Frequently Asked Questions


Why hire a professional photographer for your photo shoot?

To get the best quality photos as possible, of course! This means hiring a professional photographer who is skilled, has vast experience, and the right equipment to produce high-quality images.

Professional photographers are an investment for a reason. Photography is fun work, but not easy. Imagine being on your feet for long hours, paying attention to every detail, and being energetic all the way through. It involves a lot of preparation, organization, and perseverance. As a matter of fact, professional photographers are not just photographers they’re creative directors, consultants, and your best friend for the day in order for you to feel comfortable while being photographed. The work doesn’t end there. For a full day of shooting, that leads to hundreds of photos that need to be manually edited. This takes a high level of proficiency in professional photo editing tools. Don’t worry we’re firm believers of shooting it right and don’t like hearing “fix it in photoshop”. This allows us to edit the photos more efficiently to get them to you quickly.

Why should I hire MTP if I have a photography enthusiast friend or family member willing to do it for free?

If you consider hiring a photography enthusiast friend or family member “Uncle Bob” who has a DSLR camera to photograph one of the most important days of your life, we highly recommend that you reconsider. This is one of those times when you really get what you pay for. Professionals are experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable about the photography craft. Also, professional photographers are there to service you and provide you with the best service/product possible because it’s their career on the line. Imagine “Uncle Bob” taking photos then pausing to mingle, drink, eat, or party while there is an epic moment. That moment passes and there’s no picture. You’ve dreamt of this day and planned for months, doesn’t your wedding day deserve to be professionally photographed, yes.

What am I paying a professional photographer for?

You are paying a professional photographer for:

Expertise and talent
Shooting and editing time
Digital images
Photo products; may be included in a package or as an a la carte for an additional price
Print release rights: Personal or commercial use; price varies by use and size

What is MTP’s photography style?

We define our photography style as narrative, expressive, editorial, and artistic to capture the story and feeling of the moment. Our mission is to have images that speak loudly and evoke emotion. We keep it timeless. That way you won’t shy away from showing off your photos now and years down the road. What inspires us you ask? It’s you.

Does MTP have a studio?

No studio needed here. All of our photo shoots are done on-location. This keeps overhead at a minimum and our prices competitive.

If you do prefer that studio feel, like for a headshot, we do have portable studio gear and come to you.

Does MTP photograph beyond San Diego?

Yes, we welcome destination photo shoots. There would be a travel fee that is dependent upon the destination, travel, and/or accommodations. In addition, fees relating to parking, entrance, and tickets are customer’s responsibility for customer, photographer(s) and photography assistant.

Do you have props?

Yes, we have a few props when photographing children and family. If our props will work harmoniously with the scene, we’ll take them along. We also welcome you to bring your own props if you wish. This will make your photo shoot unique and more special for your family photo shoot.

Please avoid props that are not timeless i.e. avoid large brand logos and character toys/plushes. In addition, we do not want the props to take away from the connection between subjects. The interaction between people gives more meaning; which is priceless when captured.

When is the best time for an outdoor photo shoot?

The best time for taking pictures outdoors is an hour after the sun rises and an hour before the sun sets. Anytime in-between can work as well but may be too sunny resulting in casted shadows on faces and squinting eyes. In this event, we may have an assistant to help with a reflector. Although this is not always available.

Why are the retainer and payments non-refundable?

The booking/retainer fee is a holding fee that guarantees us as your photographer(s). With the retainer and payments paid, we gracefully turn down other photo shoots that want to book us for the same date/time. Because we are refusing prospects for the same date, we, in turn, ask for your mutual commitment. Therefore, the booking/retainer along with additional payments paid are non-refundable and will not be forfeited. It will be considered as liquidated damages to MTP photographer(s).

You can reschedule your photo shoot at another available date/time or receive photography credit in the same amount you paid.

If you have photo goodies (i.e. prints, album, framed art, etc.) with your photography package, savings have been applied and arrangements have already been made with our vendor(s) to fulfill your product(s).

Who owns the digital negatives and the rights to the images?

