Questions + Answers
Who is KOHALAFOTO? Is it a group of people or a soul trader?
Kohalafoto is a partnership between a photographer – Chris and a Videographer – John. The business is primarily run by Chris(me), but John helps with bookings, editing and wedding album design.
Where are you based?
I grew up in Germany, moved continents in my early twenties and from state to state. Studied Photography and Film Production in Los Angeles, worked in the Hollywood Film Industry in the camera department for several years. Lived in Hawaii for more than a decade, where KOHALAFOTO was founded and enjoyed a fantastic live and a thriving wedding business. Left Hawaii to be with family member in need, and now call Englewood, FLORIDA home. I am still constantly on the road, flying back and forth to Hawaii . . . so traveling really runs through my veins... it is worth asking where I am around the time of your wedding. You never know, I might be in your area!
How much does it cost to travel to our wedding?
It actually is cheaper than you think. I have shot weddings internationally and nationally and the travel can be very affordable. If your wedding is further then 2 hours from Englewood Fl, then just ask for a travel quote when you send your enquiry.
How do we book you?
Easy! Send me an email and see if your wedding date is still available. If it is and you are happy with my packages and work you see on my websites, then I will send you out a deposit invoice and a contract to sign. Thats it! Super easy. Oh, and I am more than happy to catch up for a coffee and a chat anytime (in person or over zoom chat)!
Can we meet you before the big day?
We sure can. I love to meet all my clients before the wedding. If that is not possible because of distance, then Skype or zoom chat is always a great option.
What got you started in the wedding photography business?
Photography was the art form that allowed me to pursue a life of my own, full of curiosity and passion, whilst unintentionally paying homage to my creative upbringing.
To be a part of a couple’s wedding day, one of the most important days of their lives, and to be able to share my craft through documenting their celebration, is unreal. It’s a privilege I’ll never take for granted.
What is your business philosophy?
Kohalafoto’s core values are simple – we create an experience so our clients feel comfortable, safe and well looked after from day one. We understand a wedding day can be a big venture for most people, so we make sure we eliminate any stress and keep everything we do very transparent.
Our commitment to our clients is delivering work at the highest quality, that will last to be enjoyed by future generations.
How do you shoot so many weddings in such beautiful locations around the world?
I book most of my weddings from word of mouth and my past connections with wedding venues. I make sure I put in 110% into every wedding I shoot so I can continue to book amazing clients around the world! Wedding blogs and magazines help me out a lot as well.
How do you find the best locations to shoot family photos and bridal portraits when you have not worked at a venue before?
I don’t think a wedding is about the location though, its about the people and its about the love they share.
Photographer’s can literally pick an ugly street scene with garbage dumpsters as background and place a couple
in front and pull off an award winning awe striking image with the right ingredients - the couples personality, the best photographic techniques and the eye of the photographer.
What can we expect on the day of the wedding?
Iots of laughs and tears! yes we cry and laugh with you :-)
How would you describe your style of photography?
I have a journalistic approach to photography. My images are personal and quiet on the one hand and vibrant and emotional on the other. I focus on the raw emotions and vulnerability weddings bring along with them. I love getting to know my client’s personalities and working towards bringing parts of who they are out in my images. Wedding photography is about making images that actually mean something to you; more than just a pretty picture.
Please take your time to browse the galleries available. I encourage new ideas, brainstorming, and collaboration to discover how my style can be most effectively utilized on your day. Together we can bring the magic to live and make an album for you to remember exactly how you felt on your wedding day.
When will I receive my photographs?
You can expect a sneak peak within just a few days after your wedding day. You will receive your slideshow around 4 weeks after the wedding. I send out the photo package containing your images to your postal address usually 2 weeks after that. If you have ordered an album, it will take up to 3 weeks for printing after it the design was completed.
What do we receive?
You will receive the images that I have carefully selected and fully edited (approximately 600-1000 images). The photos are of high quality and will be sized for print, so you can print your photos as many times as you like. (we include a Print Release so no printing Lab will give you a hard time). Initially in the sneak peak gallery, a selection will also be resized for social media and email. So you can share your images as soon as you get them. All the images come on a custom wooden USB drive, with 10 fine art prints and a wooden box to wrap up the whole package!
If you have ordered an Album, I will work with you to make sure it is exactly how you want it. It can be ready just weeks after you receive your photos.
What other services / products do you offer?
We include Slideshows with every package. Slideshows are a great way to share your photos with friends and family without uploading every photo to the internet. They are also paired with music to make viewing even more of an enhanced experience. You can post a slideshow on social media with one simple link. A slideshow is carefully curated with just a selection of images from the wedding to highlight some of your favorite moments of the day. I choose music from our paid royalty-free music library that I feel compliments the images and the mood of the wedding.
If you haven’t considered video add on to your photography package…you absolutely should. Yes we understand it is an investment, but a film crafted by our top videographer with years of experience will make a custom wedding film for you that will move you and your family + friends. Sitting around the lounge room with a hot cuppa and a few friends, showing off your wedding film is not only the best possible way to re-live your special day, it is what wedding films are all about.
We all love sharing our photos and memories on social media, but some things are much too special to be kept on social media or a hard drive. Like a selection and Highlights of your wedding photos. It is so nice holding them and walking through each image with your hands and sharing your stories. Not just today, but for years to come. With new and old family members. Everyone appreciates a good story and a good wedding book.
