Alias: 'Disco Dude'

Uncompromised Quality Photography
By Photographer Dan Harris

A home-studio photography business in Jacksonville, FL
1124 Riviera St.  Jacksonville, FL  32207 (904) 398-7668

OH NO Uncle Bill! Amateur Photographer! (or Aunt 'Digital' Debbie)

By Jacksonville Photographer Dan Harris

(Relatively Speaking)

As you prepare for that magic day beware of your distant relative (co-worker, neighbor, church associate, etc.) that may try to convince you they can play "wedding photographer for a day." Trusting your memories to the inexperienced often doesn't save anything but usually comes with a very high price.

We all have a relative (co-worker, neighbor, church associate, etc.) that knows something about photography and when they offer to provide you with free or discounted photographic services on your wedding day it's almost 'too good to be true'! With today's newfangled technological breakthroughs and digital cameras that are advertised as being able to 'do-it-all' it's easy to forget that the camera doesn't make the photographer.

I worked with a bride whose sister had just bought a new 'nearly' professional camera with 'all the bells and whistles' and was trying to convince her not to hire a 'professional' photographer because she could save her thousands of dollars. The bride had some high expectations and knew what she wanted at her once-in-a-lifetime wedding. Although her sister was a good photographer, she was inexperienced in wedding work. The bride knew that even if everything went right, her sister would have a difficult time meeting her photographic expectations and this could ultimately cause a major problem in their relationship. So the bride stuck to her guns and hired me as her wedding photographer.

The bride explained the situation to me and I agreed to be accommodating. I had the pleasure of having an 'unofficial' assistant that day almost always within arms reach. She showed me her new camera and it was a very nice one. Of course I knew my photographs would be a little different than hers ;-) ~Little did I know.~ She took 600 images that day. A good time was had by all! Three days later she called to ask about the wedding proofs that were going to be online and some questions about ordering, etc. Then told me her sad story about how none of her photos came out because she didn't quite understand the new camera and something was set wrong. Everyone was very glad they had hired me as their backup!

If the photography is important to you and you want it done right, I would thank my relative (co-worker, neighbor, church associate, etc.) for their very generous offer but explain that you really don't want them to be under that kind of pressure on your wedding day. Tell them you would rather have them enjoy the day with you and give a gift that will be much less stressful.

I take over 250,000 photos per year on the best, top-of-the-line equipment and have been extensively trained in my craft. What experience, equipment and expertise does 'Uncle Bill' have? If you can't see a difference in a professionals wedding photography and the photography of your relative you are either looking at work from a poor 'professional' or you need to have your relative call me about a job! We don't use just one camera and one flash, but up to 7 cameras, 16 lens and 8 light units, this combined with our artistic eye, experience and know how just begin to make our work professional. Add to that our personality, philosophy, talent and ability and you have a uniquely incomparable combination.

Along similar lines I hear people say prior to the wedding, "we will get lots of candids at the reception because we are putting out the little box cameras on the tables." After the wedding I ask them how those photos turned out and most say they spent a lot of money and were very disappointed in the results. (great photos of grandmas finger across the lens) Think for a minute at the last wedding you attended ...who picked up those cameras and took photos? Children, grandma, pranksters, etc.

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Dan Harris PhotoArt, LLC (904) 398-7668
1124 Riviera Street Jacksonville FL 32207