Fill Out The Contact Form. Please tell me more about who you are and what you are looking for in your wedding photography.
I'll check my calendar and, if I have your date available, I'll do a happy dance.
I'll send you a fun "Nice to Meet You" Questionnaire (I have a major Questionnaire crush).
We'll schedule a FaceTime or Skype chat and see if we're feeling the vibe (so important!).
If we decide it's meant to be, I'll email you a proposal with your contract and all the important info.
You sign your contract, pay the reservation fee, and we're official.
Then the real fun begins!! We start to plan your engagement shoot, plot the timeline for the Big Day, and get to know each other!! (coffee anyone??)
You got questions? Good! I got answers. Most everything should be covered below, but if it's not, holla!! You can reach out any time and I'll get back to you lickety-split. (Now I'm thinking about banana splits...dammit!)
First of all, YAY! I'm so excited to meet you and see what makes you, your love & your wedding so special. Secondly, easy-breezy. I check availability and we meet or chat just to make sure we're a great match. If everything is copacetic (I've seriously always wanted to use that word in a sentence!), I'll email you a custom contract, you'll review, e-sign, and provide a $1200 non-refundable fee to reserve the date. That's it! We're official!
Not even with a cherry on top! I'm sorry! I hate to be the bad guy, but "first-come, first-serve" is a firm company policy. I need to have your signed contract & reservation fee in hand in order to reserve your date.
Every wedding is different, and I'm happy to come up with a custom quote after we have a chat and figure out exactly what you're looking for. Click here for some more info on your investment!
You guys know how to make a girl blush!! To answer your question...yes & no. Your wedding is your own, one-of-a-kind celebration so nothing will look excactly the same as the photographs displayed here. Because of my documentary-style, I do a lot of very natural, spur-of-the-moment, candid work and that sets each of my weddings apart. I hesitate to try & duplicate shots or poses you've already seen because I find that they often just don't ring true and tend to get lost in translation. If you have a pose you absolutely need (want to hold each other the same way mom & dad did in their wedding photo? LET'S DO THAT RIGHT NOW!!!!), we can of course make that happen. I just don't recommend showing up with a giant list of Pinterest shots...I promise, at the end of the day, those will be your least favorite photographs. Your photos will however, have a similar style to the ones you see here. I love bright, warm, colorful photos that are full of dramatic light & I'm totally passionate about breathtaking, high-contract black & whites.
I try to avoid working with a pre-designed shot list, but I have a really good reason why! If I'm in my head stressing about which shots I've crossed off your list, I'm not present in the moment and I missing the really good stuff that makes your wedding unique. Boo! Bad Rachel! I am, however, happy to work with you to come up with a "Formals" list for your posed family group shots. That way we make sure everyone is where they are suposed to be and we're not wasting gorgeous evening light hunting down Aunt Susan. I chose to only have candid photos at my wedding and, while they are gorgeous, I kick myself for not having beautifully composed family formal shots. I DON'T HAVE A SINGLE PHOTO OF MY MOTHER & I AT MY WEDDING!! KILL ME! But I do still recommend keeping that formal shot list to be no more than 15 groupings...beyond that and we're going to start cutting into your ceremony or cocktail hour, and that's going to make for cranky guests and a stressed bride & groom. No bueno.
Give you a big hug. Seriously. It's totally okay to not feel like Angelina or Taylor in front of the camera. And don't spend another minute worrying about it. Again, because of my documentary-style, a lot of my work is candid. I catch you when you're laughing with your friends, smiling at your siblings, loving on your spouse (!)...you're going to look gorgeous, because you're happy, relaxed, and in love. You cutie, you. And you're not going to have a camera jammed in your face. I make it a goal of mine to fade into the background and be a fly on the wall as much as possible. In terms of the posed photos...I'm calm, funny, silly, and willing to do/say/be anything to get you all comfortable, at ease and smiling naturally. I also always carry lollipops in my bag and am totally not beneath bribing bored kiddos.
When we take the portraits of you together, as a new couple...I encourage you to ignore me as much as possible. I give you time to breathe, be together, and take it all in. But I am there to gently pose you and give you suggestions and directions to get the best out of those first sweet moments together.
It very much depends on your wedding, but I typically deliver around 75 to 100 photos per hour of coverage. I take many more, but go through them carefully to remove any that are not up to my very high standards. I then personally edit every single photo I deliver to you.
During peak season (May-October), it takes me six weeks to get each of your photos individually, hand-edited and uploaded into your gorgeous online album. Because I'm not a monster, and I remember the distinct torture of waiting for pictures, I always post a small sampling just a few days after your wedding on my professional Facebook page. I also aim to have your blog post, with photo highlights & details, up a couple of weeks after your date. So, it's still torture, but I try to soften the blow! Wedding albums, once I have final approval from you, take up to three months to design, craft, and deliver.
