Photography Tip - Body Double

MacKenzie and Ben - June 2018 - Swann Plantation

How many cameras does your photographer need?

Interacting with other photographers, one brought to my attention an article on The Knot’s website called “Points for Your Wedding Contract.” If you don’t know, The Knot is geared for engaged couples to help them plan their wedding and find vendors for various services , e.g., photography, catering, etc.

The article listed one “key point” that at first blsuh seems to drill too far down into details, but actually is something that should be at least asked of a potential wedding photographer:

Number of cameras that will be used and which formats (digital, film or both)

I don’t think you need to know if your photographer uses a digital camera or a film camera. Most use digital because gone are the days when a bride was happy if she got a few dozen photographs from her wedding; much more extended coverage is needed now.

But what IS important is asking your wedding photographer how many cameras do they use.

Because if he or she says “just one” . . . look somewhere else.

Shhhhh . . . it happens

I won’t bore you with the details of how a camera works but like any other electronic device, it is composed of moving parts. And the more they move, the more wear and tear occurs. Just like your car, or just like your microwave. It happens sometimes that things just . . . stop working.

I know, it happened to me. I was shooting a wedding in December 2017 and at the time was covering the bride getting ready. I am happily taking pictures when suddenly my shutter just died. I knew when it did that what would be needed is to send it to the manufacturer’s facility and likely pay $300 - $400 for a fix. But what I also knew was that it was out of commission for the rest of the day.

So what did I do?

I shot the rest of the wedding with my other camera. Because a professional wedding photographer should have two camera bodies just in case.

Can you imagine if I had had to go up to the bride and say, “Yeah, hey, listen, my camera just crapped out and , well, sorry. Enjoy the rest of your day, I’m outta here?” What a nightmare! In fact, during a time when I only owned one camera body, I would rent a second one just for weddings.

Other things could happen to “kill” a camera. A guest knocks it over. A waiter spills something on it. Someone steals it (sad to say, that has happened to photographers I know).

Your wedding, though, is just one day. It can’t be repeated. Ask a photographer what they would do in a situation like the one I had. You would expect any other vendor to have working equipment and be ready to handle when unforeseen problems arise.