Professional Ottawa/Kanata Wedding Photography/Bridal Portraiture—“A Cooperative Affair”

***(This Previously Featured “Newspaper Article” Was Requested On Behalf Of My Studio, Due To My Long Time 40 Year Affiliation With Professional Bridal Photography In A Special Bridal Supplement).

Article prepared by professional Ottawa/Kanata Wedding Photographer, Jeff Ryan/Ryan Photography Studio, Ottawa, Ontario.

“THE FEATURED ARTICLE:”

First and foremost, please let me take this opportunity to wish you my sincerest “Congratulations” on your up coming wedding!!!

Having photographed weddings for a period of 40 years, I have long realized a common denominator for their success which is, excellence in planning particularly when referring to “the proper scheduling of your day”. It is my desire that this article will provide sound advice for potential brides, so their wedding day will be an enjoyable celebration, and not a day of disappointment. In addition, at the end of this featured column I have prepared a list of suggestions titled “Recommendations”. I would encourage the reader to pay special attention to this list, which will prove very beneficial to bridal clients.

In the first instance, initial communication between you and your photographer is of the utmost importance ensuring all details are ironed out prior to your wedding day. I am referring specifically to the scheduling of your events. In addition, ensuring that the proper groupings of people placed in correct combinations, (should families have parents that are separated or divorced from previous relationships), also be addressed. In order for your photographs to be completed successfully, both parties have to work together recognizing time restrictions, inclement weather conditions, commuting time and late arrivals should they occur. Here are a few realistic occurrences/delays which I have personally experienced over my professional career:

1. If the bride is late for her photo session prior to the church service or ceremony, she unfortunately will receive less imagery to make her selection from when finalizing her album/dvd/print order.
2. Scheduling hair and make up appointments inaccurately. ( Not allowing sufficient time to see the completion of each prior to your photo session)
3. Flowers not being delivered on time have often delayed photo sessions as well.
4. Hydro electrical failure once a photo session has begun preventing all professional studio type lights from operating

Many couples coming to professional photographers for the first time are not aware of the time requirements needed to complete all of the contracted photographs successfully. Clients should be informed that in order to create portrayals of family members and friends, a specific amount of time has to be allotted for in your schedule to accommodate the various groupings (usually more than one would estimate). Speaking from experience, several brides I have conversed with have expected to have all their pre ceremony photographs created approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour before they arrive at the church, which regrettably is impossible if high quality work is desired. Additional time is required to set up and dismantle professional photographic equipment in their home/hotel, travel and set up time at the church and what if the limousine happens to have un expected delays on the way to the brides house/church? I have incidentally, encountered all of the above mishaps on previous weddings. I believe it is the photographer’s job to properly educate clients regarding the scheduling of their day, due to bridal couples unfamiliarity regarding such matters.

The scheduling of your photo session becomes very important after the ceremony. Members of the bridal party and families involved should be fully informed as to where the group photographs will take place, allowing for an optional rain location if necessary. (Please remember to include additional time for formal photographs of the bride and groom which are usually completed prior to the reception should the need arise). Several bridal couples I have photographed over the years have elected to have their formal imagery (of the bride and groom) produced “before the ceremony” which then allows them the privilege of proceeding directly to the reception hall following the family group pictures. Occasionally, couples do not want to invest the necessary time of approximately 45 minutes after the family photos are completed, to begin formal posing of just themselves. This is an option you may appreciate for those who are having their dinner somewhat earlier rather than later in the day.

Another frequently asked question is “how much do I charge and what do we receive?
With the “greatest respect possible” extended to the reader, clients trying to purchase professional bridal photography over the phone/email is not advisable, because they are unaware at this point what they are buying. As a comparison, would a bride consider purchasing her wedding dress over the phone without seeing it? I encourage couples to meet with photographer’s for a bridal consultation to view samples of professionally created wedding portraits. During this appointment, they can become better acquainted with the actual photographer who will be creating their imagery and services they are interested in contracting.

The next concern that couples have is the cost of professional bridal photography which can vary greatly. The old expression still holds true today which is……. “You Only Get What You Pay For”! Cheap, discounted, inexpensive, bargain deals, usually equate to poor quality products and questionable business service ethics. Be forewarned regarding this!!! If you desire excellent services at your wedding whether it be disc jockey, catering facilities, floral arrangements or photography, it stands to reason that you will have to invest more funding to obtain that higher quality level of service. This is not to suggest that one must purchase the most expensive services available. It simply means you should make the necessary financial investment towards the most important, meaningful areas of your wedding. Your Bridal Imagery Is “All THAT REMAINS” after your wedding is over aside from the gown. It is not advisable to cut back funding in this area. Prioritize your needs. Several “married couples” I have conversed with mentioned that when they were shopping for a photographer, they often found a particular persons work they admired, but because he/she was more expensive than others they decided to look elsewhere. They then contracted another photographer with a “low basic/entry price” and later realized, (after adding on all the extras), that they ended up spending very close to or more than the amount that their preferred photographer quoted them. The end result is that they could have obtained their favoured photographer which more accurately represented their needs.

