Lifetime Images F.A.Q.
What makes Lifetime Images different than other studios?
We offer something different. We've been doing wedding photography for nearly 15 years. We're far along the learning curve and have crossed the bridges that many newer photographers simply haven't gotten to yet. We've established our style. Our style is based on album oriented wedding photography. Our albums are laid out by hand with emphasis on albums designed around images that tell a story. We don't use hot and trendy tools and techniques because they will make you album look outdated quickly. What initially is positioned as "creativity" will ultimately be tomorrow's polyester leisure suits. Our belief that good, clean images will stand the test of time.
We cater toward working bridal couples who are too busy to micro manage their photography. They want to turn it over to someone they trust that can produce results, not excuses. They want the job done right the first time and a completed album as close to their wedding date as possible. They also want help in making the wedding photography sessions as short as possible so that they can actually enjoy their wedding day. They want a streamline process that will produce outstanding results and provide the largest bang for their wedding photography budget.
How long has the company been around?
Lifetime Images was established in 1997 by Steve Schlesinger. Steve photographed his first wedding in 1986 as a freshman in college. In total it’s estimated that Lifetime Images has done more than 700 weddings, with exceptional track record of quality, innovation, and customer service.
What locations do you cover?
We cover most of metropolitan Southern California. Our primary focus is on Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Inland Empire regions.
Do you travel?
We’ve been to Maui, Mexico, and Las Vegas to cover weddings. We prefer to drive versus flying to wedding destinations, but we're open to working anywhere in the US.
How many images do you take?
It varies from wedding to wedding, the range is between 1000 to 3000 images.
What is your style of photography?
We call it the perfect blend of elegant portraiture and photojournalism. We know how to take charge in order to get those important family portraits done quickly, yet we are very fun, and laid back when it comes to the rest of the day. We don’t stress you out with too many requests or too much time away from guests. We have enough experience to know how to be in the right place at the right time. We are very against corny, overdone cliché images, and we discovered a long time ago the best way to make sure you look like you’re having a good time at your wedding is to make sure we do everything possible to make sure you have a good time at your wedding.
How do your packages work?
All of our packages come with albums and the high resolution images. Our packages start off at under $1500. As the packages get more expensive the coverage gets longer and other options such as engagement portrait sessions and parent albums come into play. We work hard to match up wedding album packages to the coverage needed and the desired options. For example if someone is having a small backyard wedding with less than 100 guests , small families and small bridal parties it's hard to convince people that need a 100 side bridal album. Then again , if someone is having a huge gala wedding , a small book with 30 sides won't do the day justice. Many of our bridal couples need parent albums, while others simply would like one very nice album. Therefore our packages aren't set in stone. You can think of them as a starting point. There are so many great features that are offered and we are fortunate to have demo albums of many of these neat futures. Your bridal album is very much custom made and thus it can be built to best fit your taste and style.
How does the album design process work?
The first layout
We design the albums in house. In order to keep the process moving we do the first layout with the best images from your wedding in what we feel is a compelling layout. We work hard to make the first layout one that is compelling and good because we want you to get your album as quickly as possible with the fewest amount of changes as possible. The first layout usually takes place within one month of the wedding, often faster. It's not only accessable on the internet, it's accessable on your smartphone or tablet. Yes, your wedding album has it's own app!
What if there are changes I want to make in this layout?
85% of our clients have ten or few changes from the initial layout . If there are changes you would like to make you can use the app on your phone, tablet or computer to request changes We'll help you find the right images to change them with. What's also neat is that sometimes our clients have questions about the layouts. For example if there is a picture that is in color on the layout and they wonder if it would look good in Sepia they can write the question under the image of their layout on their app and we can reply to them. It's nearly identical to writing a message on Facebook. When they write to us and we write back to them it sends e-mail messages every time. When we update the layouts another e-mail message is sent.
How long before we get our album?
