Frequently Asked Questions
Investment: Availability and Services & Investment
How can I check if my wedding date is available?
Simply connect with me through one of the following ways:
Simply connect with me through one of the following ways:
1. My favorite option - Call me at (305) 596-1885.
2. If it’s after hours please schedule a time for us to talk through a phone consultation HERE or meet in person by scheduling a planning appointment HERE.
3. Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Visit my contact page and submit the wedding form. Please make sure to include your date and wedding location. Be as detailed as possible.
How far in advance do I need to reserve your services?
The sooner the better, I limit the amount of weddings I shoot to 25 per year. Contact us to see if your wedding date is available.
Are you able to hold my wedding date?
As much as I would like to, this is something I stay away from. The only way to hold/reserve your date would be with a signed contract and retainer.
I’ve looked at all your images and follow you on social media, can I just hire you without talking?
I work very closely with each of my couples and it’s very important to me that we have a strong connection and like each other. We will be spending a large portion of the day together, as well as continue working together after the wedding to complete your albums and products. So, we would need to at least jump on a call to get to know each other.
What is included in your standard collection?
I have four collections, which vary in coverage and products. Included with my collections and hourly a-la-carte services are the following complimentary items: online gallery, digital proofs, gift registry and viewing party.
Can I customize a collection to fit my needs?
I’ve streamlined my coverage options into four collections, which are designed to cater to the most frequently requested combinations of coverage, additional services, as well as products. When choosing one of my collections you receive an added bonus of being privy to all savings I acquire from manufacturers and those are ultimately reflected in your collection pricing. All collections are completely customizable, allowing you to add additional coverage and products.
Do you include engagement portraits in your collection?
Two of my collections are inclusive of engagement portraits. If your selected collection does not include engagement portraits we are able to add that to your collections.
Can you attend the welcome party or rehearsal dinner?
Absolutely! I love the idea of taking advantage of having those closest to you gathered for one final celebration before the big day! Most often welcome parties are a great opportunity to capture portraits of couples with their relatives and wedding party, without the formality of your wedding day attire. Coverage can be added to any existing collection.
Do you offer a photo booth, videography, or other services?
I am able to offer photo booth services, as well as step-and-repeat services with the addition of a second or third photographer. I do not offer videography services but I do have a list of vendors that I am happy provide you with.
Do you offer retouching, color adjustment, or other corrective services?
All final images will always be adjusted for color and exposure. Any images utilized for printing, such as in your album or for a piece of wall art, will be retouched prior to printing.
Do you charge a travel fee?
If services are requested to continue after midnight, or if the location of the venue is such that my return travel will result in an arrival time beyond midnight, I do request that you cover any expenses associated with one night of lodging for myself and my team. If we are traveling to another state or country, yes travel fees do apply. We can advise you of those fees once we know all the necessary details of your event and coverage.
Manolo Doreste: Background, Style & The Shoot
How long have you been shooting weddings?
I officially opened my business in 2001, but I had my first camera in my hand when I was about seven years old. That same year I shot my first wedding. Take a look at a few of the first-ever wedding photos I took at my brother's wedding. P.S, I was seven and I was not the official photographer, just a guest with a camera.
Have you ever shot a wedding at our ceremony and reception venues?
There is a strong possibility I have worked at your venue, but if I have not, I have worked in venues like yours with similar lighting conditions and time of day.
How would you describe your photography style?
Over the years, I have adapted the term cinematic photography to describe my photographic style. Early on in my career I started noticing my theater style start to emerge. What I mean by that is my training in theater gave me a unique visual perspective on seeing and using light to create a mood and evoke emotion.
How would you describe your working style?
When it come to the day of the wedding, I seamlessly go between guiding and organizing portraits and moments to blending into the background and capturing documentary style portraits. I am often told that people see that I have a clear vision and execution.
Do you shoot digital or film?
At age 7, my gracious neighbor gifted me a Minolta camera that used film. It was the 1980s and the camera looked like something you can now buy at Urban Outfitters. My three cameras after that were film as well. My high school and college years I worked with film. My life changed forever with that act of kindness. I received my first digital camera 15 years later (also a gift—thanks mom!). Once I was able to truly understand the power of digital I have not returned to film.
What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?
My ability to connect with my clients is what truly distinguishes my work from other photographers. I believe there are many photographers who are able to take a great portrait but not all can capture a moment that truly reflects the essence of a couple.
Do you have a portfolio I can review?
Of course, I have a portfolio on my website (click here) as well as samples of the albums and products we offer..
Are all of the images yours, and is the work recent?
