Professional Advice - Photographer

A Phototgrapher Is Born

After searching several photographers’ sites I notice that there are a lot of “good” photographers out there, the problem is that good is not good enough.

A photograph is like a painting; the photographer needs an eye for photography, like a painter needs an eye for painting. It is possible to learn how to paint and it is possible to learn how to photograph but a master painter is born a painter with his/hers style and visions and then learns techniques to assist the creation of a painting. Nowadays there are several photographers that try to learn photography but don't have the eye for it. Today the digital world changed photography in such a way that anyone can say, “I am a photographer” or “I graduated 3 years ago and now I shoot weddings”. But like a painter a photographer is born.

Photography must be one of the photographer’s passions. Just a hand full of them has been photographing since childhood and possibly had their first camera given to them by their grandmother at an early age of 10 or 11 years old. With luck you will find a photographer that has shot his/hers first wedding on their youth at an age of 15 or 16 years old making them an experienced unique “Fotografer”.

The feedback from their first wedding was great so a few years later after photographing several weddings for other photographers; these few photographers learned several photography styles, several darkroom techniques, natural and studio lighting, and software like Photoshop. Time went by and at an early age of around 20 years old, some of these few photographers started their business. 

Some photographers have been photographing as a professional for over 25 years, and always experimenting with new ideas. When visiting their Website, you will notice that only a few of them have images from early weddings till present days. This will show you that they have years of experience, versatility with different styles, and reliability since they have been around for years.

A few photographers photograph tailoring to your needs and your choice of photography style, like: 

The “Reportage or Journalistic” also known as “Candid”.

 

The “New Age Artistic” style using specific equipment and photographic angles not commonly used to create radical artistic photos like extreme wide angles and trash the dress that it is starting to become very popular.

 

Also the “Traditional” style with more traditional and classic poses.

 

And the “Vintage style” that reproduces the early 1920 to 1980 photography that some times requires film and the use of a vintage camera collection that include “large format and medium format cameras as well as several 35mm cameras”.

 

 

The lack of experience in photographers lead to photos that have to be edited and retouch by a more experience photographer and it can become very costly. The experienced photographer always photographs a wedding as creative as possible and always thinking how the final image will turn out and be presented. From the start to the final image several processes can be applied; the original image can always be edited and enhanced becoming a unique and exquisite image to cherish forever.

Today photographers not only photograph, but also edit and artistically retouch the image.

Being creative is a gift that some of us are born with.

To only a few photographers their award winning photographs is your satisfaction, to others is just something to “brag about” and charge you more. Always set up as many appointments as soon as possible. Most reliable photographers are booking wedding dates over a year ahead making hard to find a “passionate, creative, versatile, unique, experienced photographer”.

“A photographer is born a photographer, like a painter is born a painter”.

When booking your photographer mention to the photographer were you found out about his/hers photography they might have specials like a FREE portrait or other specials.

Destination weddings are a treat for some photographers and there is always a special.

Wesley Raffan

Light and Shadow

SW Ontario, Canada


Everything you need to know about wedding photography… but probably don’t.

Besides everything else that goes into your wedding to make it your special day, you searched high and low to find the perfect dress -the one you had always dreamt you would be wearing when you got married. The one that makes you look and feel like a princess! Don’t you deserve photographs that show how good you looked on your wedding day? Don’t you want to look back on your wedding and relive it just as vividly as you did on the day itself? There are millions of wedding photographers out there…how do you know which ones are good and more importantly - which ones to avoid? Well, let me help you with some of the more important things to look for, both good and bad when you are looking for a wedding photographer.Digital technology has caused a swarm of wanna-be photographers to enter the market. They think it’s an easy way to make a fast buck. Unfortunately, the fact that they really don’t know what they are doing and can easily cause a lot of problems at a couple’s wedding is second to the fact that they want to make some quick extra cash under the table. Just because you like you aunt’s cooking doesn’t mean you would hire her to cater your wedding does it? Well then why would you hire your uncle/cousin/friend
of a friend or you brother’s girlfriend’s neighbour to photograph your wedding just because they have a fancy camera and can taken pretty vacation pictures? Unfortunately, most of the time the couples who go this route end up extremely disappointed in the final results. Owning a fancy camera doesn’t make someone any more of a wedding photographer then sitting on the floor of a garage makes you a car. 
Unfortunately in a lot of ways it’s buyer be ware now-a-days when hiring a photographer. There are just so many unskilled, unprofessional and unethical people out there calling themselves professional photographers. Where to find a good photographer:
You don’t get a second chance to photograph a wedding. To get the memories you deserve, you should hire someone how has proven their skill and ability. Weddings happen very fast and you have to react quickly to situations that have arisen on the spot. The photographer is very much involved with the timing and flow of your wedding day. When you have someone who has experience in handling the stress and pressure of a wedding day, the couple and families are much more relaxed and can enjoy the day. Not to mention you want someone who is skilled at making people look their absolute best in photographs. With proper knowledge of the human body a talented photographer can slim down people in the photographs and make sure no one has a double chin just by how they are photographed – among a host of other aspects to make people look their best. After all, there is a big difference in photographing a bride in a dress that flairs out from the waist and a vacation snapshot. I’ve never had a bride yet ask me to please make sure they look heavier then they really are in their photographs. Yet if someone doesn’t understand the nuances of photographing a bride in a wedding dress that is exactly what will happen. What can happen when you hire someone who photographs weddings on the side for a fast buck? About a year and a half ago I had a couple contact me who had seen a coffee table book I had done for another couple. They said they had hired a photographer for what they thought was a great deal ($1000) and that person photographed the wedding and provided them with the digital files and copyrights. They said the photographs where “not as good as they had wished” and were hoping I could fix them up a little. They were in fact some of the worst photographs I had ever seen! It was if the person who took them had intentionally done everything they could to damage the files. When the dress is still white, but the skin is orange…you know you got a problem! Did I mention how the photographer bragged how they had used to shoot fashion professionally on the West Coast? They were lied to by someone who wanted to make a fast buck. In the end after about 20-30 hours of computer time we were able to salvage an OK album for them and each of their parents. They ended up paying more to try to fix someone else’s mistakes then if they had just hired someone good in the first place. It’s the old adage “you get what you pay for”. Or is it “pay me now, or pay me later”?I don’t care about the technical stuff, just take my pictures! Normally I don’t talk about any technical aspects of photography with a bride, but there are a few exceptions. Most people are familiar with what’s called a “jpeg” (or jpg). Most people are not familiar however with what is called “Raw”. The basic difference is this, a Raw file is simply all the information the camera captured with nothing done to it. The camera basically says “here it is… now go back to your computer and deal with it!” where as a jpeg has been manipulated by the camera before anyone ever sees it. A jpeg throws out information that the camera “thinks” you don’t want to use. One major problem with this is easily explained when it comes to wedding photography. 

