10 Questions with Guillermo, Rebecca & Gara

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and highly sought-after wedding photographers team in Missouri, Guillermo, Rebecca & Gara. Saint Louis based Guillermo, Rebecca & Gara are the lead photographers & creative minds behind Dream Light Art Photography.

Dream Light Art Photography

Photographer - Guillermo, Rebecca & Gara

10 Questions with Guillermo, Rebecca & Gara

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hi! I'm Guillermo Gomez and I am one of the three main photographic artists that comprise Dream Light Art Wedding Photography. Rebecca Haas and Gara Elizabeth Lacy are the other two and are, in fact, the main photographic artists at Dream Light Art. I am more devoted to providing our clients great customer service and image color processing/editing. We are very serious about those two things besides great image capture. It is one the main reasons we have prefect reviews online - nothing but 5 star reviews anywhere you care to look and hundreds of them. We are true professional photographic artists. Providing fine photographic art is how we make our living - period. Rebecca and Gara have fine arts and masters degrees in photography respectively. I have personally have over 30 years experience in bridal photographic art.

We are a regrouping of talent that worked together earlier in our careers as talents with another company. Dream Light Art is a more tight-knit artistic grouping: we will always keep it a small, intimate artistic group. We like to think of ourselves as offering a boutique photographic service experience. We work very closely with our clients from the start. We are reasonably priced and unlike many other finer studios, we will shoot smaller events. We actually love smaller events. They are intimate and full of personality. They are real. They keep us fresh and grounded. Please do visit our website at DreamLightArt.com to get a good feel for our work. There is bios information for each of us there, plus a generous number of portfolio slideshows for each of us to give you a feel for our photographic artwork.

2. How long have you been shooting weddings? How many weddings have you photographed?

Personally, thirty plus years but I am shooting less and relying on Rebecca Haas and Gara Elizabeth Lacy to provide most of the wedding image capture for Dream Light Art. They have each been shooting weddings for over 10 years each along with having both earned university degrees in photographic art. They have each shot well over 200 weddings. I have personally shot over a thousand.

3. How would you describe your photography style?

We have a beautiful, elegant, natural style and we specialize in providing our clients with exceptionally beautiful images that are theirs to keep and do with as they want and they are provided to the client in the most convenient forms. We also pride ourselves in the quality of our processing/editing. We spend at least a couple of hours processing/editing for every hour we shoot. The quality of the images on our website are truly reflective of the quality of the images you should expect from our photography services except you would get many times more images – at least a hundred per hour of shooting – and they will be sent to you on a large flash drive – usually a 32 gig flash drive.

We like to work closely with our clients from the start. We truly consider ourselves a boutique wedding photography service. Our clients work with their selected photographic artist from the start and it never ends - the planning conversation continues through the wedding day. The better the planning, the more relaxed and enjoyable the day will be for our clients and we like to be able to capture that. We live for the challenge of providing beautiful images form our client's wedding day but that needs to be a two way street - we like to work as team with our clients. We truly seek inspiration from our clients, but we are professional artists and we expect to be treated well and with respect and given at least some necessary freedom to be creative. We don't have prefect reviews for nothing - we know what we are doing but we also want desperately to reflect our client's own creativity and personalities. Once again - our goal is to work as a team with our clients to create a beautiful, elegant, natural collection of images from their wedding day. The quality and quantity of our reviews are a reflection of our success in that regard.

4. How well in advance should couples book their wedding photographer?

It is May of 2021 at the time I write this and we are booking next year - 2022 - at a good pace right now. We are close to sold out for this coming October. We could shoot a couple of more weddings in October perhaps, but then I'm closing the entire month of October, 2021 to more bookings. Perhaps that provides an idea about when to book. Summer and Winter weddings are normally never a problem. Spring and Fall weddings on Saturdays in particular it is best to book early - a year in advance is a good idea if you want to get your first choice in your photographic artist.

5. What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?

We actually create custom packages for all our clients – we don’t really have “packages”. We are extremely flexible because of that and we find “packages” to be comparable to shirts coming in small, medium, large and xlarge sizes only vs true custom tailoring where the custom tailored shirt fits to your unique dimensions perfectly. We want to hear about your unique plans and create a “package” that fits your plans perfectly.

We charge by the hour - currently $220 per hour for a lead photographic artist. That will probably go up later this year. Larger weddings can get a free hour or more or a free engagement session. If you download our general information pdf from our website, it will explain everything and offer several sample "packages". Second photographic artists at a wedding generally run $180 per hour. Call or text or email us and I will send you a printed version of our information if provide me with a mailing address to send it to.

