Frequently Asked Questions

Before the day...

How much do you charge for weddings?


It's the main thing you're looking for right? Packages start from $1,000. I try to keep things simple, and offer different packages based on hours. You choose your hours that you want, and you choose your start time. Check out my Packages page for more details, including optional add ons.




My wedding is different from the norm, can we negotiate the price?


Sure. I can always tailor a package that suits your needs. My Packages page cover a generic wedding timeline but if yours differs from that, let me know about it. If you have an elopement style wedding where it's done and dusted within an hour or two, drop me a message here as I'm happy to talk through specifics and pricing.




Do you offer winter or weekday discounted pricing?


Well yes I do. I offer 25% OFF my normal Packages pricing. Inclusions are still the same as the full rate. This is applicable for weddings on Monday through Thursday all year round (excluding public holidays which attract the full rate), or any weddings in June, July or August.




My wedding is non-traditional, can you cater for that?


To be honest, it's probably more traditional than you're telling yourself, with a few elements thrown out, or some banging ideas added in. Anyway, my answer is yes, I can accommodate for whatever you want.




How far can you travel for our wedding?


If you want me to capture your wedding in the Arctic, I'm there. Seriously! I'm happy to travel wherever you want me with sufficient notice. Geelong, Ballarat, the Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road, the Bellarine Peninsula, Colac, and most of Melbourne are all included within the Packages price - 2hr travel allowance from Torquay included. After that there are additional costs involved obviously depending on your location for fuel, accommodation and maybe even airfares. I love the #VanLife, so I'm pretty cheap when it comes to accommodation costs! Happy to answers anything further on this here




How about same-sex marriage?


How about YES! Love is love.




I'm camera shy, does that matter?


Who isn't? Well there's a few out there that aren't, but most people are and to be honest it's part of my job to help put you at ease. I've been on your side, I remember getting my photos taken at my wedding. It isn't easy. Hopefully you can relax earlier in the day around me without the crowds there yet, and the rest will just flow. If it doesn't we'll get there, promise!




Do we meet you in person before the big day?


Once you've locked in your date.. I'd love to, in fact I encourage it. I'd love to sit down over a beer, wine, hot chocolate, milkshake - I don't drink coffee so dont judge me.. I know a few good spots we can meet in Torquay depending on the time of the day, or if you wish to meet elsewhere that can be arranged. The month leading up to the wedding works better as you have most things locked down, including timelines which us photographers work by (and love). The purpose is mainly just to meet you guys, it helps put a face to names for you and me both. But also to discuss anything you want to discuss - any shots you MUST have, any concerns you have, life in general, whatevs. After all it is part of all my packages, so technically you are paying for it. However, if you cannot, or do not want to meet prior I'm easy with that too. We can chat over text, phone, email, FaceTime, telegraph.. Whatever suits you.




Can you use your drone for our wedding portraits?


I can, BUT… There's an opportunity cost. That doesn't mean additional cost, however it means the time I'm using that I'm not using my "real" camera. I can only do one thing at a time. Set up / pack up time + the time in the air all adds up pretty quickly, and time on your wedding day is everything. If I do use it, I'm more likely to use it when you're off mingling with guests to get some location type shots from above. This is all weather and location permitting. Later in the night sunset shots can also work well here with the drone. It's certainly a "play-by-ear" depending on a number of factors of the day.




Are you shooting by yourself, and is it always you?


Yes, I don't sub-contract my reputation to others. My style is kind of like a sniper. Well, a friendly photojournalist sniper at least. The less you and your guests see of me the better. I'll be floating in and out of the angles capturing you in your natural state, in a candid way. Raw emotions are the best emotions. There'll be no "say cheese" moments, unless you want them, but I am partial to a good cheese platter to keep me going. The portrait stage of the wedding can be a bit more scripted, and it kind of has to be. More on that later.




Do you offer an engagement or pre-wedding shoot?


