It is a privilege to have now been awarded Best of the Knot for Orange County photographers for three years running now, in 2015, 2016 & 2017. Thank you all for your wonderful reviews! This is truly an honor.
What People Are Saying
"Once again, thank you Karl for taking such great pictures. It brought us to tears last night because your were able to captured some really beautiful and intimate moments. That is exactly what we wanted." - Javier & Cecilia
"Karl!! The pictures are AMAZING! We are absolutely in love with them! Just seeing all the pictures, made me remember what an amazing time we had in Laguna. You are such a great person to work with and we really would love to work with you again! I know you only do weddings, but we would love you for another milestone if it happens in the near future! We really can't wait to show everybody the pictures! My mother-in-law cried when she saw them, she was so happy! Thank you so so much from the bottom of our hearts. We really wish you much success for your business and I will definitely be telling anybody who's going to get married in California to get you." - Whitney & James
"Karl!!!! These are AMAZING!!! You truly captured the beauty of our day and I literally started tearing up when I saw these. THANK YOU!!!!" - Genevive & Neal
"Thank you for the photos they all came out so wonderful. We are extremely excited for you to shoot at our wedding. We definitely picked the best photographer by going with you." - Nick & Destiny
"I want to take a minute to thank Karl Verkade for our awesome engagement pictures! Karl is a blast to work with and his pictures are amazing. If you have a wedding coming up and need a photographer, do yourself a favor and contact this guy, you won't be sorry."
- David & Joana
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Frequently Asked Questions
Since I'm a little (or a lot!) different than most wedding photographers, I figured this section might be super helpful when choosing a photographer for your wedding.
1. How many weddings have you shot?
I've honestly lost count, but I'm somewhere over 300 now and still loving every moment of it!
2. Do I keep the copyrights to my own wedding photos?
Yep! When I first got into this business, I was floored to learn that most wedding photographers do not allow the bride and groom to print or distribute their own wedding photos. And while I understand the reasoning behind that, I believe that your wedding photos are your wedding photos, and I can't imagine you not being able to do what you like with them. We maintain a joint copyright, allowing you to own your own wedding photos, and print and distribute to your heart's desire. It really is your wedding, and it should be about you.
3. Aren't you worried that someone will print a photo of yours on their home printer, and then tell people that the photos were from 'Karl Verkade Photography'?
Sort of. But it would worry me more that you as the bride or groom wouldn't be able to do as you like with your own wedding photos. Plus, although my photos are of the highest quality, I pride myself on capturing moments in my photos, and I believe those moments shine through even when printed from home printers or uploaded to Facebook. The essence of photography is in the memory each photo is able or not able to represent, not in the amount of gloss on the print.
4. Can I edit my photos?
You have the copyright, so yes. But to be honest, my clients are usually so happy with my work, that I've never had anyone do any re-editing. If you find a few that you would like switched to sepia or black and white, or something like that, just let me know and I'll fix them up for you at no charge.
5. Do you charge tax?
Yes I do, as I am a legitimate business and do pay my taxes. It is 7%, and I am upfront about it on my pricing page. What this means for you however, is a photographer who is legitimate and is not going anywhere (including to prison), who owns a business license, and carries a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy. This is required from almost every venue these days, and insurance is only available to legitimate, tax-paying businesses. I am more than willing to show my license and insurance policy at any request.
6. Are there any hidden fees (travel surcharge, meals, gratuity, etc.)?
Nope, no hidden fees. I try to be very upfront on my pricing page, and actually call it "pricing" instead of "investment." I have tax and possible credit card fee listed clearly (if you choose to pay with credit card), and that is it! I hear horror stories all the time of couples who thought they were paying for $1,000 worth of photography. Then after $300 worth of gratuity, $200 in travel surcharges, $600 for travel hours (seriously) and then paying to actually see the photos (seriously again), they ended up paying more than double what they were quoted. I absolutely do not do that. There are no travel surcharges within the Southern California area (Newport Beach to San Diego to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs), no extra photo charges, and all of your friends' and family's downloads from my site our included in your price. Completely free for them. Some couples offer meals, and that's always appreciated, but not contracted. Some couples also offer tips at the end of the night. Again, I'm super appreciative of those. But they are not "a bill", so that you won't be hit later with an 18% gratuity.
7. Are photos included in your price? (Question #6 scared me!)
Yep! Some photographers price their packages for sessions only, and then it's extra if you would like the photos. While I appreciate that business model, I do not practice it. You get the photos specified in my advertised packaging and pricing.
