A Little Rain Never Hurt Anybody

When I woke up this morning it was pouring rain here in Calgary, yet again, and for many photographers that means cancelling their plans. That is always a shame because rain provides excellent opportunities for photographers, the overcast sky provides nice diffuse light and the water on surfaces acts to increase contrast making colors look more saturated. Ready to get out and shoot?.

1st – PROTECT YOUR GEAR! This should go without saying but shooting in the rain involves making sure your camera doesn’t get wrecked. Now I personally take care of this step by buying weather proofed gear that is designed to withstand rain but that comes at a financial premium. For those who don’t have weather proofed gear, you will need to take steps to protect what you have. The simplest method of protecting your gear is with a plastic bag wrapped around the body and secured with an elastic.

2nd – PUT YOUR LENS HOOD ON! Most people think of a lens hood as a means of preventing light from causing lens flare but they work as excellent rain shields as well. Just remember to keep your lens down to prevent rain from falling directly on the glass.

3rd – SHOOT! SHOOT! SHOOT! Go out and shoot away, have fun and get some great images.

The Wedding Gouge

The wedding photography season here in Canada is in full swing and to me that makes it a perfect time to address one of my personal pet peeves about the photography industry: The gouging of wedding parties (heck it goes way beyond just photography).

Have you ever looked at a photographers website and noticed that their prices for weddings / engagement pictures is significantly higher than their prices for portrait work? I am not talking a couple of hundred dollars higher but often double or triple what they would charge for portraits.

Now I want to be clear, shooting weddings is very different than shooting portraits! You only get one chance to capture your images during a wedding, miss the moment and it is gone forever. This means that you have to spend more time preparing for the event so that their are no surprises, and preparation takes time. A wedding photographer also needs to spend more time in post-production touching up shots that need some work, unlike portrait work where shots that require anything more than a minor fix are simply deleted.

I spend more time on wedding pictures than on portraits but nowhere near double, and my prices reflect that. Many of my fellow photographers on the other hand take advantage of those getting married and charge an extra arm or leg, money people reluctantly spend to get the images they want on their wedding day. This is demonstrated perfectly with engagement photo prices, they are nothing more than portraits after all, which should be priced the same as regular portraits but are just as expensive.

So when you are shopping for a photographer ask the big question… “Why is this more?” if they can’t explain adequately then they are simply ripping you off.