What is your photography style?
I would characterize my shooting style as documentary, and my editing style as “classic”. I focus on capturing the emotions of you and your guests. I love rich colors and the contrast of light and shadow. I generally avoid editing trends that tend to change every few years. I want your images to still look great 50 years from now. I enjoy sitting back and documenting your day without being intrusive, but I do set up a few photos, such as your bridal portraits and family formals. I've learned through experience to anticipate these moments before they occur so I am ready to capture them. Many of my past clients will tell you that I am great at keeping things fun and light, and I specialize in helping you to feel comfortable in front of the lens. The majority of the day I focus on capturing the moments as they unfold, without forced poses or awkward smiles. It’s your day to enjoy with family and friends; it’s my job to document the energy and emotion.
What if I usually feel awkward in front of the camera?
No worries here! I would bet that the majority of my clients would say they are awkward in front of the camera in most situations. Don't worry- I excel at helping you feel comfortable in front of my lens, and usually we connect so well that you forget I have a camera in my hand! The majority of the day, you are going about your business and I'm just capturing it from a distance. Trust me, and we'll ensure you get great photos! Also, booking an engagement session with me ahead of time will help alleviate some of the nervousness and help us get to know eachother better. If you haven't booked one yet, WHY NOT? Lets do it!
What should we do to get the best wedding photos?
Honestly, just enjoy yourself! Don't over-plan your photos. Just go with the flow of the day and have fun! Let ME handle the photos and trust me to do my job, and I promise you will love the results.
Where are you located?
I am in Averill Park, NY which is just about halfway between Albany, NY and Pittsfield, MA. This gives me the unique advantage of bring available for Albany, Saratoga and Adirondack weddings, while also being available for weddings in the Berkshires. I am also available for travel. There is a reasonable travel fee for weddings more than 100 miles from Averill Park, NY.
Can we meet you in person to see if you might be the right photographer for our day?
Yes, I love meeting new people and I’d be happy to get together to learn more about your wedding plans and answer any questions you might have.
What if we’re from out of town and can’t physically meet you?
Some of our clients are planning a wedding from afar, and an in person meeting isn’t feasible. I’m happy to have a conversation via phone, FaceTime , Zoom, or Skype.
Do you do engagement photos and what’s the advantage to having them done?
YES! An engagement session is your chance to spend a few hours with your fiance giving each other long looks and kisses. Let’s face it, on your wedding day you’re going to have that one quick kiss before you start celebrating with all of your loved ones. My couples love the chance to walk around hand in hand capturing the spirit of their bond. Some couples use the images for their save-the-dates or a signing book at the wedding. My couples tell me that this session helps to make them comfortable in front of the camera on their wedding day, and it helps them get to know me a little better!
We’re curious, how does the booking process work?
We will fill out a wedding contract and both sign and keep a copy. It is very easy to do, and can be done from your smart phone! A 50% retainer reserves your date.
Can you hold our date for a couple weeks?
Unfortunately the only fair way I’ve found is to give dibs to the couple that signs their contract and pays the retainer first. In some cases I can hold a date for a couple days depending on your situation.
What forms of payment do you accept?
I accept cash, check, money order, and credit cards.
How about bridal sessions? What’s the deal with those?
A bridal session is your chance to have a dress rehearsal for the big day. It also gives you the opportunity to relish in your carefully selected bridal attire for one more day. During a bridal session we will spend up to two and a half hours with you at the locations of your choice capturing you in your dress. On the big day, you’ll have a short window to get your family portraits, couple photos and pictures of just you. This is a great time to have your hair and makeup trial. Brides that have a bridal session tend to feel more at ease in their bridal duds the day of the ceremony, and they tend to have less anxiety about hair and makeup after they have gone through the process once before. Alternatively, you can use the time for a Boudoir session and give your fiance a little surprise!
Who will be the photographer on the day of my wedding?
Melissa Napoli (ME!) will be your wedding photographer. There will also be an experienced second photographer present, if it is included in your package.
Is a 2nd photographer necessary?
That depends! If you have more than 150 guests, or if you and your fiance are getting ready in two different locations, a 2nd photographer is most likely necessary. Otherwise, no! I am adept at capturing your wedding day on my own.
How many hours will you be at my wedding taking pictures?
My packages start with 6 hours of continuous wedding day coverage. Additional hours may be added.
How many photos will you take at my wedding?
Most of our eight hour weddings yield 750+ final images. I do not limit the number of photos provided. I will provide you with all of the photos that meet my standards.
What type of editing do you do? Are “touch-ups” included?
Absolutely, touch-ups are included as part of all my packages. I carefully examine each and every photo. The images are then cropped, rotated, color-balanced, polished, and made to look their best. We spend a lot of time on the back end working with your images. We love happy brides who love how they look in their photos. However, I will not change any permanent features without discussing it with you first. There is a fee for extensive editing; such as slimming arms, fixing makeup, or correcting wrinkled clothing.
