Get More Than A Picture With The Right Photographer
There is a fantastic meme that pops up from time to time that itemizes the cost of all a
professional photographers kit, their cameras, lenses and software, as well as education
costs and location scouting time. Yet, it is surprising how many people think that the
excellent camera on their latest smartphone, which is still worth a fraction of a professional
photographer’s full gear setup, will give them similar results. In fact, there is a whole
industry that has popped up trying to separate smartphone owners with even more money
by selling them “how to be a photographer with just your iPhone” courses, or apps that sell
themselves as being very easy to use – just a quick tap and you can cut out the background
and put your subject somewhere else.
Because so much of the work a photographer does goes on in the background, and a good
photographer always makes the job look amazingly easy, people don’t always realize that a professional does more than point and click. Although things can, and usually do, go wrong at any event, if you are working with professionals the only people who know this are those fixing the issue. A professional photographer will get the shots you wanted no matter what happens. Asking a few questions when you are looking around for the right photographer
can make all the difference to your event.
Location, Location, Location
Whether you are talking wedding photos, graduation celebrations, family memories or
corporate boardroom shots, when you talk to a photographer, they should be able to offer
suggestions and advice about what environment will create the backdrop you are after.
Most packages will either be in studio or on location – and the vast majority of non-
commercial situations require an on-location photography.
When you are talking to prospective photographers, explain where your event is located,
and then ask if they are familiar with the area. Do they have examples of previous photo
shoots they have done at that location? Do they have any tips or suggestions to make the
event photography run smoother? If you are having an outside event, talk to your
photographer about options if it rains. You may have this covered as far as the actual event,
but have you thought about what the photos will look like if you have moved your wedding
from a beautiful spring garden into a quickly prepared hall?
Many photographers will know the venues well, as they get asked to take photographs at
these popular locations regularly. However, most will also have semi “secret” spots that they
use to take signature photographs. In the case of weddings, they may ask that the bridal
party travels to another location nearby. You are not just paying for a person to point and
click a camera. You are paying for their knowledge of the setting and location, for their
knowledge about how many people can fit in a certain spot, and how to get that amazing
group shot with all the guests included. This is something that a smartphone, no matter how
good the panorama feature is (or maybe not like this), will struggle with.
Using a professional photographer also means that they are likely to have experience with
issues that most people wouldn’t think of. They will take into consideration the type of
wedding dress the bride is wearing when they are organizing their shots (for example, a very
tight fishtail is not overly well suited to the shots of a bride climbing up a ladder, and a full
hoop skirt causes problems if you want a shot of a bride casually leaning against a wall).
All The Little Things
For events that take a significant amount of time, such as graduation or wedding
ceremonies, you will want an experienced photographer who is going to remind the party to
drink water, to have something to nibble on, and to let the bride know if her lipstick needs
It may surprise people to learn that most experienced photographers are detail orientated
people who are also quite adept at emergency gown repairs, know how to pin a stray hair
back into a complicated updo, and can artfully drape in order to hide a mysterious wine
Modern photographers will usually work with digital cameras rather than film, which gives a
huge amount of flexibility in how you can have your photos displayed. Although you may have several thousand photos taken on the day (and It may feel like a lot more), chances are
that you will only be given up to 50 of them.
A photographer isn’t going to just give you the raw files, other than the fact that most
people can’t easily open the format professional cameras work in, once the photos have
been chosen the photographer will still need to edit them. Contrary to what may happen in
the advertising industry, your photographer isn’t going to do a quick ‘nip & tuck’ on you –
but the natural world doesn’t come in black and white, or sepia.
Once the photographer has discarded any wasted shots (where a stray gust moved a branch
into shot, where uncle Harry bend down to tie a show or the sun flashed out to cause a
blinding light), they will either ask you to choose your favorites from the remainder, or go
through and choose what they think are the best ones.
Your professional photographer will then adjust the photographs, yes, all of them, to ensure
that they all look similar, even though they have different lighting and settings. If a photo is
going to look better in black and white, they alter the saturation to get the levels of color
removal just right. Sometimes this will also involve leaving something like a bride’s bouquet
or a graduate’s hood color left in its vibrant original shade (see how here).
Although it is becoming quite common to have digital only photography packages, you may
want to have your photographer arrange to have some of the images printed out. This can
be done in a range of sizes, and on a range of surfaces, from removable wall dots, to large
These are the things you need to check when you are arranging a photography package –
and why you will want to go with a professional photographer.
**submitted blog post**