FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Click on the frequently asked questions below to reveal the drop-down answer.
How do I officially book to reserve a date and time with Fiander Foto?
Signed contracts/model releases by the couple (or those being photographed) are required to reserve a date and time for all photography packages. The paperwork is signed online from a computer or smartphone. For large wedding photo packages, a 50% non-refundable deposit is also required. Full payment is required for all shorter weddings, photo shoots, or weddings/events booked last minute. Please scroll down to the "Legal Paperwork & Releases" section for more details regarding contracts, model, location, and vendor releases.
How far in advance should I book a wedding?
To provide my clients with the best photographic services, I shoot a limited amount of weddings during the height of the season (April to November). Please be sure to send in an inquiry and book your wedding date well in advance - particularly if your wedding takes place around a holiday or holiday weekend. Most clients book within 1 year of their wedding date, although this is not required.
How far in advance should I book a portrait session, event, or content shoot?
For these types of photo shoots, I recommend booking 3-6 months in advance, although this is not required.
What time of day is the best for a photo shoot?
Aside from the Wedding Photo Packages, the majority of my photo shoots start 60 - 120 minutes (give/take) either after sunrise or before sunset. This time frame is known as the Golden Hours. Shooting during this time frame helps to ensure a soft and flattering lighting effect.
Where will the photo shoot take place?
The location of a photo shoot is very important, and it's best to keep it simple. Depending on what type of photo shoot you are purchasing, I may suggest an urban, countryside, landscape, or studio setting. If you have a special location in mind - perhaps at your home, your favourite park, or where you met your honey - please be sure to tell me.
What happens if it rains on my wedding day? Or during my photo shoot?
For any weddings or photo shoots occurring in Bermuda or other tropical destinations, please be advised that the forecast can change quickly. One moment the forecast may call for rain and hours beforehand, the clouds will clear and the sun will shine. This is known as "typical island weather".
Rain on a wedding day is said to mean good luck for the happy couple, although it can also mean switching a few things around for photographs. Weddings cannot be rescheduled, although ceremonies or portrait sessions may be moved either indoors or under covered areas. Please ensure that your venue has a "Plan B" in terms of a location for rain. The same advice would also be given for events.
All portrait sessions and content shoots are paired with a rain date. In the event of rain or poor weather conditions, as the photographer, I will make a "rain call" either the day before or on the day of a scheduled photo shoot. If the shoot needs to be rescheduled, the "rain date" is already set in place for the client. This rescheduling occurs at no additional cost to the client.
Can I purchase a gift certificate for someone?
Absolutely! Gift certificates are available for any of the packages mentioned above. Certificates can be purchased directly from me for a specific photo shoot; please e-mail me for details!
How long is the gift certificate good for?
Unless otherwise specified on the gift certificate, the receiver of the gift has one year from the purchase date to use the certificate. It is encouraged for receivers of the certificate to book shoots well in advance.
Can a gift certificate for one type of photo shoot be "traded in" for another?
Depending on the package price of the photo shoot that was purchased, it may be possible for the receiver of the gift to trade it in for a different type of shoot. For example, if the cost of one the "Lifestyle" genre photo shoots is the same as another, the receiver can ask for different photographs to be taken.
Can a gift certificate be used to put towards a larger package?
Sure! If you would like to buy a gift certificate to help a loved one pay for a photo shoot, go for it! For example, if you know someone who is getting married and would like to help them pay for their wedding package, purchase a gift certificate for them to put towards the wedding photography package.
Does the receiver of the gift certificate have to sign a contract / model release?
Yes. If someone is being photographed, a contract / model release is required to officially "seal the deal" and reserve the date. If the receiver of the gift certificate refuses to sign a contract / model release, unfortunately, I will not be able to move forward with the shoot. Please note: once certificates are purchased, they are non-refundable.
How will I find Melanie once we arrive at the photo shoot location?
Detailed directions and exact locations marked on Google Maps are given to my clients via email. Depending on the shoot location, I may also include a screenshot of what the location looks like from Google Maps. Please be sure to review the directions and location on Google Maps prior to our shoot.
Should I bring my cell phone to the photo shoot?
