WELCOME GUIDE

 
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Hi There!

I’m Gilbert! My job is to capture the beauty and uniqueness of your love—basically the most incredible job I could ever ask for. I grew up in a very artistic home in the Washington D.C. area; my father has a degree in piano and organ performance and my mother was a music educator for 30 years. As the youngest child of four, I wanted to be different from my musical family, so photography became my creative outlet. I found a 35mm film camera in my basement when I was 16 and the rest became history. In college, a coworker of mine asked me to photograph her wedding that was one week away because her photographer cancelled last minute. I didn’t even know what I was doing, but I said yes. I woke up at 4am, drove to upstate New York, shot the wedding, and got back home to Baltimore at 5am the next day. And I loved every second of it.

6 years later, I’ve been photographing the most amazing couples all over the east coast. I cannot be more thankful for this job as an artist and as business owner. That’s why it’s super important for my clients to know how serious I am as an artist, but also my responsibilities to service my clients professionally and promptly.

Hiring a wedding photographer can be a daunting task, I understand. When shopping through wedding wire or the knot, it seems that photographers are a dime a dozen. I’ve found in my years of being a wedding photographer, there are two most important aspects: trust and personality. As a photographer, I will be spending more time with you than even your family! I want us to feel like we are old friends on your wedding day—I make it my goal to make my clients feel 100% comfortable to be themselves with me. To do this, I want to get to know you! Let’s have an engagement session, facetime, or just get some coffee (maybe happy hour?). I want you both to know who I am, and trust that I will deliver the best product you can find.

Why Me?

Before your wedding, I'll help you plan out your timeline, talk about your artistic vision, and any other questions. I'm always happy to help talk through important decisions (because there are a lot of them). There are so many unknowns when planning a wedding; I love to make myself available to help work through those and share my experiences from the almost 100 weddings I have photographed.

After 6 years of being in the industry, I’ve made connections with hair and makeup artists, musicians, venues, caterers and event coordinators. In planning your wedding, I can give you recommendations for vendors who excel in their craft and will make your day a complete success.

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PRICING

 
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Alright, alright. I know this is what you've all been waiting for. Below you will find the low down on pricing. But promise me you'll keep reading after this section, because there's a lot of really important info that will answer a lot of questions you probably have!

Collection 1: $1,800

  • 6 hours of Wedding Day coverage with Gilbert

  • A downloadable online portfolio of your fully edited images (One color, one black and white copy of each) 

  • Printing and sharing rights to your photos!

Collection 2: $2,500

  • 8-10 hours of Wedding Day coverage with Gilbert

  • Second Shooter for 5 hours

  • 2 hour Engagement Session

  • A downloadable online portfolio of your fully edited images (One color, one black and white copy of each) 

  • Printing and sharing rights to your photos!

Collection 3: $3,500

  • Up to 12 hours of Wedding Day coverage with Gilbert

  • Second Photographer for 8 hours

  • 2 hour Engagement Session

  • Designed Photo Album (Price of album itself not included—usually $150 extra).

  • A downloadable online portfolio of your fully edited images (One color, one black and white copy of each) 

  • Printing and sharing rights to your photos!

A la Carte Add-Ons

  • Engagement Session: $300

  • Second Photographer for 5 hours: $400

  • Extra Hour of Coverage with Gilbert: $200

  • Extra Hour of Coverage with Second Photographer: $75

  • Wedding Photo Album Design by Gilbert: Price Dependent on size/number of pages, let’s talk!

  • Looking for a Boudoir shoot? I know the best female photographer who specializes in that. Just send me an email.

    Note: I want to know what I can do for you. I am happy to discuss your budget and create a custom package that fits your needs. I completely understand that people and budgets do not fit in a box. If you feel that you can’t afford me as a photographer, let’s talk and we’ll make it happen.


 
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How to Book

When you're ready to book, or to ask more questions, shoot me an email! I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, and we can set up a time to FaceTime or meet in person before booking if you'd like! Wedding dates are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once you've decided you're ready to book, I will email a contract over that we can sign electronically. I always send my contract as early as possible so that you can pick it a part so that you can be certain that we are both protected. And yes, I’ve had a lawyer-lawyer couple approve of my contract (phew…).

As the payment goes, a 25% retainer fee must be paid at contract signing in order to reserve your date. The remaining 75% of your wedding photography fee will be due the day of the wedding.

