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Wedding Photos

Posted by SilverQueen (My Page) on
Wed, May 26, 04 at 16:16

As a photographer with alot of portrait experience who is just beginning to do weddings, I wonder if you all might fill me in on what shots you wish your photographer had gotten, other than the traditional stuff that was expected. What did you like, and what did you not like about your wedding photos? Any preference for color or black and white? Natural light or flash?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wedding Photos

I'd have loved the un-studio-type ones...Each time I see a b/w photo of the bride and groom a little off in the distance, framed by trees...even with their backs to the photographer, with eyes only for each other...there's something in those photos that speaks of their imtimacy...that they're together in their own world...I hope our DD is as fortunate and asks for one of those....


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RE: Wedding Photos

One thing I learned too late for my own wedding was to hold the bouquet DOWN and off to the side a bit in formal shots so it doesn't obscure the dress (and the bride!).


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RE: Wedding Photos

I had instructed my photographer that I wanted candid photos, but she kept harassing me and my DH all night long. "Look over here and smile".. Is that "candid"?! I don't think so.

I guess what I would recommend is to be very specific with the bride about what she wants or does not want. Maybe you could have portfolios that she can pick and chose ones that she likes so that you can get an idea of her style and what she has in mind. Plus, an opportunity to show off your great work! =)

I also wish that I would have taken note of the price of getting copies made of our photos. They were so expensive that we couldn't afford to buy prints for family. =(


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RE: Wedding Photos

My preferences - black and white, natural light and candid shots.

Andrea :o)

PS - Hi Jesyka! :o)


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RE: Wedding Photos

Thanks. You've confirmed my suspicions. Black and white is very popular. Natural light is better than flash. And candids are more interesting than posed, although I plan to do both candids and formals. Also, I plan to make my money on shooting, and allow the couple full access to the pictures, even providing CD's of the pictures for their friends and relatives so they can print them from their computer or take it to a lab. I can't understand photographers who hold their own work for ransom. The more pictures you let people have, the more free advertising you get.

Silver Queen


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RE: Wedding Photos

Hurray for Silver Queen...

with your attitude about letting the Bride & Groom have full "ownership" of the pictures -- and even providing them with the digital copies -- you will have no problems keeping fully booked!


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RE: Wedding Photos

good for you, SQ. I hate when photogs don't give up their proofs.

gellchom..."One thing I learned too late for my own wedding was to hold the bouquet DOWN and off to the side a bit in formal shots so it doesn't obscure the dress (and the bride!)."
>>ME TOO! I get so mad at myself whenever I look at the pictures!


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RE: Wedding Photos

We totally befuddled our photographer. We didn't want all those cliche photos (leaving the limo, hands clasping each other, etc.) We didn't smash cake, toss bouquets, etc. Noticed she was trying to use a "soft filter" and made her remove it. Finally banished her at the reception to another room and told her to do family shots of our guests. We're glad to have a few formals but were happy to get her out of our hair on our special day.


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We had a fantastic photographer! We're going to see the proofs on Monday but I have to say he was great while taking the pictures! Not intrusive AT ALL and yet he was snapping quite a lot of photos. The ONLY time he told my husband and I what to do for 'formal' shots was at the church and for the cake cutting. Other than that he took a lot of candid shots and his flash didn't bother anyone.

He was so good, our priest let him take pics in the church during the ceremony. I'll have to let you know how the pics turn out but I've seen his work so I am pretty sure they're going to be good!

I really liked that he wasn't 'in your face' about his work yet he was always there taking pictures.


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RE: Wedding Photos

The last wedding attended, the bride and groom stopped off near a scenic part of the lakefront on their way to the reception (different place than the ceremony) for some pictures. Those were by far some of the best photos taken, in my opinion.

The photographer had 2 cameras he used - one with color film and one with black and white. For most of the posed pictures, he took one with both kinds of film.

~Jordyn


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I took gellchom's tip about holding the bouquet down and to the side and it worked GREAT! And then I never even said thanks - what's wrong with me?! THANK YOU GELLCHOM!

I loved my photographer, and his wife who was his assistant, and barely even noticed their presence when we were taking formal pictures, much less at the reception!

The candid pictures are much better because so many people seem to be so uncomfortable posing for pictures. In all the different family pictures, there is at least one person staring straight ahead with this uncomfortable, fake grimace-looking smile pasted on... then there are later pictures of the same person looking gorgeous and relaxed when they didn't realize their picture was being taken.