YES! I like to stay in communication with my clients either the day before or the day of a photo shoot to re-confirm plans regarding weather, the location, start and end time of the shoot. For those travelling internationally with smartphones, I would kindly recommend purchasing a data plan from your cell phone provider to help ensure you do not miss any messages that may be vital to the shoot. WIFI is also an option (when and where available).
How should I prepare for the photo shoot?
Although you probably already do this: be sure to eat healthy meals a week leading up to your photo shoot and drinks a lot of water. This can help your skin look clear and fresh before your pictures are taken. Avoid alcohol and salty food 48 hours before a shoot to ensure your face does not appear "puffy." Last but not least, arrive at the shoot well rested and ready to have fun!
What should I (we) wear during the shoot?
Once you decide what type of photo shoot you'd like and where it will take place, you may want to "dress for the occasion, location, and season." I typically encourage my clients to wear solid colours or lightly patterned outfits; avoid clothing that is mismatched. Does that mean a family portrait should have everyone wearing white tops and khaki bottoms? Well, only if it's for a GAP commercial circa 2006. (haha) "Matchy Matchy" is not attractive although working with complementary colours that match your skin tone will be stunning! When in doubt, consult "Google." Try a search phrase like "What to wear for family portrait shoots" or "What to wear for your engagement shoot."
Should I (we) get our hair, make-up, and nails done?
As a photographer, I'm a strong believer in professional hair, make-up, and nails! With that said, it's best to avoid "overdoing it" when it comes to these topics. Be sure to choose a hairdresser and a cosmetic artist who can accentuate your features yet still allow you to maintain a natural appearance. A pastel or nude colour nail polish or a french manicure typically goes well with all outfit choices.
What should I do to ensure my skin looks healthy for a photo shoot?
The first rule of thumb when it comes to skin looking healthy for a photo shoot is to stay out of the sun! Avoid getting burned before your shoot to avoid tan lines! Ensure that you drink plenty of water two weeks leading up to your shoot, which will help to make sure your skin complexion is clear. Avoid trying a new facial cleaning regime before your shoot; stick to what you know works well for your skin.
How do you approach your subjects during a photo shoot?
I was trained as a documentary photographer and shoot my commercial clients in a similar manner. However, I also have a passion for traditional portraiture too! I will shoot "candid moments" as well as traditional poses during a photo shoot. I'm happy to offer guidance to my clients regarding how to pose or how to enact a specific expression. My favourite and most popular approach, however, is to allow my clients to "act natural" in front of the lens while I take photographs that capture their true emotions to tell the story of that moment.
Will the final photographs be colour images or black and white?
Most of the images will be in colour, and some will be in black and white. I use my artistic discretion to decide which photographs will be edited as colour or black and white. Depending on my schedule, my clients may have the option to request a re-edit for no more than five images from a photo shoot at an additional one-time cost. Clients can order colour prints as black and white from their online gallery, although not vice-versa.
Who edits the photos?
As a boutique photography business, all of your images will be edited personally by myself. This also helps to ensure that all of my clients receive a fabulous Fiander Foto product. With the images being edited "in house"verses being outsourcing to a separate company, this also helps to keep the package prices reasonable. Editing may include adjusting the exposure, highlights/shadows, white balance, colour correction, cropping, and removing distracting elements from the photo.
How long does the editing take?
The saying "Rome wasn't built in a day" also applies to photography. After a photo shoot ends, the real fun begins!
The length of time for editing depends on the type of photo shoot that is booked. For weddings and events, I strive to deliver images within 10 to 12 weeks. For the shorter photo shoots, the editing process can take between 5 to 7 weeks. Please note: during the busy wedding season, the editing process may take longer. If a client is in a hurry, s/he can purchase a "rush order" on the editing process à la carte.
Please note: if the client has a wedding package with a payment plan, the images are not released until the final payment has been made successfully.
How will the images be delivered?
High-resolution images are sent to the client(s) via an online gallery, where they can download the files straight to their computer. The online gallery will be available for at least one year.
Once the client(s) has downloaded the images, it is strongly encouraged for clients to back-up their files to the cloud as well as to an external hard drive(s). If a client accidentally deletes or misplaces his/her files, it may be possible to purchase another set à la carte.
Please note: As a professional photographer, I work with many large image files and it is not a guarantee that files are preserved over time.
What file types will be delivered? What can I do with these files?
High-resolution JPEG files are sent to the client(s). The JPEG files will be able to be opened on both Mac and PC computers.
