Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wedding pictures on CD

I've written before about the different types of wedding photographers (shoot-and-burn vs. prints) and I've written about why you should get a professional wedding album Today I want to talk about why you should get a CD of all your images from a photographer who makes albums.

This topic came to mind earlier this week when a client brought me her wedding pictures. She was married up north and used a shoot-and-burn photographer. Now she wants a professional album made from the images.

In case you don't know, a shoot-and-burn photographer is one who just delivers your wedding pictures on disc and doesn't offer prints or albums.

Anyway, I've been looking at the pictures and they need a lot of work. It's not unusual for wedding pictures to need a lot of work because a typical wedding day is shot under so many changing conditions... but these pictures need more than usual. That got me to thinking about how I deliver my images on disc.

The difference between using a shoot-and-burn photographer and using someone like me is that I'm hoping to sell you prints or an album even if you have already said that you just want the disk. Knowing that I may be making an album out of the images will affect the way I work right down the line. I will work harder to get the images right in the camera and I will work harder to get the images right for your disk because I know that these are the images that I will have to pull from if you want an album and the better they are now the less work I will have to do in retouch on your album.

Also, when I am shooting the wedding I am on the lookout for pictures that will make good background images on a page or serve to tie together different parts of the wedding. These are pictures I need for good album design but if I never made albums I wouldn't shoot them.

Finally, I have to always remember that every picture I take has the potential to be printed by me with my name on it. If I didn't print my pictures then this wouldn't be a concern because my name isn't on the images that are on a disk. But knowing that I may be asked to print any image and it will be displayed with my signature is a different level of responsibility. Now, every image has the potential to be a showcase for my work and reputation. That's strong incentive to do a good job.

There are some good shoot-and-burn photographers out there, certainly. But I have never seen a top-level wedding photographer who doesn't offer prints and albums.

Booray Perry is a Tampa wedding photographer. See his work here.