Wedding Photography by Melissa Bliss Photography, Hampton Roads, VA
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I hire you?
You should only hire me if you love my work, value documentary style images, and feel that we click well together (we don't have to be bff's but you should feel that I understand your needs, respect you, and value what's important to you). You should be confident in my expertise and ability to deliver the types of images you want of your wedding day. Chatting over coffee or on the phone is the best way to get a feel for how we'd fit together. Schedule a time to chat and let's see how it goes!
Why should I chose you over another photographer?
There is no shortage of photographers around, that’s for sure. What I bring to the table is several years of experience, a no-nonsense, low-key approach, a keen intuition and a heart for nostalgia. I am cool under pressure (not easily rattled by changing weather or timelines), I work efficiently and without a lot of fuss (quick and stealthy with my gear so it’s not a big production intruding on your day) and I am always professional (polite, punctual, friendly & accommodating).
Honestly, I’m not trying to take over the wedding world, shooting weddings every weekend, selling workshops and gracing the front page of every wedding blog. I am fascinated by individual stories of life and love. Storytelling through photography feeds my soul and helps me make sense of the world and our human connection. I’d rather shoot a handful of weddings each season and give each love story my undivided attention, than crank out wedding after wedding. I am driven by emotion and feel a deep connection to the stories I tell. I don’t expect you to invite me to dinner or send me a birthday card. I’m sure you have plenty of awesome friends! But if I photograph your wedding, I will be all in. Heart and soul. It’s just the way I’m wired.
What kind of experience do you have shooting weddings?
I have been a professional wedding photographer for 5 years. I shoot 12-14 weddings per year on average, and have photographed weddings of all sizes in many varied locations and venues. I do not shoot weddings every weekend and will not schedule another event back to back with yours. If you book a small elopement, I may schedule other sessions that weekend, but not in the same timeframe as your event.
What is included in your wedding packages?
Every package includes a specified number of hours, light retouching, an online gallery to share with family & friends, a download of your high resolution images with a print release, and the option to order prints a la carte. Custom packages are available with options such as an engagement session, wedding albums, canvases, etc. Let’s chat about what you’d like to include. I will help you create a timeline to maximize our time together. You are my number one priority. I do not have a hidden agenda to win umptyjillion magazine & blog features, so I won’t spend your time shooting just to promote my business. I will shoot what is important to you and your story.
Do your packages include a second shooter or assistant?
I do offer those options. I am also completely comfortable shooting a wedding alone and have done so many times. Unless you are planning a large scale event, or will have several locations to visit on your wedding day, you may not need a second photographer. I would be glad to go over your timeline to decide what makes sense for your event and budget.
Have you shot at my venue?
I have shot at many Hampton Roads venues and a few others up and down the East Coast. If I have not shot at your venue, I probably have experience at a similar location. Shooting almost daily for the past 8 years has given me experience with all types of lighting, locations, personalities, and weather. I actually love shooting in new locations as it fuels my creativity! Let’s talk about your venue and I will share examples of my work.
Can I have all of the images you shoot at my wedding?
No. Why? Because group shots almost always include blinks and “off” expressions, receptions are usually crowded and dark resulting missed shots and unexpected movement, and beautiful portraits require a bit of finesse. I often take several shots to get the money shot. You don’t need the 9 “Not Quites” that lead up to the “Yeah Baby! That’s the one!” And honestly, if I gave you 1500 photos you wouldn’t look at 90% of them ever again. No sense wasting hard drive space or having to dig through hundreds of photos to find the few shots you want to print or post online. I get that the photos and the people in them mean a great deal to you. I will give you everything you’d want to look at or share with others. I promise.
So, how many photos will I get?
I do not limit the number of images in your gallery. I weed out the missed shots and edit all the best images for you. This varies based on how much time you book and how your sequence of events unfolds. Generally, you can expect 30-50 images per hour of photography. That’s about a shot every two minutes - plenty to tell the full story of your incredible day.
Can I see a full wedding gallery?
Sure! Tell me about your wedding plans and I will provide a gallery from a wedding that was similar.
What is your booking process?
The best way to start is to fill out this contact form or give me a call with a few details about your plans. If I am available on your date, we’ll discuss what package best suits your event. I’d love to meet over your favorite beverage, but if you have a tight schedule or are out of town, a phone call or online convo work fine. I want to make sure all of your concerns and questions are addressed up front, so don’t be shy! Ask away.
Once you are ready to book, I’ll need your contact deets, venue address, package selection, etc. to prepare a contract and invoice for you. A signed contract and reservation payment secure your date and package. Package payments are split into thirds, with the final payment due 30 days prior to your event. If you prefer a different payment plan we can work that out too.
I will also send a questionnaire and timeline for you to fill out, which we’ll go over a few weeks before your wedding to make sure we are well prepared for an amazing day. If your package includes an engagement session, we’ll plan a location and date for that as well, to reserve it on my calendar as early as possible.
Then, I will be available to answer any questions that come up, to help with timeline planning, to consult with your other vendors and to support you along the way in the months leading up to your event.
If you have other questions not addressed here, please get in touch!
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