Frequently Asked Questions

General

Sarah was trained and has her undergraduate degree in photojournalism, so she takes a documentary approach to photography. She likes to be hands off and allow the photographs to happen organically. She captures and documents – not creates – your memories. For group shots and formal photos, we do some posing and directing of action in order to shape and frame an image in a way that will be aesthetically pleasing. For the larger group shots of family, those are posed and our second shooter gets candid shots during that time.

Most couples confirm their booking 8-10 months before their wedding. We book some weddings as far as 18 months in advance, and occasionally we have availability and book as little as 1 month ahead.

To ensure your date is available, it's best to book as soon as you have a confirmed wedding date.

Please go to the "Pricing" menu at the top of the page and select the type of photography that best fits what you're looking for and complete and submit the form on that page.

Once we receive your information, we can tell you if we're available for your date (if it's a date-specific request) and send you additional information on packages and pricing. Please note that each year we receive hundreds of inquiries for roughly 35 available wedding dates and 50 available event and session dates. We can only hold a date for you with a signed contract and retainer.

The images will be ready in an online gallery

  • within 4-6 weeks of your wedding,
  • within 3-4 weeks of your event, or
  • within 2-3 weeks of your session.

I went to the store and bought a basketball, but that does not make me Tim Duncan. Just like owning a basketball doesn't make me an NBA player, there is a lot more to being a professional photographer than having a camera.

As professionals, we have been educated and trained in the technical aspects of photography. Sarah received her Bachelor's degree in photojournalism from the University of Texas at Austin and studied under several wedding photographers to grain real world experience before starting her own business.

Additionally, we have the equipment and tools necessary at our disposal to ensure you receive professional level photographs. 

And more than all of that, photography can be exhausting. We love it, but truth be told, it is exhausting! Let us do the hard work while you relax and enjoy yourself!

Sarah was trained (and has her undergraduate degree) in photojournalism, so she takes a documentary approach. She likes to be hands off and have the photographs happen organically. She wants to capture and document - not create - your wedding memories.

For group shots and formal photos, we do some posing and directing of action in order to shape and frame an image in a way that will be aesthetically pleasing. For larger group shots of families at weddings, those photos are posed and if we have a second shooter for the event, he/she gets candid shots during that time.

A raw image can be thought of like unprocessed film. We shoot in raw, which allows us to process the digital negative to a finished print quality image that we can deliver to our clients in digital or print format.

We do not release the raw files, because they are not a finished product. It would be like ordering a meal at a 5-star restaurant and being handed the ingredients to go cook the meal yourself. We will never deliver anything but a finished product to our customers.

We carry business insurance and can provide a certificate of coverage if needed. Having business insurance is required for photographers to work at many wedding venues and reception sites.


Engagements and Weddings

Because of our desire to provide the best wedding photography in San Antonio, we operate as a boutique photography studio. As a boutique studio, we photograph a very limited number of weddings each year. With this small business structure, we are able to provide the attention our clients deserve during such an amazing time in their lives. 

A second shooter allows a camera to be two places at once, so think, for example, about the preparation time. While a bride and her bridesmaids are getting ready, they can be photographed at the same time as a groom and his groomsmen are preparing for the ceremony. When Sarah is the only photographer, she goes back and forth as much as possible, but since she (unfortunately!) can't be two places at once, some moments can be missed.

Also, for times like the moment when the couple sees each other for the first time (often walking down the aisle, but sometimes during a first look), we like having a second shooter so that one of us is dedicated to photographing each person. The other really big positive is that our second shooters are directed to shoot opposite of Sarah. What we mean by that is if we are shooting close in on something, we want our second shooter to be taking overall photos of the same thing and vice versa. We challenge them to get different angles and different perspectives. 

We like to start at the same time as the couple starts getting ready. We love capturing all of the preparation for the ceremony – from pinning hair and putting on mascara to laughing with the wedding party. It is all part of your day and we want to beautifully document it for you to be able to remember not just the “I dos” but the sweet moments that lead up to that as well as the fun and relaxation of the party that follows.

If you're still wondering how many hours you need, a good rule of thumb is to have your wedding photographer arrive 2-3 hours prior to your ceremony and stay through your exit from the reception.

All of our packages include a custom engraved USB flash drive with the edited high-resolution images from your wedding.

As our client, we also want you to have tangible products in hand after we work with you. Yes, the digital images are nice to scroll through and to post images on social media, but in the end, digital images end up stuck in a folder on a computer or in a drawer on a flash drive.

