LIFE ART PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog en-us LIFE ART PHOTOGRAPHY LLC (LIFE ART PHOTOGRAPHY) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:42:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:42:00 GMT LIFE ART PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog 120 96 Everybody Lies! How Wedding Photography is Like House, M.D. Dr. Gregory House! Yep he's one of my favorite T.V. characters of all-time. And his motto: Everybody lies!!!

House is a Cynic. And I would be a cynic too if I were to stumble across this blog post. Why Because as a wedding photographer I think that the photography is the most important part of the wedding.  Of course I would say that since I am one, Right? How self-serving is that! But this is one time when Dr. House is wrong, and I am not lying...there are exceptions. Occasionally, some people tell the truth! 

What are the most important parts of the wedding? I see tons of weddings with very different styles and budgets....from the super cheap, the shotgun wedding, the courthouse, the uber swanky river-overlook venue, the stately mansion, the outdoor, okay, okay, we get it! 

What are the most important parts of a great wedding? Before I declare that the photograph is the most important part of your wedding, let's look at some other possibilities...

1. A Wedding planner. Great weddings are rarely done without a wedding planner, right? Well, maybe that is about half true. About 50% of the weddings we see each year (that is around 25 a year) have a wedding planner. Most of them, Rock!

Without a wedding planner the stress on the bride is huge (as if it wasn't already one of the most stressfully things you'll ever do). The wedding planner really helps reduce that stress, helps you find save money, remembers all of the details on the day so you don't have to. Some brides are able to pull off a great wedding without one, but it is hard. If you don't have a planner, you must have a DJ, Photographer, or Venue manager that does assist in the planning for you.

2. The Dress! Actually...uhm, We see dresses that run the spectrum, from the recycled (i.e. free from momma) to the reduced rate ($2000 dress found by the bargain hound bride at a clearance rate of $250) to $5000+ dresses. In fact, the most gorgeous dress of this past season was a used vintage dress for almost nothing! And, they all look marvelous! The dress has to compliment you, but a dress does not make a wedding. The Bride makes the wedding and the Bride makes the dress! 

3. The Flowers. No slam on my florist friends, but the details of table decor and floral arrangements are not in the end going to be remember or make your wedding stand out.

 Okay, we all can see where this is going . . . so, as a photographer WHY DO I BELIEVE THAT THE PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE WEDDING?  I believe that it shares that top spot with the choice of Venue. That's right most important: Venue and Photography. The next most important are (again a tie): Planner and DJ.  Choose all of these carefully.  These are the Most important part of your wedding (and therefore most important part of your budget):

Lexington Central Kentucky Wedding Photography Modern Romantic Fun DJ's and Planners can make your day a huge success. The details of your day need to flow seamlessly and and as stress free as possible, and so do the details of the celebration at the after-party. The planner and the DJ make these events or break them (trust me, I have seen both melt down or throw tantrums; its not pretty). 

The Venue can make or break a great wedding. Yep, we have all been to those places still stuck in the 1970's. Where did they get those colors? Or the panelling on the ways? Plain is better than ugly. A cramped, substandard facility will translate into a series of stresses and breakdowns on your most important day. But a grand venue will translate into a feeling of luxury and glamour, of romance and love. A gorgeous venue equals gorgeous photography!

A Photographer? Dr. House says, "The main tangible thing you have after the wedding is the photography that memorializes your day." You waited for this day since you were a tiny girl, now how will you remember it? Will you see it unfold like a cinematic production in a professionally crafted slideshow? Will you hold it in your hands in a finely crafted leather album as you smile with joy for years to come? What you will have after everything you put into your wedding? The photos. After the day is past, they are what you will have (other than that cool guy you get to take home).  

After all of the time and dollars spent on the dresses, tuxedos, flowers, candy favors, runners, (the list is endless), what does it matter 10 years from now if you don't invest in a skilled professional photographer who captures those details in the photography.

I know that Aunt Sally is pretty good with a camera, but the skill of helping you plan the event, getting the perfectly timed capture, anticipating those emotional moments, these are not to be left to the hobbyist.

How do you replay your wedding day and get that moment when Dad saw you for the first time and tears welled up in his eyes, or when Mom made that funny face at the Groom? Or when your best friend Maid of Honor caught your tears before they fell on your dress? You cannot re-do a wedding. And you do not want to miss these moments.

The skill and quality of the photographer on your wedding day, and the investment in putting those images together to retell that story of love and romance in the slideshow, and in the table book album (rather than in a disc in a drawer), values your wedding day and all that you are spending on it. Without quality photography the details, the memories, the moments of tears and laughter will fade. 

Let the dream live on in the photography....Happily ever after.



