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Old Mar 2, 2005, 3:20 PM   #1
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Hello everyone, I am engaged to be married Sept. 3 and my fiance and I have looked at about 20 different photographer websites and met with about 6 of them. We pretty much like everything but one thing about each one. This one thing varies with the photographer.

We've mostly narrowed it down to two (for now). The first is a couple, both take the pictures, and they've been doing it for years. Their price is higher, reprint prices pretty high, and we would not get the disc until one year following the wedding.
http://www.photosbyburden.com/

The second is a couple, but just the husband takes the pictures. He has been doing photography for 5 years, but has never done a wedding professionally. However, he's shot two wedding for friends where there was a professional hired, so keep that in mind if you look at his pictures (talent isn't always looking at him). They are much cheaper, reprints are a non issue (but prices are lower), and we would get the disc immediately (which we reaaaally want).
http://www.putmanphotography.com/

Both cases we will get a "coffee table" album which includes touching up in photoshop. We are very comfortable with both couples as people, and they are both very willing to do what we want rather than whatever is "traditional". Both have 6 MP Digital SLR's (My fiance may want a 20x30, is this feasible at even decent quality?). Both have backups, both shoot digital...Basically one group is more experienced but the other has more of what we want (mainly the disc and pricing).

I'm not sure if I've given enough of my "wants" for you to analyze who would be a better pick for me, but for starters what are your thoughts on both of these? Also, any other things that I should be aware of when picking a photographer? We're getting married in Grand Rapids, MI so if anyone knows someone very good around there that would also be MUCH appreciated!

Thanks,

Greg
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Old Mar 2, 2005, 4:07 PM   #2
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Well, I think it comes down to simple economics -- Are you willing to take a 10% chance that the "new pro" won't get everything you want or that the pictures will come out bad? 20%? 25%? What is your honest belief about his chances of getting it right his first time? 75%? 80%? 90%? And is his price low enough to take into account your belief of his percentage of failure?

Here's a cute little link about shooting wedding photos... it really puts things into perspective. http://www.koskiphotography.com/amateur.html. Do you think your "new pro" has considered all of the issues raised in the article?

It already sounds like he's below market cost because of his relative lack of experience (and given you bonuses like CDs right away), but if you're unsure, you have two options: (1) pay for the known quantity (the experienced pro), or (2) try to strike an even better deal. You could say, "Since we're your first, if you reduce your price X%, and if you do a really great job, we'll be willing to write a great endorsement for you and you can use our wedding pics however you want in marketing yourself after this." He may even be willing to break even or take a loss just so he can have good pictures in his portfolio of wedding pics in which he was the principal, commercial photographer.

The "CD one year later" thing with the experienced pro sounds to me like they're trying to protect their copyrights by not allowing you to make copies from the CD (which makes complete economic sense... why should you pay lots of money to buy prints from them when you could upload a CD full of pictures to Snapfish and get 8x10s printed for $2.99?) I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of studios do that.



Search the group here for threads about digital camera resolution. I think you'll find that a 6MP camera is going to be a little thin for 20x30 prints (but there are ways of interpolatingto make it look better).

Which one is a better pick for you? Well, how much are you willing to risk on bad wedding pictures? FOr many people, this is it -- the one time everyone is together, looking beautiful and happy. You've talked with the new-pro guy-- how much faith do you have in him? If it's enough, and if the deal's good enough, then go for it. If not (and you can find the money in the budget) experience would seem to be the way to go.


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Old Mar 3, 2005, 8:32 AM   #3
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Greg,

I would go with the more experienced photographer. Most new couples underestimate the importance of good bridal and family photos so time should be allotted for these photos. Many nice special effects can be had from photoshop or a similar software. Make sure any special requests including time of delivery are spelled out in the signed contract.

Ex wedding photographer,

webster7
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Old Mar 3, 2005, 8:59 AM   #4
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If I was getting married I would at least get photographs done by someone that at least know what they are doing. The pictures are very important in the future for your children and grandchildren. Now is not the time to be cheap.

The photographer that will not give up the CD for a year is making a wise move because when He or She does the prints at least they know they will be correct and not all butchered up by someone that does not print very well. When people look at the finished album people will see a quality product and not a bunch of crap. It will allow their reputation to stay in tact.

I do weddings and if they want the CD I do all of the corrections myself and sell theCD so as to give good prints without messing up my reputation and I still make some $$$$$.

My opinion is for you to get quality photographs of your wedding and see if you can pay extra for the CD.

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Old Mar 3, 2005, 12:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the advice thus far...

I understand the reasoning for waiting a year on the CD, but I would rather pay them for their photography skills not their ability to send the pictures to a professional printing company. With the cd in hand (both of these couples edit the pictures, then put them on cd), I could send a picture to 5 different labs and find one I like. Off the top of my head, I know the experienced couple charges $20 for an 8x10...This other inexperience couple showed me an 8x10 that they had printed at a consumer lab for like $4 and it looked great to me. I'd rather have the flexibility.

I will contact the photographers and see if I can't negotiate on getting that disc earlier. Some places allow you to have the disc if you put in a big enough order for reprints.

I should also specify...The finished products (albums) we get will be printed by the photographers, I have no issue with that. We absolutely want those ones to look great. However, it's the randomn 5x7's and 8x10's that we might want to frame that I don't want to have to pay outlandish pricing for. Isn't $2000 enough so that I should be able to get my pictures to do what I wish with them? I think this applies more to relatives etc.. who want prints but I know my fiance really wants to have a 20x30 of us which this photographer charges $300 for (compare to <$100 at other places)..

