wedding photography demystified
wedding photography can be a mystery for people
It makes sense; it’s not as if one gets married every day of the week, so why should you be expected to know all there is to know?
We’ve prepared some updated information on the process of wedding photography based on my years of experience and perspective. It includes the most frequently asked questions from past couples who are soon to tie the knot. It’s a great overview, and will provide you with answers to questions you may have not known to ask when searching for a wedding photographer.
in dean’s own words: your wedding story
“A Wedding is an unfolding mystery beckoning to be captured in images. It’s the celebration and story of your relationship. I treat it as a once in a life time event and believe being an unobtrusive photographer allows me to capture the day with sensitivity and respect. My distinctive style is candid with a focus on strong composition and creative use of light. By focusing on emotions, relationships of family and friends, and attention to detail, your images will allow you and future generations to relive your Wedding Day as it truly happened. Best of all, it’s a lot of fun.”
questions we are asked most frequently
q: What is the most important piece of advice you can give me regarding wedding photography?
a: Don’t make compromises on your wedding photography. Seriously. A wedding celebration is an important affair. You’re putting a lot of love, effort, time and money into your wedding plans. You’ve only one chance at capturing the images. When all is said and done, not many people will remember the food, music, flowers, centre pieces or table linens. What will be left to share with people, and what will increase in value to you over time, are your memories and your images.
q: Why is professional wedding photography so expensive? I thought it would cost less because everyone shoots with digital cameras?
a: The cost of high-quality wedding photography is often misunderstood. We’ve provided a detailed overview to help you gain a better understanding:
experience: Yes, of course you are investing in experience. While your wedding day is a one-time affair, it is our life’s work. We’ve invested years of training and experience into developing our eye to create story-telling photography. As a trained photojournalist with an eye for artful detail, you can be in the moment on your wedding day, knowing that you’ll receive images with the perfect combination of documentary, artistry and customer service.
tools of the trade: Keeping pro digital gear up-to-date is extremely expensive. A professional digital camera costs 200-300% more than it’s film equivalent. While professional-level film cameras had a life span of up to 10 years, new digital cameras last only about 3-4 years. Lenses, lighting / flash systems and accessories also need to be upgraded or replaced every 4-5 years. Additionally, to give our clients peace of mind, we also carry backup gear to every photo assignment. If a piece of gear malfunctions, we have a replacement nearby. This gear must be fully functional and reliable. Routine maintenance and camera repairs are common, and expensive, with all professionally used camera equipment.
The required computer systems to help us perform everything that happens before and after your special day are costly. They must be powerful enough to process RAW photographic images, efficiently run the latest software. Our computers and colour-calibrated monitors are replaced every 3 years in order to provide you with quick turn-around times, accurate colour, and to allow us to remain competitive in the marketplace.
image archive: During the course of a year we create thousands of images. Just to give you an idea of volume, in a typical wedding season we deal with approximately 25,000 high resolution images, representing over 25 gigabytes of data in various stages of production. Because these images are your memories and are irreplaceable, we invest a great deal of money into a multi-location archival backup system to safely and securely store your images. For some clients we archive images for years. We’re speaking terrabytes of storage available 24/7 by us and our clients, available as private online gallery collections and multiple media backups. We’re happy to say we haven’t lost even a single image to date.
post-production and workflow: It’s true that we no longer have the cost of film and developing (which traditionally was processed by a film lab). The entire physical dark room process is now done virtually via computers. The photographer has become the lab expert. This entails a great deal of time and expertise. Such details include editing, fine art image interpretation and enhancement.
print products: We spend a great deal of time sourcing the best products and materials for your deliverables. By this, we mean your prints and wedding albums / portfolios. Many of our products are produced by hand in-house. This allows us to oversee and be involved in every step of the production process. When we use use third-party suppliers, we’ve spent the time to develop relationships where we know our projects are handled with care.
q: I love your pictures. How do I book you?
a: All that is required is a signed wedding contract and retainer. This will guarantee your date. We accept a limited number of Wedding Celebrations per year to ensure we provide the same level of personal attention, customer service, and quick delivery of images to our couples. If possible, it’s best to book us well in advance to secure your date.
q: RAW or JPEG?
a: We shoot only RAW. You will receive high resolution, colour-corrected jpegs.
q: What type of equipment do you use?
a: We shoot primarily digital, though film is available upon request. Professional Canon cameras and Canon / Sigma lenses are our choice tools for capturing images, along with a variety of complimentary gear. Backup camera and lenses are onsite during your wedding day so if something malfunctions we have replacements nearby. Our post production studio uses Apple computers and the latest professional imaging software, and the expertise to use it.
q: How long will it take for us to see our pictures?
a: Are you ready? Less than 3 days after your wedding day! We make it a point to showcase a selection of fine-art enhanced images via our online journal or a private gallery. Remaining images will be available in about 4 weeks via a wedding website we’ll create for you.
q: What are instant digital downloads?
a: This is something we’re very proud to offer our clients. Directly available from the wedding website we’ll create for you, you may now have instant download access of all your wedding images in a variety of resolutions, all in just 4 weeks from your wedding date!
q: Should I invest in an album or prints?
a: A great question! How your images are presented and preserved is very important. I recommend our hand-made Portfolio-Style and Sequoia fine-art-albums, artist gallery wraps and fine-art print enlargements.
q: You’re already booked on our wedding date. What are my options?
a: A “Just Because” lifestyle session. It’s for people who’d like portraits outside of their wedding day. Perfect for lifestyle engagement pictures, family portraits, babies or “Just because I want to!”
q: Do you travel?
a: Yes. A custom travel quote is provided upon request.
q: I’m from out of town and can’t meet ahead of time. Will you still photograph me?
a: Yes. It’s a big small world. I always make time to chat via phone and email. I can provide plenty of online work and featured weddings, and will tell you everything you need to know.