Frequently Asked Questions
So you're interested in hiring me to shoot your event but you have some questions? Well, let me see if I can answer them before you even reach out and contact me. Thanks to a couple of cool photography websites out there, I've come up with a list of Frequently Asked Questions that I hope help. I'll update this page as I go along, adding new questions as they come up.
* Hi. Who are you? *
My name is Paul J. Spetrini. I am a photojournalist by trade, with more than 16 years of experience in writing, reporting and photographing events in the Rhode Island area. I have been photographing weddings in New England for the last nine years and, in that time, have more than 65 five-star reviews from past clients such as yourself. I am an award-winning photojournalist and wedding photographer, with well over nine victories in press association editorial award contests in Rhode Island, New England and nationally. In addition, I was selected as a Best of Weddings 2018 & 2019 award-winner for the Knot and have won the WeddingWire Couples' Choice award in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
To view my full resume, click here.
* How did you get into photography? *
I’ve always had an interest in taking photos ever since I was a child but it wasn’t until I began working for a small string of community newspapers in Southern Rhode Island in 2006 that I began to get serious about it as a career choice. As a full-time sports reporter at a very small organization, I was often tasked with shooting my own photos to go along with games I was covering and, the more I did it, the better I felt I got.
Wedding Photography FAQs
* How did you begin shooting weddings? *
Like most people who find their passion during their 20s, I began shooting weddings by complete accident. One afternoon, while at a cookout at my sister-in-law’s house, I was playing around with her new Nikon D-90 camera and took some photos just for fun. She liked them enough to recommend I shoot a wedding for her friend Kelly, who couldn’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on a photographer for the event. I reluctantly agreed and, despite my nerves, shot the event and had a blast doing it. I then shot a couple more weddings for family friends and, a little while later, began taking on new clients.
* Why do you shoot weddings? *
Weddings are a lot of work and very stressful. It makes sense, then, that a lot of photographers either shy away from them completely, charge exuberant amounts to 'make it worth their time' or just out and out refuse to do them. But that’s not me. I enjoy the challenge of documenting the most important day of a person’s life and the difficulty in making sure I capture every unique moment. To me, weddings are the ultimate rush. They’re a day full of once-in-a-lifetime moments and I make it my goal to capture every one of those moments … all the while staying out of the way of the events themselves.
* Most wedding photographers charge a lot more than you do to shoot a wedding. Why? *
Every photographer charges what they feel is a fair price for their services and while I won’t begrudge anyone for wanting to make the most they can on each assignment, my primary motivation in shooting weddings isn’t financial. Sure, I love making money but, to me, shooting a wedding is about much more than a cash grab … it’s about taking the time and making the effort to capture one of the most important day of your client's life.
And, in my opinion, part of making your clients come away from the experience feeling their best is charging a fair price that compensates you for your time and services competitively but doesn’t break their budget or price them out completely in the process.
I know how difficult it is to plan a wedding as I was on the other end of the camera lens just a few years ago. Working with an extremely limited budget, my wife and I were shocked to see just how much some photographers were charging and what little came with the actual cost we were going to have to spend. The idea of spending $3,000 for a bare-bones photographer to simply attend our wedding without us getting so much as the rights to print the photos just didn’t seem fair to me. Having photographed weddings seriously for the last few years, I now understand WHY prices are the way they are but I go out of my way to keep my prices as low as I can to attract the types of clients who appeal to me most: Real, fun loving individuals having real, fun weddings.
Why should I hire a professional photographer to shoot my wedding instead of just having one of my relatives do it with their point-and-shoot camera or iPhone for free?
Weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime moment and simply hoping someone will capture all of those little moments that make the day so special simply isn’t going to cut it. Not if you want to look back on your wedding day in 20 years with no regrets.
Nowadays, almost everyone has a camera or a phone that can take remarkably great photos … if they’re outdoors and the sun is shining perfectly and everyone stays absolutely still.
But the fact of the matter remains that there is a substantial difference between a wedding shot by 'Uncle Bob' and a wedding shot by someone hired to do the job professionally.
Every couple is different and not all couples want the same thing from their wedding photos but, if you want your day captured the way it is meant to be, simply having someone you know shoot it won’t cut it … especially if they’ve never shot a wedding before.
* Do you deliver every image you shoot? *
Like most photographers, I take countless photos at each and every event I shoot. Unfortunately, not every photo is worthy of being printed and framed on a mantle (though, it is my goal to one day make that the case) and, many times, I simply don’t have the luxury of being able to go through the photos on site and trashing any misfires or photos where someone's uncle jumped in front of the lens the moment I clicked the button.
Before I begin editing photos (I.E. color-correcting, cropping, sharpening, adding effects, etc), I go through all the photos I’ve taken at your event and delete every photo that is either out of focus or unusable. From there, I create a folder of photos that I believe are worth delivering to you and, depending on the package, will either deliver them directly to you or continue editing and paring down in order to bring out the best and brightest photos from your day.
* Do you provide videography services? *
I get asked this question a lot. As of right now, I do not provide videography services as part of my overall wedding package but video is an area I would love to explore in the future (Assuming I ever get to the point where I feel I've learned everything I ever want to on the photography side first.) At the present time, I do not have a go-to videographer whom I recommend to clients but I have a few who I have worked with whose names I would love to provide to get your search started off right.
* Do you offer a photo booth? *
A couple of years ago, photo booths were one of the hottest trends in weddings and while that trend has died down a bit, I am still asked this question now and again. At this time, I do not offer photo booth services as my focus is squarely on the photography of your wedding day but I have worked with many photo booth vendors and could offer you some recommendations if you are interested.
* How far would you be willing to travel to shoot my wedding? *
The majority of the weddings that I have shot have been in the Rhode Island/southeastern Massachusetts area but that does not mean I would be unwilling to go further to accommodate a client. I offer free travel for any weddings taking place within 100 miles round-trip of Warwick, Rhode Island. Beyond that, I will travel anywhere within a two-hour driving radius of Rhode Island for a modest travel fee which covers my costs for gas, mileage and tolls. If you are having your wedding day farther than that, I would love to discuss your options as I can be had in most places for fairly easy accomodations.
* If I hire you to shoot my wedding it will be you shooting my wedding, right? *
Yes. While I have a number of professional acquaintances whose work I admire and trust, at this time all weddings booked through Paul J. Spetrini Photography will feature me, in the flesh, as the main photographer. I also have a number of reliable work colleagues that I have and will continue to hire to assist me should a couple ask for an assistant photographer as part of their package but, unlike some other companies, you’re getting the actual person you’re talking to when you hire me for your event.
* Do you provide partial day coverage? *
While I have listed a number of sample wedding packages on my site, I know that every couple’s needs are going to be different. That’s why I am willing to discuss any number of options to shooting your event. Feel free to contact me.
* Are there any types of things that you don’t shoot? *
In the past five years, I’ve shot just about everything you can shoot as a professional photographer. I’ve been hired to shoot almost every sport imaginable and events that range from high school class reunions and Nigerian naming ceremonies to business conferences and appearances by First Lady Michele Obama.
That being said, I no longer shoot family portrait sessions and I do not do maternity, newborn or child photography. And beginning this year, I no longer offer boudoir shoots either.
Why? Well, quite honestly, I've learned over the past few years that you should only shoot things that you truly enjoy and while I have nothing but respect for those willing to do family portraits or child photography, it's not what I enjoy doing and not fair for my clients for me to just go through the motions for a paycheck.
I would love to recommend you to some of my favorite family photographers however so, if you'd like a list of great family-friendly professionals, shoot me an email and I'll send it right over.