Can I purchase an Album after the wedding day?
Yes of course! You can purchase an album at any time, that includes parent albums too. A lot of my clients order their album for Christmas as special gifts, or for themselves on their first year anniversary.
Many of our clients order their book after the wedding day. Occasionally we get feedback from our clients saying they wanted to cut cost a little and have tried to design and order their own album, and immediately regretted going on their own, as the design was not what they hoped for, and the book overall lacked quality, which often is not in the forefront of some online album manufacturers. Reality is, sadly most focus on quantity over quality.
We are sourcing from High Quality Book Manufacturers who actually do not even work with the open public, rather are catering to professional designers, artists and photographers only. Quality to them and us is everything!
Your wedding book needs to last for many years to come. So we use Museum quality paper with vibrant and vivid 100+ years archival ink. In general all our printing is done on thick Luster paper that is rated to last generations without discolorations, yellowing or fading.
We have kept the designs of the books with simplicity in mind. I like very minimal layouts to keep out any distractions from where your attention really needs to be. The books also have no messy binding lines. So you can now get a true panoramic display of your images without distracting lines. The paper has a weight to it and lays flat.
We want you to judge this book by its cover! This is why we design these books with you, not just for you. So you can have control of the colors and textures of the book.
After all, we want you to help us produce something that you will love.
We all love creating a single special art print for our Couples. A memory of the day you committed to each other for life and sealed into a creation of art. We essentially take your favorite image and transform it into a painted version of the photo reference. Our talented artists go to work using an iPad pro to sketch the painting and finish by hand on either wood, glass, ceramic tile, Canvas or fine art paper. Samples are available.
Wow, so many incredible weddings on your website… Do you still shoot humble back yard weddings and small intimate elopement beach weddings?
Of course! and I thrive on that, as I really get that chance to connect with my Couples on a very personal level. I love all weddings, any shape and size! Small - or extremely large, same -sex weddings…anywhere where love is present
I cannot think of a better place to be!
We don’t really like “staged” wedding photos where the couple is posing and forcing the frozen smile in every photo, We like the natural candid photos a lot more!
I feel the same way. I am not the type of photographer that wants you smile in every photo, or get into an awkward posing position. I believe in organic natural posing, they way you are and interact with your fiancé organically and naturally. It is a day of celebrating your love for one another and I want to foremost convey that raw emotional connection between you two. In fact you won’t notice that I am there for most of the day. When it comes to the couples portraits, I can give enough direction so you feel comfortable, but my goal is for you to forget there is that camera pointed at you!
Do you prefer flash photography or natural light?
Absolutely love natural light! which goes hand in hand of my natural organic approach to photography. Natural light helps preserve the real mood and feeling at the wedding. I love using the light that I have to make the best of a situation. Of course I use flash when it gets too dark at night or for artistic reasons.
I’m really interested to book you, but I live in Thailand. Or Norway. Or the middle of Tokyo. Will you travel this far?
Absolutely. I love traveling - PERIOD ! I love connecting with people of different cultures. I have traveled all of my life. My added travel fees are extremely reasonable and affordable. I don’t require luxury accommodations, I just look forward to the opportunity to travel more countries.
I want some of my photographs to be exclusive and not used on the website. Is that a problem?
Not at all. I have a password protected area on my website. Everything can be private if that is what you wish.
How much is the deposit? Is it refundable and how quick will I have to pay it?
It is advisable to pay the deposit as soon as you make your final decision. Please note: in the photography world we actually do not call this a “deposit”, we use the term “retainer”. THE DIFFERENCE? A deposit can be refundable, a retainer is not refundable. This retainer secures the date for your wedding and it will become immediately unavailable for a future booking. The Retainer is 35% of the total amount and is non refundable. In certain circumstances (unforeseen illness for instance), a rebooking of the date is allowed without additional fees.
When do I have to pay the whole amount?
The outstanding amount is due at least 2 weeks before the wedding date. I can also help with a payment plan.
Do you shoot with a second photographer? Or do you ever have an assistant?
I sometimes use a second shooter. It depends on the size and complexity of the wedding. A second shooter is available for most weddings at a separate fee. I sometimes use an assistant, I will notify you before bringing anyone to your wedding.
We heard from our wedding planner that you are a hybrid shooter?
70% of my clients ask for a video on top of the wedding photos. Sometimes it’s not in their budget to hire on a full
film crew. In those situations, we eliminate the cost of a video crew member and I shoot both, photos and video throughout the day, which produces on average a 7min video that can be shared online for up to a year. I also produce a 60 sec trailer that can be shared on instagram.
Have you ever cancelled a booking or not shown up to a wedding?
WHAT! Never ever ever! And I plan on keeping it that way. If for some reason I really could not shoot your wedding due to unforeseen illness or accident, I do have a backup plan for that situation.
Have you ever lost photographs due to technical failures?
Never ever ever! I shoot with professional camera equipment with dual SD card slots that are writing data simultaneously. If one was to fail (which is extremely rare and has never happened to me in my 15+ years shooting)
there is a backup of the exact same images from the entire wedding day available. I also have numerous cameras and lenses with me at all times.
I have questions for you but are not listed here?
Please get in touch! I love to answer all of your questions!