With these large high-resolution files, you'll be able to order prints, canvas wraps, metal prints, etc. - in a variety of sizes; from 4" x 6" to large 30" x 40".
Assuming photo credit is given, you can also share your images on social media. Please refer to your contract for details regarding sharing and publishing images.
What are RAW files? Do you deliver the RAW files?
As a professional photographer, I shoot RAW files. These files can be opened in editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Capture One, etc. RAW files are the unedited and unfinished images. Unlike JPEG files, the camera does not make any adjustments to the exposure, colour, contrast, etc. As the photographer, I make these adjustments to the RAW files myself using different editing software programs. From there, the RAW files are converted to high-resolution JPEG images.
Please note: clients do not receive the unedited RAW files; clients only receive the finished high-resolution JPEG files. These completed JPEG files are edited in accordance with my Fiander Foto branding.
Do you offer wedding albums and photo books?
Yes! Some of the wedding photography packages include an album: a 14" x 11" hard-covered album with an oatmeal fabric cover; a cotton fibre blend. This is handmade, hard-covered, and comes with hinged pages, allowing it to lay flat when opened, which adds an extra level of elegance. The paper in the album has a matte finish and is printed with six ink colours, rather than with toner, to produce the best quality imagery. The couple's names and wedding date are embossed on the cover of the album in gold. This package album also comes with a matching box to protect the album. Clients who purchase a photo package that does not come with an album can either add on a 14x11 or 10x10 album á la carte.
Clients also have the option to upgrade their album in their photo package to a 12" x 12" real or vegan leather in black, brown, or white for an additional cost. This album is flush mounted in a traditional style: tucked corners, padded cover, with a library spine. Pages are printed on a Luster finish and the corners of the pages can either be rounded or square. Custom embossing is available to include the couples' names and wedding date on the cover in gold or silver. Both the real or vegan leather options come with a matching box.
Matching "parent albums" can be purchased for all of the album and photo book options à la carte.
Photo books are available for any type of photoshoot! This is a great gift option: a 10" x 10" hard-covered photo book with non-hinged matte finish pages and an oatmeal fabric cover. Custom embossing is also available.
How many images are included in the wedding album?
If you selected a small photo package with 1-3 hours of coverage, your album will include 20-25 photographs. If you selected the "Wedding Day: Package B or C", your album will include 30-40 images. If you selected the "Wedding Day: Package D", your album will include 40-50 photos. If you selected a custom wedding package with coverage of 4-7 hours, your album will include between 25-35 photographs.
How are the images chosen for the wedding album or photo books? How long does this process take?
There are two options: the first is that I can hand select the best images for you. These photos will focus on "telling" the entire story of the your wedding day. Flattering images of you two and your guests are selected based on the colour, composition, and how the images may look side-by-side with each other. From there, I design the layout of the album and send you an online version for review. You're able to make one round of changes before the album is sent off to print. This process typically takes 3-4 weeks from start to finish.
With the second option, you can choose your own images. After you receive your wedding photographs, you are given 3 weeks to choose which images you would like to be in your album. You may extend this time frame for an additional week, although the end of the 4th week is a firm deadline. If images are unselected by the 4th week, you can choose to revert back to Option 1 (noted above) or you can purchase additional time for me to stay on the project. This additional time is billed á la carte: $25/day or $175/week. Assuming the client does not require additional time and/or depending on how fast the client tells me which images s/he likes, this second option usually takes about 5-8 weeks from start to finish.
It's important for me to deliver your wedding album as soon as possible in order to complete the "photo package delivery". It can sometimes be very time consuming for the client to go through their hundreds of photographs to try and narrow them down to a select few. Because I'm already very familiar with the images, some of my clients opt for the first option in order to receive their wedding album quicker. Although some clients prefer to have a more "hands-on" experience with picking their photos to create their album.
Please note: because the albums are outsourced and created by a seperate pringint company, I - Melanie of Fiander Foto - do not have full control over when the printing of albums is complete. I greatly appreciate my clients' understanding on this matter.
How will the wedding album be delivered to me?
Once the printing of the album is complete, it's shipped to my family home in Virginia for "inspection". During this time, my assistants look over the album to check out the design layout, color, and overall quality of the album. In short - we want to make sure it looks perfect before it's mailed off to you!