According to U.S. Copyright Law, the photographer is the copyright owner for the digital and/or film negatives of all images that the photographer has shot.

When you buy the print release to an image, this entitles you to lease the right to utilize the image. Normally it is to make prints for personal use. Any instance where it involves editorial, commercial, or the solicitation of a photographer’s copyrighted image, this is subject to the photographer’s approval. This is the same U.S. copyright law that protects all artists and people who create i.e. musical composers, authors, painters, photographers, etc.

How does MTP use photos they’ve taken?

We only use our images for MTP promotional purposes only i.e. social media, MTP website, and MTP marketing materials. All images that are displayed on our website have the permission of the personally identifiable individual. Given this approval, we may share the photos with vendors whom the subject has worked with i.e. wedding location venues, hairdressers, florists, etc. Through a Model Release form, MTP has the rights to have their work featured in an editorial magazine. Please note: MTP never sells their image to a 3rd party model agency and never acts as one.

Why is it that the same image can cost me $10 or $500 to use?

First, you will need the photographer’s permission for a print release. Otherwise, your print lab of choice will not print the photographer’s copyrighted image for you.

The cost for a digital negative with the print release is dependent upon the use of the image and the size of the image. If you are purchasing a low res image for personal use, this type of image file is less expensive. On the other hand, if you are purchasing a high res image for commercial purposes, this type is more expensive.

How far in advance should I book my photo shoot?

Book with us as soon as possible. We tend to book photo shoots months in advance for regular photo shoots and a year in advance for weddings. Dates are subject to availability. To book a date, a non-refundable retainer is required to secure your photo shoot date.

What if I’m late to my photo shoot?

We ask that you arrive at the scheduled time as we may have another photo shoot scheduled shortly after. If you’re late to your photo shoot, the photo shoot time does not extend. For example, if your photo shoot is for one hour 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm and you arrive at 5:15 pm, the photo shoot still ends at 6:00 pm. Therefore, please arrive on time to ensure there is enough time to capture enough great shots and to make it worth your while.

What if there is rain in the forecast?

We will be there rain or shine for a contracted wedding or event photo session.

For other photo shoots, a reschedule would be recommended.

How many photographers will I have for my photo shoot?

For family, maternity, children, high school senior, fashion, and other photo shoots consisting of a group of 10 or less, one (1) photographer is suffice.

For weddings that have over 100 guests, there will be two (2) photographers dedicated to the coverage.

For events, that would be dependent upon the event needs and contract.

What should I wear to my photo shoot?

It’s okay to take it up a notch for the photo shoot. Most importantly, wear what defines YOU.

For couples/engagement shoots:
Focus on timeless pieces that compliment your body type. Coordinate like you’ve stepped out of a fashion catalog/magazine.

For family and children shoots:
Coordinating colors are great. Having each subject wear the exact same thing is not recommended because it takes away the personality. The approach should be organic.

For maternity shoots:
Bellies are beautiful! Believe it or not, a form-fitting dress is lovely in maternity photos. Make sure it’s comfortable and cotton.

Tips for all types of photo shoots:
Go with bold colors
Avoid busy prints
Again, coordinate and avoid matching outfits
It’s okay to take it up a notch, after all, it’s a photo shoot. Remember to keep it organic
Avoid brands, character logos/images, or costume-like outfits to keep a timeless appeal
Accessories such as hats, scarves are great but avoid big bows and frills
Don’t forget to apply a lip balm especially on children to avoid cracked and dry lips with their sweet smiles
A manicure and/or pedicure (if wearing open toe shoes or sandals) is recommended

As a professional photographer, we’re here to do our best so that you look your best. We want you to be proud and want to show off your photos many years to follow. We’re happy to consult and provide photo shoot design direction for the look/feel, lighting, and location. Simply give us a call and let’s collaborate to give you that beautiful frame-worthy photo shoot!

What happens after my photo shoot?

The next step after a photo shoot is post production by the photographer. This entails picking the best images from the bunch photographed. We then polish them up with finishing touches to enhance the image’s composition, white balance, color, and lighting, etc. Please note: extra touch up work (i.e. blemish or wrinkle or removal or advanced touch ups) are available at an additional cost.

