Wedding Images...Why do they take so long?

Hey! We previously posted this blog post in late 2009 but thought it was definitely a great bit of insight to share again! With the 2012 Wedding Season about to hit "full throttle" I know that the ACE Team and local photographers will start getting hit with this question "WHY DO MY WEDDING IMAGES TAKE SO LONG". Check it out below:

I like quite a few things in the events world…but I’m only truly passionate about a few small parts of our industry. Of course planning and clients are at the top of that list…as is one of a kind events and right under phenomenal clients is Photography. I often get asked how long it will take to get event images back…or why do clients have to wait 6-8 weeks to see their wedding pictures. And I know the answer to these questions…but it’s sometimes hard to explain so I reached out to one of the most sought after wedding and portrait photographers in Hampton Roads (and really the nation) to get input from a photography professional…Mr. David Schwartz.

There are a lot of factors that go into amazing images, and while a picture straight out of the camera can be nice an edited image can be breathtaking. I left the topic kind of open ended to Dave and just asked for his input on what clients should expect and the length of time to anticipate when waiting to see their wedding images and in true David Schwartz form he gave me a very candid, very honest, very straightforward response.

"Wedding Photography is a business, period. A solid, reputable, seasoned, wedding photographer should be providing their clients with input as to how long it will take to deliver images back to the married couple. Many wedding photographers in Tidewater have been photographing events for less than three years. It is very difficult to dial an efficient workflow in when he or she has shot less than 20 weddings in their career so far. I have been in business photographing weddings for six years with hundreds of weddings under my belt. I am a computer geek, and the technology is constantly changing and forcing people to spend time learning the various programs that photographer's use to polish their images. It is imperative that a couple have a complete understanding of the process their photographer is going to follow from booking to delivering an album. There should be no grey. It should always be black and white. I tell my clients it can take up to 6 weeks to deliver online proofs once a wedding is photographed. I will however work up 30 to 80 images to post on my blog within two days of their wedding. This allows them to feel even better about their experience with my company. Plus, my blog link is forwarded to many of their family members and guests. This extra touch always receives a favorable response. If a photographer takes less time to get images online, the reason might be that the images don't stack up to the better photographers in their chosen market. It may also be that they are photographing 10 weddings for the entire season. I do an average of 34 weddings a year, and it takes time to cull images down to select that the client will see. They have to be perfect before it leaves my studio. Any artistically polished images take me up to 20 minutes to work a single image. The art involved in post processing is where the rubber meets the pavement. The difference in photographers should be clearly evident after the artistic processes are applied. All my album prints receive this level of treatment. Let's face it, sometimes good things take time. However, this does not excuse the fact that many photographers do not lay out expectations properly on the front end. Don't be afraid to get a commitment from your photographer in writing/contract as to how long the various processes will take."

I appreciate that David took the time to give me honest feedback and a good basis on how to answer the question: “why does it take so long to receive my wedding images?”

As an added bonus David Schwartz sent over a few “before and after” images so you can see what an edited and non edited image looks like:

(By the way...after you are done checking out these beautiful images go check out Dave's site at and his blog at

Signature Drink Saturday:The Sarasota

The Sarasota    1 large bottle of Moscato or Riesling Wine  1 can of raspberry lemonade concentrate  a splash of sprite   crushed raspberries    mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

In honor of the Oscar's this upcoming Sunday, we decided that no award show was complete without the bubbly!  Here is our version of the champagne fun from my favorite website, PINTEREST! of course!  Enjoy!

The Sarasota
1 large bottle of Moscato or Riesling Wine
1 can of raspberry lemonade concentrate
A splash of sprite 
Crushed raspberries 

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy! 

Signature Drink Saturday- Raspberry Beer Cocktail

Welcome to Signature Drink Saturday! If you like fruity cocktails this is a perfect drink for you! This refreshing pink drink would be perfect for a Spring or Summer wedding! Who knew beer, vodka and raspberry lemonade could be so great!

Monday Meeting: RSVP Stationery

Happy Monday Meeting! Anyone that knows me or has been to my studio knows i'm a bit obsessed with Stationery! Not just any stationery, gorgeous, lush, event driven stationery!  So it only makes sense that today on our blog we introduce you to one of our favorite stationers, RSVP Stationery

RSVP is owned by Kim and Kristen a sister team that pretty much rocks. Or as their website says "Kim, Kristen and sometimes Mom!" We also love how this duo inspires our clients, "gets it" each and every time and only gets better with the ever changing world of stationery design. 

Image by David Schwartz Photography
How did RSVP Stationery get its start?
Stationery has truly been in our blood for years.  We come from a long line of stationers and printers in our family.  Family is very important to us, so when our mom decided to retire from teaching, we decided we should do something together.  She had the planning and coordinating background, and Kim and I had the stationery and printing background, thus starting RSVP Stationery in 2003.

What makes your stationery “one of a kind”?
I think what makes us and our stationery unique is that we always think outside of the box!  The word “no” is not in our vocabulary when it comes to stationery and paper design.  Our area is so saturated with the same invitation lines.  Who really wants to send out the same invitation their cousin sent the year before.  We hope that we can create or find an invitation for our clients in any budget that excite and wow their guests!  

