Sunday, January 31, 2010

Packages with Camera Files!?

What came first the chicken or the egg? What is the sound of one hand clapping? Do I get a wedding package with camera files or one with an album? These are the age old questions that have perplexed all of (wo)mankind.

We have a lot of brides call and email the studio everyday and invariably one of their primary questions is, "Do I get my camera files/digital negatives?" Most only ask that question because the bridal magazines tell them to do that in their 'photography questions check list.' After putting a few images on Facebook or on their desktop as a screen saver, most brides don't have a clue to what else they would do with them.

No matter what side of the debate your on (and I say that because a lot of photographers read this blog right along with brides), we just wanted to point out some important information that you may not have thought of when shopping for camera files v. albums/prints.

The Iceberg: Wedding photography is a lot of hard work...the hardest of which, takes place after the wedding is over. While we may spend 8-10 hours with you on the wedding day, the real work begins when we start processing your images. Between backing up the files, rotating, color correcting, editing, proofing, blogging, retouching and then designing an album we will have spent an additional 60-90 hours on your images!

Just like the iceberg whose mass mostly resides under the waterline, you're really only see about 10-15% of the actual work needed to produce great images. With that said, someone who sells you just a disc is leaving that iceberg sized work list on your shoulders and they're really the ones who are getting the sweet end of the deal.

Always a Maid and Never a Bride: Ask any of your girlfriends or family members who've been through a wedding lately and they'll be the first to tell you how stressful and exhausting a wedding can be. They will also be quick to tell you how fast the day just zoomed by too...all that work and it was gone in a blink.

We pride ourselves on being a full service studio, which means you aren't having to do any work on your end aside from hiring us. To paraphrase Lexus, "We are a service company that just happens to take great photographs."

Unless you are baking your own wedding cake, sewing your own tuxedos, cooking dinner for all your guests and performing your own reception music, why would you want to do all the work with your photography. The point of hiring a trusted professional is so that you don't have to worry, second guess or work your own event. Don't make the mistake of 'working' so much on your wedding that you forget to 'be' in your wedding.

All that Glitters is not Golden: The biggest falsehood with purchasing a disc is assuming that the images on that disc are going to be 'print ready,' i.e., retouched, color corrected and/or cropped.

Chances are you booked that photographer because of the images that you liked on their web site or in their showroom, right? I absolutely guarantee that each of those images used for display purposes have been artworked to their fullest. So here comes the misleading part, the images you fell in love with in the showroom will not be on your disc. It would be far too time consuming to retouch and apply special effects to all your camera files.
Think about it this way...It seems contradictory to purchase the most expensive article of clothing that you will ever own, have your hair and makeup professionally done and then not have beautifully artworked photographs to capture your Cinderella moment.

Should you wish to 'fix' your images on your own, Photoshop isn't a cheap program and requires extensive knowledge. Not to mention, most of the fun tricks, shortcuts or 'actions' to add into Photoshop requires additional funds. For fun view the video below, which shows a time lapse of an image being artworked in Photoshop. While this has been condensed into two and a half minutes the real work would have taken hours.

A Helping Hand: After getting numerous calls and emails from brides who got discs of images from other photographers, we now are offering a service to fix, restore, retouch and print from those discs that seemed like good bargains at the time. We have even gone so far as to get a newlywed couple dressed back up in their wedding attire and reshoot their bridal portraits.

No matter what decision you make when it comes to hiring any professional service, please be sure to know all the facts and all the pros and cons so that you can make the right decision for yourself. Don't shortchange your memories and family history because once it is gone it is gone forever...

( case your wondering, you can get your camera files with us after you design your album. depending upon your total wedding investment, those camera files can be purchased or be earned for free. We also take those 'photo-sharing' responsibilities off your shoulders by putting artworked images on Facebook, our blog as well as on your own password protected online shopping cart.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Moira & Quentin at Dayton Art Institute!

We had a blast with Moira, Quentin and their great family and friends this past Saturday! We even lucked out with decent enough weather that we could even go outside for a little bit to take in DAI's beautiful grounds.

DAI is one of our favorite places and it was perfect for a beautiful winter wedding. The Great Hall looked so cozy with all the candlelight and winter white floral of Lilys and Tulips. I adored Moira's dress too, which was complete with pockets. There were lots of personal touches everywhere, including a bag piper to lead the recessional...all in all a really wonderful day!

