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Showing posts from May, 2011

Why is wedding photography so expensive?

Really terrific article by my virtual friend Booray Perry, an outstanding photographer working over in Florida, speaking to the question, "Why is wedding photography so expensive?". If you are a bride looking to hire a photographer, I urge you to jump over to Booray's blog and read it.

Couple points I would like to add to what Booray says.
Why is portrait photography so expensive?
First, most of what he says applies not just to wedding photographers, but to nearly all photographers who are working for money and trying to do a good job for their clients. I do more portrait photography than weddings, but the economics aren't that different. Let's say I charge $150 for a one-hour portrait session, which at the present time is fairly average for my fees. Here's what I do to earn that $150....

Well, I started to itemize what was involved but it's too depressing to show you the details. Let me summarize it this way. That one-hour portrait session probably involves …

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about Arboretum portraits

Now that the links have gone out, the questions are coming in. Here are the answers to some of the questions I'm receiving. The Q&A here might change a little as more questions come in.


Q. What exactly did I pay for at the Arboretum?

A. The $15 (or, less often, $30) you gave me at the Arboretum paid for the taking of the photo and for one 4"x6" print (or two, if you paid $30). I call this your complimentary print, because I am a photographer, not a printer, and the 4"x6" print you get from me is done locally and is basically just a memento of your visit to the Arboretum. You will get that print in the mail directly from me. So your $15 paid not only for the taking of the photo, but also for the print, the envelope, the postage, and a legally required percentage to the City of Dallas.


Q. How do I let you know which picture I'd like you to use for the complimentary print?

Email me, please, and just say something like "I would like a print of photo #3&q…

Self-portrait with whiskers

I'm starting to get my equipment ready for this weekend's portrait sessions at the Dallas Arboretum. Running the Sony DT 35 f/1.8 SAM lens through its paces quickly, I took a couple of shots of myself, not in a mirror but just holding the camera at arm's length and trying to aim it accurately. Yes, it took a little luck to focus on my eyeball.

If I'd known the lens was this sharp, I'd have shaved first. I'm going to be using this lens a lot.

When bad things happen to good cameras, or, Why experienced photographers carry backups

Experienced photographers know: equipment breaks. That's why experienced photographers carry backups. I mention it because I ran into a problem last weekend. Would have been a big problem—well, it would have been a disaster—were it not for my having not one, but two backups with me.

I started the morning shooting with a Pentax K10D and planned to use it as much as possible. For a while it was working fine. Here's a boring but otherwise satisfactory shot taken shortly after I got on board with my host, Corinthian Sailing Club former commodore Michael Mittman:[caption id="attachment_761" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="Michael Mittman"][/caption]

But once we got out on the water, something happened. I don't chimp every photo but eventually I did review a couple photos and I found this:

[caption id="attachment_759" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="One of the many things that can go wrong…

The Royal Wedding

We recorded the royal wedding on a couple different channels and I did end up watching some of it yesterday, with my finger on the fast forward button most of the time. Just a few thoughts.

First, although the Brits do a big ceremony very well, I had a lot of esthetic complaints about the program. They have this venue, these musicians, and a universe of musical choices—and they came up with that program? Unbelievable. If you're going to sing "Ubi caritas et amor," for heaven's sake, sing the great setting by DuruflĂ©! The fanfares sounded like they were taken from some old Hollywood movie.

I also thought the sermon was a missed opportunity. I always listen to the sermons at the weddings I shoot. I've heard some great sermons about marriage—some that really deserved to be heard by the whole world. This wasn't one of them.

Picture Credit: Photograph by Hugo Burnand

On a more positive note, for starters, they are certainly going to have a great wedding album.

I like …