How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer #3 – What is the ‘Art of Photography’?

Picking a wedding photographer, wedding videographer, or wedding cinematographer is simple, right?

 

You go to a bridal show, find one with the right package price and a great deal, a pretty booth with pretty pictures (or movies) and sign on the dotted line. You get to go home happy you saved a lot of money and check wedding photographywedding videography, or wedding cinematography off the wedding planning list until you end up following up for the free engagement session or maybe a couple of weeks before your wedding to make sure you’re on the same page.

But that’s not how it’s supposed to be!

It’s supposed to be so much better than that! (Can you tell we are passionate about this?!) In this blog series, we will share... (click for info about the series)

In this blog series, we will share exactly what to look for, how much to pay, what to ask, and essentially how to go through the process of picking a wedding photographer / videographer / cinematographer. First, it’s important to go over some important characteristics and why they’re important!

Don’t assume all wedding photographerswedding videographers, or wedding cinematographers are the same!
Knoxville-Wedding-Photographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Videographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Cinematographer_Worlds-Fair-Park_Downtown-Knoxville

The artistic images are often the most powerful and memorable wedding photographs.

What you are actually paying for could be much different from your expectations (especially after reading this series). Here are eight (potentially surprising) secrets about the field of wedding photo/video/cinema:

  1. Not all of us are professionals.
  2. Not all of us do this as our full-time job.
  3. Not all of us care about the art of photography.
  4. Not all of us keep up with trends and the market.
  5. Not all of us are active members of professional associations.
  6. Not all of us design the experience our clients have.
  7. Not all of us educate our clients on the benefits (and drawbacks) of different media for images.
  8. Not all of us share our success by giving back to those in need.

We will cover why each one of these characteristics is relevant to you with different posts—so you don’t have to take it all in at once!

What is the ‘art of photography’ and why does it matter?
Knoxville-Wedding-Photographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Videographer_Knox-Wedding-Creative_How-to-Choose-a-Wedding-Photographer-or-videographer_photographic-art

Impact is the number one element of a merit image for a reason—it is what moves us most! Storytelling is also important for context…like this father and daughter savoring the last moments of their dance before so much changes for both of them in life.

Breathtaking images or films aren’t accidents—they are crafted by artists who have studied and practiced (and studied and practiced) using a camera to paint a captivating story worth sharing and talking about.

Professional Photographers of America has a list of “12 Elements of a Merit Image” which attempt to identify common characteristics of uncommonly great photographic art (and can be applied to cinema as well):

  1. Impact (laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion)
  2. Technical Excellence (retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color)
  3. Creativity (original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination)
  4. Style
  5. Composition
  6. Presentation
  7. Color Balance
  8. Center of Interest
  9. Lighting (dimension, shape, and roundness)
  10. Subject Matter
  11. Technique (printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more)
  12. Story Telling (ability to evoke imagination)
What this means for you:
Knoxville-Wedding-Photographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Videographer_Knox-Wedding-Creative_How-to-Choose-a-Wedding-Photographer-or-videographer_photographic-art

Composition is an artistic tool that can be used creatively—like with the negative space in this image of photographic art.

Art is subjective, so each viewer will have their own judgement to make—but professional wedding photographers / videographers / cinematographers who are continuously seeking artistic refinement in their skills and further education will consistently produce better and more beautiful images than those who rest on their laurels.

These 12 elements should be present in the current work of your prospective wedding photographers / videographers / cinematographers, and you should ask them about how they seek to capture or use each in their art.

This point leads to next week’s post on “Why Professional Associations Matter”…so stay tuned for more!

Wedding Tips Series

Part 1: Where You Get Ready Matters
Part 2: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 1 (Why Hire a Professional?)
Part 3: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 2 (Why Does Full-Time Matter?)
Part 4: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 3 (What is the ‘Art of Photography’?)
Part 5: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 4 (Why Professional Associations Matter)

Stay tuned for more great tips by getting social with us!

P.S.: Want to customize your wedding photography or cinematography experience?
Click to setup a free consultation with us and we’ll start designing your wedding ASAP!

Do you have any additional advice or suggestions for other brides about the artistic value of your wedding photos or movies? Share them in the comments below!

 

Wedding Tips: How to Pick a Wedding Videographer or Photographer #2 – Why Does Full-Time Matter?

Picking a wedding photographer, wedding videographer, or wedding cinematographer is simple, right?

