Wedding Photography Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) By
Weddings, Portraits and Event Photography
Professional Photographers Serving Houston, Galveston, Clear Lake,
and Surrounding Communities Along the Texas Gulf Coast

Al Ruscelli Photography
1912 Triple Mast Circle   League City, TX    77573
Phone: (281) 538-0579      Fax:  (281) 538-0579

E-mail:  Al Ruscelli Photography
Alternate E-mail:
All Photographs Al Ruscelli, Photographer

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Wedding Photography

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The following is a list of the most frequently asked questions and answers for our wedding services and style.  If you have any questions that are not answered here, please feel free to e-mail Al Ruscelli Photography, or call us, and we will be happy to provide any needed information.

Do you have a price list and wedding package options available for viewing on your web site?

Yes.  Our Wedding Photography Price List is now available for viewing on our web site.  It may be viewed using the Adobe Acrobat Reader.  Click on the text link, below, to view and print our price list.

Click here for our Wedding Photography Price List page.

Copies of our current price list are also available upon request, if you have difficulty viewing the list, above.  We will gladly send out pricing and packaging information if you wish to receive it.  You may either e-mail your information request to Al Ruscelli Photography or call (281-538-0579), and we will send you the requested information.   We have the options of sending by internet link, fax or e-mail (Microsoft Word attachment) or standard mail via the U.S. Postal Service

If you wish a copy of information to be faxed, e-mailed, or mailed to you, please include the following in your correspondence to us:

  • Your wedding date
  • City where the wedding is to take place
  • Your fax number, e-mail address, or mailing address

It is important for you to include your wedding date in the information request, so that we may immediately determine whether we have any schedule conflicts that would prohibit us from working together on your wedding.  

How do we arrange for a consultation with you to view your work in person and to discuss our specific wedding needs, and what is covered during a consultation?

We offer a no-obligation, personal consultation for each couple who is considering us for their wedding photography.  Please call for available times and we will be happy to schedule a time for you to come by and visit with us.  Various time slots are available for such consultations.  Although we prefer normal 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekday consultations, other times are available.  Early evening hours (generally, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) are popular for many of our clients, because that time frame usually accommodates existing work schedules that many people must take into consideration.  Standard weekday daytime hours are better for some clients, and we are available for consultations during those times, as our schedule allows.  Limited weekend time slots are also available for consultations.  As a general guideline, plan on about an hour's time for a wedding consultation.  

During the consultation, you will be able to view samples of our work, including coffee table photo books and traditional wedding albums showing end-to-end coverage of weddings we have photographed.  You will also be able to view enlargements, framed and hung  wall portraits, gift albums and folios, etc.  We will spend some time discussing your specific wedding plans, after which you should be able to determine if we offer what you are looking for in a wedding studio.  We will go over our price list and packaging options, answering any questions you might have about choosing the right package for your needs.  

After the consultation, we do not put any pressure on couples to book with us.  Take the information we have provided during the consultation and talk it over before getting back to us with your decision.  You may, of course, book with us immediately after the consultation if you wish.  Our usual advice to couples, however, is to meet with us first, talk things over between yourselves (or with other family members) after you have left the consultation, and then make your decision.  

We realize that most couples wish to consult with more than one wedding photographer before making their final decision, and we are confident that if you are pleased with our work, our prices, and our personalities, you will give us strong consideration in your final decision.  

Our advice to couples concerning choice of a wedding photographer usually involves answering these three questions:  

  • Do you like the photographer's work?  
  • Do the photographer's prices fit within your budget?  
  • Are you pleased with the photographer's style and personality?  (That is, do you feel that your personality and the photographer's will blend well on your wedding day?)  

If you can answer "yes" to all three of these questions, you are well on your way to making a good decision.  If the answer is "no" to one or more of these questions, you might want to shop around a bit more before making your final decision.  

How do we book Al Ruscelli Photography for our wedding?

We require a retainer fee (applied to your chosen package) and a signed contract to book our wedding services.  Once the retainer has been received and details of the chosen wedding package have been finalized on the contract sheet, your booking with us is finalized.

Does Al Ruscelli Photography do bridal and engagement portraits?

We offer both bridal and engagement portrait sessions.  These sessions are included as part of some of our packages, or they can be purchased as separate options.  We also offer coffee table photo books based on these sessions, just as we offer them for wedding day photography.

As a side note, we sometimes do bridal or engagement sessions (or both) for couples who are not booked with us for wedding services.  For instance, some couples plan weddings in other cities or states but wish to have their bridal or engagement sessions done locally before they travel to their wedding destination.  In those cases, they may arrange to have us do their portraits, that being the only service that we provide related to their wedding.

