(This blog is continued from yesterday’s post, “A Fable of Woe – One Woman’s Misadventures in Wedding Photography – Part I“, that ended with the shock of getting a disc full of someone else’s wedding photos.)
At this point, numerous extended family members hear about the story and are now questioning the morals of that photographer (as they should be). Yet, out of all this frustration comes some good news: Shirley’s brother and sister-in-Law were able to get the other disc to read on their home computer and are able to confirm that the disc DOES contain Shirley’s photos.
This is where I come in. Bro and SiL bring me the disc and ask me about what can be done. We decide to start by narrowing down the field of play so that we have some idea of how many usable photos are actually hidden amongst the detritus. I take the disc, go through all 1355 photos (the ‘spray and pray’ approach to wedding photography was DEFINITELY at work here) in order to delete the blurs, blinks, talking shots, awkward poses (and BOY were there a few winners!) and any other photos with unsightly facial expressions. 1355 down to about 450 without any difficulty. Cool. I then start looking at the quality of the photos – there’s noise, bad framing and poor use of flash galore. Not to mention the fact that I’m not dealing with full-sized images and I don’t have the RAW files. Dozens more images go into the computer’s recycling bin. I’m left with the photos that are on the ‘have to include’ list, in their various incarnations (because, what the photographer did do well in some cases, was take more than one shot of the same pose), plus a few dozen of the bride and groom in various poses. All but 10 images were straight out of the camera with absolutely no editing whatsoever. 1345 unedited photos… What is a busy, newly married, professional couple supposed to do with that? Are they supposed to magically find time to edit photos and create something out of this kind of chaos?
As I delete hundreds of photos – over a thousand, actually – I can’t help but wonder what the photographer was thinking when she decided that it was a wise business move to put all of these photos on a disc. Not only do some of the shots make the bride, groom and their families look awful and/or uncomfortable, some of these shots suggest true incompetence on the part of the photographer. But then, I suppose the two year+ delay in getting the discs out would have already proven that…
I bury my anger with this unknown woman and start making suggestions as to how to move forward. Bro and SiL decide that, since Shirley is now pregnant and wouldn’t end up having time to print photos and do an album herself, they will be the most awesome people ever and will rally the family to give her a completed wedding album for Christmas. SO so cool. And so we set to work choosing photos that would show off Shirley’s beautiful wedding day look, as well as some shots of her with her groom, and their families. Because the resolution of some images was so poor, we end up having to make some pictures rather small, but figured it’s better to have them small than not have them at all.
The absolutely gorgeous AlbumEpoca book is now in the final stages of proofing before heading off to production; Bro and SiL have been issued with instructions to have a camera at the ready to catch the reaction; and I’m left eagerly awaiting photos so that I can see what Shirley thinks of our little project.
Like any true fable, this one has a moral to the story: A low price does NOT guarantee good value; if you go hunting for a bargain, you might find that the only thing you end up shooting is yourself – in the foot.
Photography is an art form; in order for photographers to be recognised as artists, we rely on clients being willing to pay for our art and putting a value on it.
I am now eagerly anticipating Christmas for the extra bonus of getting Shirley’s permission to post the ‘before and after’s from her big day.