10 Questions with Christopher Thibeault

Chris James Photography

Photographer - Christopher Thibeault

10 Questions with Christopher Thibeault

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hello! I'm Chris, and I've been working as a wedding photographer for nearly a decade now. I am a native Rhode Islander, and you can often find me traveling Rhode Island and nearby states with my camera in-hand.

I am a full-time professor at the Community College of Rhode Island. I am also currently completing my Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Rhode Island. My background there is in computer vision and machine learning for computational photography. While I have always had an interest in photographs (thanks to my dad and his old Canon AE-1), my interest in the technical side of photography has inspired me to become more involved with it as an art form. Word got around that I was pretty good at what I did, and I soon found myself being hired for my first photography gigs. Over the last decade, I've been spending the "wedding months" when I'm not teaching full-time photographing weddings, portraits and events.

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

I photographed my first wedding 8 long years ago. I've photographed dozens of weddings in that time. I'm very particular about making sure that every client gets my full attention, and so it is rare that I will book more than one wedding in a week. This also means that I have a bit more "me" time, which is always important to avoid burn-out (which can happen in this industry).

3. How would you describe your photography style?

I dislike labeling it, but if I had to pick from the common style terms I would say that I have a photojournalistic style. I love focusing on the candids and catching all the little details and moments that others might miss. A good photographer should be capable of working in any style if needed, and so I've made sure to actively seek out that experience.

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

Booking a photographer for your wedding can be trickier than other vendors because you will often use that photographer for engagement photos, save-the-date sessions, and related activities. These things take time to plan and are often tied to schedules for sending out invitations. It is important to start the search early so that you can find the right person for you.

Some might caution about booking too far in advance as schedules and details can change over time. They make a good point, but a good photographer should be willing to meet with you when you book them, and also throughout the time prior to the wedding to discuss any changes or just to go over the details one more time. It's our job to photograph you, but we also want you to feel secure in knowing that the day will go smoothly.

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

All of my wedding packages have several things in common. Mostly importantly, they include me as your photographer. I never outsource the job. All packages include high-resolution digital images with online galleries, a print release so that you can print and share your photos anywhere, an engagement photography session, and a minimum of 6 hours of wedding day coverage. Package prices start at $1800.

My higher-tier packages increase the amount of hours on the wedding day, include additional locations, longer engagement sessions, multiple photographers, and more.

Of course, it is hard to design a set of packages that works well for everyone, and so I'm happy to customize my offerings.

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

I'm always there as lead photographer, with two cameras and plenty of lenses to cover all scenarios. I bring multiple flashes for both on-and-off-camera lighting.

If your package includes a second photographer, I will bring one of several other photographers that I have worked with before. Some of them I've known for a very long time and I trust them 100%.

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

In general, I don't charge a travel fee. I try to stay within 50 miles of home as much as possible, but sometimes weddings are a bit further away, and that's ok. If it is too far away, I might advise a client to consider a different photographer, but if they really want me for the wedding I might charge an additional cost. I've only had to do this once (I live in Rhode Island, the wedding was in New York).

8. Are albums or prints included in your packages?

No. I don't do albums or prints in my packages. I find that couples are often choosing to go with a small number of larger prints rather than going the album route these days. I provide a print release that gives them the flexibility to do that however and whenever they choose. If they want to have me create prints for them through a high-quality print lab, I would be happy to assist.

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

Within a few days, I will have a set of teaser images ready to share. These are not final edits, but they are "in the ballpark" as they say. Couples often want to share these with family and friends as soon after the wedding as possible, and these images will be fantastic for that. The rest of the photos will take longer. The actual amount of time depends on how long the wedding was, if there was more than one photographer, and how much "fine" editing is required. Every wedding will be different. I generally tell couples that the entire wedding editing process should be complete within 6-8 weeks at the latest, but it is often far sooner than that.

I deliver images digitally in the form of an online gallery where the full-resolution photographs can be download on any computer or mobile device.

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

For weddings, I charge a 25% non-refundable retainer fee to hold the wedding date. If the client needs to reschedule, the 25% can be applied towards the new date (if I am available on that date). If I am not available for the rescheduled date (or if the client has just outright canceled the wedding), the retainer will act as a cancelation fee. If the wedding is canceled for reasons outside of our control (fire at the venue, pandemics, etc.) the retainer amount will be refunded in-full.



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