I’ve been thinking of this blog for the past two years. I’ve put it off and put it off, mainly because it makes me sad and wish I could do things differently, but the important thing to remember is to learn from others mistakes and your own.
Almost 8 years ago, Lance and got married in the most beautiful location I think I’ve ever seen in Cabo San Lucas Mexico. A destination wedding at it’s finest, the place where he proposed, our secret spot that warms the heart of all it’s beauty. While I was just starting out in photography land, it didn’t really occur to me to ensure we chose our wedding photographer, I mean one was being provided in the “package” we chose with our wedding coordinator in Mexico, on a side note, she was fabulous by the way, the photographer…not so much. I just assumed it was covered and moved on to other details in planning a destination wedding. Oh how I was wrong. Very very wrong.
Looking back now at my photos is painful in every sense of the word. They are not good. I believe that is why I am so passionate about photography now because I could not bare to have a client feel like I do in relation to their wedding images. Yes, we as photographers all start somewhere and yes we charge little to get into the game when we first start, I get it, I’ve been there too and am thankful for my friends and clients who took a chance on my inexperienced self when I first started. This post is not about that or picking on those who are just starting out, I get it, really I do.
Now that I am experienced, poured my soul into learning this industry, my camera, courses, business development and marketing, it just comes down to the old saying, “you get what you pay for”. Yes it was my mistake for not researching and doing the homework, but even as part of the package, the photographer portion of it was only $775.00. Today, if I was looking for a photographer for my wedding I most likely would not even take the time to look at someone who charges that little only because with that price, comes inexperience or beginners. That is only because I know the industry now and know the difference between great images and not so great ones. Again, I get it, we all start somewhere. I hear over and over stories similar to mine because we have not invested in the right photographer.
Passion. It’s what drives me. I am so thrilled when a client is in tears of joy or over the moon excited when they see their photos. I love going the extra mile to help plan the wedding day, take extra time with the edits, ensure my clients look and feel their best. I am obsessed with it all, maybe I have my own photographs to thank for that.
I learnt from our photographer of what not to do. Give the bride a break if she needs it. I remember telling Lance at one point I am going to need a minute to wipe the dripping sweat off my face and the whole time the photographer was pushing us to hurry up because we needed to “beat the light” before it got dark. We did not get one appetizer or time with our guests at the ceremony site. All very rushed and not planned at all. Oh, did I mention I am sweating and have a red face in most of photos. Super hot. I also got only one picture with mom and well it’s not good.
I cringe when I hear people say, “oh my friend (or uncle or family member) is going to photograph the wedding, he has a great camera”. I think back to my images and think, “yes, but does he know how to use it?”. I get it too, we are all on a budget, especially with a wedding, but if we did it over again I would absolutely hands down have photography as the number one on my list. Not just because I am one now, but because 8 years later, I hate my wedding images and really that’s all you have to look at. The most beautiful day of my life and I am a sweaty hot mess and have very few images that I like to remember that day.
I pride myself with quality images, meaning I’ve studied on how to technically capture that perfect image. Most of our wedding images were shot on “automatic” mode and have a 6 megapixel resolution (most professionals use manual mode or other modes so you can create the perfect image with settings and my camera and is 23 megapixels). That’s right, my gal left it up to chance, put it on automatic and hoped it focussed right and captured the images she wanted. Ya that’s perfect on a wedding day! lol
So in the end, it is what it is. I am thankful for our friend who was there to capture some better shots for us and have learnt from the whole experience. I can not stress the importance to research your photographer and find one to fit your day. You have one day, one shot and all that remains of your wedding are the images and your distant memories.
Let’s take a look!
My dress is not dirty, her camera was. On almost all of our pictures there are two “dust” spots on every photograph. That means the inside of her sensor in the camera was dirty because it appears on every image. True professionals have that taken care of and do regular “tests” on the camera, prior to every wedding and every shoot. (Most of the pictures were also overexposed creating loss of detail in the background).
The below picture is blurry and the dust spot again on the shoulder.
The ring shot. Nice right? Well you may not see it but the hands are the sharpest part of this images, not the ring. If you’re doing close ups, the thing you are focussing on needs to be the sharpest thing in the photograph.
I was just wondering, do you think the videorgrapher got the shot? I mean, I don’t think he was close enough. When working with a team, communicate before hand on where you will be standing, I mean really.
Oh the emotion on the wedding day. The tears, the smiles, the hugs…This is one of my favorite images. Nothing says emotion like the back of my brother’s head and my husband’s arm…so sweet. Really one of my favorites! lol
This one I actually like. Really I do, it’s Mexico and it was funny…Mondguery, Montgomery, kind of the same? lol
The wedding party. This is just painful. I love the random guy in the background, the distracting light on my veil (at least photoshop it out) and this pose is just horrible. No connection with the group at all.
My sweet lovely in-laws. My second family. This would have been a great shot except the background is what’s in focus, not the couple which is the subject of the photo. Focus on the couple!
This is just all around great. Super great lighting, I know night photography is more difficult but really, let’s plan ahead and ensure this doesn’t happen. Oh and good advice here, just pose them in one big long line with distracting elements.
The ring shot. So unique and original. OK, I know wedding photography has advanced and become more modern in the last 8 years but nothing says a great detail shot like hand over hand, over flowers surrounded by…candle light? lol
So do your research. Ask questions, meet with your photographer and view samples of work before committing to someone. Don’t take a chance on one of the most important days of your life. Learn from my mistakes and hire a true professional!