Who are you?
I’m Jeffrey Lewis Bennett, a photographer based in the Detroit area. I started photographing weddings in 2003 and left my day job as a graphic designer in 2010. In addition to photos I create a few animated gifs from every session, no extra charge. My style is more influenced by design principles, mid-century & brutalist architecture, and Kubrick films than the wedding industry. I prefer to cover events solo and manage my own editing, turning around online teasers in under 48 hours. I’m married with 2 kids & 2 dogs. Below are the most frequently asked questions I’ve received over the years.
Have you been published or won any awards?
My work’s all over the best wedding planning site withJOY.com. I’ve been featured a few times in the Huffington Post, PopSugar, Buzzfeed, StyleMePretty, 100LayerCake, Refinery29, NYpost, ABCnews, Essence, Fstoppers, reddit, PetaPixel, Brit.co, Metro Detroit Weddings, Ambassador, WeddingChannel, tumblr, Brides UK, and many more. I’ve also been granted “Best of Weddings” from TheKnot a bunch of times.
Why should we hire you?
JLBwedding is a great choice if Art/Style is a priority but you also desire extensive documentation and a great experience. I’m routinely told that working with me is easy, fun, and relaxing. I tend to focus on the couple and everyone that gravitates to them, but never ignore family, bridesmaids, groomsmen or the bigger picture of the event. It’s also nice that your photos won’t look like everyone else’s.
When & where do we get to see the photos?
Teaser images on social media or your inbox within 48 hours. The rest of the photos will be available to view 1-2 weeks after the wedding date. Your photos will be displayed for 90 days on an online gallery. You, your family, and friends can use this to order professional quality prints & downloads, though only the couple can spend the print credit.
What are animated gifs?
Pictures that move! These GIFs are something I’m known for. I can make a few from your session. There is no additional charge for these. You can share them on social media and keep them on your phone. Not all attempts end up working as GIFs (for one reason or another). There have been some weddings that were so rushed through the entire day that a gif just did not happen. If you love these we’ll try for more.
Do you work alone?
I prefer to work alone. Crazy, right? The first few years I covered weddings I always had a 2nd photographer along but at some point I realized no one else was going to capture it the way I wanted. It just means I have to hustle harder to get everything. The coverage of your day will not suffer.
What might make our photos better?
ATTIRE: Choose comfort. If you are in pain from your shoes or your outfit is too tight or heavy it will affect your joy and that can come through in photos. If you can hardly move it will limit creative photos & GIFs. If you are wearing a white dress that reaches the floor it will get dirty at the bottom, even if we never went outside. Don’t let that bother you, this is your only day with the dress and it won’t even look bad in photos. Feel free to twirl, run, LIVE IT UP!
ALCOHOL: One drink might help you relax but too much can make it hard to get good photos of you. If you want the best possible photos I recommend waiting till later at the reception to really indulge.
WEDDING PARTY: Consider having a smaller wedding party, or no wedding party. I recommend 14 or less (6 on each side + couple). Wedding Parties bigger than that often slow the photos down to a crawl and someone is always missing.
SMALLER WEDDING: There are SO many reasons to have 10-50 guests instead of 300. It might cost you less. You could experience less stress. You might get to spend time with each guest. You could splurge on food, drink, flowers, a great photographer, better attire, or even go someplace way cooler.
A WEEKDAY: Throw the presumption that weddings have to happen on Saturdays out the window. If people care they will stop at nothing to be there. A weekday wedding would likely let you have ALL your preferred vendors and locations instead of having to pick from only those available on one Saturday. I’ve LOVED all the tiny weekday weddings I’ve ever been a part of. Seriously consider it.
TRUST ME: I invite special requests (examples: closeup of Bride, Mom & Grandma, smoke bombs, in the middle of Woodward ave, or golden-hour in an open field) but I won’t be recreating another photographer’s work from Pinterest, etc. You’ll get the best results encouraging me to be me, do my thing.
Can we get a discount?
Sure, just have your wedding Monday-Thursday. This will likely result in discounts from other vendors too.
What is your style?
I think the work speaks for itself but let’s go with “Cinematic art-directed images and GIFs. Aiming for a balance of both serious and fun, both candid and meticulously-arranged photographs.”
What’s your rescheduling policy? What about COVID?
Rescheduling is subject to the photographer’s availability and there’s a rescheduling fee equal to 1/3 of the package total. COVID19 related rescheduling will not be exempt from the rescheduling fee. All payments will be lost upon cancellation. Payments are Non-Refundable.
You are planning a wedding during a pandemic. COVID19 will be around for years. With new variants spreading it’s possible there could be a wave leading up to your wedding date. This might lead the health department to put restrictions on gathering size or your venue to force a change. Have a plan B. When you book a photographer you are paying for a date. People ARE having weddings right now they are just adapting. Instead of waiting years to see when you can have that big event accept that these are not normal times. Have whatever wedding you can on the date you reserved, get amazing photos, and move forward with your lives together.
