Forever Photography of El Dorado, Arkansas 71730
Welcome to our Blog! We here at Forever Photography have information for you! Sometimes we like to speak our minds and give a little extra information about a service we offer in the El Dorado, Arkansas area. Hey, we know choosing a photographer is hard, but whether you choose to hire us or not, we'd still like to offer you great information that you can use in your endeavor with whatever photographer you choose to go with.
Be sure to check often as we post new blogs weekly. We look forward to your opinions and possibly working with you in the future!
So, The Bride has made her walk, the couple has said their "I Do's" and the party has come to an end as the Bride and Groom made their way off to their Honeymoon. For us, dark weddings always make our palms sweat just a little bit more. They are just harder to catch focus, double check for clarity, and are just more difficult overall than wedding with natural light or outdoors. But, how did we do? Amazing.
It is always important for a Wedding Photographer to attend the Rehearsal the Bride and Groom have the night before a Wedding. By doing this, the photographer can not only dial in on the settings, but they can also communicate to the couple what lighting sequences they may have trouble catching focus with. For us, communication with Mallory and Cody proved to be vital. There was only one part of this wedding that we were afraid we would miss shots. The entrance. The lighting was a little too low for us to see the subject through our viewfinder and catch focus. A quick little talk with the Bride and Groom, and the lighting was brought up ever so little. But, that small adjustment made is possible for our Camera's to "See" and focus was easier to catch! Communication is Key. When it comes to an ambiance or a picture, believe it or not, people will choose the latter. Photographs are important. And in order to ensure you capture their special day, they will make slight changes to make that easier. Never be afraid to speak up and ask!
As for the Wedding. It was Flawless. You could tell that this couple and their families put fourth a lot of work getting everything just perfect. Seeing it all come together on the day through our Lens was really something truly special for us. My husband and I talked on the way home yesterday, and were amazed at how smoothly everything went. Family pictures were done quickly, successfully, and the Bride and Groom made it to their reception in a timely manner. Changes were made on the fly. Picture lineups were changed for time management. And most importantly, the Bride had a smile on her face the entire day. And that alone make our hearts Melt.
Our final reflections of our Experience with Mallory and Cody Bryant are very positive. This couple has made their way passed the client stage in our lives and have really become amazing friends. We love them both with all of our heart and are absolutely thrilled that they chose to come to us for their Photography needs. We have gained two very spiritual and amazing people that we may truly call friends for life!
We are thrilled to release these sneak peaks to all of you. They are just a quick edit of certain pictures throughout the day. They have more editing to be done to them, but they are a perfect reflection of how our day went yesterday afternoon. We hope you like them, because we are in love with each and every one of them! So, here goes!
So, it's been awhile since we've actually sat down and submitted a blog post! We apologize for that. Forever Photography has been booming and we are finally getting to a point where we have time to give our website the attention that it deserves! Though it's been a hectic past few months, Scott and I have really come up with several blog topics to discuss over the next few weeks.
Today is an especially fun topic! How to decide what photographer is right for you! This will be a multi part blog post with different areas covered over the course of the next few weeks. Hopefully, it allows you, the potential client, to learn valuable information on what you should expect from photographer for your next big shoot! So, lets jump right in.
First off, lets get past the belief that every photographer is the same. Really, we're not. Every photographer is different in many different ways. Some like softer edits, some like harsh skin edits, some like day shots, some like night shots. When choosing which is right for you, it is just a matter of getting online and looking at the pictures yourself and seeing if their style fits to your liking. However, when hiring a photographer for big events such as weddings, senior shoots, or even those special boudoir shoots for a loved one, there are certain questions that you as the consumer should be asking any potential photographer. Today's Blog is about RAW Imagery! This is a very important question that needs to be asked! Lets get to the discussion.
Do you shoot RAW or JPEG?
So. First off, you're probably asking what the heck is RAW? Don't worry, it's completely normal not to know! That's the photographers job. Ever cooked a chicken? Well, the best way to describe RAW is to say it's straight out of the package. With a raw piece of chicken, you have to option to broil it, bake it, grill it, smoke it, stick it in the crock pot or fry it. The choice is yours! RAW in camera format is no different. When a photographer shoots in RAW, they are basically taking what is in front of their camera, and capturing the RAW data onto their Compact Flash or SD Memory card. What does this mean? Well, it means the photographer can adjust the data as if they were retaking the picture all over again. It allows them to shoot a portrait a little underexposed if needed, and bring it up to exposure in post processing (Photoshop) without the risk of a grainy picture. RAW also allows the photographer to edit the HSL, or Hue, Saturation, Luminosity. This is important as these are your basic color schemes. In raw, greens are capable of being greener, reds stand out, blacks are true to color while whites come out beautifully. In JPEG, these colors can be adjusted as well, however, the actual picture is being adjusted rather than the data collected in a RAW. This means the overall edit will not come out as clean.
