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Anne Ruthmann, New England Occupation: Photographer Website: Anne Ruthmann Photography About Me: Things that make me happy: old people getting crazy on the dance floor, world travel, hello hugs & goodbye kisses, cultural celebrations, acoustic live music, indie handmade crafts, cinema, environmental protection, diversity, the sound of nature, authenticity, white water rafting, discovering artists, photographing people in love. Things that bore me: bland food, celebrity gossip, negativity, fake anything, waiting in lines, egotism.
About anneruthmann

Jennifer & Justin’s Winnipeg Wedding

Last week I received an email from a bride who was feeling a little uneasy about the turn around time on her wedding photos. She had been in contact with her photographer but wanted to gain a little more perspective on the matter and asked me if I could help (she had wanted to hire me originally, but I was already booked.) She said that she loved her enagagement photos and even the preview photos that she had seen from her photographer, yet something was still bothering her to make her feel uneasy about the remaining images she hadn’t seen yet. I don’t feel comfortable sharing her email since it contains sensitive personal information, but she did mention that she had a friend who attended the wedding, took pictures, and put them online the next day- which added to her confusion as to why the remaining images from her professional photographer would take so long. I’m sharing my response here in hopes that it can help other brides understand some of the behind-the-scenes workings of a wedding photographer. (photos from some of my recent weddings, just for fun)

Emily-Aaron-Wedding-16.jpg

Here was my response…

“It sounds like it will be worth the wait! If you absolutely loved what your photographer did for your engagement photos, which are merely a fraction of what you’ll receive on the wedding day, than I’m sure you’ll love your wedding photos too!! Your friend’s photos look great and I can see why he was able to turn them around quickly- because there were so few (44?) and he probably doesn’t have a bunch of other weddings and holiday orders to process right now!

Emily-Aaron-Wedding-08.jpg

I know that when I photograph a wedding, I take somewhere in the area of 2500-4000 photos which I end up narrowing down to around 800 (I take lots of duplicates in an attempt to get the absolute perfect moment)!! That’s a LOT to go through!! It takes time to find just the right ones, and then after I’ve found all the right ones, I have to go through and make sure all the skin tones look good, that all of the exposures are great, and that the colors and contrast are just right.

It’s pretty easy to whip out 100 photos or less in a day when there weren’t many to begin with and they were all taken in similar lighting conditions, but weddings often include a much larger variety of lighting conditions, exposure challenges, and color balancing that needs to happen for them to look good. There are so many times when I long to be shooting film again so that I could just drop the film off at the lab and be done with it!! Now, as digital photographers, we have become the lab, and because we’ve become the lab, we’ve also become increasingly perfectionistic about our work and every single image! Just yesterday, I spent an hour and forty minutes to produce 18 images as a “quick preview” for a bride & groom. Can you imagine the time it takes to do 180? 1800?? I know that I spend way more time on my digital images than I ever did with film - but I also think that the quality of my work reflects that extra time versus just letting a machine do all the corrections for me.

Rialto Theatre Wedding

I feel like sometimes it’s hard to make a promise for a certain deadline, because it means I have to limit my creative process just to be finished by a certain time, rather than by when I feel like everything is the way I would want it to be. And on a personal note, every time I set a deadline, I then run into some kind of problem- as if fate is just mocking me for setting deadlines in the first place. It’s quite ironic actually because it happens practically EVERY time, without fail, even if I try to compensate by giving a longer timeline. When things go wrong, all I can do is try to be as open and forthright as possible about what’s happening and what I’m doing to remedy the situation. It would be nice if things always worked smoothly, the way we expect them to, but fate loves to make a fool of expectations.

