general FAQ

Do you deliver every single image you shoot?

The short answer is NO. The long answer is that I eliminate duplicate images, test shots, missed focused shots, shots with unflattering expressions and other images that may dilute the overall product delivery. I always over shoot when dealing with low apertures and sometimes the lighting isn’t ideal so I take many test shots. I only deliver images that I’m proud to put my name on.

How long does it take to get our pictures?

Weddings and portrait sessions differ. My wedding contract states I have 4-6 weeks to deliver them to you but my clients typically have them back within 2 week (sometimes sooner, gotta give myself that wiggle time). Portrait sessions are typically back within several days. Basically-I’m an editing ninja..and I get it right the first time “in-camera”. BOOM!

Do you have insurance?

Trust me-I’m a professional! haha! YES, absolutely, I have insurance. I have a beefy policy that covers me from pretty much anything. If your venue requests an insurance certificate, I’d be happy to provide that for you.

How many pictures do we get?

Great question! It depends on the type of session of course but to give you an idea for a 1.5 hour portrait session, you can expect to have at least 50-70 images to choose from. I typically deliver between 600-800 images per 8 hour wedding. There’s 480 minutes in 8 hours so that’s more than one image per minute! DANG SON!

Do you back up our images? How can we ensure that our images won’t be lost?

My camera records to duel memory cards, after each shoot the images are immediately backed up to my computer hard drive and then backed up again on the cloud. At any given point before delivery of the images, there are at least two copies of the files in separate locations as well as an off site cloud storage.

wedding FAQ

If we cancel the wedding, will we receive our retainer fee back?

Unfortunately no. Retainer fees are used to reserve your date. Once we’ve reserved your date, we do not accept new clients for your date.

Have you shot at my venue before?

I have shot at hundreds of venues, so there is a good chance that I have. However, if I have not, I will get to the venue early on the day of and be sure to perform a thorough walk-through to scout out the best photography locations. I also do extensive online research prior to your big day! It takes me back to my days of working for the newspaper when I had to show up and figure it out! Plus, I love shooting at new places because I’m like a kid in a candy story searching for new places to shoot!

How are our images delivered?

Long gone are the days of floppy discs….and soon, long will be gone the days of CD’s and flash drives. As a matter of fact, most new computers don’t even have a disc drive! In an effort to stay current with the times, for you to get your images faster, and to make your life ohh-so easy, I deliver all digital files from your wedding on a customized site.  This not only allows you to download your images directly onto any hard drive of your choice, but you’ll also be able to share them with friends and family, share them on Facebook and other social media allowing you to relive your day from ANY computer or smart phone.

Do you have an assistant?

Yes, absolutely! His name is Greg and he happens to be my husband! We’ve been shooting together professionally since 2006. He second shoots, helps out with he lighting equipment, and to helps give me a hand when needed. I taught him everything he knows-he’s basically a genius! haha!

If we change our wedding to a different date, will we be able to use our retainer fee towards a future date?

Generally no, but this is taken on a case by case basis. The reason for canceling and our availability is taken into account. Also, if rates change from your original date to your new date, the new rates will apply.

Do you provide partial day coverage?

I typically do not provide partial day coverage on weekends. On weekends, I only accept clients that require at least 8 hours of coverage or have a budget of $3,800.00 and above. However, weekday weddings are available with a minimum of 3 hours of coverage with the option to customize the package. These are great for elopements, Justice of the Peace, or backyard weddings..which tend to be my favorite!

Can I see a full event from start to finish?

I would be honored to show you!! I pride myself on the consistency of my work. I understand all photographers post their best shots from each wedding on their websites so it’s hard to determine how well he or she will perform on the wedding day in conditions with low light, high stress and interrupted timelines. That is why we encourage all of our potential clients to view full events from all photographers they meet with to see how well the photographer performs throughout the day.

I have downtime between events on my wedding day. Will I be charged for that downtime?