The average time frame for a one-hour photo shoot post production is thee (3) to five (5) business days. A larger photo shoot requires more time and we will notify you of the time frame.

Once post-production is complete, the images will be uploaded to an online gallery for you to view your finished image proofs for a la carte ordering. The total number of finished image proofs is dependent on the photo session length and which photo shoot you purchased.

For additional questions, they are welcome at 619-752-0435 and info[at]melandtimphotography[dot]com


Why choose Mel and Tim Photography as your wedding photographers?

For one and an important one, we are a couple too! We have been together since 1994! We work so well together and we feed off each other for inspiration. We understand the level of commitment between two and what it took for you two to get to the BIG day! It is essential to work with a photographer(s) that you can connect and jive with. Our couples, even the shyest ones, admit that opening up and feeling comfortable around us was easy and fun! You’ll see that in our images; wordless expressions of love, joy, and laughter.

For weddings over 50 guests, you’ll get two pro photographers! Not one pro photographer + an assistant photographer, but two pro photographers that have been together and working for many years side by side! You’re in great hands with both of us! We hover around for maximum coverage and angles.

We have photographed over 300 portraits from weddings to family to children to maternity to fashion to corporate sessions. We like to challenge and continually harness our creativity with other photography disciplines.

We get your wedding post-production completed and ready for you to preview the finished images within 10-14 business days because we are just as excited as you are! Same quality standards, just quicker because we’re boss in the production side of photography. Our goal is to keep our workflow efficient, productive and of the highest quality.

We have so much fun getting to the finished photos! We love the entire creative process. We never “assembly line”/outsource our post-production work. Your wedding is important to us and we want to give you that boutique customer service experience. Also perhaps graphics and creative design is second nature to us and we want to ensure the MTP touch is just right. After all, that’s why you hired us!

Couples who book with us, receive an engagement photo shoot as a “thank you very much” gift from us. AWESOME, right! This allows us to get to know each other, posing preferences, and favorite side. All leading to a relaxed and comfortable photo shoot experience for the BIG day.

I found another photographer that costs less, why should I still choose MTP?

We realize that there are many wedding photographer options available to you. We always advise that you go with a photographer based on their work, not the price. You should love the work of the photographer that you hire. That’s what we ask of our couples; hire us because you love our work. Of course, there’s a wedding photography budget. We believe that EVERYONE deserves an awesome photographer. Therefore, we give a customized wedding quote according to several factors. You’ll find that our rate is competitive.

How far in advance should I book my wedding?

We recommend booking your wedding as soon as possible. Normally we book one year in advance, but if we have your wedding date available and you love our work, it’s on! Please reach out to us to check at info[at]melandtimphotography[dot]com or buzz us at 619.752.0435 or use our Quote Form here.

What do I need to do to book my wedding with MTP?

Easy…First, reach out to us at info[at]melandtimphotography[dot]com or buzz us at 619.752.0435 or use our Quote Form here. Shortly after, we’ll give you a custom wedding photography proposal with four (4) great options based on your wedding photography got-to-haves.

The wedding photography proposal expires within thirty (30) days. You’ve seen our work…Now, let’s meet and greet during this time to see if we jive. Love our work and love us…book us! Remember you’ll receive savings if you book with us within 30 days plus receive a complimentary gift: an engagement photo shoot with all the finished high-resolution digital images. This is our thanks to you for selecting us as your wedding photographers!

Choosing your wedding photographer is a big decision. It can take some time to make that decision. We never want our couples to feel rushed into making a decision, but we do want our prospective couples to have a heads up for the following:

We could be booked by a couple at any time. The first mover for the retainer (a non-refundable holding fee) guarantees us as their wedding photographers. We normally ask for half as a non-refundable retainer at the time of booking and the final half 30 days prior to the wedding date. We never double book for the same date.

Our wedding proposal expires within thirty (30) days; booking early with us entitles you to savings…NICE! After thirty (30) days, the quote(s) are subject to change.

