Here is the idea?
If you are looking for ways to instantly increase your wedding photography presence, revenue, and client referral base you should print one of your best images of the day on site and pass them out to the guest. This past weekend I photographed a wedding in Mendocino and made an image of the bride and groom getting out of a 1930 Ford Model T. My idea was to recreate a classic 30’s Bonnie and Clyde feel with a little modern day edge. Then process the image during the wedding, and print 4x6’s using DNP’s DS40 that were mounted, framed, and packaged as favors for the guest.
Finding good reliable help is one of greatest challenges to printing on site at a wedding. Because printing on site in any situation is already logistical challenge, you have to have good people working with you. The key to pulling off a print on site image at a wedding is having assistants or second shooters who can fill-in for you while you are off the floor. Or have someone you can hand off the images to for editing, printing and packaging while you are shooting. Allotting enough time to create your image and process your print is biggest task you are going to face. Printing images in real time is not for the inexperienced or a process you want to implement "on the fly."
The solution to getting the printing done on time:
First, the key is to manage your shooting time, don't over shoot a scene, on the shot you are creating for the print. Know exactly what you are after. You also have to shoot faster and more concise, and know if your lighting is going to work for the print you select. You don't want to have fix any under or over exposures later; you wont have time. Second, start editing, printing and packaging your image during dinner. Weddings typically slow down during this point and this will give you enough time, back up your images, edit down for an image and consult with the bride on the image you are going to print.
Print quality is King and a final confirmation in your ability to deliver a print on site. This was evident in the guest response this past weekend in Mendocino. Guest at the wedding I worked continually commented on the quality of the photograph such as the color and sharpness in the photo. They were surprised and couldn’t believe that I had printed, mounted and framed so many 4x6 images I shot that day on the beach so quickly. Part of my success is due to experience, planning, and time management. But none of that would have mattered if I would have delivered sub-standard print to my brides and grooms guest. Switching over to DNP’s DS40 is clearly one of the best moves I have made this year. The DNP’s DS40, by far, offers the best quality, speed, and durability of any printer I have used in the last 10 years.
An Important Final Note
You have to use reliable equipment and I would strongly recommend a commercial dye-sub printer, such as DNP's DS40, that highlights the quality of your work. Not all printers are created equally; I have used most of them and an Ok print does not cut it when someone has paid you top dollar for quality! Don’t make a great image and print a sub-standard one! A wedding is an opportunity to showcase your work; it’s a selling opportunity to attract more clients who are there. You want your work to shine for the bride and potential clients who might fly you out to a location to just based on the fact that you can print a quality product in real time. Remember; people believe what they see more than what they hear.
Keith B Dixon is a Professional Freelance Photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Keith specializes in corporate event photography, executive portraits, and editorial assignment work in the health care, computer technology, biotech, and real estate. Keith’s work is regularly published in print ads, various magazines in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Nationally, and Internationally.