Trying to be a Pro…. (personal opinion)


People often observe my shooting and say/ask….  You have a DSLR camera, and your always taking pics you must be good, do you do pro work.

  I more often than not reply with, i do the odd bit of pro work, but im not a full on pro. 

One problem i see with the proliferation of DSLR cameras is that people think because you have a DSLR you must be a good photographer, and more and more people are using friends with DSLR’s or people who have done a part time/online course and bought a base model dslr and decide they are a pro photographer. So when the time comes to get an important event covered like a wedding, couples are now questioning why pro’s who have been doing them for years charge $2000 – $10,000 for a wedding when some are charging $500-$1000,

I have done a few weddings, and i get asked reasonably often about doing one. I get asked for a price, i give it over and people look and tell me that i price myself out of the game because i charge near pro prices and the couple has a friend of a friend who will do it for $500 with another friends camera. 

Lots of problems with the above response…  $500 wont cover the amount of time that goes into doing a wedding, you could be taking pics for 5+ hours, then going back home it could take 4 times that long to sort the good ones from the bad, make any corrections and print them out and album them. so $500 wont cover costs let alone actually make you any money.

 I got asked by a friend to do some corrections on friends wedding pics because another friend had done them using another friends camera that she only got a day or 2 before the big day. The friend who took the pics was not used the camera, and it showed. Many pics were over or under exposed, not quite in focus and composition was not quite right, the pics with composition and exposure issues were fixable with a little work or in a couple of cases 5+ hours each to remove background objects that were obvious, but the images with focus issues were right offs as generally out of focus images cannot be corrected with out major work with expensive software.

My Friend who was the bride was not really happy with the pics before they were fixed, and ok with them once fixed, but unfortunately some of the out of focus pics were pics that could not be replicated. Plus the other thing was the pics were delivered on a cheap CD with a hand written name on it, plus there were no prints or album.

  Whats the moral of the story… to use an old saying, pay peanuts, get monkeys. There is a reason why pro photographers charge the amount they do because a pro invests time and money into learning,  up to date technology, plus their main goal is to give the best possible coverage and results to the couple of the most special day. 

What does it mean in the end… Simple, while pro photographers who do weddings may charge what seems a big amount, remember, they have an eye for the details, will provide a package that generally includes prints and an album with a disc, and the bargain basement price of the friend of a friend of a friend who has a DSLR might lead to heartache on a special day.



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