You've got things to ask & I've got brains to answer.
• HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS?
I opened Erin Wheat Co. 6 years ago! I've been shooting a bit longer than that, but I knew what I wanted to do and I got started young. I love it & I feel so psyched on what we've grown and accomplished in that time. I've worked with hundreds of couples in that time & I feel so honored about how many of those lives I've been a part of both in that moment and in the time since.
• ARE YOU COMFORTABLE SHOOTING SOLO?
100% yes. I've been a one-gal show since I started Erin Wheat Co. and almost all the weddings you see were shot by me solo. I've done a lot of ceremonies of all forms, I know what I need to do & I feel really confident about making sure that happens exactly as we want it to. I sometimes have an assistant with me just to help with details, gear (though I'm pretty simple about my tools!) and all that good stuff. I recommend considering adding a second shooter to a package if you have over 100-150 guests, just to make sure that the coverage is as complete as possible.
• WE WANT TO GET MARRIED IN A NATIONAL PARK. DO WE NEED A PERMIT?
Yep, and it's the right thing to do. It supports our national parks and the hard-working folks who dedicate their lives to keep them as beautiful and protected as they are. Permits are $200, and can be attained online within a few weeks of your date. They'll want to have a location, general amount of folks involved and time frame. Plus, you don't want a scene or a fine and.... "these lands are your lands, these lands are my lands". Let's keep them that way!
• DO YOU TEACH?
Yes! I work with photographers, videographers & even other creatives who are looking to get a boost in marketing and business management. Hop over to the "mentor" tab on my site to learn more!
• DO YOU SUGGEST DOING OUR PORTRAITS IN A SEPARATE SESSION?
Generally, I think this question mostly applies to full weddings, but it can apply to small ceremonies too! So...
Elopements-- a few times I've had folks have intimate ceremonies and events and want to use their coverage towards capturing that. We get up before the sun the day of the ceremony or the day after usually and have a private portrait session. I'm totally into that, and it gives us full control on ideal lighting.
Weddings-- this can be so awesome, but in the end, it's totally up to you & what feels best. The pros of this option are that you can fully enjoy the day with your guests, and be present with one another during your portraits. It also gives us the same perk as above, where we have the opportunity to make sure that we shoot your portraits in the absolute best lighting we possibly can!
• WHAT'S A FIRST LOOK? SHOULD WE DO IT?
I have the same overall policy on this-- I have a suggestion but in the end, do what fits you and is best for your day.
So, what is it? A first look is a moment between just you and your partner ahead of your ceremony. You get to see one another, alone & experience that moment privately.
Should we do it? I'm a big advocate. Here's why: Overall, you're making this journey together and stepping into this commitment mutually. Having a moment to be together and be present as you go into your ceremony can be a really amazing choice. From a photo perspective, there are perks. When you're walking down the aisle I can capture both of you up close seeing one another, and a wide shot as you walk, but you're usually pretty far apart when you first see one another. During a first look that moment happens with you closer together, meaning I can capture both of your emotion at the same time.
• HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO YOU BOOK?
The earlier, the better. I'm well over a year out right now.
All that said, if you feel like I'm your person, ALWAYS reach out. You just never know and I'm always psyched to meet amazing new folks. If I am booked and you don't have flexibility in your date, I'll send you to some folks I respect and love working alongside.
• ON AVERAGE, HOW MANY IMAGES DO YOU USUALLY DELIVER?
This really depends on the amount of time I spend shooting with you! But, in general for a 4-hour local elopement I usually deliver 200-400 images. For an 8-hour wedding I usually deliver 500-700 images. Keep in mind, those are super general numbers, I believe your investment deserves to be returned with all the gems I capture. If I'm editing it, I'll deliver it to you.
Some folks would rather keep it simple & that's totally okay with me. I've had a few folks ask me to cut it down to the very best so they don't feel overwhelmed, I'm happy to do that!
• DO YOU EVER RUN INTO CREATURES WHEN YOU'RE SHOOTING?
Yep, but it's been pretty rare! (Well, we get to see lots of wildlife around, but usually nothing too close!). The experience that sticks out the most is probably Alaska in 2018. We had a black bear in the brides ride (don't leave snacks in your car... well do... but keep the windows up!) & a moose family making laps in the neighborhood while I was running to hang with the groom & guys. It was exciting for certain, but super cool. But, don't be scared. They are friends & coexisting well is the best thing we can do for our planet. I've got a med-kit with me at all times, I have backcountry first-aid training & I'll always have bear spray.
• SHOULD WE INVEST IN AN ALBUM?
