Presenting images with personality

Weddings FAQs

What Will Become of Photography? Hire A Pro.

Almost everyone on this planet can take photos now. Whether it is through a camera’s lens or an iPhone. It really doesn’t matter the form….unless you CARE about your photos. WOAH. What does that mean? It means when it really counts and you want lasting images for keepsake and to pass down from generation to generation, it is really really important to hire a professional photographer to take those really important images. It is fun to take images on your iPhone and it is so much fun to post them on social media outlets. But are they really the photos you want in an album? Are they the quality you want in frames in your house? I suggest they are not.

So hire a real professional photographer who knows how to “sniff out those moments” and get those intimate moments from your family portraits or special events, or even a wedding or bar or bat mitzvah. Hire a pro who is skilled in capturing pictures with personality. Hire a pro and you don’t have to worry that they will bring their iPhone. Are you kidding?  They will bring real cameras and back ups of cameras and all the equipment they need to bring to get those images you want for your very special event!

Photography — The Universal Language?

Almost everyone loves to look at photos. We are drawn to faces, to something awesome, something beautiful, something simple… something different.

Surfing the web, looking at highway billboards, checking out Facebook, picking up a book or magazine, checking out peoples’ iphones…everyone and everywhere are pictures, pictures, pictures.

No matter where you are in the world or what your are doing, photos are the universal language, and you will understand that person even if they speak another language. For photography has become the number one universal language!

We are drawn to pictures. It is our way of recording our existence. We have been depicting people since the cave man. In Greek and Roman times, only those with high status and money had their pictures done. When photography came in existence, it was no longer relegated to the rich. Everyone could have them now! And more and more, there are billions of pictures circulating all around the globe for us to enjoy and comment upon. How delightful!

 

Is it important to see keepsake albums when choosing a photographer?

Yes! As many images as possible and as many venues photographed as possible are critical in choosing a photographer for your wedding or bar or bat mitzvah. This will give you a great idea how expert the photographer is in different lighting conditions. In fact, how good the images are in various lighting situations separates out the professional from the less experienced amateur.  Don’t you test drive all the cars you may consider purchasing?

Same with photographers. View as many images as possible whether online, in slideshows, in proof albums or keepsake albums. Not only do you get a great idea of the professionalism of the photographer, but you also get great ideas for poses if you choose to want to duplicate some that you have seen and really enjoy.

Your photographer and you can discuss the types of photos you may want in your album at that time and it is a great way to get to know each other better which will enhance your special day!

How important is it to consult with my prospective photographer in person?

The rapport that you create with your photographer will make or break your event! Emails convey content but not emotion. Actually sitting down in a meeting with your prospective photographer (my portrait studio is in Schenectady, NY) is the right thing to do to assure a perfect event. Body language, warmth, smiles, personal connections…these nuances can only be created in person. It’s not just the content that makes the day, it’s the relationship that you develop together that makes the day.

 

 

Some photographers ask that no one else take pictures during the formal photography. Is that reasonable?

Yes. If the photographer is trying to work quickly through a series of formal pictures, a snap-shooter might slow the process. A problem arises when there are several cameras aimed at a formal group – the subjects will be looking at different lenses. The diverted attention will ruin the professional’s picture. Or, if the professional is using a light-sensing trigger device (“slave”) on a second flash, other flashes will trigger this flash, ruining the pictures [that you are paying for] and wasting battery power. There are many other reasons why a professional might ask others to refrain from picture taking during formals. On the other hand, many guests find snapping a fewpictures a pleasant part of attending weddings, so it should not be a big deal for your professional to be relaxed and let people snap away when formals are over. Ideally, guests should show respect for the bridal party and photographer and put down their cameras during the formal photos.

What else should I look out for when I am looking at a photographer’s samples?

It is important that an album you see one wedding from start to finish, not just a collection of highlights from a dozen different weddings. If a photographer assembles and shows the best photos from several weddings in one album, you are not seeing an accurate representation of the results you might expect from your wedding. It is reasonable for you to expect the same quality work at your wedding that the photographer shows you when you first visit, especially if the sample images match the setting and time of day of your wedding.

What technical details in sample photographs should I watch out for?

Lighting quality is an important ingredient in superior photographs. The light in photographs should be natural and flattering, so that the pictures look three-dimensional. Overuse of on-camera flash can ruin wedding pictures. Watch out for flattened faces, harsh reflections off of cheeks and foreheads, and dark shadows directly behind or next to the subjects. With finesse, a fine photographer can work with almost any outdoor lighting situation without using flash.Look for a variety in subject size – a mix of distant, medium and close-up pictures. Even with groups, lighting and posing should be interesting. The well posed bridal portrait should minimize the subjects’ flaws (weight problem, blemishes, etc.) and express who the subject is and how he/she/they feel. The dramatic and scenic wedding image, like the red convertable on the show-room floor, attracts everyone’s attention, but most brides and their families, like most car buyers, want what suits them personally. You want pictures that tell the story simply, with immediate impact, and as if the photographer was not even there.

It’s like fixing your hair or applying make-up so that it looks natural.

Why is wedding photography so much more expensive now than when my parents got married?

A lot has changed in photography since your parents’ wedding. Chances are that when your parents got married, wedding photographers typically worked from set shot lists and only took the photographs that they knew would sell after the wedding. This led to cookie-cutter wedding photography that left every wedding album looking almost exactly the same. The true story of the day was left untold. Your parents’ photographer probably took fewer than 200 photos at their wedding. Today’s wedding photojournalists may take 10 times that many as they document the unique story of a couple’s wedding day. Digital wedding photography has led to advancements in wedding albums, too. Today’s wedding albums are original works of art with custom-designed layouts that are produced using the same methods employed for art books and magazines. This is a time-intensive process that requires all of the skill, talent, and artistry that professional wedding photographers already bring to their viewfinders.

How early in the wedding-planning process should I book a wedding photographer?

If photography is very important to you, you will also want to book as early as possible to ensure booking the best photographer for your needs. If your wedding will be in nice weather, during a holiday, or on another popular date, you may want to consider booking your photographer as early as 12 to 18 months ahead of the date. If you have a favorite wedding photographer in mind before you have booked your wedding venue, you can call the photographer to confirm his or her availability before signing the contract with the venue. In any event, it is in your best interest to have your wedding photographer booked at least a year in advance.

How much time will the photographer spend at my wedding?

Some photographers work in five hour blocks and then charge you an hourly rate after that. This photographer works with you the whole day, and you don’t have to look at your watch worrying whether you are spending more than what you budgeted for. If you want a customized package and are looking to book a photographer for only one part of your day to photograph the ceremony and some formal posed images, that can be arranged too.

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Kind Words

Kind Words

Joan was able to take a really good professional head shot for me. Let’s just say she had her hands full with me. I don’t photograph well and I showed up wearing the wrong color even thought Joan had provided me with ample information about what works best prior to our appointment. Lucky for me Joan persevered with her reluctant subject. I really appreciated her sense of humor. Most importantly, she is very responsive and professional making sure you are fully satisfied with the final results.

MaryKay Barry