Jennifer & Justin’s Winnipeg Wedding

It’s a great sign that your photographer has been open with you about her process and how much she needs to accomplish before she can start working on your images. It definitely sounds like the pressure of the holidays, maybe some pressure from parents, paired with some unpleasant wedding day experiences have wreaked havoc on your emotions about the final outcome. After my wedding day, I know I was on pins and needles until I saw all of my wedding photos- and I didn’t really even have anything go wrong!! There were so many what-ifs running around in my head - like, did they get this or that? Did I look OK? Did everything turn out? What could possibly be taking so long? Is there something I don’t know about? And honestly- my anxiety just continued to grow until I was able to see everything!! Once I saw everything, I felt so much better and I realized that a lot of the anxieties I had were merely related to other things I was holding onto that weren’t necessarily related to the photos themselves- most of it was just other stuff rattling around in my head and I wasn’t really able to crystalize that until I saw that everything was OK with the photos.

Mary & Jarod Chaldean Cultural Dance

So- I TOTALLY understand what you’re going through and as maddening as it seems right now, it’s actually a very common feeling which will likely dissipate once you get to see all of your photos. I think you did a great thing by talking to an objective third party about it because it can be disturbing to just let all of those thoughts fester without getting them out somewhere, and it’s obvious that you care about your photographer and want to give her the benefit of the doubt! I wish all brides were as understanding as you!”

Are you ready for some post-wedding humor?? I just love this video because this is TOTALLY how I felt after my wedding…. (for the record - I don’t think you represent any of these brides, but I think I was all of them wrapped up into one!!!)

Disclaimer: all photographers are different. We all have different processes, which is why we can’t assume that everyone will have the same turn around time, or that there’s even a “standard” turn around time. Some photographers put their proofs up as unfinished images, some finish all of their images first. Obviously unfinished images are much quicker and easier to get online than hundreds of images that have been tweaked and worked on. Some photographers give their clients 200 images while others give clients 1200 images. Some photographers blog a few images right after the wedding, some blog everything way after the clients have already seen their images (me!). Some photographers have a staff of employees who do all the work for them, while others operate as artisans- crafting each image from start to finish. Some photographers whip through their post production, while others take time on each image. Some photographers give unfinished digital images on disc, some give finished images on disc. Some photographers do all of their own album designs, some hire someone else to do it for them. No photographer is right or wrong; they just have different methods of creating their work, and whatever that process is, we should honor the process that goes into giving us the results we want and have paid for. However, if you’re REALLY anxious, please talk to your photographer directly in order to get a sense of where they are in the overall process. It’s better to have open communication than to let the mind wander in anxiety!

Mary & Jarod First Dance

It’s a delicate balance- trying to be an artist and a business person at the same time. The artist mentally is quite obsessive and perfectionistic. The artist hates being bothered in the middle of being intensely focused because it can ruin a creative streak. The artist wants to simply shut out the world around her so that she can enjoy every little creation as it’s being made. The artist works on something until its done, not until the timer has run out. The artist has a lot of pride in her work and would be horrified if it were to be out there unfinished. Yet, we also have to be business people. We have to meet our clients needs and keep them happy, even if it doesn’t always give us the freedom to do what makes us happy. We have to set deadlines and meet them no matter what happens or else we lose our client’s trust. We have to answer emails and return phone calls in a timely manner so that our clients feel valued and respected. As a business person, we WANT to do all of these things because we care about our clients, and because without our clients’ support, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do!! We love our clients and we want to give them the best of everything. It’s just a delicate line we must walk every day, always trying to stay in balance- and sometimes we fall down, but we pick ourselves back up in the hopes that it is our accomplishments, not our failures, which will be the ultimate measure of our success.

Brides, if you have any more questions about wedding photography, please feel free to post them in the comments (you’ll be donating food to my local food bank with each post!) Photographers, feel free to add your own thoughts and responses. I’d like this to be an open and friendly conversation about the topic!

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41 Responses to “Why Do Wedding Photos Take So Long?”

1.
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Cory Ann Ellis

Anne,
That was a very thorough and fair assessment. Thank you for taking the time to explain the process, which I do think is often overlooked.
Cory Ann

 
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I Love Weddingbee PRO. » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog

[...] you haven’t already, please check out Anne Ruthmann’s post today on why it takes so long to get wedding pictures from your photographer, as well as all the [...]

 
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Miss Hot Cocoa

This is such an informative post, as usual. And the photos! I love the snow angel one. What a treat to have you and Leigh here!!!

