment with tons of candid shots. It’s your day to enjoy with family and friends; it’s my job to document the energy and emotion.

Where are you located? We are proud to be based out of Austin.  We’re also available for travel.

Can we meet you in person to see if you might be the right photographer for our day? Yes, I love meeting new people and I’d be happy to get together to learn more about your wedding plans and answer any questions you might have. My studio is located in downtown Austin.

What if we’re from out of town and can’t physically meet you?   Some of our clients are planning a wedding from afar, and an in person meeting isn’t feasible. I’m happy to have a conversation via phone or Skype.

What are your prices?  Please contact me to request complete packaging and pricing information. 

Do you do engagement photos and what’s the advantage to having them done?  An engagement session is your chance to spend a few hours with your beau giving each other long looks and kisses.  Let’s face it, on your wedding day you’re going to have that one quick kiss before you start celebrating with all of your loved ones.  My couples love the chance to walk around hand in hand capturing the spirit of their bond.  Some couples use the images for their save-the-dates or an signing book at the wedding.  My couples tell me that this session makes them comfortable in front of the camera on their wedding day.  For more engagement faqs visit this link:  engagement info.

We’re curious, how does the booking process work? We will fill out a wedding contract and both sign and keep a copy. A $1000 retainer reserves your date.

Can you hold our date for a couple weeks? Unfortunately the only fair way I’ve found is to give dibs to the couple that puts down their retainer first. In some cases I can hold a date for a couple days.

What forms of payment do you accept? I accept cash, check or money order.

How about bridal sessions? What’s the deal with those?  A bridal session is your chance to have a dress rehearsal for the big day.  It also gives you the opportunity to relish in your carefully selected bridal attire for one more day.  During a bridal session we will spend up to two and a half hours with you at the locations of your choice capturing the spirit of your dress.  On the big day, you’ll have a short window to get your family portraits, couple photos and pictures of just you.  Brides that have a bridal session tend to feel more at ease in their bridal duds the day of the ceremony, and they tend to have less anxiety about hair and makeup after they have gone through the process once before. Please click here for more information.

I’m getting married out of the country… would you consider doing my wedding? How does that work? I have a current passport and am ready to travel. We would work out the details as far as travel compensation.

Who will be the photographer on the day of my wedding?  Andy Sams will be your wedding photographer.  There will also be an experienced second photographer present as my assistant.

Who will your assistant photographer be on my wedding day?  My wife, Faith, usually accompanies me as the second photographer.  In addition to Faith, I have a pool of trusted assistants who regularly accompany me. All my assistants have specific experience photographing weddings.

How many hours will you be at my wedding taking pictures? My packages start with 6 hours of continuous wedding day coverage. Additional hours may be added. I recommend starting your coverage about an hour and a half before your ceremony time. Extra hours of coverage are available as an additional option.

How many photos will you take at my wedding? I click the shutter an average of 1500 times at a wedding. My assistant photographer may take an additional 1000 shots. Part of our job after the wedding is to sort through everything and condense this down to the very best images. Some photos obviously won’t make the final cut. That’s just the nature of digital photography. Sometimes it takes ten snaps to catch that “best one” where everyone’s eyes are open or the moment is right. Most of our weddings yield 500+ final images.

What type of editing do you do? Are “touch-ups” included? Absolutely, touch-ups are included as part of all my packages. I carefully examine each and every photo. The images are then cropped, rotated, color-balanced, polished, and made to look their best. We spend a lot of time on the back end working with your images. We love happy brides who love how they look in their photos.

Can we have a list of references so we can speak with some of your former clients? Yes, definitely. Upon request, I would be happy to provide you with a list of my former clients that you can speak with regarding their experience working with Andy Sams Photography. You can also check out what past clients are saying on our wedding wire reviews page

How long after the wedding will I get to see my photos? There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in the digital darkroom. Therefore, turnaround on wedding photos is usually about 6 weeks.

