10 Questions with Erin Wisdom-Watson

Wisdom-Watson Weddings

Photographer - Erin Wisdom-Watson

10 Questions with Erin Wisdom-Watson

1. Introduction: What's your story?

I've been a full-time wedding photographer for more than five years, following almost a decade as a feature writer and photographer for newspapers and magazines. Storytelling has always had my heart, and this latest manifestation of that is undoubtedly the most fun and fulfilling I've found.

I love living and working in the Kansas City area, where just a half-hour drive from the skyline and downtown sites are lakes and woods and small towns. It's wonderful having such a wide variety of settings for showcasing my lovely clients and for exploring with Seth – my husband since 10.10.10 and one of the other members of the Wisdom-Watson team. (We also love to travel and typically accept a few destination weddings each year!)

Our wedding photography has been featured by numerous brands and publications, but the best recognition always comes from couples who feel we've captured their stories and once-in-a-lifetime milestones in a way they can treasure forever.

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

I began my photography business in 2011 and built it on a part-time basis for several years, while still working full-time for a media company. The transition to full-time and my specialization in weddings came in 2015, and my wedding count as of the end of 2020 is about 130.

With my journalism background, I was no stranger to polished content creation, a high-pressure environment and delivering professional work on deadline – and I've found all these skills have served me well in the wedding world. But just as vital in preparing me for what I do now are a set of inherent characteristics: creativity coupled with a diligent and detail-oriented nature, along with a strong sense of sentimentality and an appreciation of all things pretty. Although I may be biased, I've found this to be a perfect cocktail of qualities for putting to use in my current profession!

3. How would you describe your photography style?

I call my style fine-art photojournalism to designate how it fits a journalistic approach as well as how it differs. Like true photojournalism, it emphasizes documentary storytelling. But it also involves more artistic elements, such as the art of posing couples in a way that's relaxed and natural rather than awkward. Even in moments that are orchestrated, I want real relationships to shine. Similarly, in post-production, I aim for a natural edit that leans toward light-and-airy but doesn't stray from showcasing the details of a wedding day as they actually were.

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

In my market, many photographers book dates 12 to 18 months in advance. I usually hear from couples as soon as they've set a date and selected their venue(s). This isn't to say, though, that couples with shorter engagements or more delayed planning are totally out of luck – they just may have to search a little harder for a photographer they love who has their date available, especially if it's a Saturday between March and November.

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

I offer several standard collections that all include two photographers, edited images with a release, a complementary engagement session and a choice of one other "extra" at no additional cost. One of those add-on options is videography, and it's what a vast majority of my clients choose. My mid-range package providing eight hours of coverage and all the above-mentioned details is the one I book most frequently.

That said: These standard collections are customizable if they don't quite fit a couple's needs. I do have a minimum investment requirement for prime wedding dates but want to make sure that investment provides the services and products that best fit the clients' preferences.

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

I am the lead shooter at every wedding, and my husband, Seth, is usually the second shooter. I also have another photographer, Katie, who adds depth to our team. In reviews, clients often comment on how seamlessly we work together, which is a huge asset in making a day with many moving parts as smooth and stress-free as possible. I always love to see that feedback – because as committed as I am to producing photos and videos that beautifully curate the milestone, it's just as important to me that my clients enjoy their experience living it.

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

I don't charge a travel fee for weddings within an hour of Kansas City. Mileage and possibly additional fees do come into play for weddings farther away, and I provide custom quotes in those cases.

8. Are albums or prints included in your packages?

All collections come with the clients' choice of one add-on at no additional cost, and a custom album is one of those options. In the event the clients want more than one add-on (both videography and an album, for example), it's an option to purchase the second at a reduced rate (compared to rates for albums purchased separately from a wedding collection).

I love going an extra step in helping clients curate their wedding day, and a high-quality album is a great option for this. Mine contain thick pages with stain-resistant, fine-photo surfaces. They are printed in high-density color by a professional lab. And I often get excited e-mails from clients when their book arrives! Even though they saw a digital proof before it went to print, it's just a different experience to hold such a substantial, beautiful depiction of their wedding.

While I focus on albums as my primary printed product, I do provide a release that clients can use for ordering their own prints and am happy to suggest reputable labs.

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

I deliver all collections by direct download, usually no later than one month after a wedding. But clients see a lot of their images and video content before then, through an extensive blog preview I publish within a week of their big day. I also provide them at the time of that publication with access to high-resolution copies of their preview images – usually 150 to 200, which is about 20 percent of the total they'll receive. I fully understand how eager couples are to see their finished product, and I'm just as eager to share it with them!

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

I require a 25% deposit to book a wedding date, which is non-refundable in the event the clients cancel. Rescheduling under normal circumstances requires placing a new deposit; however, I have been honoring existing deposits rather than requiring new ones for clients who have postponed their wedding due to the pandemic. I hope to not have nearly as many couples facing that decision in 2021 as I did in 2020 but will continue to be as accommodating as I can under these difficult circumstances.



WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020