The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!
One of my favorite jokes in photographic circles is the one that goes: "What's the difference between an amateur photographer and a professional? The professional throws out the bad photos before showing them to the client."
Although there may be a hint of truth in that joke I have been in this business long enough to know there is a lot more to being a professional than just that. Many photographers, who are just beginning to do professional photography, work very hard to create an air of mystique about the 'secret and mysterious' art of professional photography. Some carry it to the point of arrogance. I am including some example images here to help educate you about some photography good's & bad's to watch for.
Professional VS Guest Photo
Finished Image VS Original Raw Image
Correct Lens with Minimal Distortion VS Incorrect Lens Adds Distortion
Clear Focused Shot VS No Point of Focus Shot
Digitally Enhanced Finished File VS Original Camera File
Complete Group Photo VS Missing Person Shot
Clean Digital Sensor VS Dirty Digital Sensor
Too often a photographer will try very hard to make their photos look different than everyone elses by adding 'effects' which may or may not improve the image. Instead of talking about their photography and what they can provide for you, they talk about everything else; i.e.: their expensive equipment; names drop about their who's who list of clients; talk about the 'experience' of working with them; talk up their latest book and brag on their awards, certificates, degrees and credentials, etc. Too many new photographers don't recognize what makes a picture bad let alone know how to fix it.
Too many less experienced photographers are shooting lots of blurry pictures, not retouching, shooting from a low angle with a wide-angle lens (making people look fat), others are shooting into the sun which washes out the image or worse yet makes the people unrecognizable (if I wanted unrecognizable pictures why would I pay a professional, when I could just give a camera to a child and they will shoot them for free). Today too many inexperienced 'photographers' are taking dark reception pictures (no better than wedding guests take) and poorly composed and dark group shots (why does everyone have to be squinting in the sun? or faded against a washed-out background? and why can't I see auntie May?) The sad part? Innocent brides are paying good money for very unprofessional services! Did I miss something? When did it become OK for the photographer to wear flip-flops and shorts to a wedding?
I don't feel like I am in competition with every other photographer because I know if you put 3 photographers in a row, taking pictures of the exact same thing, my photos will look substantially different than the other two. I want you to see the reality of the type of photos I take that way you will have a realistic understanding of what you're really getting. We don't just show you the 5 'best' overly retouched pictures from our weddings on our blog, we post ALL our wedding albums online for ALL to see our finished work: www.LeatherArtAlbum.com. Too often photographers who limit what they want you to see only set you up for disappointment later because the reality of what they will actually do for you won't match the fantasy they lead you to believe.
I work with a lot of talented people, artists, photographers, art directors, etc. I know that what one person may think is a 'bad' photo my actually be the favorite of another. A very traditional, crisp & clean, 'look at the camera and smile' type person may not like my artistic grainy, slightly motion blured or ethereal photos.
The majority of my customers are more sophisticated and intelligent than the masses therefore the majority of my clients don't like just getting just the pictures that the photographer deemed as good. We post all the proofs from your event online so you can do your own editing and choose your favorites. My tastes don't always exactly match that of my clients. Nor am I going to pretend that every picture I take is perfect. (Some can be improved through cropping, re-touching and digital modifications.) Most my clients are thrilled to get the good, the bad and the ugly! This allows you to choose your favorites, the ones that you feel best portray your own personal moods, feelings, emotions and details of your unique event. The best part is we will take hundreds of pictures at your event so you will have hundreds of quality images to choose from, an amateur photographer will take hundreds of images so you can hopefully have a couple good ones!
Creative people love to be part of the creative process and I welcome that. There are other photographers who prefer to work with the masses and will herd you into exactly what everyone else got, they will tell you what photos you must use and how... not my style!