Below are some questions that we get asked pretty often. A lot of websites out there dedicated to helping you plan your wedding are going to suggest you ask your photographer these questions, and while you certainly don’t have to ask, I wanted to make life a little easier for you and include them on my website so you can get your answers right away! If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and ask & if you would like to chat more about your wedding date & pricing, e-mail us!
How long have you been doing this for? How long have you been doing this for?
I photographed my first wedding in 2010, and Alan has been shooting with me since 2014.
All of the associate photographers have 3+ years experience and have been trained by me.
How many weddings have you photographed? How many weddings have you photographed?
I have no idea the exact number. I stopped counting somewhere after 100. We shoot about 30 weddings a year, so if I had to guess I would say around 300.
How would you describe your style?How would you describe your style?
If I had to choose just a few words I would say Timeless, organic, and romantic. I want you to love your photos when you get them, in two years and in fifty years. I want them to stand the test of time and not be indicative of the decade you got married in. I want them to be an accurate, yet artfully created representation of the day. We consider ourselves fine art photographers. To us, this means that we capture your day, the people, the emotions, but we also focus on editorial details, this could be a close up of an embrace, or the way your hair blows across your lips etc. We feel this rounds out the story in a more aesthetically pleasing way. This also means that with every image we take our goal is to create a piece of art that can stand alone. We not only want to provide you with photographs of your wedding, we want to give you meaningful art to hang on your walls for decades to come.
Do you use film or digital?Do you use film or digital?
I use both! Both film and digital are amazing for very different reasons and we consider them both tools in our tool belt. We will use which ever one is best for the job at hand!
The associate team uses exclusively digital photography to document your day with.
What type of equipment do you use?What type of equipment do you use?
I use high end professional quality equipment, primarily medium + large format cameras. Due to the number of weddings we shoot each year we have multiple back ups of all of our gear. We always bring at least one back up with us even for destination weddings (this usually ends up being a minimum of 5 cameras)! The below list is just a quick over view of the gear we use the most, not a complete list of everything.
Fujifilm GFX100S, Fujinon 45mm 2.8, Fujinon 80mm 1.7, Fujinon 110mm 2.0, Contax 645, Zeiss 80mm f/2.0, Zeiss 45mm f/2.8, Zeiss 140mm f/2.8, Nikon f6, Nikkor 58mm f/1.4, Nikon 35mm f/1.4, Fujifilm X-T4, Fujinon XF 18mm 1.4, Fujinon XF 35mm 1.4, Fujinon XF 50mm 1.0, Fujinon XF 50-140mm 2.8.
The associate team uses professional grade full frame digital equipment. Each assocaite has their own set up and unique set of lenses + camera bodies but I have vetted them all to ensure they are using quality gear and that they have approporiate backups.
My reception venue is very dark, do you have lighting?My reception venue is very dark, do you have lighting?
Yes we do! We are always prepared for all kinds of lighting situations. We have multiple kinds of lighting that we can use to best showcase the events & atmosphere of the wedding. We also bring multiple different lighting sources to all our destination weddings.
What is film and how does that work?What is film and how does that work?
Its just like the old school 35mm negatives your parents used to use, but technology has improved a lot since back then and the image quality is better than ever! And we technically use medium format for most of the day, those negatives are about 4 times the size of 35mm. On your end of things, there isn’t much of a difference, you still get all of the digital images, even the film ones. We have them digitized at an amazing film lab in Hope, BC.
What is the advantage of film?What is the advantage of film?
There are many small things that all add up to create the soft natural look in my images. The biggest thing is that I use medium + large format cameras, both for film and digital. The look between those two is remarkably similar. Medium format gives images a more life like 3-D quality. The backgrounds of the images tend to look more like a watercolor painting and have more texture than that of a more basic digital image. Film naturally has amazing and true coloring that looks soft and natural and it does wonderful things with skin tones making them soft and beautiful which is super flattering for portraits.
How do you work throughout the day? Do you give us lots of direction?How do you work throughout the day? Do you give us lots of direction?
