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How do you tell a story?

The art of storytelling dates back over 9000 years. Historians know that stories have changed over generations, in different cultures, however, the most important part of storytelling is ensuring that the overall lesson has been shared, or the story becomes ineffective. Stories were initially shared in spoken language, somewhere along history, the story tellers began to document the stories with drawings. Eventually stories began to be documented using written language, but with over 6500 languages in the world, it was difficult to keep the same story. The photograph is the common language in the world.

Photography is used in almost every medium, newspapers, billboards, television, magazines, art galleries, graffiti and many more. The stories a photo tells will evoke emotions, inform, or even inspire the onlooker. A photograph of a child smiling may make you smile. A photograph of a home being destroyed by a natural disaster may make you sad. As with language barriers, photographs have limitations and issues as well. The person viewing the photograph only assume the story from what they see.

When shooting photos, no matter the intended outcome of the photo, we as the storytellers, have the responsibility to ensure the most accurate story is being told. The way we take the photograph can present a different assumption on the story. One angle can make what should be devastating seem happy and content, while another angle will make a happy story seem scary and horrifying. Lighting can make the same assumptions which is why it is important to monitor and make necessary adjustments. Photoshop can turn a fun filled story into a nightmare.

Men and women all over the world hold themselves to unrealistic standards because storytellers have changed the story. We are storytellers like everyone else, like those who came before us and those who started drawing on the walls in caves. We must be responsible for the story we choose to tell and the duty to share the lesson as it is. We must remember that responsibility every time we pick up our camera.

Should we use Photoshop?

Stop Relying So Much on Photoshop

The first digital camera was invented in 1975. During this time, they were kind of expensive and not very popular. It wasn’t until the 90s when they would gain popularity, but they weren’t affordable to the public until the early 2000s. Photographers and Artists started to photoshop around 1987. The first wedding I ever shot was completely on film. Yes, I am old, but that is ok. The lessons I learned using film have proven invaluable.

The most valuable lesson that I learned was the importance of getting the shot right in camera. Digital has given us the mentality we can ‘fix it in edit.’

While, that is true, think about how much time it will take to edit each photo, and the old saying is ‘time is money’.

Film Cost Break Down: $5.00 per roll of film.

35 photos per rolls

$4.00 per roll for processing and prints.

$0.25 per photo (good or bad)

I could have hated the entire roll, there is only so much you could do in post editing, but it’s not like I could go back and reshoot the couples’ wedding. I needed to make the best of every single photo every time. If I missed the first kiss or any special moment, then the clients would not be happy.

Even If I could afford to spend my entire profit from a wedding in roll after roll of film, I really did not want to. I learned to adjust my camera controls and settings in the moment. I looked closely at my environment and learned to adjust my focus, aperture, and shutter speed quickly. I learned to use filters like polarizers and neutral density to help control the light.

There is software out there that I am sure most use so why bother with making sure we get the perfect shot when we can fix it later?

Digital Post Edit Cost: 1 minute to adjust each photo (maybe 120 photos that need adjusted)

Your cost per hour:  $100 (2 hours)

Thus, costing you:  $200

By making the adjustments in the presence of the session, we can save on time and costs after the session. This could allow us more time to set up another session or relax and unwind.

I am not trying to make an argument of which is better between in camera and post editing. I am trying to say that by using both methods could change your business. You are a professional and you know what is best for you.

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