Frequently Asked Questions

about Leigh Hayward Photography

What are your credentials?

I graduated from the American Intercontinental University in London with a B.A. in Visual Communications, majoring in photography. I worked at a London fashion studio for 6 years as a portrait photographer eventually becoming the manager of the photography team. In 2006, I moved back to the U.S. and started my wedding photography business in Charleston, SC. You may have seen my work in publications like Charleston Wedding Magazine, Wedding Row, Carolinas Magazine and Black Bride. Not to brag, but I've also won lots of awards. Most recently, I was rated as one of the Best of 2020 Photographers in the South by The Knot. Long story short: I have the skills to capture your special day!


What makes your work different from other photographer’s work?

Unlike a lot of photographers in the Charleston community, I'm formally trained and have a BA degree in Visual Communications . With over 20 years of professional photography experience, I'm able to quickly put my clients at ease which helps me get fun timeless images. I uniquely offer a highlight video of our time together telling the complete story of your wedding day. You can easily share your video with friends and family who aren't able to attend your celebration of love. I find this super important right now during these Covid times.

What equipment do you use?

I use all of the latest Nikon equipment. I always carry two Nikon cameras and multiple prime & zoom lenses, flashes and memory cards, among other items.. My current favorite lens is my 50mm  one for my new mirrorless camera. All of my cameras and lenses have a backup in the rare event that anything should happen to one of my pieces.

How do we reserve our wedding date?

A 50% retainer and signed contract is required in order to secure your wedding day on the calendar. Two weeks prior to your wedding, the remainder of your balance is due.

Will we get the print release to all of our photos after our wedding?

Yes, you will be granted print & social media release to allow you to post, print & love your images endlessly!

Can I print my pictures on my own?

Absolutely and I reccomend Shutterfly as a great budget conscious option. However, I highly recommend ordering professional grade prints and products through your online gallery, as the difference in quality is huge when it comes to ordering through a professional lab.

Are the couples on your site models?

Haha! While I am lucky enough to work with gorgeous couples, the images shown on my site and blog are of regular, paying clients.

What happens after I reach out?

To get started, I'd love to chat with you on the phone to get to know you and your partner better. We'll talk about your vision for the wedding and what photos are most important to you, and use that info to determine which package might suit your needs best. 

What's included in your services?

Each package includes: my services as a professional photographer, a second professional photographer on the wedding day, an engagement or bridal portrait session so we can get to know each other better, digital rights to all of your photos, a highlight video of still images that you can share with family and friends who weren't able to be at your wedding, and a 3-week turnaround time (way faster than the industry average) for your full gallery delivery. The number of wedding day coverage hours included varies depending on the package you select. 

What goes into your pricing?

Lots of things: the years of education and expense I've put into becoming a professional, experienced, award-winning wedding photographer who truly understands how to get my clients to relax in front of the camera so that I can get authentic photos true to them and their love; the time and effort it takes to commit to excellent communication and white-glove customer experience from the initial inquiry onward; and the timeline of my services. Most photographers take months to deliver your full wedding gallery, while I take no more than three weeks. That means you’re only waiting three weeks to relive the best day of your life in swoon-worthy images.

How many photographers will be at our wedding?

Most of my wedding collections come with two lead photographers, yours truly and a second shooter. However, you can always add on a second professional photographer for the day for an additional fee.

We are having a destination wedding. Do you travel?

Yes! I love destination weddings and have been lucky enough to travel all over the world shooting weddings. Send me more information on your travel plans, and I will create a custom wedding collection to suit your needs.

Do you photograph elopements?

Of course! Depending on availability and the number of hours you have set aside for photography, I have special rates for weekday weddings and elopements.

Do you have preferred vendors you use?

I sure do! From wedding coordinators to florists and makeup artists. I have worked with some of the best companies in the industry and would be happy to share their information with you!

Will we be featured in a magazine or blog?

Although many of my sessions do get featured, this is not something that is guaranteed. Most publishers are interested in colorful, uniquely designed weddings full of details!

What should we wear to our engagement session?

I have created an engagement style guide to help empower & prepare you on what to wear, what props to bring, how to choose a location and what to expect so that you will love the photos from your session!

What if we don’t know what to do in front of the camera?

During a portrait session, I will absolutely help guide you into poses. My only expectation for you is that you come open to ideas, and are ready to have fun, laugh, and snuggle in front of my camera! While I will give you direction throughout the session, I like to let you fall into a version of the pose that is comfortable for you and keep it fun! There will also be plenty of times when I will let you do your thing, and capture your natural interactions. I may ask you to move, walk, and fake laugh- which coincidentally always results in real laughter!

How will you edit my pictures?

My editing style is light and bright. I also love the timeless look of black and white photographs and turn some of our standout images into black and white copies. My editing does NOT include extensive editing such as “photoshopping” you to change the color of something or alter your size or shape. If there is something specific that you would like changed in an image, it can be processed by a retoucher for an additional fee.

Can we have the raw/ unedited images too?

Simply, No. After your session, I spend time going through the pictures and sorting them. At this time, I sort out the pictures that have eyes closed, misfires, pictures where people walked in front of the camera, and pictures that for whatever reason do not meet my very high standards or my photographic style. These files are discarded. While I will never hold good pictures hostage from you, my job is to curate the most beautiful way to tell your story. I also spend time editing to make my pictures look a certain way. Just as I hate leaving the house without makeup, I will not release my images without a little editing.

When will we receive our images?

Your full gallery will be available within 3 weeks from your event. Rush delivery is available for an additional charge which guarantees your images are delivered within just 7 days!

How many photos will we receive and how?

 A general rule of thumb is you will receive 100 edited images per hour of photography coverage.Your images will be delivered electronically via an online gallery. The gallery is password protected so any person looking to access the images must have the secured password. This is the quickest way for me to get the images to you. As soon as I finish editing I can load the images to the gallery and send you the link and password. Even if it is at 2 am! No need to wait for items to be shipped and delivered. It also allows you to share your images with guests, friends, and family. From your gallery, you can download all the images directly to your computer. You can save them to a hard drive, USB or CD on your own. However, if you would like a USB of your images made by Leigh Hayward Photography, you can purchase it a' la carte.

What locations do you serve?

I mostly photograph weddings in

  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
  • Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • Savannah, Georgia 

I do not charge a travel fee if your venue is within an hour of Charleston