In an economy where budgets are getting tighter and couples are on the lookout for ways to save some money, many are opting to forgo their professional photography. Some couples are allowing family and friends to photograph their wedding that have a “nice camera”. Others are choosing new entry level amateurs who have purchased a lower end digital camera and are offering packages below market value. Unfortunately, most couples are not informed on what it takes to produce good quality wedding images.
As a full time professional photographer we not only photograph your wedding but wear many hats that day. We are the coordinators of every detail that happens. From the moment we enter the bride’s house until the time we leave the reception we are organizing and keeping a good work flow to make sure that all wedding time frames have been met.
Additionally, we are the creators of good composition and styling. Without a good wedding composition all you really have is a snap shot. Anyone with a digital camera can take an image. It will record what the camera has been pointed at. It’s the person behind the lens that is the creator, not the camera. It takes a talented photographer to create and capture an image that represents the couples style and feelings on that special day.
Exposure is a huge issue. I often see images that are either severely under or over exposed. Both extremes, even if they have been photographed in a digital format, are generally not salvageable as a quality image. We often hear, “well, I’ll just fix the image later in photo shop”. Not everything is fixable. You need a good quality, well composed, well exposed image to begin with. Proper editing happens after the good image has been captured. These are generally just enhancing features and not a huge correction of poor quality image.
Albums also become an issue when using a family member or friend to photograph your wedding. Albums are custom designed and take a lot of thought and creativity. Additionally, family members or friends may not have the ability to purchase the supplies or software needed to produce a traditional or digital album. There is also a learning curve associated with design and it takes much practice to produce a good quality product.
End product. This incorporates, proofs, albums, CD’s, cards and any other product offered. We use commercial professional labs and Album Company’s that produce quality products and have a commitment to excellence.
Finally, and most important I believe is personality and service. Having interviewed many couples last year to write another featured article, I found that this held the most value to bridal couples. They wanted a professional photographer that fit not only their budget but their personality style. The greatest compliment that I receive is when a couple or parents tell me that they never knew we were there. I or a team member blended effortlessly at the church or reception yet still had the ability to capture precious images from the day. Service should be about the bride and groom. It is your once in a lifetime day. You shouldn’t have to worry about if the right moment or right image was captured. Trust needs to be developed. Ideally, a professional photographer who knows the business and has the style and grace to capture the beauty of this special day would be the best choice.