Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Digital Wedding Photography

We were on a tight budget when planning our wedding a little over a year ago. We wanted a photographer that was traditional yet modern and a little bit different. We chose to go with an up and coming photographer that was charging low fees due to her inexperience. Her style was similar to some others we had liked that were way out of our price range.

I was warned by others that I should not hire a photographer that uses digital cameras. This photographer was all digital. I was told by many people that it was risky, that my pictures would be of a low quality and grainy, and that no reputable wedding photographer would use all digital. I thought very highly of digital photography. After all, it is the latest technology and most photographers are offering it, if not completely switching over to it. After thinking it over and seeing the photographer’s portfolio, we decided to hire her.

I found out later that digital photography makes the job simpler for the photographer. She was able to quickly post all our photos to a website. Just a few days after our wedding we could view our photos and easily share the website link with friends and family. The website also allowed wedding guests and family to order prints. She also immediately sent us several copies of a cd containing all our wedding photos. We did not have to meet with the photographer at all after the wedding. We simply chose which photos we wanted in our album and for our prints, and selected them on the website. The photographer did not create our prints or album. She simply sent the digital files to other vendors to fill her orders.

At first, I did not like the idea of the photographer having other companies create our prints and album. I always thought it was the photographer’s job to sit in a darkroom and develop pictures. But with digital photography, it is different. Printing equipment is more important than developing skills. She out sources the printing so she does not have to invest in high end photo printers. Our prints were of good quality, and our album was incredible. Instead of prints in matted pages, the album contained pages printed edge to edge with our photos. Some pages where an entire single photo, while others were laid out with several photos. I love having such a unique album, and everyone who sees it is amazed.

Since our wedding, our photographer has almost tripled her fees. I am amazed at how such a complicated, specialized profession no longer required developing skills. Photographers can now simply focus on the art of taking photographs, and do not need the skill of developing. They simply send the digital files out to be printed. The photographer can go on to shoot more weddings without worrying about having time to develop film and make prints. While this is fascinating and the new direction of photography, it is someone sad to think that we may lose this art form.

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