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A professional wedding photographer?

8th May 2012 Our Wedding Memories

With the revolutionary advent of digital photography over the last few years many couples have begun to see having a DVD of the images from their wedding as the ultimate in value for money and flexibility. As a final product it seems to have many advantages, not least that it is likely to contain a full set of photographs without having to choose which ones to keep, it allows the couple to make copies to give to friends and family and also affords some sense of security in that the couple feel as if they own the “negatives” of the photographs from the day and will have access to them as they wish for years to come.

However, this approach has received rather bad press as a large number of “photographers” have seen a quick, easy way to make money by doing what has been known as “shoot and burn” services where they simply shoot a wedding and then burn everything straight to DVD. There will probably be thousands of images, many of these will be out takes and they will be camera files in need of editing at the computer before they are ready to be used to create prints worthy of a wedding day. Most couples will not have the software or knowledge, never mind the time to be able to edit the DVD and, after the initial thrill of opening it and seeing the massive amount of images on it, will most probably never do anything with it and the photographs will be wasted.

A responsible, professional wedding photographer will carefully and expertly edit the images from the day to create a consistent and coherent set to be given to the couple. S/he will see it as their professional duty to individually edit each file until it is “print optimised” and will provide the best possible quality. They will possibly provide a second set of mini files on the DVD to make it easy to share the images via email or social networks and will provide a written copyright clause allowing the couple to legally copy the files for their own use. This approach sounds like a great service and does, in fact, represent great value for the couple and artistic as well as professional integrity for the photographer.

Let's move on a few years from the couple's wedding. The couple logically copied the DVD onto their computer when they received it but that computer is long gone, a dinosaur (remember the ZX81?) and the contents of it's drive lost through numerous upgrades over the years. In fact the computer, as it was when the couple got married, no longer really exists any more. The DVD itself is in a drawer but no one has a drive for it, they are long obsolete (remember floppy disks/super8 film!), the photographs are lost. The photographs should be the only tangible thing left from the wedding day, the heirloom to pass down, the historical document to be pored over with the couple's children. The solution? Ensure that your precious wedding photographs are printed either by  your photographer which should ensure the best quality and archival materials or by yourself using a high quality commercial lab. There is nothing like holding a real print or album and it will ensure that your wedding  photographs will be enjoyed by yourselves and possibly your children and for generations to come.

Andrew Hind is a specialist wedding photographer and has been photographing weddings throughout the Uk for the last ten years.

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