The easy answer here is, no. I think of it kind of like asking your dressmaker to send you all the leftover scraps of material from your wedding dress, because you might like to make a pants suit out of it someday (pants suit??). It just doesn't make sense. RAW images are enormous, unedited files that you can only open in specific programs. They jam up your computer, and generally drive you nuts (unless you know what to do with them). The other reason I always say no to this request is because I carefully edit each one of the photos I deliver to you. Myself. By hand. It takes a tremendous amount of time, patience & love, but it's important to me because it's my work, my style, and my name. It just doesn't feel right to me to release photos that I'm not 100% satisfied with. The others are discarded and not available for viewing or purchase.
Your high-resolution edited files, however, are absolutely available for direct download, allowing you to print & share. And remember, all my clients receive every one of their retouched digital images. We're cool like that.
Yes. Every single time. For every single wedding.
My favorite second shooter is my crazy-talented husband, Raul. He works with me most of the time, and he's amazing. Not just at taking pictures, he's also THE BEST at making everyone laugh, flipping veils in the air, holding umbrellas, carrying all the gear, organizing family photos, and packing all the best snacks in his pockets. Also, he's super cute, just sayin'. When he's not available though, I have a list of lovely colleagues I count on whose work inspires me.
I love to travel. I love weddings. Combine the two? Happy Rachel. I've covered weddings all over the United States...Denver, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, New York, farm country-Ohio, Pittsburgh, Virginia Wine Country, The Poconos, Chapel Hill, the Carolina Coast, The Gulf Coast, and way out there Wyoming! And yes, I consider Block Island, Nantucket, the Cape, and the Vineyard to be destination weddings! I love photographing weddings there, I just ask that you cover extended travel costs. Please reach out for a full custom quote for your destination wedding coverage.
Man, I would have to be on death's door to miss your wedding (it's never happened to me in the almost six years I've been doing this), but it's so important to be prepared and I completely understand that. I have an excellent network of colleagues who would back me up -JUST IN CASE- my arm falls off, or I'm struck by lightning, or I disappear into the Bermuda Triangle. You just never know what crappy things can happen and it's not an option for me to let you down on one of the most important days of your life. Not happening. No way, no how. This is all very clearly spelled out in your contract. You are protected.
I am a Nikon girl. I can generally get along with Canon people though. I carry two professional Nikon DSLR digital cameras on me at all times, and two back up camera bodies are on call in my gear bag. I work primarily with fixed Prime lenses, but I have an excellent zoom lens in case I'm required to stay far away. I also have enough lighting equipment to illuminate the Sistine Chapel. I prefer to use the natural light provided by your venue, but I also love the drama & dimension pro lighting gear can bring to photos. So I dabble in both. All of my cameras have two memory card slots, so even if one was to corrupt (or spontaneously combust), I'd still have everything preserved on the second. I take this stuff really seriously...my backups have backups.
Yes, of course. And I'm happy to send proof directly to your venue. Most will not allow you to shoot there without insurance. It protects me, you, and your guests.
I typically wear a black dress in the summer, and black pants and a black top in the winter. I'm always rocking comfortable black shoes, bangin' jewely, and bright lipstick. BUT, I understand that some celebrations require fancier attire and that isn't a problem at all. I have several lovely dresses. But I'm not budging on the comfortable shoes thing. I wore heels to a 10-hour wedding once. A part of me died that day. Please don't ask me to suffer like that again.
No, certainly not. But it is greatly appreciated. A vendor meal is fine, I don't need filet & lobster. Regardless, I do require a brief break during the time you sit down to eat to recharge batteries (and humans), switch memory cards, back up files, chug about a gallon of water, and power eat something at least vaguely resembling food. That way, I'm clear-headed and ready to go again by the time you're finished eating, fresh lipstick and all. If you will not be able to provide a vendor meal, please let me know in advance so I can be prepared & have the hubs make me a PB&J in the morning!
Listen, don't panic. You're here because wedding photography is important to you. It's something you want to make a priority and I love and respect that about you. Reach out and I will email you a booklet explaining The Rachel Abell Photography Wedding Experience. Read through that, and then let's talk. I think it's worth taking the time make sure we're on the same page when it comes to how you want your Wedding Story told. After all, it's your beautiful, unique, magical story and it deserves to be told with reverence and deep devotion. That matters to me.
My wedding coverage includes 7 hours of coverage, two photographers, and a complimentary engagement session. Most couples working with Rachel invest between $4500-$6000 on their wedding photography and album. I am always happy to sit down with you and come up with a payment plan that works for everyone!!
I do offer discounted rates for Monday - Thursday weddings and courthouse ceremonies/elopements, so please reach out to me for a full pricing breakdown."