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How long have you been a photographer?

I have been a professional photographer since 2007 but I had my first real introduction to photography in high school and I was bitten by the photography bug instantly.  In high school and college I spent as much time as I could in the darkroom.  I majored in Photography and Biology at the University of Colorado. After college I had a couple of careers outside of photography (Vail Ski Patrol| Backroads Bike Guide and Pharmaceutical Sales Rep for Pfizer) while always pursuing photography as a passion outside of those jobs.  I dove into photography full time in 2007 and haven’t looked back.
Read more about my life and my life as a photographer in the Rachel section.

Why should we hire you?

I am passionate about photography but also passionate about customer service. I strive to not only provide you with wonderful images that you will love forever but also with the care and attention you need during the entire process: planning, the day of, and after the shoot through the final production of heirloom products.
If you want to hear from past clients, please take a look at the testimonials page to hear what they have to say about working with me.

How do we know you are the photographer for us?

There are two important factors to consider: Comfort & Style
First, you need to feel that our personalities match; I believe that it is extremely important that you are comfortable with me and my personality. In both weddings and portrait sessions I strive to make you feel as relaxed and confident as possible so that your true self can shine through in the images and the more comfortable you are with me, the easier that will be.
Second, you need feel that my style and vision match what you are looking for. If you are looking for very formal, traditional images, I may not be the photographer for you. At weddings my style tends to be roughly 70% photojournalistic images, 30% posed images and for portraits the ratio tends to have a more even split, 50% photojournalistic and 50% posed images.

What is your photographic style?

My goal is to be welcomed into your moments, your world and your lives, in order to create photographs that represent the real you. I strive to capture the emotions, interactions and energy shared between individuals, so that when you look at your images you feel as if they are not only pictures, but are impressions of the feelings and moments you share together.

I recently described my style to a colleague as “photogenic photojournalism,” and I believe that describes my style well. I love being a fly on the wall, there to capture your moments without a lot of intrusion. Yet I will also go out of my way to find the most flattering light and angles, and I will move your dress to a beautiful location, pull a hair out of your face, or adjust a place setting so that I can capture the details of your day in the most beautiful way possible.

Read more about my style in the Style & Philosophy sections.

Are you part of any professional organizations?

Yes, I am proud to be part of Professional Photographers of America (PPA), Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), The Center for Fine Art PhotographyStyle Me Pretty’s Little Black Book, and COUTUREColorado’s The LIST .

How far out do we need to book?

It is best to book with as much advance notice as possible.
I accept a limited number of weddings per year. Many weddings book a year+ in advance, while others are planned more quickly and book within six months.  That being said, the earlier you book, the better chance you will have that I still have your date available.
Portrait dates also fill up fast, especially during the summer and fall months.  Plan ahead and get on the books early to ensure that you get your desired date. If you are planning for a maternity shoot or newborn shoot, do not wait until the end of your pregnancy to contact me, it is best to plan in advance so that we can be flexible with the dates in case that new bundle decides to arrive early!

How do we reserve our date?

Rachel Olsen Photography reserves wedding dates on a first come, first served basis.  In order to reserve your wedding date with Rachel Olsen Photography the studio must receive a signed contract and $1500 retainer fee.
Portrait sessions are scheduled on weekends that are not already booked with weddings. In order to reserve your portrait session with Rachel Olsen Photography the studio must receive a signed portrait agreement and the creative fee must be paid in full at the time of booking.
Once the signed contract and retainer fee/creative fee are received, then the date will be booked with Rachel Olsen Photography and will no longer be available to other potential clients.

Please contact me to inquire if your desired date is available.

How do we determine how many hours of photography coverage we need? 

The best thing to do is to figure out the last event you want photographed and work backwards from there.
If you aren’t doing a grand exit that you need photographed, then you can start at 45min-1hr into open dancing and then work backwards. (As long as you have a crowd that will get out there and dance quickly, we can capture what we need of the “party” within roughly 45 minutes.)

Once you determine the photography end point, determine the photography start point.
To determine the start point, I typically recommend that photography coverage to starts about 45-60 minutes before you get into your dress so that I can capture detail shots, you getting into the dress and the final bits of hair and makeup.

