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Australia has a new citizen. Well, to be fair it has several new citizens. Today was the day I gained Australian citizenship. I have been in the land down under since 2006 and I thought it was about time I got around to becoming a citizen. I hope this will be the end of having to jump though hoops for gaining visas etc. It feels very odd to now be an Australian. Especially when I sound so English.
One of the biggest trends in the wedding and portrait photography industries at the moment, is to provide customers with a disk full of the images taken during their event or session. These images are usually out of the camera, unprocessed images that are given to the client 'as is'. The trend has become so widespread that customers often see photographers that don't do this as being expensive and not giving the customer what they want. Many photographers are in a race to the bottom to provide clients with as many photos as possible at insanely low prices. While at first this may seem attractive, anyone considering hiring a photographer should consider a few things. The first being, why exactly do you want a professional photographer to take your images? Indeed, why do you want the photos taken at all?
I would imagine that it is because you want to remember precious moments in your family's life and you want those memories to be a reflection of how you felt and who you are. The key word here is precious. Memories are the most valuable possessions that you have. In years to come, when you are looking back on your life, you want those memories to be as clear as if they just happened yesterday.
If that is the case, why would you want to cut corners and not get the best quality imagery that you can afford. Now, let's get real. Not everyone, has a high disposable income and can afford high-end professional photography, but if you are looking for a photographer, you should be taking note of the quality of their photography and the photographic products they offer and not on the quantity of photographs they can provide you. After all, if you want as much photography for as cheap a price you can find, you would be better off taking the photos yourself.
Here are my top 5 reasons why you don't want a disk full of images from your wedding or portrait session.
Quantity is not the same as quality
There is an old saying that you get what you pay for. The trend of supplying discs full of images is mainly driven by costs. People perceive that they are getting good value for money as they might get as many as a thousand images for a very low cost. So with this in mind they ask the photographer to supply all the images. The photographer, eager to gain the customers' business agrees to supply all the images at a very low cost. The customer thinks that they have got a good deal, but the truth is that both the photographer and the customer have lost out. Having all the images might sound good, but do you really want hundreds of very similar images. Some out of focus, some with peoples eyes closed, some with peoples heads cut off. Of course not.
In addition to selecting the best images to present to you, good photographers will do a certain amount of post production. Photos rarely 'pop' straight out of the camera. It is a myth that before the days of Photoshop, images were not manipulated in some ways. In order to make images look fantastic, photographers usually have to do a bit of post production work. This often involves adjusting the exposure and colour correcting the image. Without this, photos may look dull and uninteresting.
A good photographer will go through all the images, one by one, and weed out the poor quality images and only present you with the very best images. Surely you would prefer to just see the amazing shots than waste your time going through hundreds of weaker images. This takes time to do. The photographer would need to take many hours to go through all the images and present you with the best. So if you are going to have your images on disc, you need to make sure that you don't just get the images straight out of the camera and that the photographer has at least gone through them, to leave you with the cream of the crop.
CD/DVDs are old technology
CDs have been around since 1982 and DVDs since 1995 and technology is advancing so quickly that they have just about come to the end of their life. While you can still buy CDs and DVDs, their days are numbered. People are moving over to more modern methods of storing data, such as on a hand drive or in the cloud. Indeed, Apple computers no longer even come with a CD/DVD drive.
Not all CD/DVDs are the same. The discs you buy from stores usually have their data stamped directly onto them. The CD/DVDs you get from photographers usually have their data burned into them. This makes them much less durable than the mass produced CD/DVDs. Have you ever burned a CD only to find that it no longer plays properly after a few months? This can be because the disc has become scratched, but also because the disc has started to corrode. There is no way to tell just how long a CD/DVD will keep its data securely, but even if you look after your disc perfectly, you may not have anything to play them on in a few years.
You will never look at them
The truth is that once an image goes onto a disc, it is rarely ever looked at again. The disc will get put on a shelf somewhere, and there it will stay. Only on rare occasions will someone go to the trouble of getting the disc and showing its contents to anyone who is interested.
Not easy to share
In order to view the images on the disc, you have to have the disc. You could make a copy, but in reality, people rarely do this, and even if they did, that copied disc suffers from all the other problems associated with discs. If you are out and want to show somebody your images, you are unlikely to have remembered to bring the disc with you. If you have remembered to bring the disc with you, there is a very real chance that the disc will get lost or damaged in some way.
Has no sense of value or artistry
A disc full of images has no sense of value or artistry. Sometimes less is more. The sheer number of images can sometimes detract from the individual images. We flick through them and don't take our time to enjoy each image for what it is. A CD/DVD of images has no artistic worth. In short, they just look crap.
So what is the solution?
We believe that the very best way to enjoy an image is the same as it has always been. In print. We have a range of contemporary ways to display our images these days, ranging from Canvas to Acrylic and Metal prints. These large prints will just look stunning on your walls. The quality of these prints has to be seen to be believed. However, in this Facebook world that we live in, we appreciate that people want a clean and simple way to show off their favourite images to their friends and family. For this reason, our customers can share their images with their very own custom designed mobile app. These apps work on most mobile phones and tablets.
Once our customers have downloaded the app, they can share their images with anyone and anywhere they like. Their friends and family simply need to download the app themselves. Because we only provide our clients with the very best images that have been colour corrected and made to look their best, you can be assured that every image will look fantastic.
Just about everyone has a smart phone these days and so you can take your images wherever you go. You don't even need to be online to view the images as they will sit on your device. If you ever lose your device, just restore your app to a new phone and there images will be right there for you. Safe and sound.
The app looks super cool and will no doubt impress your friends. After all, who has their very own smart app?
I hope this has made you stop and think a little bit. When looking for a photographer, of course you need to keep a budget in mind, but you should be thinking what is the best photographer I can afford and not how many photos can I get.
MANS BEST FRIEND
Photo of the Month - March 2014
When we usually think of mans best friend what comes to mind? A dog of course. However, sometimes that is not always the case. I noticed this guy laying on the grass at the Fraser Coast Show with a goat. They seemed to be getting on very well together. It was mid-day and the sun was beating down. There was no shade and if I was going to get the shot, I had no option but to put up with the strong shadows and harsh contrast that this would no doubt cause in the final photo. That being said, I am very pleased with the final image.
What do you think? Please leave a comment or share with your friends.
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