Some people sail through their layout process and get their album within a couple of their months of their wedding. While others will want to wait years before they get around to it. We have a six month deadline on layouts for albums. Six months after your wedding you'll be notified to make your final changes because the layout process is coming to an end. We then clean up the album, and send it in for production. So the great news is that you'll have your wedding album long before your first anniversary!
What are your prices?
Our packages start off at under $1500 Most of the packages we sell are under $2000 and the more elaborate packages are around $2500.
Why don't you publish your prices?
We are not only proud of our prices, we are estatic about what a great value we offer! For many years we proudly published our prices on our website. But here's what we found. If we listed too many packages people got turned off by reading all the different packages and trying to figure out which one was the best for them. If we listed fewer packages we would have to spend more time outlining the different options such as what additional pages would cost, what additional hours of coverage would cost, how much a third parent album would be, etc. There were too many numbers and added to too much confusion. To avoid the confusion our clients would pick one package and stick with it which more or less made our wedding photography "one size fits all." So, here's what we're telling everybody now. "Our packages start off at under $1500 Most of the packages we sell are under $2000 and the more elaborate packages are around $2500." Instead of making you crawl through pages and pages of prices we instead will make it much simpier for you. We'll find out more about you and your wedding and create a quote for you with the options that are relevant to you. We'll do everything we can to earn your business and provide you with something you can afford and you'll love!
Do we get high resolution images with the packages?
YES! All of our packages we offer include the high resolution images with the package. Our clients get these images when their album package is paid in full.
Where are you located?
Twenty miles east of Fantasy Land! We are right outside of Yorba Linda in a south western corner of Chino Hills.
How do your payments work?
We take cash, check, money orders, PayPal and Monopoly money. Okay, not Monopoly money, but all that other stuff is fine. When you sign up with us there is a $500 non-refundable retainer that is applied to the balance on your package. There is another $500 payment due two weeks before your wedding. So, that's it, $1000 prior to your wedding.
Since money is often a sticking point for many people, let's clarify how things work.
When you meet with us we realize that you may have a few people to coordinate with before sign up.. We don't put pressure on you to sign up on the spot. What we will do is hold your wedding date for two weeks. That should be ample time to read your contract, ask questions, and get approval from all interested parties. Sorry we can only accommodate holding dates for 14 days. If they get it in past this time they run the risk of losing their date. Only with a signed contract and appropriate retainer is the date secured.
The first payment is $500, and it's non refundable. There is another $500 retainer due two weeks before the wedding. If this isn't paid we'll still come to the wedding and photograph it. However the client won't see a single image from their wedding until this is paid. This includes the initial album layouts.
When the total $1000 is paid the client gets to see their initial layout. When the remainder of the balance of the package is paid we'll send our clients the high resolution images from their wedding along with written release to allow for making prints.
We used to take credit cards but found that people weren't using them as much after 2008 as they used to. So we switched to PayPal. The good news is that PayPal takes the usual credit cards as well as Discover and American Express. The bad news is that there is a 3% transaction fee that PayPal collects on each transaction that we don't cover. Thus the initial $500 deposit actually costs you $515. So, you may want to think twice before reaching for the credit cards.
People sometimes ask if they pay us cash can we eliminate sales tax? The unfortunately is no. We declare all our sales and we pay sales tax. We keep none of the money paid toward taxes, thus we cannot negotiate taxes. When you sign up we'll send you statements which will break down the cost of the package and the sales tax. To solve the state of California's ongoing budget woes the Board of Equalization in California is getting much more ruthless. The newbie wedding photographers such as momtographers in the industry who gladly get paid under the table without charging sales tax are asking for an audit which their client base will get dragged into as well. Their clients can be assessed past sales taxes due, late fees and other penalties. This won't happen with our clients.
How do we start the process?
We advise coming in to meet with us as soon as possible. If you live out of town/state and you aren’t going to be in town for a while we do have some other options available to you, please call to discuss them. We love wedding photography, we are found of our clients and we enjoy making albums! From the start we want to make certain that we build something for you that works for your needs, your budget, and your vision of your wedding day.