MIKE ZAWADZKI
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DOLLARS & SENSE

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There's no question that weddings can be expensive, and everyone has a budget. Unless you're flush with infinite cash and/or credit, you have a set amount that you can invest into your wedding day. Right now I'm planning a wedding myself, so I understand this as much as you do. I am openminded, respectful, and most importantly willing to talk to ANYONE about their wedding, even if you think you may not be able to afford me. The only thing that I respectfully ask; is that you consider that I am a full time photographer who feeds his family and pay our bills, by taking pictures. This isn't a hobby, or something I do just for fun. It's my job, just like you and your partner most likely have full time jobs.  However, if you can respect that, I can talk about money. The good news is that discussing your budget with me isn't awkward, even though there is certainly a stigma that money talk has to be uncomfortable. It isn't, I promise. I do courthouses, beaches, backyards, churches, historical mansions, etc... No job is too small, or too big, but here is a basic pricing breakdown to give you an idea of what your money will get you. Please keep in mind that these are base rates, and that I do offer additional services, hours, photographers, albums, and wall art prints. Keep scrolling for a FAQ and some more information about my photography services.

Bottom Line: If you are head over heels over my photography and love my personality, I will likely be willing to negotiate within reason to make everyone happy. If my family can eat, and my bottom line can be met, you will get the very best pictures.

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LOCAL FLORIDA ELOPEMENTS | START AT $899 (10 or fewer guests)

  • 2 Hours* of Coverage (I am your photographer!)
  • Custom Online Gallery with High-Resolution Edited Images
    • Access for family + friends
    • Prints available for order directly from gallery
  • Print release rights
  • Covers the Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota metro areas.
    • Small travel fee for other areas, contact me to learn more!

*Additional hours may be added at $300/h

WEDDINGS | START AT $2999

  • 6 Hours coverage with Mike as your photographer
  • Custom Online Gallery with High-Resolution Edited Images
    • Access for family + friends
    • Prints available for order directly from gallery
  • Print release rights
  • 6x6” 20 Page Wedding Album**
  • Set of 10 4x6 prints
  • Covers the state of Florida and NYC Metro Area
    • Small/negotiable travel fee for other areas, contact me to learn more!

*Additional hours may be added at $350/h
*A Second Photographer may be added at $225/h
**Many other customizable albums are available as an upgrade, please inquire for more information

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DEstination WEDDINGS | START AT $3499

  • 8 Hours of Coverage by Me*
  • Custom Online Gallery with High-Resolution Edited Images
    • Access for family + friends
    • Prints available for order directly from gallery
  • Print release rights
  • 8x8" 30 page Finäo Playbook**
  • Anywhere else in the world besides Florida, NJ/NYC
    • Small/negotiable travel fee, contact me to learn more!

*Additional hours may be added at $400/h
*A Second Photographer may be added at $250/h
**Many other customizable albums are available as an upgrade, please inquire for more information

IF YOU DON'T KNOW.
NOW YOU KNOW.

 
 

YOU PROBABLY HAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS, AND THAT'S A GOOD THING!

 
 
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Who is shooting my wedding?

This one is easy. Me. Right now I don't hire out jobs for associates, but I do hire close and trusted friends in the industry to be my second shooters, if you decide to hire one. You may end up even getting my wonderful fiance Tara as your second photographer. She has her own thriving business down here in Florida, but when available we do try to work with each other!


WHERE ARE YOU LOCATEd?
DO YOU TRAVEL?

I live in Parrish, Florida and mostly work around the Tampa and Sarasota areas, but I do travel frequently to New Jersey and New York. I grew up in New Jersey and love seeing my mom, and eating proper pizza, so I don't charge a travel fee for NJ/NY! When it comes to traveling elsewhere, depending where it is, I may or may not charge a travel fee solely at my discretion. As I seek to expand my portfolio into other states, countries, planets, and galaxies far far away... I may only ask that you pay for my flight and hotel. This doesn't mean I am shooting your wedding for free, but it does mean I may only ask to cover the travel expenses with *no additional* fee. Heck I'm even willing to sleep on the floor in the guest room at your house. Whatever it takes. Just like pricing, I am open minded about travel fees. If you love my photography, I want to be there, wherever you are. 


CAN I SEE A FULL GALLERY?