Are you Vaccinated?
I am fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID19. I’m cool with working masked.
Who is the client?
The couple getting married are the only clients. Although I’m friendly & courteous to everyone I only take direction from the couple, not from parents, friends, dj, band, videographers, hall manager, or wedding coordinator, regardless of who paid for the photography services.
Have you done a wedding like ours?
I’ve photographed so many different styles of weddings involving various flavors of the world’s religions and cultures: Christian, Muslim, Judaism, Buddhism, Orthodox, Catholic, Atheism, Chinese tea ceremonies, Egyptian, Chaldean, Persian, Nigerian, Indian, Pakistani, etc.
How do you cover the reception?
I try to capture all aspects of the event including the venue, decor, details, entertainment and guests. I get both candid moments of your guests and some group photos. I can’t guarantee I’ll get a photo of every guest. I won’t be interrupting guests while they are eating dinner (no table shots). “Table shots” are going to each table of guests during dinner, asking them to stop eating and stand up for an arranged group photo. This makes a lot of guests angry it also ensures I won’t get a break and eat. If you want more photos of guests I recommend hiring a Photo Booth.
Should we hire a videographer?
I seem to attract clients who are more interested in photographs. If you do hire a videographer PLEASE hire one that I recommend. Some videographers can really get in my way, ruin shots, reduce the number creative photos and locations, and put us off schedule.
Should we bring props to the photo session?
I use subjects and available environments to create interesting visuals. Nothing else is really needed. I capture my subjects on the move so anything you bring along will end up in the photos and might also slow us down.
How long do you need the couple alone for creative pictures?
I’ll work with whatever time you give us but recommend 1-2 hours total (this could be one block or broken up into smaller parts with different locations or lighting). The main reason most clients hire me is for these creative pictures of the couple, so don’t leave just 15 mins out of your 8 hour package.
Will you plan our wedding?
I’m happy to help with a rough timeline & pick out shooting locations. Please be respectful of the time it takes to be really great at taking & editing photos. Those are they things you’re hiring a photographer for. If you find yourself with daily questions consider hiring a professional planner. I invite all of my clients to fill out a google doc timeline so I know the flow of the day. I will provide feedback to that doc about timing, optimal light, and if I see any potential issues. We can also do 1 call to go over everything. Please have as much timing information as possible from your venues and dj/band filled out on the doc before we do this call.
How much time do we need you for?
If you are not doing a first look have me start 2 hours before the ceremony and end 3 hours after the beginning of the reception. If you are doing a first look have me start 4-5 hours before the ceremony and end 3 hours after the beginning of the reception. You might only need me later into the night if you are planning a fancy exit with sparklers etc. 2pm-10pm is common, winter weddings often shift to earlier in the day.
Should we hire a lighting company?
It’s rarely a necessity but it could enhance the ambience. You really will need them if you are planning something special like an outdoor ceremony at night. Also know that if you have purple uplighting throughout your reception you WILL have purple tinted photos.
What kind of equipment will you bring with you?
I bring multiple Cameras, a variety of lenses, and lighting to handle any situation. Want to know what cameras I use?
How many pictures do you take at a wedding?
Varies at every event but I take an average of 2000 images in 8 hours of coverage. I then deliver ~500-700. You’ll receive final touched-up images: Online, in your Thumbnail Book and Digitally. Digital files will include Standard Color versions plus several custom alternate versions at no additional charge.
What about the images you don’t select? Can we have those too?
Sorry. I delete all the images that do not meet my quality/technical/artistic standards.
Do you develop your own film?
100% digital, no film. I shoot RAW and manage the editing. Your prints & albums are made offsite at a professional color lab.
Do you shoot in color or black and white? Or both?
You’ll receive all your images in Color, B&W, and a couple other processes. Checkout my unique color processing.
How do you make your photos look like they do?
It’s the camera. Just kidding… The “look” results from knowledge, experience, creativity and unique post-processing. The blur in some images is a result of a special “Tilt-shift” lens used, not added in photoshop and cannot be removed.
When can we expect our album?
I design the first draft pre client input. I have my own layout style and work hard at telling the story of the day. You’ll receive a proof online within a few weeks of the wedding and then respond with feedback. One round of edits included. Additional changes available for $100/hr. Client involvement is necessary and albums expire 6 months after the first proof.
Do you take bridal party shots, family portraits, and group formal photos at the wedding?
While this website features mainly shots of the couples I absolutely always take those. Want to see some? group and formal photos
Do you offer a fun photobooth at the reception?
I do not, but I think they are awesome.
Will you come scout out our locations?
Sorry. My schedule of shooting & editing just doesn’t allow it. But I’m very accessible via phone, email, google docs, etc.
Can we meet you and hangout?
I can Zoom, Skype or FaceTime with you. I actually quit taking face-to-face meetings years ago. It’s all about efficiency really. I was already doing video calls with all of my clients outside of the state and they worked very well. I’m also committed to a very fast turn around time and that’s possible in part to this policy.