How did you make the transition from printing and wedding coordinating to developing RSVP Stationery?
Wedding planning and coordinating was not our focus in the beginning; however, it was something we loved to do along with running our retail storefront.  When we finally let our mom retire for a second time, we decided to stop the planning portion as well, just taking on wedding coordination and continuing to run the stationery store.  However, when Kim and I started designing our own invitations in house, everything changed.  Due to the amazing response, our time has been consumed with designing and producing custom invitation orders.  Since Kim and I have a genuine passion for paper and design, we decided to end wedding coordination completely.  Now we are able use our time to focus more on our love for stationery, paper and design.

When we started our business:
We really felt our clients needed an alternative to the “cookie cutter” invitation.  We strive to stay abreast with the latest trends, styles and ever-changing etiquette.  Our hope is that every event that we order or design an invitation for is unique to that client. Even if it is as simple as suggesting a new font, ink color or modern wording layout; any change can make the unique difference!

RSVP Stationery offers many different kinds of stationery, what type of events do your clients seek stationery for the most?
Weddings and Mitzvahs are definitely the majority of our “paper fun”; however, we have a strong client following for our imprintable invitations and personal stationery.  Whether it is a fun birthday invitation, a wedding program, or custom cups and napkins, our clients always find something perfect for their event. 

What is your favorite Stationery trend that you have seen for 2012?
Custom design is a huge trend this year and we feel it is here to stay.  We really love to get to know our clients, and in doing so it makes giving them their custom look so much more successful.  Meeting their planners, sisters, moms or fiancées always helps to give insight into the kind of “look” our clients may want. 

Image by Digital Dreammakers
Image by Echard Wheeler Photography

Image by Veronica Dana Photography

Signature Drink Saturday- Red Velvet Martini

Welcome to Signature Drink Saturday! With Valentine's Day right around the corner we thought that this drink was the perfect way to celebrate! 

Melissa and Ken: An Engagement Story

Yesterday we had the pleasure of interviewing Andi Grant Photography in our "Monday Meeting" blog today we thought it was only right to share a great engagement session of one of our Spring clients shot by the one and only Andi.

Ken and Melissa are a super fun couple! They have been dating for nearly a decade, and have traveled the nation following each other to be supportive spouses for their career endeavors. We are beyond ecstatic that they have chosen Virginia Beach as their home. We are looking forward to their gorgeous Bay Creek Wedding right around the corner. What do you think? 

Monday Meeting: Andi Grant Photography

We're excited to be back with our Monday Meetings!  We know you missed us so we have put together awesome interviews and samples of work from some of our favorite vendors here in Hampton Roads and beyond!  Our featured vendor this Monday is Andi Grant Photography. She specializes in capturing engagement, wedding and beloved memories.

What was the biggest challenge in transitioning from a career as a 911 dispatcher to photography? 
Leaving 911 was all good, the only challenge I found was working too much.   In my first 2 years in business I didn't take days off and working 10 hours a day was the norm and on days that I was "taking off" I would only work 4 hours, you know for my birthday or Christmas.  I had to discipline myself to allow myself me time and to make that happen I became more proficient in my work.  I still work a lot, but I'm trying to keep it closer to 40 hours a week instead of 70.  
 What is your favorite moment to capture during the wedding or engagement?
I have several favorites.  It's often found in those quiet moments when the couple isn't aware of anyone else around them and you can see the love in their eyes and feel their embrace....I love love...Oh and sometimes I catch that during their first dance, if they let the surroundings melt away and focus on each other...It's a great sight to behold.  I also love when they turn around after their ceremony and get ready to walk down the aisle that's always a fun moment for them, the "We did it" moment.
On your website, your photography style is described as having a “spunky vibe,” what makes you describe your photography in this way?
I don't think it's our photography that has the spunky vibe, but actually Zoë and I are the spunky ones.  We are high energy and are always having a lot of fun with our couples.  Our photography is best described as fresh, clean and beautiful.  We take a lot of pride in knowing just how to pose and interact with our couples so that they look and feel amazing when it's all said and done.  
What advice would you give couples in choosing the right photographer?

Good photography is probably a larger investment than couples initially anticipated. Because of this It's important to get some recommendations from their planner and friends. I suggest they look around and really figure out what they love and don't like about the different photographers in the area. It's so important that they find a photographer who matches their personality and who's work they absolutely adore.  It's not enough to think their photos are ok, not for something this important. They need to be sure they LOVE their style and that they think they would be a good fit.  A lot of us photographers are flexible, I can lean towards the more photojournalistic or the more artistic if that's what my clients want but I'm not overly traditional so I wouldn't be a good match for the couple who is looking for that kind of photographer.  There are so many amazing photographers in the area so I recommend they take their time, set up meetings and find one that fits their personality as well as their budget. Tricky part is you can't take too much time because the well sought after photographer's book about 9-12 months in advance, sometimes longer so if there is a photographer you love don't wait to set up that meeting, and really that goes for all the great vendors you want to work with.

 What was the theme of your favorite wedding you have photographed?
I loved the gorgeous nautical wedding I shot in Key West, but the most creative wedding we photographed in 2011 was our Alice in Wonderland themed wedding in North Carolina, it was an intimate wedding with so many great details.

Signature Drink Saturday: Blackberry Sage Cooler

This deep purple non-alocholic signature drink could be great for any summer wedding! I think I love the color and the floating blackberries the most! If a drink can be gorgeous...this certainly is!


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