We strive to offer products that will last a lifetime. We want you to be able to see your gorgeous images often, so we will work with you to identify the products that will best suit you, whether that's wall art (canvases or framed fine art, metal, or wood prints), albums, or standard prints. 

Our album suppliers are leaders in the industry. All of our albums include refined materials, beautiful binding, hand crafted flushmount pages, and attention to details that create a memento that preserves your most important memories and stories for today and generations to come. A wedding album is your new family’s first family heirloom.

We do not limit ourselves to just wedding albums, either. We love putting together albums of engagement session images for our clients to use as the guestbook at their wedding or boudoir albums to be given as a special wedding day gift between the newlyweds. These albums are designed with similar aesthetics to the wedding album and can be delivered in a striking and elegant multi-volume slipcase. Additionally, we have the capability to put together smaller albums for newborns, seniors, birthdays, and other milestones.

If you have been doing research on wedding photography services, chances are you have come across the term “flushmount” with regard to albums. Flushmount albums are in direct contrast to traditional matted albums. Traditional matted albums have mattes (think of mattes in custom wall art frames) that have been cut with openings for photos. These mattes are the pages of the album.

Flushmount albums, on the other hand, consist of pages where the entire page is a photographic print that has been hand mounted to a heavier page material. Also, layout options available to flushmount albums are much more varied than a traditional matted album with the ability to have images cross pages and overlap one another.

The printing we use for our albums utilizes archival quality ink and paper, which, in essence, means our albums are collections of fine art prints. Additionally, all our our printers are sure to match the colors and exposure levels from our editing thanks to the wonder that is monitor calibration and color profiles. If you do not have experience seeing the difference between calibrated and color matched color profiles and “grocery store” prints, be sure to mosey on over to our FAQ “why should we purchase prints or canvases through you?”

If you are wanting a print or canvas to be displayed in your home, we highly recommend that you go through us for this investment. All labs have different calibrations on their printers, and by using us, we will ensure that your printed image looks just like it does on our monitors. Also, our printers use archival quality ink, which means they will stay looking good far longer than "grocery store prints."

Our print release does allow our clients to make prints at the lab of their choice. If you are making prints for Christmas cards or ordering an image to be printed on a card, by all means, you may use this print release, but we also have amazing holiday cards and are happy to work with you on a custom design. Our prices are comparable with the big holiday card competitors.

Lastly, the print release requires that you give us credit ("Photography by Whitewood Photography" and tagging when available) when you share the images on social media and that you do not alter the images we delivered to you in any way (cropping, color changes, filters, etc.). 

If you are wanting a print or canvas to be displayed in your home, we highly recommend that you go through us for this investment. All labs have different calibrations on their printers, and by using us, we will ensure that your printed image looks just like it does on our monitors. Also, our printers use archival quality ink, which means they will stay looking good far longer than "grocery store prints."

Yes! You may order save the dates, holiday cards, thank yous, and more through our online viewing gallery and storefront. If you would like a quote, please let us know and we will get that to you quickly.

Pick 2-3 colors for your color scheme, and if you plan to hang any prints in your home, take into consideration the wall colors in your house before you pick your wardrobe colors. As a general rule, you should avoid all white and all black. Do not be afraid of color! And an accent color that is carried throughout your family’s wardrobe choices (think ties, necklaces, bows, shoes, etc.) can really bring the look together. Overall, accessories can really help tie everything together. For more detailed information, check out our blog post on what to wear.

Absolutely! We love seeing a variety of looks for our clients throughout their session. We do not charge extra for wardrobe changes. Just please be prepared to change in your car if we do not have access to a changing room or bathroom at our session venue.

While we think Pinterest is a great tool for gathering information and determining what your artistic preferences are, we do not believe it should be used to direct the action on the day of your wedding.

When we walk into a shoot without any preconceived notions or ideas of what shots we need to capture, we are able to focus on what is right in front of us – the special moments and unique details that define you and your wedding. Therefore, we do not attempt to recreate images, scenarios or moments that other photographers have captured.

We hope that you can trust our artistic judgment and be willing to let go, relax, and enjoy your wedding day. Leave the photography to us – we know you will love what we capture. And when all is said and done, when you share your wedding photos with family and friends, they will be wanting to pin your images!

A colleague in California wrote a blog that eloquently explains (much better than we ever could) how we feel about Pinterest. Please take a moment to read it. The link is here: Troy Grover.

We charge a session fee due at the time of booking for non-event sessions (i.e. not for weddings, birthdays or other gatherings). This covers the time and materials required to ensure you have a beautiful session. The session fee must be paid at the time of booking to secure your session.

We do not provide videography services, because just like still photography, it requires a very specific skill set and is its own career field.