The album is then shipped to you either via USPS or FedEx. Tracking numbers are provided to help ensure the album is safely delivered and all packages are insured. With the package being insured, signatures may be required upon delivery.
Clients are responsible for providing an updated home address during this time if needed. International shipping fees may apply.
Please note: once the tracking number is provided,client(s) are responsible for keeping track of the album's location, delivery date and time, and for communicating with either USPS or FedEx.
Is the shipping & insurance fee of the album included?
Yes, your package price includes the cost of the album being shipped and insured from the printing company to my family home in Northern Virginia for inspection plus the shipping fees from Northern Virginia to locations within the USA and Bermuda.
Additional shipping fees may apply for albums being shipped outside the USA and Bermuda.
Additional shipping fees and additional time fees will apply for albums that are "returned to sender" and need to be re-shipped. This may occur due to an album not being picked up by the clinet. Please see next question for further details.
Oops! I missed the delivery of my album. Now what?
If albums are not collected upon delivery (and/or upon re-delivery), USPS or FedEx might send the album back to Fiander Foto.
If this occurs, clients can order a "second delivery" of their album á la carte. With this á la carte order, clients will be billed for the re-delivery shipping fee and a fee for additional time. The additional time is calculated from the time stamp noted by either USPS or FedEx of "return to sender".
Returned albums are held onto by Fiander Foto for one month only from the time same of "return to sender". After this time, clients may be required to purchase another printed copy.
If the album is not collected and it is not sent back to Fiander Foto - whether it's destroyed by eiter USPS or FedEx or is damaged during the return shipment - clients are billed for a second printed copy of your album á la carte plus the fees noted above.
Please note: although great care is put into the packaging and shipping of the album, I - Melanie of Fiander Foto - am not responsible for either USPS' or FedEx's delivery time nor handling of the packages.
Do you have a photo booth?
We sure do! Our photo booth takes still images and GIFs, which are delivered directly to guests' cell phones.
Can I add the photo booth onto my wedding or event photography package?
You sure can! Discounts are offered for the photo booth when booking it with a wedding or event photography package.
Can I book the photo booth "solo"? Without booking wedding or event photography?
Yes you can! If you're bokoing the photo booth "solo - meaning not as a package with either wedding or event photography - the rate is higher. A minimum hourly usage may apply during the height of wedding and tourist season.
How does the photo booth work?
When guests walk up to the photo booth, they will have the option to create a still image or a GIF (a boomerang). Once the still image or GIF has been captured by the photo booth, the guest can enter their cell phone number. Provided there is a strong WIFI connection and no issues with the guest's cellular network, the file is sent via SMS (text) or iMessage to the guest's cell phone. Feel free to check out the video tutorial just below!
Does the photo booth come with backdrops or props?
Because our photo booth is intended for unique weddings, events, or parties, the photo booth does not come with backdrops and props. This allows the clients to create their own unique props and backdrop. Feel free to check out the Events Portal or Video Tutorial for ideas!
What if there is not a WIFI signal at the event location? Or if the guest's cell phone have an issue with their cellular network?
Still images and GIFs are saved in the photo booth. If the guest is not able to receive their files due to a lack of WIFI or issues with a cellular network, s/he may receive their images after the event in two different ways. Once the event is over, any images not sent out will be uploaded from the photo booth at a later time when a stronger WIFI connection is made. Images will also be shared on the Photo Booth's Event Portal.
I'm a wedding planner and I'd like to book the booth for my clients. How do I do that?
We love working with wedding planners! To book, the couple is required to sign the contract. Payment can come either through the planner or from the couple.
Where is the Photo Booth Event Portal?
Scroll down for details or click directly below: http://www.fianderfoto.com/bermuda-photo-booth-event-portal
Is a model release required for use of the booth?
Are you available for photography workshops?
Heck yea! Photography education is a strong passion of mine. Along with being a photographer, I hold a BA in Studio Art with an emphasis in photography and English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. I completed my MFA in Studio Art with an emphasis in photography and began teaching at the collegiate level in 2007. With a background in higher education and real world experience in being a wedding photographer - speaking at workshops is good fun for me!
How do I book you to speak at our workshop?
Please email me at "firstname.lastname@example.org" and include the name of the workshop, the website, the location, and the dates.