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RE: Wedding Photos

Got our proofs this weekend and some of my FAVORITES are of the bridal party on my front lawn and the slightly less formal ones in the church. But my husband adores several of the studio shots of me alone, so I think it was all worth it!

Our photographer had my husband (who is much taller than I am) sit on a pew and I leaned into him with one hand over his shoulder. It came out really nicely as did the closeups of us side by side, him sitting me standing. Often the second shot he took of a 'pose' was better, usually as we were laughing at something by then and much less 'rigid'. :)


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RE: Wedding Photos

We loved the B&W (sepia, actually) photos we got - BUT, I've seen some that are horribly done. The difference seems to be that our photographer took the time to work with the poses and lighting to make a picture that was *meant* to be B&W - I've seen many where the photog just snapped the same shot he'd take in color, which doesn't always translate to a good B&W photo.

I do wish we'd had more variety in our photographs. We had several different lovely photos of the two of us, and a couple of nice ones outdoors with our attendants, but overall we have way too many of the "lineup" shots. When I look through our album, I wish we'd taken more individual photos (i.e., photos of me with each of my bridesmaids individually in addition to a photo of all of us) and that we'd have done some of the group shots in less formal ways. My favorite photos of the attendants aren't the ones where they're all lined up in front of the altar - they're the ones outside, where I'm surrounded by groomsmen while I'm sitting on the best man's lap, and DH is surrounded by bridesmaids while the matron of honor sits on his lap. Because of the posing, we got much more natural smiles in these photos, and we still captured each person and the group.

And I agree that your wide-open policies will help you in the long run. And honestly, with all the scanning technology these days, I can't see how photographers expect to keep things secret! I'll admit I've scanned most of my wedding album so I can have the photos online or make copies. For the prices he charged, and the exorbitant prices he wants for reprints, I certainly don't feel guilty scanning something myself so I can share it with friends online.

Here is a link that might be useful: My favorite of our B&W/sepia photos


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My photographer set up shots of me with each bridesmaid alone and with two 'helping' to arrange my hat and dress at the house. I never thought about it while we were doing it but now, it's really nice to have those photos!

Ours doesn't mind us putting them online for family etc but he keeps the negs because he used to sell them and people got copies made cheaply then complained about the 'poor quality' of his pictures when it was the developing/printing that was bad. I can't say as I blame him, because he does fantastic work and his reputation is on the line if people get bad pics and complain to friends/neighbors etc.

Our photographer got lots of varied shots and even took some candids at the reception that he had to know we wouldn't want in our album but would like just for the fun aspect or the fact they were family, like a shot of one guest dancing with her son or my stepsister and her family. We may buy copies for them, but not put them in the album. He really captured the whole day in non-intrusive way and I liked that!


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I wish that my photographer had taken more candids. She took a lot of photos, and we loved her work, but there are some shots that I have loved from other people's weddings that I wish we had. I also like detail shots - I have seen shots of a grandmother's hands, a close up of the embroidery/bead work of the dress, the side view of the groom's face right before the ceremony. I like photos that capture a feeling and moment. I also like action shots - dancing, kids running, the wind blowing the bride's veil.

I also like candids balanced with a good number of the traditional shots - but the traditional shots taken in a less tradional way - Maybe the wedding party jumping, or laughing. I like it when photos don't look so stiff.


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My daughter's wedding photographer used dual format film, so the prints could be developed in B&W or color. Years from now if we decide to get a B&W print of one that was originally printed in color, that can be done. Or family members can decide for themselves whixh kind they want.


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RE: Wedding Photos

My wedding photographer pet peeves:

(1) overuse of soft-focus or diffusion filters. Makes the pictures look like something out of a softcore porn shoot. Not sure why some photographers seem to think it looks good to make everyone look fuzzy.
(2) overintrusive photographers who are running around the whole time trying to get the perfect angle. Guests want to feel like they're at a wedding ceremony, not a movie set.

I would have thought most wedding photographers had gone digital by now. Do most still shoot on film?

Liltingbelle, that's a great B&W shot; brilliant use of sidelighting. As is often the case with interesting photos it breaks most of the rules they teach photographers about, like keeping the background in a contrasting shade from the subjects, or not having the most prominent background feature bisect your head.


