A lot of brides wonder why professional wedding photographers charge $4000 and more. The majority of that price is based on simple business - to make a living - but the higher price also reflects the higher value added post wedding that a digital files only bride will not get.
This video is a great lesson in the value a professional wedding photographer, and one such as myself with a couture fashion focus, brings to your wedding.
Aside from the fact that most digital files only brides do nothing at all with their wedding photos, watching the actual process behind creating a photographic work of art (or just making you look your best) might change your mind about not wanting an album or custom enhanced prints from your wedding photographer.
There is nothing stopping a bride from learning how to edit a photo like the pros.
But will you equal or surpass the expertise of someone who has dedicated their career and life to working in Photoshop?
Do you want to take the time to learn how to airbrush your skin with two smart layer objects via surface blur, inverted masks, high pass filters, opacity adjustment and targeted brush application?
In the digital age, there are no more secrets in photography. Every bride has access now to the tools and the knowledge that most professional wedding photographers have today. That said, I don't believe most brides know in advance just how much work goes into post processing your images by your wedding photographer. When they try to replicate that professional look, they might get frustrated or disappointed with their results.
The value in paying a professional wedding photographer to process your files is precisely so you don't have to.
If you are still skeptical about paying a professional wedding photographer to enhance your files, let's look at one real world example. The following image shows the original, "clean edit" digital file and a wedding photographer's custom enhancement.
The original file is one a bride would get with her full resolution digital files purchase - colour balanced, density and gamma corrected, highlights and shadows optimized with minimal touch ups (under 60 seconds per file). This will make a great print, but it is not custom edited and optimized.
The enhanced file has had considerable more time and work put into it. Custom layer masks to isolate the sky and canola field to enhance and pop the colour of this amazing shot. There is also additional enhancement to the skin tones and cleaning up of any blemishes and other artifacts that would take away from a perfect image that could be submitted to a print competition. The image with the red outlines is the Photoshop layer mask, hand painted and detailed to the pixel level, used to isolate and enhance the colour and contrast in the image.
This example should give a bride a good idea of what you will have to do to get that professional look you can learn all about on YouTube.
And remember, all that work has been put into just one photo to make it perfect.
But that is only getting the image enhanced in Photoshop. It does not include the prep to be able print an amazing enhanced photograph.
- colour calibration of your display monitor (your won't be) to get accurate colour preview BEFORE sending to the printer
- the exact printing specifications among different online labs, and especially among online album sites like BLURB.COM to get accurate colour reproduction
- the difference in colour and density depending on the paper type (especially with the fine art inkjet papers)
- the colour space your lab works in (sRGB or Adobe1998) and the colour space your digital files are given to you in
None of the above is impossible for the smart and savy bride.
But you will have to learn all the above and process all your images yourself.
But the question might now be... do you still want to?