The problem is the bright, white dress with all the detail work! The beads, the sequins, the lace, etc. can easily be so overexposed to the point where information being permanently lost in a jpeg – you can be left looking like you wore a plain white bed sheet in a lot of your wedding photographs. However with Raw a lot of that over exposed detail can be salvaged. So your dress ends up looking like the way you hoped it would when you tried it on for the first time in the store. 
Colour is even more critical with digital photography then it was with film. Florescent lights, incandescent bulbs, sunlight, cloudy days, every imaginable lighting condition has a different colour to it and drastically effects the final photograph. The real problem comes in when you have mixed conditions – like florescent lighting that is near a window. When shooting jpegs you better get everything perfect for every shot before you take it because otherwise you are adjusting each one of them individually afterwards and each major color adjustment really hurts the quality of a Jpg. While with Raw you can adjust all the colours afterwards easily without damaging the file whatsoever. You probably started thinking right after I mentioned the white bed sheet “why don’t all wedding photographers photograph in Raw format?” The answer is simple – some are lazy. Photographing in Raw is more troublesome to them. Raw files are larger (they have more information after all); they require processing by a computer before you can do anything with them – a process taking hours. A fast buck stops becoming fast when you have to put a little effort into things. So instead of the best possible images from your wedding, you end up with so-so ones because you hired someone who doesn’t take pride in their work and doesn’t want to put the effort into doing things the proper way to insure their clients get the best possible wedding images. Awesome album verses just a bunch of 5x7s

Digital technology today allows for the most amazing albums to be able to be created! Again however, designing an album and doing even the most basic of artwork (what couple wants zits or shinny faces from the 33 degree heat in their photographs?) can easily take 15+ hours of time. So it’s much easier to say “here are the files…good luck!” Now a couple doesn’t know what to do, so they end up getting a bunch of individual prints printed somewhere and that’s their wedding memories. The dress is slightly green in one photograph, a little blue in another one and a touch yellow in the next. It was a summer wedding so the sweat is beading on everyone’s faces, and your little brother’s acne is like a connect the dots puzzle. The wanna-be photographer who shot the wedding for cheap and handed over the files doesn’t care because he/she has already got their fast buck out of the deal. So, instead of an awesome album that makes you look like you stepped right out of a fashion magazine, you are stuck with a bunch of iffy (at best) pictures. Ok, so what if you want to get a really nice album done and you have the files? Well, somebody has to design it and do the artwork. That’s not something anybody can do. You might have experience playing around in Photoshop, but this is an entirely different story. So you have to get someone else to do it for you. Anybody even remotely decent in the industry charges at least $40 an hour (absolute minimum) and expect at least a 10 hour bill even from the quickest artwork and design person. (15 years ago you paid $75/hour for a good airbrush artist in Winnipeg) That is just for the album design. Not even any basic artwork like getting rid of the zits, the shine on the faces, etc. Expect double that bill if you want an album designed with any creative flair and artwork to make every one look their best. That is just artwork and design time, the album itself hasn’t been even ordered yet. A lot of the coolest looking albums/books available today come from over seas….Italy, Japan, Australia, New Zeeland, etc. Most of these companies will not deal with the general public directly anyway; you have to go though a professional photographer. But remember, arranging all of this is your hassle, not the person who took your wedding pictures and handed over the files. They’ve made their quick buck and have left all the hassle up to you. So instead of going through all this hassle, you just end up with a bunch of 5x7s with no artwork done on them and the colours are kinda close – sort of.