 
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Mrs. Penguin

I think people forget (or don’t know) that pictures don’t just come out of the camera! All good things are worth the wait :)

 
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Robin

I work for a photographer and do the colour correcting, skin tones, exposure editing etc…it takes me 6-8 hours to do 1000 photos. A lot of people have no idea what’s involved in the post production process at all!

 
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Mrs. Bee (message)  117 posts, Blushing bee

i blog less because i don’t have the time to edit my photos for my posts… and i’m just a regular person with very limited skills! i can’t imagine how much time you spend on post processing!

 
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AliCherri1

Thanks for posting about this :) I think we all get impatient sometimes, it good to be reminded why you’re waiting.

 
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Miss Peep Toe

Great post, and that video- hysterical!!

 
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BeachBrideT

What a great, thorough explanation! I think that many brides are so anxious to see the pictures of their wedding day that they often forget the HOURS of work behind the pictures. The work that the photographer does the day of the wedding is just the beginning. There are hours of work still to be done in the studio.

I think that the best relationship is a balanced one. One where the bride is patient and knows that the photographer is working hard to make the pictures look the best possible. And one where the photographer understands why the bride might be so anxious and does his or her best to reassure the bride that he/she REALLY is working on those photos… not just putting the bride off! I think that brides need to set reasonable expectations, and posts like your just help us brides that aren’t in the biz understand just what you do in your studio!
Thanks!

 
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Megan

I believe that receiving beautiful wedding photographs is worth the wait! Even though you may be anxious until they are in your hands (or rather, on your computer), once they are yours…they are yours forever!

Anne, how kind and professional of you to offer such a thoughtful, detailed explanation to a bride who is not even your client! And then to share that response with all of us! If you treat us this well, your clients must be very lucky brides ;)

 
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Marcie

This is wonderful, Anne. As someone who isn’t doing art, everything just takes some time…I can’t imagine how demanding this side of it can be all the while trying to create the art that brides expect. You are amazing and I think this is an awesome, well focused review of a photog’s perspective.

 
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Anne

@Miss Hot Cocoa: thank you!! I’m so honored to be able to share with brides all of this great info!

@Mrs. Penguin: You’re so right. I think part of it is that our clients have point & shoot cameras and just expect that we can just get our results using the same process, when really there’s much more involved. A point & shoot generally produces a JPG image which can be sent straight to print, while a professional camera produces a RAW image (aka Digital Negative) which can’t be printed until it’s “developed”, much like it was with film. This RAW file contains so much more color and exposure information than a JPG image and it allows us to really do amazing things that we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise! ;-)

 
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Anne

@Robin: it sounds like you guys run a tight ship! That’s awesome! Your photographer is lucky to have you and hopefully you’re paid well for what you do!

@Mrs. Bee: that’s so funny because I sometimes blog less because of the time it takes to put together an entire blog on top of everything else I’m doing! I can’t WAIT to hire someone to help me in the office next year, it’s going to make SUCH a huge difference!

Of course it means that I have to charge a little more to have a second employee, but when it results in improving turn around times and taking better care of my clients, I consider it a necessity!

 
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Anne

@BeachBrideT: I agree and a lot of what we need to do as photographers is to educate our clients and to set reasonable expectations. If clients know when to expect their images and the process that’s involved, it’s much easier to pass the time thinking of something else rather than when clients don’t know when to expect them. Part of the responsibility is ours to put our deadlines in our contract, and part is on the clients to hold onto that contract so that they can refer to it later on in the process.

 
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Anne

@Megan: I feel the same way - I only get to put my love into those images for a few weeks, but the client will be looking at them for the rest of their life… and then they will become a memorial after they’ve gone.

I think what makes it really difficult is that the wedding day flies by so fast and after spending soooo much time planning for it, there really is this huge void afterward. Essentially planning a wedding (for many brides) becomes an all-consuming hobby for a good year, and then after the wedding day *poof* it all disappears. Images really help us hold on to that feeling of the wedding day… so seeing the wedding images becomes the only remaining source of fulfillment and satisfaction of all the hard work after the wedding. It’s a big responsibility we have as photographers- and I know that for me, it’s not one that I take for granted!