For a variety of reasons, I have to charge for the time in between events. The fact is, I’m never truly resting during the day, whether we’re backing up images, setting up for the second venue, traveling to the second location, taking venue shots, or making up for lost photo time because of unforeseen wedding day delays. In many cases, I use that “downtime” to take you and your significant other out for a photo session or more family portraits.

What happens if we go over the contracted amount of time?

I understand that not everything goes as planned during a wedding. Myself and my assistant never pack up before the contracted time and we’re not leaving on the dot when the contracted time is up. Instead, I will ask you at the end of your contracted time whether or not you would like to extend. If you would like us to stay, I will charge the rates specified in your contract rounded to the closest 30-minute increment.

When should we book you for our wedding?

A.S.A.P. Since I can’t hold a date or “pencil you in” dates are booked …..well, when they are booked. This can be anywhere from 16 months out to, in some cases, months in advance. It’s easy to predict popular weekends during “wedding season” but not always as easy to predict WHEN they will book up. I accept bookings on a first come/first serve basis.

How many weddings have you photographed?

I’ve been in business since 2005 and have photographed well over 300 weddings. I’ve shot at big fancy historical churches, backyards, vineyards, on the side of mountains, in the desert, on the beach, during hurricanes and snow storms…and everywhere in between. This isn’t my first rodeo.

Do we need to provide you with a meal at the reception?

A warm meal would be so kind of you. We are with you for a total of 8-9 hours, sometimes more than that after you add on travel, setup, etc, it ends up being close to a 12-14 hour day. Knowing that there will be a warm meal ensures we stay cheerful and that we don’t faint (kidding-not kidding). We prefer to eat at the same time as the wedding party so that we can be finished at the same time to continue your coverage. We can always leave to grab a meal (depending on location)/take a break, but a warm meal is always an amazing treat during a long work day.

Do you take posed family photos?

SO MUCH YES! These are the images you will show your grandchildren where they came from! These are usually taken right before the ceremony, if there is a first look, or directly after the ceremony if there is no first look. If you are putting together a list, I recommend you give me AND a family member a copy- preferably someone who knows who EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON is not the list. I recommend keeping your list to no more than 12-14 groupings. These groups are quick, easy and largely informal in order to make it a pleasurable and enjoyable experience for everyone. I’ll be “politely-pushy” so that we can get them done quickly and efficiently. I may tell a bad joke or two! haha!

portrait FAQ

Can we schedule our session for the weekend?

Most of our weddings occur on weekends, therefore, I typically do not shoot sessions on weekends. If you can only do your session on a weekend, I can tentatively schedule your session on a weekend, however, if a wedding is scheduled for that weekend, later on, we will have to reschedule your portrait session. There will also be an additional charge for weekend portrait sessions because the few weekends we have free, we spend with our families. I also like to shoot on weekdays because locations are typically less crowded.

How many images do you typically deliver from a session?

I typically deliver anywhere from 50-70 images per 2-hour shoot. Keep in mind these numbers may increase or decrease depending on location, light and the personality of the client(s).

How long do we have to order prints, products, digital files?

All online galleries for portrait sessions are available for 2 days. I always get your permission before releasing the gallery so that you get to choose which 2 days it will be live. I am able to extend the gallery for an additional 2 days for $200-this CAN be applied to your order.

If we purchase a digital file package, how do we choose our images?

You will be presented with all of the edited, final images from your session. From there you will be able to select your favorite images. If I present you with 50-70 images and you purchased the 10 digital file package, you will be able to choose your favorite 10 from those images. Upgrades are available if you love more images than what is included in your package.

post production FAQ

Do you edit all the images in our image download?

Yes we do. Every image I deliver is edited with my unique signature style that you see on my website. This involves color correction, exposure adjustment, selective black and white processing, clarity adjustments, tone-mapping, and other corrections. Extensive Retouching/Custom Retouching such as removing a person from an image, compositing several images together, or completely changing the background of an image is billed on a per hour basis.