All images shown either on my website or in studio were taken by me. Although I do work with second photographers at most events, I will only showcase my imagery. I update my samples and portfolio work regularly to keep it as a reflection of my recent work.
Will you be the one shooting my wedding?
Absolutely, I will be your lead photographer on your wedding day and will be capturing the most important moments. I do have additional team members that will join depending on the size of your wedding.
Who will be working with you on the wedding day?
I will always have an assistant with me on the wedding day. If your selected collection includes a second or third photographer then they will be joining as well at the designated times we establish during your timeline appointment.
What equipment do you use?
My primary cameras are Nikon D5 and Nikon D810. My lenses include Nikon 70-200 mm / 60 mm / 24-70 mm / 85 mm. My lighting includes Profoto D1, Nikon Speedlight. I utilize a variety of pocketwizard transmitters and receivers, phototek umbrellas and stands.
Do you have backup equipment?
Yes, I always have backup equipment and batteries with me in case of emergency.
What about a backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
Luckily, I have an extended network of professional photographers who are willing and able to step in if something were to happen to me. As of today, I have not missed a wedding or arrived late.
How will you and your team be dressed?
My team members and I will always be dressed in professional attire and dark colors to ensure we are able to blend in and never be a distraction to your guests.
What time do you and your team eat?
For events lasting more than five hours, our team usually has our dinner break at the same time you and your guest are being served the main course.
Are you photographing other events on the same day as mine?
Absolutely not! Your wedding will be the only wedding I would be shooting that day. I limited the amount of weddings I shoot to 25 to ensure the highest level of attention and client care.
Is it okay if other people take photos while you're taking photos?
In regard to your guests, I will never stop them from taking photos, but if they become intrusive or I am unable to capture your portraits, I may ask them to capture their images from their seat. However, I shall be the sole and exclusive photographer at your venue and event. Any photographic coverage by other photographers shall be considered a breach of contract.
Contract & Policies
When will I receive a written contract?
Once you are ready to say “We Do” to working together, I will provide you with a contract that same day. You will be able to mail, email or fax over your signed contact.
How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due?
I offer three payment options to reserve my services.
- Pay-in-Full: As simple as it sounds, pay-in-full upon signing your contract and leave your mind at ease so we can focus on planning spectacular portraits.
- 50/50: Reserve services with an initial retainer of 50% and pay the remaining balance two weeks before your wedding date.
- Interest-Free Payment Plan: An initial retainer of $1,000 is required to reserve services along with your signed contract. The balance is divided into monthly installments, the last payment is completed two weeks prior to wedding A credit card is required to be kept on file with this option.
Do you offer a payment plan?
Yes, with an initial retainer of $1000, the balance is divided into monthly installments. The last payment is completed two weeks prior to the wedding. A credit card is required to be kept on file with this option.
What is your refund/cancellation policy?
You may cancel your agreement up to ninety (90) days prior to the event date. I will request a written notice of cancellation via certified mail. The initial retainer or any portion of the total package price is nonrefundable. If the event is cancelled after the cancellation deadline, the remaining balance of the total collection is immediately due.
Do you have liability insurance?
Yes, I do have liability insurance and am able to provide a Certificate Of Liability to your planner or venue upon request. We ask that you please allow 45 days to provide you with the Certificate Of Liability.
Products: Albums, Wall Art & Keepsakes, Online & Digital
Can we order my album directly from you?
Yes, several of my collections will include an album or they can be added at a reduced cost.
What type of albums do you offer?
- Coffee Table & Replicas: Our most popular album choice, full panoramic spreads which allows for unlimited digital design capabilities.
- Library Album: A beautiful matted album which combines the best features of traditional and contemporary album design.
- Deluxe Albums:
- Couture: Defined by hand distressed genuine leather, made by master craftspeople with torn pages and a sewn in spine.
- Fine Art: Handcrafted portfolio-style album, features deckled-pages, hand-stitched in a luxurious soft-sided leather cover. Each fine art print is hand-deckled, coated with a protective glaze and mounted directly on the right-hand page of each spread.
- Jet-Setter: Break the mold with this one-of-kind album, its landscape layout allows each image to become a 16x20.
- Clutch: Similar to our Jet-Setter, but half the size this landscape album is perfect for our client always on the go!
Do you provide assistance in selecting images and designing the album?
Yes, I work with you to narrow down your images in a way that will tell the story of your day beautifully. After the initial design is complete, you will have the opportunity to provide feedback and I will collaborate with you on the revisions.
Are albums included in your collections?
Some collections include one or several albums. If your collection does not include an album you have the option to add-on additional albums before your wedding at a reduced rate.
How many pages are included?
