Q & A's & Pricing - Darren Wellhoefer Photographer

How long have you been shooting?


I've been shooting weddings professionally for over 19 years & have been happily using cameras for 22+ years. I'm one of those fortunate people who love my job. I've shot numerous different types of weddings which range from American weddings, to Indian weddings, to Chinese weddings, to Thai weddings, to Armenian weddings, to Latino weddings, to Japanese weddings- in fact, there really isn't a type of wedding I haven't shot yet.  They are all unique & beautiful events. I am a workhorse & I sit down with all my clients before the event & go over any cultural significance to any details they have put in. Capturing that in an artistic form is one of many priorities.



How long are you there for? All day. WHAT??


I do unlimited time. Over the years, I found it was easier for my clients to handle that I drink a Redbull midway through their event & stay all day than to come up to them before the Father-Daughter dance & say I'm ready to leave because your 8 hours is up. Imagine that- what downer that would be to come up to a bride & groom during their happiest day & say "your 8 hours is up- I'm leaving". No thanks. I go to Costco & buy a &12 case of Redbull & it solves everything. I am there to capture your entire wedding, so its important I am there. & with easy, simple planning (a solid time line), I can shoot the bride getting ready & then go over & shoot the guys getting ready & the day goes from there. Its pretty awesome & exciting. ***Be wary of a photographer who is only there for 6 to 8 hours. Even my smallest wedding (32 people) was still an 11 hour event. What time-limited photographers are trying to do is charge you $300 an hour for 5 more hours of photography. You can see how that would destroy your budget. What sounds better- 5 more hours at $300/hour or me drinking a $1.53 Redbull from Costco?


Free engagement session


I do this for 2 main reasons- 1.) so you can have save-the-date photos & can make a canvas wrap of the shoot to hang at your event.  2.) The main reason is I do it is so I can get to know both of you. I want to impress you from the engagement shoot so when I show up the day of your wedding, you're going to realize you're in good hands & trust me. Client relationships are HUGE for me- I'd rather show up as a friend the day of your wedding than a stranger. I am with you all day, pointing a camera at you & if you trust me, that smile & happiness is going to be genuine & that makes some amazing photos! I also encourage friend'ing me on Facebook, instagram, etc...so we know each other better. &, of course, I'm always there for questions you may have about our photoshoots & wedding questions/timelines/what to do's. I like to offer my personal experiences & advice to my clients. It really does help them quite a bit.



Do you have a 2nd shooter?


Yes & no. Let me explain what I mean by that. When I do Indian weddings, they are typically very large, big # of guest events, often 500 to 600 people in attendance. For those, I bring in 2 2nd shooters to handle the entire event. But these are pro-level 2nd shooters, which means they own their own wedding photography business & each have been shooting weddings professionally for over 10+ years. They run $50 to $75 an hour. Often times when a photographer promotes a 2nd shooter for your event, the 2nd shooter is an assistant making $8/hr. The quality of talent is not there for that 2nd shooter (otherwise, he would start up his own wedding photography business, trust me on this). But before you start worrying about this costing you more money, don't worry because it won't. Any wedding I shoot under 500 people would not require a 2nd shooter. Why? Because I am a workhorse & have 20 years of experience & can handle large weddings. Now you can always have a 2nd shooter- its entirely up to you, but it isn't needed. But if its for peace of mind, by all means, I can get one to be hired for the event- but just remember I don't use $8/hr assistants. I use pro-level 2nd photographers. Quality at your event is a big priority for me, as I'm sure it is for you as well.


All images professionally photoshopped


Any photos you see in my online portfolio is my style. I believe in timeless, accurate colored photos of magazine quality. I don't like filters or heavily saturated colors (that's what instagram is for, not something a professional wedding photographer should do).


Are you insured?


Yes. Many times a venue will require my insurance written under their name. I will have it to them months before the event. I am also insured to the highest amount possible.


How many cameras do you bring?


I always shoot weddings with 2 cameras. This allows me to shoot your wedding with different artistic perspectives being I'm also shooting with different lenses- I can get the bride coming down the aisle & turn & shoot with a zoom lens to get the groom with big baby tears as he sees his bride,  but it also serves as a backup in case I had an issue with 1 of the cameras (knock on wood, never had that happen before!). I even have a 3rd backup camera in my bag, so I am more than prepared for your event. If I eliminate any of the "might happens" by being more than prepared for your day, you are left with a flawless event.



Image delivery to clients


I offer USB drive delivery of your images. I also offer a cloud-based/password protected delivery of your images. Let me know what you prefer & we can go from there.


