Some frequently asked questions
 
 
Question: 
What is Nilas? Is your name Nilas?
 
Answer: 
When I was a teen, I came across the word and it was described as thin flat ice that surrounds sea borders and could bend with the waves without breaking. To me, it represents resilience and I took the name as an artists pseudonym. I've since named my first son Nilas, so that he is named after his father, but not directly. My name is Michael. 
 
 
 
Question: 
What is your shooting style?
 
Answer: 
Extremely laid back and down to Earth. I love to get to know my clients and I want you to feel comfortable. I don't try to over control a shoot. I usually try to set clients in position and then set a mood. I'll grab a few posed shots and then focus on grabbing those perfect, organic candids. 
 
 
 
Question: 
Why do you put all your different styles of work on your site? 
 
Answer: 
I invite my clients to get to know me. I want them to be comfortable with me, so I choose not to fear to lose potential clients because they've seen my other styles. I am a versatile photographer and believe in contrast. Whether I'm shooting weddings, general sessions, landscapes or dark works, photography is my passion and a part of me so I choose to share it all.
 
 
 
Question: 
Are you LGBT friendly?
 
Answer: 
I'm everybody friendly. Sexuality, race, religion, size... personal choices and genetics are not characteristics I take into account, because they don't matter. We're all just people, various as we come. All that matters is how we treat other people and the world around us. I long for the day where nobody will feel like they have to ask questions such as these.
 
 
 
Question: 
What equipment do you use?
 
Answer: 
I love this question.
 
If you're unfamiliar with cameras, the best way to describe my equipment would be various lenses on full frame Canon cameras. I am able to shoot in full sun or low light, without excessive use of flash. Actually, I usually try to avoid flash altogether, using natural light to create organic images. I use reliable memory card brands to avoid any loss of images.
 
If you're a photographer or person who enjoys cameras, here is the list of the equipment I most commonly use.
 
Body:
  • Canon 5D MII & III
  • Zenmuse X5
  • GoPro Hero 7 Black
 
Lenses:
  • Canon 85mm f1.2 L
  • Canon 24-105mm f4 L (x2)
  • Canon 50mm f1.4 & f1.8
  • Canon Macro 100mm f2.8 L
  • Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L
  • Sigma 35mm f1.4
  • Rokinon 14mm f2.8
  • DJI 15mm f1.7
  • Olympus 25mm f1.8
  • Olympus 45mm f1.8
 
Cards:
  • Lexar & San Disk
 
Drone:
  • DJI Inspire 1
 
Post Production:
  • Adobe Lightroom 
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
 
And then some... If you have any further questions about equipment, feel free to reach out!
 
 
 
Question: 
Are you insured?
 
Answer: 
Absolutely. I have million dollar coverage, which means I'm good to shoot on national parks and then some. 
 
 
 
Question: 
What are past clients saying about you? Can you supply references?
 
Answer: 
I am very happy to have 5-star ratings across multiple platforms.  Make sure to drop by my review page. I collect every review I find across the web and place it here. I aim to create a comfortable and professional experience while delivering amazing images, every set. According to past clients, I've been doing a good job! If you need additional references, simply let me know and I can contact some past clients who have had sessions similar to what you're looking to have done.
 

 
 
Wedding Specific
 
 
Question: 
How much do weddings cost?
 
Answer: 
Wedding packages vary depending on a number of factors. That is why they aren't listed directly on the website. Seasons, the demand/popularity of the date, the day of the week, holidays and location can all play a small role in the pricing. Simply reach out through my wedding contact form (click here) to check availability and receive an investment sheet. I make sure to send them out as quickly as I can, usually on the same day unless I'm out hiking or at another wedding. 
 
To give a rough estimate before contact, my lowest priced wedding coverage is usually $1400, not including elopements and weekdays. 
 
 
 
Question: 
When did you begin shooting weddings? How many weddings have you shot?
 
Answer: 
I started shooting weddings in 2015 and I'll soon be capturing wedding number 100.
 
 
 
Question: 
How do I book you for my big day?
 
Answer: 
Simple! After we've confirmed availability and you choose the best package for you, we set a 25% deposit/retainer on the coverage package of your choosing. Optional extras like an engagement session or album don't have any effect on the deposit amount. For example, if you book all day coverage for $2000, your deposit will be $500, regardless of any additional sessions or prints. Deposits are usually set in person, with a check or online via Google Pay, Venmo, etc. At the same time, we will complete a client service agreement and the date will officially be locked in!
 
 
 
Question: 
Why should I pay a professional? My friend/family member has a camera.
 
Answer: 
I actually get this quite often and it strikes me on a personal level. I didn't pay for a professional photographer when my fiancée (now wife) and I were getting married. Instead, we tossed someone we knew $200 and the chance to get some experience. I didn't truly understand what it meant to be a wedding photographer until we didn't receive the images we needed. A lot of special moments were missed and we can never change that.
 
Capturing weddings is no easy task. It takes skill, patience, knowledge, stamina and a lot more. There are so many moments that happen only once. Moments you'll want to see, share and keep for a very long time. So, my strongest recommendation whether you choose myself, a friend, or another person... please make sure you have an experienced professional.
 
 
 
Question: 
Why Choose you?
 
Answer: 
This is a question that has a fairly broad answer, so I'll break it up into a few sections.
 
My approach:
I take an unobtrusive documentative approach to weddings, allowing the day to flow naturally while capturing all the organic moments that unfold. That way, you'll be able to experience your big day the way it's supposed to be. When I cover bridal party, family and bride and groom shots, I keep things fun and real, using the energy to capture genuine emotions. Of course, some clients do prefer a bit more direction, and I am very happy to provide it. 
 
