Pro-fes-sion-al -1. Following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: a professional builder
Or...in other words, they charge for their services, but does that really make them a "Pro"?
Once again sharing my thoughts in an effort to help you reader as we are often a part of weddings and many other special events. I also well know how important a once in a lifetime day is. If your goal is to have a near perfect day with memories captured that will last you a lifetime then who you hire to be a part of that day is going to be one of the most important decisions that you make.
Unfortunately...all services are not created equal, and don't be fooled into thinking that price is the number one thing that matters. Top professionals always cost more than those that are not, and there is good reason for that. As an example of sub standard carriage service I can tell you first hand that I have seen pictures from paying customers weddings where the carriage driver was wearing street clothes complete with a camouflage T shirt and a dog on the carriage. Really? at someone's wedding? I only wish it were not true. Now would you want something like that in your wedding photo's? I highly doubt it. As you can easily predict an outfit such as this does not use top of the line equipment, their horses feed and care is not usually up to par, their safety practices are questionable at best, and well...it is just a slack job all the way around.
For tips on what you should expect from a carriage service visit the Why Us page on our website: http://princesscarriage.com/safety.html, and for an education about what you never ever want to patron, read this from our blog: http://princesscarriage.blogspot.com/2010/04/doing-it-right-and-doing-it-wrong.html
This issue was really creeping into the forefront of my mind during the introduction to digital photography class I have recently been taking. Our instructor Matt Dyson of Dyson Photography of Cabot tells me that he has had intro student's that are already set up as business's, advertising, and charging people for their services, and yet they are just getting around to taking his first level beginners class! Even worse is that this has happened on a number of occasions and he has been teaching the classes for a number of years.
Notice in the photo how by using a shallow depth of field and just the right lens Matt created a dream like look to this photo while leaving the gorgeous birthday baby in sharp crisp focus. Matt's prices are very reasonable and quite the bargain considering he is truly a professional. Not only is he someone who is highly versed about the inner workings of the camera, but also all the elements it takes to produce far better than "ok" or "good" pictures, but truly amazing photo's. The number of things that need to be in place for that is just staggering, not to mention hard to do. I had not the first clue about any of that until I took his class. After eight intense hours of instruction and have yet to barely scratch the surface of what I should know just to be a major rookie photographer. Not to mention taking over a hundred shots just to get one decent example of our "homework" assignment each week.
So dear readers my share here is to remind you to sit down and decide what matters most to you. Think about if cutting corners is really worth the imagined savings, and be very careful that you are really getting what you are paying for. For both a very reasonable and totally competent photographer I can with full confidence recommend:
Until next time...