Questions & Answers


STYLE & PROCESS

Luxury Wedding and Family Photographer_Lansing MI_Sweet Forehead Kiss_Fine Art Photo Book with Matte Pages_Tania Watt Photography.jpg

Q: What does it mean to be a “luxury wedding, couples, and family photographer”?
A: To me, this boils down to a few basic principles that guide everything I do and offer.

Firstly, it means that I am serious about service. You won’t see me settling for the bare minimum or the status quo in anything I do. I go above and beyond for every single individual, couple, and family I work with, so that they can have the very best. The best photos, the best products, the best experience, the best of me.

This also means that I put considerable time and care into making sure your needs are met, that I am proactive about anticipating your needs in the first place, and that I am there with you every step of the way, guiding you through the process and doing the heavy lifting so you don’t have to. For example, I design every album and wall art gallery myself and work with you to ensure that every photo you love has a “home” in your home.

Because of the deep investment I make in every couple and family I work with, I also limit the number of weddings and sessions I do each year to ensure I can sustain an impeccable level of service for everyone.

Secondly, it means I take a very individualized approach when working with everyone. This means that, while I do have a few standard offerings I include as a starting point, my real goal is to work with every person 1:1 to create a custom experience that is just right for them. This process starts before I take a single photo and ends after I’ve helped you find the perfect ways to showcase your images in your home and life to be enjoyed well after your wedding or session is over.

As you move on to your next season of life, I also hope to grow and journey with you, capturing your life and milestones as they unfold. In other words, a client is more than just a client to me. Rather, every person, every relationship, is one I want to nurture and invest in time and time again.

Lastly, it means that the products I offer are crafted with care and made with only the best materials. You can rest easy knowing that when you invest in an album, wall art, or other products, they are going to last a lifetime or more. This means archival materials and processes, hand-made and artisanal quality, lifetime guarantees, and products that are simply gorgeous! In other words, if you are someone with exceptional taste who wants your photos to live on for a lifetime and beyond, I’m the photographer for you.

All in all, those things result in a very high-end, one-of-a-kind, luxury experience, and that quality is worth investing in.

Q: How would you describe your photography and editing style? 
A: My goal is to capture the moments in front of me in a very natural, candid, authentic way. I am not a fan of photos that look overly stiff and formal.

While I will gladly work with you to get any formal photographs you may need, my favorite thing is to catch you in a purely candid moment, take a photo that you don't even realize I'm taking, and reveal it to you later as one of the best images of the day!

However, I will also offer posing suggestions and use other methods as needed to get you interacting naturally and having fun, so that the best "you" shines through in your images. 

My editing style is subtle, natural, and timeless, preserving the details and emotions that existed in the moment, while weaving together the most important elements of your story in a cohesive way.

I want every image to have a purpose and bring you back to what you and your loved ones were feeling that day! I also stay away from “trendy” editing styles, preferring to highlight the natural beauty that will still look great 100 years from now.

Q: Do you deliver every photograph you take?
A: No, I don't. I review all of the images from your session and select only the best for you to view and purchase. For example, test shots, functional duplicates, and any other images that do not meet my professional standards or add value to your story are deleted prior to your image reveal.

Q: What edits are included with my delivered images?
A: I edit all delivered images for white balance, color, exposure, and apply other adjustments as necessary to ensure all images are of a consistent quality and reflect my signature style. Minor touch-ups, if necessary, are included at my discretion; however, major touch-ups requiring additional time will incur additional retouching fees.

There are some edits I will not do on principle, though. For example, I do not believe in artificially slimming or reshaping clients' bodies in post-production. I will always strive to photograph clients from flattering perspectives to bring out the best in everyone from the very beginning, but I will never change someone to be different than who they are or in such a way that his/her loved ones would not recognize them.

This is because I don’t believe in artificial standards of beauty, and I want you to love yourself no matter your shape, size, etc. If you are looking for someone who is willing to change these things, I am not the photographer for you.

BOOKING & PAYMENTS

Your non-refundable deposit and signed contract protect you from other inquiries on the same date.

Your non-refundable deposit and signed contract protect you from other inquiries on the same date.

Q: How do I reserve my session/date/time?
A: Weddings are considered "booked" with a fully signed contract and payment of a non-refundable deposit equal to 50% of the total collection price. Weddings with a date less than 6 months from the time of booking require a deposit of 75%.

This guarantees your date and time and locks in then-current rates in the event of future price increases. The remainder will be due 30 calendar days prior to the wedding; however, additional payments may also be made at any time before then.