 
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Anne

@Marcie: Thank you. I know a lot of photographers feel much the same way, so it’s really nice to hear how brides feel too.

 
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Mrs. Avocado

My mom, a wedding photographer, was SOOOO impatient to get my pictures back, LOL. I think being a photographer helped her be a little more patient than usual, but she wanted to use some wedding pictures for Christmas cards and even though I got my pictures back before we even hit the 2 month mark she was still asking daily if I had them back yet. I guess everyone gets a little crazy after the wedding. It’s just so exciting to remember how everything happened!

 
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Melissa B.

This was so informative, Anne — and what gorgeous photos! :-)

If you don’t mind sharing your professional expertise on another photography question: there’s a poster on the Weddingbee boards who was married in August. She signed a contract with her photographer in which he promised she’d have her photos (a DVD and prints) 2-4 weeks after the wedding. 4 months later, she’s got nothing, and her photographer has stopped returning her phone calls. Do you have any ideas on what couples can do in a situation like this?

http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/photographer-is-holding-my-pictures-hostage

 
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BeachBrideT

Anne - Do you happen to know where the bride got her bridesmaids dresses? I adored them the moment I saw them, and I found out a few weddingbee readers did too! If you happen to know, I’d really appreciate it.

 
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Miss Deviled Egg

Thanks for sharing your perspective on this. I guess I always knew that post processing was time consuming, but I never realized just how involved it was. I appreciate the work you put into your photos. Every last one of them you post is awesome!

 
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Anne

@Mrs. Avocado: oh man, I think that sometimes the pressure from family is what sends brides over the edge. They’re probably the worst when it comes to understanding the process - so maybe brides should help educate their family members so that they don’t have to feel pressured by them. Do you think that would help?

@Melissa B.: I agree that this is a very disturbing situation. At the very least, someone should be able to return a phone call or email. Something similar happened here where a photographer had a storefront and photographed at least one person’s wedding and then just closed up shop with no forwarding address. The couple ended up taking it to the local news in the hopes that anyone who knew that person would contact them just so they could have their wedding photos. I definitely think taking it to the local media would be a LAST resort only after attempting to get in touch via certified mail (hopefully the post office has a forwarding address on file?) which requires a human signature. The Better Business Bureau and/or the local Chamber of Commerce may be able to give you the best advice in dealing with this situation. I would hate to give any legal advice without knowing the laws in your area. Good luck to her!!!

@BeachBrideT: The purple tea-length ones? I’ll try getting Emily to post here with info about her bridesmaid dresses!

 
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Emily

Hey!
The bridesmaids dresses are from a store called Bella Bridesmaid (Awesome store but it isn’t everywhere), they are Priscilla of Boston. I’m not sure what the style is called but they are silk faille in the color Fig. Check out the website and see if you can find them. They don’t look exactly the same on the website! But all my bridesmaids loved them and they were so comfortable! I feel in love with how classic they were! Hope you find them!!

Emily

 
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Mrs. Avocado

I love knowing that you respond to comments, it has me coming back to your posts to see what you wrote in return :)

I think in dealing with parents, the key is usually to respond in a way that shows you are very educated about the situation. For example, if my mom were non a pro photog and she was bugging me about the pictures I would say “I’ve talked to a lot of brides and read a lot about timelines and it seems that 2 months is actually a very fast turnaround for the photos. I’m sure that she is taking her time to make sure each photo turns out just right.”

Of course this doesn’t work when your mom is the expert and so she would reply with things like “I have brides that start emailing me if they don’t have photos in their hands within 6 weeks.” To which I would say “I don’t want to be any of those (slightly demanding) brides.”

But usually there isn’t much to be done about demanding family!

 
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Anne

@Mrs. Avocado: I think that’s great advice ;)

 
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Allie

Those are some adorable bridesmaid dresses!

