A: I began shooting with film and gaining hours of experience in the darkroom working with this lovely medium in my early school years. Film has an incredible feel and depth that is unique and beautiful which we prefer for most of our imagery. There are moments where advantages to digital have their place. Having many iterations of each Family photograph to mitigate inevitable blinking, low light receptions, and backup angles are a few examples of these strengths. There are packages and options for how much you want to blend of each medium based on your personal taste and style presence. Each collection of wedding photographs produced by Mike Larson has the beauty of fine art film essence to them.
A: For medium format we use a Contax 645. We use the top of the line Canon 1V film and 1D digital cameras for 35mm format. Our membership with Canon Professional Services which services, maintenance, and backup gear keep us shooting with perfectly tuned gear worldwide.
A: We welcome any requests select alternate products, or add time, or different coverage days. Anything you see to best fit your vision. Email us the details and we will present you a customized proposal.
A: Every wedding is unique. We would love to discuss your vision of your weekend celebration, location and shooting days. For weddings outside Sonoma/Napa, as well as San Luis Obispo/Santa Barbara, there may be a travel fee.
A: Scouting is important to us for each unique location and venue. We arrive a day before we shoot to get settled and to explore and be inspired by the landscape, culture, flora, and ambiance. For international celebrations, we will arrive 1-2 days before to acclimatize and prepare for any travel delays or unknown circumstances. We begin to document our inspiration and scene setting photographs ahead of time. It’s invaluable for us to see the light and ambiance to prepare to photograph the best light at the best location on the wedding day.
A: Dates often get booked fast, and to ensure you are the first to your day, we will present to you a contract proposal. Signing the contract and submitting your nonrefundable $2500 retainer, you are officially booked with us! The final balance is due 30 days prior to your wedding day unless you have a preferred schedule that we approove.
A: Time in the presence of someone enables trust, intuition and builds bonds of connection. It is our pursuit to document you in the most authentic, genuine and relaxing manner both on the wedding day and any other shoots you have commissioned with us. We are allergic to cliche and therefore place a high value on knowing what makes you unique and different. This is true only in look and feel but who you are, but the beauty of your souls. In just a few hours of watching, listening and walking beside you during our editorial style casual portraits, we gain the insight needed to be able to pick up on essential body language, and preferences that will make communication between us on the day of the wedding easy and incredibly comforting.
A: The traditional elements of a wedding need not be listed for us to document them. We do request you make three brief lists that help us to know to the most specific and important elements you desire documented. We will email you when it is time for these to be constructed, typically 2 months before your wedding date. The lists include: 1) notable details 2) moments to honor people, and 3) family groupings. You are welcome to add more, and we would love to discuss what is best for your day.
A: None of us want the photographs to be scripted, or moments to feel like a checklist. However, inspiration is a beautiful thing. We welcome desires, and a selection of photographs to be gathered together so we can understand your vision and desires. We will incorporate the resources you provide as applicable, into the day as we shoot. The final creation of the day uniquely yours. It's very likely that those sweet & unpredictable moments which naturally happens will be more unique than Pinterest, and therefore beheld with greater value. The length of your shot-list should correspond with your timeline and thus planned in advance with the planner and photographer to ensure sufficient time for creativity and keeping the experience relaxed and peaceful.
A: This is not uncommon. I do appreciate the honesty here though. It’s not common that one wakes up in the morning and as they walk by the mere think to themselves day, I need to photograph myself today. But the truth is everyone wants to look good and I encourage the engagement shoot to be a trial run for being retrained about how to be photographed. I believe the reason why people don't feel photogenic is that nobody has taken the time to make being photographed fun, real or authentic.
Our casual portraits feel more like a date night and less of a shoot. I believe you are having fun, you will like how you look. Combine a beautiful fun date with a little behind the scenes documentation and you have a casual portrait shoot that you will love.
A: The type of attention that happens during a wedding is a unique blend not found anywhere else. You are showered with love, joy, tears, in a waterfall of emotion that lifts you up and brings about an incredible joy. We find that concerns over like this melt away once the reality of seeing all your best friends in one place immerses you into a euphoria of feelings that make any nervousness unnoticeably melt away.
A: Family dynamics are often unique and it's important for us to be on point. We are familiar with the variety of dynamics that may occur with the family and want things to be perfect, but we never assume anything until we know how you would like us to proceed. We request you share details with your family shot list. The best practice in our experience is to ensure each family member feels loved and heard. We strive to pick up on body language and vibe, guided by your field notes to ensure a speedy and relaxed set of family portraits during the wedding.