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Quote: >> And I agree that your wide-open policies will help you in the long run. And honestly, with all the scanning technology these days, I can't see how photographers expect to keep things secret! I'll admit I've scanned most of my wedding album so I can have the photos online or make copies. For the prices he charged, and the exorbitant prices he wants for reprints, I certainly don't feel guilty scanning something myself so I can share it with friends online. << /quote

As the wife of a photographer, let me give you my view on this. ;)This might sound blunt but I'm not trying to be arguementative, just telling you how it is on the other side.

You should feel guilty. That's like walking into Walmart, buying a toaster and walking out with 5, or however many you choose. Sure that image is *you* but it you wouldn't have that nice sharp image without the photographer.

People know how much the photographer is going to charge when they hire him. So using the excuse of him being outrageously expensive doesn't give anyone the right to copy his images, (which are copyrighted the second he clicks the camera.)

Shooting a wedding is a tricky business, you are darned if you do and darned if you don't. I'll use this quote as an example:

>>2) overintrusive photographers who are running around the whole time trying to get the perfect angle. Guests want to feel like they're at a wedding ceremony, not a movie set<<

I see your point, sort of. But the photographer is being paid to take pictures OF the wedding. There is no replay here. If he misses a shot, then he is blasted, if he steps in front of aunt Mable during the ceremony, he's blasted too. There is no winning here. lol

Photography is a talent as well as a job. And last time I checked, not many people work for free. ;)Next time I see someone copying my husbands images, I'll just go into their work and help myself to some of their wares.

For what it's worth, I hope that helps the original poster SilverQueen, something to realize... Your image is only as good as the printer too. I know of a photographer who gives clients full access to their images to copy as they may, and they get some washed out version on someone's home printer as advertisement. A professional printing lab is the best way to distribute your work.

Good luck with your future! Photography is a very satisfying art and the learning is never ending! :)


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RE: Wedding Photos

While Tess A makes valid points, I really hope you don't change your mind Silverqueen on letting the couple keep the pictures in the end...even if it's just the negatives. Me (and anyone else I know) would NOT hire a photographer that didn't give us the negatives in the end.

As for pictures, I think the theme is variety, black and white and colour, posed and candid. But when you're doing the formal shots pay attention to the bridal party. Last year I was MOH at my best friends wedding, DF was a groomsman. We were walking from one shot to the next and DF and I were falling behind to steal a moment together, the photographer noticed this and snapped us walking hand in hand (candid). It's the brides favorite picture that doesn't have her in it.

And Gellchom...when I was 16 I thought I was going to marry my boyfriend and I went trying on wedding dresses and the sales lady told me about holding the bouquet down low and I have remembered it ever since. Being in and out of wedding stores for over a year and a half now I still have yet to hear that advice again. My friends photographer never suggested that she lower her bouquet and in every picture her flowers block the beadwork on her $1000 dress. And out of 4 BMs I was the only one that always held my bouquet down.


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>>While Tess A makes valid points, I really hope you don't change your mind Silverqueen on letting the couple keep the pictures in the end...even if it's just the negatives. Me (and anyone else I know) would NOT hire a photographer that didn't give us the negatives in the end.<<

That's probably easier to say for you because you aren't a photographer. lol Personal choice I suppose. My husband *has* given over a few pictures in his career, but not many. And certainly not anything that might be deemed a *money shot*

Suppose the bride sends the picture into a Bridal Magazine, it becomes *famous*, it ends up on several magazine ads and internet banners...and they make a a profitable income on someones else's image. This is one reason you won't see too many photographers giving up the copyright to their picture. It's their creation, you just happen to be in it and paid for a copy of it. ;)

Photography is a quirky business, you have to protect yourself at the risk of offending others. It's one of those businesses where you can do everything right all day long, take 300 amazing shots and one shot they dislike is the one they tell everyone about.

A suggestion for the beadwork on the dress. This would be why you take bridal shots before the wedding day, if you want to see the detail in a dress. A group shot or even a formal couple's shot the day of the wedding isn't going to show much detail anyway with a white dress in a wedding hall, especially next to the grooms black tuxedo.

Perhaps when you give the photographer the shoot list, you leave a sidenote that you'd like some detailed shots of the dress if bridals weren't taken. Studio shots are best for this anyway, natural sunlight turns a white dress into a big shiny beacon and indoor fill flash will remove the detail too.

As I said above, we always ask the couple for a shoot-list before the big day telling them to write down everything they can think of they want shot that day because we can't read minds. Each person has their own personal preferences and each wedding is unique. Being irked with the photographer that they didn't suggest you hold your bouquet down, is just as much your fault as theirs. Shootlist, shootlist, shootlist! I can't stress that one enough. :)

Hope that helps. :)


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Petpeeves of my "photographer", and I use that term loosely.