What is the difference between editing and retouching; and why are there additional costs for a custom retouch?

Custom retouching is anything that requires extensive, custom work in Photoshop such as removing entire objects from the scene, changing the size and shape of body parts or other objects in the scene, adding objects to a scene and other custom work. We charge hourly for the custom post-production as the time required ranges depending on the complexity of the project.

meeting policy FAQ

Do you travel to meet clients?

Due to the limitations of my schedule, I currently do not travel to meet clients. If you would like to schedule a meeting, please contact me at 724-840-0208 or by emailing jen@jenmckenphoto.com I have a studio space we can meet up at in Blairsville, PA or we can schedule a FaceTime chat.

We’re very busy and won’t be able to meet. Are there any other options?

We would love to meet with you prior to your event/session; however, if you’re too busy or too far away, we can handle everything remotely. Just let me know what information you need and I will do our best to accommodate your request. For example, if you would like to see more of my work, I can gladly show you complete events online. If you would like to talk about packages and get a sense of my personality, telephone calls, and webcam appointments can be arranged.

payment + tax FAQ

How do I reserve you for my date?

All dates are considered officially reserved once an online contract is signed and a retainer is received. I unfortunately can not book any sessions based on verbal commitment.

What is the charge for additional coverage?

Additional coverage is $150 per hour after the 8 contracted hours. This covers the additional time that will be spent editing images in post production, time spent covering the event, etc.

What is your payment schedule?

It differs depending on the coverage. Weddings require a 25% retainer, 50% due 6 months prior to the wedding date and the remaining 25% due one month before the wedding date. Portraits sitting fees are paid in full prior to your shoot and then prints, products, digital files are purchased a’la carte during the 2 day proofing process.

If I pay for my package in cash will we be able to avoid paying sales tax or receive a discount?

Unfortunately, collecting in cash does not exempt a photography studio from paying Pennsylvania sales tax on the amount of the package price, products or services.

travel FAQ

Do you travel?

Abso-freakin-lutely! I have traveled all over the world photographing weddings and as a matter of fact, if you are having your wedding at one of the destinations on my bucket list, there may be an incentive available!! All travel is billed at cost; mileage or airfare for two, 2 nights hotel stay and transportation to and from the airport. Let’s chat!

Do you do destination weddings? What additional fees are associated with destination weddings?

While Jen McKen Photography is based out of Southwestern Pennsylvania, I serve clients all around the world. My destination wedding photography package includes the cost of travel and reasonable accommodations. This includes: 2 nights hotel stay, airfare for 2, transportation to and from airport, baggage fees and a $45/day per diem for meals on travel days and days not at the event.

What are the travel fees?

The destination wedding photography packages are the same as our regular wedding photography packages. The only additional costs that our clients would be responsible for are as follows:

1) Airfare

2) Baggage fees

3) Hotel accommodations (typically 2 nights but dependent on the length of the event)

4) Rental car/airport transportation to and from (typically 3 days, depending on the length of the event)

5) Vendor meals for the day of the event(s)

6) Per Diem: $45/day per photographer for meals on travel days and days not on the events

Do you travel alone on destination shoots?

No. I always travel with an assistant/second shooter, therefore 2 airfare tickets/baggage fees will apply. In addition, we request that we depart of the destination a day in advance. This gives us plenty of time to scout out the location. If you are concerned about the weather/delays, we suggest flying out 2 days in advance to ensure we are there on time.

Do you offer discounts for destination weddings?

Unfortunately, we do not offer discounted packages for our destination weddings so the prices would be the same as our regular packages with the additional travel/lodging costs. With that said, if your wedding is taking place in a place that is on my bucket list of places I would love to shoot, we may be able to discuss a possible incentive!

Do I need to book the flights?

If you’d like to use your travel miles/rewards and book those flights on your own, we would just like to ask that you send us the flight information ahead of time just so that we may approve the details (flight times, transfers, layovers, etc.)