F  r  e  q  u  e  n  t  l  y     A  s  k  e  d     Q  u  e  s  t   i  o  n  s

Choosing an artist to be your photographer is one of the most important, and potentially most overwhelming decisions you’ll make in preparation for your wedding day. With variables such as professionalism, style, artistic ability, technical ability, image quality, price, personality, quality of equipment used, services included and not included, etc., there’s no easy way of researching average costs. My goal is to limit any confusion with complete transparency, straightforwardness and honesty within my business. The following addresses several common questions. If you’d like me to elaborate on any of these answers or if you have a question not posed here, feel free to contact me. That’s what I’m here for!

How many of our images do we receive and how many of those are edited?

I provide every image I take to my couples. The only exception to this being the removal of ‘test’ shots made to mark exposure. Sometimes even those are good though and in which case, I’d include them as well.

I edit every single photo I take after a wedding in Photoshop. On average I dedicate 2 ½ – 3 hours, for each hour of shooting to this. Brightness, contrast, color balance and sharpening at the very least, are all optimized on a calibrated monitor to ensure each image makes a beautiful print. While going through this process, I’m often inspired to enhance certain photos much further. In this case, I always duplicate the file and add ‘idea’ to the end, this way, you have another image option, but the main files are left intact.

Who owns the copyrights to the images?

You do! Each of my packages provide full copyright ownership to my couples in writing. This enables you to print, share online, distribute or anything else you see fit at anytime.

What’s included in your packages?

I designed my packages to be as accessible as possible to couples who don’t want to compromise on high-quality imagery, but are keeping an eye on overall budget as well. Please see ‘Investment’ in the main menu for a complete listing of package content specifics.

Are albums included in your packages?

I didn’t include albums within my packages for a couple reasons. First, because some couples don’t want or can’t afford one right away, I decided to provide them à la carte instead. Going over-budget paying for everything together, or compromising image quality to stay within budget isn’t a choice I’d like my couples to have to make.
Second, albums are an additional point of profit for most wedding photographers, meaning, they have an album made, then mark-up the price and sell it back to you. Any amount of research on the subject will reveal the exorbitant amount charged for books because of this. My association with Albums Unlimited allows me to provide the exact same flush mount albums, but at wholesale price, or on average 1/2 to 1/3 the price other photographers charge. Because I don’t take one cent from the process, many couples realize they can actually afford an album they had previously thought out of reach. I’m an image maker, that’s my passion. Albums Unlimited has professional album designers who are very talented at what they do.  I’m happy, my couples save money, it’s a win-win arrangement for sure! For more information as well as exact album pricing, see the ‘Album Info, Duchess 1, 2 and Kingston’ tabs on the ‘Investment’ page in the main menu, as well as the following FAQ.

If we decide we would like an album made, how would we go about doing that?

I work very closely with my couples before the wedding in preparation, the day-of and after the wedding and that encompasses any album or print needs. If an album is desired, I walk my couples step-by-step through the process, from choosing the style and size book they desire, the amount of images required to fill it, to the many options available that can truly customize the final product. I’ve been told the most difficult part is editing down the amount of images required for each book. I take a certain amount of pride in that struggle as it’s always said in testimony of how good the imagery is!

How long have you been a photographer?

I’ve been a full-time, professional commercial photographer for sixteen years and 2018 will mark my ninth year photographing weddings as well. My wedding, along with my commercial work (masterworkimage.com) have been published in over 50 different magazines and books nationally and internationally. I mention that not as a bragging point, but to communicate the fact that photography is an overwhelming passion of mine, as well as a profession and that I know how to create beautiful, effective imagery.

How would you describe your primary style?

As an image maker, I always prefer my imagery speak on my behalf. Words and connotations are defined by each person differently and oftentimes the result is a complete mismatch to a body of work. To be fair, style and mood within a photograph are also uniquely defined, but at least that perception is gained first-hand, kind of like tasting a mango yourself instead of listening to me describe what a mango tastes like  :  )  If I had to describe my style however, I’d hope words like: timeless, elegant, earthy, beautiful and honest weren’t too far off. Lighting is a crucial element within an image and I weave 10 + years of model and portfolio experience into my wedding work, using the most flattering light possible on those I photograph. After my emphasis on lighting, I’d like to think the other constant running throughout my work is the inclusion of nature’s beauty that surrounds us here in Southern California. My hobby is nature photography (my nature work)  and I seek ways to incorporate natural elements into my wedding work whenever possible.

