Wedding Photography & Pricing - Ron Lutz II ~ Photographer

Wedding Photography that Tells the Story

Please scroll down the page to learn what I have to offer. It'll not only display images taken at previous weddings, but it should answer any possible questions you may have. I know how important this day is to both of you, so providing a stress free experience is important to me. By the time you reach the pricing section at the bottom, I'm sure you'll see why you'll want me as your photographer. Also, I am now offering a free 2hr engagement session with each new booking!

My Shooting Style

There are three main styles of wedding photography: illustrative, traditional, and photo-journalistic. In choosing your photographer, you'll need to decide what sort of images you're seeking. One isn't necessarily better than the others. It's all a matter of personal taste.

I primarily shoot in a photo-journalistic style to illustrate the story of your wedding day. Instead of staging events, or directing you on what to do, I capture things as they happen naturally. While the majority of the shoot is done in a candid style, I do make sure to fit in a little "traditional" portraiture, which I'll detail later.

Before the Ceremony

Capturing the bride preparing for the her day can be magical. During this time there's a dynamic happening between the bride, the bride's maids, and her family. It also sets the stage for the rest of the day, and gives the bridal party a chance to get to know me and become used to my presence. I can learn a bit about who you are and what is important to you for me to photograph.

The Ceremony

Most churches have very strict rules on photography. I highly recommend finding out what they are. Many only allow photographers limited areas to work within. Flash photography during the ceremony is usually not allowed. I will always work within the confines laid out by your venue. My goal is not to be the center of attention, but to capture the day without being a part of the action.

Formal Portraits

After your ceremony is the traditional time to have your formal portraits taken. These are usually done in the church, or venue, where your nuptials occurred. The photos are almost always combinations of the two of you, the wedding party, and your families. I'll need some time for both setting up, and packing up, the lighting gear I use to photograph these portraits. I always recommend that you check with your venue about how much time you'll have to do these portraits. It's not uncommon for some churches to have back to back ceremonies. Also, while not common, some people like to have formal portraits done before the wedding. We can do that, we'll just have to plan it together so that I am sure to be also ready to shoot the ceremony.

Additional Locations

Between the end of the formals and the beginning of the reception is usually where people plan a special location shoot with just the bridal party. It can be anywhere of your choosing. I always have the bride and groom decide where to shoot. You'll know what location speaks to you better than I. Be sure to plan enough time to cover this if you choose to do it. We will also need to discuss the logistics in advance so I know what sort of equipment to bring.

The Reception Hall

Once we arrive at the reception hall I ask that you wait just long enough for me to take my gear inside so I can capture your entrance. I require a small and separate table close to the DJ. I'll be bringing a lot of equipment to cover the evening and it's important I have a spot where I can change gear quickly.
As I am dropping off my gear I also talk to the DJ. As master of the evening's ceremonies, he/she is the one I go to for information on what you've planned. While the DJ shares the timetable of the reception with me, it's still important that you tell me in advance of any special events you've planned. I circulate among your guests with an eye out for those personal interactions that make the event unique. I also pay attention to queues from the DJ as to when I need to cover special dances, the cake cutting, etc.. This means you won't have to worry about telling me yourself. That is, as long as you have a DJ. If you have a wedding coordinator, I'll also be sure to connect with them as well.
To allow the wedding party and the guests to relax, I do not take photos during the dinner. I go to my table and wait. Photos of people eating are rarely attractive, and the flash can be intrusive. During this time, I talk to the DJ about the rest of the evening's events. I keep a close eye on the bride and groom and once I see they are circulating amongst the guests, and see that most of them have completed their meals, I go back to shooting. I also appreciate having a bit to eat myself as it gives me fuel for the rest of the evening.

I quit shooting when you specify. You do not have to pre-plan an ending time, though a ballpark idea is always appreciated. I've often been asked to stay longer than originally planned. This is not a problem, the evening is yours, and I am at your disposal. If you need me an extra hour, or more, there is no stressing over it.

Free 2-Hour Engagement Portrait Session

I'm also offering a free, two hour long, engagement portrait session with all new wedding bookings! This will give us a chance to get to know one another. While we work, we'll talk about your wedding, and I can get a feel for what's going to be important to you as a couple. I'll travel to the location of your choosing on my dime, and will shoot for two hours for free. If you want to have a longer session we can do so for only $50/extra hour. There are no other costs to this. You'll get a small gallery online, images uploaded to Facebook if you want, and the digital print files at no extra charge.

**** NOTE: These are meant to be a casual session where we get a chance to get to know one another a little bit. These sessions cannot be applied to actual wedding dates. Sorry. ****

Hourly Rate Instead of Full/Half Days

Instead of just offering "full day/half day" options I charge my services on an hourly rate, with a 2-hour minimum. Using half/full day rates can cause a lot of stress. Those who opt for a 4-hour, half day, usually end up worrying about trying to fit in all the events they want shot into those few hours. On the other hand, an 8-hour shoot may be way too long, and customers can end up paying for hours where not much is shot.

By charging an hourly rate I give you a chance to decide exactly what works best for your time-frame and budget. You decide what parts of the day you want me to shoot. Some brides have me start at breakfast, and others have me start just as the ceremony begins. I leave when you tell me as well. Whether it's right after the bouquet toss, or until the last guest is stuffed into a taxi, you choose when I stop.

Photo Processing

Once the shoot is over the real work for me begins. Processing the images takes about 4 to 6 weeks. I carefully choose the best photos of the day. I then need to convert the selected images from “digital negatives” into images you can use. This takes time, especially on a long wedding shoot where I can easily take upwards of 5000, or more, images. Simply sorting and backing up the files can take many hours of work, not to mention how long it takes just to select the best.

