Why book Mark Hopkins for my wedding photography?

Choosing the right wedding photographer for you is not just about liking their photos and prices. There are a few other factors you should consider. Of course the artsistic quality and style is a big one but you may want to consider their personality as well. My personality is kinda laid back and I am easy to get along with. I am NOT the bossy, loud-mouth type that will be barking ordersnor directing you what to do on your weding day. I approach your weding as a part photojournalist and part director. This means for the formal/posed photos with family, bridal party, bride and groom session, I will give some direction to achieve the look I want. However, during the rest of the day I take a more unobtrusive approach to photographing your wedding day as it develops. With that said my pricing and packages are very reasonable for someone with over 15 years in wedding experience. I also dress according to your wedding. I try to fit in with your guests. A couple of other things to consider: I can shoot video clips at the same time as photography. When you hire Mark Hopkins you get me, not some other random photographer.

What should I look for when hiring a photographer?

When looking at online portfolios make sure and look for portfolios from photographers that show complete weddings from beginning to end. Many photographers will only show you their best images from a handful of weddings. That's too easy! Many newbie photographers will assist an established photographer as a second photographer and then take those images and throw up a website. Voila! Now they're a professional photographer with years of experience. True! I had a gal assist me once when she was just starting out. A few months later I see her website and she says she's a wedding photographer with years of experience shooting weddings. Not hating, people do what they have to do but true story. I think it's very misleading, because photographing as an assistant or second photographer isn't the same as taking on all the responsibility as a main photographer. It's much more work being the main photographer. Therefore, look for portfolios that show at least 50 images of several different full weddings. It's much more challenging to produce 50 great images from several wedding than ten images from 6 different weddings. Looking at full weddings gives you a very good idea of a photographer's true capability.

Should I hire a studio or a freelancer for my wedding?

If great photography is your priority then you're better off hiring a freelancer. If affordability is your priority then the large national studios are an option but not your only option. These national studios usually have many photographers on hand. With some studios you get to choose your photographer, but some do not give even give you that luxury. In addition, usually you will not meet your photographer in person until the wedding day, if you're lucky you will meet them a few weeks before the wedding. National studios have sales reps or so-called wedding planners that you will meet with instead of photographers. If you're looking for more creative and artsitic photography, you may be better off with a freelancer.

There are many good freelancers who are not much more in price than the national studios that I would prefer. You will also get to meet your photographer before you book them which I feel is very important. For one, you get to see if their personalities are a good fit for you and your wedding, and secondly, you will probably just feel more comfortable with having someone at your wedding that you didn't just meet 10 minutes ago.

How many hours of coverage will I need?

Most weddings can be photographed with full coverage in 6 hours. Weddings with church ceremonies may need at least 7 or 8 hours of coverage. Of course, smaller weddings that are less traditional can be covered in less than 6 hours. It all comes down to your timeline and what type of photography you want. I fyou want getting ready photos?.

How much should I be paying for wedding photography?

Well that's entirely up to you and your budget. But in my 15 plus years of experience, I can honestly tell you that the price for a wedding photographer hasn't changed at all. The lower priced shooters are charging the same as they did 15 years ago. So while photography hasn't gone up catering certainly has. So that's the good news.

When it comes to photography in general, there is a big visual difference in the photography quality between photographers charging $100 an hour and those charging $400 plus per hour. With that said there are some very good photographers in the middle too. Is the $400 per hour photographer better than the $250 per hour shooter? Not necessarily at all. The higher priced photographers have just made a name for themselves just like some brands of jeans are more expensive than others. Expect to pay at least $1500 to $2000 for 6 hours of coverage for good photography and over $2000 for the better photographers. When I say better, I mean photography that is more appealing artistically.

Speaking of prices, what are your rates?

My starting rates vary. Most San Diego weddings and events are in the $200-$300 an hour range, but for last-minute bookings I may drop that to $150 an hour. I can give you more specifics when you contact me.

More FAQs will be posted soon.