Photographers are currently producing two distinct styles of imagery. One is “photo journalistic, the other is traditional bridal photography”. Photo journalistic style imagery in a general sense, refers to a series of images that are un posed, often un refined compositionally and often poorly lit. Traditional imagery pertains to a more professional portrait photography style. I have created both styles of photography at weddings and without doubt, the majority of imagery that most couples purchase is the traditional style. The reasoning behind this is the fact that the faces of all people are clearly recognizable with good expressions and excellent exposures. My traditional wedding photography always incorporates a combination of casually posed and formal imagery to give couples a diversified selection when viewing their originals. (A visit to my websites “wedding gallery” will provide the reader with numerous samples of imagery and extensive letters of recommendation from previously satisfied couples. www.jeffryan-photography.com)

Another frequently asked question is do photographer’s release bridal imagery on dvd as well as hard copy portraits? Many photographer’s including myself, offer this service however I “highly discourage” this practice due to lack of quality control in their finished products. Clients who elect to print their own imagery will never receive photographs equal to the high quality that professional, commercial, portrait printing lab technicians produce. Clients at this point regrettably display unrepresentative, inferior samples of the photographer’s work. This opinion is shared by a large percentage of professional photographer’s incidentally. Be wise and contract a package that includes professionally produced imagery/photographs from your photographer. All my professionally produced wedding/bridal photographs carry a 100% Guarantee. I stand behind my work and have done so for a period of 40 years!

To benefit the reader, I have prepared a list of recommendations for couples that will assist them in making a selection of a professional photographer. Incidentally, most weddings come off without a hitch!! If they are well planned they become fun filled, festive occasions, full of memories lasting long after your wedding day has ended!

My “SINCEREST CONGRATULATIONS” are extended to you during this most exciting time in your life!

With Good Wishes………….Jeff Ryan Photography/Ryan Studio, Ottawa, Kanata, Ontario, 2017.

Mr. Ryan is a professional photographer/instructor residing in Kanata offering numerous
photographic services to the public. He has studied photography for a period of 40 years
and may be reached using the following methods:

Phone—(613) 599.5363
Web–www.jeffryan-photography.com
E Mail—jeffryan@storm.ca

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. Price should “NOT” be the main concern regarding “All Pro Services” at your wedding. The quality of the work “must” take precedence.

2. Do not assume that all photographers create similar photographic products. Photographers differ greatly in shooting styles, equipment, and naturally, personality. View on line sample imagery and if appealing, book an appointment to meet with the photographer. Telephone/Email shoppers seeking lowest price comparisons often make this unfortunate error when determining who they will hire to record their special day ending up with great disappointment.

3. Does the photographer have a well organized and fully functional professional website? Clients should question the efficiency/quality of a business if matters of this type appear inferior.

4. Have your maid/matron of honour help you in the pre-planning stages of your
wedding. Delegate specific tasks to her or someone else who you can depend on.
Specifically:
A) Have her call the florist a day before the wedding to make sure the flower
arrangements/order is proceeding without any difficulties. Make special arrangements with your florist to have your flowers “delivered” rather than having a member of your family pick them up on your behalf. A reputable florist will get them to you on time as opposed to making someone you know become perhaps an unreliable courier.
B) Have her finalize the make up artist as well as hair and manicurists
appointments . Ensure they are scheduled properly and do not overlap. This will ensure brides are “on time” for their photo session prior to the ceremony.

5. It un-questionably is better to use an experienced professional photographer in
comparison to a family member who inevitably, will not cover the event as thoroughly as a trained professional. It only stands to reason that professionals ensure the job is done right.

6. Does the photographer your considering have letters of referral/recommendation from previously satisfied clients? These are important backing the credibility of the business or individual.

7. Does the photographer work alone or do they have an assistant accompanying them? An assistant is almost a pre requisite on a wedding event.

8. Book your photographer “Early” to reserve your day and avoid disappointment. I often book one year or more in advance.

9. Diffused/blurred action imagery is desired by some clients and is very unfavourable to others. What does your photographer produce?

10. Black and white, colour and sepia tone imagery is very popular at weddings. Does your photographer offer all and if so, do you have to pay more for black and white for instance?

11. Some photographers charge per location on your wedding day and these fees may be additional or above the contracted bridal package price. Obtain an accurate price quote prior to the event.

12. How long will you have to wait to view your originals/proofs or photo dvd after your wedding is over? Generally speaking, 2-3 weeks is an acceptable time frame.

13. What is the turn around time regarding the completion of your finished albums if included with your package? Up to three months is very common for professionally produced work.

14. Does your photographer offer a full line of services including professional corrective retouching, custom printing of photographs, “true archival” lamination and dry mounting services if required?

15. Does your photographer have back up equipment should the main camera or lighting system fail?

16. Most photographers have a bridal contract to benefit both parties involved. Everything should be written down in detail. (NO VERBAL AGREEMENTS EVER!)

17. Payment policy: most photographers require up to three deposits. Initially a booking fee is required to secure your date followed by a second deposit prior to your wedding at a pre-determined time. The third and final deposit is required either before or on the actual day of the wedding itself or alternately, when the originals are released to the client.

18. Check the photographers sample albums and framed wall portraits for appearance. If the albums are well assembled and of good quality then you may rest assured yours will appear similar upon delivery.

19. Make certain you meet “with the photographer” who will be creating your bridal imagery and review their portfolio. Several studios contract part time photographer’s who represent their business. You wouldn’t want to encounter a personality clash on your special day. Look for well mannered individuals with professional appearance/attire and professionally created sample imagery.

Mr. Ryan is a professional photographer residing in Ottawa, Kanata, Ontario offering numerous photographic services to the public. He has been actively involved in the professional photographic marketplace for a period of 40 years and may be reached using the following methods:

Phone—(613) 599.5363
E Mail—jeffryan@storm.ca
Web–www.jeffryan-photography.com

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