FAQ


Why are you a wedding photographer?
What do you charge?
What’s it like to be photographed by Ken Kienow?
Do you use a second shooter?
Why should we hire you?
Do you do family photos?
How long will it take to get our photos?
What does “limited copyright release” mean for the photos on our DVD?
How do we book you?
Should I buy an album?
Why are your print prices so low?
What gear do you use?
How did you get started / how long have you been in business?
Do you offer discounts?
Do you have any vendor recommendations?
Should we hire a wedding coordinator?
Why do you charge sales tax on your packages?
What is an ideal wedding timeline for great photos?
How many family photos should we do?
Should we see each other before the ceremony?
Any other miscellaneous tips?

Why are you a wedding photographer?
I am a wedding photographer because it’s gratifying.:)I enjoy forming relationships with my clients and spending time with them in one of the most important and exciting periods of their lives. I consider myself fortunate to have such fun, kind, thankful clients.
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What do you charge?
Full-day wedding coverage starts at $3495 before tax, and includes:
    -up to 10 hours of coverage by Ken and assistant photographer
    -DVD of final images with copyright release
    -online proofing and purchasing
    -engagement session

Please email me for full package details.
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What’s it like to be photographed by Ken Kienow?
Very easy and fun. Toss out all of your previous notions about what it’s like to get your photo taken – almost without exception my clients remark about how fun and easy their shoot was. The couples in my photos look happy and unposed because they are happy and relaxed. If you can hang out, talk, and laugh with somebody, I can make great photos of you.:)

Having said that, the responsibility for getting great photos doesn’t rest entirely on me. If you want photos that are unique to you and your future spouse, you need to bring the love! You need to enjoy your partner, have fun interacting with her/him and me, and put effort into being cuddly and creating the photos that you want created. I’ll find the great light, great backgrounds, and give you the amount of direction that you need as a unique couple, but beyond that you’ve gotta love, laugh, have fun, ditch your reservations, and trust me.
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Do you use a second shooter?
I use a second shooter for the wedding ceremony and sometimes parts of the reception. Having a second photographer can make it more difficult to get great photos at certain parts of the day, so at those times I don’t have another person shooting. If you’re getting ready in a hotel room with 5 of your bridesmaids/groomsmen, having two photographers buzzing around can be a little distracting, and can really change the dynamic of a room. Often times, having twice the photographers makes people much more self-conscious, which makes it more difficult to get relaxed, genuine documentary photos. I use second shooters and assistants when I think it’s necessary to get the best portraits and documentary coverage of your wedding day, and I don’t when I think it would compromise your photos. More photographers does not always result in a better final product.
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Why should we hire you?
You should hire me if you feel a connection to my work and person. There are MANY great wedding photographers on the central coast (I’d be happy to provide a list), and when constraints like budget and availability are settled on, the deciding factor comes down to your opinion of the photographer’s work, and your perception of how that photographer will treat you and your guests before the wedding, during the wedding day, and after the wedding day is over.
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Do you do family photos and portraits?
Occasionally. Weddings keep me busy most of the year, but I sometimes have some availability. Please let me know if you’re interested.
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How long will it take to get our photos?
Even in the busiest of times, it will not take more than three weeks to view your finished photos. Usually they’re done in 1-2 weeks. I never let a backlog of photos build up, because having a backlog of processing work stresses me out and results in an inferior end product in my opinion. In most cases, you’ll have photos ready for you when you get back from your honeymoon.:)
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What does “limited copyright release” mean for the photos on our DVD?
It means you can use the photos for personal, not-for-profit use.
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How do we book you?
A signed contract and deposit of 1/3 of your total price is required to book your date. Dates usually fill up 5-12 months in advance.
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Should I buy an album?
If your budget allows it, I think you should. It’s the best way to get your entire wedding story in one place. My albums come with a lifetime guarantee and are leather-bound and archival. They’re meant to be viewed for generations. One of the biggest wedding photo tragedies (in my opinion) is not having prints or an album made of your wedding photos, since most computer screens are uncalibrated and are a poor representation of the finished photos. Often times, when a client sees an album or prints from my professional lab, the response is “Wow, these look so much better than on my computer.” Consumer labs and computer screens just don’t do your photos justice most of the time.
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Why are your print prices so low?
They’re low because I want you to buy prints, and as a consumer I’d prefer an up-front pricing model over unforeseen post-wedding expenses so I’d wager you do too. I want you to buy prints from me because it’s the only way I know you’re getting a quality product.
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What gear do you use?
I shoot Nikon gear currently. My main camera bodies are a D3 and D700, and I have lenses ranging from super-wide to telephoto and multiple flashes. I have

