We’re often asked some of these basic questions in email correspondence and unfortunately due to client & life commitments cannot always answer each person individually. We hope this photographer FAQ helps some of you.
WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY?
We’ve chosen Documentary Photography style for one reason only. We don ‘t want to interrupt your day by saying what to do, where to look, when to smile, etc. It is your unique day and only that matters. We work from the distance trying not to distract anybody. We know that with big cameras and even bigger lenses it is quite difficult to stay unseen but we always do our best.
DO YOU ONLY PHOTOGRAPH WEDDINGS?
We certainly not. Big part of our business is maternity, children and family photography. Aneta specializes in newborn portraits (www.cutebabyphotography.co.uk). We are members of NAPCP (National Association of Professional Child Photographers) and our work had been awarded in published in many magazines.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE?
We use Nikon professional equipment. Personally we think that it doesn’t matter what brand camera you use. The camera is just a tool and like any other tool it can be useless or brilliant; all depends on who is using it. For us Nikon handles better, it feels more natural in our hands, that’s it. No technical preferences, no advantages over others.
We always have backup camera/lenses set on every wedding. In case of any failure, we can just switch to my backup camera and continue to work.
CAN WE MEET YOU BEFORE THE WEDDING?
We believe it is very important for both sides to meet before wedding. We can discuss all your requirements, but more importantly we get to know each other. This will definitely help us on the “big day”.
HOW LONG DO YOU STAY ON THE DAY?
We have few options in our offer but all day coverage is definitely our favorite one. We start in the morning meeting you during your preparations and stay with you until the cake and first dance. This allows us to capture all stages of your wedding. Getting excited during preparations, very emotional ceremony and relaxing reception.
HOW MANY PHOTOGRAPHS DO YOU TAKE ON THE DAY?
On full day coverage we take about 1500 – 2000 images. We select then the best 200-250 that will be featured it your wedding book.
WHO WILL TAKE OUR PHOTOGRAPHS?
In general all weddings are shoot by one photographer (Tom), but if needed we will be both present on the event.
CAN WE HAVE SOME OF THE IMAGES IN BLACK AND WHITE?
Of course you can. We prepare most of the images in colour but some of them will be in black and white. In many cases black and white “works” better. It all depends on light, scenery, composition, etc. If you view the images and you liked some more in black and white – simply let us know and we will convert them for you.
DO YOU RETOUCH IMAGES?
We process all images in Photoshop. By doing that all images gain “wow” effect. If any retouching is necessary we will certainly do it. We are aware that in some cases large amount of retouching is required. This needs to be arranged and it is priced up individually.
CAN WE SEE OUR IMAGES ON THE INTERNET?
All our customers have a private online gallery. You can share it with your family members and friends.
WHY PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE EXPENSIVE?
We have some clients asking us why photographers charge so much for their work, prints or for digital files. The explanation is quite simple. When you go to let’s say HMV to buy record you don’t just pay for cost of producing the CD, DVD, cover, etc. You pay contribution to the artist, their hard work needed to produce something, that you will enjoy every time you play the record or watch a film. It takes great amount of talent, hard work, time and resources to create something unique. The same rule applies to the photographers.
When you buy a digital photo, or even a print, the bulk of the price is not for the cost of the CD or the paper the photo is printed on. Both of those are very small costs. You are paying for the years we spent learning and perfecting our photography craft, the way we know how to get your cranky baby to smile, the way we have learned to pose you so you look your best, the tens of thousands of pounds worth of camera bodies, lenses, lighting, backdrops and props in our studio, utilities, insurance, taxes, our computers and massive hard drives needed to store so many digital files, child care, marketing, continuing training and education, and so much more.
Consider that for every shoot in the studio, which, with us, lasts up to three hours, a photographer will spend around four or five more hours before and after the session, communicating with the client, preparing for the shoot, then after the session, sorting through all the shots, backing up the files, editing the images for the perfect crop, colour, saturation, removing imperfections, blogging the images or posting sneak peeks on Facebook; then, during the ordering process, creating a proof gallery and publishing it to the web, uploading orders to the print lab, packaging prints and shipping them to you. It’s A LOT of work! The session fee only compensates the photographer for a fraction of the work they do in creating your images. We depend on sales after the session for our income. It’s kind of like the waitress who gets paid less than minimum wage by her employer, but earns her living off tips. Her tip income depends on how well she does their job, and a photographer’s print sales are the same.
So, remember, you pay your photographer not just for the price of the paper your images are printed on, or the CD they are burned to, but for their artistic eye, creative heart, and the hours of their life spent making portraits that you will cherish until you are old and grey and bouncing great-grandkids on your knee. And they are worth much more than a £1 CD.