Do you offer mentoriships?
You bet I do! If you'd like to learn more about photography or simply get a second set of eyes on a project you're working on, feel free to get in touch! I offer private mentoriships both in person and online. For details on mentorships, visit:
What is a photo tour?
During a photo tour, we'll meet up at a special location where you can take your own photos. Grab your camera – whether it’s a DSLR, point-and-shoot, or smart phone - and come explore some of the best photo locations Bermuda has to offer! This is a great way to learn a little more about photography and your camera. For details on photo tours, visit:
May I review the contract / model release before agreeing to sign?
Of course! Please e-mail me directly to review the contract / model release. Please note: I use the same contract for all of my clients, most of whom require my photo services for wedding and large events. Some of the information that pertains to weddings and large events within the contract may not be relevant to smaller shoots.
Does Melanie of Fiander Foto maintain the copyright of your photos?
As the creator of the images, I maintain the copyright to my photographs. Under the Federal Copyright Act of 1976, photographs are copyrighted from the moment the shutter is released. Images taken by my assistant are shot under a "work for hire" contract and are also protected under the Act. Clients are however granted a print release, which allows for the personal use of the photographs: to print, to share on social media (with photo credits), to use on holiday cards, to keep the high-resolution files, etc. Further details are noted in the contract.
What is a model (or location) release and why am I signing one?
Within the contract, there is a model release clause as well as a location release clause. Model releases are signed by clients who require photos taken of human subjects and location releases are signed by clients who need architectural structures or specific outdoor areas photographed.
With our "modern day" world revolving heavily around sharing images - particularly wedding & family photos - with loved ones via email, text, or on social media, it's important for clients to agree to the "model release" clause in their contract. Why is this you ask?
Let's check out two examples; the first example pertains to how you may personally use your images:
You've just received your images in an online gallery (hooray!) and you'd like to share your images via email, text, or social media with friends and family. Those images may in turn be re-shared and before you know it - the image has hit the "front page of your hometown newspaper". Perhaps an extreme example, although images move quickly around on the internet.
Once the final images are delivered, clients are free to share their photos with whomever and wherever they'd like (provided proper photo credit is given). At this point, I - the photographer / Fiander Foto - have released the photos and I am not responsible for how and/or where clients share their images. (Nor am I responsible for the privacy laws of the platforms on which those images may be shared; i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
Does this mean that your photo will be on a billboard in Times Square - or on the front page of your hometown newspaper? Probably not. Can I request not to have my name used online? Absolutely! If your photos are published, avoiding last names or using fake names are fine.
What if my photo is unflattering; will it be published? No way! Beauty is subjective, although I use a critical eye when selecting photos to be shared. After all, publishing an unflattering photo of a client would not benefit anyone.
The second example has to do with how images may be used within my photography business:
If you are interested in booking me as your photographer, chances are good that you have seen my work online or in print. As a published photographer, it's important for me to have written consent from clients to share images.
With the use of my photos being an essential element in promoting Fiander Foto (photos shared online, in social media, or by third-party publications, etc.), it's important that my clients understand and agree to the model (or location) release terms noted in the contract prior to booking. Being able to share my images also allows me to maintain reasonable rates for my clients and to avoid additional privacy fees.
Can I request to have the terms of the model or location release clause altered? Unfortunately, no. Because I shoot a limited amount of clients per year, it's important that both myself, the photographer, and the client be "on the same page" regarding the model or location release.
Does the model release clause in the contract include minors?
If minors are being photographed, one parent's or legal guardian's signature is required for those under the age of 18. Ideally, both parents or legal guardians can sign.
I'm a client and I would like to submit my photos to a blog, magazine, and/or publication. How should I proceed?
I'm excited to hear that you want to publish your photos! Let's start with the basics: all publications require the permission of the photographer to publish images as to not infringe on the copyright. A publication is more likely to use the material if sent in by the photographer because the copyright is known.
Many blogs, magazines, or publications will have specific guidlines for submissions; there may even be a specific page of their website titled "Submit Feature" or "Submissions". Please e-mail me the name of the publication and website, the "Submissions" page or info (if you have it), the editor's name, and her/his contact information. From there, I can get in touch with the publication to provide the needed permission and information for photo credits. The publication may also require a short essay to go along with the images.