How far in advance should bridal or engagement portraits be arranged?

We recommend that bridal or engagement sessions take place at least two months or more before the wedding.  This allows time for image processing, posting of those images to our proofing site on the internet, decisions to be made concerning reprints and enlargements, processing of reprints or enlargements, delivery of the prints, and framing of any display prints.  Additionally, if an outdoor bridal or engagement session is planned, scheduling these sessions well in advance of the wedding date allows for rescheduling if any weather-related delays occur.  We don't experience many of these weather-related delays, but if it should happen to rain on the day of a scheduled outdoor session, it's safer to plan the session far enough in advance to have time to reschedule, if necessary.  

Does Al Ruscelli Photography offer framing services for enlargements?

We offer framing services for bridal, engagement, or wedding-day enlargements.  Occasionally, the wedding couple does not have the time or inclination to deal with finding a suitable frame for their chosen enlargements (especially those that may be displayed at the wedding or reception).  In those cases, we are often asked to handle the framing of display prints, and that is a service we can provide.  Generally, our framing services are much less expensive than having a custom frame done elsewhere.  

How many photographers and assistants do you use at weddings?

Al Ruscelli am the primary photographer and in most cases one assistant/additional photographer is in attendance.  

What is your medium of choice? Film, digital photography, both?

After 10 years of film-based photography and three years of mixed film and digital, we now shoot exclusively digitally.  Although we can shoot film on request (color, black and white) we prefer digital for many reasons, all of which are beneficial to both us and our clients. 

Who processes your images and who does your printing for reprints and enlargements?

We digitally process our own images and all reprints and enlargements are printed at a professional photo lab.  We always use the best available professional photo labs and we never cut corners on printing.  This gives our prints the highest possible quality for our clients. 

What is your start time for wedding day photography?

Our basic start time for wedding days is at least one hour before the ceremony.  This allows us time for equipment setup, assessment of the location for our shooting strategy, and taking a few shots of the bride, groom, and other wedding party members, etc., before the ceremony.  

In some cases, we start an hour and a half or more before the ceremony, depending on the wedding couple's needs and our mutually planned schedule for the day.  Earlier starts are advisable when the bride and groom want to have more formal photos done before (rather than after) the ceremony.  Sometimes, the bride and groom wish to have a portion (sometimes, even all) of the formal photos out of the way before the ceremony so that there is little or no interruption between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception.  In those cases, we will adjust our start time appropriately in order to have a good comfort zone (time-wise) to get all of the desired photos within the time allowed before the ceremony.  

Please note that formal photos of the entire wedding party (with bride and groom together) taken before the ceremony are the exception rather than the rule.  Most couples still want to do the majority of the posed formals after the ceremony (especially those including both the bride and groom). 

What shooting style do you use for weddings?

We use a combination shooting style, mixing a candid photo approach (occasionally referred to as a photojournalistic style) with the more traditional posed formal photographs.  Much of the style that we use is determined by the agreement that we reach with the bride and groom concerning the type of shots that they want us to use to tell the story of their wedding.  We generally adjust our shooting style to some degree based on what the bride and groom want from us, and we are usually able to determine what the bride and groom want in our pre-wedding consultations with them.

How many photos do you take during a typical wedding day?

With two photographers working together, both shooting, we tend to average about 125 photos per hour over the course of any given wedding, occasionally shooting over 1000 photos on long wedding days. 

It is rare for us to shoot less than 200 photos at a wedding, even a small wedding of relatively short duration.  A larger, longer, and more involved wedding could require 1000 or more photographs to cover all aspects properly

The nature and number of candid photographs and formal photographs are based on the desires of the bride, groom, and family, as well as the photo package agreed upon.  Certain critical moments are captured using more than one photo (for instance, a posed formal photo of the bride and groom following the ceremony, or a large, posed family group shot).  For these situations, we might take two or three photos the same group of people in the same position.  This helps to ensure that the best possible photo (especially in an important posed shot) is available for the final wedding album.  For instance, if someone blinks during one of the posed formal photos, there is always a backup shot to deliver in its place.  For candid photos, it is generally a one-time, one-shot photo:  take the shot, and move on to the next shot or event.  However, if the situation warrants it, we may take several shots of a given "candid" scene.  

We feel that our shooting style leads to very thorough overall coverage of the events of the wedding day, and the resulting photos tell a very good story of the wedding day events.  

