I documented my first wedding in 2004, started Kolen Photography in 2008 and I have documented about 400 weddings by the end of 2017
I live in Manhattan, can we meet there? Yes, I do meet NY couples in NYC at their convenient locations or local coffee places.
Do you use Photoshop to edit images? I only use Lightroom to edit/enhance picture look in a minimal way. I never use photoshop to create something that was not there. My strong believe is that great photography happens in the camera created by the person behind the camera using only photo equipment.
Why are you prices much lower than similar style and quality photographers
Unfortunately photography prices are mostly set by business connections, so photographers who lack those connections will undercharge for their work and those who are more into business than craft will easily raise their rates. The question is: what a client wants to pay for: the wrapping or what is inside the box?
Do you still take ''normal pictures'' like family portraits, pictures of details? Absolutely yes, every clients gets a full wedding coverage including family portraits and many standard pictures including details. Most couples receive from 700-1,200 edited images with 80-90% of them being candid pictures.
Have you documented same-sex weddings?
Yes, I have documented over 10 same-sex weddings.
How many weddings do you do each year, I do not see many posts on social media?
Kolen Photography documents about 30 weddings a year. I have never been a fan of social media websites
Why some of your images are so much darker than most wedding pictures?
Great question! Prior to shooting weddings I spent a few years learning photography basics and as well more advanced techniques, especially what it means to correctly expose images in different lighting conditions. While very bright images are very popular in the last couple of years, they often represent only the very basic photography skill which is used by photographers with minimum training. I take pride to utilize my knowledge of lighting in different conditions, composition and work with colors which many photographers disregard. Most of the todays wedding photography you see in bridal magazines and on bridal websites shows those bright images which capture a lot less than what we actually see in terms of colors, details and shadows. To me it is like using one or two paint colors out of hundreds available when painting a canvas pictures of trees in late October.
Being a good wedding photographer means to be able to work in any lighting condition and use different lighting equipment to correct poor quality lighting, without relying on Photoshop. Not all weddings happen in outdoor, sunny surroundings. Is your photographer ready for that?
What is the difference between your boutique studio and a large studio?
Well, I focus on quality photography with unique lighting for couples who do not settle for an average image. Since I document 25-30 events per year I have a personal relationship with my clients and tailor my service to individual needs, one wedding at the time.
I am not comfortable in front of the camera and do not like posing, do I have to ?
Most couples feel a little uncomfortable before pictures, but it quickly goes away after we start working together. I would never make anyone do something which is not in your comfort zone. Almost all pictures I shoot during a wedding day are candid. In addition to family portraits bride & groom picture session is a time when I would give you just general guidance, but if you are doing well on your own, I will stay away and just do my camera work. My goal is to take awesome, natural pictures which show real you.
I really would love to work with you, but you’re out of my budget, what can I do? Decide what's really important to you. Your photographer will actually create life time memories that you will have of your wedding day.
Go over your budget and decide what you can adjust.
Do you have insurance?
How many of those high impact portraits do you take and do I have to pose for them?
Most of the wedding pictures I take are journalistic, candid. High impact portraits represent about 1-5% of all the pictures I take. If this is something you are not interested in, I can minimize them to just a few images just in case you change your mind a few years from now. High impact portraits require really good knowledge of lighting and composition, something I am very proud of.
When are the pictures ready?
Wedding highlight is ready 3-6 days after the wedding, all pictures are ready in 3-5 weeks
Do you work by yourself only?
I work with a light assistant depending on your offer choice. If your wedding has many locations or timing is very busy I recommend myself with a second shooter.
My wedding is at The Plaza NYC with 800 guests, can you handle?
I can cover any size of an event from 2 to 1,000 plus guests. I have worked in The Plaza before and would recommend myself with 2 additional photographers and 2 light assistants.
What is your style?
I cover the weddings with a journalistic style mixed with creative portraits.
My portraits ideas are driven by lighting, colors, composition, moments.Traditional family sessions also a part of every wedding.
Can I provide a “ must take pictures” list?
I am not a photographer who documents weddings with a list of shots. My photography is an artistic and creative documentary. Going down a list of not so creative pictures would totally change who I am as a photographer. However I can always work with your family portrait list to make sure that I meet your expectations. Some pictures listed on bridal websites as ''must have'' are not my photography style and I never include them in any of my weddings.
What is the payment schedule?
A booking fee/retainer of approx. $1000 is due to reserve the day.
The final balance is due 4 weeks before the wedding. Albums can be paid for at the start of the album creation process.
What if you get sick?
One of my studio photographers who have been with me for years would replace me. I also belong to a network of photographers who help each other in emergency cases.
What equipment do you use?
1 Canon Mark IV, 2 Canon Mark III, 5 Canon L lenses and 3 cases of lighting equipment if needed.
Do you offer packages?
Yes, you can choose from my packages, which can be changed to your preference or I can customize any offer for you and let you add an la carte when needed.
What kind of pictures do we receive after the wedding?
All clients receive full resolution files, individually edited with copyright, no logos, delivered on USB drive.
Do you work in NJ only?
I document weddings in NY, NJ and anywhere in US. If your wedding is in an exotic, unique location outside of US, I would be very excited to go there.
Do you have references?
Yes, of course, please also visit wedding wire website to read my 80 independent client reviews.
How many pictures do we receive?
10 hour coverage with 1 photographer should leave you with about 600-900 images, 12 hours with 2 photographers 1,100-1,400
I like B/W pictures, can I get all B/W pictures?
I can tailor image editing to your preference and deliver any ratio of B/W vs. color images you would prefer
How long do we wait to see our wedding pictures?
The first blog gallery (about 50 pictures) is ready 3-6 days after your wedding. All pictures are ready 3-5 weeks after the wedding.
Do you edit and photoshop pictures?
All pictures are individually edited in Lightroom, photoshop work is an additional charge for album images. Photoshop work may include taking people or objects out of the picture, skin correction etc.
Do you offer albums?
Absolutely yes, my clients can choose their album from a large selection of custom, hand made albums at any time, even five years after the wedding.
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 973-832-4275 with any other questions.