The contract is signed digitally, and your digital signature is legal and binding, so there's no need to print or mail anything! You can print or save the final contract for your records (I do the same thing). You can pay your retainer or your final payment with check, venmo/cash app, or cash (I do prefer venmo).


Frequently Asked Questions

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  • How long have you been a photographer? 
    I’ve been taking photos for 10 years and have been a professional wedding photographer for 6 years! In addition to wedding photography, I have worked with fashion blogs and non-profit organizations in Washington D.C.. I’ve even photographed an event in The White House! I also have experience in photojournalism and have won an award for my work on the 2015 Baltimore Riots.

  • What equipment do you use?
    For you gear-heads, I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark III with a 50mm 1.2L, 100m 2.8L, and Sigma 1.4 ART (my personal fave). I also have a Canon 600ex-rt II flash, and edit with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. (For those not big on camera gear, I shoot with the highest end professional equipment). I also bring snacks :)

  • How far in advance should I book? 
    I would recommend you book asap! The dates fill up fast, especially in the Summer and Fall months. Most people book about 6-16 months prior to their wedding date. 

  • Are there any taxes?
    All taxes are already included in the Collection prices listed above!

  • Do you charge travel fees?
    For weddings local to Maryland, Northern Virginia, and New York City (I work out of both places), there won’t be there travel charges. If your venue is pretty far from where I live, I will charge a flat fee based on mileage and if I need lodging. This is all dependent on where your venue is in proximity to where I live. 

  • Do you shoot out of state or international weddings?
    Oh yes! I LOVE to travel and photograph as many different places as I can. Let's chat about your destination! 

  • What if I'm not sure how many hours I need yet?
    That's okay! We can add or subtract and make any other necessary adjustments before your final payment is due. 

  • How many photos will I receive?
    I do not limit the number of photos you receive, so I won't cap it! I go through and take out any duplicate photos and any that didn't turn out well. Other than that, you'll get to see the full range, and it normally ends up being about 50-100 per hour, depending on what's going on at any given time. 

  • We hate getting our photos taken. How will we keep from looking super awkward?
    Let me let you in on a secret- you're not alone! I am super awkward in front of a camera too. The best thing you can do is be open and willing to try! I'll give you all kinds of prompts that will make you feel like you're just spending some fun time together vs. just posing for photos. We'll be moving around, you guys will be chatting with each other and laughing together, and it won't be nearly as bad as you think it'll be! 

  • Do I really need a second shooter?
    There are a couple of things that factor into this. If getting ready pictures are important to you and you and your fiance are getting ready at the same time, then you should have a second photographer! Many couples also like to have multiple angles from their ceremony and other big moments throughout the day. The second photographer is also a built in back up for me. But, I shoot solo often and am perfectly comfortable doing so!

  • Why do you only have the second shooter with you for 5 hours?
    I've found that having two photographers for your entire reception lends itself to a lot of duplicate photos, so I have them stay for 5 hours in order to keep the cost of the package a little lower. The 5 hours tends to carry us from getting ready to cocktail hour or first dance depending on what your timeline looks like.

  • Why should I do an engagement shoot? 
    Scroll down through this guide to find the section on engagement shoots and why I love them!!

  • What if you've never shot at my venue before?
    Don't let this worry you! Whatever photographer you hire should be someone who can take beautiful photos no matter what the circumstance. That being said, I always do a lot of research before shooting at a new venue and often take some time to visit and explore ahead of time!


The Engagement Session

 
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I get it. You really don't like having your picture taken (I am totally in the same boat). And to be honest, engagement sessions are a some what recent trend. Our parents certainly didn't do them—my parents only have 30 prints from their wedding. Aside from having some extra pretty pictures for your Insta, there are some really solid reasons to consider an engagement session.

  • It’s the best opportunity for us to get to know each other and for you to be comfortable with me behind the camera. I always start my engagement sessions with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (with my camera in the bag). I want to get to know you on a personal level before we go on our shoot; it makes for better pictures—but more importantly, I want us to have a connection.

  • It's also a great opportunity to get those photo shoot nerves out of the way. Once you get into your engagement shoot, you'll find (I promise!!) that it's not nearly as bad as you thought it was going to be. And once it's over, you'll realize that you already have a leg up on your wedding day photos because you know what to expect and you'll be that much more at ease when it comes time for your bridal portraits.