Our approach is a mix of photojournalism and portraiture. During getting ready, when I photograph all your details, I style them and carefully place them to look their very best. However when I photograph you getting into your dress, or the finishing touches of make up, I just let the events unfold. At that point in the day the most direction I will give you is telling you which room to get dressed in based on the light & background. During the ceremony, we try to be as out of sight as possible! We do not interrupt or get in the way. And my one rule that I’ve set for myself and anyone working with me is to never walk in front of the parents (unless its completely unavoidable and we have no other choice, but that’s very rare, almost never). I am pretty small and fast so when I have to scoot around near the front I try to be a quick and quiet as possible so as not to disrupt the celebration or distract the guests from the ceremony! My second shooters & assistants always stay in the back or to the sides, never near the front! During family portraits, we are very hands on. We ask for a list so we make sure we don’t miss anybody and so we have everyone’s names to call them out as we go. For wedding party portraits and couples portraits our style is more what I like to call “directed” rather than “posed” I like to give you guys actions and things to do to try to get more natural smiles and movement in the images. During the reception we are completely hands off and let the events happen as planned. The most we interfere then is moving a wine bottle from in front of you, saying which direction is best to stand to cut the cake and after your grand entrance, before you eat, I always have the bride and groom kiss for a quick photo! I like to do this to make sure we have one great kissing photo at the table, before plates of half eaten food are in front of you!
What do you wear to photograph weddings?What do you wear to photograph weddings?
Weddings are formal events and as such we aim to dress like any other guest would at a wedding. I always wear dresses or skirts, and Alan always wears dress pants and a dress shirt, sometimes a tie and or jacket. If you have a specific dress code or theme for your wedding and you would like us to dress accordingly, please let us know a month in advance!
Can I give you a list of specific shots we would like?Can I give you a list of specific shots we would like?
Please don’t do that. The only list we require is family photos. For the rest we hope that you hired us because you love our work and our style and you trust our artistic vision to capture your moments, memories, love and friendship. If there is a specific shot you would really like that is out of the ordinary shots I take, please let me know ahead of time and we can do that for you.
If there are specific details or meaningful things you have, please let us know about those and we will make sure to capture all of those details.
Do you have backup equipment? What about a backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?Do you have backup equipment? What about a backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
Yes we have lots and lots of backups and travel to each wedding with a minimum of five cameras, and if something happened to a camera at a wedding the week before, we would still have at least 5 for yours! In our contract it outlines the issue of us being sick or unable to photograph your wedding. Simply put, sick is not really an issue unless I break both my arms and both my legs and even then I would probably find a way to do it. However, if something were to arise and neither myself nor Alan were able to photograph your wedding, we offer you the option of a full refund, or we will suggest a few people to photograph it in place of us, if you say yes to any of them, they shoot it, give us the images, we edit them and alls well. Both the local photography community and the international film community are pretty tight knit and we know a lot of people in both, so finding a suitable replacement wouldn’t be an issue!
Have you ever worked at my wedding site before? If not, do you plan to check it out in advance?
Have you ever worked at my wedding site before? If not, do you plan to check it out in advance?
We don’t need to know what the ceremony space or reception spaces look like. We can capture what happens in any lighting condition and in any space. If you would like our input on things, directions of ceremonies or set up etc, we can certainly chat about that! Or if you are concerned that we haven’t seen the space before you are always welcome to text or email us pictures you have of it or that you take when you do a venue walk through! That being said, if you mention your venue in your emails, we always google it to see what its like! And if its a wedding outside of Alberta, we always arrive a day or two ahead of time to scout out some locations for photos, or if you have suggestions we will check those out too! We do not attend rehearsals or walk throughs, if you would like us to photograph your rehearsal dinner however we would love to send you our pricing for that. We are constantly inspired by our surroundings and environment and we love getting to explore new places, so its never a bad thing if we haven’t photographed a wedding in your specific venue or city before!
How many weddings do you do a weekend?How many weddings do you do a weekend?
We shoot as many as there are days. This is my full time job and has been since I started in my second year of university. We only photograph one wedding per day. I wont even shoot an engagement or family session before or after a full day wedding (6+ hours). But we do frequently shoot weddings on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as smaller elopements and destination weddings on weekdays! While I am young enough and have the energy to keep up with it I plan to shoot as much as I can, when I’m 40 this might be a different story.
What are the restrictions for sharing photos online or for publication? Do you own the copyright to the photos?What are the restrictions for sharing photos online or for publication? Do you own the copyright to the photos?
According to Canadian Copyright Law, I own the copyright to any images I take. That being said, in the contract it outlines my “rules” and your rights to the images. I am pretty easy going, they are you photos and you can do with them what you please as long as its for personal use. In regards to posting them online, since we don’t watermark our images with our logo, I simply ask that you just credit us or tag us when possible so people know who took your amazing images! If you would like your images published in a blog or magazine, just let me know! I have a great relationship with a lot of magazine & blog editors, and they usually prefer that the photographer submits the images.
