Cons of unprofessional event shooting

Cons of unprofessional event shooting

Photography - is a very common hobby. In everyday life we often take camera with us for a walk, šon a tourist trip or meeting with friends and shoot such events. We often get excellent pictures, which is not a shame to share. But there are some unique moments which leave no room for experiment and require the engagement of the professional photographer. For example, wedding or prom - such events which will never happen again and don’t give second chance to receive better photos, if they didn’t come out well from the first time.


So, If your wedding is already too close, and and as it often happens with the newly-weds, its budget is limited. You decide to save money and refuse the services of professional photographer, because you have, for example, the uncle Sergey, who is actually an lawyer(bookkeeper/archaeologist/manager), but is also fond of photography in his spare time.

He has a good camera and a few times a month he go on a photo hunt in the city or in the nature, getting quite good shootings.

He will take a small sum of money for his job, or even for free.

And it’s also much more pleasant to work with an acquaintance than with a stranger, even though with a professional photographer. There are only benefits for now.


Saying in a nutshell about the danger you can be followed by, it’s an absence of complete understanding that a good, professional photo - it depends not only on a good camera. The uncle can have a good equipment with a full set of lenses and accessories. But what happens next?


The wedding day is coming, Sergey feels perfectly prepared - he comes with all the stuff, accessories and in a fighting mood. He has already made some practice shots to make sure that everything is going as well as possible.


In the room, where the wedding preparations are going, he has his first "ambush" - he didn’t like to set frames manually, relying on the help of the smart camera. So, shooting the preparation, he notices that the lens is not wide enough. He quickly goes to his car, where he left the set of lenses to make a replacement. Unfortunately, not so quickly, because after returning he sees that the makeup of the bride is already finished, so the stylist sets about the hairstyle. 


But the problems don’t end there. He didn’t check the light in the room and didn’t take the lighting technology. Of course, he will change ISO settings to a super high level to have enough light.


Unfortunately, the uncle, unlike the professional photographer, does not understand that such shootings in the print will look too grainy if they will be bigger than 

200 x 300 mm. While shooting the preparations of the groom, he misses out another problem - there is too much black color on the screen because of the black suits and hoping on auto tuning. 


The ceremony starts, the uncle took a perfect seat with his zoom lens. The groom walks down the aisle, and he manages to take at least 50 shootings. The problem is that these photos are out of focus, because the settings for the shooting of fast moving objects were not set.

The bride walks down the aisle with her father, and the uncle takes no less 50 photos, and again, there is no photo in focus. 


The ceremony is in full swing, successful shootings are ahead. But now the uncle finds out that the lens is not wide enough again. One more time he runs to his bag to change it. 

While running, he sees that the groom and the bride are kissing for the first time. This moment is lost. He also didn’t take pictures of people on the groom and bride’ sides, being afraid of missing the important moments of the event. 


After the ceremony he gathers guests outdoors in the place, being successfully choosed in advance, to take a group photo. 


But even now it is not so simple : the shooting is followed by the bright light of the midday sun, with the bright background. The uncle tooks some official photos of the new family, but all the shootings are too dark and underexposed.


The evening reception starts, and by this moment the uncle has already worked 10 hours.


He is tired and he is also a family member, so has the right to enjoy the celebration too. With the satisfaction of having done his duty, he sits down at the table and gives the camera to his son, who loves taking photos and asks about is for a long time, explaining him what to shoot. 

The uncle thinks that as he helped bride and groom by saving their money on a professional photographer, and he is so tired, the quality of photos will not have such a great importance. 

Sergey doesn’t have any professional programs for the photo editing or he just can’t use it. So after the celebration he just gives the CD with all shots to the groom and bride. 


After watching approximately 100 photos in almost 2000 shootings, the bride starts sobbing, because every shot is too dark or too bright, or splashed, or just bad. The first kiss and also two or three key moments were not taken on screen, and the nephew, to whom the uncle entrusted the evening shooting, took photos of all kids who were at the party.


Of course, it’s a made-up story. But every plot has its real base from the stories of those who saved the money on the professional photographer, entrusting the shooting to the "uncle".


Why it happened? Though the uncle had a professional equipment and shooting experience, for example, of the nature, but unlike the professional, he had not the following things :


 • Sophisticated skill of changing the settings of the camera quickly, depending on the light. The majority of photographers has only 2-3 seconds to set needed options. The absence of such skill - is almost a guarantee to miss the important shot.

 • Understanding, how your camera reads and interprets the light in order to compensate it by manual settings, not hoping on the automatic levels. In this case professional photographer hoped only on his experience, but not on the automatics. 

 • Readiness for all situations. Professional photographer often has two cameras at hand with different types of lens. He takes different types of equipment and accessories for filming different scenes. 


 • Experience of shooting the fleeting moments, such as the first kiss. Photographer is aimed through the camera all the time and he is easy to catch such moments whenever they happen. 

 • Experience and knowledge, inherent in professional photographer for a quick assessment and prognosis of the most successful angles and approaches to the shooting of every scene.

 • Ability to work 12-18 hours non-stop without breaks. Such event as marriage won’t stop to let the photographer have a rest. 

 • Ability to create light scenarios, complementing the natural lighting with the lighting equipment. Understanding of the light and lighting comes with a practice and learning, it’s impossible if you didn’t experiment and didn’t do a lot of photos with different variants and combinations of the lighting. 

 • Experience of the interaction with people, including big groups. Professional photographer should communicate with the groom, the bride, their families, guiding them to line up successful shots.


There are a lot of things the uncle have to master before receiving good photos from such event. As for the economy, there are always another variants, how to do it otherwise. For example, you can refuse from the beautiful expensive albums with the photos, engravings and other additional services, which make up a significant part of the "photo budget". After all, the album can be made a bit later, but the new good high-quality shots with creative looks from the wedding can not be received again.

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