How soon after the wedding can the bride and groom expect to see the initial images?

In most cases, the bride and groom can expect to see their initial images within 2 to 3 weeks following the wedding.  

Do you sell wedding digital images for delivery on CD/DVD?

Most of our wedding packages include digital image files as part of the delivery to the bride and groom.  

Do you allow other people to take photographs while you are working?

For the most part, there is no problem with friends and relatives taking photographs while we are doing our work.  All that we ask is that any friends or relatives respect the fact that we have been hired to do a job as quickly and efficiently as possible, and that it is especially important that we have minimal interference during the posed formals session.  It's quite all right if someone wants to take a photograph after we have shot a given pose, but other people taking excessive numbers of photographs during this time can lead to delays in the formal session and thus delays in getting to the reception.  We try to work in such a manner that the formal session is not any longer than necessary.  Thus, too many interruptions in this specific part of our service can lead to inappropriate delays.  

At the reception, are the bride and groom expected to make arrangements to feed the photographer and assistant along with the other guests?

No, this is not an expectation.  If we are invited to join the guests for a meal, we usually accept, but we do not expect for the bride and groom to be obligated to include us as part of the guest list for the meal. 

Are you willing to shoot portraits of small family groups as a part of your wedding and reception photography?

Yes, we are happy to photograph small family groups as long as the bride and groom wish us to do this. 

What types of photographs do you take and what moments do you capture?

During a typical wedding day, we usually shoot some combination of the following types of photos.  But, please remember that this list is somewhat generic, and that each wedding will have its own flavor and character, which could call for photos that may not be included below.  Additionally, in any given wedding situation, there might not be time to take all of the photos listed below (again, because each wedding represents a unique series of events that is not always fully predictable).  However, this list is a pretty good starting point in understanding the types of photos that we try to incorporate into our wedding photography.  Additionally, we are always open to special requested photos by the bride, groom, and family.  

Photos Before the Ceremony

  • Formally posed photos of the bride and groom preparing or waiting for the ceremony to begin (for instance, dressing room shots of the bride alone, bride with mom, bride with dad, bride with maid of honor, bride with bridesmaids, groom alone, groom with mom and dad, groom with best man and groomsmen, etc.)
  • Candid photos of the bride and groom preparing or waiting for the ceremony (for instance, bride putting final touches on make-up or hair, mom helping adjust wedding veil, groomsmen getting boutonnieres, etc.)
  • Photos of bride and/or groom with significant other family members or friends in attendance (for instance, mom, dad, brothers or sisters)
  • Guests arriving, interacting, signing in etc.
  • Exterior and interior of the church or other wedding location (at least a few photos for the memory of where the ceremony took place)

Photos During the Ceremony

  • Interior of the church (or other wedding site) with guests
  • Lighting of church candles
  • Parents and other honored guests being escorted to seats
  • Entrance of minister (or other officiant), groom, and groomsmen
  • Minister, groom, and groomsmen waiting at altar
  • Entrance of bridesmaids (escorted or unescorted)
  • Entrance of flower girl and ring bearer
  • Entrance of bride and father (or other escort)
  • Father giving away bride
  • Various shots during the ceremony (usually without flash and from the back of the church, from balcony, or best available vantage points)
    • Telephoto close-ups of bride, groom, and officiant at altar
    • Wide-angle shots of entire ceremony site and wedding party at altar
    • Special moments (such as bride and groom facing one another, lighting of unity candle, vows, ring exchange, kiss, presentation of bride and groom to the guests as new husband and wife)
    • The recessional (bride and groom walking back down aisle, groomsmen escorting bridesmaids down the aisle)

Formal Photos before or after the ceremony.  (Formal photos are usually after, but sometimes before, the ceremony)  

Various combinations and numbers of the following photographs are typical.  (For more information, please see Notes on Formal Photos at the end of this list.)

  • Bride alone (several shots)
  • Groom alone (several shots)
  • Bride and groom together (several shots)
  • Bride, groom and minister (or other officiant)
  • Bride with maid of honor
  • Bride with each bridesmaid
  • Bride with all bridesmaids
  • Bride with flower girl
  • Groom with best man
  • Groom with groomsmen
  • Groom with each groomsman
  • Groom with ring bearer
  • Bride and groom with bridesmaids
  • Bride and groom with groomsmen
  • Bride and groom with maid of honor and best man
  • Bride and groom with flower girl/ring bearer
  • Bride and groom with entire wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer, ushers)
  • Bride and groom with bride’s parents
  • Bride and groom with groom’s parents
  • Bride and groom with both sets of parents
  • Bride and groom with bride’s extended family (grandparents, sisters and brothers, other special family members - various combinations are usually desired)
  • Bride and groom with groom’s extended family (grandparents, sisters and brothers, other special family members - various combinations are usually desired)
  • Bride and groom with any special friends/guests in attendance