backups of everything – i
f my camera or lens breaks in the middle of your ceremony you won’t know the difference in the final product.
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How did you get started / how long have you been in business?
I started my business in January of 2008, but my journey really began in early 2007. My wife bought me a digital SLR for Christmas, and as soon as I got it I started taking photos of everything: rocks, bugs, trees, landscapes, people, etc. However, after 4 or 5 months had passed, my interest began to wane in all genres of photography except for people photography. I had a few friends who were wedding photographers, so I figured that my interest in people photography might mean I’d enjoy a career as a wedding photographer. I started my business in January of 2008, quit my day job in February of 2009, and haven’t looked back. As far as I can tell, there’s no job I’d enjoy more.
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Do you offer discounts?
Discounts are occasionally available for non-Saturday, off-season, or short-notice events. Please inquire for more information.
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Do you have any vendor recommendations?
I do. If you’d like recommendations, please let me know. My recommendations aren’t based on who I’m friends with, they’re based on who I think will do an incredible job on your wedding day.
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Should we hire a wedding coordinator?
Absolutely, if your budget allows. Not having a coordinator usually means that the bride and groom become the point person for the wedding day, which might not sound too terrible in theory. However, on a day that includes hundreds of guests, multiple courses of food, drinks, a band, multiple venues, centerpieces, linens, flowers, rings, officiants, decorations, a tight schedule, family members, etc…..trust me….you do NOT want to be the person worrying about the schedule or the things that go wrong. And things always go wrong – it’s inevitable with an event as large as a wedding. Hiring a coordinator really takes the stress of coordinating your day off of you and your family.

One more thing: venue coordinators rarely are very involved in coordinating all the details of your day and making sure things run smoothly. They’re usually only involved with things that concern the venue (chairs, lighting, etc.). Find a coordinator that you know will do their job well, instead of relying on whoever the venue has to offer. There are exceptions to that rule, but in my experience they’re rare.
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Why do you charge sales tax on your packages?
It’s required by the state of California. If any tangible product results from me photographing your wedding (whether that’s an album, a DVD, or a single 4×6 print) the entire package is taxable. I wish that weren’t true, but it’s spelled out very plainly by the State Board of Equalization on pages 1, 2, and 7 here: http://www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/pub68.pdf. If you live out of state, sales tax does not apply.
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What is an ideal wedding timeline for great photos?
I prefer to have the following on a wedding day:
    -30 minutes for preparation photos with the guys
    -30 minutes for formal photos of the guys
    -30 minutes for preparation photos of the girls (touching up makeup, hair, fastening the dress)
    -30 minutes for formal photos of the girls
    -30 minutes of break time before the ceremony for final ceremony preparations
    -1 hour post-ceremony for family photos, photos of the bride and groom, and photos of the bridal party

If you’d like to give me more time than that, I’ll happily accept it, but the above is a general guideline for a comfortable schedule. Do not plan to go over into the 30 minute pre-ceremony break time. That’s a time cushion that’s intentionally there for last-minute complications and/or touch-ups. Plan on being done getting ready on time, and recognize that it WILL take longer to get ready than you think it will. I have never really had a bride be ready ahead of schedule.:)
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How many family photos should we do?
For traditional post-ceremony family photos, expect each grouping to take roughly 1-3 minutes, depending on the size of the group. The more groupings you have, the more time it’ll take and the more likely it is that someone will wander off and take 10 minutes to find (it happens a lot!). Try to keep the groupings as simple as possible. For example, instead of having a photo of your immediate family and your Aunt Betty, and then a photo of your immediate family and Aunt Sue, consider doing one photo with your immediate family and BOTH Betty and Sue. Having said that, I realize the importance of formal family photos and will shoot as many of them as you want me to. My main goal with this question is to set expectations for brides and grooms so that you can determine which photos you’d like to have, and how much time you’re willing to devote to them. Most couples don’t realize until the wedding day how long their list will take, and how much time it would have saved to do larger groupings instead of a bunch of smaller ones. I will ask you to provide me a list of the family groupings you’d like so that I can organize it for maximum efficiency and coordinate the effort on the wedding day.
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Should we see each other before the ceremony?
There’s a current trend in which brides and grooms see each other before the ceremony to allow for more portrait time. It doesn’t matter to me – if you’d like to do that, it’s totally up to you. Most people do it because they’re afraid of guests having to wait a long time before the reception starts, and that fear is (as far as I can tell) created by past experiences with sluggish wedding photographers.;)

One hour goes by pretty quickly, and I’ve never run over when other complications weren’t at play. Even if you decide to do a “first look” before the ceremony, guests typically need 20-30 minutes to leave the ceremony site, talk to friends, find their place card, and get seated anyway. An hour gives me plenty of time to do your family photos, bridal party photos, and get great portraits of the two of you.
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Any other miscellaneous tips?
-when you’re getting ready (particularly the girls), keep a room clean. It’s hard to make great photos of a bride getting ready when you’re in a cluttered room filled with makeup, pajamas, cheeze-its, sub sandwiches, empty champagne glasses, water bottles, suitcases, etc. It’s a good idea to either keep the bride’s prep room clean, or have a different clean room for photos of the bride getting her dress fastened.

-for prep photos of the girls, I typically leave the room when everyone’s getting dressed, and come back in when the dress is on but not fastened. That way I can get photos of mom/MOH/etc. fastening the dress and seeing the bride ready for the first time.