JPEGS are easier to shoot. The files are much smaller and the colors come out of the camera (OOC) truer to the eye than RAW. For us, JPEG is shot during the action. Sports are usually the only time we will switch over to JPEG. Sports pictures usually don't take a lot of edits. The client isn't looking for perfect skin tones, we aren't able to set up our lighting as we would during a portrait shoot, and we aren't able to pose the subject like we normally would during a session. For sports pictures, you take as many pictures continuously and hope to capture that perfect frozen image of a touchdown, basket, or swing. If you were to try to take continuous pictures in RAW, you would find your card freezing while it tries to catch up on the data being saved. JPEG allows you to shoot in continuous mode, without the fear of a freeze up.
So, which is right for your shoot? Basically, if you are posing, you should be shot in RAW. It's as simple as that. Portrait photography should always be shot it RAW. No excuses. The benefits of RAW in portraiture far outweigh the benefits of JPEG. Skin tones are flawless, lighting can be adjusted, colors can be toned, cloning in photoshop is much more effective. The possibilities are endless. A great example of RAW capabilities can be seen in the photos below.
The first picture on the left, is a RAW image transcoded to JPEG. This is the image that is straight out of the camera. However, since it was shot in the RAW format, simple edits allowed it to transform into the after picture on the right. Notice how the color scheme changed to fit the vision of the photo? Notice how the skin tone look more manly and how the shadows are perfectly placed to give depth and drama? These are all benefits of the RAW format that DSLR Camera's offer today. RAW records anywhere between 4,096 16,384 levels of brightness while JPEG only catches 256. You just simply cannot get these effects when shooting in JPEG without destroying the shot. Weddings, Baby, Senior, Boudoir, or any other shoot that involves posing should ALWAYS be shot in RAW! The artistic advantages it gives the photographer are endless. And, lets face it, if the photographer is calling themselves a professional, then they should be shooting in what's considered the professional format.
So, what can we take from this blog post? Simple. Do not settle for anything less than you deserve. Ask your photographer if they shoot in RAW format. Ask to have it included in your contract that the shots with be in RAW. Make sure they follow through with it and actually shoot it in RAW. Here at Forever Photography, we keep all RAW files on a Cloud Drive. We can pull them up for a client at any given time. We have no issues showing our clients our RAW images. To us, it gives the a perspective of just how much editing we actually do! However, the question must be asked. Before you spend your hard earned money, make sure that you are getting the best possible service.
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Basic Equipment every Professional Photographer SHOULD own!
Wedding Photography - Hidden Costs and Common Mistakes
Choosing a photographer for a wedding is no easy task. Weddings are difficult on individuals. Usually, budgets are tight and vendors are expensive. Allocating money in the right areas of a wedding is one of the most important tasks an individual will have to tackle during the wedding planning experience. After all, isn't the goal of wedding planning to get more bang for your buck so that there is plenty of funding left over for an extravagant honeymoon? The answer is YES!! So, what exactly should you look for when looking into a photographer? Well, Forever Photography of El Dorado, Arkansas is here to help! Below is a list of what we feel are the top priorities for a client to research cost wise when looking for a wedding photographer.
Packages are a great way for a client to save money for their wedding. Many photographers offer various levels of packages for their business that fits a wide variety of budgets out there today. Calculating the cost of these packages is fairly easy. For example, lets take a look at our Petite Wedding packing that can be found on our Wedding Packages page at Forever Photography.
Our Petite package is an $800 package that gives the client a wide variety of services at a very competitive price compared to other photographers around the El Dorado, AR area. This package includes 4 hours of coverage, a complimentary engagement session, a complimentary slideshow of your wedding journey, and a high resolution digital disk with printing rights so that you may print your pictures off at a vendor of your choice. As with all of our packages, we also include a digital online photo gallery so that you may order higher quality prints of your favorite pictures at an additional charge (Something we will discuss in a bit).
Now, if you break this package down, you can see, that for the $800 dollar price, you really are getting a lot out of the package. If you move over to our Wedding Al La Carte page, you will see that the engagement session alone is a $150 value. So if you take the $800 initial package cost, and deduct the $150 session cost, you get $650. If you do the same process with the Complimentary Slideshow that number becomes $400. Divide that by the 4 hours of wedding coverage and you get $100 an hour, which is $25 an hour less than what we charge for our regular session. Savings equates to about $100 and doesn't even factor in the time we take the edit, post, and deliver your final product.