Online gallery for family & guests


After your event, EVVVVERRYYONE from family to guests want photos. This is a job brides & grooms don't realize- now they have to run down to print labs & fulfill orders, which is time consuming & a big pain in the butt. What I do is upload the entire wedding to my site, password protect your gallery & give you the URL to give to everyone. If family & friends want photos, they can purchase it & the company will print it out & mail it to them. It keeps you 100% out of the process. My clients always rave about this feature.


Do you offer wedding books?


Yes, I do. I offer top of the line wedding books in every leather color type, every size & every flush mount series. In fact, I offer so many different types & options, I usually save that discussion till when you are ready to discuss it, since it can be overwhelming. But ordering one is easy- I help my clients with design, let them choose the images so I can design around what they pick and go from there. Design-time takes about 8 days & once I get the final blessing from you, I then go to print. & don't worry- I don't charge thousands of dollars for wedding books. They are reasonably priced & look amazing without the $1200 price tag most photographers charge.


Did you say GoPro?


This started with a really fun couple I shot about 2 years ago. They booked me but didn't have money for a videographer, so I jokingly said "I'll just bring my GoPro." They took me up on it & I've been doing it every since. I show the bridal party how to use it, put it on a GoPro stick (please don't call it a "selfie stick") & the party goes from there. The footage they capture is one-of-a-kind awesome. I've had brides singing all in a group getting ready, to groomsmen getting ready & doing shots (they even strapped the GoPro to a giant flask & had everyone in the wedding take a shot), to a bride hanging out the window of her limo singing Beyonce. Its awesome & lots of fun. I then put all the footage on a DVD for you so you always have it.


Do you do destination weddings?


Yes, yes, & yes. I love to travel & I have traveled through most of the United States, Europe, Japan & Thailand for destination weddings. They are very unique so please email any questions you have.


Prices


Prices start at $2200.


I get a free flag? What?


I started making flags about 11 months ago. Read the story here: Why I make flags. I give a free 3 foot flag to all my bridal clients. Its an added bonus for my clients and they love it. So many of my clients have told me how stunning the flag looks and are amazed that I make them- its the last thing they expected a wedding photographer to give them, lol. But I love my country and I love making them so why not spread a little love back to awesome clients, right? "Everything good that's ever happened to me came out of helping others." - Danny Trejo


This sounds too good to be true. What's the catch?


There is no catch. I just happen to be one of the lucky ones out there who love my job. I realized long ago that if I take care of the customer, they will in turn take care of me. I've been a photographer for the better part of 22 years & since I love my job, I plan on being one for 22 more years. Meet with me for coffee & see if me shooting your wedding is a good fit- I assure you, it will be, because my strive for perfection is top notch, I am a workhorse at your wedding,  my customer service is one of the top in the industry & my artistic talent at capturing your wedding day will blow your socks off. I don't just shoot weddings. I sign clients for life. Know what an awesome feeling it is meeting with a client 5 years after I shot their wedding, laughing with them,  & going through their wedding albums & remembering all those great moments? Its an absolutely awesome feeling in life. I do it often with my clients.



The "Sunset Photo"  & CPR


I had a pretty amazing experience shooting a wedding in November 2017. As we were shooting family photos, the bride's grandmother starting choking on an appetizer. Everyone around her panicked & she quickly turned blue. People started screaming (it was about 40ft away) but luckily, the groom was a firefighter, so he ran over, performed an abdominal thrust on her & saved her. It was very emotional & everyone felt relief that grandma was ok. We soon went to go do the couple shots & this sunset appeared 45 minutes later. I have never photographed a sunset as beautiful as this one & I told the bride & groom that someone must be watching out from above to give such a stunning gift of a sunset. This is the sunset:

This moment hit me hard over the next few days. Thank God the groom was a firefighter & he saved his grandma, but what if he wasn't there? If someone wasn't there to perform an abdominal thrust on her, she could have died. Well, I didn't like how vulnerable this made me feel, so I went out & got CPR certified for adult, child & infant a month later. I feel better knowing that if something happened, I could help out.

I'm interested! What's the next step?


I am a busy photographer & I am currently getting filled for 2018 bookings, so if you are interested, don't hesitate to call/email to check availability. We can meet anywhere locally as its important to understand the style of photography you desire & you can go through my stack of wedding albums & ask any questions you may have.  & I'll even buy the coffee!


Darren Wellhoefer

714.313.2333

Darren@darrenwellhoeferphotography.com