Does anyone know where they got the shoes from? I noticed that the bride replied earlier to inquiries regarding the dresses, so I’m for the same about the shoes!! Thanksss :-D

 
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Emily

haha
the shoes are from Nine West. The style is JoJus. They usually have them in variety of colors. I was just lucky enough to find them in the exact shade to match the dresses last fall at Von Maur. I’m not sure who carries them now!

Emily

 
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tina

anne, thank you very much for your detailed explanation of the process for wedding photographers. my husband is actually an editorial photographer and even with his background the impatience is hard to overcome! my scenario is: i know it’s difficult to pare down 2500-4000 photos to the best and most artistic ones. our photographer gave us about 600 images. i asked my husband about seeing the “rejects” and he explains, at least in his business of editorial/magazine work, that that is simply not done. he’s not so sure about wedding photography though. my interest in the rejects is more an interest in a complete documentation of the event, bad photo or not…

from your point of view: 1) is it rude to ask to see and/or get copies of the rejects? 2)do clients commonly ask to see the rejects? 3) any other thoughts, comments, etc would be greatly appreciated!!!

thanks again for the great info,
tina

 
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Anne

Did I mention how awesome my clients are? Seriously! Emily- you rock!

@tina: sooo… what keeps YOU up at 4 am? I’m still working!

Every photographer is going to have a different opinion on how they feel about the rejected photos, so I really only feel comfortable speaking for myself and how I feel about it. Obviously it’s best to talk to your photographer directly and see how they feel. For me, the rejects are either bad duplicates of existing photos, photos that simply didn’t turn out- like a flash that didn’t recycle fast enough and created a bad and unrescuable exposure, or really incredibly unflattering pictures that make people look like zombies (even zombies would be offended by some of the images I throw away.) But usually it’s just duplicates that didn’t work out- so you’re rarely getting anything “more” by having all of those additional images.

If you take a look at my wedding ring post (http://www.weddingbeepro.com/2008/12/08/how-to-take-amazing-engagement-and-wedding-ring-photos/) you’ll see that I took 90 images of a ring before I decided on TWO that I liked. The subject didn’t change for any of the photos, and there were only like 2-3 unique “poses” that I created. One pose simply didn’t photograph well and for the other two poses, I just shot a ridiculous amount of frames because I was going for the “perfect” version of that detail shot. I find that I do the same thing with formals- especially when there are more people involved because it becomes increasingly difficult to get that “one” shot where everyone has their eyes open and is actually looking at the camera. Does this make sense?

So- what we do in the editing process is a service that saves you from having to look through thousands of photos to find the best and most flattering version of each attempt at a particular moment or subject.

If you think about the wedding day in terms of time, there are only so many unique moments and images we can capture. I would consider 600 photos to be pretty complete coverage of the wedding day and if your photographer was there for 10 hours, that’s a photo a minute!! There are only so many photo worthy moments in a wedding day and I think we do our best to represent those in the best way possible.

Now, what someone considers to be photo-worthy and when they decide to press the shutter is different from photographer to photographer, which is why it’s good to ask to see an entire set of proofs from a few recent weddings to see if they’re capturing the kind of images that you’re interested in. Just because I capture such a large number of images (because I’m a bit obsessive compulsive) doesn’t mean the next photographer does. Actually, when I shot film, I took fewer frames per minute (more like a total of 800-1000), but I still ended up with almost the exact same number of proofs for the client- because it goes back to the idea that there are really only so many unique moments and people that can be represented in the wedding day.

I definitely think that IF this is a huge concern- it’s something that you should talk about BEFORE you hire a photographer to see where they stand. A lot of really artistic photographers would never allow sub-standard photos to be released, because it would be perceived as lowering the quality standard of their work. Even if you vowed never to show them in public, it’s just not how they want to be represented.

That being said, if I have a client who works in the biz (I’ve photographed weddings for a few different professional photographers and wedding photographers), I’m definitely more open to the idea of them seeing all of the bad images because they already understand that the best representation of my work is what happens in the editing process- and if they want to bore themselves with analyzing 20 of the exact same poses to see which one has the most eyes open, go for it, it saves me time!! HA!! However, what they lose in that process is my specific post-production style on the back-end and they lose my interpretation of the wedding day and the goals that I was going for with each image.

