Archive for January, 2008

Whether for portraits or weddings, many people are surprised at the cost of good photography. You might ask if all they have to do is show up and take a few shots, “ what makes it so expensive?”

The reality is that there is more to making quality images than just showing up. To make great pictures that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life, it takes time, talent, good equipment, planning, people skills, and much more.

Much more is taking place before, during and after your session or wedding that contributes to the final result than you probably realize.

Before the session or wedding
Most photographers start their careers with education and training. Ours started over 30 years ago at the University of Minnesota. Photography is an acquired skill – one needs to spend years learning how to master the camera equipment, lighting scenarios and equipment, image composition and different posing options. Formal education is usually supplemented with internships, on-the-job training and many hours spent making, critiquing, and re-making image after image for little or no pay.

Additionally, a significant learning effort must be undertaken to learn and perfect the art of photographing in a ever-changing wedding or event environment. Learning the ebb and flow of such an event is critical to capturing those magical moments. Knowing what to look for and where to find it doesn’t “just happen”. It takes practice, observation, patience, and ability to be in the right place at the right time.

During a wedding or event
During a session, wedding or event, we arrive early to evaluate the location and the light, perhaps add additional lighting equipment, and capture the details. For a wedding, this includes the bridal party getting ready (hair & makeup, putting on the dress, etc) as well as the groomsmen and groom getting ready. We capture the details of the decorations, table settings, etc. Often we spend an hour or so with just the wedding couple to get romantic images at another location. We then create photos of the ceremony and reception. Our average day for a wedding is 10 hours each for two photographers! That is a long day, but we are not done, yet!

After the wedding or event
On average, we will spend anywhere from two to four hours processing – selecting, enhancing and tweaking the images for every hour that we are in front of you. That means a 10 or even an 8 hour wedding is easily almost a full week of post production work.

Other Considerations
Most photographers use at a minimum, three professional quality camera bodies, costing an average of $2500 or more each. Add to that an array of lenses costing from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand dollars each, lighting equipment, and post processing computer hardware and software, and the costs are easily more than $20,000 just in basic equipment to be able to make, edit and process your photos. And like most technology, much of this equipment will be obsolete in 3-5 years due to advances in capabilities will need to be replaced.

Adding to those costs are the very real costs of health insurance, high fuel costs, general costs of doing business (rent, insurance, marketing and advertising, printing, utilities, taxes, etc) and you can see that it can get very expensive, very quickly just to make the move into the photography business.
Just as in any business, these costs become part of the cost passed on to the customer.

To be able to continue to create wonderful, magical images that you will hold dear for a lifetime, the photographer has to have the passion of an artist and management skills of a business professional. Knowing the above, it is not hard to see where the expense of photography comes from.

Edited and written with help from an article by John T. Bryant

Don’t wait until the last minute to decide what makeup to wear for your portrait or your wedding day. Photoshop is great, but good makeup will not only make you look good, it will make you feel good, too. When you feel good about yourself it really shows in your photographs. For tips on what look is best for you contact my friend Susan. She is a makeup consultant and will be happy to help you create a look all your own. Go to her website for some more tips on makeup for photography.

That cold nip in the air may make it seem like spring is far away, but it is not too soon to be getting your spring appointments made. February is almost full! March has a a few more openings and April is almost gone! Early May is open, but after that, it is too late to get the photo in your announcements.
  So hurry up and plan now!

Here are a couple more shots from Lexi’s session. Lexi0807lexi-590-edit.jpg

Just spent the afternoon working with my students on a photography show they will be hanging next week. The show “Living Color” will be on display throughout the month of February at Checkers Espresso and Gallery in Poulsbo at 18881 Front Street. A reception will be held on February 5th from 6-8 pm. Come and enjoy the show and some great coffee. Thanks to Jim Wise at Checkers for letting us have the space.

I am busy getting ready for the upcoming West Sound Wedding Expo on February 2nd at the Kitsap Pavilion near the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. I just got my prints back and now have to figure out which ones I really want to show.Come and join us at the show. We will be offering a free engagement session for one lucky winner and we will be offering discounts for color consultations and makeup with each wedding booked from the show. image1.jpg

Got a new digital camera, but not quite sure how to maximize all of its features?
In “Take Digital Photos the Easy Way”, a hands-on class I am teaching at Olympic College in Bremerton on Saturday, February 9th from 9 am – noon,   you will earn what elements are needed to take a good picture and get your own perfect shots.
Bring a digital camera and cables to connect camera to computer.

You can register at

I’ll also be teaching a class on “Working with Digital Images Part 1” on February 16.

Sign Up and Learn!

Just got Tony and Andreya’s album back from the lab. It is just gorgeous. I use Kingston Albums. I love the way they look and that they have a life time guaranty. Here is one of the spread photos.Tony and Andreya on the Bremerton Boardwalk

Well, I guess it is about time I got a blog going. So here goes. I hope to share some of my photos and ideas on how to help you make better photos. I still have a few things about blogging that I need to figure out so hang in there with me.