A: Absolutely. Our mission is to have complete coverage so nothing is missed. We team up for various angles and perspectives for multiple and simultaneous events occurring.
A: The nature of our work has brought us to over 30 countries. We are very familiar with many locations, yet are constantly commissioned for new destinations. Our standard practice is to arrive with enough time to scout the location and gain inspiration. Frequently we will coordinate site visits with our couples, time and location permitting.
A: This is something that is we don't want to think about, however, we take this seriously and have shaped our live activities and travel plans to ensure that we are in optimal health to perform exceptionally at every event. In the unlikely event that something does come up, we have esteemed and exceptional photography colleagues/friends in the industry and around the globe who have a compact to help back each other up in this event. Thankfully to date, Mike has never missed an event and prayerfully plans out all future events.
A: Knowing that any delay in the timeline in the morning means the day goes by faster and may reduce the time allotted for each event. The timeline is important and elements such as the hair & makeup being delayed may reduce the creative time or the possible shot list requests or shorten time to enjoy with family and guests. We want your time you have allocated for us to be maximized for documenting beautifully relaxed and candid moments. We will balance any timeline adjustments that happen on the day-of with the planner and you in the event your priorities change to ensure that we are on point with your desires and expectations.
A: The dance between cleanliness and enjoying the day to the fullest is important. We recommend that your dress is altered to fit the surroundings of your event space. Outdoor terrain, textures, and surfaces and foliage will react differently with various fabrics, layers, shoes and alterations of gown length, bustles and additional gowns to fit each location perfectly.
We will help make sure the gown stays beautiful while you move from candid setting to setting without the care or handling of gown from distracting from each photograph based our experience.
A: All the photographs from Mike Larson Photography, Inc are protected by United States Copyright Laws. Once you receive the digital download via our secure online link, you possess a shared copyright. You are welcome to duplicate, reprint, share and use the images for personal use and to send to friends and family. We kindly request that you reference credit to us via @mikelarson when sharing images online or with social media. If you prefer other degrees of privacy, please let us know on our privacy questionnaire.
A: While you are welcome to print anywhere you please, larger format photographs vary in quality and density(exposure) from consumer labs. Our professional lab is color calibrated to ensure the most beautiful skin tones, as well as our eye to small details that need to be fixed when images are larger or reformatted to have the best look and framing to ensure a gallery quality. Consumer labs may provide you with more economical printing, however at the cost of accurate skin tones and density of exposure.
A: This ranges based on the number of guests, depth of activity and movement, details. Typically we deliver 75-100 photographs per hour of coverage time. We omit any blinks, blurred, lighting test images, or unflattering angles. We do include out-takes, spoofs, and photographs that would be considered “classic” or bring a smile with respect and honor to those guests in the photograph. You are welcome to curate and hide any photographs you wish to remain removed from your login portal in the online gallery. Thus, the final gallery is at your discretion to edit.
A: Typically our culling, developing, scanning, lab processing and final curating takes 5-7 weeks time. We work with you to schedule the release event which we call the “Unveiling Party”. After the show, they are released via the online gallery for you to view and share at your discretion.
A: There is only one amazing way to view your photographs from the best day you have ever had. We have curated and perfected this show of photographs and music to delight your soul as the photographs are revealed in a 75-minute experience. The plug and play presentation kit we send to you is typically viewed 4-7 times with 2-3 different groups of people over two evenings. More information on the client experience page.
A: Yes and no, anything that leaves my studio delivered to you it's going to be of the quality to be in a print magazine. Everything is color calibrated perfectly. We don't Photoshop photographs individually, we welcome any requests for which we will provide a quote of what the estimate will be. However, if you order a photograph or large format beyond an 8 x 10 we will do some minor enhancements complementary to ensure perfection when viewed larger. Any other special requests will be given a quote for the Photoshopping. At the end of the day, most Photoshop requests are personal preferences we gladly accommodate.
A: The book design stage begins with your favorite photograph selection based on your package or book chosen, combined with an editorial selection of ten additional photographs gifted from Mike. We will design the layout and send you a proof. This is where you may make any revisions or edits before we go to print.
A: Yes. You may customize anything. You may use product credit for an alternate tangible piece. You may add anything at any time. Keep in mind our deadline for holiday orders is typically November 25th.
A: So many wedding books and products are cliché. We spent much time sourcing and identifying quality craftsmen and artists who make unique, timeless products with our photographs. We have had the honor of partnering with our talented suppliers to select sources such as leathers, textures, papers, and styles that don't exist in the consumer marketplace. We are proud of these products and inspired by them.
Private Estate weddings are the most intimate & peaceful weddings in the world.
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