The Bride and Photographer learn from this.  The Lab, just who are they?   Pro Wedding labs have a higher bar as to quality and professional work.  They may also use different papers and textures than they find down at the local drug store, Sam’s, Walmart  K-Mart, and  Walgreens.   

For some of the lesser value weddings, the frugal shopper, inflexible and determined to chisel you out of every dime,  use the least expensive way to go.  Send her to Sam’s and be happy to just collect for your shooting time. You don’t win with these speople.

And as  a point of interest due to inexpensive smart phones and  cheap cameras,you need an edge and the pro-lab can provide what they cannot get on their own.  Their machinery is calibrated to Wedding work where there are more whites and blacks than regular labs who deal with blues and greens of water and grass. 

The cheapest cop-out is the computer CD-Rom. If you are paying for the photographer shooting CD-Rom disc alone, what exactly will you get, L0-res, HI-res, NEF, RAW, DNG, or any other proprietary formats like PSD from Adobe. 

If you do not understand what this is all about, get someone on your side who does. Also who did or does the correction or Digital Workflow the newer equipment sometimes requires. Some photographers take too long to deliver. This could be GOOD or BAD. 

There is no reason for this other than poor time management or they sent it to a cheaper out -of -state lab -OR- one of the better busier commercial labs that specialize in Weddings only and knows skin tones and cropping.

EXTREMES -- That’s why you ASK who does their work. References: Get names and addresses from the photographer and check them out personally. Sisters, brothers and friends don't count. Ask for a few business references that he deals with too. Tells you whether he pays his bills on time. (Bet you never heard of that angle). See if his name is on the public records somewhere. Surprising what this turns up. 


Digital is the most common medium for Weddings.  Yes there are a couple great shooters who bring a film camera for certain things, their personal trademark shots for example that digital might not do well at.  But I believe its due to a lack of trust or training.  

I think in the next few years Digital Video will take over.  Read more in my introduction to digital in another section. But this has opened the door to the low-ball wedding shoot.   Digital also means you might be getting a CD ROM for the do it yourself prints. Unless this is a specifically budget wise decision, you are heading in the wrong direction. If you go digital you must insist on high resolution files, 300 DPI or the CD-ROM will be only good for viewing on a monitor and CD-ROM as an option is OK but should not be the primary. The advantage is many of todays cameras, the SONY A77, A772 are excellent video cameras and relatively inexpensive

You would think this would drive the costs of weddings down. In a sense it should. Digital saves you the cost of film and processing –BUT- the gear costs four times as much. It has also increased the competition in this arena with the promise of taking good pictures is as easy as pie. 

So now you have Tom, Dick and Harry now posing as "professionals" and popping low cost CD-ROMS and goodbye real processing.    Digital in the hands of an artistic practiced wedding professional is art.   Digital in the hands of a hack is still “JUNK”. “The camera doth not maketh the pictures”. The single most ridiculous question I ever hear in a photo-related question forum starts off with; “What camera did you use, what was the shutter speed and F stop, or what lens was that.  It really is a clue to someone being a newbie in the club. 

It’s simple, all those variables don’t mean a thing as soon as the light, the poses, the backgrounds, the players, the location and a hundred other things change. Put the same gear in that persons hands and you can have a disaster. Just common sense. 

  • Back to the prints. The point here is that quality prints from DIGITAL are printed at .300 Dots per Inch. 
  • CD-ROMs for viewing are represented at .72 dots per inch. It is literally four times less resolution. You want to see the work at the printing resolution and that's where the quality is based, not the cartoon show some of these guys deliver, because when you go to print them a .72 DPI photo is ghastly when enlarged. 
  • The real important questions are your criteria for choosing what you would shoot with at my Wedding? 
  • What would you photograph at my wedding? 
  • How do you know how many pictures to take? 
  • What makes your photographs better or different than anybody else's? 
  • Have you photographed in this hall, Church, Mosque, Synagogue before….
  • Does you have backup equipment?   Let them tell you they never have problems and don't need backups and you walk out. Simple. He’s not what you are looking for.