The Experience

A Step-By-Step Breakdown of THe Booking & Planning Process

Step one:

You Found Me!

Yay!! You’ve discovered Karisa Denae Photography! Whether it was through Instagram, Facebook, Google, or some other avenue, you have found the photographer who is here to be one of your most trusted allies during your wedding planning process, your personal hype woman (cliche but completely true!), and perhaps a lifelong friend 😊 

You’ve probably spent some time checking out my work and if you haven’t, you 100% need to! Seriously…go check it out! I don’t say this so that more eyes are on my work. I say this so that you can understand the STYLE and QUALITY of my work. Listen, your photos are going to last you a lifetime, therefore it is extremely important that the photographer you choose is someone you can trust and has a STYLE and QUALITY of work that you will treasure for years to come! No photographer in this world would ever want to deliver these cherished moments and have you not be 100% in love with the work provided! There are many factors that can play into this, including how you “mesh” with your trusted ally, but a great place to start in your evaluation is what style and quality you dream of when it comes to your wedding photos! Maybe you’re not even sure how to define the style of photography you love and imagine for your big day so no need to worry—you can read a little bit more about the different styles here:

I classify my editing style as a mix of true-to-color/natural and light and airy! Bright, natural light is where your portraits will thrive the best when it comes to having me as your photographer! But that doesn’t mean that I always need bright and natural light to bring about some magic for your photos—rest assured that I can make the magic happen in even the darkest of spaces (it may not look EXACTLY like the photos I’ve taken with natural outdoor lighting but the beauty is still there). 

Step Two:

You're ready to reach out!

Okay, so you’ve reviewed my work and you feel confident that my style and quality is EXACTLY what you want for your wedding photography! 

That fact by itself makes me ECSTATIC!!! But there is much more to our process than what is on the surface. So here’s the next step: you’ll want to fill out my “Contact” form to get your info sent my way so we can start this journey together 💛 And seriously—don’t hesitate to type a novel in the “details” section of the contact form if that’s what suits your fancy (the more details, the better!).

Here's your "step two" task!

You've got questions--I have answers

Even if you're not quite ready to dive into the wedding planning process, it doesn't hurt to reach out! You can use the button below to contact me and learn more information :) Once you do that, scroll down to keep reading about The Process.

Contact me here!

Step Three:

Omg!! karisa responded to my email!!

I’m gonna be very candid here—right off the bat, you’re gonna get an automated email from me once you fill out and submit the contact form. Think of that as your confirmation and a relief that “Whew, okay. She got our email.” I know that I personally wonder to myself if my contact form submissions ever go through to someone I’ve tried to contact, so let that automated email be your peace of mind!

Within 24-48 hours (or possibly even less time!), I will PERSONALLY (as in me, myself, and I) respond to your inquiry. You may even find a questionnaire in this response email so that I can gather a few quick details about you and your wedding day! This helps me to get a better idea of how can I help you in the best way possible! And if you’re not too keen on the idea of answering some questionnaire online, that’s totally okay too! We can always set up a Consultation Meeting in a manner that you prefer—over the phone, via zoom, or even a coffee date! 

Step Four:

The initial Consultation

Don’t let those words scare you! A consultation sounds like a pretty big deal, but this is where you, your partner, and I can learn a bit more about each other, as well as your vision for your wedding photography. Why is that important? As your wedding photographer, we are going to spend a LOT of time together on your wedding day and in the planning process, so it’s important that we make sure we are the perfect fit for each other before diving right into a big commitment (sound familiar? 😉). 

During our consultation, I will learn about your wants, needs, and desires for your wedding photography coverage. Maybe you aren’t even sure what you want or need, and that’s totally okay! We will work our way through the parts of your wedding day that are most important to you and I will give you my professional insight. I’m not going to coerce you into anything you may or may not want—I promise to always lay out the facts and educate you based on my own experience as a professional photographer. I am here to serve YOU in the best way possible! 

Once we dissect a bit more about what is most important to you, I’ll go over the packages I offer, what’s included, and what my suggestion would be based on everything we’ve discussed thus far. My starting prices are always posted on my website, so pleaseeeeee make sure to review this before our consultation so that you don’t feel “blind-sided” by the prices. I can recall searching for my own photographer for my wedding and being so disappointed when I found out a photographer was “out of my budget” after spending so much time doing the whole back-and-forth email exchange before finally getting those prices. I don’t want you to feel as though your time has been wasted if you find out during our consultation meeting that I am out of your budget, so just know that my starting prices will always be posted on my website.

At this point, we’ve gone over your vision and expectations, I’ve told you my recommendations as well as information about pricing, and now it’s time for you to ask ANY (literally ANY) questions you may have! Listen, I don’t expect you to be filled with questions right off the bat because we all know how we think of questions later on rather than in-the-moment. And that’s why this next part is important.