7. Do I get all the raw photos (negatives)?
Throughout a wedding, between myself and my second shooter, we end up with thousands of photos. Not all of them are great, and some are just lighting tests, etc. Some couples who are Photoshop savvy like to have all of these. And for those that do, I have no problem offering them if we schedule a time to meet and download them directly to your laptop or external hard drive (it's a huge amount of files!). A lot of photographers don't offer that because they're worried that their name might get associated with a throwaway photo. But again...I figure...it's your wedding. If you want them, they're yours. Plus, I don't live under any delusions that your lofty view of me as an amazing photographer will come crashing down when you run across my few lighting test photos amongst the raw files. That being said, the majority of couples with whom I work are so happy with the edited and enhanced photos they receive that they never feel the need to have all the raw unedited ones.
8. How long do you keep the raw photos?
They take up a lot of space, but I do hang on to them for three months, just in case you decide you want them later.
9. Do you have a clause in your contract preventing guests from bringing cameras to the wedding?
Absolutely not. The more the better! In this day and age of digital cameras and iPhone's, that's part of how people enjoy themselves. And the happier your guests are on your wedding day, the better my photos of them are! I do, however, encourage couples to ask their officiant to make an announcement during the ceremony only to keep phones to a minimum, just so it doesn't distract from your guys' moment.
10. Do you start your 'On the Clock' hours for your packages when you start to travel to the wedding?
I do get asked this, and I can only assume it's because other photographers charge you for traveling hours. And no, I 100% do not do this unless it's a destination wedding. If I fly to Hawaii, then yes, there's a surcharge for the day I had to travel instead of shoot another wedding. But if your wedding is in LA, I don't show up and say, 'Oh by the way, your six hour package is now down to four hours...there was a bit of traffic.' Nope, the hours start when I arrive at your location.
11. Do you offer references?
Yes. I offer references upon request, as I try to respect the privacy of my wonderful past clients. I also have reviews on a couple of my external booking sites:
12. How long does it take to get my photos?
Currently, it is 10-12 weeks to receive edited wedding photos, and 2-3 weeks to receive edited engagement photos. I know that may seem like a long time, but I do retouching, and I do it all by hand and not with a program. This means much better photos, and many of the "quick edit" photographers do not offer retouching.
13. Can I see a whole wedding that you've shot?
Absolutely. Many of the Pinterest and internet wedding photos that you see are posed shots, and some are even at photo shoots instead of actual weddings. While those are fantastic, they are also relatively simple to achieve. As a couple getting married, you want to know if your photographer can not only capture the posed shots in a controlled and lighted environment, but can also capture the first dance photos outside, at night, with no external lighting, and the DJ in the way. ;) When we meet for your free consultation, I bring not only my chosen portfolio shots, but also an album of an entire wedding that I actually handed to a client. I can also offer to send you an online gallery of all photos of a recent wedding. I take pride in my work and my ability to capture all moments no matter what the situation, and I don't try to hide all but the controlled environment shots.
14. Do you do touch-up work when you edit (air-brushing)?
Yes. Within my price for editing is included basic touch-up...removing of background objects, smoothing of facial features that our high definition cameras bring out, etc. I do everything by hand, and I edit and retouch in a very, very natural way. After 300 weddings, I've found that real people are much more beautiful than plastic models.
15. Are you insured?
As mentioned in the tax question above, yes I am. I carry a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy that almost every venue these days requires. Even if you do not end up going with me as your photographer, please ask your prospective photographers if they carry this and don't let them talk you out of it. It is a large fee that the venue hits you with if they end up not having insurance.
16. What methods of payment do you accept?
Check is the preferred method, and card through online PayPal invoice is welcomely accepted with a 3% fee. Cash is accepted as a third option.
15. Where and how do we meet for the free consultation?
I work out of a home studio in order to keep my prices as low as possible, and I travel all throughout the Orange, LA, San Diego, and Riverside counties for consultations. I'm based in the Newport area of Orange County, so within Orange County and Long Beach, I come to you and we meet at your favorite coffee shop or meeting place. For LA and San Diego, we either choose a time when I'm already there for a shoot or we meet somewhere halfway. And no, the consultation doesn't show up later on your invoice for a fee. ;)
16. You seem too nice and your prices seem too low. Is this for real?
Believe it or not, I get asked this a lot. But here's the thing...if you're going to be in front of my camera, with me for hours and hours, we get way better results if you trust me. And you can't trust someone who you think might be trying to take you for a money ride, or who seems like they're just photographing your wedding or engagement because they didn't want to pay to photograph actors. So I find that honesty, upfrontness, integrity, and niceness go a long way towards a trusting working relationship, and then great photos. Plus, if there's one thing I've learned in this life, it's that niceness is just plain better.
Congratulations on your wedding!!
All the best,