For the past 4 years I have hired a photographer to take family pictures of us. I couldn’t hire the same photographer again this year because she is more than we can now afford, so I found someone more affordable. The lesson I have learned this year is quite simple: You get what you pay for.
It is not that these picture are horrible, they are just OK. But after years of wonderful portraits, these are disappointing. Some are not very good in a technical sense (ie: parts out of focus, people/objects in the background, wrong meter setting, etc.).
This new photographer bragged that she gives us all the unedited photos, in addition to the 50 she edits. I have learned the hard way that this is not necessarily a good thing. It has taken me hours to go through them. Some are so bad, she should have been embarrassed to include them– I would have been embarrassed, had I been the photographer.
Most of the ones she edited are ones that I would have picked. But then she went a little crazy in Photoshop. Step away from the fake sun rays, lady. And white teeth are nice, but Ross-white is too white (Friends reference). And, I love my kids’ blue eyes the way they are; it is not necessary to turn them into cyborgs.
Artistry cannot be taught. She missed some great shots during our shoot. Un-posed, candid, wonderful shots that I tried to call her attention to, but that she didn’t “see” or was too late to capture it after I said something.
So I have spent hours going through all the photos (over 900) and trying to edit the ones I like better. I really wish I was better at Photoshop (I only have Photoshop Elements), but I am doing the best I can.
I now have to decide if I am going to continue to look for another photographer for next year, or if I should just go with the more expensive one who I love and trust. Maybe I can try and use her every other year.
(The three pictures I included in this post are the VERY best of the bunch. I am happy with these three. With my previous photographer I had 20 that I loved and was happy with.)