A collection of common questions and answers – Cancun photographer Elena Fedorova.
- General FAQ
- Beach photosessions FAQ
- Editing FAQ
- Booking FAQ
- Wedding photography FAQ
- Boudoir photography FAQ
- Underwater photography FAQ
General Frequently Asked Questions
What equipment do you use?
I work with hi-end Nikon photo cameras and lenses. I must admit I am one of the biggest fan of this photo company! For underwater photography I use professional Ikelite equipment.
How long do you do photography?
I graduated from Saint-Petersburg University of Culture and Art with a Master Degree in Art in 2005 and since then photography became my vocation, filling up my creative life with boundless possibilities of growth and fulfilment.
Where are you located?
Although I live in Cancun I also do photosessions in Isla Mujeres (Ahhh! I love this island) Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Riviera Maya, Akumal, Tulum and Holbox island.
What are your rates?
I have different photography packages that are based on a type/style of a photosession, it’s duration and the number of retouched photos. Contact me to get a personalized quote about my rates.
I just need one/two/five portraits taken. Can you do this?
I take lifestyle, candid photos in different poses and interactions, both of individual family members and all of you together. The result is a collection of images that tell the story of your relationships and personalities. Often, the best images come from the end of the session when everyone is the most relaxed! Taking just one photograph wouldn’t likely give great results and in general photosession should not be rushed.
*The same applies to couple (engagement/anniversary/honeymoon) and individual portrait photosessions.
I found some random photos on the Internet and I want the same, because I like that photography style. Can you reproduce them?
Allow me to be honest with you. If you ask me this question probably, I am not the right photographer for you. And here is the answer why…
I fell in love with photography many years ago, because it’s one of the greatest visual arts that has all the instruments to capture real moments of true love and happiness called life. Every moment is unique, as well as each and every one of us. Every day a light is different, white clouds are scattered along the sky in different way, wind is stronger or weaker, sunrise and sunset are never the same. Yes, I do photosessions at the same locations sometimes, and although the sand, palm trees, rocks, the sea is the same, the light and other natural details are never the same…And you are different from the person pictured on “that random” photo you found on social media, because remember we are all unique! It’s impossible to reproduce a real moment that happened in life of someone else time ago, as in terms of Universe it’s already past.
I love to think of myself (without being modest, well… maybe just a little!) as an artist. And as an artist I don’t copycat, neither do I reproduce images created by other artists, because of the respect towards my colleagues and also just because I have my own photography style, that represents me as a photographer and artist. And I don’t simple take photos I create artistic images that show individuality of every person in front of the camera and the beauty of Mother Nature.
I will be happy to capture your real-life moments with my photocamera, so to understand better my photo style I invite you to visit my Portfolio gallery.
Beach photosessions FAQ
What time do the photossessions take place?
The best time for a family/couple/portrait individual beach photo session is either morning or late afternoon, that’s when the light is exceptionally beautiful.
September – November 7.00 a.m. – 9.00 a.m. / 4.30 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.
November – March 7.30 a.m. – 9.30 a.m. / 4.30 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.
April –August 6.15 a.m. – 8.00 a.m. / 5.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m.
In Cancun and Riviera Maya, the sun is very bright and it gets hot after 9.00 a.m. The eyes are sensitive to such a bright sun and facing the sun can cause squinting. From my experience I noticed that little kids (6 months-5/6 years old) are willing to collaborate and smile only when there is no direct sunlight. That is why I recommend scheduling a photosession on a sunrise or sunset.
Sunburn can happen! Don’t want this to be seen on your photos? Then it is better scheduling a photoshoot on the first or the second day of your vacation.
Explain your family that this is supposed to be a quick and fun experience and there’s absolutely no pressure to be perfect!
What happens if it rains? Or what if my child is sick?
Both these situations would not make for the best photos. I often book a back-up date when the initial date is set. Otherwise, you can cancel and we reschedule on another date.
Weather in Cancun and Riviera Maya from September-November can be a little unpredictable. These months are considered a rainy season and any weather forecast usually shows rain every day. However, it doesn’t mean it rains every day 24 hours non-stop and in reality, there are still many sunny days. I say it based on my own experience, after all I live in Cancun more than 7 years.
Can you come to the resort to do a photo session?
Most of the all-inclusive resorts (but not ALL! There are still some outside vendor friendly resorts!) in Riviera Maya and Cancun have an outside vendor fee. In general, it’s around 150 to 500 USD depending on the resort. Many of my photosessions I do outside the resort areas, because there are many wonderful places available for the photography sessions in Cancun and Riviera Maya. If you choose to make the photoshoot outside the resort on the moment of booking, I will recommend you the most convenient locations with consideration to the resort location.