]]> (LIFE ART PHOTOGRAPHY) Affordable wedding photography Importance of wedding Photography Priorities for your Wedding Wedding budget wedding Planning Mon, 20 Apr 2015 20:30:55 GMT
Why Do I Feel Like I Am Getting Ripped Off By Wedding Photography Prices A primary misconception about wedding photographers is that they are TOO Expensive. $1000 is a cheap photographer for a wedding and some charge $4000-9000. That may be more than the cost of the car you are driving. I'd be lucky to get $1k out of mine!  Photography prices vary depending on the region, but regardless of your local market you probably feel liked you are getting ripped off, right?

My first assumption is the cost of the photography is based on the length of coverage. So, if I pay my photographer $2000 for the day and they are with me 8 hours ($2000/8 hours = $250 per hour), then they are getting rich at $250 an hour, right?

Not at all. 

3 things go into the cost of wedding photography.

1. Time. The time my photographer is at the wedding is the tip of the iceberg. For an 8 hour wedding your photographer will take no less than 2000 images. Each of those images has to be examined up close looking for details such as pristine clarity in the focus, where all the family members are looking, etc. We all see those images on Facebook where the whole image is blurry, well that's not a professional photographer. Taking in focus images, then editing those images to artistic perfection takes lots of time.

On average one wedding = 30 plus hours of editing. If your photographer spent only 60 seconds per image to decide to keep the image and edit it and then complete that editing, it would require 33 1/2 hours of editing time. Uploading the finished product of 800 photos to the website for review takes another 4 hours, the time in consults and communication with the bride is another 4-6 hours, traveling to and from the wedding. So let's look at the break down:

  • 8 hours at wedding (x 2 photographers = 16 hours)
  • 30 hours editing
  • 4 hours uploading and backing up your photos
  • 3 hours preparing, loading/unloading and cleaning gear
  • 4 hours in consultations, emails, phone calls
  • 2 hours traveling to and from the wedding
  • 10 hours creating slideshow of the photos, Facebook uploads, and social media galleries

Total 71 hours or $28.16 an hour (but out of that comes other costs).


2. Equipment. My neighbor at the cookout last Friday took photos on the camera she got on Craigslist's for $400; My camera that I carry at each wedding is $5000. Each year upgrades and maintenance cost at least that much more. Professional photographers, in order to get those great images arrive at your wedding with $30,000 - $50,000 in equipment in their bag. The equip goes well beyond the camera gear, it includes lighting, memory cards, specialized computers and software for editing.

3. Business Expenses. This stuff is boring even to photographers, so let's move quickly. The insurance for that equipment and for business liability (which many venues require a minimum of $1 million business liability), as well as taxes are all part of the hidden cost that a professional photographer must cover. Oh, let's not forget website hosting, business cards, well you get the point. See told ya this part was boring...


So why am I feeling ripped off by wedding photography prices? Because weddings are expensive, and wedding photography is expensive.

When it is all over, the thing helps me know whether all that I spent was worth it is that I can look back on the photographs from the wedding and see that beauty preserved for a lifetime. The flowers are pretty, the Prime Rib? Melt-in-your-mouth!!! But I won't remember that 10 years from now without the photos. The photos are what give everything else its value.

So the question is, will my photographer capture the most important details, the memories, the romance, the emotions of the Day? 

If I spent Thousands of dollars on the wedding only to look back and see that the images are orange, blurry and incomplete; or if it took me months to get my images from my photographer; will I feel ripped off? You bet I will!!! I want value for my money, but the value of preserving the memories of my wedding day: Priceless!  










In the end isn't the photography the most important expense of my wedding? 



]]> (LIFE ART PHOTOGRAPHY) wedding photography average cost wedding photography budget wedding photography expensive Wed, 21 Jan 2015 19:21:34 GMT
Should You Do a First Look? Aaron Cobb meets his Bride Amanda One of the most exciting experiences for any bride and groom is when the soon-to-be-married couple sees each other all dressed up for the first time on their wedding day.

That enchanted moment, with the beautiful bride in gown revealing herself to the handsome man of her dreams, is full of romance and emotion. 

Some couples hold to the tradition of seeing each other for the first time as the bride makes the grand entrance walking down the aisle. However, some couples prefer to make that moment a private "First Look" before the wedding ceremony begins. 

When I first heard the idea, my heart sank with the thought of parting from tradition, and as I saw it "skipping" something so meaningful! THAT moment? No way! The music as he waits for her adorned in lace by the alter? The charm gone? Why would anyone skip that moment and miss all the excitement, beauty and emotion? Well, its not an easy choice. But as I've asked around, I have discovered several reasons worth considering when deciding on whether or not to do a First Look. What I learned convinced me there is a lot more emotion and time for the romance in a First Look session than I had imagined.

Amanda Cobb First Look at the Bell House Lexington, Ky Wedding

1. The Guests Won't Have to Wait on the Couple.  Typically the guests have to wait an hour or more for the Bride and Groom to arrive at the reception.  Brides with an exceptionally large family or a large wedding party may take even longer. Each grouping for the Formal photos takes 3-5 minutes. By the time the photos are completed, guests have been waiting for a long time. They may be tired or hungry and they may have lost some of the excitement from the ceremony. The event peaked at the ceremony and now they are waiting for round two. 

