Recently, I travelled to Gainesville Florida and decided to visit Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Micanopy. I entered the park at the south entrance and in talking with a park volunteer, I learned that the north entrance would afford me the opportunity to see bison, wild horses and alligators roaming freely in their natural habitat.
I took his advice and went to the northern entrance. After parking my car, I began heading into the park and came upon three very distinct warning signs.
For a moment, I thought about retreating but I put my fears aside and continued. First, I came upon a boardwalk. From the boardwalk, alligators were visible in the marshes. I saw no bison but did see some wild horses in the far distance. The boardwalk ended onto a walking trail on which I proceeded. I walked about fifty to seventy-five feet on the trail making sure that nothing was blocking my path when I realized that all along the trail so far no more than about ten feet off the pathway, I had been passing alligators laying in the sun on the water’s edge.
I met a few other brave souls on the path photographing the alligators. One person from a northern state was wondering aloud just how close he would be able to get to the alligators in order to get a better photograph.
A little further, I came upon two young men frozen in their steps along the pathway staring at an alligator. They expressed their fear about walking by this reptile. As they prepared to run by the alligator I reminded them that the in doing so they might frighten the alligator. With that said, they carefully walked by the alligator to freedom.
They had walked down a path that apparently led to a dead end or so they thought and decided to turn back. They either walked by alligator on their way down the path without noticing it (as I started out doing), or the alligator entered the pathway after they passed. Thankfully, this ended without incident.
Three (3) things stood out to me this week as I watched the FIFA 2015 women’s world cup soccer matches.
I recently had a conversation with a client regarding wedding photographer’s hourly rate. This client felt that wedding photographers were grossly overstating their value for just “a few hours’ work”.
As the average person who works a “9-5” every day and becoming more proficient at their task, they expect to be rewarded for their expertise and so do photographers, but with major differences. For the average person, your employer will provide everything you will need for optimal operation of the office and that will include the computers and necessary software.
As a photographer, we must supply everything that we need to do our job. Our cameras and lenses are top of the line. We must be able to capture every significant moment of your wedding day perfectly, no matter how poor the lighting may be because you expect your photographs to be a fair representation of what you are seeing. In addition to cameras and lenses, we must purchase flashes, memory cards, batteries, backup devices, etc.
Prior to your wedding day, we must make sure that all equipment is in proper working condition. We will visit your ceremony site, scout nearby parks for photo opportunities, secure the proper permits if one is required, visit your reception venue and the create an online gallery for the presentation of your photographs.
Once your wedding day is over, your photographs need sorting and editing. This process requires a "good" computer, a high-resolution monitor as well as the necessary photo related software and other computer hardware. With a minimum of 400-500 photographs in your online gallery and presenting your photographs in a timely manner, an internet connection with “high-speed” uploads is necessary.
To keep you current in your field, your employer may finance your attendance to seminars and workshops, which may include airfare and hotel. For us, to keep current and provide you with the best possible product, we must finance those expenses.
Therefore, in order to have your day appearing to be “just a few hours’ work”, there is a lot happening behind the scenes.
For Glennola Photography, we will do nothing less because giving you the best possible products and having you, as a client for years to come, is our ultimate goal.
There is a “photographer” in south Florida who recently had a Craigslist advertisement looking to purchase the copyrights to “some good looking wedding photography” to add to their website. This photographer further went on to say that any images received, the sender must be able to prove that they own the images and he/she will not add their logo to those images.
As a wedding photographer, I do believe that there is plenty of room in this industry for others to join and grow. But using deception to grow your business at the expense of unsuspecting couples is incomprehensible. You are being trusted by couples to provide a lasting memory for one of the happiest days of their lives and that trust is being repaid with deception.
We all have to start somewhere and it may take a little longer for some to build a meaningful portfolio. Use your downtime to improve your skills and create your signature style. Also, you can volunteer to assist an established photographer in your area or become a second or even a third shooter but don’t deceive couples by passing off someone else’s work as your own.