Happy New Year to all you newly engaged couples out there!
Things got a little easier for couples trying to find their wedding photographer when we all started putting all our stuff online. It made it easier to look through our portfolios, see what our styles were, maybe get some questions answered and you might even be able to find out about pricing and availability without ever having to actually contact the photographer.
That might be a great way to start your initial wedding photography search, but when it gets down to figuring out who you actually want to meet with, it gets a little more difficult to sort out our nitty gritty wedding photo package details.
I have lots of friends in the industry, am a professional photographer and frankly even I can’t make heads or tails of some of their packages. It’s especially difficult to figure out three things; what’s included in the pricing for rights, what’s delivered to you and how much post processing is done to the images (whether you get prints or digital rights).
Some photographers offer “Full resolution digital proofs”. What’s that? Usually proofs are low resolution and usually full resolution aren’t called “proofs”! “All the images are retouched”. Really? What exactly does that mean? For me that’s always meant they have been color corrected, contrast altered and are ready to print. But someone might think that means everything’s been photoshopped to create a perfect fantasy image of what the couple might wish their wedding looked like complete with altered backgrounds, braces removed, people photoshopped out of the images, etc. It’s subjective and it’s important for you, the consumer to totally understand what you are and aren’t getting. Are you getting images that are watermarked?
If you can figure out exactly what you anticipate you’ll be doing with your wedding photos, that will make it easier for you to ask the right questions about what your needs are. If, for example, you know you’ll be posting your images on facebook and not doing hardly any printing at all, you might be okay with low resolution (although I’m sure you’ll want to be able to print them eventually). I see lots of watermarked images appear on people’s facebook pages. Some photographers use that to copyright their images which means the couple are effectively using those images without consent, while other photographers simply watermark images so that other photographers and corporations can’t steal their work (but that’s for another blog!).
So don’t be afraid to ask questions that might seem silly or the photographer has implied that they’ve answered. Make sure you understand exactly what it is that you are purchasing and there won’t be any disappointments later.
Once you’ve figured out what you need, which photographer can deliver exactly what you’re looking for, then you look at which photographer’s images you relate to the most, who seems like the kind of person you can get along with the best, who has the most experience, timely delivery and whatever else are top priorities on your personal “must have” lists.
Happy wedding photographer shopping to all you newly engaged couples in the New Year!
Oct. 12, 2012 Wedding
The one thing almost all of my weddings have in common is that my couples have whittled down all the bells and whistles to what makes the most sense to them and what are the essential elements that hold the most importance and value to their lives. So Lauren and Chris had distilled their wedding day to a short portrait session at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, a wedding at the massive Assumption Grotto Catholic Church, a visit to the church’s cemetery and dinner at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, Michigan. Here are some of my favorite images from the wedding.
Kelsey and Mike’s big day back on the campus of University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan began with a wedding ceremony at the United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We had great weather, enough love to fill the Michigan stadium and a lot of fun! Knowing the wedding reception was going to be at the University of Michigan’s Museum of Art, I brought along a large picture frame and we ended up using it as creatively as possible. I love shooting at this venue and loved working with Anna (and her two assistants) from Two Foot Creative. I loved that Kelsey and Mike (who planned their wedding from out of state) were very meticulous planners who then stepped back in order to thoroughly enjoy the fruits of their labor. I’m hoping they’ll have the opportunity to come back to Michigan again soon.
Turning one is a big milestone for any baby and usually leaves parents wondering how on earth the time went so quickly. This baby’s first portrait was especially important as it was going to have to tide her parents over for a long time. I took Baby B’s photo just before her parents deployed for another tour and these photos will go with her mom and dad while they’re in Afghanistan for the next 6 months.
We had a lot of ground to cover as this wasn’t just a baby photo shoot here in Oakland County, it was their one chance to get some nice family photos as well. You’ll see that not only were we able to get photos of Baby B doing her cutest smiles ever, but we were able to get a nice family photo with mom and dad in their full dress uniforms.
But that wasn’t the real challenge. Babies turning one are pretty easy to shoot. Sure, they can move around and are happy to show off their new mobility and are as hard to shoot as moving targets. Yes, baby photography can be challenging as babies moods change faster than Kim Kardashian goes through men, but they are just so darn cute!
To add to this particular challenge of taking photos at a one year’s landmark anniversary, was adding into the mix the family pets. Taking photos of a one year old, two wonderful parents and TWO dogs was a bit more tricky. Then we added in the pig… yes, pig! That’s when things got pretty wild. Dog “A” does not like the pig, the pig needs to be kept away from the baby (as he might have mistaken her as something edible), etc. So with a bit of combined patience and a little perseverance we were able to get the non quintessential family photo of the baby, the parents, the dogs and the pig!
The top off my Detroit, Michigan baby photography session, mom had made Miss baby “B” her own set of cupcakes and matched her outfit with the frosting on the cupcakes. The results were a lot of fun. Her aim wasn’t too good, so we ended up sponging her off periodically when the frosting went into her eyes, but we all loved the photos. The glee you can see on Baby “B”s face is priceless. What I wasn’t able to photograph, as it happened while I was breaking my equipment down, was the clean up session. Picture frosting and cake bits all over their hardwood floors, a baby covered from head to toe in frosting. What are parents to do? One grabbed the baby and the other brought in the pig! Clean up time? 12 seconds!