My experience:
My experience is extensive. I've photographed nearly 100 weddings in venues and environments of all kinds. I've handled small elopements and huge weddings with hundreds of guests. I am very happy to maintain a 5-star rating on various platforms. I've seen tons of different wedding styles and layouts and I'm happy to use my knowledge to help you in any way I can.
 
My personality:
I'm a bit fearless, enabling me to be vocal when necessary, so I can position large groups, tell you when something is out of place or even help make an announcement. Clients are always invited to treat me as a friend. If I'm not taking a picture during downtime, you can feel free to ask me to assist with other tasks. You don't have to worry about what you say or do around me. I promise nothing will phase me. I'm extremely open-minded, very laid back and almost impossible to offend. If you're oldest friend just flew in from across country, there is no need to hold back the excited and crazy inner-self just because I am in the room. I promise I've seen and heard it all, and I definitely have a sense of humor that you're more than welcome to tap into. I also have an adventurous spirit, so I'm not afraid to climb a tree, hike up a mountain, swim in the ocean or play in the mud. I'm a dad from a large and rowdy family, so I'm patient with children and calm amongst the chaos.
 
A few additional reasons:
  • I do not force clients to utilize my printing services. 
  • If you receive an image in black and white or sepia, I can also deliver it in color. (you will also get to choose color preference)
  • I deliver images in a timely manner, and deliver sneak peeks quickly so you can share images shortly after the wedding.
  • You are guaranteed a minimum of over 200 images, but there is no image maximum. I edit everything I can with no limitation. Clients usually receive 2-5 times the guaranteed amount of final images.
 
 
Beyond that, I can't think of too much else to say. So, as Shia would put it...

Have another question?

Contact me anytime and ask away!

Question: 
Is there a contract?
 
Answer: 
There will be 3. A model release, client service agreement and a wedding questionnaire.
 
 
 
Question: 
Do you back up images?
 
Answer: 
Yes. To date, I've never deleted or lost an edited wedding. I also keep RAW files for roughly 3 years. Files are saved on 2 separate hard drives on my own custom server.
 
 
 
Question: 
Do you shoot alone or do you have a second shooter?
 
Answer: 
I don't recommend second shooters for weddings with less than 250 guests, but can add a second shooter to any wedding upon request. In the nearly one-hundred weddings I've captured, only a small handful have included a second photographer. Out of all of my remaining solo weddings, I've never had a client feel as though they've missed a special moment. Contact me any time to discuss whether or not you might want to include a second photographer.
 
 
 
Question: 
Do you offer albums and prints?
 
Answer: 
I do. Although, you are not required to print through me. I can design and deliver an album for you, or I can recommend a third party or online company. So many photographers include albums in their packages, bringing the base price up significantly. I've never understood this. I believe the choice should be optional.
 
I do think albums are extremely important to have. Wedding pictures aren't meant to just sit in a hard drive forever. However, it isn't my priority to sell you my album. My priority is to make sure you have the images that represent the big day how you want it to be remembered. My goal is to capture all the moments that made you laugh and made you cry. All the little details that you and your loved ones will reminisce over and cherish 25 years down the road. That is what you are paying for when you hire me, not just the pages in a book.
 
If you do happen to print through me, I will appreciate the continued support and I promise only the best. Furthermore, you do not have to order prints or albums immediately. You can print a week after the wedding or a year down the road.
 
 
 
Question: 
Do you shoot in RAW or Jpeg? Will you deliver all the RAW Images?
 
Answer: 
RAW all the way. I then cull and edit hundreds of these RAW files, delivering high-resolution Jpegs. I do not provide clients with RAW files.
If you have any questions about the difference between RAW and Jpeg, feel free to contact me. 
 
 
 
Question: 
What do you wear to weddings?
 
Answer: 
I have an option on my wedding questionnaire that will allow you to request attire. I can come dressed in anything within reason. A suit and tie, t-shirt and shorts... I've even attended a pirate wedding in full pirate attire. I'm game for just about anything. If no specific attire is requested, I'll likely come in dress pants, a dress shirt, dress shoes, suspenders and, of course, strapped with a ton of camera gear.
 
 
 
Question: 
Should I provide a shot list?
 
Answer: 
Honestly, I really don't find it necessary unless there is a large portion of separate groups to organize during the group shots. Notes or a list of separate group shots can be quite helpful. Some clients also bring or share some must-have shots, which I can definitely accomplish, but too many requests can definitely hinder an artist's creative flow and are not recommended. I will know exactly what to do, you can just focus on having the time of your life!
 
 
 
Question: 
What is the turnaround time for images?
 
Answer: 
I do my best to have sneak peeks online within a few days to a week and the full image gallery in the mail within a couple weeks.
 
 
 
Question: 
How do you deliver images?
 
Answer: 
I've been delivering images via USB, but I may also start including an online gallery this year (2019). If you have a specific preference, simply let me know!
 
 
 
Question: 
How do you calculate travel charges?
 
Answer: 
Any travel charges would be included in the original quote, though they are minimal. I don't charge hotel or food costs if the wedding is far from my home. I like to travel and use weddings as an excuse to do so. Therefore, I take care of myself.
 
The only time I might request any additional travel fee is for weddings of great distance or that would require an expensive flight. These charges are very rare and each is handled differently. 
 
 
 
Question: 
Do you shoot destination weddings?
 
Answer: 
I'll shoot anywhere in the world. A wanderlust like myself is always craving the next trip, so please take me on your adventure!

Nilas Photography on Facebook

@weddingphotographerguy

Michael R Ballard (AKA Nilas)
nilas@nilasphotography.com
503.403.9096
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Usually located near Portland, Oregon or Tehachapi, California. Available worldwide.
Wedding Photographer Guy
is a branch off of Nilas Photography, 
created for couple specific content.
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