frequently asked questions

Q: How long have you been photographing weddings?

A: I have been shooting weddings since 2008 and for my own company since 2010.  I have over 100 under my belt and am prepared for just about anything.


Q: Have you won any awards or been published?

A: Yes!  I have been published in magazines, both local and national, and i have been featured on several blogs.  I have also won “Best Of” from the Knot for 2012, 2013 and 2014.


Q: Do you shoot destination weddings?

A: Absolutely!  I love to travel.  I have photographed couples all over Michigan (still looking for that elusive Upper Peninsula wedding!) and places such as Chicago, New York City, Washington D.C., Tampa Bay and many more.  Ill also be flying to Jamaica this spring to shoot my first wedding in the Caribbean and I couldn’t be more excited.


Q: Are you insured?

A: Yes.  I carry both liability and equipment insurance.


Q: Do you recommend a second photographer?

A: It really depends on the scope of your day.  Some weddings, due to size or timeline, can really benefit from a second shooter since I can only be in one place at a time.  I’m happy to discuss your day with you and determine which option is best.


Q: Do you back up your images?

A: Yes.  I don’t believe an image exists until it is backed up in at least two places.  I also own cameras that have multiple memory card slots, so I am backing up while I am shooting as well.


Q: What kind of equipment do you use?

A: I use Nikon Professional equipment and Nikkor lenses.  My two camera bodies are the D4 and D3s.  I am constantly upgrading my equipment to provide the best quality photos that I possibly can.


Q: Do you have backup equipment?

A: Yes.  I have two main bodies that I use which are both top of the line.  I sometimes will even have a third body with me, so you don’t have to have to worry about camera failure.  If you choose to go with a second shooter he/she will have another 1-2 cameras as well.


Q: Do you do videography?

A: I do not, but I would be happy to point you in the direction of some very talented videographers.


Q: How man photos will we receive?  Do we receive every photo?  How will the photos be delivered?

A: In my contract I stipulate that you should expect to receive 600-700 edited photos, but I often end up giving much more.  I don’t have any limits on photos, so when I am editing if I like a photo I include it.  You dont receive every photo, but I do give you what I feel are the best shots that tell the story of your day.  Once you approve the shots I send them to you on a USB drive.


Q: Do you use film while shooting?

A: I do not.  I only shoot digital as it allows for maximum creativity.


Q: Do we get black + white photos and do we have to choose which shots are in black + white and which are in color?

A: I decided to make things easy on you.  You get both a color and black + white version of every photo that I provide you.


Q: Do you offer albums?  Who selects the photos?

A: I do offer fine art albums as an a la carte item.  I view the selection of photos as a collaboration, so your input on what to include is very important.


Q: How do we see the photos once completed?

A: Before sending you your final photos on a USB drive I put them up on my password protected proofing site for you to look at and approve.


Q: Do you scout locations?

A: I do.  I feel preparation is important leading into a wedding, so If you have a venue I haven’t photographed before Ill visit it to familiarize myself prior to your wedding date.


Q: How much retouching do you do?

A: I do basic retouching on photos for color correction and some removal of blemishes.  I do not do selective coloring, add in dinosaurs, or completely change your appearances with the liquify tool.  There are editors out there that can do that for you for a fee.


Q: Who has rights to the photos?  Do you retain copyright to the photos?

A: We both have rights to the photos.  They are your photos and I provide you with a print release so you can print them wherever you like.  I also retain rights so I can use them on my website or in promotional materials.  Posting your photos is how I am able to attract more business.


Q: Can we upload our photos to Facebook?

A: Absolutely!  I encourage it and if you could attribute them to Ryan Southen Photography I would appreciate it.


Q: What is a RAW image?  Why would we want those?

A: A RAW image is like a digital negative.  It is the file that my camera creates and what I edit from.  It requires special software to work with that not everyone has.  Many of my couples come from creative backgrounds and love working with photos, so they are typically the people that purchase RAW files.  I am a perfectionist and prefer delivering a final, polished product, which is why the RAW files cost a bit more.


Q: Do you require food at the reception?

A: For most weddings, yes.  Wedding days are long days so refueling at some point is necessary.  If for some reason that is not an option I ask for some time during the reception to take a break and eat.


Q: How do we go about hiring you?  Is a deposit required?

A: Once we figure out what services you want I will write up a contract to send to you.  After that I require a 50% nonrefundable deposit and I am all yours.


Q: How far in advance should we book you?

A: As soon as humanly possible.  One thing I have noticed over the years is that couples book earlier and earlier.  If you wait too long the chances are good the date won’t be available.


Q: Do you offer discounts?

A: Given the demand for my services and how much I work I do not offer discounts.


Hope that helps!  Feel free to email me for more info.