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Frequently Asked Photography Questions

General Questions

On this page you will find Orange County Wedding photographer FAQ

Will you be the main photographer at my wedding?
When you book Christopher Todd studios you will get me and a 2nd photographer from my team, at your wedding location to photograph your wedding. Unless specifically decided between us before booking.

How many weddings/events do you shoot per year?

30-40 weddings. We are a boutique studio, our focus is primarily on maintaining creative inspiration and client service/relationship. Shooting more than 40-50 weddings simply makes this an impossible task.
How long have you been in business?
Shooting weddings since 1999. Time flies huh!
How long will you stay at my wedding?
Really depends how long it takes to tell your wedding story. A typical one location wedding requires 7-8 hours coverage. I can help you determine how much coverage you need to cover all the important parts of your wedding day.
We have a time gap between the ceremony and reception. Will you charge us for that block of time?
Yes, because that gap will be filled with photography. My coverage starts with the first photograph and ends with the last.
Can you provide me two or more photographers?
Absolutely, at Christopher Todd Studios we generally work in photography teams to never miss a moment.
Have you photographed a wedding at my venue before?
There is a good chance we have. If not we would be happy to schedule a walk through with you or your coordinator to view the property before the wedding. Learn more about Orange County venues here.
What is your policy on friends & family photographing our wedding?
No problem. We understand it’s a big day, and we don’t mind if friends and family want to take pictures. We do ask they refrain during certain times. In the past we have had couples with overzealous photographers in their family that have ruined amazing images. We request to not have friends and family swarm around us while we are taking group shots. It distracts the people in the group, which leads to people looking in different directions for the final image. We also request that friends and family don’t accompany us on our bride and groom session, to maintain the intimacy, and prevent distraction during the session. An unplugged wedding is another trend. The wedding invitations requests guests to leave their phones, and cameras at home, so they can be in the moment.
Do we need to feed you at the reception?
Please let us take a short break to recharge our batteries. We don’t need to have seats in the reception, but it is most appreciated to give us a little time to have a quick meal, and re-hydrate before getting into the swing of the party. Dinner is typically the best time for a break since pictures of people eating are never very popular. If you're planning on doing table shots, be sure to let us know so we can be prepared to meet your needs.
What if Christopher Todd gets very ill or dies?
Let's hope this one never happens, but if Christopher Todd were to become ill or incapacitated before your wedding, he will provide a colleague with equal experience to photograph your wedding. We have been shooting weddings since 1999, and have many connections and good relationships with many local photographers, as well as an inner circle of very talented local photographers that have formed an emergency group to help one another if necessary. I have helped a couple friends when their children have born in the past. I have not yet called upon these services in 15 years and 600+ weddings. Knock on wood.
Do you shoot engagement portrait sessions?
Definitely. In fact I strongly encourage it. Engagement sessions are a great way for us to get to know you, and you us. It gives us some insight into the best approach to work with you, along with having a great time, and making some amazing images. Learn more about Orange County engagement photography.
Do you shoot family portrait sessions?
Yes usually, 20-30 per year. Typically referral, or previous wedding clients. I can work with newborns, toddlers, young children, tweens, or your high school seniors. Sessions like this are typically done in a park, or at the beach, but don’t forget it’s also fun to shoot family’s doing things they love to do together, like making banana splits in the kitchen, or riding bikes at the beach. It’s good to think out of the box when planning your next family portrait.
Do you photograph LGBT same sex weddings?
Absolutely. We are all about capturing LOVE no matter who is sharing it.
What should we know about you before we hire you to hang out with us on our wedding day?
I like to have fun! I also love the outdoors. When I'm not shooting a wedding you might find me surfing with my kids, planning a trip, or having dinner with my family. My home is a little chaotic at times with my wife, 2 children and 4 dogs. My dogs usually decide to bark when I get on a phone call.