Why should we pick you to be our photographer?

When choosing a wedding photographer, you want to choose someone you genuinely like, of course, as you’ll be spending a significant amount of time with them on your big day. Most importantly though, whether it’s me or not, you want to find the most creative artist whose style and imagery you love, with rates that won’t burst your budget. I encourage you to shop around! I honestly believe if you compare quality of images and fees, you won’t find a comparable artist at my price points

Imagery is everything to me and I absolutely love playing the part of visual story teller at weddings! I would say the main difference between myself and other photographers, all else being equal, is how much I put into each and every wedding.  I’ve worked with many photographers through the years and can all but guarantee none of them will be found on the ground, in a tree, scrambling up hills, climbing roofs if necessary, running to get shots or continuously shooting as much as I do! I bring three shirts to each wedding as a matter of routine.  One to change out of the first, inevitably sweat soaked shirt and a third in case of tree sap, rogue ocean waves, blood (mine), dirt (again, ground or wherever I needed to be for the shot) or an accidental tear from rose bushes, trees or street signs, all of which have happened to me. Additionally, I’m not ashamed to admit, I often cry at some point during weddings too so, at the risk of sounding melodramatic, I’ve put blood, sweat and tears into my work! I believe that’s the way it ought to be when you love what you do!

What kind of equipment do you use?

I utilize Canon’s 5Ds digital SLR.  Its top-of-the-line, 50.6 mp full-frame CMOS sensor produces stunning prints. I also work with Canon flashes, Sekonic light meters for concise metering on the fly and Profotos’ Acute 2r 2400 studio strobes, all of which are top-notch, industry leading equipment. I learned long ago there can be no weak link along the photographic chain. Compromise at any one point can undermine the entire process from image capture to print.  Additionally, I have Canon’s Mark III as well as other backup equipment on hand, just in case.

How long does it take for us to get our images after the wedding?

Your images will be finalized and delivered to you print ready, along with a copyright waiver, within 21 days of your wedding. On average I spend 2½ -3 hours for every one hour I shoot at a wedding, finalizing every image in Photoshop. If at all possible, I try to dedicate the following Monday through Friday to this task to expedite delivery of your imagery. As much as I relish this process, and I absolutely love reliving the day through the full scope the camera captures, I know there are at least two people even more excited to have the imagery than myself and I try to be very respectful of that.

Can we be certain that you’ll be our photographer the day of our wedding?

Yes, absolutely. There is no bait-and-switch and no ‘associate’ photographer surprises! My couples and their wedding day are a very personal matter to me, that’s why I personally attend to all meetings, walk-throughs, phone and email conversations, all planning prior to and most definitely, photographing the day-of. This also provides a level of consistency throughout the planning process, eliminating as much miscommunication and misinformation as possible and providing synchronicity and flow I’ve found critical to success on the big day.

Is it possible to meet with you in person before we make a decision?

Absolutely! It’s important for me to know my client’s expectations and desires and I believe it’s equally important for you to know and be comfortable with your photographer.  It would be my pleasure to meet with you under no obligation, show you my work in print and answer any questions you have in person. I’m based out of Oceanside and you’re more than welcome here at my office, but typically I travel South to make it easier on my couples. Just let me know when would be best for you and we’ll go from there.

Have you photographed at my venue before?

Having worked dozens of different venues over the years, there’s a fairly good chance I have. Whether I have or not however, I always do a thorough walk-through and scout of each venue with my couples, to visualize and plan day-of time line logistics. If my couples are unable to join me for whatever reason, I still scout each venue and can take pictures of locations I like for photo ops to share in the planning process later. Additionally, I establish contact with venue managers or owners as well, to introduce myself, make an appointment to visit (if necessary) and ask if there are any special considerations I should be aware of.

Do you work with an assistant?