 

You go to a bridal show, find one with the right package price and a great deal, a pretty booth with pretty pictures (or movies) and sign on the dotted line. You get to go home happy you saved a lot of money and check wedding photographywedding videography, or wedding cinematography off the wedding planning list until you end up following up for the free engagement session or maybe a couple of weeks before your wedding to make sure you’re on the same page.

But that’s not how it’s supposed to be!

It’s supposed to be so much better than that! (Can you tell we are passionate about this?!) In this blog series, we will share... (click for info about the series)

In this blog series, we will share exactly what to look for, how much to pay, what to ask, and essentially how to go through the process of picking a wedding photographer / videographer / cinematographer. First, it’s important to go over some important characteristics and why they’re important!

Don’t assume all wedding photographerswedding videographers, or wedding cinematographers are the same!
Knoxville-Wedding-Photographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Videographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Cinematographer_Worlds-Fair-Park_Downtown-Knoxville

The artistic images are often the most powerful and memorable wedding photographs.

What you are actually paying for could be much different from your expectations (especially after reading this series). Here are eight (potentially surprising) secrets about the field of wedding photo/video/cinema:

  1. Not all of us are professionals.
  2. Not all of us do this as our full-time job.
  3. Not all of us care about the art of photography.
  4. Not all of us keep up with trends and the market.
  5. Not all of us are active members of professional associations.
  6. Not all of us design the experience our clients have.
  7. Not all of us educate our clients on the benefits (and drawbacks) of different media for images.
  8. Not all of us share our success by giving back to those in need.

We will cover why each one of these characteristics is relevant to you with different posts—so you don’t have to take it all in at once!

What does ‘full-time’ mean?

A Full-Time Professional Wedding Videographer / Cinematographer / Photographer is basically a professional who does this as their only (or primary) source of income. 

  1. Intangibly, it means the wedding photographers / videographers / cinematographers are focused on one field of expertise for their career.
  2. Practically, it means the wedding photographers / videographers / cinematographers have the ability and flexibility to serve clients (you) without distractions, work commitments, or other inconveniences.
What this means for you:
 Knoxville-Wedding-Photographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Videographer_Knox-Wedding-Creative

This couple chose to have a destination wedding in Aspen, Colorado. As a full-time wedding videography / photography business, we were able to travel to capture their wedding at their convenience (and with no scheduling hassles to them whatsoever)!

Most “professional” photographers / videographers / cinematographers (even though they are playing by the rules) don’t actually do this for their full-time job. This may seem inconsequential to you at first, but it’s actually a big deal.

Wedding photographers / videographers / cinematographers that don’t work full time will (in most cases) spend a minimum of 2,000 hours a year (40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year) focused on work that doesn’t relate to wedding photography / videography / cinematography. What can you do with 2,000 hours a year? Full-time wedding photographers / videographers / cinematographers spend it honing their craft and refining their business. Which would you prefer for your once-in-a-lifetime moment?

Non full-timers have limited availability to begin with, as their schedules are controlled first-and-foremost by their full-time employer. Full-time photographers / videographers / cinematographers are their own employers (or work closely with their employer) and can be flexible to your convenience. With part-timers or weekenders, you’ll be competing with their family, friends, and social lives for the remaining 3-4 hours of free time (usually less) per day they (might) have to devote to serving you.

The full-timer values your relationship so much more. Full-timers get up in the mornings and work to exceed your expectations because you are the one investing in them and putting food on their tables. Their financial loyalties aren’t divided, and because of that they invest their time and energy to create something that is worth what you have paid—not only to make sure you are happy this once, but also that you would come back again one day when you have photo / video / cinema needs in the future. All because your experience was so good.

Turnaround time is a big distinction as well—full-timers commit 10-12 hours (usually more) each day to their work, and your wedding or session is getting processed sooner and faster than someone who can only commit to a few hours every few days. It takes regular skill to process and edit a full wedding, and you’ll probably be disappointed on how long you must wait if you don’t hire a full-timer.

Wedding Tips Series

Part 1: Where You Get Ready Matters
Part 2: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 1 (Why Hire a Professional?)
Part 3: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 2 (Why Does Full-Time Matter?)
Part 4: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 3 (What is the ‘Art of Photography’?)
Part 5: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 4 (Why Professional Associations Matter)

Stay tuned for more great tips by getting social with us!