Do you have a portfolio of recent weddings you’ve shot — from start to finish — that I can browse? Do you have a portfolio of recent weddings you’ve shot — from start to finish — that I can browse?
On our website under “featured weddings” there are a number of weddings where you can see the day unfold from getting ready through to the reception. We do not upload full wedding galleries to the internet, and we also feel that you do not need to see 25 photos of someone else’s aunt Betty’s speech, that would probably bore you. So we have nicely condensed the important and relevant moments into some galleries! Or if you are local we would love to have you over to our office in Calgary and show you soe wedding albums.
How many pictures will we get?How many pictures will we get?
Becuase weddings are uncontrolled events we do not gurantee any specific number of photos. Also because each event varies so much in detail, and time its hard to put an exact number on these things. I would say on average from a full day wedding (10+ hours) we give around 400-650 images. We do not limit the number of images we give you; we simply give you all the ones that turn out! (no one is sneezing, blinking, a bug didn’t fly in the way etc)
Are all of the photos edited or retouched? To what extent?Are all of the photos edited or retouched? To what extent?
Every single image we give you is edited or at least looked over to make sure it looks the very best. We do minor things like cropping and color correction. We do not do extensive editing like putting in a fake sky, or photoshopping in other people or animals or backdrops, I cannot make your bridesmaids hair a normal color instead of purple, etc. We do not do extensive skin retouching, we can take out one blemish here or there but extensive retouching on many images is something that can be added on for a fee. Everything you see online representing Justine Milton Photography is edited to the standard level we deliver to our clients. I believe in getting it right in camera, not in fixing it afterwards. If you have a pimple or something on the day of, make sure you have a good makeup artist, but we can also remove small blemishes in a few images. If you would like more retouching like wrinkles removed or something of larger scale, we can do that and we are happy to discuss our editing fee with you on a per image basis. All that being said, every image you see on my website, instagram etc is touched up a minimal amount, and the images you see are exactly the way the couples received them!
Are you part of any professional associations, or do you have extra training in your field?Are you part of any professional associations, or do you have extra training in your field?
There are a number of different associates to which I belonged throughout the last 11 years; however since you have to pay to be part of all of these groups, after finding little to no benefit in most of them we have discontinued our listings with them. I have a university degree in design, which was how I originally learnt photography. Since then I have taken a number of workshops taught by some fo the worlds best photographers.
Do you have liability insurance?Do you have liability insurance?
Yes we do. If your venue requires a proof of insurance statement (this is usually only for my American clients, in Canada venues don’t require this from their vendors) have your venue coordinator get in touch with me and I would be happy to send them a copy.
How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan?How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan?
Our deposit is 50% due along with a signed contract, upon booking to secure your date. We do not hold dates without a deposit, but we will let you know if someone else is interested in that date! The final 50% is due 1 to 3 months prior to your wedding date. You can do a payment plan if you like, as long as the final payment is received no later than 1 month prior to your wedding.
After the wedding, when can we expect to see the photos?After the wedding, when can we expect to see the photos?
In the contract it says 4 months; however, its not usually that long. It’s actually almost never that long. I said 4 months while I was in school because I would have to wait until the semesters end to edit, and I have just left it that way since! We also say 4 months, just in case life happens, and we need a little longer or there is a holiday in between or we are out of the country etc. I would say it usually around 1.5 to 2 months. We try to have them done as soon as possible and during our slower seasons turn around time is much less.
How far in advance do we need to book you?How far in advance do we need to book you?
There is no set amount of time really, and the trends on how far in advance people book changes every year. But generally 1 year is lots of time. And we book as late as 3 months before a wedding date, and sometimes even later!
What time of year and day is ideal for you to produce your style of work?What time of year and day is ideal for you to produce your style of work?
We shoot weddings year round, all over the world. We can give you photos similar to what you have seen in just about any condition, time of year etc. We do prefer to shoot 2 hours before sunset, up until it has set, but that rarely happens on wedding days!
Do you cope well under pressure and what about any emergencies on the day? Do you cope well under pressure and what about any emergencies on the day?
Alan is the calmest person around regardless of what is happening, and I am very quick to think on feet and take action. We have seen many things go sideways and everyone’s always come out the other side unscathed! We have dealt with bad weather on so many occasions its not even a concern for me any more, fallen off buttons have been sewed on, and brides have even been sewn into their dresses. Wedding planners make life easier in terms of dealing with large situations, but we are pretty good at handling weddings and frantic people.