Common Practices: Engagement Session Images

We recently sat down with Cindy from Cindy & Saylor Photography and were chit-chatting about the things vendors discuss when we asked Cindy something we get asked quite frequently.  We loved her answer as it really explains the photographers decision, so we wanted to share it with you.  More and more, we are seeing photographer’s turn over the digital files of engagement sessions to couples after their wedding day, asking couples to order all prints to be displayed at the wedding through the photographer only.  Our couples ask us why this is, as they would like to get the files early and have prints made at less expensive labs, such as Wal-Mart and CVS.  Here’s what Cindy told us:

1.We want you to look your best–Generally speaking, the images provided on a CD are a proof.  This means they have received some basic edits such as color correction, cropping, and a bit of a boost in brightness and contrast.  It is still a great image and perfectly suitable to make a print to send to Grandma, but the image hasn’t yet reached the final vision that the photographer had in mind.  Any print ordered through our studio undergoes what we call a ‘fine art edit’.  Some steps included in a fine art edit are retouching, blemish removal, color and contrast boost, dodging and burning, removal of distracting elements, selective tonal color adjustments and other artistic touches.  In short, every measure available to make you look your absolute best will be taken.  (See her samples below)

Cindy and Saylor Photography Engagement Session Proof

Cindy and Saylor Photography Engagement Session Fine Art Edit

2. We want to look our best too–Think back over all the planning and detail that went into your engagement session.  You discussed with your photographer locations, wardrobe and maybe even had your makeup professionally done.  All that attention to detail resulted in the perfect image to display at your wedding.  You and your photographer shared a vision for how the image would turn out and together you NAILED it!  Now, you take this fabulous, practically perfect in every way, image to Walgreens, CVS or (shudder) Wal-Mart to be printed. Really?  Do you have the confidence that the pimply-faced high school student behind the counter is going to print your perfect image in the manner that is deserves to be printed?  Not sure?  We aren’t either.  Photographers want you to look your best and WE want to look our best too.  A photographer doesn’t want to show up at the reception and see the image we worked so hard with our client to create displayed at less than it’s best.  We include a print credit in all of our packages for just for this reason.  Let us do the printing, one less thing to add to your to-do list.

3.  Quality, Quality, Quality–What it comes down to is quality.  We, as professional photographers, use professional equipment to capture your photo, we have professional software to develop and edit the image and our computers are calibrated with our professional photo printing labs.  All of this to ensure that your image will be of the highest quality available.  The paper and inks used by our professional lab are archival and designed to last for decades. Higher quality ink plus higher quality photo paper equals a higher quality image every single time.  After everything is said and done this image is not just to display at your wedding reception, it will become decor in your new home.  A lasting visual memory of the two of you as a couple at the time of your marriage. Don’t you want an enduring piece of art that will last a lifetime?  We thought so. 😉