*updated: June, 2011
1. Where are you located? How long have you been in business?
DLS operates at 15A Sycamore Tower Dansalan Gardens, M. Vicente St., Mandaluyong City.
I have been doing product and corporate photography for the past 5 years, with a few weddings here and there. DLS was mainly a photography portrait studio then but since I have taken cinematography in college, we started doing cinematic videography for weddings in 2008 to cater to client requests.
2. How many are you in the crew?
For a full wedding coverage, we have 2 videographers and 2 photographers plus 1 editor for the onsite MTV and an extra lightsman.
3. For weddings, do you give the prenup locations?
We only suggest good prenup locations. Couples are, of course, encouraged to get the best location they can afford. All transportation costs and meals are to be provided by the client.
4. During a wedding coverage, do we need to feed you?
It will be stated in the contract that our crew should be provided a work table, food and drinks. When a videographer/photographer is hungry, s/he gets distracted, shaky or may pass out. Shooting weddings is one of the most stressful photography/videography jobs. If you want your images to be the best we can provide, then it will be appreciated that we are treated well.
5. Will you be the one covering our wedding?
Yes, except if we mention clearly that only our 2nd team is available with which your director will be Lec Bartolome. We take pride on our work and thus, we make sure our clients are treated with our personal touch. That's why we only take in 4 weddings a month (provided weddings are on weekends).
6. What's your photography/cinematography style?
Our photography is very much interwoven with our videography which gives us our signature cinematic style. It's a mix of documentary and portraiture with lots of candid shots that really capture moments on photo and on film. We have a distinct post-processing treatment giving images an ageless and classic look that isn't dependent on current trends.
7. What are your payment terms? Do you accept VISA/Mastercard?
We require a downpayment of PhP 5,000 (PhP 10, 000 for Signature Package) to reserve/block out the event date. The balance, minus PhP 5,000.00 will be paid on the wedding day. The remaining balance of P5,000 will be paid upon turn over of the album and DVD. We can accept credit cards but it will mean more hassle and more costs to the client since we can only accept credit card payments via XOOM online payment gateway.
8. What time do you arrive on wedding coverages? And do you have a time limit in covering events?
We arrive 4-5 hours before the ceremony starts and since we don't have a time-limit on coverages, we will shoot until we get our best shots of the couple.
9. What happens if the bride will be coming from the hotel and the groom from his house?
We cannot afford to split our crew so we will only be able to cover the bride's preparations. Unless the groom finds a way to drop by the hotel for a quick preparations shoot, there will be no groom preps to be shown on the Onsite Video MTV and the wedding album.
10. What's your Out-of-Town rate?
Our out of town fees start at 5k and up depending on the location.
11. How old are you guys?
Our clients are usually surprised to see a very young crew but that may be due to a healthy and fun work/lifestyle :) Young is good. We're full of creative ideas, we watch AXN, C/S, NatGeo, Discovery, MTV, ETC, Lifestyle Network, etc. alot.
12. How soon can we get our album and DVD?
After your event, we need up to 2 weeks to make some edits/color correction to your photos. You will then be requested to bring a laptop/hard drive so we can transfer around 3-4 folders containing all the photos (high res) we've taken. The client will have to choose which photos will go to the album (the number of photos to be chosen will depend on the album size).
As soon as the couple / client has chosen the pictures that will go to their final album, the standard delivery time among wedding suppliers is below 6 months. We usually deliver way faster than that but in case you came in at a peak season, delivery is within 6-8 months.
13. What attire do you and your assistants wear?
We want to make sure that we look professional enough. Assistants usually wear a pair of jeans and black shirts.
14.1 Can we hire a back up / 2nd photographer?
Over the past year, we've agreed to let our couples hire a 2nd photographer. It should however be clear what / which jobs both teams are expected to be doing. If we're the main photographer and the hired backup photographer is assuming the job of the main photographer, we will give way and act as the backup photographer (shooting candids and so on) so you won't have unnecessarily redundant photos.
Overall, your expectations from your hired teams should be understood by all. Wedding pictorials can get pretty tiring and redundant if 2 teams are both alternating taking pictures of 1 bride for example since both teams are expected to produce the same amount/kind of shots.
14.2 Can other people take pictures of us during the wedding?
They're your relatives and friends most likely so the more photos you'll be having, the merrier you'll be.
15. Do you have back-up equipment?
Yes. We make sure we have good redundancy when it comes to equipments. Videos are backed-up as they are taken, we have back up cameras in case 1 to 2 photo/video cameras fail to work.
16. What happens if you get ill?
Unless I'm dying or confined to maximum security, I will be there with my crew. Otherwise, my crew are well trained to do the work.
17. Can I post my photos/videos on my Multiply, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and etc?
The more you post, the more we'd like it. Just please take the time to give us a bit of credit as the guys behind the lenses :)
Post-wedding / Post-production Process
1. After each wedding, the onsite video will be upload via our Vimeo accounts (there are currently 3 accounts to handle traffic) in around a week's time depending on our wedding shoot load.
2. The RAW proofs of photos will be ready for Pick-up in around 2-4 weeks. Couples are encouraged to bring an external hard drive or laptop computer with 20gig free memory space. This is because while we can provide the DVD discs, there are a few instances that the discs get corrupted after a few days after pickup.
3. Production of album and DVD (for DLS Mint and DLS Signature) will start when the couple is done choosing around 100 pictures for the album. Production will take 6-8 months, December and January not included as these are wedding peak seasons. Please note that the 6-8 months production time will only start when the couple has submitted their choices.
4. Layouts of the album can be shown to couples prior to printing. Couples may also request which songs we can use for their final edited DVD.
5. Final payment of balances will be expected upon turnover of the album/s and DVD/s.
We will not shoot at La Mesa Eco-Park
When it comes to prenup/e-session venues, take us anywhere but please, not Eco-park. Here's why:
1. No, we are not banned there. On the contrary, the place seems to accept all kinds of photographers and that's the reason there are LOTS of people shooting there - amateurs, workshops, wannabees and prenups. Plus, it's a public park, hence there are also a LOT of people walking by, standing by on the picturesque areas that it's hard to get the proper angle.
2. It's nice to go there for pick nicks but there aren't much sunlight that comes through the park due to it's landscape and tall trees. Unless it's high noon which isn't good for photography at all.
3. There are actually only a few good spots there but due to the number of people doing shoots there daily, you will have to get in line to be able to shoot on a good place and even so, there's a good chance you'll always get distracting objects and people on your background that it's hard to frame anything.
4. Lining up on a good spot will not only waste time but it will also serve to make photos unoriginal simply because everybody has done almost anything - composition, pose, lighting - there. Do you really want to make your once-in-a-lifetime e-session be as generic as the thousand other couples who did theirs there? Of course we can always say that every photographer should have their own style, but still, shooting a hundred couples there, it's impossible to get anything original at all.
5. If you have props, then it's a bad idea to shoot there. Not only will people in the background ruin everything you've prepared, the park is also a very long walk from where you can park your cars. Not very friendly for those with big or many props and photographers and videographers who have a number of professional equipment.
6. There are many alternatives to Eco-park, sure, you might spend a bit more on the permit and transportation but it's really a small investment considering it's a lifetime worth of photographs. You may consider the ff:
Pinto Art Gallery, Antipolo
UP, Diliman QC
Alpadi Estate, Antipolo
The Mango Farm, Antipolo