Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thoughts about Photos and Photographers

This is me with one of my favorite photographers, Ed. He has done lots of weddings at Aberdeen. We always have fun when Ed is around. He was showing me how to take a picture of yourself. I had tried it, and ended up with a photo of the top of my head! He says the key is to have a bigger lens. Isn't that just typical! So now I am shopping for lenses for my NikonD70. I do need something that goes to a lower f-stop, so that I can get more depth of field in my photos where the light is less than bright.

I take lots of photos, particularly of our weddings, and consequently I ask a lot of questions when we have a good photographer around. I've learned a lot that way, just asking questions. It's actually getting to the point where I almost understand what I am doing! I actually comprehend the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, f-stops, and film speed. But it's still pretty much dumb luck that anything I take turns out well. :) There's a whole shelf full of pictures I have taken in the shop, some of them are really nice, cool lighting, great expressions, cute kids, etc.

Which brings me to my point. When you interview a photographer, you want to see a couple of individual weddings from beginning to end. If you came in and looked at my shelf full of pictures, you would say, wow, she's really a great photographer! But there are maybe 25 pictures up there, and I have probably taken, literally, over 20,000 pictures! That means that 1 in a thousand of my photos are brag shelf quality! If you looked at one wedding from beginning to end, you would probably see that some of my photos are way too dark, some are overexposed, and I use a lot of cropping in Photoshop to fix things. There are three things that are important when you look for a photographer, that he shoots consistently high quality images, (they don't have to all be fabulous, but the majority should be focused, well lit, etc.) he/she should be someone that you like, that you won't mind having in your immediate presence for 12 plus hours, and the price should fit your budgeted amount for photography.

Another factor that couples sometimes don't consider is the amount of time devoted to the pictures. Do you really want to spend your whole day smiling for a camera? When you look at those sample weddings, try to determine which shots were actually candid and which were posed or more importantly posed to look candid? Keep in mind that you can probably figure 3 to 5 minutes for each of those posed or posed to look candid shots. How much of your day do you want to devote to those shots?

My personal belief is that 12 posed shots can cover every possibility you will ever care to have, and the rest should be candid shots that you aren't even aware that the photographer is taking them. The shot of the two of you smiling at the camera while you are dancing your first dance doesn't mean nearly as much in the long run as the shot of the two of you smiling at each other during your first dance. Emotion and feeling are what most people want in their photos. They want a picture to transport them back to that moment. That's what candid photos do.

Trying to compare packages and pricing among photographers is a mindbending experience. They all offer different packages, different components, different prices. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to compare them to each other. Find one who fits the above criteria and go for it. You'll save yourself a lot of needless confusion.

So that's my 2 cents on photographers. Sometime soon we'll talk about videographers! I have lots of opinions about that too! (Just a hint, I LOVE videos!)

1 comment:

Megan said...

Don't cut yourself down. You are an excellent photographer!!
Love the blog.