“My friend has a nice camera. She’s going to take some pictures for us.”
Every wedding photographer has heard this line at some point. And that’s ok, I guess, if the person actually knows how to use their nice camera. Off of Auto. Because the camera doesn’t take the picture, the person holding it does. And if the person holding the camera doesn’t know how to set up a shot, or what moment to keep an eye out for, what you’re going to get isn’t professional wedding pictures, you’re going to get snapshots from a nice camera.
A while ago, the Professional Photographers of America ran a campaign showing the difference between a snap shot and a professional photo, assuming a friend taking a snapshot on a nice camera wouldn’t have access to full editing tools. I really liked the idea of showing the difference side by side.
Well, I now have an opportunity to do one myself. During the reception at Lucy and Mathew’s at-home wedding, I noticed the sunset was turning out some lovely colors and really wanted to catch that part of their day. So, we gathered our things and stepped oustide for a quick portrait. I set up the camera first, adjusting my settings to expose for the colors in the sky then set up the off-camera lighting. My first test shot turned out nothing like it should have. Apparently I had bumped my camera’s nob while setting up the flash. Since I was also just taking a quick shot to check exposures, I didn’t set up a proper framing either, so it looked much like a snapshot. What I got from that first shot was this:
As you can see, their faces aren’t properly lit and you can’t really see the colors in the sky. No worries, a couple of quick adjustments, and a few seconds later I was getting some better images. After editing, the final product is this:
And this, folks, is why you hire a professional. <3