Welcome to Andrew Downs Photography

Here is what photography means to me:

 

The photograph above best describes what photography says about me as a photographer and how I view the craft.  It captures is the precise moment when I proposed my wife Andrea.

And in many ways, the circumstances were not ideal. Rain drops had started to fall, the overcast skies provided a less than perfect sunset, while my then travel-weary girlfriend felt more inclined to stay in then venture out under cloudy skies. Yet we still made it down to the beach with my camera equipment in tow; one person a nervous wreck while the other utterly unaware of what was about to happen (though she would have everyone believe she had an idea). I quickly set up my gear, turned on my camera's timer, and in a matter of minutes was able to capture a moment that will live with us for the rest of our lives.

It's an image that I believe best describes why I find photography so exciting and important. Taking the time to capture the most important and everyday moments in one's life is something I find worthwhile and utterly fulfilling. No matter whether it's a wedding, a fun day with family, a corporate event, or even just a quiet routine or private moment, being present to capture memories has grown from a hobby ten years ago to an everyday passion and means of employment.

My approach to photography is this: keep it simple, keep it fun, and take great photographs. Joyous occasions should never be tempered by an overbearing photographer. The best photographs are those that develop naturally, so my style is to not to disrupt this process and capture what happens naturally.  I also take pride in my ability to direct and shape light and pose subjects should the situation call for it or is requested by my clients.  Wedding photography is ever evolving and changing.  Photographers need to move past a simple photo-journalistic approach and incorporate and provide to their customers studio-caliber services in any situation should it make for better photographs.  This is something I have worked on a great deal to provide to my clients. 

I have compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have.  

 

What do you charge for photography services?

As every wedding is unique, I generally scale pricing for my services on several factors.  Packages start at $1500 for wedding photography services.  This does not include the added cost of an album, assistant/second shooter, travel expenses outside the greater Toronto area (or Bruce County), and video/audio productions.  Size of wedding and expectations of services can also affect the price of services.

It is highly recommended that potential clients contact me to build a custom package based on your needs and budget.  

For pricing relating to family portraiture, headshots, corporate or charitable events, please contact me for a quote.

Why should (or shouldn't) I hire you over the hundreds of other wedding/event photographers?

You should consider hiring me to photograph your wedding or event for many reasons, but here are the most important:

  1. You like my work.

At the end of the day, the work speaks for itself.  Your wedding day shouldn't include anxiety or concern about whether your photographer will deliver the images you want and in the style that you're familiar.  

2.  You like me.

There are many talented and wonderful wedding and event photographers to choose from, but there is only one of me.  Personality and chemistry between photographer and clients is extremely important.  Too often have I seen wedding photographers drag down the wedding day with rude behaviour and an inability or unwillingness to communicate to their clients and guests.  It's my goal to elevate the mood of the event through a positive, professional, and upbeat demeanour.   A great photographer delivers not only great images but a great experience; someone who serves as a counterweight to any negative vibes or anxiety.  

3.  Work ethic.

Once I start, I don't stop.  I'm routinely told that I'm the hardest working person at a wedding.  Sadly I've attended weddings where I spotted the wedding photographer(s) standing around not taking pictures, distracted on their phones, or ignoring great moments because they're more interested in socializing and hitting on single female guests.  This is completely unacceptable.  There is never any excuse for a photographer not to have their finger on the shutter button, doing everything they can to capture as many moments as possible.  By the end of a wedding I am physically spent, which is why I only shoot one wedding per weekend.  

A wedding photographer is much like a wedding dress or tuxedo: it's a very personal choice that requires great consideration and care to ensure a  perfect fit.  I strive to be the best photographer I can be while cultivating a style that appeals to both myself and others.  That style, or my personality, may not be what you're looking for and that's okay.  Everyone deserves a photographer that matches and suits their personality and preferences.   This is why it's important to consider not only a photographer's work but also get a sense for who they are and how they handle themselves while photographing an important event, such as a wedding or corporate event.

How do I book you to photograph my wedding or event?

The first step is to contact me either through email or by phone.  It is highly recommended for wedding sessions that we meet in person prior to  booking my services.  Personal chemistry between myself and my clients helps to get to know one another better along with clarifying expectations on both our parts.  

Prospective clients looking to commit are then sent a contract.  The contract is signed by both myself and my clients and a non-refundable deposit is required.

Contained within the contract is an agreed upon payment schedule.  

Once a date has been booked it is yours, regardless of how much money someone else is willing to pay for your date.  I will never cancel barring a medical or family emergency.  

How long do you stay to photograph a wedding?

I truly enjoy taking and making great pictures and a generally never want to miss a thing.  

Hence, unlike most wedding photographers, I do not limit my time at a wedding.  