All other couples’ and family sessions require a 50% non-refundable deposit at the time of booking and the remaining 50% the day before the session.

For weddings booked within 30 days of the event, or other sessions booked within 7 days of the scheduled session, the full amount is due at the time of booking to reserve your date & time. 

No products, digital or physical, will be released, nor services rendered, until your balance is paid in full.

Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: Personal checks are preferred. I do also accept all major U.S. credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover), via in-person swipe with proper ID and via my secure online payment portal. In the event of any returned checks/insufficient funds, any fees incurred by me in attempting to process your payment will be added to your balance owed, and your date cannot be held until your payment is processed successfully.

Q: Do you charge sales tax?
A: Michigan sales tax (6%) will be added to all session/collection/product prices as required by law.

Q: Can we add time and/or products to our wedding collection after our contract is signed?
A:  Yes! Time and/or products can be added up to 30 calendar days before your wedding day. If time is added per your request during the wedding day, it will be subject to the overtime rate listed in your contract. Products will also be available to purchase at your image reveal session, if you would like to upgrade your album(s), receive additional items, or purchase any items as gifts for family and friends!

Q: I love your work, but I’m not sure I can afford you. Should I inquire anyway?
A: It depends. I try to be as transparent as possible with my pricing, to give people a good idea of what to expect and not waste anybody’s time. If your needs are well outside of what’s listed on my investment page, then probably not.

However, my collections include A LOT of flexibility and options for many budgets, so it’s also very possible that once I understand your needs, I can work with you to put together a custom collection that’s just right for you.

In the event you inquire and we’re not a good fit, I would be happy to refer you to other photographers within my professional network whose offerings are more compatible with your needs.

Q: Do you offer payment plans?
A: Yes! For weddings, after your 50% deposit is paid, I am happy to break up your remaining balance into easy-to-manage monthly or quarterly installments (depending on how far out your wedding is) so you don’t have to worry about a large lump sum payment due just before your special day.

For albums, wall art, and other large product orders, I am also glad to break up your payments into installments, however, I cannot complete your order or deliver it to you until your balance is paid in full. In order to get your items to you in a timely manner, payment plans for products shall not extend beyond 6 months.

travel

Beach wedding, anyone? :)

Beach wedding, anyone? :)

Q: Are you available for travel outside of Lansing, Michigan?
A: Yes! Travel within 50 miles (100 miles round-trip) of Lansing, MI is included for weddings with at least 4 hours of coverage. Weddings with 6 or more hours of coverage include additional free miles. For all other sessions, travel within 25 miles (50 miles round-trip) is automatically included for no additional charge. For locations outside of these ranges, travel fees may apply.

If an overnight hotel stay for one or more nights is required in order to provide your session (regardless of miles), additional fees may apply.

Please contact me via the inquiry form and I will be in touch to gather any additional information needed to prepare a custom quote. (Michigan and regional destinations preferred; travel to other destinations within the contiguous lower 48 United States is considered on a case-by-case basis.) 

albums & photo books

Top view of a Fine Linen Photo Album. Notice the high-quality binding and thick, durable, lay-flat pages. Albums are also available with a Premium Leather cover.

Top view of a Fine Linen Photo Album. Notice the high-quality binding and thick, durable, lay-flat pages. Albums are also available with a Premium Leather cover.

Q: What is your process for designing albums?
A: I will select the best of the best highlights and details of your session for inclusion in the album and which work best together to tell your story. I will then send you a preview of the album design via an online proofing website where you can provide comments and request changes if desired. Once the album design is finalized, I will submit your order to the album production company. Then, when it arrives, I will personally inspect it, hug it, and do a happy dance before delivering it to you. :)

Q: What is a ‘spread’?
A: Imagine you are holding a book. Now, open the book. A spread is the entire printed space you can see. It’s the equivalent of two page sides, however it’s the two sides you would see at the same time when the book is open.

Q: How many images are included on each spread of a photo book or lay-flat album?
A: The real answer here, again, is it depends. The number of included images varies widely depending on the nature of the images, how they work together, and what type of product (a book vs. an album) they are going into.

Lay-flat albums allow more design flexibility because I am able to design across the center of the spread, meaning I can feature one large image across both page sides (meaning there could be as few as one image per spread). This looks great in albums and it’s something I like to do to really draw attention to special moments.