What should we wear for family/couple photosession?
Exactly what you like – you all want to look and feel like yourselves. As a guide, simple clothes tend to work best and avoiding logos and stripes is preferable. Layering works really well for creating different looks and a change of outfit can be a good idea for very little ones. Think texture over print. Big, bold and crazy patterns distract from your face, especially in photos. Textures however photograph beautifully. Textures are: cable knit, denim, lace, tulle, chiffon.
Regarding colors of clothes, white color always looks amazing in front of the Caribbean Sea, as well as other bright colors like red, yellow, green, blue ect. I would recommend avoiding black, grey or brown color, as clothes of these colors look more formal, and beach photosession is done in a casual style. Also pay attention to the texture of the clothes (especially man shirts). Since it is humid and hot here try to choose shirts/t-shirts made of light fabric and resistant to water/sweat.
Can I bring food or sweets on the family photoshoot?
Yes! In fact, you all need to keep up your energy, especially kids, so snacks are a good idea. However, please bring snacks that can be eaten fairly quickly and which don’t make a mess of outfits.
How much do you edit the photos?
My goal is to edit your images as close to how it was on a day of the photoshoot. This includes color correction so that they look natural, your skin tones look great and the colors sing. I avoid thick vintage or faded presets and take an editorial approach with a slight touch of film-feel so that your photos are simply timeless.
Do you give out RAW (unedited) photos?
“Chef’s don’t serve raw pork and photographers-artists don’t serve RAW files. Because – safety” (quote Unknown)
My editing is part of my product – photos, it’s part of my photography style. It’s one of the reasons why you hire me. It takes time to find your style and years to enhance it. My style to photograph and retouch images had been formed by many aspects: the way I see the world, my life values, art education, creative mindset, work and life experience.
All of my packages include professionally retouched pictures. It means that every single picture that you will receive is meticulously checked with special software to make sure that brightness, saturation, color balance, contrast, shadows, highlights are perfectly in harmony to create a fabulous image. And until the moment I deliver you the finest images the order cannot be considered accomplished and cannot be called professional photographs. You wish to have beautiful professional photos as a result of the photosession experience, which includes enjoying the process of the photosession and after admiring the photographs. And in no way it does not include you retouching the pictures, because it is simply the work for the photographer.
In my article “Why you don’t need all the unedited images” I explain in details why I don’t give RAW files.
How long will it take to receive photos?
Depending on the season the turnaround time is 2-6 weeks. From November-May that is usually the top season in Cancun and Riviera Maya it takes me 4-7 weeks to deliver the photos.
What can we do with the digital photos?
All of my packages include printing rights. That means all of your photos can be used for personal printing, to share with your parents/friends or to make a photobook. The photos cannot be manipulated or used for commercial reasons (contests/publications/third party vendor blogs). You can use the photos for Christmas cards, calendars, prints, canvas, frames. Or simply make a beautiful slideshow or photo book.
After you receive digital images, I recommend downloading them on your laptop and making a copy on USB/external hard drive.
Are the digital photos watermarked?
No, all the photos you receive will not contain any watermarks.
Do you deliver only digitals photos or can we also get prints?
Yes, you can also get prints and you can order them separately after you view all digital photos and choose the one you like to be printed.
How do I book a photosession with you?
Just get in contact and we’ll find a suitable date. All I need then is a signed contract and the deposit fee. This payment is non-refundable.
Consider booking about 3-4 weeks in advance and if you plan your vacation in December-January 6-8 weeks.
What is your cancellation policy?
I know how life works, sometimes bad weather happens or kids get sick, or you change plans due to work schedule, sometimes 2020 happens…ufff but let’s not talk about this “famous” year.
I require a 20% deposit to save the date, if anyone gets sick or bad weather a photo session can be rescheduled withing 7 months (it’s subject to availability!) as long as I have 72 hours notice of cancellation. In this case the deposit will be transferred to the next chosen date.
If your photosession was subject to a seasonal promotion and you need to reschedule to a time outside the promotional window, then a higher rate may apply.
Do you travel outside Mexico for photosessions?
I’m absolutely open to it! I do charge a travel fee for locations outside of Cancun and Riviera Maya. Send me and email and I can give you all the information.
Wedding photography FAQ
Have you done wedding photosession at my venue?