Certainly. I charge an extra $300 for this, paid prior to the shoot. It takes around 60-90 minutes and is captured leading into sunset. Location can be anywhere, and I can give some recommendations on some nice spots as well. It's a great chance to catch up, and use some of this images in the lead up for save the date cards, or on the big day to fill space of the happy couple - that's you 2 love birds! For turnaround time, this would need to happen at least 6 weeks prior to your wedding if you wish to display or use any of them on your wedding day. All images are high resolution and available via USB. There's no copyright or watermark from my end.




Do you offer video services?


I'm all photography baby! Seriously though, I don’t specialise in that and it'd be dishonest of me to try. I can offer some recommendations though, so just ask.




How do we book your services for our special day?


Quite simply, once we confirm a date is available, all I need is a retainer for 1/3 of your package total via credit card, bank transfer or cash and I'm all yours. This is a non-refundable retainer and the remainder paid in the lead up prior to your wedding. I'll also have a contract for you to sign for the legal "stuff".




We're not sure yet, can you hold the date?


Unfortunately the only way to hold your date is to pay a non-refundable retainer and sign a contract. Weddings are booked well in advance, and us suppliers can be scarce, especially in peak wedding season so book in early. Get in touch with me here.




Can we hire a second photographer?


You can, afterall it is your day. Please let me know though if you do, so we can work through who will do what on the day. It does get tight with photographers jostling for best position to capture the best moments, so there needs to be some structured roles over who will be taking the lead, and who will be 2nd shooter. There's also no guarantee that our shooting styles will be the same or complimentary.





On the day...

What if it rains on our wedding day?


From my point of view, it doesn’t change anything from a photographic sense. It's good luck they say right? It can also make it more fun if you guys are up to it. Bring brollies, a good attitude, maybe some gumboots and dance in the rain.




What do you need from us on our wedding day?


No big surprises is ideal. I understand things don't always go to plan and that's not really the surprises I'm talking about. If you want me to shoot something like someone jumping out of the cake and I'm not aware of it happening, then I cannot capture it. So keep in touch in the lead up to your wedding, and let me know of any changes to the plan. It's always best to capture the emotions raw when they happen, rather than re-enacting something later.




What's the ideal schedule from a photographer's point of view?


On your big day it all can be overwhelming. The day has many moving parts to bring together, and all I ask is some consideration in timing IF you want photos of the full shebang! In the lead up to your wedding I'll be honest with you if I don't think something is going to work.

Best thing to remember is that once that day arrives you cannot control everything, so don't try to. You've got a small army of willing helpers around you to pick up the pieces that fall down. You just have to stand there, look pretty, say "I do", and then have the time of your life with those you care most about in this world (and me of course). I've said it before, and will say it again, time moves at warp speeds on your big day, make the most of it while it's there. There'll be a time late in the night when the music stops, the lights go on and everyone starts to leave. You'll be itching for one more song, one more dance. It really is the funnest day of your life if you let it be.

Here's a sample of what an ideal schedule that I like to follow for a wedding would look like - times may vary, but the spacing of time works well. Also note this doesn't include travel times to/from anywhere:

I'll just work backwards from the actual wedding times for the "Getting Ready" shots

  • 3:00-3:45 ceremony
  • 3:45-4:00 congrats / hello with your guests
  • 4:00-4:15 family shots
  • 4:15-4:30 contingency - have a drink, grab some food & chillax with your guests
  • 4:30-4:50 bridal party shots
  • 4:50-5:20 couple shots (bridal & couple are often combined)
  • 5:20-5:30 contingency
  • 5:30-onwards PARTY with all the formalities of the reception!
  • 8:30ish sunset shots (20mins), if required





Getting ready..

How much time do you recommend for the getting ready photos?