Yes, I work with an assistant at every wedding. My assistant’s not a second shooter, they’re there mainly to hold off-camera flashes or reflectors, carry equipment, coordinate first looks and in general, help me fulfill any needs my couples and their families have the day of the wedding.

If we would like a second photographer, is that possible and how much would that cost?

Yes, I have several second photographers I work with when requested. As with albums, I’ve made second shooters available à la carte because most couples don’t require one and I wouldn’t want them to contend with any unnecessary fees. If you would like a second photographer however, they’re rather affordable and can be hired for up to eight hours for $450.

Do you think a second photographer is necessary?

This may seem like an odd question to ask me, but it is asked occasionally so I figured it’s inclusion here was warranted. In all honesty, this decision is completely up to my couples. Often, logistics see their first light of day during the planning process and if the need is in question and my input requested, I can assess my ability to obtain all desired imagery during this time and give you my straightforward, honest opinion.  I can tell you, when I scout beforehand and then when I’m shooting, I’m constantly looking for all potential angles to maximize variety. Being as unobtrusive as possible (I like to say ‘ninja-like’), I stay low, moving as much as possible to capture the entire story. My dedication to this endeavor is well known to my couples as I often get comments (referring to the photos) saying it seemed like I was everywhere. Style of imagery and meshing with a photographers personality can be a matter of personal taste, but there is one thing I can say conclusively, and that is I give my absolute all to each wedding! That being said, there are factors that can limit my ability to obtain certain shots. For example, if you’ve scheduled group shots directly after the ceremony, but you’d really like to have photos taken during the cocktail hour happening at the same time, a second would be necessary. Or in general, if you simply like multiple angles shot simultaneously, a second would be necessary for that as well.

How many photos do you take during an average wedding?

Depending on the package chosen, the time committed to each wedding determines the scope of events I’m present for and ultimately, the amount of images taken. Generally however, it’s 500 and up for package one and 800 to 1,200 or more for packages two and three.

What kind of attire do you wear to weddings?

Typically I wear the photographers ‘uniform,’ which is: a black shirt, black dress slacks and black shoes in an effort to blend in and be as non-distracting as possible. This can be altered however, to accomodate any celebration at my couples request.

Would you schedule any other events on our wedding day?

Absolutely not. I couldn’t even imagine doing so! You can be assured, all the preparation I do prior to a wedding, from meeting face-to-face with my couples, scouting locations, contacting other vendors, helping formulate the day-of time line and all other logistics, is for one purpose and that’s to enable me 100% concentration on creating beautiful imagery the day of a wedding. Besides the mental aspect, I dedicate my absolute all physically to every wedding and honestly, can’t think of anything afterward except food and rest!

Can I see one wedding you’ve shot from start to finish?

Yes, upon request, I can deliver a complete set of wedding imagery for your review. Alternatively, I’ve created several portfolios under ‘Collection’ in the main menu that display 50–100 or more images from each wedding. By viewing these selections from each, you’ll start to get an idea of the overall tone, style, quality and variety I strive for within my imagery.

When are payments due?

50% of the total fee is due upon acceptance and completion of the contract. The remaining 50% is due the day of the wedding. If needed, special arrangements can be made to divide the total due into three or four payments as well, with the change noted within the contract.

What forms of payment do you accept?

Payments can be made via credit card, debit card, personal check, money order or cash.  Credit and debit card payments can be made easily and securely via PayPal directly from my site, under the ‘Investment’ tab. After completion of online payment, a receipt can be printed and an additional confirmation will be emailed as well. Personal checks can be snail-mailed to me and once received, I’ll send a confirmation and receipt via email as well.

Do you charge for travel?

I don’t charge travel fees for weddings within San Diego, Orange or Los Angeles Counties.  If travel to other locations can be driven the day of, I only charge for the amount of fuel round trip. If logistics require travel the day before, I charge the amount for fuel round trip as well as one night’s stay at a reasonable place of lodging, usually $120 or less. For destination weddings further away, including Mexico and Hawai’i, please contact me personally. I love to travel, own a current passport with some empty pages and would be happy to arrange a plan that would be mutually beneficial.


James Maciariello      Ι      MASTERWORK WEDDINGS       Ι     james@masterworkweddings.com       Ι     949.351.3189