What style is wedding photography?
My photographic style is multifaceted, but if have to nail me down I prefer photojournalistic, and spontaneous. I am typically looking for the moments when you stop thinking about being photographed, and are really in the moment. My goal is simple to say, and difficult to achieve. Worthwhile images need to say something! They need to have depth, or tell a story. This is my goal. Make images that show who you are. Images that show your connection with your husband/wife, or your love of family and friends. It’s the total of all these moments that make your wedding story. Like I said before, easy to say, and hard to achieve.
Are you a natural light photographer?
Yes and no. In my experience, I have found that the term natural light photographer is often used incorrectly. Many self taught photographers use the term "natural light" when they should be saying to the bride and groom "I don't understand how flash works, or I'm not comfortable working with a flash". Most of the images we create for you will be with natural light, as long as the natural light is flattering. In the instance that the natural light is terrible, we typically add light or take away light to make you look amazing. We are also very skilled at finding great natural light in places you might not notice.
Do you take posed portraits during the wedding day?
At every wedding. Sometimes families get spread out over the country or world. Almost every couple asks me to make portraits of close family and friends.
Can I give you a list of the wedding pictures I want?
Only for family grouping. However, it is always useful to know which important friends/ relatives are attending, or important details. Working from a checklist compromises our ability to capture great moments. The work you’ve seen on our website due to the candid nature requires a patience and anticipation. It is extremely important to take the time to go over the photography details a couple weeks prior to the wedding date to communicate exactly what you're looking for when working with us.


My wedding venue or reception venue is dark. Can you make great photos at night?
Yes I can. I typically photograph a few weddings every year because I am good at low light wedding photography. The key to shooting in low light is understanding off camera lighting techniques, and having the best professional gear. This is typically the environment that less experienced photographers have epic wedding photography failures. Take a peek at some examples of dark receptions here.
What kind of camera do you use?
We work with Sony Mirrorless cameras, and Canon 5D mark 3’s, and all professional (L-series) lenses. Canon flashes, and various light modifiers.
Do you use / have backup gear?
Definitely! Rest assured we bring a minimum of 3 cameras, 5 or more lenses, flashes, 100 gigs of memory cards to each wedding. If a piece of our equipment goes down during a wedding we will have a replacement on hand.
Can I have the unedited RAW files?
We deliver images in the .jpg format. RAW files are giant computer slaying beasts designed for image manipulation. Raw image files are also not a printable format, meaning your local costco, or a professional photo lab will not be able to make prints for you. Raw files require special computer software like Adobe lightroom or Photomechanic to view and process. In the past I've given RAW files to clients that were also photographers. However, in general couples tend to hire me because they like my photographic style, and the way I process their wedding images.


How can I schedule a meeting with you in your studio?
Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click contact, or pick up the phone and call our studio at 800-501-2063. You can also email us at
How do I reserve you for my wedding date?
Once you decide on Christopher TODD we need to get a signed copy of your contract, and a deposit for 50% of your wedding package. The balance is due 1 month before your wedding date.
Can you hold a date for me?
Only with a signed contract and deposit.
How much do you charge?
I have many options available to fit every budget. Wedding packages range from $3900-7000, depending on the time of year. Typically, I create custom packages for my couples, that fit their desires and budget. It is always best to come into my studio or give me a call 800-501-2063 so I can get a feel for what you're looking for, and create the perfect package for you.
Can we pay you after the wedding?
No we collect 100% payment 30 days before your wedding.
Can you provide our wedding venue or church a certificate of business insurance (COI)?
Yes, many locations require it, and we might already have a certificate of insurance on file with your wedding venue, saving you or your wedding coordinator an email. It’s also just important for anyone who is serious about their business to have insurance. Make sure your photographer has insurance.
How many weddings have you photographed?
Over 600 in the last 15 years.
How do you accept payment?
Cash, check, or credit card.
Do you charge sales tax?
California state sales tax is collected for all jobs we photograph unless

You are not a resident of California, and have a valid out of state address. Or we are only providing you with digital files that are transferred to you via ftp over the internet, We have an online gallery we upload images to with detailed instructions to download your images.

Do you give discounts for weekday weddings?
Yes. Be sure to ask us if you're celebrating on a weekday, last minute, or off-season wedding.
I'm cancelling. Can I have my retainer back?
No. The retainer fee and all monies paid are non-refundable. Your retainer guarantees that we will hold the date exclusively for you and once you’ve signed the contract we do turn down all other commissions for that date.


