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  • "Photographers deal in things that are continually vanishing and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth that can make them come back again." ~ Henri Cartier Bresson

Flowers & Event Design | Event Studio ~ Music| The Bachelor Boys ~ Wedding Gown| BHLDN ~ Cake | Shugar Shugar ~ Venue| Murray Hill

Murray Hill, what can I say?  You have my heart.  Shara & Matt chose this perfect place to commit their lives to one another.  It was a day filled with emotion, tears (joyful ones), beauty, good weather, laughter, and most of all, love.  I will always cherish this wedding.  Enjoy!

 

This was the first wedding of my 2015 season and it was a good one!  Alex and Cate are the perfect pair.  When they are together, their eyes light up and their smiles are huge.  You can tell that these two, make each other happy.  Their wedding was held at the beautiful Historic Whitehall Manor in Bluemont, Virginia.  Despite the frigid temperatures, Cate was determined to get outdoor photos and that’s exactly what we did.  She was so good about being freezing and we did their portraits in under 20 minutes.  The connection these two have made my job so easy and effortless.

Their family and friends were so much fun to spend time with too. Everyone was in good spirits and you could feel the love everywhere.  This was the first time I have ever done a wedding where “The Princess Bride” was quoted in the vows.  That tells you a little bit about the bride.  She is the kind of girl you would want as your best friend.  During the reception she grabbed the microphone and started rapping and I’m not talking about a bad karaoke version.  She was rapping and it was good!  I said to her: “I had no idea you could that.”  She shrugged her shoulders and very nonchalantly said,”Eh, it’s just something that I do.”

Cate and Alex, thank you so much for having me capture your wedding day.  It was fun, beautiful, and very special.

 

Event Planner: Ashlee Virginia Events | Florist: Loda Floral Design | Venue: Historic Whitehall Manor | Photography: Photography Du Jour | Videography: Monachetti Weddings

It felt like such a long winter before my wedding season got started again. and I was truly missing everything about weddings.  Usually I have winter weddings and this year I didn’t and by February, I was just itching to get back at it.  Cate and Alex had a gorgeous wedding at Whitehall in Bluemont, Virginia.  It is a phenomenal venue.  I can’t wait to share more of their day with you!  Have a wonderful week!

The other day, in one of my facebook forums, a bride was asking for photographer recommendations for wedding photographers that would be willing to give all of the raw files from her wedding day.  She felt that since she was paying thousands of dollars for the photography, that should entitle her to the raw files as well.  I understand that wedding photography is a huge investment but let me tell you why professional wedding photographers will not hand over raw images.

Firstly, let’s say you wanted a gorgeous patio for your backyard and you had found a contractor whose work you loved.  You saw his references and images of his work, perhaps you even went to one of the job sites and saw the work first hand.  Then, let’s say you asked the contractor to give you the raw materials he uses to do his job and that you would assemble the patio, no problem.  He wouldn’t even need to worry about that part.  So you assemble the patio and you think it looks great.  The problem is, the patio looks terrible really and doesn’t represent the work of that contractor at all.  You decide you are going to blast images of your project, all the while crediting the contractor for his work, when all he did was provide the raw materials for the job.  Now because the job you did was so terrible, the contractor’s reputation and business acumen are now in question and others decide they will for sure not use him for any future jobs.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  The reason smart photographers don’t hand over their files is because it’s an unfinished job.  There is a finishing process that needs to be done to make the image complete.  That finishing process, along with the style of photography, are the photographer’s trademark and represent their brand.  To ask a photographer to give you their raw images is like asking them to compromise the integrity of the work they do and that’s just bad business for the photographer.

Now on to point number two.  The actual processing of a raw image takes a special skill set.  Just because you know how to use a curves slider, highlights recovery, or whatever Photoshop tool it is that you have, that doesn’t mean you are well trained enough to process raw images at a professional level.  If you are interested in learning more about Photoshop, I would be happy to point you to some helpful online courses that can teach you these things.  Again, just because you know how to use the tools doesn’t make you an expert any more than knowing how to sew a straight line with a sewing machine will make you an expert tailor or seamstress.

Thirdly, isn’t the reason you hired your photographer in the first place because you liked the finished product that you first saw that drew you to their work?  If that’s the case, then why would you want to spend the time working on your images when they are well equipped to do so and you will have printable art when it’s all done?

I once had a groom that told me he would only book me on condition that he could have the raw images.  I asked him what he intended to do with them?  He stated that he wanted to “play around” with them in Photoshop.  Immediately a siren went off and I realized my work could end up in the pinterest category of “Bad Wedding Photos.”  So if you are a photographer and you feel pressure to accept work from clients that make you feel uncomfortable and could potentially compromise your brand, I urge you to simply say no.  It will better serve you and your clientele in the long run.

Happy Friday!

This top image shows Emma and Ryan on their wedding day with very overcast weather with natural light, but the sky was getting dark.  I took this image originally for the purpose of demonstrating off camera flash.

This second image shows Emma and Ryan in the same spot with a flash used to light them, and a little help in Photoshop with a ray of sun put in.This first image of baby “A” shows the image as a raw file, without skin correction and editing done.This second image shows baby “A” with more favorable skin tones throughout and light editing done on the skin and blanket.See what a difference the right edit can make?

 

It is quite wet and gray today but hey, tomorrow is supposed to be absolutely lovely, so why not come out to one of the prettiest wineries around and enjoy a free bridal open house?  I have had the privilege of participating in this open house for the last few years and I was very thankful to be asked to be a part of it again.  I love The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards!  It’s one of my favorite venues in Loudoun County.  The open house is for 1-4 p.m. and I hope to see you there!

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