Our Coffee Table Album includes 40 pages. Our Library Bound albums include 30 images.
What is the turnaround time for my album?
Coffee Table albums take 4-6 weeks for the initial design. Each round of revisions takes 2-4 weeks and 6-8 weeks to print once the final retouched album is approved. Library Albums, once approved, take 3-4 weeks to create.
What type of products do you offer?
As a full-service studio I offer a wide range of products. If you can think of it chances are I can produce it!
Do you provide assistance selecting images ordering products?
Yes, for products I hold an in-studio Purchasing Appointment which allows us to collaborate on the best images and products for your home.
How long after I order my products (albums, wall-art & keepsakes) will the arrive?
Turnaround time is dependent on the actual piece. For instance, some wall-art pieces, such as prints, take a week from approval of the final image while others, like the Elements collection, might take three weeks.
When do I get to see my wedding images?
Your wedding images are ready for viewing approximately 4-6 weeks after your wedding day and are first revealed during your viewing party in our studio.
How long after the wedding will I get the proofs?
If an album is included in your collection, you will receive your digital proofs once the design of your album has been approved.
Will the images be accessible online? For how long?
The password protected gallery is available for 90 days post-viewing party. You are invited to share your gallery with relatives and friends. There they can view portraits and purchase products. All orders are fulfilled in studio and drop shipped.
Will we receive the high-resolution digital images? Is there a fee for that?
The high-resolution digital images are included in a few collections and if not can be added onto your collection.
Will we have the rights to the images?
All negatives and original files are owned by myself. I retain the right to reproduce any image and use images for advertising, display, or other purposes. However, publishing submissions will require permission from the couple. The digital files provided in your album have been approved and are for your personal usage and you may print your images for any personal use. The copying or reproducing for any other reasons is hereby prohibited and protected under Federal Copyright Laws.
Can we request a list of specific shots we would like?
Kinda. Approximately 2-4 weeks prior to your wedding we will have an appointment to review timeline and all other details. I will request a specific shot list for family portraits and you may provide any other requests at that time. However, I try to stay away from you providing me with a list of images you might have found on a wedding blog or in a magazine. This will reduce my ability to capture natural moments for you and creating unique portraits that represent you as a couple.
Will you be posting about our wedding on your website and social media?
Yes, I do share my work on my website as well as social media platforms.
Will you be submitting our photos to magazines or blogs?
I will submit your photos for publication when I know it would be a match for a specific publication.
Can you put together a slideshow of the engagement session (along with other photos the couple provides) and show it during the cocktail hour?
Yes, we can add that option to your collection. You will need to discuss with your venue, planner, or DJ in regard to how your slideshow will be displayed.
What information do you need from me before the wedding day?
I will provide you with a Wedding Kit which details all requested information prior to wedding day. This includes but is not limited to; your creative professionals and their contact information, your family portrait list, venue information/restrictions, etc.
May I have a list of references?
You can access several client reviews on my website, under Raves & Reviews, or other sources such as Wedding Wire or The Knot.
How many pictures will we receive?
The average rule is a photo per minute. However, the number of final images is truly dependent on several factors such as amount of coverage and the number of photographers.
Can we see the outtakes and all of the images that didn’t make the final cut?
The images that don’t make the final cut are either an exact duplicate of a final image or they are not a representation of my work. Perhaps the flash didn’t fire or someone unexpectedly moved and the image is out of focus. These technicality issues do not represent me as a photographer and would be of no use to you for production purposes.
Do you take formal family photos?
Yes. While these are not the most creative portraits, these formal family photos are definitely a necessity on Wedding Day. You will truly appreciate these photos years down the line as your family continues to grow. Your wedding kit which I will provide to you about a month before your wedding will include the request for a detailed family portrait list.
Questions To Ask Yourself
Do I feel a connection with Manolo and his team?
Having a connection with your photographer can help you look more photogenic. The camera can pick up on awkward relationships. If you feel comfortable with the photographer, you’re more likely to take direction, listen to advice, and even step out of your comfort zone with them a little more.
Are our personalities a good match?
Everyone knows that some personalities clash! The last thing you want is to be stressed out during a photo-shoot. Whether it’s an event or just portraits, you want to have fun and enjoy your time together.
Am I comfortable with Manolo’s work and communication style?
Manolo has a very specific style. Making sure that you are comfortable with that style is important in order for you to enjoy your special day. Meeting with Manolo before your scheduled photo-shoot, allows you to get to know him more and be well acquainted before you work together.
Has Manolo listened well and addressed all my concerns?
Manolo and his team will always do their best to understand your needs and concerns. Addressing your concerns is their number one priority.