So I guess we're still deciding, and still looking at a LOT of other photographers. I'm sure there is one out there that does everything we want, but I have seriously emailed close to 30 at this point. We just want to pick one already, but we're trying to be patient.

Any ideas to make this easier? Would you keep looking of just go with the experienced couple that we like (minus the cd thing)?
How should I go about negotiating the cd thing? Just bring up other places policies and see if they bite?

I'll be very happy to get this taken care of as well as the dj..

Tell me it's a pain for everyone:sad:

Greg
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Old Mar 3, 2005, 12:53 PM   #6
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Hi Greg,

Can you hire both photographers?
Either way, I truly feel that you have to get the experienced photographer in the picture somehow (no pun intended). :|
Or you could get the experienced guy, but also get a friend/family to be a backup, then have the friend burn the photos to disk. Or buy a whole bunch of disposable cameras and leave them on the tables and give them to guests and have them take shots and then leave the cameras somewhere so you can get the photos developed (as a form of backup of course and to get some candids). I would help as a backup photographer, but I am too far away. And my price would have simply been just to be treated as a good old friend.
One last note, you will be spending an awful lot of money on this one special day that will come only once. Do you want to have a bad view back in time 10 years from now through the medium of bad shots, and poor photographs. The Putman photographer seems okay, he gets some good shots occasionally, but most is hit or miss. The work by Burden is much better, seems to have more of a creative flair and an artistic side. I would like to see a mix of the two with the same subjects. BTW, for an album get a sepia pic on the cover or a black and white, say holding red roses (photoshopped), the effect is dramatic. It has a lasting timeless quality to it. Kinda breathtaking in a way if the photo is done nicely. I recommend margarine on the edges of a UV filter, or petroleum jelly, really neat. You can have a friend or family member do that. Costs about $20(for the cover).

http://www.photosbyburden.com/albums_&_more.htm

Congratulations to you and your fiance.
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Old Mar 3, 2005, 12:55 PM   #7
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BTW Greg, do you happen to know what camera each photographer uses and what kind of lenses they have? Only curious.
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Old Mar 3, 2005, 1:24 PM   #8
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photosbyburden
We use 2 - Canon 10D 6.1 megapixel professional camera bodies with
attachable grip for extended battery life. Our arsenal of lenes include:
Canon optics as follows:
50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 28-135mm 3.5IS, and 17-40mm wide angle. We also use a
Tamron 28-300mm 3.5 for long range work. We are planning to add the 24-70mm
2.8 L Lens which is the top of the Canon line.

putmanphotography
I'm really not sure other than I know it's 6mp


The pictures by the putman guy were done in a wedding where he was just a backup, that may have some effect on the quality of this shots...

I don't think I really followed your idea with the jelly or butter, can you elaborate? I've got a powershot a75 that I will probably hand off to someone just to take lots of photos, just to have a little something right away if we're not going to get the cd...


Do these re-print prices seem high to you?
Wallets (8) = 15.00
(after first 3 sheets of same photo 8.00)
4 x 5 = 5.00
5 x 7 = 10.00
8 x 10 = 20.00
11 x 14 = 85.00
16 x 20 = 200.00
20 x 24 = 300.00

Any feedback on the equipment I listed for photosbyburden?

Thanks again
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Old Mar 3, 2005, 4:06 PM   #9
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redderthanafeutz wrote:
Quote:
... and we would not get the disc until one year following the wedding. ...
A year isn't really that long a time - and if your marriage doesn't last longer than that, you aren't going to want to see much of the photos anyway. Get the minimum order and have a party centered around the pictures later. Just make sure you get all their shots on the CD, not just the ones you have printed with the inital order.
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Old Mar 4, 2005, 11:09 AM   #10
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redderthanafeutz wrote:
Quote:
photosbyburden
We use 2 - Canon 10D 6.1 megapixel professional camera bodies with
attachable grip for extended battery life. Our arsenal of lenes include:
Canon optics as follows:
50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 28-135mm 3.5IS, and 17-40mm wide angle. We also use a
Tamron 28-300mm 3.5 for long range work. We are planning to add the 24-70mm
2.8 L Lens which is the top of the Canon line.

putmanphotography
I'm really not sure other than I know it's 6mp


The pictures by the putman guy were done in a wedding where he was just a backup, that may have some effect on the quality of this shots...

I don't think I really followed your idea with the jelly or butter, can you elaborate? I've got a powershot a75 that I will probably hand off to someone just to take lots of photos, just to have a little something right away if we're not going to get the cd...


Do these re-print prices seem high to you?
Wallets (8) = 15.00
(after first 3 sheets of same photo 8.00)
4 x 5 = 5.00
5 x 7 = 10.00
8 x 10 = 20.00
11 x 14 = 85.00
16 x 20 = 200.00
20 x 24 = 300.00

Any feedback on the equipment I listed for photosbyburden?

Thanks again
Equipment is good. 2.8 L is very nice when he gets it. Prices look normal (if they are professional lab prints and not off a home printer.) With the A75, make sure you have lots of memory, the user will be snapping away like crazy. This trick is really more for if you have a lens adapter. What you do is get a UV filter, smear a little (a tiny drop) of petroleum jelly on it, rub it to the periphery, like a ring around the edge, so that it is foggy, smudged. Then take photos with it. The edges will look blurred, like a memory, dreamlike. Put that on the album cover. Have you with your arms around your fiance, fiance with roses, looking off in a direction (slightly downwards), not directly at the camera, but off like 30-45 degrees. Get it in sepia or black and white, then touch a bit of colour to the roses.:bye:
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