Do you photograph destination weddings?
Yes, I shoot a handful every year. I’ve shot wedding all over the west coast, just about every Hawaiian island. Mexico to Alaska, and the Midwest. I love to travel, and have vast experience working away from home, and all the extra details associated with destination weddings.
How much do you charge for travel?
Above my normal photography rates, I require a roundtrip non-stop flight from a local airport (LAX. LONG BEACH, ORANGE COUNTY). A minimum two night accommodations in the same hotel with the bride and groom (3 nights for international), and a rental car when necessary.


Will I get my digital images and when?
Yes. A USB thumb drive with all your high resolution (12x18 @300 dpi) images from your wedding gallery is available approx. We are contractually obligated to deliver your wedding images one month after your wedding, however we try to have your digital files ready two weeks after your wedding day. We can also provide you with your images via download to directly transfer from your online gallery.
How many wedding images will I get?
Because every wedding, and family is so different, we do not promise a specific number of images from a wedding. However, a typical 8 hour wedding will yield 800ish images. In the last 5 years the smallest wedding image delivery was approximately 500 images, and the largest delivery approximately 1200 images.
Can I see all the wedding images, even the ones that get deleted?
No. Please trust that we are awesome at making the thousands of decisions needed to bring your wedding images from our camera to your wedding album. Brides & Grooms often hire us for our post production quality and technique. Our goal is to always create a wedding gallery with the best possible photographs, that reflect your style and taste. We are always open to dialog about your post production preferences if you desire.
Will you put our images online and how long will it take?
Your images will be put in a password protected web gallery. You can use the gallery to share your images with family and friends. Your web gallery will be available after we complete your wedding album planning session.
Do you retouch our wedding photographs?
Images are edited, and color corrected (see examples) before they are presented in your web gallery. Retouching is done on a per image basis in photoshop for any images that are ordered a la carte as prints, downloads, or are selected to go into an album you have ordered through us.
Where will the photos from the wedding day be available to view?
Your wedding will first appear on my blog. Then shortly thereafter, the entire set of images will be located in your personal web gallery.
Do you backup my wedding images?
Your wedding images are family treasures and we treat them as such. All images are immediately copied from the memory cards to two separate hard drives after your wedding. One drive is edited, color corrected, and finished. Once completed, the finished images are copied onto the cloud for offsite archiving. We typically keep finished wedding sets of images on are computers for 12 months. We explicitly state that we do not guarantee to back up your wedding files indefinitely. That said, we will definitely do our best to keep your images archived for years to come, but we strongly encourage all our clients to make their own backup copies of their images.


How long does it take to get my album?
Once you select the images for the book it takes 1-2 weeks to get a design online. After you approve the design, and select your album color, cover image, and custom text it takes 3-5 weeks for your finished book to arrive.
How does the design process work?
Shortly after your wedding we will re-connect in our studio to select the images for your album. We will go through your entire image set selecting the images that best tell your wedding story. We will then design you an incredible book like it was our own wedding. Most albums typically range from 30-60 pages. When our dream design is finished we will present it to you for approval before retouching or any printing. Once you view your design you're free to make any design changes you like. After the design is completed we will retouch each photograph, and send the album into production.
Why do you design that way?
For a couple reasons. Our clients hire us not only for our experience planning, and photographing weddings, but also for the high quality products we deliver. We have found that while some clients might have a knack for picking the best images, most don’t approach the image selection process with a wedding story approach. Our experienced in selecting images, that not only tell a story, but also work well visually on each spread will yield a supreme design.
How do I order prints from you?
Directly through your personal web gallery.
How long does it take to get prints?
About 7-10 days depending on our production schedule, and where you live.

Do you only photograph weddings?

I do not just photograph weddings. I am an event photographer, which includes corporate events, holiday parties, anniversary parties, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Bris/Brit Milah, vow renewals, family portraits, and product photography. I also try to make time for creative personal projects.

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