-Would not contact me prior to the wedding. Had no idea if he was coming or not.

-Did not show up until we were plannning to walk down the aisle. Even though he knew our start time!

-Did not know the definition of the word "close-up". Didn't use his zoom lens at all. All of our photos are full length, not even any half length ones!

-Used some stupid "posed" shots that just leave you scratching your head wondering what he was trying to capture.

-When leaving the church, we had bubbles blown at us. He was so far away, and again not using his zoom capabilities, so you can't tell there are any bubbles.

-He was recommended by a co-worker, and does wedding photos for fun. Sure wish I knew that my 11 year old nephew could get better shots than him!

-told the reception wait staff that he needed food "to go", they ended up loading a BOX of food for him!

Penny


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"Suppose the bride sends the picture into a Bridal Magazine, it becomes *famous*, it ends up on several magazine ads and internet banners...and they make a a profitable income on someones else's image. This is one reason you won't see too many photographers giving up the copyright to their picture. It's their creation, you just happen to be in it and paid for a copy of it. ;) "

So what stops people from sending in a print from a scan of a wedding photo? I've never heard of someone profiting from something like that.

There are 2 flaws in your logic:
1. Most people, if indeed there are people out there who would send a wedding photo to a magazine, would credit the photographer; and
2. The magazine would refuse to print a photo if they did not have permission from the appropriate people. Hello, lawsuit?

The reason most photographers don't give up the rights to their pictures is because they know they can make extra money on the enlargements and reprints and by selling back the negatives to the couple at a premium. My photographer wanted $700 for them.

Just my opinion.

Andrea :o)


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RE: Wedding Photos

TessA, I think you're right, photography is a quirky business. The photographer is darned if he does and darned if he doesn't. I was the maid of honour at the wedding and had told the bride about a shoot list, but she didn't make one up. I certainly wasn't irked about him not telling her about the bouquet, I was just a little surprised that he didn't point it out to her (because I agree that it is an art) and in all the pictures her bouquet is right up in front of her chest.

Also, thank you for the advice about the bridal shots before the wedding...I think I'll do that.

Penny, what a stressful situation. Lucky for you that your family and friends took some good pictures.


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>> There are 2 flaws in your logic:
1. Most people, if indeed there are people out there who would send a wedding photo to a magazine, would credit the photographer; and <<

Highly doubtful.

>>2. The magazine would refuse to print a photo if they did not have permission from the appropriate people. Hello, lawsuit? <<

Who are the appropriate people if the photographer gave away copyrights? I used this as an example because it happened recently. I'll see if I can dig up the facts.

If you don't want to pay $700 for professional negatives, don't. That's why Aunt Sally was there taking fuzzy pictures with her instamatic, those are free. ;)

We can debate about this one forever. I'll just agree to disagree about turning over copyrighted works. I don't think many people would give away something with some value to it, that they created.


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At the same time, the photographer is performing a service. That's why they're getting paid. If the bride wasn't in the photograph, there wouldn't be "something that they had created".

So when a photographer sells or gives away the negatives, does that end the copyright argument? Just because the couple is in possession of the negatives means the photographer is no longer credited with the work? I'm confused.

Andrea :o)


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Honestly I don't know all the fine details of copyrighted stuff because we've never ran across the situation of giving wedding images outright to people. I just gave the magazine ad scenerio as a quick example. It was probably a poor one. :)

I guess the point I was trying to make is, once a photographer sells his original image, it might be hard to prove it's his. I could be wrong there too. I'll have to check into it.


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my favorite shot of my db & dsil is of her with dress in hand,veil trailing oin the brezze faace turned back to look at my brother who is on bended knee reaching for his wallet she holds in her other hand! it is truely priceless! and also my granddaughter Elli was the flower girl in a wedding this fall and my daughter had the idea ( thank goodness she and others had ideas,photographer was nice but not very creative) to instead of having flower girl standing beside bride to stand just a head of her a bit and hold hands an dlook up at the bride and bride looks down at her,what a wonderfully sweet shot and you can almost see Elli's curls bouncing as she and the bride exchange a giggle! Elli turned out to be an excellent flower girl because after she had unloaded all the flowers in a zig zag down the aisle,when they came back around for pictures in the chaple she procedded in picking up all the rose petals with the help of her best bud the ring bearer...they were her's and she wanted ot save them...they are now a sachet in her room with rose oil added!