There's so many factors at play here. How close are you to the ceremony location? How close are the bride and groom getting ready to each other? Look, in an ideal world I'd be with the gents for 40 minutes first, and then scoot across to the ladies for an hour. Timing for the ladies is more important as I try to coincide with the hair and make-up finishing up so I can get a couple of them getting done without getting in their hair - pun intended. From there it's the dress fitting, and some celebratory shots with the bridesmaids and family. If I can be present for those moments with the ladies, then I'm a happy photographer.. But it's totally up to you what you want.




Do the guys really have to be suited up that early?


It's entirely up to you. Given I'm there with the guys prior to the ladies, it's a lot of sitting around in a suit especially in an Australian summer. So there's some different suggestions that I can accommodate:


1. It's more common these days to be having a beer at the pub, playing some pool, sitting in the backyard. Somewhere in a relaxed atmosphere, rather than in a suit. Although the mother of the groom might have other ideas!
2. You get suited up for modelling purposes only in front of the lens, even throw in a few blue steels. Then when I'm gone you de-robe back into the shorts and singlets for a couple more froths.
3. You get suited up and stay suited up. Sometimes it doesn't matter if you're sitting around for that long in your wedding gear.. All things going well you won't be wearing it again, so best to get the most use out of it possible.




What's the best location for the getting ready photos?


This can mean a couple of things.. Firstly, it's highly recommended that the girl's are as close to the venue as possible. This isn't just from photographer's point of view, but means you're not travelling great distance to and from your wedding. If you can afford it, and you don't already live close, get a nicely maintained AirBnb as a treat. You can spread out easier in a nice, relaxed setting.

Secondly, wherever you're getting ready for both the bride and groom, I'm chasing the light. Similar to a moth I guess.. So nicely lit rooms and well maintained gardens are a big plus




Can we include our pets in these?


Sure can. Please do. You can include them in any part of the day you want from my point of view. I'm a big animal lover and know how big a part they play in our lives. I might even start shooting pet weddings soon if you know any that are keen?




What if we're already ready when you arrive?


Don't be :) It kind of defeats the purpose of the "getting ready" photos with photos we could have just captured later in the day. In the lead up I'll work with you to make sure I arrive prior to this.. If that's what you want.





The ceremony...

Do you care if guests take photos, or film the ceremony?


I personally don't care. Do you though? I have no issues if every Tom, Dick and Harry is taking images, or recording the whole thing on Hollywood cameras with an entire film crew. When and how they might post them onto social media is also something that doesn't fuss me but might fuss you? It's not rude to ask guests to refrain from certain things on YOUR day if you don't want them doing certain things. Usually a sign works well, or a quick message from the celebrant at the start of the ceremony.




Where will you be based during the ceremony?


I'll try to cover all angles, location permitting. I'll capture those special moments in all their glory. In saying that, I'll get in and out of the tighter positions as quickly as possible. Your guests didn't come to see the back of my head, and you didn’t pay a celebrant to hear my camera continually clicking away over your vows.





Portraits...

Can we give you a list of family members for family photos?


It's only guidance, but I do have some guidance to give here.. Word up your best man and maid of honour with this list so they can wrangle your crew together during this time. They're there to help you at your wedding. I don't know your extended family from a bar of soap.

Also, my default family members to include in these are any offspring you may have, parents, grandparents and your siblings. Any more than that firstly takes a long time to "wrangle" together, they're all just wanting to enjoy the canapes and a few cold beverages. By the way it's best to capture these family shots straight after the ceremony, before they all go their separate ways. And secondly, are you really going to go back through staged photos of your extended family? I'm usually there for many hours following this, so there'll be plenty of opportunities for me to get some more natural shots of your guests, with and without you in them.

It's entirely up to you though, that's just my personal opinion and it's mainly based on time. Time is everything on your day, it flies past and I guarantee you'll be wishing for more time as the music starts to wind down at the end of the night.




How long should we set aside for location / portrait shots?