With the First Look before the ceremony, the Bride and Groom have seen each other and had their special moment, and the wedding party can take their formal photos with the couple. This leaves only a handful of photos of the family for the guests to wait on.

2. Time for Focus on Each Other and the Freedom to be Emotional.  To see the Bride in all her enchanted glory and want to tell her how much you love her; how beautiful she is! To want to tell her. To want to touch her! We miss out on this during the ceremony. There is no time for exchange.

For the Bride and Groom who see each other for the first time as she walks down the aisle, the moment is an instant and gone. Photography teams can set up at opposite ends of the aisle and capture both Bride and Groom, but the moment is limited. Yes, the music is playing and the anticipation has built, but the distraction of the crowd and trying to not trip over the aisle runner do take away from the experience. 

The First Look provides an intimate time where his expression, and his words can be focused solely on her radiance, his bride. The moment turns into 30 minutes as your emotions run free. Hugs, kisses, tears are permitted without fear of the crowd looking on. Make-up can be re-touched afterward.  In that moment, your day pauses for you, and stress fades away. 

3. Time to Preserve the Experience in Photographs for Ever. With a First Look, the 30 second walk down the aisle becomes a thirty minute session just for the Bride and Groom to soak in the time, the embrace of one another and romance of the day. It is their time; not the time for the crowd, the schedule and the details. Those are gone. The Bride and Groom are alone. Even photographers are out of the picture for part of the First Look so the couple can experience an intimate moment of love. With the photographers present the moments are slowed down, soaked in and the beauty is preserved forever as they are able to capture the experience, frame by frame. The emotions, the embraces, the experience and the beauty.  

The crescendo of the the First Look, whether a private moment or a meeting at the aisle, is the moment when your dream becomes reality--two are becoming one!!! What a magnificent tradition no matter how you choose to see each other for that "First Look!"

Lexington Central Kentucky Wedding Photography Modern Romantic Fun


]]> (LIFE ART PHOTOGRAPHY) Bell House Wedding First Look Lexington wedding bridal couples photography romantic Wed, 30 Apr 2014 02:58:46 GMT
Not Every One Should Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer Not Every One Should Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer.  Especially not one that costs double your monthly mortgage payment!!! In fact, I didn't hire a pro to shoot my wedding. But now, years later, I wish I had.  Our Maid of Honor gave us a wedding gift of providing the wedding photos.  Her brother is an amazing landscape photographer, and I love his work.  The gesture was an amazing gift and very touching as we faced the budget crunches of wedding preparation.  I thought, "Great way to save, and we will place that money toward the Tropical Honeymoon."

Looking back? I wish I had hired a professional wedding photographer!! Ashley's Bridal SessionJust moments before she walked the aisle, Ashley got a few moments alone to reflect and bask in the soft warm glow of the windows of the Opera House in Winchester, Kentucky.

There is nothing wrong with the photos they took. So why would I pay hundreds, even thousands if I had it to do over?

Because a professional wedding photographer captures that day like no one else can. The eye for details to capture the hundreds of hours spent on the flower arrangements, the touches of lace that you hand cut for 5 hours, the three Saturdays traveling until you found the perfect accent fabric.  The emotion of the bridesmaids together in the hours prior, the tears in mom's eye, the nervousness of the groom, the laughter of the toasts...and the list goes on and on. The professional wedding photographer knows what's coming, how to position, how to anticipate, how to catch that moment, so that each aspect of your wedding is preserved for years to come. You can relive, re-trace, and ultimately feel the love and beauty of the day over and over again. My friend was able to capture our formal posed pictures of us as bride and groom, but these little details are what I miss.

What I want now as I look back over the years, is a collection of photos that tell the story of the day. A storybook of the fairytale wedding is what every bride deserves! Lexington Central Kentucky Wedding Photography Modern Romantic Fun

More than just a collection of still photographs, I want a memory of us as a couple in the moments leading up to that all important kiss. I need the layers of beautiful that is my wife, my princess, in her gown! I need to see the story unfolding.

On a practical side, I also value that the photos are retouched, and professionally edited. Not to mention the benefit that the Professionals store the images digitally on their website so that I never have to worry about a fire or water damage.

My Maid of Honor's present and her brother's quality were such a thoughtful gift to us. However the hour and a half that a friend of the family will spend on your photography, compared to the 35-40 hours a pro will devote to capturing, editing and retouching your photos, makes the difference between the "cost of a photographer"  vs. "the value of your Investment."

Lexington Central Kentucky Wedding Photography Modern Romantic Fun





]]> (LIFE ART PHOTOGRAPHY) Kentucky wedding photography wedding photos wedding pricing Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:56:33 GMT