Archive for 'The Press'
We got published! We were so stoked to find out this morning that one of our photos was featured in the Fall/Winter issue of Town and Country Weddings Magazine! The photo is of the pie pop from Cakewalk Desserts in the upper left corner on the right there. Pie Pops are such a great alternative to your average wedding/party cakes and Andrea of Cakewalk makes the best! Check out Cakewalk Desserts HERE!
It has recently come to our attention that David’s Bridal has decided to launch a segment of their company that will be devoted to wedding photography. You can view the site here: Photography by David’s Bridal. As wedding photographers, we feel that our response is warranted. It is our duty to alert, brides as to some of the serious pitfalls of hiring from such a national type of studio. While we don’t think that the efforts of David’s Bridal will really succeed, we do want to educate brides on the dangers of such a business model.
It is also important information for ANY bride or groom-to-be who is in the process of planning their wedding and choosing their photographer.
From looking at the photos that David’s Bridal Photography page has in the gallery, we are less than thrilled. The photo color seems okay on most of the photos. However, the editing is awful. Let’s dig a little deeper…
All photographers are different. Some are more posed while others are more candid in their approach. Some photographers are more traditional in their posing, while others are more artistic. Some photographers will shoot tons of detail photos, others will focus on your family and guests. All these differences effect the photos that the photographers choose to take.
I must be somewhat fair to David’s Bridal and say that their equipment requirements from their potential photographers are not all together bad…at a glance.
In order to be considered as an independent photographer for Photography by David’s Bridal, you must have and maintain your own equipment which includes a minimum of 2-3 strobes, two professional digital SLR cameras of 12mp or higher, multiple compact flash cards, extra batteries, on camera flashes, multiple SLR lenses.- From GetPhotographyJobs.com
While these requirement are vague and not enough to call professional, allow me a quick analogy. If I show up to your home with the best pots, pans, blender, whisks, spoons and tell you that I’m a gourmet chef and you should pay me $200, would you believe me? Of course not! Why? Because there is more to cooking than the equipment. It takes talent and years of training and knowledge to be a gourmet chef. It’s the same with photography. A digital SLR camera and lens does not a professional wedding photographer make. Period!
I must be harsh on David’s Bridal here. Frankly, their editing is awful! Photos on the pages and in the gallery show the following:
- Dust spots on photos. (Dirty camera. Could be simply removed in photoshop, but left in?)
- Blue tones, not true to life.
- High-depth of field (aka lots of things in focus) = cheap equipment and blah photos.
- Simple Gaussian blur used to create depth of field instead of good lenses and badly Photoshopped in at that.
- Fake sun flares added in Photoshop. Even a color sun flare on top of a black and white photo! Who do they think they are kidding.
The biggest thing is that there is a wide variety of good photos and just plain BAD photos. This leads me to my next point…
-Knowing your photographer
This is of huge importance and it is one that we caution our brides of all the time! In working with a large studio (which is essentially what David’s Bridal in creating), there is no way to know who your exact photographer will be. They could be really good or really bad. Your photographer will be showing up to one of the most important and hectic days of your life and be spending all day with you, your family, and your guests. This is an extremely personal thing!
Allow me another analogy. Would you trust a babysitter (that you don’t know) to come in and watch your kids for a few hours while you leave? Again, of course not. You don’t know them, you don’t know their training, you don’t know if they might treat your children badly, or if they will even watch them! You wouldn’t allow a complete stranger to handle something so precious to you. While I understand that photos are not the same as children, are not your wedding memories precious as well? Shouldn’t the once in a lifetime moments of your wedding be treated with care and training?
Personality is HUGE! A photographer that knows the bride and groom prior to their wedding, has a infinitely better chance at creating great moments between the couple than someone who just shows up. What if you get stuck with a photographer that just says. “Okay. Stand there, smile and say ‘Cheese!’”? Most brides are anxious on their wedding day and things have the potential to get hectic. If we can calm you down and get you to relax and smile naturally because we know you, we have accomplished something that few photographers can do well.
There is no tryout here with David’s Bridal. You are stuck with the photographer that shows up at your wedding. No do-overs!
-Bad for the industry
These points applies to not only brides, but other photographers who might consider working for David’s Bridal. While I understand that we live in an economy where competition is fair and encouraged, whenever a big company tries to come in and take a job that is so personal, things always go bad.
Everyone loves a good wait on hold with elevator music, right? HAHA! This is something every bride will be looking at with David’s Bridal. You are at the mercy of their customer service (or lack thereof). Want to call the photographer and ask for your photos? Forget about it. They don’t have them, David’s Bridal does. They work for David’s Bridal, not for you!
For photographers considering trying to get a position at David’s Bridal, think about the pay breakdown this way. As another photographer calculated, for the Elite Package ($1995) after all the products and cost of running their business, they will be paying their shooters about $8.50/hr without any back work. That’s not much.
With the ever increasing popularity of consumer digital cameras, this is something that has already become a popular problem in the wedding photography industry. Many people want to be wedding photographers and we can’t blame them. Shooting pictures at weddings can be really fun and rewarding. However, there is a lot of time and money on the back end in that is involved in running a respectable business. True professional equipment, taxes and education costs significant money.
For amateurs looking to get into wedding photography, working for a machine like David’s Bridal is hurting the industry that you are wanting to break into. One day you will want your brides to pay you $3000 for wedding photography, but they won’t want to because they can get it from David’s Bridal for cheaper. You have devalued yourself, your business, your art and your fellow photographers.
With all this in mind, we here at Smetona Photo are not in support of the currently efforts of David’s Bridal in marketing mass-production wedding photography to their brides.
Kristin Smetona is a six-year professional wedding and portrait photographer and is co-owner of Smetona Photo. She has a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Photography from California Baptist University.
In case you missed it, we were super excited to be featured on the Lemon and Lavender blog for Niky and Chris’ Wedding!
We had such a great time at their wedding and hanging out with their little dogs! Check out the Lemon and Lavender
here: CLICK ME!
You can check out their whole wedding blog from us by clicking here!