This is just one example of a package. There are many packages out there around the El Dorado, AR area from various photographers. However, there are also a lot of HIDDEN COSTS! Which brings us to our next portion of this blog.
So, you've chosen your photographer, you've had your wedding covered, you're married, paying off the honeymoon, rings, and the actual wedding itself! Lets say you get your digital disk of the wedding packed full of great pictures from your special day and see one in particular that you really love! You decide to use the photographer to get a specialty print made to hang on the wall. And that's when it happens. Hidden costs hit!
Print cost should play a HUGE factor in determining your Wedding Photographer. Just because your wedding is over, doesn't mean that the savings should end. After reviewing several photographers in and around the South Arkansas area and their price lists, we came to a startling conclusion! Prints cost an arm and a leg! We saw 8x10's at $20, 4x6's at $5, Wallets at $20, 16x20's at $200! Let me tell you this, the answer is no, these pictures should NOT be this much!
Many photographers are in the business to make money. When people hear the word "Wedding", everything seems to go out the window. If you've been looking around, you've probably already seen that everything that has to do with a wedding is expensive. There is a reason for this. People know that weddings bring irresponsible spending. People know that clients are going to spend extra, unnecessary money to make sure their day is "Perfect". We've got news for you. It's not the florist, the decorator, the caterer, or even the photographer at your wedding that is going to make it "Perfect". It's you, your soon to be spouse, and all your friends and family sharing your special day with you that will make it Perfect!
Back to the topic at hand. We will give you an insight on our cost for prints at Forever Photography. The results are startling, I assure you. Lets go back to the examples of sizes and costs above. First of all, we us Mpix Labs for our prints. Now, I'm not going to say that a photographer should not make a small profit on pictures ordered, because yes, we do get a discounted rate for our pictures, and yes, these are extremely high quality pictures that you won't get from your local Wal-Mart or Walgreens. But, where does the transition from profitability to absurd start?
On average, after researching 8x10's, we found that the average 8x10 from photographers around the El Dorado, AR area was $15 to $20. Forever Photography sells their 8x10 pictures for $6.00. Now you see the difference right? Now, why are other photographers so expensive? Are they using better print services? The answer is no. Mpix Labs is one of the best on the market. The answer is, profitability. Many photographers feel that their work should be paid for. They believe they can charge extra for their pictures because of the work they put into that picture. However, they fail to remember, the client ALREADY paid them for their services!! Inflating a cost 400 to 500% is a common practice by many photographers today. Yes, a profit should be made, but, and here's the real surprise, the cost of an 8x10 for Mpix Labs is $2.09 for the photographer!! After shipping and handling, and service fees, we usually see an end profit of around $1.79 per 8x10 ordered from Forever Photography. We do this because we believe in quantity over inflation. We believe if we offer reasonable pricing for our pictures, our clients tend to buy more prints from us as opposed to one over priced picture from us then the rest from Wal-Mart or Walgreens. It is our goal to get you to order all of your extra pictures from us. By charging the El Dorado, AR average, that could get extremely expensive! This is why we keep our pricing down.
The above is just one picture size example. For times sake, I won't go into detail on all sizes out there today, but I assure you, you'll notice a trend. Our suggestion is to take advantage of the Free Consultations photographers here in the area offer. Ask the photographer what their print cost is. Most of the time, they do not list this price on their websites so that you cannot see before the fact. It's when you go to order that you realize how much the pictures are. By asking, you can stay ahead of the planning game. Remember, these prices don't only effect you, they also effect parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brother, sisters, and friends. Stay informed, ask questions, and if you don't like what you see, go somewhere else. There are plenty of vendors here in South Arkansas that would be more than willing to conduct business with you. Remember, the final decision is yours!
We hope that this post has not only been informative, but that it has also shown you that planning plays a crucial role in budgeting for a wedding. Always remember, yes, this is a very important day in your life and you do deserve the best. However, the best isn't always what it appears to be. Always research your vendor, ask question, and make sure you know exactly what you are getting into before you sign a contract. If you don't, a $5,000 Wedding could easily turn into a $10,000 Wedding!
Thanks for taking the time to read this and remember, it never hurts to talk to multiple vendors for the same service. Here at Forever Photography, our consultations are Free of charge. If you would like to speak to us about your upcoming wedding, give us a call today. We would be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss the possibility of serving your Wedding needs.