WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THE CHICKENS?
"Chicken" has always been our nickname for each other, although neither of us is really sure why. When we decided to start shooting weddings together, we wanted a name that let people know we're a team, and that we're people who aren't afraid to be silly. When we started talking about how we'd be running a photo business as two little chickens in love, "Smitten Chickens" was born.
I'm not in your area. DO YOU TRAVEL?
Unfortunately, not usually. We used to go anywhere in the world to photograph weddings, but since the birth of our daughter in January 2018, we've limited our work travel. We photograph within 75 miles of Jersey City, NJ or within 75 miles of Windham, NH for no extra fee. For some locations beyond that radius, we charge a travel fee, which varies by location. Generally, we do not photograph outside the greater NYC metro area, northern New Jersey, or southern New England. We travel between NYC and the Boston area frequently, so our openings depend on our location. Contact us for availability.
WHAT KIND OF WEDDINGS DO YOU SHOOT?
We are big believers in wedding photography without prejudice. Our job is to capture moments you'll remember forever, not to judge you for the type of wedding you're having. Our ideal couples think the most important part of their wedding day is marrying their favorite person ever. We shoot big weddings, tiny elopements, and everything in between.
HOW DO ELOPEMENTS WORK?
For pricing purposes, we consider an elopement to be a wedding with 10 people or less. Our packages include either 2, 4, or 6 hours of coverage, with extra hours available a la carte. Happy tears, a joyful witness, timeline advice, and help navigating elopement procedures or figuring out how to get married in a public space all come complimentary.
IF WE WANT ACTUAL PRINTS OF OUR PHOTOS, WILL IT COST A TON OF MONEY?
We very badly want you to have physical prints of your wedding photos. A high-quality print will stand the test of time, and it can be enjoyed no matter how much technology changes. We think it's really important to make prints from your files, so we offer prints 8x10 and smaller at cost. We make absolutely no profit on these. We just want to make sure you have access to lab-quality prints you can afford.
We also offer high-quality, personalized albums which come standard with our wedding photography rates, and can be purchased at a discount when you book elopement photography.
ARE YOU LGBT FRIENDLY?
We are outspoken advocates of marriage equality and lgbt rights, and we are more than happy to work with all loving couples and families.
HOW DO WE BOOK YOU?
To hold a date, we ask for a signed contract and 50% of the final fee. To keep things simple, the contract can be signed digitally, and we accept check or paypal for payment.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD WE BOOK?
We work on a "first come, first served" basis, so we recommend reaching out as soon as you have a set date. It's never too early to ask, but at least 6 months lead time for a wedding is usually fine. For elopements, we recommend getting in touch at least a month in advance.
That being said, it's never to late to ask! If you've decided to elope next Friday, email us. We'll see what we can do!
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WE’VE BOOKED?
You can check "book photographer" off your list and relax! Really, there isn't a lot of effort required on your end, although we'd love to hear about your plans, and we're happy to answer any questions that may pop up. If you're doing an engagement session, we will contact you to find out if there are locations or concepts you want in particular.
A few weeks before the wedding, we'll be in touch to get up-to-date details, a final timeline of your wedding day,and any additional contact info we'll need to do the best job possible. For portrait sessions, I'll just need a final time and information on the location.
DO WE HAVE TO DO AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION?
You don't have to have an engagement session if you don't want one, but it's included with your wedding package. It's a nice way to get a feel for what it's like to work with us and to practice being in front of the camera. The photos are also great for save the dates, invites, guest books, or just to have really good looking non-wedding photos to show off.
If you chose not to do an engagement session, it doesn't alter the price, and it's not replaceable with other products or services.
DO YOU HAVE BACKUP GEAR?
YES. We have both worked extensively in the advertising industry, and being ultra prepared has been drilled into us for years. We have back up camera bodies, lenses, flashes, batteries, and memory cards, and we back up all our memory cards on site while we're shooting. Once we get home, we back up all the images to a hard drive and to an online backup. When your files are delivered to you, they are stored on an offsite server for 10 years. We take having a plan B, C, and D VERY seriously.
ARE YOU INSURED?
We are. If your venue needs to see proof of liability insurance, please let us know at least two weeks prior to your wedding date.
IS YOUR BUSINESS LEGIT?
Yes. Our official business name is Sarah Hoppes Photography, LLC, doing business as Smitten Chickens, and we ensure all our business practices are in accordance with local laws and regulations.
WILL THE PHOTOS BE RETOUCHED?
All photos you recieve will have gone through basic editing. When necessary, we remove distracting elements from backgrounds and retouch skin and hair. Some images will be in color and some may be in black and white. Our goal in retouching is to make you look like the best version of yourself.
HOW MANY IMAGES WILL WE RECEIVE?
We don't gaurantee a set number of images for weddings or portrait sessions. We sometimes take upwards of 1,000 photos, but we edit those down to send you the best ones. On average, you can expect around 200-400 images from a wedding and a minimum of 25 from a portrait session.
WHEN WILL THE IMAGES BE READY?
We put a sneak peek of your wedding or portrait images on our blog within 2 business days of the shoot, and you can expect final files 4-6 weeks after that.
HOW DO YOU DELIVER OUR FILES?
Photos are delivered through our online gallery. You can use the gallery to download all your photos with one click, share photos over email, facebook, and twitter, and your photos will be backed up in the cloud for 10 years. The video below explains how the gallery works. You can see an example of a gallery here.
DO WE GET THE COPYRIGHT?
The copyright stays with us. What you'll get is a print release, which means you can make as many copies as the photos as you'd like, as long as they are for personal use. You aren't permitted to sell the photos or give them to anyone who will use them commercially. If your wedding vendors are interested in the photos or you have questions about use or copyright, just let us know. We're happy to help.
DO YOU BLOG EVERY WEDDING/SESSION?
We love showing off beautiful images of our clients. We also strongly disagree with the idea that some weddings are more "blog-worthly" than others. However, if you don't feel comfortable with your photos being featured on the blog, just let us know in the booking process, and we will respect your privacy.
WE’RE PLANNING SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT . . .
We dig it. We're not afraid of veering off the beaten path. In fact, that's our FAVORITE path. Tell us more!