How long after the wedding will I get to see my photos?
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in the digital darkroom. Therefore, turnaround on wedding photos is usually about 4-6 weeks. However, if you have opted in, I do offer sneak peeks!
Will there be an online gallery for sharing my wedding photos via social media or with friends and family?
We really want our wedding images on a USB drive, do we get that?
Currently, I am not offering a physical USB drive. However, the photos can be downloaded from the online gallery to your own drive.
Can guests order prints from you?
Your images will be posted to an online gallery. There is a simple option where your guests can order prints and have them mailed to their door if you share this gallery link with them.
Do I get the copyright to my wedding pictures?
The photographer retains the copyright to all the photos, but you will be given a license to print the images, make copies, and share them online.
If my package includes a print release, why would I order prints directly from you?
Of course you can take your photos to the corner drugstore or giant box store and print out some photos and have those back in an hour. That’s fine for smaller photos if you just want to send one of your guests a candid snapshot. I actually recommend that approach. But, if you plan on printing anything 8×10 or larger and want to ensure the highest quality for your prints, you may want to consider ordering through me. I work with a professional print lab that goes the extra mile to ensure the highest quality standards.
Is a wedding album included?
Some of my packages include an album and some don’t. I would be happy to design the perfect album for you. There are several different sizes and design types and all the albums are high quality hardcover or leather.
If I decide I want an album, when will I receive it?
I will include instructions to select images for your album when I send your online gallery information. Once you have selected the images you’d like in the album and have submitted them to me, the design phase can take up to 6 weeks. Once I have submitted the album design to you for review and have received final approval from you, you will receive the album in approximately 2 weeks. Please note that the album is shipped by the lab, so there may be shipping delays outside of my control.
How are my photos stored? Are they safe?
The moment I leave your wedding and get back home I make multiple copies of your image files. One set is in cloud storage. One copy is immediately burned to USB for archiving and the 3rd set goes onto an external hard drive. I will maintain your images for one year. After one year, images may be able to be retrieved if they are still available in the archive. As you can see we’re really serious about backing up and protecting your images. We understand that your wedding day will only happen once, so we take every precaution. However, after 1 year, the photos may be deleted from my storage to make room for new photos.
What happens if there’s a major emergency on my wedding day and you can’t be there?
Part of being a professional involves having a backup plan. I have never been late nor missed a single wedding. That being said, we never know what life might throw at us. If something were to happen (knock on wood and cross fingers and toes), I have a strong network of trusted professional photographers that I could turn to to help fill in and take care of you on your wedding day. Please refer to your individual contract for details.
I’m trying to figure out my scheduling for the day of…how long does it usually take for the formal photographs? When will you do the artistic bride and groom photos?
The length of time to do the formal photos depends on the number of guests, how large your families are, and the size of your bridal party. On average, the formals take about an hour. But try to factor in a little cushion if you can because most weddings don’t start right on time. Also, remember that you will most likely want to have some nice artistic bride and groom photos too. I’m willing to work on those photos as long as you like. That’s my favorite part! We will work together on your timeline to ensure we have enough coverage to obtain the photos you are looking for. We can also add in a pre- or post- wedding bridal session to any package to allow more time for creativity!
What kind of equipment do you use at weddings?
I’m constantly adding to my array of photo gear. Currently I use a pair of Nikon D750's. I have an assortment of ultra-wide to telephoto prime and zoom lenses, external flashes, tripods, and strobes with light stands. I also bring extra memory cards, batteries and backup gear. I also have a few other pieces of miscellaneous gear, but that’s mostly photographer nerd speak.
Do you have insurance?
YES! I am fully insured and can provide a Certificate of Insurance (COI) to any venue that requires it! Just let me know and I'll send it over.
How do you dress on the wedding day?
I dress professionally. Usually the standard vendor attire is all black. I'll often wear black pants and a black top. However, if your event requires something more formal, please let me know and I am happy to oblige!
Obviously we’re new to this whole wedding thing…do you have any advice from a photography standpoint?
A few things! First, light is a photographer’s best friend. If you possibly can, try to schedule your ceremony during daylight hours and leave a little time afterwards for bride and groom photos before the sun disappears behind the horizon. The last hour of light is the most flattering for portraits. If for some reason you can’t help this situation, I have professional lighting equipment that can help us out. Still, there is no substitute for the sun. Also, remind your bridal party and immediate family that they will need to be available during cocktail hour for group photos. If there is a person you trust to help with organizing people for these photos, please ask them for help ahead of time. This will make the group photos go much faster, and allow them to get back to the festivities as quickly as possible. Lastly- enjoy yourself, don't forget to eat your dinner, drink lots of water, don't stress too much, and just focus on the love you share with your new spouse!
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