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.)

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