There are some other questions to consider as well, such as,  do you want to see each other before the ceremony? If so, we would set up a first look. If you do want to see each other before, then we could do some bridal party and/or family formals before the ceremony as well, allowing you to have more time to enjoy the cocktail hour and reception. If you don’t want to see each other before the ceremony, then we will need the cocktail hour for family formals, bridal party photos and photos of the two of you. The time needed for all of these depends upon how many people you have involved and how many different groupings you desire. I typically ask for you to allow for an hour to an hour and a half for all for all formal portraits, which includes 30 minutes with family, 30 minutes with the bridal party and 20-30 minutes with the bride and groom alone. Typically if all parties are at the location on time, we can get through the family & bridal party photos much more quickly, allowing for more time to create intimate creative images of just the bride and groom alone.

I am happy to help work through a timeline with you and give suggestions if you need them.

What gear do you use and do you have backups?

I use amazing Nikon products and have since I started taking photographs in high school. You can see a full list of all of my gear under the Gear section. I have two full frame camera bodies so that I always have a backup. I have seven lenses, 3 Nikon flashes, 2 Profoto flashes,  3 pocket wizards and 4 radio poppers.  I have backups for backups so that I am always prepared.

Do you shoot in color or black and white?

The wonderful thing about digital photography is that I capture all images in color and then in post-production I am able to convert the images into black and white. I have created special presets and actions in Lightroom and Photoshop to get the desire black and white look that I love.

Do you mind other people taking photographs at weddings?

Not at all. This is your day and the more images taken, the more you will have to cherish.
The only time I will be restrictive about other people taking photos is during the formal photos.  I will ask that people look at me and my camera so that we can move through the family and bridal party pictures quickly and so I can guarantee that eyes are looking at my camera and not looking in all directions. I will also ask for at least 20-30 minutes with the bride and groom alone so that we can create some beautiful intimate portraits without the distraction of other people and cameras.

How long does it take to do formal portraits at a wedding?

I ask for you to allow for an hour to an hour and a half for all for all formal portraits, which includes 20-30 minutes with the bride and groom alone, 30 minutes with the bridal party and 30 minutes with family.
Typically if all parties are at the location on time, we can get through the family & bridal party photos much more quickly, allowing for more time to create intimate creative images of just the bride and groom alone.

Do you offer albums?

Absolutely! I believe that the wedding album is the most important heirloom product that you can take away from your wedding day.  It is truly the first heirloom you will have for your newly created family and it will be perfect keepsake to pass down through generations. Portrait albums are also a wonderful way to preserve this time in your family’s life.

I have researched album manufacturers extensively and have tried out many to find the perfect albums to offer. The album company that I work with, Leather Craftsmen, is amazing. They have been in business since 1942 and their quality and workmanship is unsurpassed.
Learn more about the Premium Albums I offer in the Albums Section.

How long until we see our images?

For weddings please allow up to 8 weeks for images to be processed.
For portrait sessions please allow 2-3 weeks for images to be processed.
I do my best to beat both time lines and try to get your images to you as fast as possible. You will receive an email from me with a link to the private online gallery to view and order prints when the images are ready.

How many images will we receive?

Wedding clients will receive roughly 600-800 final images to proof and order.
Portrait clients will receive roughly 20-30 final images to proof and order.

How long will my galleries be online?

Wedding galleries will be available for 9 months from the release date.
Portrait galleries will be available for 3 months from the release date.
All orders must be placed before gallery expiration. If more time is needed the galleries can be re-launched for an additional fee.

Do you release the digital negatives?

For weddings I include the high resolution digital negatives in all of my wedding collections. It was one of the most important factors to me when I was a bride and I can appreciate the importance of having those images for posterity.
I also understand the desire to have access to your portrait images for years to come. For portraits clients I offer many high resolution Digital Collection options to purchase.  In the Digital Collections you can choose 1, 2, 5 or 10 images.

How are the digital images presented? Will they be watermarked?

The digital images will be full resolution (large!) jpegs without any watermarking, ready for you to print. You will receive a personal copyright release to take to the lab of your choice.