P.S.: Want to customize your wedding photography or cinematography experience?
Click to setup a free consultation with us and we’ll start designing your wedding ASAP!

Do you have any additional advice or suggestions for other brides about why to hire a full-time professional? Share them in the comments below!

 

Wedding Tips: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 1 (Why Hire a Professional?)

Picking a wedding photographer, wedding videographer, or wedding cinematographer is simple, right?

You go to a bridal show, find one with the right package price and a great deal, a pretty booth with pretty pictures (or movies) and sign on the dotted line. You get to go home happy you saved a lot of money and check wedding photographywedding videography, or wedding cinematography off the wedding planning list until you end up following up for the free engagement session or maybe a couple of weeks before your wedding to make sure you’re on the same page.

But that’s not how it’s supposed to be!

Knoxville-Wedding-Photographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Videographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Cinematographer_Maple-Grove-InnIt’s supposed to be so much better than that! (Can you tell we are passionate about this?!)

In this blog series, we will share exactly what to look for, how much to pay, what to ask, and essentially how to go through the process of picking a wedding photographer / videographer / cinematographer. First, it’s important to go over some important characteristics and why they’re important!

Don’t assume all wedding photographerswedding videographers, or wedding cinematographers are the same!
Knoxville-Wedding-Photographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Videographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Cinematographer_Worlds-Fair-Park_Downtown-Knoxville

The artistic images are often the most powerful and memorable wedding photographs.

What you are actually paying for could be much different from your expectations (especially after reading this series). Here are eight (potentially surprising) secrets about the field of wedding photo/video/cinema:

  1. Not all of us are professionals.
  2. Not all of us do this as our full-time job.
  3. Not all of us care about the art of photography.
  4. Not all of us keep up with trends and the market.
  5. Not all of us are active members of professional associations.
  6. Not all of us design the experience our clients have.
  7. Not all of us educate our clients on the benefits (and drawbacks) of different media for images.
  8. Not all of us share our success by giving back to those in need.

We will cover why each one of these characteristics is relevant to you with different posts—so you don’t have to take it all in at once!

What does ‘professional’ mean?

Professional basically means two things: 

  1. Intangibly, it means the wedding photographers / videographers / cinematographers have experience and expertise with their field of services and products.
  2. Legally, it means the wedding photographers / videographers / cinematographers have a business license and tax registrations to offer the goods and services you’re paying for. 
What this means for you:
Knoxville-Wedding-Photographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Videographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Cinematographer_The-Capitol-Theatre-Maryville-Tennessee

This photograph was taken in an area with a lot of unappealing brick architecture, but we found an angle that makes the couple look like they are in a beautiful, lush garden.

Professionals know how to respond to less than ideal situations, which your Uncle Sal or cousin won’t be able to handle. Poor conditions, malfunctioning equipment, (that one thing you hope won’t go wrong but probably will), and more can adversely affect an amateur with a camera, not to mention they haven’t come close to mastering their equipment and couldn’t respond to changing conditions with remarkable speed. Professionals alleviate the headaches and work around the problems as if everything was heavenly—because of their experience and expertise.

Professionals will charge you tax on the items they sell that are taxable (even if you pay cash). This is not a bad thing (though it always stinks to pay sales tax). It means they are a responsible businesse and contributing to the growth of our local and state community.

Professionals will have insurance for their equipment (if something bad happens to their equipment), for liability (if something bad happens to someone while they are working), and for indemnity (if something bad happens during a shoot that can’t be fixed—like a wedding).

Professionals are legally operating small businesses who play by the rules and think far enough ahead to plan for a bad day. You want to hire someone for your wedding who thinks ahead and prepares for all contingencies. (You would be surprised at the number of self-proclaimed “professional” photographers / videographers / cinematographers who have acquired none of these things—so be careful!)

Wedding Tips Series

Part 1: Where You Get Ready Matters
Part 2: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 1 (Why Hire a Professional?)
Part 3: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 2 (Why Does Full-Time Matter?)
Part 4: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 3 (What is the ‘Art of Photography’?)
Part 5: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 4 (Why Professional Associations Matter)

Stay tuned for more great tips by getting social with us!

P.S.: Want to customize your wedding photography or cinematography experience?
Click to setup a free consultation with us and we’ll start designing your wedding ASAP!

Do you have any additional advice or suggestions for other brides about why to hire a professional? Share them in the comments below!