Can we hear from some of your previous clients?
Checkout the reviews on TheKnot.com
Can our guests and families take their own photographs?
Of course they can. It can sometimes be necessary for me to ask family, guests or vendors to move or stop taking pictures. This does happen occasionally when people are interfering, ruining moments, or holding up the day.
Can we break up the time included in our package or pause it for dinner, drive time, etc?
No. All packages include a consecutive length of photographic coverage. This time may not be split up.
What if something happens to you?
My contract says I’m responsible for getting a capable professional photographer to cover your event if there’s a terrible emergency that would keep me from being there personally. This has yet to happen.
What do you mean by “image retouching” included in the packages?
Removal of skin blemishes, wrinkles, or something distracting from the background. You still need to hire professionals to do your hair & makeup. Special requests for changes, edits, effects, etc are evaluated on a case by case basis and I reserve the right to charge extra or just say no. I will not photoshop anyone to appear thinner, reshape body parts, trim flesh, fix what happens at the top of an ill-fitting dress, add in someone/something that wasn’t there, or make a B&W image with spot color.
Will we love how we look in our wedding photos?
Maybe, maybe not. Unfortunately body image issues seem to be more common these days. While I work to capture everyone at their best I believe addressing one’s self esteem will go further than any makeup, pose, or photoshop. You are beautiful, Love yourself.
Who owns the copyright to the photos?
The Photographer shall own the copyright in all images created and all photographic materials. The Photographer has the right to use the images, without compensation or notification to the client, in any of the following ways: reproductions for the clients and both client’s families and friends, for the Photographer’s portfolio, samples, self-promotions, entry in photographic contests, art exhibitions, editorial use, advertisements promoting the photographer or partnering vendor, photographer’s website, any partnering website, for display within or on the outside of the Photographer’s studio, on a blog, in a magazine, book, app, social network, or any media not yet invented.
But what if I don’t want you to use my photos?
Promotional use of the images is how I get new business. I also like to win awards and get published. It’s extra motivation for your photographer to do their best. If you really want to approve each use the images or have them all kept private… let me know your concerns and we’ll sort it out.
So then what about the Client’s use of the photos?
An exclusive personal use license is granted to the Client to reproduce, print, modify and/or display the images provided by the Photographer to the Client for non-commercial purposes. The client will receive high-resolution, non-watermarked, edited, color corrected, digital files (not the RAW images). You shall not sell said images or falsely represent the authorship of the images. You also agree to include “Photo by Jeffrey Lewis Bennett” or “Photo by JLBwedding.com” with any photo or set of photos published publicly: on the internet, Facebook, blog, newspaper, magazine, etc. The only acceptable non-credited use would be for private display in the home. Anyone not named on the contract should order prints from the photographer-provided online gallery and not be given the digital files.
Can we have the RAW images?
No. A “RAW” image is the file right out of the camera. These RAW files don’t look anything like the finished product. Now if you mean the digital photo file all touched up and color corrected? Then YES, you get those!
Are there any places you won’t go?
I’m not available for coverage in Canada or Central America. Short boat rides are ok but I’ve gotten seasick covering receptions on yachts. I’m not breaking rules for you, my relationship with the venues is too important. An example: Many of the hip hotels have rules against doing professional photos outside of your hotel room. They want you to have your wedding there for access to the lobby, hallways, event space, or rooftop. Sorry.
Can we extend your coverage during the reception?
Receptions have a few things that need to happen in a timely fashion like speeches, formal dances, cake cutting, etc. I’ll nudge you to stay on schedule but I can’t make you stick to it. My time might run out before all those things happen. Adding time has to be discussed before the day of to avoid a situation where you don’t remember asking me to stay late.
What might ruin our timeline?
Hair & Makeup is one thing that often puts the day behind schedule. Start that earlier than you think you need to. Another potential problem are family formals. When making your list figure each formal shot will take 3 minutes. Inform all these people before the day-of that they have to stick around for these shots.
Will you work with same-sex, LGBT, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Poly etc clients?
Yes! I’m a proud supporter of equality. There’s even a page with examples.
Can we hire you?
Subject to availability, most likely, yes. I’ll pass on opportunities that put restrictions on my creativity, do not match up with my style, or if you want me to reproduce another photographer’s work.
What’s required to reserve your services for our date?
Booking a date does require signing a contract and making the first of three phase by phase completion payments equal to 1/3 of the package total. more details about privacy, payment, shipping, refunds
What types of payments do you accept?
I accept payments online via credit card.
How soon should we reserve our date?
ASAP! I’m mostly booked a year in advance. If I have your date available DO NOT DELAY. No date is held for anyone, for any length of time, without a signed contract & payment.
How do you make the gifs?
Checkout this post on Fstoppers.com Animated GIF Wedding Photography is a Thing and It’s Beautiful
What if I have more questions?
I’d love to answer them and add to this frequently asked questions page. [email protected] :: 248.444.0161