Yes! I put this question high on the list because it is a question everyone needs to be asking photographers. I get ahead of the game by responding to your inquiry with *3* of my most recent wedding galleries in full so you can see *exactly* what kind of photography I do. You are making a major investment, and again, nothing should be a mystery. It is important to see how your reception, getting ready, and ceremony photos will look, not just the portraits taken in perfect lighting! Being able to take great photographs in often difficult lighting scenarios (dim churches, hotel rooms, and ballrooms in venues) is what separates good, from great photographers.


HOW long does it take to get my pictures?

You get your full gallery of images within 4 weeks of your wedding date. Depending on how busy I am, it could be as early as 2 weeks. The day after your wedding you will get 5-10 teaser images. I hate seeing FB profile pics that your guests have taken on their cell phones. Hey I don't mind that they take their own photos, and that you like and use them, but I want you to at least have something better to show off right away! Other photographers can take MONTHS to deliver. They may have their own reasons, and that's fine. 

I don't cut corners either for the sake of expediency. You will look absolutely fabulous in your photographs. Part of being a professional photographer is getting your images correct in camera. Knowing the right angles, where the best light is, etc... While I certainly do work on your images, I have my workflow down to a science and get your photographs finished FAST.


WHAT MAKES YOU PROFESSIONAL?
(My friend/cousin said they'd do it for free)

Many people have nice cameras, and are even great photographers. The difference is they aren't professionals. While "photography as a gift" from your friend or family member may seem nice, it can be a Pandora's Box that you wish you never opened. Being a professional photographer means that I have a cost of doing business that exceeds just buying cameras, taking pretty pictures, and posting them online. Anyone can do that. If that's all I offered, I wouldn't be able to stay in business. So what's the difference?
 

  1. I have backup equipment. Two of my cameras could break on the job, and I'd have two more to replace them. The same goes for lenses and flashes.
  2. I have backup storage. If my house burns to the ground tonight, your pictures will still be accessible
  3. I have liability insurance. This means if I totally fuck up, knock over your Uncle and break his leg with my telephoto lens, we're all covered. Or if your drunk uncle kicks my light-stand over, and the venue burns to the ground (I promise I'm not obsessed with burning things to the ground), I'm covered! Most venues actually won't let a photographer work without liability insurance
  4. I have experience. Unlike someone who may be offering to photograph your wedding for free, this isn't my first, second.... or even 20th rodeo. Your timeline likely won't stick exactly to schedule, even with a planner. In these time crunch situations you need a photographer who can take over your wedding like an elite NFL Quarterback. Someone who can take charge and lead, sometimes loudly (sorry in advance), especially during the careful nuanced grouping of family photos that need to be done in .02 seconds. Amateurs often wilt in these situations, but this is when I thrive.

do i get all of the photos you took?

Yes and no. I carefully cull through your images, and take out the bad ones. Test shots, blinking eyes, funny faces, and anything else generally unimportant and unflattering. This is the least fun part for photographers. Believe me, it would be a lot less work for us to just shove all of the images in your face without any alterations or discrimination. Companies even make video game style controllers that help photographers cull faster, and to make it less dull. It's really that boring. Yet as boring as culling is, it is equally important. This means you end up with anywhere from 500-1000+ photos depending on the length of your wedding, how many guests, how many locations, etc... I always try to overdeliver, so you won't worry about missing anything. When it comes to RAW/Unedited images, no you can't have them, ever. Seriously. You won't look your best in them, and I don't want my brand misrepresented. You are hiring me for the full monty, which includes my natural and timeless editing style, not just for me to show up on the day of. However if you are really an odd bird, and insist on having RAW/Unedited images, I'll let you have them if you pay me double. No seriously, I will, but this should give you an idea to just how much I value my style and branding.


HOW DO WE BOOK OUR WEDDING?

After filling out my contact form, I will get back to you within 30 minutes, unless of course I am asleep or photographing someone else's wedding. Even during a wedding, I'll try to let you know "hey I'm shooting a wedding, but talk to you soon (insert emoji)!" At this point we'll discuss the details, and figure out the best package for you, I'll send you a contract through my personalized booking system on my website. You get your own portal where you can log-in and view your contract at anytime. A 30% retainer is required at the time of signing the contract, but this amount shall never exceed $2,000. The remainder is due 4 weeks before your wedding.


HOW ARE MY PHOTOS DELIVERED?
DO I HAVE PRINTING RIGHTS?

Your photos will be delivered in a user friendly, password protected gallery.  You can share the gallery with anyone you would like. You, your family, and guests will be able to order prints and wall art of all different sizes directly from the gallery. Alternatively, you can also use the provided download pin to download the photos yourself, and make your own prints. All photos are downloadable as an entire collection at full high resolution, or single photos can be downloaded at web/social-media size (profile pics for days!) as well. This means that you own print & personal usage rights to photos.