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RE: Wedding Photos

Silver Queen: I don't know what made me look at this forum; my daughter's wedding was a year ago.

Anyway, your question is a good one. My own brother was a wedding photographer (very good, published, etc.), but he refused to "work" his niece's wedding. The photographer who did the job forgot to take a picture of my husband, our daughter, and me! Imagine that! My brother later said that he gave all his clients a list of standard shots which they could choose, or not. This would at least ensure that nothing the families wanted was missing. It sounds like a good idea to me. If we had done that, one of the most important pictures (to us)would have been ours.


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As a wedding photographer myself, I have to agree with Tess. I understand the initial desire to have the digital negatives or the film negatives to make your own prints. However, there are some thing you need to understand before doing this.

1. No one works for free. If a photog is giving away a CD of images, you can be absolutely sure that you are paying for them someplace else, like in the upfront fees. Wedding photography is a business, like the limo service, the cake, the DJ service. It's all calculated and any wedding photog who's making a living won't be giving away his/her work for free.

2. Some of the photographer's costs to take into consideration; $15000 equipment taken to the wedding. $3000 editing machine at home, equipment and liability insurance. HOURS and HOURs of processing your photos AFTER a 10hr day of shooting. ...many more hours processing print orders and albums. AND equipment takes a TON of abuse at a wedding This very expensive gear can need replacing upgrading every 18 months or less!!!

3. Hours before wedding charging LOTS of battery power, cleaning equipment, etc.

4. Web space and site fees (can be very expensive).

...poing being; good photographers are not making as much as you think they are when you first see their prices. Many are just scraping by.

If a couple really want the digital negatives to their wedding, I'm certainly willing to build that into my pricing and give it to them. It saves me a lot of time later to do it this way and I have the money upfront! ...BONUS!

BUT, here's the kicker for me. A good print is only as good as the lab printing it. My equipment is all calibrated to match my printer. What is seen on my monitor is what the final prints WILL look like. If you take a CD of my images to walmart and get prints made, I can personally guarantee that they will not match colors, aspect ratios, etc. You aren't going to get a professional print. Then a couple takes those washed out, odd-cropped prints home and show their friends/family and there's my advertising. ...not professional. This isn't the market I want to cater to. Additionally, when digital negatives come out of my camera, they have received no processing. They are flat, unsaturated, unsharp, etc. I choose to do ALL of this processing in post, as to provide the highest quality final image. What you are paying for to have me shoot your wedding day is my time and talent as a photographer. When you order prints from me, I build into that cost, the extensive time it takes me to post-process all those images, to calibrate my equipment regularly to match my pro labs printers, to resize your prints for the sizes/ratios you order. In the end, this is how you end up with a killer product...not a kiosk-printer's rendition of my work. So, if I'm going to give away a CD of negatives, they are going to be just that...the negatives, having received none of this processing. In short, the prints from this CD are not going to look the way you want them to.

I think, as a Bride/Groom, what you really need to do is decide what your ultimate goal is. Do you want cheap prints that you can pass around at will and do what you want with? OR do you want a professional, high-quality collection of memories from your most-important day? Ultimately, the answer to that question should help guide you to the right photographer.

Talk to your photographer before hand. UNDERSTAND what you're getting, what your not getting and why. I spend hours with my potential clients doing this. If a B&G are not a match for what I offer, I have no problem being upfront about this and it always works out best for both parties in the end. Ask questions and get answers. If you don't like the answers move on to another photographer...BUT realize that it doesn't do anyone any good to complain about prices, not getting certain shots, not getting a certain style, etc... after the wedding. You should be absolutely confident in these things before putting down your deposit.

Some other questions to ask yourself when considing asking a photographer to give away his/her work:

-Will you ask the pastry chef to give you the top tier of cake for free?

-Will you ask the limo driver to give you the last 1/4 of the trip for free?

-Will you ask the reception venue to give you the back 20 tables/plates for free?

-Will you ask the bar to give away spirits when you only want to pay for free beer?

-Will you ask for 25% off of the dress or 3 of the tuxes for free?

Wedding photographers are professionals too. They deserve to be paid for their work. Like Tess said, if professional images are not worth paying for to you, then you always have uncle Bob's and aunt Suzie's point-n-shoot images.

A good wedding photographer WILL work with you and get you a wedding package that you love and that they can provide and still feed the family. I know I will.

What I won't do, is give away my work or pretend to be able to provide something that I really can't or won't. Honesty is the BEST choice...always.

-daniel


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