A possible scenario..
Guest: “Hi Sarah…. I am so sorry that I missed your wedding, do you have your pictures?”
Sarah: “Sure let me show you….” (fumbling through a drawer), “I know there are here somewhere”(more
fumbling) “Ah here they are!” (producing a flashdrive)
Guest: “Hmm..How do we see them?”
Sarah: “Wait.. I need to find my laptop, and I can show you”
Guest: “Hmm maybe next time, pushed for time now… gotta run” (exiting hastily)
Sarah: “But wait… the laptop is almost ready to go”
The Digital photography age is here to stay! I have finally resolved myself to that fact, although I came kicking and screaming to this realization! Gone are the days of purchasing film in bulk rolls, loading your own cartridges with the number of exposures you needed, and leaving the wedding day with a pocketful of exposed film rolls and the anxiety that comes from hoping the pictures you captured on your film were as awesome as the ones you envisioned in your mind as you took them.
Digital photography (especially quality) has come a long way in the last 20 years. The digital imaging sensor has been a real game changer for photography and videography. The affordable technology that is available today allows us as visual artists to literally freeze and capture time in the images and the films we create.
Regardless of the source of the image, film or digital, old school or new school, heirloom level photos have to pass through the same processes now as they did 30 years ago. When the wedding photographer of the 1980’s left a wedding he/she had exposed images on film. These images we no where close to being the final product. The film was first developed, proofs created (un-retouched images) and then presented to you for you to make your selections from. In most cases you had the option to choose a certain number of proofs which would be further post processed before they would appear in your wedding album, formal portraits or wall art for your home. Often times you had the option of purchasing the proofs, as is, to add to your collection. Your selections were sent to the darkroom where they underwent a series of time consuming, post processing procedures before appearing in their final form.
Today, the process is still the same, but instead of your photographer leaving your wedding day with film, we leaves with digital files (data representations) of the images taken. Sure you can look at the image on the camera’s view screen, but these images have not been fully processed. Now days all of the post processing is done electronically using software to perform the tasks of the darkroom.
As happens often in other technologies, sometimes the technology itself can be it’s biggest enemy. As digital cameras have become more sophisticated and affordable, the photography industry has become very competitive. Enter the Shoot and Burn Option
… (dramatic music plays….dom, dom, dom dom). This package is offered as a low cost option. Shoot the pictures, burn the electronic images to a disk or flashdrive and deliver. The problem here is that the real artistry that you are paying for is not accomplished by the camera alone, but by the photographer during the post production process. Most Shoot and Burn packages have very limited post production performed beyond basic color and exposure adjustments.
So the moral of the story is this… “You get what you pay for”. There are no shortcuts or price cuts in quality wedding photography. Be sure you know what is included in your package. Are albums included or available from your photographer. Have you seen samples of what your album will be like?
Your wedding is likely a once in a lifetime event that once gone, can never be repeated. After it is all said and done, all the food is eaten, the band has packed up, and the ice sculpture has melted be sure you have something more to show from your wedding than a disk or a flashdrive.