(Closed) Help choosing between two photographers!

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Which Photographer?

    #1: West Kenya Photography

    #2: Stephanie Lyell

  • Post # 17
    Member
    1403 posts
    Bumble bee

    View original reply
    @Mrs. Ranger:  I’m sorry to be blunt, but what you are saying just isn’t making any sense.  The time/detail put into something is evident in what you see as a finished product.  If photographer A spends twice the amount of time as photography B, it really doesn’t mean anything.  You are gauging someone’s efficiency and speed which has nothing to do with skill and talent.  More time per image doesn’t always mean a better product.  It’s like asking a painter how long it took to paint an image and gauging quality on that.

    For the most part the people that use those bulk editing services are large agencys that work on volume and subcontract everything and part timers that don’t have the time.  Full time pro’s may sub out an album layout/design, but for the most part edit their own pictures.  I will let some of the other pro’s respond to this.

    Post # 18
    Member
    222 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    View original reply
    @USER876:  I didn’t see any that were, and I didn’t look at every single image on that blog.  That would take a long time to do, whcih I don’t have.  Look I’m sure we can go back and forth all day about this and still dissagree.  I have better things to do, so I’m going to go study now.  Bye.

    @BluegrassBridetoBee Which ever one you choose I’m sure they will turn out fine.  You’re picking from two really good photographers, I doubt your pictures will turn out badly.  Good luck to you and congrats! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Post # 19
    Member
    54 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    @USER, I’m sorry, I think you misunderstood my point.  I am encouraging her to find out the details of their editing process.  I don’t want her to get stuck with a photog who batch edits, and that’s it.  She deserves more.  Make sense?

    Post # 20
    Member
    1600 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    In my opinion, they are both fantastic, but Stephanie Lyell makes my heart swoon. I wish I could hire her haha.

    Post # 21
    Member
    572 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    The prices also seem high to me for a shoot and burn, esp to someone with such limited experience, no prints, no albums, nothing.

    I thought the same thing.

    One thing I definitely learned from my own wedding is to ask for all the images from a few weddings…the entire spread.  Do you think they will put the bad pics on their blog or website?  No, they will put up the best.  By seeing an entire wedding, you can see whether they missed some important moments.  With our pictures there is not much from the ceremony and I wish I would have followed the advice from fellow brides.

    Post # 22
    Member
    1000 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    I vote WestKenya as well based on the quality of images shown and the processing. WestKenya has a blown highlight here or there or a yucky vintage effect, but nowhere near to the extent of Stephanie Lyell. Either person you hire, I would tell them to lay off the gross “vintage” photoshop action they are using. They may even look good to you on screen if you like the style, but wait til you see them in print!

    As far as asking a photographer about their workflow, that’s not really relevant. All you need to do is ask to look at ENTIRE wedding that was provided to the client and make sure you are happy with the quality you see there before hiring that photog. As USER said, it’s not how we got to that stage that matters. I personally would be insulted having someone like Ranger say “I need to know you are spending X amount of hours editing my photos for me to feel you are worth this rate.” Personally, my workflow sucks and if I told you how many hours I spend on a wedding you might not even believe me, but that’s not something I want or feel the need to share with a potential client. That’s like telling a painter “well, I love this painting, but I only want it if you tell me you spent at least a year creating it.” Oh and for the record, there is nothing wrong with photographers who outsource. Outsourcing companies like Colorati do better editing than I would venture to say 90% of actual photographers.

    Finally, if you go with West, I would ask for more pictures. You are definitely losing some moments captured only getting 300-400. I could never fit a whole days worth of shooting into that many photos without cutting out some photos I know the bride might want. I would ask for at least 600 for all day coverage.

    Post # 23
    Member
    54 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    I think the OP has gotten some great feedback.  The glory of WB is that we all bring our unique opinions to the table, and while they may not match those of others, hopefully, they will aid the OP in her quest to find the best photographer for her.

    Personally, I don’t think it’s appropriate to perpetuate the debate for the sake of self-explanation.  Best of luck, Bluegrass ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Post # 24
    Member
    3525 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    ooh. This is a hard one because they are both good.

    They are both good in b&w which I love because it’s so classic.

    They both seem to be pretty good on not being too posey and candid images. “Posed” images are set up well imo.

    I would personally go for West Kenya because I’m a huge fan of crisp bright vibrant colors. And West Kenya has more that style.

    Stephanie has some of that quality but she also seems to lean more towards the soft romantic vintage-y quality of images.

    Which is more your style?

    ETA:

    View original reply
    @PassionatePhotoLady:

    Good point about the # of edited images. 300-400 does sound VERY low for a full day coverage.