Step Five:

post-consultation (Really? that's a thing? yes!)

After our consultation, I will temporarily “hold” your date for 48 hours after our chat. In case you haven’t noticed, wedding photography can be a HUGE investment!!! This means that you also need to invest your time considering the information I’ve provided so that you feel 100% AMAZING about working with me! No one wants that “buyers remorse” feeling, so this is your time to make sure all of your bases and important questions are covered before diving in to this commitment. You can send me a million messages if you want to after our meeting! Like I said, I’m here for YOU! I’m here to make sure you get everything you’ve hoped for (well, at least when it comes to your wedding photography!).

Step six:

Okay, enough with this “Consultation” stuff!

We are ready to BOOK!!

WOOHOO!! I’m sending you a virtual high-five right now!! Guess what—I’m just as excited to work with you too!! So let’s get down to business! 

Once you’ve said “I Do!” to my services, I will send you a customized proposal via email. This proposal will lay out the Terms of Service as well as the payment schedule. To get you officially booked, I will need you and your partner’s signature on an electronic contract as well as non-refundable retainer payment. This payment is applied to your total balance so don’t worry—it’s not some extra fee. The non-refundable retainer payment varies based on the package you’ve selected, but I’ll put it simply: 

For packages over $1000, the non-refundable retainer is $500.

For packages under $1000, the non-refundable retainer is 50% of the total balance.

Regardless of the package you choose, your final balance is due 2 WEEKS prior to your big day! You can make payments in whatever schedule best suits you: once a month, every two weeks, every 90 days, the remaining balance on that “2 Weeks Prior” mark—literally any schedule that works best so long as it is fully paid on or by that 2 week point!

You, your future spouse, and myself are gonna make some magic like this!

Step seven:

Woohoo! We are booked!!!

We did it!! We had our consultation, decided we are a perfect fit, we’ve signed our contact, AND we’ve paid our retainer! We have got the ball rolling and I know that I personally couldn’t be any happier 😊 I hope you’re feeling the same way! Doesn’t it feel good to mark one more “To-Do” off of your wedding planning list? Cheers to that!

Step eight:

the planning process

If you’ve booked your engagement session with me, we will start planning this right away! I’ll send you lots of great info (including a style guide & “what to expect guide”) and we will start chatting about dates and locations for your engagement session. 

***A note about engagement sessions

I’m going to be very candid with you again (expect nothing less from me!). Engagement sessions aren’t JUST to get some cute photos of you and your partner for your Save-The-Dates, invites, or wedding website. To save some reading, I’m going to list out why an engagement session can make a HUGE difference in how your wedding day will proceed:

  • We get to meet IN PERSON before your wedding day! This means I’m not just some stranger showing up on your wedding day, which also means that you’ll be much more comfortable and familiar with me when I arrive on your wedding day! It’ll be as if a long-time friend has shown up 😊
  • This is our chance to PRACTICE! Yes, I said practice. During my engagement sessions, this is where I teach the core poses that will be the basis for almost any pose I direct you and your partner to get into on your wedding day! Would you show up to play a football game or orchestra concert without practicing? Probably not, so you probably shouldn’t do the same on your wedding day! Think of how fast and easy it would be to knock out your couple’s portraits if I showed up on your wedding day and said “Hey, do you guys remember such-and-such pose? Let’s do that.” And you two instantly knew what I was talking about! The faster we can get through those couples portraits, the faster we can get you to your cocktail hour/reception (AKA the faster you can get back to your party!). 
  • Listen, this “Engagement Era” comes to an end eventually. Think of the excitement you had as you saw that ring on your finger for the first time or when you got to call your partner your “fiancé/fiancée” for the very first time! This era doesn’t last forever (duh, that’s why you’re engaged to be MARRIED!), so why not capture those giddy and excited moments leading up to the day you exchange your vows? 
  • Okay I had to throw it in: you’ll also get super cute photos for your Save-The-Dates/invites/wedding website/social media to brag about how lucky you are to be marrying your partner in crime!

Okay, enough about engagement sessions because that turned into a novel itself almost. So much for "listing it out" to save some reading. Oops! Can you tell I love to give details? Anyways…back to the rest of the planning process!

Whether you booked your engagement session with me or not, I’m going to send you another questionnaire to learn even more about you and your partner! It’s important to me that I understand you as a couple and as individuals because I’m not here to just show up on your wedding day and snap some photos—I’m here to capture your most authentic selves and understand you as human beings!! I’m not just the girl with the fancy camera—I’m here to be your friend and someone you can trust to understand you and your partner as I capture your love story!