Bottom Line: You are free to print and/or display your photographs in *any* non-commercial way. I don't hold them hostage! However lets look at something you wouldn't be allowed to do. You are not allowed to sell your wedding photos to a magazine to use on their cover. That would be a copyright infringement. The copyright of the photos stays with me forever. This is generally non-negotiable, and the industry standard, but other photographers don't explain it as well. They often just speak of "rights to the photos" which is confusing as there is a distinct difference between printing rights, and copyright.


DO WE GET TO MEET YOU BEFORE THE WEDDING?

Yes, we will at the very least talk on Skype/FaceTime once, likely twice, before your wedding. If you are getting married in Florida, I would *love* to meet up with you and your partner for dinner, drinks, or even just coffee. This is also where engagement shoots come into play, and why I highly suggest them. An engagement session gives us a chance to visually break the ice. I will get a better idea on how to direct you, and interact with you on your big wedding day. Every couple is different, and everyone requires different levels of encouragement and direction to get the best photos possible. Meeting my couples and becoming close with them is paramount to my success. While not everyone becomes a BFF FOR LIFE, I stay in touch with almost all of my past clients on Facebook. People who hire me, tend to like my sense of humor, and my approach to life, not just photography. 


I saw this awesome picture on Pinterest, can you recreate it?

Yes I will do my best to take a couple special posed setup photos for you if you would like. However I don't ever require a shot list.  Part of hiring me is for my artistic expertise. You may see that *awesome* photo on Pinterest, but it may not be possible if your wedding is different. Example: Sorry I can't do a sparkler exit shot if you have a daytime wedding. We will collaborate on this and come up with the best possible happy-medium. I'm not a shot list guy, I don't like walking around with a piece of paper in my pocket, with a quota to meet. Every wedding is different, and I tend to lean more towards working in the moment, finding the best light, and making you look how I know (as the expert) you will look best. That's not to say I am so stridently prideful in my talent, that I won't do a couple special photos for you. This also helps you have unique timeless photography that will last for generations. Ask yourself, do you really want to have the *exact* same wedding photos as someone else? I'd like to think that hiring someone who runs their business independently, provides you with images that you wouldn't normally get from a wedding photography factory/studio that churns out cookie cutter images for all of their clients.


If my drunk aunt keeps harassing you about PHOTO suggestions all DAY, and won't stop, do I have to ask her to shut up?

This is rarely an issue at my weddings. You don't have to worry about telling your aunt to shut up, because I'll do it for you in the nicest way possible. I don't need photo suggestions, unless they come from you.  I don't mind a few requests, and try to get as many couples/groupings as I can during different parts of the day. I know this is a special day for your family that may not get to see each other often, or ever. I can't remember a time when I've had to ask a bride or groom to tell one of their guests to cool it, but if it comes to be that dire of a situation, you will likely notice it yourself.


WHAT ABOUT MY UNCLE? HE LOVES PHOTOGRAPHY AND WANTS TO TAKE A FEW PHOTOS, IS THIS OK?

What's up with your extended family? Can they maybe be a little less annoying? On a serious note. If the time allows for it, I am happy to allow any guest to sneak a couple family photos, or something along those lines during appropriate times. The only thing I'm strict about is no guests taking photos during your portrait session. This allows you to be the most natural in front of the lens for the most beautiful and intimate photos of the day. I love photography too, and this is why you hired me. I respectfully ask that guests use discretion at your wedding. This is your special day and you are paying me a lot of money to document it. Encourage your guests to enjoy the day. You may want to speak to them about how being behind the lens detracts from their overall ability to experience the wedding as a guest. I'm a big fan of "unplugged" ceremonies. Meaning that the officiant asks everyone to put their cameras and phones away before the ceremony begins. I'm not the phone police, but I highly suggest it. In 2017 everyone whips out their phones and iPads (ugh why) for ceremony entrances. This means you'll have a lot of people in photos holding up their phones and iPads. I don't think it looks good, which is why I suggest unplugged, but if it doesn't bother you, it won't bother me.

Bottom Line: I try to play nice and let people take their own photos, but this is my job, not someone else's sandbox to "practice" photography. Things like that are not allowed, and I outline in my contract rather plainly.


Do you offer video?