Without pause, yes. I never pushed these when I started and I chose not to take a giant cut for the work involved as some folks do because I want you to have something tangible. There's something absolute unreal about holding your images in your hands, about having a book that tells the story of your day, flipping through your own memories. Beyond that, it's much more realistic to expect that you'll enjoy your images more often in printed form. And, you can easily share them with friends, family & guests. I can't tell you how many times I've cried when I first see a new album. I'll go through all the choices with you, ask you the details you want included and the images you absolutely want in it, and do the work to tell your story.
Pro Tip: I've also had folks choose to have this gifted to them by friends or family. If you'd like that, let me know and we can set that up! Albums start at $750 and are worth every penny.
• DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH GAY MARRIAGES?
Freakin' yes. Love is love and I believe in just that. And, while I understand the reasoning for this question, it's painful to me that this even needs to be asked. I am an ally & proud of it. All there is to it.
• IT'S JUST US ELOPING, WHAT ABOUT WITNESSES?
Not to worry an ounce. I probably witnessed 40 or more times this past year alone & I'm happy to bring my partner Jason or a friend to make sure you're covered. Plus, if you're choosing a location more popular with the public (Schwabacher's Landing, Mormon Row, etc) passing hikers are usually overjoyed to take part-- always a fun option!
• DO YOU ONLY SHOOT WEDDINGS & ELOPEMENTS?
Not remotely. I specialize in working with couples, but shoot a few families, portraits or seniors, maternity, lifestyle newborn shoots, births and just about anything else. Beyond that, about half of the work I do is commercial for brands like Filson, Kuhl, Marriott Rewards, Patagonia's Actionworks initiative, conservation non-profits, and more.
• WHAT STATES DO YOU WORK IN MOST OFTEN? WHERE HAVE YOU SHOT?
The states I most commonly work in are Wyoming & Idaho, the Mountain West, Maine, Vermont & Alaska. I've shot sessions in close to half of the states in the US.
• HOW QUICKLY WILL WE SEE OUR IMAGES?
You're excited and I value that.
For starters, on all sessions if I have a pretty full schedule I'll get some peeks your way as quickly as I can so you have a few gems! I do my best to turn around your final product as quickly as I can.
For regular sessions, I usually have your images back to you in 2-3 weeks max.
For weddings & elopements, I aim to get your images to you within 4-5 weeks. At the absolute latest, I'll have them to you in full within 8 weeks.
• CAN WE HAVE THE RAW FILES?
Nah, and here's why. The editing process is a part of the art I make, it's a part of your investment & it's a part of what makes my work mine. I ask that folks make sure they choose an artist whose work they love, and trust that.
• WILL YOU PHOTOSHOP US?
In general, no. I've watched myself grow as I've learned to love what I have and who I am, and I'm so grateful to have had that experience (and yeah, sometimes it sucked). I want you to be reminded you're insane and amazing in the vessel you're in. Your partner, your community, they love you for you & that's the best thing you can know. I'll always work out skin blemishes, marks that you might not usually have, a scrape. If you're worried about something, let me know ahead of time. If we find a detail that detracts later, let me know and I'll invoice you a flat rate to edit that feature (a strap, a string, whatever) from your whole gallery or per image on the ones you choose.
• WHAT ABOUT PRINTS?
Got ya covered, 100%. When you sign your contract, it will give you and your partner a copyright print release so that you can print your images at any time. You'll also have a print shop directly attached to your gallery, and you'll be able to share that with friends & family. I recommend using that for smaller prints. If you'd like wall prints, bigger prints, options, let me know. I work with an amazing printer that knows me, my work & my color profile and creates incredible prints with great quality.
Why not print somewhere super affordable? Because the quality sucks, frankly. You're wasting your money. They don't print well in sizes larger than 4x6 or 5x7, the colors will be completely faded out within a year, and they just don't hold up. Invest once, invest well.
• NOSTALGIA: THE FILM COLLECTIONS
NOW AVAILABLE! I'm super excited for 2020 clients to be the first to have the option of adding in a selection of edits done in an old style film edit. I worked on making this just perfect during 2019, and I'm rather obsessed with the end result. This edit brings me to old memories, imperfect moments we cherish most, and also work great in any lighting. This is available in a set of 50 or 200 edits & you can peek examples on my Instagram @erinwheat.
• CAN WE POST OUR PHOTOS?
UH, HELL YEAH. All I ask is that you tag me/my business page (Erin Wheat Co.) on Facebook when you do, and tag @erinwheat on Instagram. If you have a website and want to put your images on it, that's totally cool, just throw a credit in please/ link to my site (this one!). Please don't submit your images to any competitions, sell them, or use them commercially.