Starting 6 months prior to your wedding, I will reach out every couple of months to check-in, see how the wedding planning process is going, and see how I can be of assistance. Need some vendor recommendations? I’ve got plenty to give! All you have to do is ask 😊

Two months prior to your wedding, I will send a final questionnaire to gather the important details—the who, what, where, and when (we already know the “why” 😂). This final questionnaire helps me to formulate a photography timeline that will allow for a smooth and stress-free day in regards to your wedding photography. This is also where I give you some “tips & tricks” for a smooth process throughout your day.

Step nine:

it's your wedding day!!

Okay, deep breath!! The big day has arrived and it’s go-time! I’ve just gotta say this: no wedding day has ever been perfectly on schedule so what I need you to do is remember to breathe when you start to feel stressed or overwhelmed. Seriously. When you feel any sense of frustration or anxiety, I want you to remember this: pause, inhale, hold it for 5-10 seconds, and exhale slowly. Do this a couple times if you have to! There’s no judgement here, nor from anyone else supporting you on your big day. Nothing can ever be 100% perfect all of the time, and that is what adds to the beauty of this world and our lives. What I need you to remember is that you have meticulously curated your big day to include family, friends, and vendors who will support you and have your back every step of the way and make the best of any situation that can be thrown our way (yes, I said OUR way because you’re not alone in this!!) Speaking for myself, I will be there to assist in any way that I can. I’m not a wedding planner/day-of coordinator, but you’d better bet that I will step in to help (when time allows it)! Now your job is simple:

  • Get ready
  • Show up to your ceremony on time
  • Get married!!
  • Have fun!! Enjoy your day!

Let myself and your other vendors take care of the rest! That’s why we’re on your team, remember? Now let’s get out there, have some fun, and enjoy each and every moment of this life-changing day! Just wait until I call you Mr./Mrs. & Mr./Mrs. [insert last name here] for the first time 😉 It’s EXHILARATING!!!!

Step 10 (yes i know--it's a lot of steps):

The Wedding Has Happened—So When Do We Get Our Photos?!

I’m hoping that you are on your honeymoon at this point but if not, no need to worry! Just soak up that beautiful “just married” feeling and know that you’ll be getting some sneak peeks from me within 2-4 days after your wedding day!! It’s excruciating to wait—I know—but rest assured that I pride myself on delivering the best of the best to you and it can take a little bit of time! When it comes to editing your images, there’s not just a single button that creates the perfect image! I address every tiny detail that I can (yes, even that baby hair that is out of place or that terribly ugly fire exit sign that is above the doorway you walk through as you enter your reception). I want you to keep this in mind as you wait for your images—“Good things come to those who wait,” and boy does that statement ring true when it comes your wedding photos! 

As far as your full gallery delivery goes, the timeframe varies depending upon your coverage time and this is something we would have discussed in our consultation/booking process 😊

Step 11:

It's here!! the full gallery is ready!!!

I feel like this section may or may not be self-explanatory based on the section title, but I’ll explain it anyways! Within 6-8 weeks after your wedding (depending on coverage time), your full gallery will be delivered via a private online gallery!! You’ll be able to download and share as much as you want, as well as purchase prints directly through the online gallery! The world is your oyster when it comes to downloading and sharing! All I ask is that you tag me (your new best friend hopefully) wherever you share your stunning images 😊 I know we get sooo excited to share and maybe forget to tag those who helped to make your special day a reality, but I want you to remember this: your mention of your vendors is truly one of the biggest “tips” you can give! Recommendations can go so far in helping us vendors continue to bring about the dreams of others, so when someone comes across your images and they wonder to themselves “Wow, I love that photographer/florist/decorator/etc. I wish I knew who they were!“, all they have to do is read the mentions/tags and move forward with creating a vision for themselves inspired by YOU (yes, YOU!!! You and your vision is a HUGE inspiration to others!!). Think of it like you’re “paying it forward” 😉

Step 12 (i promise it's the last step!):

So...we have the full gallery. now what?

Just because the wedding is over doesn’t mean it has to be the last time we work together!! If you loved your images and your experience with me, I want you to always remember that I am here!! I may specialize in weddings, but I also photograph many other occasions—maternity, newborn, high school/college seniors, professional headshots, and so much more! Nothing can warm my heart more than a client who comes back time and time again to let me capture their life as new and exciting times come into existence! You can always reach out to me as your lifelong friend and the documenter of your accomplishments in this beautiful life of yours 💛 You’ve got my contact information, so please never hesitate to reach out to me if you’re in need of capturing your milestones in life 💛 As I’ve said throughout this entire process, I. AM. HERE. FOR. YOU. Do not ever forget that 💛


Alyse & Ryan ★★★★★

“Karisa was amazing, she was so quick to respond, and had sample photos ready for us very quickly. When we received the final photos we were amazed at how well everything turned out. She was wonderful and so sweet with us and our family. I am so appreciative of how the photos of our big day turned out. Thank you Karisa for making it so special!!!”

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