Yes, having your wedding photographed by a talented professional photographer and having them produce an album for you certainly does cost more then having your neighbour’s cousin photograph your wedding and hand over the files... There is no denying that. You also get a finished product and memories that are a 10,000 times better! When money is tight people have to cut back somewhere. But cutting back on the photography is only cheating yourself out of your memories down the road. Is having an open bar or a steak dinner instead of chicken worth doing that to the two of you? What are about your children and grandchildren? It’s also their heritage you are taking away from them. You hear it all the time after a disaster…. after all the people and pets are saved it’s the photographs that people are most concerned about. After the meal has been eaten, the music stops and the hangover fades…..all you have left of your special day are the memories. If a skilled photographer does their job right you can relive your wedding day on your 50th anniversary just by looking at the album they created for you. In a year the money you saved on your photography by hiring someone cheap will be long spent and forgotten. Those lousy wedding photographs will not be going away however. I’ve heard literally dozens of women express remorse about not hiring a good photographer for their wedding – some in tears. The couples who show their wedding photographs but feel embarrassed because they are not really any good always try to explain them away by saying what a deal they got by hiring a cheap photographer. Maybe it’s just me, but my way of thinking is that no matter how little you paid for something you don’t like…you still over paid. Hindsight is 20/20. It’s an old saying, but one that remains true to this day: “the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of cheap price is forgotten.” Invest in yourself…. invest in your memories. 

Bruce Allen Hendricks MPA, F.Ph. -

Impact Photographic Design

Manitoba Canada


 

Fabulous Feminine...

Ladies, this is intended mostly for you.

Have you ever thought about doing a bridal / fashion shoot of just yourself before the wedding? Take this great opportunity to create a fantastic image that will knock his socks off. As brides, you are testing the waters to get the perfect look for your wedding day. Take it a step further by scheduling a photo-shoot of yourself.

 

There are photographers out there that specialize in this type of photography. Work with the photographer to create the ultimate art portrait for yourself in a comfortable environment. This could also be the perfect opportunity to test out a photographer before the wedding.

 

If you want to do a boudoir type photo or a high end fashion image, you'll need to ask your photographer if they offer these services. It also makes a great way for both of you to see what works best in capturing the perfect image and if the look that you are thinking of is going to be the look you will be happy with on your wedding day.

 

Nancy B. Alaimo - nbphotos

SW Ontario, Canada


Timing.....

 

Your wedding day is a swirl of emotions and schedules. A professional Wedding Photographer can help keep everything moving relatively smoothly.

However, you need to remember that we cannot control all things, including time. Please ask your photographer how much time that they think they are going to need in order to capture the images you want. Scheduling 30 minutes for family photos will guarantee a rush, stress, and poor image quality. When time lines are too tight it makes for a difficult shoot day.

There are a few way to make a tight schedule work.

1-Ensure that all of the people that are to be included in the photos are at one location by the designated time.

2-Supply the photographer with a shot-list which includes people's names and their relation to the couple.

3-Designate a person for making sure that all the people that are on the shot list are at the shoot site. They could also organize family and friend in order to speed up the "set up" process for the photos.

Choosing 1 location for all family portraits is great for scheduling after wards. Most photographers would request for about 2-3 hours of family photos & portrait creation, This allows for travel time, as well as, spontaneous ideas on the location site will still getting you to the reception on time.

 

Nancy B. Alaimo - nbphotos

SW Ontario, Canada


Why Hire a Professional...

Your wedding photography is important and you deserve the best you can afford!

A professional photographer knows what to do on your wedding day.

If budget is your concern there are plenty of professionals out there in all categories of photography with a the perfect pricing for you. In booking a professional you can rest assured that not only will you have someone who know how to create images of your wedding, but someone who can deal with the hectic pace that a wedding can be. With the whirlwind of things to do and emotions, a true professional will help rein it all in.

The Camera never lies, so don't just shop on budget, remember the connection you feel with the photographer is very important as well. This means you should start looking for your photographer as early as possible in order for you to meet as many as you can and go with the right choice for yourself. Most good photographer book up 8 months - 1 year ahead, sometimes even 2 years.

Remember that your Photographer is with you the entire day so make sure that you get along and feel comfortable with her/him. No matter how wonderful their sample photos are, if you don't "feel it" with your photographer then your images will show it.

Some of us even end up being your "wedding Co-ordinator", "Seamstress" "Stylist" and sometimes "Honorary Bridal Party" member.

Nancy B. Alaimo - nbphotos

SW Ontario, Canada


Your wedding photos aren't just for you...

Your wedding photos should be a legacy that you leave to the generations that come after you. I can remember looking back trough my parents shoe box full of photos, their reliving and retell the stories that each photo reminded them of. Your wedding photos serves just such a purpose. They are there to remind you, and those that come after you, of the wonderful day when two families joined and became one. A true legacy.

I have always said that after smoke clears from that fabulous wedding day all you have left to remember it by is each other, your memories, your wedding rings & your photos.

Nancy B. Alaimo - nbphotos

SW Ontario, Canada