Are prints included in the wedding packages? Some of my packages include photographic prints. All my packages currently include the high resolution image files on disc with a limited non-commercial print release so you and your family can share the photos online and make your own prints and enlargements. Your images on disc will not carry my watermark.

We really want our wedding images on disc, do we get that? Yes! All photography packages include the digital images on disc with a print release.

Do I get the copyright to my wedding pictures? The photographer retains the “copyright” to all the photos, but you will have the right to print the images, make copies, and share them online. You’re covered for everything you’d want to do with the images.

If my package includes a disc of edited photos and a print release, why would I order prints directly from you? Of course you can take your disc to the corner drugstore or giant box store and print out some photos and have those back in an hour. That’s fine for smaller photos if you just want to send one of your guests a candid snapshot. I actually recommend that approach. But, if you plan on printing anything 8×10 or larger and want to ensure the highest quality for your prints, you may want to consider ordering through me. I work with a professional print lab that goes the extra mile to ensure the highest quality standards.

Is a wedding album included? Some of my packages include an album and some don’t. I have a graphic design background and I would be happy to help design the perfect album for you. There are several different sizes and design types and all the albums are flush mount style.  Some of my brides are graphic designers or scrapbookers and they would prefer to create something of their own so I don‘t require the purchase of an album. If you have an amazing project you’d like to create with your images on disc, go for it! I’d love to see the finished product.

If I decide I want an album, when will I receive it? I will include an album order form with your disc. Once you have selected the images you’d like in the album and have returned the order form to me, the design phase can take up to 8 weeks. Once I have posted the design online and have received final approval from you, you will receive the album in approximately 6 weeks.

How are my photos stored? Are they safe? The moment I leave your wedding and get back to base camp I make multiple copies of your image files. One set is stored off site in a fire proof safe. One copy is immediately burned to dvd for archiving and the 3rd set goes onto an external hard drive where it will live forever. As you can see we’re really serious about backing up and protecting your images. We understand that your wedding day will only happen once, so we take every precaution.

What happens if there’s a major emergency on my wedding day and you can’t be there? Part of being a professional involves having a backup plan. Granted, in the many years that I’ve been photographing weddings, I have never been late nor missed one.  That being said, we never know what life might throw at us. If something were to happen (knock on wood and cross fingers and toes), I have a strong network of trusted professional photographers that I could turn to to help fill in and take care of you on your wedding day.

I’m trying to figure out my scheduling for the day of…how long does it usually take for the formal photographs? When will you do the artistic bride and groom photos? The length of time to do the formal photos depends on the number of guests, how large your families are, and the size of your bridal party. On average, the formals take about an hour. But try to factor in a little cushion if you can because most weddings don’t start right on time. Also, remember that you will most likely want to have some nice artistic bride and groom photos too. I’m willing to work on those photos as long as you like. That’s my favorite part!

What kind of equipment do you use at weddings? I’m constantly adding to my array of photo gear. Currently I use a pair of Canon 5D Mark IIIs, and a Canon 7D. I have an assortment of ultra-wide to telephoto prime lenses, external flashes, tripods, and strobes with light stands. I also bring extra memory cards, batteries and backup gear. I also have a few other pieces of miscellaneous gear, but that’s mostly photographer nerd speak.

How do you dress on the wedding day? The only reason I’m asking is because one of my friends had a photographer show up to her Catholic wedding in jeans… I dress professionally with slacks, button down shirt and nice looking shoes. My goal is to blend in with the crowd. How else am I supposed to get all those great candid shots?!

Obviously we’re new to this whole wedding thing…do you have any advice from a photography standpoint? Light is a photographer’s best friend.  If you possibly can, try to schedule your ceremony during daylight hours and leave a little time afterwards for bride and groom photos before the sun disappears behind the horizon. It’s common photography knowledge that the last hour of light is the most flattering for portraits. If for some reason you can’t help this situation, I have professional lighting equipment that can help us out. Still, there is no substitute for the sun.

Feel free to contact me with any other questions you might have. It’s my goal to make your day beautiful and meaningful.

All the best,