  • On a practical note, you'll have photos to use for any engagement parties, save the dates if you want, or any other kind of announcement you may want to make!

  • And yes, Instagram. #Isaidyes

  • ADDED BONUS: Please, please. If you have a dog/cat, lets bring them in the photoshoot (see my “dogs” page on the website).


Why is Wedding Photography so Expensive?

 
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When my parents got married, they were given a check for $3,000 dollars and told to plan it all on their own—today, things are a bit different. I totally understand that this is a HUGE investment. Getting married can be very expensive and it's terrifying to spend thousands of dollars on any one vendor (especially when you have never hired them before). So, to help ease your mind, here’s the breakdown:

What you’re investing in

  • The memories. Your photos are often the ONLY thing you get to keep from your wedding. Maybe you have your dressed preserved or your bouquet dried, but your photos will be the only thing from your wedding day that you can carry around with you to remember each and every part of your day. They will be one of the only things you can display in your home and hang above your bed as a reminder of your promise to each other and the day you committed your life to each other. To me, this is invaluable. Your wedding day will feel like a total blur after it happens. When you get your photos back, you will be able to remember every moment. 

  • You get what you pay for. 99% of the time, you get what you pay for. If a photographer is offering your full wedding day for $500, they probably have either never shot a wedding before, or they are not experienced enough to charge for anything more than just their time. I've gotten quite a few inquiries from brides who are looking for high quality wedding portraits but are unwilling to see that high quality wedding photographs come from years of experience and practice. Which brings me to my next point...

  • Experience. When you hire a seasoned wedding professional, you are receiving the benefit of their past experiences. I cannot tell you how big the difference is between having photographed 3 weddings and having photographed 50. Each and every wedding I photograph, I learn something new. I tell most of my clients that you are paying the high price for the mistakes I’ve made with past clients. I won’t make those mistakes with your wedding. The first wedding I ever shot, I got paid $200 dollars—which was a totally reasonable rate. After years of photographing different couples at different venues, and editing tens of thousands of photos, I’ve learned a lot.

  • Equipment. Being a wedding photographer is EXPENSIVE. A BIG portion of what I make gets put back into running this thing like a well oiled machine.  It's important to understand that high quality photos come from high quality equipment. There are the obvious things, like the cameras and the lenses. Right now, I have 3 of the highest end lenses a photographer can purchase. You might wonder why I need so many. Well, there are the standard lenses, but then there's the zoom lens for the reception so that I can take photos of you and your new husband on the dance floor, and then in the next second take photos of your niece sitting on the side of the room smashing cake in her face. Also, you want that beautiful up close shot of your engagement ring right? I want you to have that too, and that's why I have a special lens for it (my 100mm macro), because my other lenses won't take that photo! I could go on and on, but you get the point! Now, that doesn't include anything that I use on the back end of the business! Long story already too long, when you hire a seasoned wedding professional, you get the best equipment to capture the best moments of your day. 

  • Time. You might think that you are hiring your wedding photographer for an hour long engagement shoot and 8 hours on your wedding day. You may think that the hourly rate for your photographer is EXTREMELY high, but I will actually spend many hours working for you. While your engagement session and your wedding day might be the only time we spend face to face, that is a small fraction of the time we spend working for your wedding. First, I spend time corresponding with you via email. I really do care about providing the best service, so I think through my responses and I try to be as thorough and timely as possible. I prepare your contract and invoice, and I review these with a fine tooth comb to make sure we are both protected. I help you pick out what to wear for your engagement shoot, I do location research, I’ll pin the guys boutonnières (because no one knows how). I’ll spend time hiring and preparing an assistant. I’ll help you create your timeline.  Secondly, when your day is over I'll go home and edit a preview gallery so that you don't have to wait to see your photos. And then...the EDITING. I spend A LOT of time editing your wedding photos so that they are perfect.

  • Care. I mean it when I say that I truly care about my clients, and I care about your wedding day. To the right photographer it matters deeply how your photos turn out. We stress about it. We get nervous before your wedding day. We drink 5 cups of coffee. We sweat and run around and get blisters and aching backs because your wedding photos MATTER. Invest in someone who cares about you. You should feel important to your wedding vendors. Your wedding is important. And it should be just as important to them as it is to you.