Your Gallery

Once I have things uploaded you'll then receive an email from me with a link to your Gallery. As the bride & groom you get to review the photos before anyone else has a chance to see them. You can ask for simple edits, as well as for certain shots to be taken offline. As an example, when shooting schoolteachers, photos of them holding drinks are usually taken offline in order to avoid embarrassment. You will still receive all the images taken out of the online gallery. You'll need to either sign in with Facebook, or a free Smugmug account, to leave comments.

As for the edits, these include any blemishes and the like I may have missed. I can also recrop photos when possible. I do not do major photo touchups such as making people look slimmer, or making eyes look smaller (yes, I had someone ask for that once). I am not a digital plastic surgeon. I also don't edit people out of shots, change clothing colors, or the like. Generally, with weddings, the volume of photos is just too high to effectively do major editing in a reasonable timeframe.

Once you're happy with the gallery you may then send the Gallery Link to all your family and friends.

No Need to Worry Over "Shot Lists"

First of all, there are no shot lists needed from you. You'll not have to worry about telling me all the specific portrait combinations, or provide a list of relatives. There's no need for a list of event specific photos to be taken. Your day is going to be hectic enough without having to worry about me knowing how to shoot a wedding. All I really need to know is if you have something special planned that I should pay attention to. For instance, a bride once surpised her new husband by having his favorite team mascot appear at their reception.

Using Social Media

Additionally, the site itself has a variety of ways for you to share your photos online. There are easy methods for sharing to just about every major social network. There are the obvious Facebook & Twitter buttons on the bottom of the gallery, but each photo has even more ways to share. When you open a photo look for the Share Icon when you mouse over the lower right corner. There you'll see options for sharing to Facebook, Twitter, and G+. The Get a Link option also opens up a tool where you can copy the codes to embed the images in your blog, or just about anywhere online. The slideshow below illustrates some of these options.
Choose an Image to Share

Choose an Image to Share

Printing Options & Merchandise

I send you a data DVD with all the print files, and a "permission to print" letter. You may either use my printing service, which I'll detail in a moment, or you may take them elsewhere. While I do copyright protect the images, there are no visible watermarks like you see on the site. You'll get the high-res original file that I uploaded to your site, including any you have me take offline.

Ordering prints from me directly is very easy. I use Bay Photo for my service, a leading, national print shop. They guarantee their work, offering excellent customer support, as well as amazing products. You can order images "a la cart," or as part of a packaged set. I offer a wide variety of sizes, and finishes. Especially of interest are the giclée and metal prints as they look amazing and last forever.

I can also create a custom print package just for you. Additionally, there are a variety of other types of merchandise, such as t-shirts, coffee cups, and magnets, etc available. It's best to check the link below to see how much I actually offer as there is too much to list here.

A "Best Of" Gallery on Facebook

I also offer a Facebook album of around 30 photos or so. You choose the images you want in it. There you'll be able to tag the people pictured, and a link back to your gallery is also provided.

You'll have to add me on Facebook in order to use this feature.

Reviews of my Work

You can read reviews of my work on these sites.

So, What's It All Cost?

Before I layout the pricing, let's review everything you get from me. I'll list things in bullet points, and then will get to what you really want to know.

Hourly Rate Instead of Blocks of Time

  • 2 Hour Minimum
    • After that, you have me for as long as you want.

Very Comprehensive Photographic Coverage

  • Photo journalistic style, covering the events of the day.
  • High quality formal portraits.
  • Additional portraits in the location of your choosing.

Actual Products You Receive from Me

  • Your own website with all your photos, minus any you want removed for privacy.
    • Your gallery can be sent out to all your friends and relatives.
    • Your images are easily shared online using built in tools that are simple to use.
  • A data DVD with all the high resolution print files.
    • There are no visible watermarks.
    • You can print/upload them anywhere for your personal use.
    • I include a "permission to print" letter for hassle free printing at professional shops.
  • My Optional, High-end Printing Service
    • Prints may be ordered directly from your photo gallery.
    • Very high quality finishes available in a variety of sizes, and mounts.
    • Additional types of merchandise available, t-shirts, cups, etc..
    • ALL orders are guaranteed!
    • Package pricing is custom created with your participation.
  • A Facebook Gallery with the Best Shots
    • You can tag your friends and family.
    • Each image has a direct link back to your web gallery if people want to see the original.

$$ Pricing $$

There is a 2-hour minimum that costs $700. Each additional hour is $250/hour. That means a 4-hour wedding would cost $1200. An 8- hour day is only $2200. Of course, you specify how many hours in all you want me to work.

I also charge the going IRS mileage rate, at the time of the wedding, for all miles driven by myself. The 2013 rate is 56.5 cents/mile. The start of my mileage is always my home office. I also charge for any highway tolls, and parking fees. You can use the map found under the Availability link in the header of this page to measure distances.

If you're having your wedding in a venue that requires admission fees, tickets, etc., you must provide my access.

All customers who wish to fly me to a distant location to shoot your wedding should talk to me personally to learn how I handle those types of shoots. I actually really love doing the long-range work! It's always nice to shoot in new locations!

Finally, If you are in WI I'm afraid I will also have to charge 5.5% sales tax. This will be for the complete cost of the shoot, paid at the same time your balance is paid at the end of your wedding shoot.

That's it. The processing, the editing, the Website with all the bells & whistles, the DVD with all the print files, the optional printing service and the face book album are included!

To book me, I require a $400 retainer. I try to book only 2 weddings/month. For me it's not about the volume of weddings I shoot, but the quality of the weddings I shoot. I also require a signed contract, which spells out pretty much what is already written above. The remaining balance is due at the end of the wedding night.

Feel free to message me with any questions. I would be pleased to meet with you to discuss your needs in person.

I now accept Mount Horeb Chamber of Commerce Gift Certificates.

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