Photo books, on the other hand, have a “gutter”, which means that I cannot design across the center, as it would cut off the images at the binding. As a result, photo books will have a minimum of one image per page side (two per spread) and there are fewer combinations of layouts I can use. However, they are a great option for those who appreciate seeing their images together in a storybook format, but who cannot afford a lay-flat album.

When designing either a photo book or album, it sometimes makes sense to feature several related images together on the same spread if they all contribute to what is going on in that scene. However, it is important not to try to cram too many images into a spread, though, as doing so can make it too busy and harder to appreciate the details in each individual photo, resulting in less emotional impact.

I try to take a balanced approach when designing albums, by including some large featured images and some multi-image spreads. However, each session is unique and inspires me differently, and thus it’s impossible to guarantee a certain number of images without limiting my design flexibility.

In theory, a 10-spread lay-flat album could have as few as 10 large, stunning images, and that may be all that are needed to tell the story right. It could also have many more, and one is not necessarily better than the other.

Hardcover photo books come with a minimum of 20 spreads, meaning you would end up with at least 40 images, due to the design constraints mentioned above.

printing and product credits

A Grand Rapids couple hand-in-hand on the “blue bridge”. Shown here on a 5” x 7” deckled print, printed on museum-quality archival matte paper.

A Grand Rapids couple hand-in-hand on the “blue bridge”. Shown here on a 5” x 7” deckled print, printed on museum-quality archival matte paper.

Q: Will I have the right to print my photos?
A: If your session/collection includes digital images, you are absolutely allowed to print your photos for personal use, according to the terms outlined in your print release.

Q: Why do you recommend I order products directly through you?
A: When you order prints through me, it guarantees that I can provide you with the highest level of service possible.

Not only does it enable me to help you select products that are a good fit for your life and home, according to your needs and style, but it gives you access to products that would not otherwise be available for you to directly purchase from a consumer lab.

Many of the products I offer are also produced with archival and heirloom-quality materials and processes, which are designed to last a lifetime. However, if there ever were to be an issue with any products ordered through me, I am able to resolve it on your behalf, which I cannot do if you choose to use an outside print service.

In contrast, the consistency, quality, and accuracy of other print labs can vary widely.

I would hate for your beautiful images or the quality of my work to not be properly represented as a result of a poor-quality print and to end an amazing session experience with subpar prints is simply not what I want for you.

Q: Why do many of your sessions include product credits in lieu of specific items?
A: This is because every couple and family is different and I want to encourage your investment in physical products without locking you in to a specific type of item that you may not want or need. Product credits allow maximum flexibility for each client to find the right ways to showcase their images according to their individual style and budget.

digital images

If your session includes digital images, they will be provided on a wooden USB with a copy of your print release.

If your session includes digital images, they will be provided on a wooden USB with a copy of your print release.

Q: Does every session/collection include digital images?
A: Digital images are included in all wedding, couples, engagement, proposal, anniversary, and baptismal sessions. The quantity and type of digital images provided depends upon the session length and type.

Wedding collections always include high-resolution digital images, which may be printed at large sizes according to the terms of your print release.

Couples', engagement, proposal, anniversary, and baptismal sessions include digital images sized for social sharing. These images are NOT appropriate for large printing, but will display well when shared online via social media and may be printed up to size 4” x 6” with little to no distortion. This will also be noted as a reminder in your print release. If you choose to invest in a lay-flat album or wall art, the high-resolution version of any image used in those products is also provided.

For lifestyle family sessions, the session fee includes ONLY my time for the pre-session consultation, a 1-hr photo session in your home or at the outdoor location of your choice, my image selection & editing time, and the image reveal & ordering meeting following the session, with all products available for purchase at the image reveal meeting.

Digitals are not available for purchase as a standalone item, but are included as a bonus gift in conjunction with many types of products. (High-resolution digital images are included with the purchase of lay-flat albums and wall art, and social-sized images are included with any small print order).

Q: How many final images can I expect?
A:  For weddings, the final number of images I deliver varies based on the length and details of your day. For a typical wedding day with photography coverage spanning several hours, you can expect a few to several hundred digital images total (or roughly 50 to 100 images per hour).

For sessions that include a specified number of images, the number included in your package is what you will receive unless you choose to purchase additional images a la carte. After your session, I will present the entire gallery of final images to you, and you will have the opportunity to select favorites for ordering prints and/or downloading at that time.

For lifestyle family portrait sessions and other events where a time-only session fee was charged, the number of photos presented at your image reveal or delivered to your online proofing gallery will vary based on the type and length of the session/event, however, the amount you end up with will be based on the number you choose to purchase at that time.

Ready to book or learn more?