We have relationships with several very talented local videographers to whom we would be happy to introduce you.


Other Sessions

While we can and do take the "typical family photo," where we love to live and thrive is in documentary work. 

Lifestyle photography has its roots in photojournalism, and as a professionally educated and trained photojournalist, Sarah relishes family sessions that want to take on a lifestyle approach. During these sessions, we are very relaxed. You get to do the things you enjoy doing together as a family - from baking something sweet to running around the house playing silly games with your littles to going to your favorite free time spot. It is a very relaxed, no pressure, fun session. We would love for you to try it!

Pick 2-3 colors for your color scheme, and if you plan to hang any prints in your home, take into consideration the wall colors in your house before you pick your wardrobe colors. As a general rule, you should avoid all white and all black. Do not be afraid of color! And an accent color that is carried throughout your family’s wardrobe choices (think ties, necklaces, bows, shoes, etc.) can really bring the look together. Overall, accessories can really help tie everything together. For more detailed information, check out our blog post on what to wear.

Absolutely! We love seeing a variety of looks for our clients throughout their session. We do not charge extra for wardrobe changes. Just please be prepared to change in your car if we do not have access to a changing room or bathroom at our session venue.

We charge a session fee due at the time of booking for non-event sessions (i.e. not for weddings, birthdays or other gatherings). This covers the time and materials required to ensure you have a beautiful session. The session fee must be paid at the time of booking to secure your session.

That said, we do not limit your session to a predetermined amount of time. This allows us to not be slaves to the clock. If it takes us two hours to feel satisfied with the session, then we will stay for two hours. If you are not feeling well or your children get restless after 10 minutes (ours frequently get this way!), then we can call it quits and will reschedule with you without requiring a second session fee. 

 

Then we can call it a wrap even two minutes in to the session! Yes, it does take away from time we could have been photographing another family, and it does cost us to travel, but we truly believe that you, as our clients, come first. There is no benefit for anyone if we force a session just because it was scheduled. That said, please also be respectful of our time. If on the day of our session your child is sick or having “the worst day ever” (as our son often put it when he was a toddler), please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan accordingly. We really appreciate it!

Your session fee will be applied toward the next date that we book, and you will not be required to pay any additional fees for the missed session.

While we think Pinterest is a great tool for gathering information and determining what your artistic preferences are, we do not believe it should be used to direct the action at your session.

When we walk into a shoot without any preconceived notions or ideas of what shots we need to capture, we are able to focus on what is right in front of us – the special moments and unique details that define you and your family. Therefore, we do not attempt to recreate images, scenarios or moments that other photographers have captured.

We hope that you can trust our artistic judgment and be willing to let go, relax, and enjoy your session. Leave the photography to us – we know you will love what we capture. And when all is said and done, when you share your photos with family and friends, they will be wanting to pin your images!

A colleague in California wrote a blog that eloquently explains (much better than we ever could) how we feel about Pinterest. Please take a moment to read it. The link is here: Troy Grover.

If you are wanting a print or canvas to be displayed in your home, we highly recommend that you go through us for this investment. All labs have different calibrations on their printers, and by using us, we will ensure that your printed image looks just like it does on our monitors. Also, our printers use archival quality ink, which means they will stay looking good far longer than "grocery store prints."

Our print release does allow our clients to make prints at the lab of their choice. If you are making prints for Christmas cards or ordering an image to be printed on a card, by all means, you should use this print release! We would appreciate you using our Tiny Prints/Shutterfly storefront, which allows us to make a little bit from the sale but does not cost you any extra.

Lastly, the print release requires that you give us credit ("Photography by Whitewood Photography" and tagging when available) when you share the images on social media and that you do not alter the images we delivered to you in any way (cropping, color changes, filters, etc.). 

If you are wanting a print or canvas to be displayed in your home, we highly recommend that you go through us for this investment. All labs have different calibrations on their printers, and by using us, we will ensure that your printed image looks just like it does on our monitors. Also, our printers use archival quality ink, which means they will stay looking good far longer than "grocery store prints."

Yes! You may order save the dates, holiday cards, thank yous, and more through our online viewing gallery and storefront. If you would like a quote, please let us know and we will get that to you quickly.

Schedule a Consultation with Us

Whether you are still shopping around, you're ready to book, or you just have a question, we would love to hear from you!

You can expect a response from someone on our team within one business day.








Address

We are located in North Central San Antonio.
We are available for travel worldwide for destination weddings and lifestyle commissions.

Whitewood Photography

San Antonio, Texas 78261
P: (210) 621-4751
E: info@whitewoodphotography.com