One of the biggest challenges when getting married is to select the right wedding photographer while getting both value and decent pictures of your big day. Years ago there were many specialized wedding photographers and once you found a photographer you signed a contract in advance of the wedding selecting a minimum package.
I was married 20 years ago and one of the most reasonable packages I could find was for 25 10×10 portraits including church, after –church and the reception for $1,500. This gave me about 100 proofs to look at and then I had to select the 25 best shots to use as larger prints. This did not include the specialized album (which at the time the most reasonably priced one was $150.00). Being a young bride, focused on owning my home, I postponed the expense of the album and sadly still have those 25 large portraits in the hardcover box the photographer provided at the time. If I was to do it over again, I would have made the album a priority and been able to properly display those photos ever since!
Also at that time any special prints or extra prints were all at additional cost. I did not get the rights to the negatives in those days the photographer retained rights to the negatives thereby any additional prints had to be placed through the original photographer. This was all before the advent of digital photography.
The dawn of digital photography has brought about huge changes to the wedding photo market. Now smaller photographers and freelancers can more easily compete with professional wedding photography firms. Because actual film is not being used to capture the photos and the photos are now easily displayed digitally without the costs of processing the film, both the price of wedding photography has come down and so has the cost of the prints.
The advances in technology has meant photographers can shoot as many shots as necessary (without a care about the restraints associated with the cost of film and processing) to capture that perfect photo. For the bride and groom, this means great variety in the wedding photo market place and means that for a fee many photographers will provide a CD/DVD of high resolution versions of the pictures. With access to the CD/DVD the wedding couple can make copies later or print copies out themselves once the can afford more photos or when they want to use the wedding photos for Christmas and birthday gifts to family and friends.
With the changes in digital photography for film there have also been huge changes in the access a bride and groom has to video for their wedding day. It used to be that you would have contract a special company or freelancer to videotape the wedding and the final product would usually be a master version high-end VHS/Beta tape for playing on a VCR. The VCR product had a life-span of less than 10 years at the max for clarity and retention of image quality.
Wedding videos today can even be filmed on a friend’s cell phone. While this does not replace professional videotaping it does give the wedding couple a unique perspective and views of their wedding from their friend’s vantage points. With digital video there is no end to what can be created easily using one’s computer.
It is still important to have a professional videographer film the “master” version rendering your big day with professionally edited and enhancements. Some professional videographers will add special effects such as voice over narrative or enhanced music or even some include brief slide-shows of bride and groom’s childhood and teenage photos. Digital photography and videography put great memories on record with much less cost and a wider variety of choice than traditional film and processing could in the past.
Some people think photos and videos are an unnecessary expense or that you to keep costs down you should skimp and only rely on friends and family to take video shots. Remember your wedding is one of the most important days of your life and once the sun has set on that day, only your memories, photos and videos will remain. It is the one thing that can be handed down through generations.
A photograph is pricelessly worth a thousand words. Invest in a photographic memory of your wedding and years from now you will not be disappointed and your descendants will be delighted.
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