We had so much fun it hardly felt like we were working, especially watching all the craziness on the dance floor! We even had fun playing with video highlights that we then added into their blog show. Thanks for sharing such an amazing wedding with us! Enjoy Hawaii too...soooo jealous! Congrats!

Feel free to leave a message for Moira and Quentin below in the 'comments' section, view their engagement session, or visit any of the great vendors who made their day so special.

Mark with the Flower Shoppe
Officiant Jason Robertson
Katie V Wedding Consulting

Sunday, January 17, 2010

3D Photo Montage!

imacron + garber project from imacron on Vimeo.

Well, we're back from our National Convention and getting back to normal. Just thought we would share the amazing 3D slide show that Dominic with Imacron designed for our program. It's amazing to think that he animated our still images for the video, which we think turned out great.

A lot of couples show highlight videos during their reception, and Dominic can design one for you too. What a cool way to take the normal 'been-there-done-that' highlight video and turn it into a reception hit! It takes about 200 hours of labor to make one show so just know that its not going to be cheap, but if you want something different that's the way to go!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

On the Road Again!

We will be out of the studio Friday, Jan. 8th - Tuesday, Jan. 12th, while we speak at PPA's International Imaging Conference in Nashville.

We're super honored to be a platform speaker in the wedding track with some of the best photographers from around the world...Yervant, Ghionis, Bussink, Reggie, Pfister, Villa. many are known for their work with top celebrities, but I think us Daytonians can still compete. Wish us luck!

We will be back in the studio on Wednesday, Jan. 13th, and would be happy to help you.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year Bridal Resolutions...

Happy New Years to all our brides-to-be out there! Christmas is a big time of year for proposal's (even Mark's son popped the big to be announced)! I just thought I would take this time to offer some wedding resolutions to help make those weddings plans go smoother.

This list of tips comes from a lot of experience as a photographer, and as a bride myself. Hopefully there are some things that you will find helpful (or at least entertaining) and maybe even some things that you didn't even think about...

DO make the day your own...even if friends and family try to pressure you into something you don't want.

DO see each other before the ceremony...why hide from your best friend on the most important day of your lives. This is a life experience that is meant to be shared...every precious minute!

DO have some fun! Have the guys all wear silly socks, wear colorful shoes with your dress or blow kazoos instead of blowing bubbles. Weddings don't have to be stiff and formal. Guests remember fun twists more than anything else.

DO avoid tan lines and especially farmer's tans...that should go for all the bridesmaids too.

DO schedule dentist appointments before the big day. Tea-stained dresses are pretty...teeth, not so much.

DO have your groom do some manscaping before the big day, unibrows and tuxes don't mix l~)

DO have your groom wear sunblock and a hat if they're doing a golf outing before the wedding. Bright red skin and sunglass tan lines are almost impossible to retouch.

DO hire a professional makeup artist and not run through the mall in your veil to the Clinique counter....DO a test run with your makeup artist & hair stylist. Take pictures so they can match what they me they won't remember your up-do from the 500 others they've done this year.

DO have a smooth timeline and not make guests eat cheese and crackers and listen to Kenny G for 3 hours.

DO let your guys buy suits instead of wasting money on a tux rental. Suits are the new tux. Plus, instead of the trusty old flask groomsmen gift, you can gift them their ties and/or shirts. See the J. Crew suit (above) paired with a real bow can always tell.

DO feel free to have a 'adults only' reception or at least hire a babysitter and have a kid's corner of activities for them. Kids are cute, but not when throwing tantrums in the middle of your vows or upstaging you on the dance floor during your first dance.
DO avoid the cliche Hersey Kisses table favors and do something unexpected like custom rub on tattoos, silly fortune cookies or even beer koozies...have fun with it!

DO delegate responsibilities or hire a wedding coordinator so that you don't have to work your own wedding.
DO plan for an 'after party' towards the end of your reception. Bring in pizzas or a hotdog cart or some other fun food to keep the party going.

DO hire reputable professionals...they hold your wedding memories in their hands.
Hope this helps or at least gave you a chuckle...did I mention this list comes from past experience...Happy Planning!