I specialize in photography, and refer out video to a trusted listed of vendors (FRIENDS) both in Florida, and New Jersey who share the same kind of visual style as I do. I only suggest vendors who I mesh well with. It would be disservice to do otherwise. If your wedding is outside of NJ/FL, I will still find someone for you as I am deeply connected to a variety of creatives around the world through multiple Facebook groups, and other exclusive professional networks. We often (not always) are able to come up with a small discount for hiring both of us. Also if you want to hire your own videographer separately, by all means go ahead. I consider myself a friendly fella who can work with anyone. 


WHAT HAPPENS IF WE BREAK UP BEFORE OR AFTER OUR WEDDING?

Love can be a fickle thing, but to be blunt, that's not my problem. If you guys decide to split, before the wedding, but after signing my contract, I keep the retainer. I'm not trying to be mean or unfair, but chances are that I have turned down work for the same date. This is a standard policy across the industry. If it wasn't, people would be pulling all sorts of tricks. The same goes for if you break up after the wedding, but before your photos are delivered.  I've already worked, so I get paid, period. If you split up and still want the photos, I am happy to deliver them. If you don't want them, I'm also happy to delete them. I'll still likely keep them backed up for a year anyway, just in case one or both of you change your minds. I still retain the right to use the images for my advertising and social media, unless you sign a non-disclosure agreement, which I will explain bellow. So yeah, you break up, not my fault. You aren't going to ask your florist for a refund either, so don't ask me. It's absurd that I even have to mention this, but I recently saw an image shared where a bride/groom asked for a photographer's contract to be altered to allow a refund in case of a divorce. If you're worried about this, just click off my page and go see a relationship counselor.


Can you not share my photos online? or SHOW THEM to other couples?

I've heard this one floated around more frequently of late, and the answer is YES if you sign a NDA (non disclosure agreement) with me prior to your wedding. This isn't a free option either. Depending on the size of your wedding package, I will scale a NDA option accordingly. Again, I am not being unfair, this is standard industry practice, and with good reason. Please understand that I, and other photographers, are not trying to extort you for more money. Sharing photos is how we make advertisements, and gain new customers. In 2017 it is absolutely crucial to be sharing on social media, and updating a blog at least semi-frequently. So by not sharing your photos, I am hurting my business. Look I am also a fair person. If you truly do not like how you look in a certain image, or if you would prefer to not have a certain family member shown/featured, we can talk about it. I'm not a monster, and I do have both of our best interests in mind. Consider my experience, check out my IG feed, my blogs. I don't share unflattering photos.


WHAT HAPPENS IF MY WEDDING IS RAINED OUT?

Your wedding will probably not be "rained out" as most wedding days happen rain or shine. Even outdoor weddings have backup plans, and while it sucks, it doesn't mean your photos will. We will make the best of your day, and make sure you get great photos, even if your wedding day doesn't go exactly as planned. However in the rare instance that a wedding is canceled due to something like a hurricane, you will reschedule with us, like you will have to with all of your other vendors. Communication becomes key here, because we will all went to reschedule to a day where we are all free. If you do go ahead and reschedule your wedding 


WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU CAN'T SHOOT MY WEDDING?

This won't happen unless I die, or end up in the hospital with a life threatening injury, which hasn't happened (yet, knock on wood) in almost 10 years. Up until this point I've tried to keep my tone positive and upbeat, but this is a question that deserves a straightforward answer. I am photographing your wedding, period. You don't want to know some of the ailments that have plagued me on wedding days, think frequent restroom trips, broken bones, and high fevers. I am not trying to wax poetic about my bravery or toughness, but I do take wedding photography that seriously. There are no "sick days" or "days off" for me. While I have heard some horror stories about photographers not showing up, I have a family to help take care of. Our lights won't turn on if I don't show up for your wedding. Let's say the worst case scenario happens. What if I break my leg the week before your wedding? I'll be there. I may be hobbled, but I'll be there with enough help from Tara and/or an assistant. Ok so that's not really the worst case scenario. What if I die before your wedding? This is getting a little morbid, but it's something you should know. Obviously I won't be photographing your wedding posthumously. The pictures wouldn't be very good, and the guests probably wouldn't like my scent. While this is pretty out there, I do have contingency plans for an untimely death. Tara will be in charge of handling my business contracts, and will find you an appropriate photographer. In the case that we both die simultaneously, my mother would be the executor of my estate, and in this ultimately tragic scenario, your retainer would be refunded. Sorry at that point you probably don't want that kind of bad ju-ju surrounding your wedding anyway. You probably won't see another photographer talk about death so much in their FAQ, but I just decided to do it, since someone out there is wondering, and I hope it shows just how dedicated I am to your wedding day.