Redding Wedding Photographers
Redding Wedding Photographers
Redding is full of amazing places to find wonderful scenes for photography, I know this because I spent years with my camera just wandering around Shasta County learning different techniques to capture amazing and unique works for my fine art portfolio. Naturally with so much splendor to observe and photograph it is of little wonder why Redding has so my photographers. This leads me into my main topic of discussion:
Redding Wedding Photographers
Do I have a problem with Redding Wedding Photographers? No, I AM a Redding Wedding Photographer, now what is the point of this article? The point is to discuss in better detail Why any old photographer will just not do. Photography is and art, like any art it requires constant practice and commitment to not only become but remain successful, and unique, and cutting edge. What I see from most area photographers who offer their services for weddings is an incomplete package. Either they have nice equipment and no experience, or they have connections, but no reliability. I've read blog posts from some photographers who claim that "Poses are what're... special any 6 year old with a point and shoot can take the 'artistic shots'" I do beg to differ, take this photo for example
Now a lot of effort and experience went into making this image work, We shot this with our $1,000 L Macro Lens with IS turned off, set at F18 ISO 100, at 1/60 mounted to our $400 tripod that doubles as a macro tripod for such a picture. In order to make sure the image was as perfectly crisp as can be we set the timer to 10 seconds on a cable release, Manuel focused on the largest diamond with the mirror locked up, We shot in raw so we could get more creativity back with our image as well as preserve the details. Now after shooting for 5 minutes, I was unsatisfied, the natural Light was too sporadic, there were little pockets of shade and harsh light, so I had an assistant hold a diffuser above to even the light coming down, this decrease the light overall so I was forced to decrease the shutter speed, That turned out to not be an option with this macro shot, so thinking on our feat, we pulled out the pocket torch that we keep handy for such time and a second assistant held that off the table at varying angles until I found an angle that didn't cast a hot spot on the grooms band, lit the phrase "hand in hand" best and helped "flare' the diamonds on the brides band in a more natural way. In total I think we took 35 Images over a period of 15 minutes to make this one shot work. Now does the claim "any six your old with a point and shoot...." stand up for this image? Well, no, not all images can be taken, but some can, the ones that don't matter, We specialize in taking pictures of the one's that do matter.
So, are Redding Wedding Photographers Good or Bad?
Like any market you will find those who excel in what they do, it's their CHOSEN profession, not something they have decided will be done on the side. You will also find those who... well... for lack of better words, do not excel at what they do, they are unsatisfied with what it is they are doing and their clients end up unsatisfied with their work. Photographers do come in a wide spectrum of flavors, just because some one has shot a large amount of weddings doesn't necessarily guarantee images will come out with passion, and retain a unique quality as they did when the photographer first began shooting. Like wise, just because a photographer is offering services cheep services doesn't mean you are getting a bargain. If there's any rule to how good a photographer is or isn't it's looking at how they run their business. For a single wedding 4 hours, one photographer, this may seam like it covers everything, but it will just cover the ceremony, and couples shoot and the group shots, if there's any time left, reception shots, cake cutting, dances, speeches, guest mingling, etc... not included, also wedding prep shots for bride and groom non existent. Reception shots before guests arrive, or the fine fine details? just won't happen, for one photographer that's just too many places to be with not enough time.
The point is, a 4 hour wedding, which is just a half day, should never be below $1000 I have myself and 2 staff members, another full time photographer that gets paid $40/ hour and an assistant who gets paid $20/ hour plus a good rule of thumb is for every MAN hour of shooting you have 2 additional hours of post production, don't believe me? just this last wedding we shot it was only 3.5 Hours, three of us that's 10.5 Hours of shooting, I spent the next week about 26 total hours sifting through about 1500 images and cherry picking the ones that required further touch up, hint they all required some form of editing, we ended up with just under 300 superb images, I didn't wish to waste the bride and grooms time looking at images that other photographers would think were fine, that would act as satisfying "filler", but in reality lacked the depth and quality that OUR work demands. For a 3.5 Hour shoot we put in a total 35 Hours with this project, my rate is the same as my other photographer at $40/hour just in labor costs you can see why our lowest price $900 can not be any lower, so how can some one else charge less? simple, they don't understand the value of their time.
A college student who is starving for some quick and easy cash will wind up taking a 7 hour wedding for $500 and give the bride and groom 600 images on a DVD at the end of it. sounds like a pretty good trade right? Well, think about this: I see two things wrong with this. First, if the student doesn't edit the images, and just shoots away willy nilly, then you will get about 600 images, some are good many are not, the problem is that the bride and groom will need to do the sifting, also none of the images are properly cropped so a bride or groom might pass over an OK images because they failed to see the correct cropping of it. The $500 for 7 hours of work for the college kid turned out pretty good for him, that's $72/ hour plus free food, not bad, and the bride and groom will never see him again. They will take their images to Wal-Mart where the photo lab guy will give them a bunch of un-corrected snap shots that a 6 year old with a compact could have taken!
Not so good for the couple, $500 wasted, and worse yet, the wedding is a once in a life time event, hopefully... these are precious memories wasted, I can't begin to describe the number of friends and family who said that if they did it over again, above the cake, above the reception or venue, they would hire and INVEST in their photographs. So the "cheapo" photographer who gives you a CD at the end, I strongly advise getting away from them ASAP.
But what about this, it's a struggling new comer, he charges $500 for a 7 hour wedding, talks on the phone or in person for about 2 more hours and even edits the images and the couple gets a CD with about 200 images in a few days. The couple couldn't be happier they got perfect memories of their wedding and can go to Wal-Mart and get decent prints to put in their 80's style photo album, the images might come out a bit off, maybe, maybe not, but hey, what a bargain, and best of all the couple will never have to talk to the photographer again. This scenario benefits the couple. It also benefits the photographer, they get some money, for just a few hours of work, and they have really good pictures for their portfolio. Win win right? NO I still say this is a lose lose.
Let's start off with the photographer this time, sure he gets some cash but what is he charging for his time? 2 Hours before the wedding in prep, 7 hours to shoot it, next it will take at least 14 hours to sift through the images and edit them down to the ones on the CD, so total time at least 23 hours, that comes out to under $22/Hr. Still not a bad wage, but remember that is just for labor, the photographer, by giving away their pictures on a cd loses the only thing of value after a wedding, the prints, or the selling of. We charge $500 for our CD that's what we view as the worth of our prints for a wedding. We view our labor as something else. Under the model where the photographer gets paid minimally I guarantee they won't be in business long. Bills begin to pile up gear is expensive, or there's a drought of weddings for what ever reason. All of these kill more start up photography businesses in the local area.
So, back to the couple, in this scenario, over time they will find themselves lacking, the Wal-Mart pics at first looked really nice, but after a few months some one will want a larger print, on canvas, or maybe a really nice designed photo album. The photographer can't be reached, he left the are after his little start up went belly up. Or the college student is away for spring break and then has finals until the summer where he will be working part time at the coffee shop and not have enough time to deal with the couple. More than likely, the photographer didn't have the ability to get all of the images on their wish list, at first it wasn't such a big deal but after a month not having Great Aunt Nina's picture after she traveled from Minnesota is really a disappointment.
These little things, these BIG little things are what a couple pays for. The thousands of dollars to have every product the way we want them, to have every image expertly taken, to be able to have all questions answered before and after a wedding, to have options for what may arise, to be fully satisfied past any and all expectations. This is what TPS does we are the cut above, We don't know about the others, but we are Redding Wedding Photographers, we are the best priced, best serviced and the best option, give us a call.