Not including the family shots, an hour is nice to have. If you have more than that, you beauty you're looking after me. This also doesn't include travel time, if required, away from the ceremony/reception locations. The shots taken in this time tend to be the ones that end up blown up on your wall, so it's important to leave sufficient time to capture those moments. It's also a time when you're on cloud 9, you've just got married and can spend it with your new partner (and bridal party). In saying all that, it's also considered the downtime that tends to be squeezed if everything else isn't running like clockwork - the bride is late, the groom has done a runner.. You know, all the normal things. I totally get it, it's the most artistic part of the day, which tends to not have set time limits. So again, having that hour or slightly more gives some contingency to fall back on if needed. And hey, if everything is going smoothly, which I'm sure it will be, I'll have you back to your guests earlier than planned to kick off the party.

As per above in the "On the Day" section, I've included a copy of rough schedule that I like to follow for a wedding - times may vary, but the spacing of time is ideal.




When should we schedule these shots?


From a photographers point of view, later in afternoon. The light isn't as harsh. Most summer weddings typically fall into this time by default as you'll have a mid-afternoon ceremony, followed by your portrait shots around 4:30-5pm ish, prior to the reception beginning. Depending on timing of sunset as well, I suggest pulling you aside from the reception to get some hero shots when the night's sky is hopefully erupting with every colour imaginable. That's my time to shine, and when the you can hopefully get a couple of real hero type shots.




Do we have separate sunset shots?


You can have whatever the hell you like, and certainly don't need to. Summer weddings mean sunset is around 8-9pm, so if you're going to have them and I'm aware that you want them, I'll come and grab you during the reception to duck out for 20 minutes or so. It's usually just the happy couple for these. The big advantage of them (when sunset is behaving) is you can really get some awesome colours with you guys in them. Think romantic movie poster shots, riding off into the sunset.

Depending on the location, I'm happy to throw you in my van and go a few km's up the road to that perfect sunset spot.




After the wedding portraits and family shots, is that it of the formal shooting?


It's really up to you. If you don't want any of these scenarios, I can shoot candidly away with all the guests for longer. On the other hand I've been to weddings where the bride and groom have disappeared every hour for more shots all throughout the night. I'm not sure why, but that's what they wanted. So your wish is my command.

If you forced me to answer, I'd have the default family shots (kids, parents, grandparents, siblings), the bride and groom portraits, bridal party shots, and maybe some quick sunset shots later if the sun is playing ball, and you're at a venue that compliments the setting sun during golden hour.





Afterwards...

When can we expect to receive our photos?


Within 6 weeks maximum after the wedding at an absolute stretch; however it'll likely be earlier and will contact you if this is not going be the case. I'll have a sneak peek for you ready within a few days following the wedding for you to re-live your wedding journey and share with your socials.




Do you edit all your photos?


Absolutely. Well in some capacity anyway. It's the main reason for the potential 4-6 weeks turnaround time, and the best way to ensure you receive the highest quality images of your wedding.




Why is wedding photography expensive?


Ah yes, good question. And a popular one. Us photographers are not just there for the time you see us on the day. We're meeting you prior, organising your day in a photographic sense scouting locations to use, how the day fits together, will the lighting work. We're there on the day for ~8-10 hours give or take on average using the best equipment we can get our hands on to shoot your day from every angle possible. Then we're editing potentially thousands of images afterwards, which helps explain the turnaround time after your wedding. Then you get a nice little package at the end of it all to cherish forever. If you look at it more as an investment that you'll have to remember everything from your day, and maybe pull out for the grandkids one day when you've lived your best life. I'm not trying to be a smart arse about it, it's just the way it is in its simplest form and getting the right photographer makes it money well spent that will last you your lifetime together.




Unanswered questions still?


I'm sure you have plenty. Ring me, email me, text me and I'll answer what I can. Details are here. I promise I'll never get sick of a couple asking too many questions. I might not have answers for you but it doesn't hurt to ask. The more comfortable you are heading into what can be a nerve racking day, the better it is for everyone.





Email | Location | © 2020 by Ash Hughes

  • Instagram
  • Facebook