Believe it or not, many "professionals" don't use pro gear, and if you don't ask the right questions you'll never know what corners they've cut. We shoot professional Canon cameras and a wide variety of pro lenses which allow us to creatively capture images in various types of lighting. While it is the skill, experience and "eye" of the photographer that allows a moment to be captured, professional gear is an obvious factor in image quality. Pro gear has high quality components that deliver images with less digital noise, more detail, and more accurate color. Pro gear also is built to last much longer than consumer gear (less likely to break down during your wedding). Pro lenses create much sharper images with less distortion than consumer lenses, have wide apertures that allow the camera to "see" in low light, thus limiting the use of flash which is distracting, and allow the photographer to create that dreamy blurred background often found in professional pictures. Many experienced pros have at least $20,000 in equipment. We bring multiple cameras with "full frame" sensors (larger sensors than consumer cameras) and a plethora of pro lenses (zooms as well as many prime and specialty lenses) to each wedding as well as professional lighting gear. Each lens has special properties to allow it to be used in certain lighting or to obtain certain "looks", so we bring a lot of lenses. Some photographers bring a few pro "all-purpose" zoom lenses, which is fine, but they can only achieve a small range of what we can with our wide array or lenses. If a photographer's price is very low, it is likely that he/she has cut expenses by not investing in good gear, is not insured, and is cutting other corners.
Absolutely! If you'd like to see an entire wedding just e-mail us. This is a great way to see the consistency of a photographer throughout the wedding day. Seeing a full wedding allows you to see that a photographer you are considering can deliver solid coverage, not just the handful of gems that get posted online. Consistency is very important in wedding photography and that comes with experience and technical know-how. Keep in mind that the image quality viewed on your computer is only as good as your computer's monitor- brightness and color can be off, and monitor resolution is low compared to prints and albums which is why we also like to show our work in person so you can see the finished photos as they are meant to be seen.
We also have extensive postings from individual events on our blog. While entire weddings are not posted for obvious reasons, we do post a lot of photos to show our range, style and consistency. Our Facebook page also has very recent postings, ranging from extensive highlights from individual weddings to postings that show different categories such as "ceremonies", "candid moments" or "brides", etc. On our FB page just go to "photos", then "albums" to see the different postings.
Yes, we are! Our specialty is capturing your day as it unfolds, which results in a lot of candid photography. What this means is that aside from the awesome shots we get during the posed session (family, bridal party and portraits of the two of you), the rest of the day is captured as it happens. We shoot whatever is going on without interrupting in as unobtrusive way as possible.
To be honest, it really isn't when you break it down. If you look at other trained professionals, (plumbers, electricians, accountants, etc.) you'll see average billings from $100-$250 an hour for non-weekend work. A typical wedding, with no album, takes us about 35-40 hours of work on average. From the emails, phone calls and meetings prior to the big day, to scouting your location, 7-9 hours of shooting (which is normally weekend work), editing, cropping and straightening your final images, lab trips, to post-wedding communications and meetings, you're looking at a lot of man hours for one wedding (especially with two photographers as many packages provide). As you can see by the average billing per hour by many other professionals, we're not priced very high. An album adds another 5-30 hours of work depending on the kind and size of album (we average 15-20 hours per album). In order for our clients to find us, we spend hours every week on marketing and thousands on advertising. We have very high overhead costs which includes our professional gear, up to date computers and software, insurance and liability expenses and pro lab fees, all of which are a necessary part of not only running our business but in giving you the quality of images you hired us for.
Good question! There's always someone cheaper out there, and we understand the desire to save money on what is a pretty pricey day. That being said, at what cost are you saving money? Portfolios can be very deceiving. A small handful of choice images from a wedding can give you a false sense of a photographer's overall skill/experience level. Many lesser experienced photographers will post a very limited number of shots from each wedding, generally because they have a limited number of solid shots to show. The real test is how the other hundreds of photos they delivered to their clients came out (and how their consistency is from wedding to wedding). Not every image shot on your day will be a breathtaking, portfolio worthy shot. What you are looking for in a photographer is someone who can deliver a consistent product, meaning the hundreds of final photos delivered to you are clean, sharp, well exposed images that tell the story of your day, liberally sprinkled with those "wow" shots. 17 years of experience (and over 800 weddings shot) means that we deliver a high quality product to each client, and can then share a large number of great photos from throughout the wedding day on our webpage (blog and FB page), not just a nice pose or detail here, or a lucky candid or two there. You are entrusting your wedding memories to the photographer you hire. Don't make the gamble on an inexperienced photographer to save a little money. In the end the missed shots, the lack of consistency, poor quality images, the lack of experience in getting needed photos on a tight timeline come at too high a cost for the money saved.
While we spend hours with all of your images after your wedding day-editing for sharpness, content, cropping, rotating and straightening, we feel our talents and time also need to be given to shooting what we love, designing amazing albums to showcase those images, and providing stellar customer service to our clients. In order to do this, we let a professional photo lab take care of of the last step of post-production, making sure the color of your images is the best it can be. This is what they do all day, everyday, and they do a beautiful job. A lot of photographers like to color balance their own images, and as admirable as that is, there just isn’t enough time in the day for them to give every event the same kind of care given to the promo images they used to sell you on their services. The quality of images you see in our promo work is the exact quality that the images from your wedding will be because we let the lab do what it does best, make your images gorgeous. The images we give our clients are at the same level of quality from wedding to wedding, and at the same level of post-production as our promo images and albums.
Beware of trendy color-processing and "looks" of the day (ie: "retro" or "vintage" color treatments, etc). While this kind of color might be "in" now, it will not be in 5-10 years. Your photos will look dated. A huge downside to doing trendy color processing to your images is that it's nearly impossible to re-process them into to gorgeous, timeless color like what we and other experienced photographers provide. You can add a color "treatment" to a photo that has good realistic color, but you can't go back the other way. Many photographers save time/money by doing a lot of images with these trendy color treatments because it takes a lot less time to have some software make images look like they're from the 70s than it does to make good quality skin tones that will be timeless. In addition to quality color (and b/w) we can do some of your images with these contemporary "treatments" as well (the images are both in standard color and with the treatment). Just ask us for more details.
YES! And if a photographer doesn't, walk away….no, run! There is no excuse for a professional to shoot JPEGS instead of RAW. As a side note, the finished files you receive from any photographer will be jpgs, but the images they shoot in camera need to be RAW. The initial RAW images provide tons more latitude that is needed for quality post-production. Raw files store more detail and color information that is critical.