I photograph until the entire story of the day and night is told.  At some weddings the story takes eight to ten hours, at other weddings it can take fourteen to sixteen hours.  

Too often I've seen couples organize the events of their wedding to fit the photographer's schedule.  That's just crazy.  

The last thing you should be worried about is when a photographer leaves and missing out on having important moments not captured. 

Do you photograph weddings on your own or with a second photographer?

I generally always prefer to photograph a wedding along with my wife Andrea.  While I have photographed weddings on my own, it is highly recommend to prospective clients that they considering including a second photographer as part of their wedding package.  

My wife Andrea, who has been photographing weddings with me for several years, provides a valuable second perspective.  It allows for more and better images during a ceremony where reactions of both the bride and groom can be captured more easily and frequently.  The added benefit of a having a female photographer is it provides a level of comfort for the bride and bridesmaids while they get ready that perhaps a male photographer may not.  It also allows for greater attention and hence more photographs of the getting ready process with Andrea staying with the bride while I capture the groom and his friends getting ready.  

How many photographs per wedding do you usually deliver?

In my contract that I have all clients read and sign, I guarantee a minimum of 700 fully processed images for a wedding.  

This is a minimum, and in my experience most couples are provided several hundred more images than 700.

How many photographs do you generally take at a wedding?

It varies depending on the length and size of a wedding.  In my experience, I take 2500-3500 images per wedding.  If I have a second shooter there are generally 4500-5500 images taken at each wedding.

How soon can I expect to see my photographs?

15 fully processed "sneak peek" images are delivered within 72 hours of the wedding's conclusion.

I make every effort to deliver all processed images as soon as my schedule allows.  In very busy periods this can take as long as two months, but in some instances the wait is only a few weeks.  All contracts have stipulated a two month delivery date, which is reinforced by a $200 per month reimbursement for each month delivery is delayed.

How are photographs delivered to clients?

Gone are the days when images are shared via discs.  Far more convenient and secure is transferring and sharing images through a private online gallery hosted by Andrew Downs Photography.  

Clients will be given a gallery access code which they enter into the Client section.  This access code can be shared with friends and family.  All or selected images can be downloaded to a client's home computer or smartphone and shared via social media.  

The added benefit of the online gallery versus the traditional compact disc delivery is that it makes album design and production a far more convenient and efficient process.  Rather than writing down file names or describing images to be used in a wedding album, the gallery allows clients to select and save their favourite images.  This list is then available to me for wedding album design.  There are no added costs to the client for the gallery as it's included as part of the services provided.  

Where do you live and how far you willing to travel?

I am a Greater-Toronto-Area based photographer who will travel as far as clients want or need.  

Any wedding or event that is held within the highlighted area of the map will not incur any additional travel fees.  

I do spend a considerable amount of time in Bruce and Grey counties, hence I do not charge for additional travel fees for events located in these areas.  

Do you photograph destination weddings and why would I hire you over a locally based photographer?

Yes, I do!  

To see examples of my destination, click here

The advantage of hiring me to photograph your destination wedding is that you have an onsite photographer who is able to capture more than just your wedding day.  For each day I am present I provide an additional hour or more of photography services.  This allows me to capture family and friend arrivals/departures, fun at the beach or pool, evenings/excursions, engagement sessions, professional portraits for family and friends.  It has also been my experience that my gear is newer and in better condition (hence, providing better photographs) than resort-provided or locally based wedding photographers.

For destination weddings, all travel costs (lodging, transportation, meal stipend, medical insurance) are to be covered by the client.  These expenses are in addition to the cost of photography services.

Do you design wedding albums?

Yes, I do design wedding albums for clients as well as people who did not hire me to photograph their wedding.  

Click here to see example of wedding albums designed by Andrew Downs Photography.

The cost of an album is greatly dependent on the design, size, quality of materials, and print house.  

The cost of design is $250 per 60 page (30 spread) album for wedding photography clients; $400 for non-wedding photography clients.  This is just the design cost, production costs will be over and above.

Do you provide video and audio services?

While my primary focus and expertise is in photography, I have recently expanded my services to include video and audio capture.  I am by no means a professional videographer and am happy to refer.  What I can offer is something I called a video album.  Think of it as a movie trailer for your wedding or event.  Video albums generally run between four and seven minutes and are meant to provide clients and their family and friends a highlight summary using video, audio, and photographs.  

To get a better idea of this concept, here is a short clip of a video wedding album.  

                      

Julia & Nick Wedding (teaser) from Andrew Downs on Vimeo.

Please contact me if you're interested in seeing the full video album.

Do you handle all image post-processing?

Yes, all post-processing is done by myself.  Processing a photograph is becoming increasingly a signature part of a photographer's style.  The same photograph can look dramatically different if processed by two or more different photographers.  

 

Please contact me if you have any questions or in need of additional information.