Another consideration is the fact that we offer "non-shooting assistants" and recommend them, but don't make them obligatory, either. They are $50 per hour and are professional. They work as a team with our photographers - we each have our favorites. You can discuss this with your choice of photographic artist. Our clients may or may not need an assistant for their wedding. Ultimately, the choice is up to our clients, but please do listen to the advice of our professional artists.

Shooting by the hour allows us to be very flexible.

Seven to eight hours are our most popular packages. Eight hours comes with a free extra hour or free engagement session - that is, nine hours for the price of eight or a free engagement session as an alternative. That would be $1760. Half of our weddings include a second photographer, but that is entirely optional with us, as is the non-shooting assistant. All our packages are custom packages to fit the needs of our clients. And they always come with hundreds of full res images - usually a hundred or more per hour of shooting - and with full rights to all of them.

6. Are you the wedding photographer who will be shooting on the wedding day? Who else is there in your team?

The lead photographer will be the photographic artist you chose at the contracting - that artist is named on the contract itself. Our clients will have selected their artist from our portfolio page on our website and will have already meet in person with that artist and found themselves comfortable with that artist and her/his bios information and portfolio and personality. By the time of their wedding day, they may have already had an engagement session with that artist - I recommend that! If you would like a second photographic artist - that is up to you. We can offer you advice about that. A second photographic artist may or may not be necessary for your wedding. We do generally recommend a "non-shooting assistant" at all our weddings. That person helps with everything in general. We pay them well to be professional. A couple of our favorites actually have university degrees in photography but don't want the responsibility of shooting weddings themselves. They would rather be highly paid and productive, professional, non-shooting assistants on the wedding day.

So our weddings can be one lead photographer for a limited number of hours or as many as three team members working all day together to provide our clients with a great collection of images from their wedding day. The lead and second photographic artists will be named on the contract and we will adhere to that.

7. Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?

Most of our weddings don't have a travel charge, but we do charge travel for weddings outside the metro area or at very hard to get to locations. We are very moderate about our travel charges. They run from $50 to $150 usually. Columbia weddings could be as much as $200 travel from St. Louis where we are based. We will give our clients a travel figure for their wedding when they inquire if there will be a travel charge.

8. Are albums or prints included in your packages?

We don't offer prints but we do offer something better - we offer our clients extremely well color processed/edited images and hundreds of them and full rights to them. We advise our clients about where to go to get great prints - for the fridge and/or for a framed print on their dressers or for their walls. Those are two different animals. For the fridge there are a ton of respectable places that can produce acceptable prints but for a framed print it is best to get a true professional photographic print and there are only a small number of professional labs in St. Louis that produce those. The cost will be very reasonable. The lab we use charges 65 cents for a 5x7 with a $6 minimum order. We are happy to provide advice and expect each of our clients to maximize their enjoyment of the images we have captured for them. Any help we can provide in that regard, we are very happy to do so.

9. How long after the wedding will the couple receive the images? How will they be delivered?

We try to deliver the image to the clients within from four to six weeks out from their wedding day. But in the heart of Spring or Fall that can take a week or two longer. As I write this in May of 2021 - I just received from our artists four weddings and an engagement session to process this week and expect two more in the coming days and I spend at least two hours in color processing for every hour of shooting by one of our photographic artists. Our clients receive all their extremely well processed/edited images in three different sizes for their convenience:
Full resolution (huge files) for archiving, medium res (moderate files) for practical printing and sharing, “EasyShare” (moderate files) on the cloud for extremely easy sharing of your entire collection, and small res for social media purposes. You will have full rights to all of your images and have them ready in the most practical forms for about anything you could want to do with them.

The full res, mid res, and small res images are separate collections of the same images that come to our clients on a 16-32 gig flash drive. The full res images alone are often 10 megs or more each and there could be well over a thousand from a larger wedding. Then the "easyshare" collection is on the cloud and we send each client a unique link to their collection on the cloud so they can share that collection with all their friends and family extremely easily - just by providing them the link. Those "easyshare" images can be printed up to 8x10" in size. One client had friends and family download their image collection 84 times from the cloud. That is our current record.

Our "full res" images could be made into billboards. Gara actually shoots billboard images for a Children's hospital in the city.

10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?

We schedule payments out in a reasonable manner between the contracting and the day of the wedding. Each payment is technically non-refundable, but we are reasonably flexible and make exceptions depending on the circumstances. Covid has been hard on everybody and we have been extremely flexible with that situation.

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020