Photos at the Reception

  • Interior and exterior shots of the wedding venue
  • Entrance of bride and groom
  • Bride and groom being served or in food line
  • Bride and groom at wedding party table
  • Bride and groom during toasts (and those giving toasts)
  • Bride and groom cutting the wedding cake
  • Bride and groom feeding each other wedding cake
  • Bride and groom first dance
  • Other special dance moments (father/daughter, mother/son, etc.)
  • Bouquet toss
  • Garter removal/toss
  • Bride and groom's hands/rings (ring shots)
  • Bride's bouquet
  • Parents and special guests at parent’s table (and other "table" shots, as appropriate, and as desired by the bride and groom)
  • The gift table and guest book sign-in table
  • The wedding cakes (close-ups of each cake)
  • Special decorative arrangements (floral arrangements, ice sculptures, etc.)
  • Musicians and/or singers
  • Candid photos of bride, groom, and family members/friends
  • Candid photos of various guests (as appropriate and as desired by the bride and groom)
  • Bride and groom's exit

Notes on Formal Photos:  

Formal posed photos usually include various combinations of the bride, groom, wedding party members, and immediate family members. Posed formals may even include extended family members and close friends.  

Posed formals may be taken either before or after the ceremony. In most cases, we do some formal photos both before and after the ceremony.  Sometimes, the bride, groom and family will decide to do all formal photos before the ceremony  

How much time should be allowed for formal photos? A quick set of formal photos may be taken in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. An extended session may last from 45 minutes to 1 hour. Of course, it depends on the size of the wedding party and the number of family members and friends that it may be desired to include as part of the formal photo session. We try to keep formal photo sessions done after the ceremony under 30 minutes in order to minimize the time in getting the family and wedding party to the reception.  It is often helpful to do some of the formal photography of the bride alone, groom alone, etc., before the ceremony to save time and shorten the photo session after the ceremony. 

It's always a good idea for the bride and groom to make a specific list of all of the family members (or family groups) of whom they'd like to have photos taken.  Such lists can be delivered to us before the wedding and we will bring the list to the wedding with us.  This assists not only the us as photographers, but also helps the family sort out exactly what their formal photography needs will be.  Such a list also helps to speed up the process of taking the formal photos, so that there is less time taken in making last-minute decisions on which groups of people to include in those photos.  

It should be noted that many churches have time limits allowed for formal photography sessions following ceremonies (sometimes as little as 20 to 30 minutes). Often, there may be another scheduled wedding or services for which the church must prepare after a wedding is finished, which can also affect the amount of time available for formal photos. It is always a good idea to check with the church officials well in advance of the actual wedding so that appropriate plans for the formal photo session may be made.  

Questions?  Contact us at:  Al Ruscelli Photography

Some of our local Wedding, Portrait and Event service areas include: 
Harris County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Fort Bend County, Liberty County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Aldine, Alief, Alvin, Angleton, Arcola, Atascocita, Bacliff, Barker, Barrett, The Bay Area, Bayou Vista, Baytown, Bellaire, Port Bolivar, Champions, Channelview, Clear Lake City, Clear Lake Shores, Cloverleaf, Conroe, Crosby, Crystal Beach, Cypress, Deer Park, Dickinson, El Lago, Ellington Field, Friendswood, Kingwood, Galena Park, Galveston, Gilchrist, Hedwig Village, The Heights, Helen's Garden, High Island, Highlands, Hitchcock, Hockley, Houston, Huffman, Hufsmith, Humble, Hunters Creek Village, Jacinto City, Jamaica Beach, Jersey Village, Katy, Kemah, Kingwood, Klein, La Marque, La Porte, Lake Houston, Lake Jackson, League City, Manvel, Missouri City, NASA JSC area, Nassau Bay, Needville, North Houston, Park Row, Pasadena, Pearland, Prairie View, Red Bluff, Rice University, Richmond, Rosenberg, San Leon, San Jacinto, Santa Fe, Seabrook, Sealy, South Houston, South Shore Harbour, Southside Place, Spring, Spring Valley, Stafford, Stuebner, Sugar Land, Sylvan Beach, Taylor Lake Village, Texas City, Tiki Island, Tomball, Webster, West University Place, The Woodlands

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