    Post # 26
    Member
    199 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    It looks like you’ve come down to two wonderful photographers and while I haven’t got much to add to the batch editing/processing time/album debates, I will say that our photography package came with 350 edited images and I felt like it was plenty. Getting ready, the ceremony, details, formals and an ungodly amount of family pictures. Could have there been more? Of course. But I really don’t feel like there was anything missing. It would have been “oh, a fifth picture of us ready to cut the cake.” I don’t need five, especially when the three I choose are fantastic. While I can understand why some people *might* want more shots, I did want to voice the opinion that the number offered by West Kenya may offer more than sufficient coverage. 

    Post # 27
    Member
    3048 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: January 1991

    Doesn’t seem steep to me… my photographer charges $2800 just to show up (wedding & engagement). Ultimately I’m paying $4900 for wedding album, all rights to my pictures in digital format (edited… probably 3,000 or more), she shows up whenever i want her to and it’s an all day affair (not by the hour), i’m sure there’s more that I’m missing.

    Anyway, I say all that becauuse I think if you go with either one of these photographers you will be fine. I’m leaning towards Stephanie Lyell because I finally found her engagement photos and wedding photos. They are pretty good for the price. West Kenya bothered me for some reason… not sure why. Maybe it was all her shots of the couples without their heads in the images (I hate that). And I also couldn’t find any pictures of the actual weddings… just pictures of the attendants and couple afterwards. It’s easy to pose pictures (and they looked posy) but it’s harder to get good images at the actual wedding.

    Hope it all works out! Either decision will be great I promise! You don’t have to pick the photographer based on all the technicalities that other photographers are trained in. You have to pick them based on the final product and whether you like that or not. Do you like the previous pictures? Ok good, go for it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Post # 29
    Member
    572 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    I would straight up just ask to see a few entire weddings from beginning to end.  If they have been at your venue before, that’s even better.

     

    Post # 30
    Bee
    915 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2010 - Al Cielo / La Laguna

    My vote is for number one. If you look at some of the low light photography for photographer #2 its grainy. #1 has a much better eye for editing after the fact and also her use of lighting is spot on.

    Post # 31
    Member
    393 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Wow this is difficult. I know some other photographers have chimed in here, and their advice is valuable – we know the industry and we know what is good shooting vs what is good (or bad) photoshop.

    I think you have two good photographers, but I think they are overpriced for their experience/what they’re offering, especially if you’re not in a metropolitan area. I wasn’t charging nearly that price with less than 2 years experience. New photographers do their research and price themselves according to their area and what others are charging but don’t necessarily consider pricing themselves according to others with the same experience and skill they have. It doesn’t mean they deserve to be priced that high.

    Some things to consider . . .

    Stephanie – Nice photos, but her focus seems to be on detail shots and portrait shots that are set up. This can be good or bad depending on what you’re hoping for in a photographer – she seems to do better with settings she can control, but weddings aren’t that way at all. If you want moments and emotion you might not get that as much as you would with another photographer.

    West Kenya – this photographer’s editing is ALL over the place (different styles from post to post) and i see blown out highlights in every single post, which is a problem if you’re considering having anything printed (they’ll come out as big white detail-less splotches in the print). I think this photographer has talent when it comes to candid shooting, but it looks like they’re making up for some technical issues with (inconsistent) photoshop techniques.

     

    A note to ALL brides out there!

    Husband and wife teams sound great, and sometimes they really are great, but I’ve noticed a TON of photo teams out there advertising themselves as a team with the same level of experience and talent and it’s just not the case. This is a really easy way for photographers to price their packages higher than their skill level (“two photographers for the price of one!”) and it seems really appealing to have two shooters instead of one. The truth is, many of these duos consist of one good photographer and one who comes along but this isn’t their field of expertise, it’s not something they do professional, etc. You think you’re getting two shooters who shoot the same way and you end up with double the “meh” photos. There are other teams out there who both do it full time, they were photographers before they met each other, they share the same passion for it, and they’re WONDERFUL and worth the extra money. I just see so many couples get duped by the husband/wife team and end up disappointed because half of their photos are just mediocre. You really only NEED two photographers if you have a large wedding (150+ guests) – otherwise I’d invest in one really fantastic shooter. If you come across a team, find out what each photographer’s experience is individually. If they’re just a part time helper, I wouldn’t consider that a bargain.

     

    Another note – like USER mentioned, take The Knot awards and other wedding website awards with a grain of salt. Photographers pay thousands of dollars to be listed on those sites and they don’t discriminate – if you’re a really bad photographer but have the money to blow they’ll list you right alongside phenomenal photographers. I don’t have anything to do with those sites because I disagree with featuring and leading folks to bad photographers just because they have the money to blow.

    The topic ‘Help choosing between two photographers!’ is closed to new replies.

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