Soooo…. that was a really long answer, and it’s only MY opinion- you’re obviously going to be better off talking about this with your photographer. I would only warn you that this question would frustrate some photographers and make them feel as though you don’t trust them - which kind of relates back to the question of why did you hire them, if you don’t trust them? (Ouch - that sounds harsh, but it’s a very real question you need to ask before you make the decision to hire someone!!) I think all wedding vendors do a much better job when we feel that we have the complete trust and support from our clients to do the job they’ve hired us to do.

 
29.
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Anne

@tina: thanks for asking that question… I think I should probably turn it into a full-blown post with photo examples just to bore all of you even more. HA!!

 
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tina

hi again anne (i’m still at work, too),

thanks very much for your quick response!! i think i better understand why my husband is so “queasy” about asking our photographer to see the rejects. i completely understand the artistic process as i have spent many hours waiting for him to finish working on his photos from his shoots, he too is a perfectionist!

i think your particular advice about seeing a few complete sets of proofs of weddings is sage, i wish i had known to ask that during our hiring process. honestly, my husband being in the biz, we knew of “THE” photographers to hire in our area and when one wasn’t available, we went with the other. the idea of seeing ALL the shots wasn’t really in my head until after we saw the proofs. all in all, we are very happy with the work received…i think personally i’m more interested in seeing the people in the backgrounds of the reject shots. for me the wedding was about making people feel good and seeing the smiles and reactions of the guests in the pictures is more what i’m after as opposed to seeing if he’s “holding back” on shots. at least that’s how my husband is going to present it to him, if he ever gets around to asking, as queasy as his stomach gets with the idea of having to ask such an uncomfortable question.

thank you once again for your very honest and insightful answers to my questions! that would be a good post i’d be interested in reading if you decide to write one!
tina

 
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tina

btw congratulatons on your awards, your images are stunning!

 
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anneruthmann

Thanks!! (I think I finally figured out how to make my photo pop up?)

 
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e'lisa

Anne-
I just want to thank you and give you a big hug for writing this post. Everything you said is true to perfection and to have it all down in one place is amazing. Thank you! I want to direct brides to this place so they can read this and understand where we come from. You are awesome! :)

 
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So Hard to Wait for Such Pretty Pictures » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog

[...] a harder name to say than I do!), I commented and asked her if I could re-post it here. I loved Anne Ruthmann’s post on Weddingbee PRO that talked about this very subject (and in fact, Ksenija’s post was inspired [...]

 
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uberBrides - Wedding blogs, social wedding network, 2009 wedding trends » Blog Archive » Why it really takes so long to get your digital wedding photos

[...] takes longer to edit a digital wedding than it takes to develop rolls of film.  The discussion was started with this post by Anne Ruthmann, and continued in another with the photographer author, Ksenija [...]

 
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Carissa

Brilliant! I have a very similar workflow and delivery but you are far more eloquent than I about explaining that process.

This post is saving a lot of brides and photographers some time.

 
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Kevin Swan

Hey, folks! I think this was an interesting post. Not to be argumentative, but this is not how everyone in the industry works; and I don’t think we need to be telling customers that this is the norm.

For me, I shoot Saturday. Monday and Tuesday the images are edited (2500-3500 down to sub-1000) and finalized. By Friday the album has been designed and posted, a few days later the rest of the images are up on whatever site we’re using for proofing. From there, the couple can make their edits to the album, and as soon as that’s done, their disc is burned and delivered. Sometimes, it’s less than 6 weeks when they get their albums, disc, etc.

There are many who work in similar timeframes as I do. We don’t sacrifice quality, we just have very specialized workflows that are built around efficiency. I don’t believe a bride should wait more than a couple weeks to see her photos. I realize I’m on the short end of the scale, but it’s possible to work with different processes than described above.

Again, not trying to be argumentative… just showing there are other ways to function.

 
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Mitch

Yeah I understand that it’s a long process. But should it take almost TWO years to get your wedding album back? Doesn’t seem right to me.