We photograph a limited number of weddings per year. Once our desired limit is reached, our wedding prices increase. This keeps our boutique quality. Also keeps us excited and passionate to do each and every wedding booked!

Why are the retainer and payments non-refundable?

The booking/retainer fee is a holding fee that guarantees us as your photographer(s). With the retainer and payments paid, we gracefully turn down other photo shoots that want to book us for the same date/time. Because we are refusing prospects for the same date, we, in turn, ask for your mutual commitment. Therefore, the booking/retainer along with additional payments paid are non-refundable and will not be forfeited. It will be considered as liquidated damages to MTP photographer(s).

You can reschedule your photo shoot at another available date/time or receive photography credit in the same amount you paid.
If you have photo goodies (i.e. prints, album, framed art, etc.) with your wedding photography package, savings have been applied and arrangements have already been made with our vendor(s) to fulfill your product(s).

Why What is your cancellation and refund policy?

If a client cancels for any reason, MTP will not refund any portion of the booking/retainer or any payments made prior to the date of cancellation. If the client cancels within four (4) months or less of the wedding date, the entire balance will be owed to MTP.

How many weddings do you book in a year?

We limit our wedding bookings between 12-20 weddings per year.

What’s in your bag?

We gear up with his and her professional level Nikon D700 and D800 full frame cameras with a variety of glasses (lenses): the nifty fifty prime portrait, wide, and telephoto lenses for each of us. We prefer the look and feel of available natural lighting. If the lighting poses a challenge for us, we’ll use our reflector, flash, or LED video light to fill in light to help fill in lights where needed.

Of course, we’ll also be well equipped with memory, batteries, tripod, back up cameras and our love for wedding photography to document all the beautiful memories that unfold!

How many photographers would I have for my wedding?

For smaller/intimate weddings with less than 80 guests, one (1) photographer (Mel or Tim) offers superb coverage. Weddings with more than 80 guests, two professional photographers will be at your service to ensure you receive the most coverage!

What is the “First Look”?

The “First Look” is the Bride and Groom’s photo shoot before the ceremony. This option is great as it usually permits more time to create artistic beautiful photos of you two and at a separate nearby location if you wish. This option also enables you to enjoy your family and guests right after the ceremony then move directly to the reception celebration.

If you prefer to keep it traditional and take your Bride and Groom photos after the ceremony, this works just as well. We just ask to reserve 60 minutes of your time to allow for those beautiful artistic shots!

How long does it take to see my wedding photos?

Our couples love that it only takes us 10-14 business days to preview their finished wedding photos! We may be quick, but the quality is not missed! Weddings are our full-time priority and we work day and night to get your wedding photos post-production completed. We are just as excited as you are! Here’s a brief on our normal wedding photos post-production process:

After the wedding even on the same night, we “dump” the memory card of images to our computer and back up the images.
Day 1-2: Select the best images from the bunch.
Day 3-5: Individually enhance the selected best images in a timeless color finish.
Day 6: Apply black/white and/or fun vintage color to images that would compliment.
Day 7-10: Upload the finished images to your online password protected gallery. Then email you the link to preview, share and enjoy!

Will my wedding photos be edited?

Yes, the selected finished images are individually enhanced for color, exposure, contrast etc. We treat all finished images with a classic color (for timeless appeal) and if it compliments the image we may also do black/white and/or a fun vintage color. This means one image may have three finishes…SWEET!

What kind of photo goodies do you have available?

First we only select photo goodies that we absolutely love and vendors with excellent customer service. The most popular photo goodies that our brides and grooms are seeking with their wedding package are the digital negatives and wedding albums. Because every wedding and couple are unique, we have other photo goodies available! For example, engagement albums, parent albums, guest books, metal murals, canvas collage, ornate wall fine art frames, save the date die-cut card and magnet along with so much more. Simply ask and we’ll fill you in on the details.

Please note that our prices and/or photo goodies are subject to change without notice.

For additional questions, contact us. We'd love to hear from you!

Contact us