How I photograph a wedding is just as important as the photos I produce. It’s your day… not mine.
The ultimate decision is, of course, up to each individual bride. However, I can offer some insight on 2nd and 3rd photographers. First, much of my competition has been using “2 photographers” as a sales gimmick. The idea is that by offering 2 photographers, they inherently offer a better value to their customers. However, often, the “2nd photographer” is someone who is simply in training, a significant other who has little photographic experience, or someone just found on Craigslist the week before who needs some practice subjects. While this seems like it is a great asset to their clients, we all know that a camera in the hands of someone who does not know how to use it is not really any valuable addition to your package. To me, this is unacceptable, so I work things a bit differently here.When you hire a second photographer with Be Photography, I do not simply hire anyone. I present additional photographers’ portfolios to you, and let you decide who to use. All of my photographers come from a background in news and editorial work, so I ensure that our 2nd shooters have a strictly non-invasive approach to their work. Additionally, all my 2nd photographers shoot weddings regularly – after all, what’s the benefit in having a 2nd photographer if they simply are not good enough to be doing weddings on their own?Unlike much of my competition, when it comes to 2nd photographers, my focus is on capturing great story-telling images – not providing “filler” content. I have found that for weddings with under 200 guests, I have no problem comfortably covering the entire event by myself. Once you get past the 200 guest range, the benefits of having a second photographer become much more apparent as there are many more stories to tell throughout the day.
To give you a rough estimate, probably 95% of the weddings I shoot are on my own. Should you be interested in seeing an entire wedding of images with one photographer as compared to with 2 photographers, just e-mail me, I’d be happy to share.
Of course! The post production process is as equally important to me as the initial capturing of the images. Let me explain a little bit about the process.Ever wonder why photographers at news events seem to snap off 100 frames at every little motion a politician makes? Wouldn’t one photo work? The short answer is no. As visual journalists, we are looking to tell a story, not simply provide a photo. True emotions only show up on our faces for a split second and then go away. Smiles that last too long are contrived, and it comes across in the final image. This is why photojournalists shoot so many photos, looking for that one frame that truly captures the emotion of the story unfolding in front of us.In the news world, we often only have one frame that will accompany an article and present our visual story to readers. Luckily in the wedding world, I can show you as many photos as I would like! While shooting weddings, I snap thousands of frames, but, of course, I end up with some shots that I cannot use. People blink, turn away, or sometimes, people just do not look their best. This is why I have the first part of our editing process – selecting. I begin working through the images in the order in which they were shot, and I select only the best images of your day. The images not selected are deleted. Once I have viewed all of the images and decided which ones have the potential to be one of the final images, I then begin the post production.
Post production consists of using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to open each file individually, and work each file on its own, performing different editing tasks on each file. Some examples of what I look for while I edit include color, sharpness, and contrast corrections. Additionally, I do basic blemish removals, teeth whitening, skin smoothing, and occasionally we use more advanced techniques including transplanting eyes, hands, arms, removing double chins, removing excess skin, reducing or removing under-eye darkness or anything else that might need to be done to make an image look better.
At this time, I also take images that I think will work well in black and white, selective color, or other variations (High dynamic range, color infrared, contrast filters, etc.), and produce those images as well.
This process takes a large amount of time, but I deem it as an absolute necessity to ensure that I am producing the best images for my clients and making my clients look their best!
First of all, I know that this is no ordinary day. This is your wedding day, and I fully respect the importance of your day. I would like to make it perfectly clear that nothing short of a tragedy or medical emergency will stop me from covering your wedding.I have shot weddings on days when I was very sick and when most people with a normal job would have called out of work. Although this is, of course, not my most desired condition, I understand the commitment I have made to you. Additionally, I understand that having to use a backup is not ideal. You have hired me because you chose a photographer with the style that you wanted. Selecting that style, in my opinion, is the most important factor in selecting a photographer, and I know that you do not want a replacement.With that said, I have never been sick enough to miss covering a wedding, and I have never had to go with any backup plans. However, I do recognize the importance of a backup plan which is why I am a member of bridal networks like the Maryland Wedding Professionals Association, and which is why I have formed alliances with other wedding photographers in my region.
If the situation arises where I need to find a replacement, the contract says that I must provide a replacement and that I should do so in a way that will not inconvenience you. In addition to the other vendors I have alliances with to help with backup photographers, I also have numerous experienced people outside of the wedding industry, in news and in commercial work, that I can contact as well. Since the news and commercial photography industries operate on a freelance basis, it is not difficult to be able to secure a backup, even a matter of hours beforehand. Having no one shoot your wedding is not an option.