About Srini

Essem Photography St. Louis Wedding Photographer Shrine of St. Joseph Wedding


I am a story teller.

The stories, memories and moments are what I preserve for you on your special day. Those that you will look back in your later years and tear up. That you will share with your children and grand children.

For me weddings are more than two people getting married. It’s two families coming together and forming relationships that last forever. I started out as a portrait photographer a few years ago and moved into doing wedding photography. If you are going to ask me about my style of photography the two words that I use to describe it are contemporary and emotional. I capture the day as it happens to tell the story of the day and yes I do some posed stuff so that the parents are happy. I do not take thousands of photographs and overwhelm you. Every photograph that I present to you has a story to tell. I only book a limited number of weddings every year.

I live in the greater St. Louis area with my wonderful wife and lovely son.

– Srini





Q: Can we give you a shot list of photographs we want you to take?

A: Shot list of photographs are accepted for family formals. Other than that if there are any special requests I will try my best to capture that but please be aware that the wedding day is very dynamic and there are more than a few things happening at any given moment

Q: How many pictures will we get?

A: For engagement sessions 50-100. For weddings 50-80 per hour of coverage

Q: If I pay for my package in cash will we be able to avoid paying sales tax or receive a discounts?

A: Unfortunately not! As a business owner I am responsible for collecting sales tax on behalf of the state of MO

Q: How do I reserve you for my date?

A: By signing the wedding contract that I share with you and paying a retainer of $1000 (cash or check)

Q: If we cancel the wedding, will we receive our retainer back?

A: The retainer for the wedding is non-refundable

Q: If we change our wedding to a different date, will we be able to use our retainer towards a future date?

A: Provided that I am available for the future date. If my prices have changed since your initial booking you will have to pay the difference

Q: Do you deliver every image you shoot?

A: No. Images that are duplicates, eyes-closed, flash didn’t fire, etc. are deleted before the rest of the images are corrected for color, contrast etc., to be delivered to you

Q: How many hours do you suggest we set aside for wedding day pictures?

A: The amount of time we suggest you set aside for photos depends on the time of day

Preparation Shots – Duration: 1.5 hours. Ideally we would have 45 minutes for the girls and 45 minutes with the guys

Couples session – Duration: 1 hour to 1.5 hours. We highly suggest doing this before the ceremony in conjunction with a “first look.” That way you can enjoy the rest of your day without having to worry about taking too much time out for pictures. Also this is when the makeup and hair are fresh. We’ll set up a first look moment so it’ll still be a surprise when you see each other. Be sure to give us at least a full hour so we can capture the amazing shots you see in our portfolio

Family Formals – Duration: 1 hour. Have a list of pictures that you want with your family/friends right after the ceremony. Typically this is done at the altar but we can do it any location you’d like. Also, have one person from each side of the family that is really organized (and loud) to move people in and out of pictures

Bridal Party (Optional) – Duration: 0.5 hour to 1 hour. This is where we take the bridal party out for some fun shots. This is also nice to handle before the ceremony so that you can rest and enjoy your day afterwards

Q: What happens if we go over the contracted amount of time?

A: I will still be there as long as you want me to be there. Additional hours are charged at $200/hr in 30 minute increments

Q: How long does it take to get my album?

A: Once you have given the final approval for the album it usually takes 6-8 weeks for the finished album to be delivered to you

Q: What rights do I have to the digital prints?

A: You have personal print usage rights to them. That means that you can print it for yourself or family and friends. However, you are not allowed to sell them to anyone nor are you allowed to enter them into any competition or magazine for publication without prior written approval

Q: Do you have liability insurance?

A: Yes

Q: How long does it take to get our products and images?

A: Wedding pictures are usually ready in 3-4 weeks time. Albums will be delivered 6-8 weeks after final approval

Q: How does the album design process work?

A: I put a first draft of the album together telling the story of the day. I will then arrange for an in-person or on-line review of it. Once the changes are made you will have one additional review session to finalize the album. If you need more review sessions there are available at an additional cost

Q: Do you do engagement sessions?

A: Yes

Q: My venue needs a certificate of insurance. Can you provide that?

A: Absolutely. But since it takes a little bit of time for me to contact the insurance company and for them to send that out to your venue there is a 4-6 week lead time

Q: Can you hold the date for me?

A: If you are the first one to sign the wedding contract and pay the retainer. Short answer is No

Q: What is your payment schedule like?

A: $1000 non-refundable retainer with the contract. Remaining 50% is due 60 days prior and the rest 50% is due 30 days prior to the wedding date

Q: Can our family and friends take pictures with their cameras?

A: Sure. The only request during family formals is for them to wait for me to take them first. If you have too many people holding up cameras you will have wayward eyes with people looking everywhere

Q: What happens after I pay my retainer?

A: I will send out a questionnaire to fill out providing all the details of your special day. You will send timely reminders for when the rest of the payment is due. If needed we can meet in-person or over the phone once you have everything finalized

Q: What if I want a second photographer at my wedding?

A: I will be happy to provided one. Second photographers that I use are photography professionals themselves and know the ins and outs

Q: When is it best to schedule our engagement portrait?

A: The sooner the better. Especially if you have purchased a signing book or plan to send out save the date cards

Q: Do you photograph out-of-town weddings?

A: Yes. Travel will be charged based on actual expenses and per-diem

Q: Do you charge for travel?

A: Travel is included for weddings in the greater St. Louis area. Out-of-town weddings are charged based on actual expenses and per-diem

Q: What information do I need to provide you before the wedding day?

A: Once you book me you will receive a detailed questionnaire to fill out. It has questions about locations, time, wedding party details, shot list of family formals etc. Other than that please respond to the payment reminders and send in the payment