I have done photo session at many venues, so there is a good chance that I have. However, if I have not, I will get to the venue early on the day of and be sure to perform a thorough walk-through to scout out the best photography locations. I also do extensive online research prior to your wedding!
Do you provide video service?
For weddings I do only photography, but I can recommend you a professional wedding videographer, who does a good job and he also provides a drone videography.
Do you have an assistant?
Yes, I do. She/he is with me only during 9-hour weddings to help me with light equipment, and also take additional photos during ceremony, reception and cocktail hour. However, the main photographer in charge of all creative process is me.
What if we need you stay for an extra hour on a wedding day?
Yes, I can do this. When you book my photography service for your wedding, I lock this date only for you, so even if any minor changes interfere with the original wedding plan I can easily adjust. Either it’s extra half an hour, an hour or two hours that you need I am always ready and camera in hand.
Can we provide you with “shot list” or “must have pictures”?
Other than family groupings, I would prefer if you don’t give me a “shot list”. I understand the importance of taking photos of you with everyone present on the wedding, but the longer the line is a “shot list” the less time I have to capture real, unique and candid moments. “Must have pictures” inspired by Pinterest or Instagram limit artist’s creativity. These social media are a good way to look for general understanding of wedding venues and locations, but they will make your photo album look similar to someone’s else. And one of my artistic goals is to create exclusive, individual photos that will tell a story of your special day in details, photos that no one else will have.
Can our family members and friends take photos with their cameras?
Yes, I don’t mind them using cameras or cell phones during reception, first dance, cocktail hour, cake cutting. However, when I am one on one with you, while you are getting ready or we take “couple portraits” photos after or before the wedding I will ask them to put down their cameras, because to create unique photos of this moment requires concentration and that means less distraction for me and for you as well. And having 3, 4, 5 … (and counting) cell phones facing you can be more than distracting. Although I can’t prohibit the usage of mobile phones during wedding ceremonies, but just so you know the consequences take a look at the images in this article “What is the worst danger during a wedding ceremony?” and decide on you own weather or not opt for unplugged wedding.
Boudoir photography FAQ
Boudoir? Do people really do this?
Yes, absolutely. There are so many aspects to boudoir photography. Some women do it to reclaim themselves, others as gifts for their beloved one and others just to have a new experience, which is empowering. It takes guts to break it down like that, and for those of you that haven’t experienced it yet, consider what it must feel like to take the time and care into putting yourself out there, exactly as you are. To embrace your femininity and define your own beauty on your own terms. I feel grateful that I get to help bring that joy and that strength to many women.
I’ve never done anything like this before and I’m super nervous! How could these photos possibly turn out well?
As a woman I truly understand how you feel! And believe me (as a photographer) your photos will turn our super nice! It’s okey to be nervous when you are about to experience something completely new. Let’s schedule a phone call and plan a photosession together. You can ask me any question that makes you feel nervous and together we will turn them into simple solutions. I’ve been told by all my boudoir clients that even though they were very nervous when we started, they became very comfortable once the photoshoot got rolling. I make the photosession as fun as possible and I am here to help you create exquisite boudoir photos.
Can we schedule a phone call?
Yes, absolutely. First, contact me via email and let’s agree on the most appropriate time that suits us all for a phone call.
Who will be photographing me?
Only I, Elena Fedorova. Although I take boudoir photos outside, in the nature (as shown in my art project “Tropical Boudoir photography”) at the beach or cenotes, I always choose locations as private as possible. This is one of the reasons why I schedule boudoir photosessions in the morning, when most of people are still at their hotels sleeping or enjoying pool time.
Do you do nudes?
Yes, I do, upon request. There is nothing like a true artistic nude in black and white. If during the photoshoot, you decide to, or decide not to, that is completely your decision.
Underwater photography FAQ
Where do you usually do underwater photosessions?
In islands like Isla Mujeres, Cozumel or in cenotes.
I am not a good swimmer, but I still want underwater photos?
You don’t need to be a professional swimmer or diver to do underwater photoshoot in a cenote. However, you need to know how to hold your breath for a couple of seconds and feel comfortable doing this. There are more then 6000 thousand cenotes in Yucatan peninsula and among them are the one that are not very deep and stones in the water, makes it easy, because you can stand on them.
Is the water cold in cenotes?
I would say it feels fresh, if you want numbers, the maximum temperature of water in cenotes is +24 °C.
How long does a photosession in cenotes last?
Be prepared to spend 2-3 hours in cenote if you want creative, various photos.