 
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Paulina Splechta

Thanks so much Anne for your insights, really appreciate this article it was very helpful!

 
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sueQ8 (message)  1 posts, Wannabee

I loved this post, i wish all couples would read and understand this delay… it really isn’t about shoot, edit and print… so much time is given to process each picture and then multiply this by X amount of wedding…Its alot! Photographer don’t only book 1 wedding a year… In all fields, some are dishonest and some are just artists that you chose because you liked what you saw.

My boyfriend is the photographer in my life. I want people to understand another side of the coin…or maybe… I just need advice.
He has been a photographer in canada for the last 13yrs and he is amazing at what he does. Couples that book him love his demos, his personality and even his prices. In my city, average photographer is paid 3000$ for a full day coverage only!

4yrs ago he went solo and it became harder due to him working on all edits/albums himself. He usually books 20 weddings a year besides all the commercial and events he also has.
Times got hard and money slowed down, I watched his morale get worse and 2 yrs ago he was diagnosed chronic depressed w/suicide intentions. When you have booked days and you feel like crap, the show must go on. In 2011, he dropped to 4 weddings due to above reasons.
I wish this on NO ONE to live with a depressed spouse, especially when he is embarrassed of having this disease. He got help last January so things are looking up. I am also helping him out with administration and customers. Its been a rough ride that most people will never understand, some customers I tried to explain his situation, but people just don’t care.
He has avoided calls, emails and gotten a few lawyer letters, some don’t even make sense. This is not the norm, he tries to get everything out for everyone, he is understanding when customers tell him they are financially strapped on last deposits after the wedding and ALL are super happy of the end result… but the struggles to get there are hard. Here is why:

after proofs are online, couples select pictures towards their albums, RIGHT? NOT THAT EASY!

What happens when a couple gets married and only selects pictures 2-3-4 yrs later?
Do they pass first, before last years wedding?
Are they allowed to get frustrated that their families have not yet seen a picture after they took such a long time to select?
How do you deal with earlier weddings because they are angry that you are processing older weddings?
What about the impact on the photographer work load? No one thinks about that either.

What happens when a bride hates the way she looks in that white dress and requests constant changes? ( I have seen albums take months due to couples not being sure of the changes )

Why are people so eager to get their albums and then not pick them up? ( I had finished albums sit in my living room for up to 5 months )

The lawyer letters: I understand the lack of respect that not returning calls can represent. The lawyer letters as a scaring tactic is a good way to push for your product. My boyfriend did the work out of guilt/failure but it then pushed him in deeper into depression…even then the customers who got their albums said ” took forever but his work impeccable.”

Some couples never call, never email, never select pictures and one day send a nasty email. How do you handle that?

So many factors can delay also:
Computers do crash, all work should be backed up but if a MAC/PC needs to be in the shop, you can’t do anything. Ask your photographer about it.
Album binding and printers get backlogged too. Sometimes the photographer has to chase subcontractors to give them the edits or footage.
Mail delay: some albums are ordered from Europe.
So many other factors like death, illness, the house burns down, what then?

I am not defending the dishonest, I am just defending the honest photographer who really is having a chain of bad luck. Sometimes its not the photographer either.

S.

 
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Helpful Series: So Hard to Wait for Such Pretty Pictures | Weddingbee

[...] a harder name to say than I do!), I commented and asked her if I could re-post it here. I loved Anne Ruthmann’s post on Weddingbee PRO that talked about this very subject (and in fact, Ksenija’s post was inspired [...]

 

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Anne @ Anne Ruthmann Photography Anne Ruthmann, New England Occupation: Photographer Website: Anne Ruthmann Photography About Me: Things that make me happy: old people getting crazy on the dance floor, world travel, hello hugs & goodbye kisses, cultural celebrations, acoustic live music, indie handmade crafts, cinema, environmental protection, diversity, the sound of nature, authenticity, white water rafting, discovering artists, photographing people in love. Things that bore me: bland food, celebrity gossip, negativity, fake anything, waiting in lines, egotism.
 
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