There are only a handful of what I would term ‘really talented’ event photographers in the Philadelphia area, and last Thursday we were lucky enough to have one of them come out and do a little impromptu photo shoot with a few of my top event DJs. Kevin York – whom I have known for about three years now – is one of a group of ‘edgier’ and more creative photographers that I have come to discover. In my twenty-plus years of being in the event industry it is only in the past three or four years that I have become ‘enlightened’ you might say. Prior to that my experience with photographers had always been what I term the ‘pose and shoot’ variety, simply aiming and shooting. To be honest, the first time I ever even noticed a photographer bothering to change lenses was a great photographer named Dawn Deppe about eight years ago, but at the time I thought to myself that she was working way too hard shlepping all this gear and changing cameras and lenses all the time and that she seemed more like she should be shooting for National Geographic.
Let’s just say I’ve learned a thing or two in the past few years. A videographer colleague of mine – Dave Williams of D’Videography – once told me that if a client wanted to only spend $1,500.00 on a videographer for their event, they would be better off spending that money on a really good video camera and handing it off to a guest to take the footage, because in the end at least they would own the camera when they found their footage wasn’t very good. Dave couldn’t be more right. Photography (and videography) is an art, and a camera in the hands of someone without real skills gets you pictures (or video) you might as well have taken the pictures yourself.
So yeah, Kevin York is an excellent photographer. Over the next six months, I will be featuring several ‘excellent’ photographers here on the blog, professional photographers that are masters of their craft.
I have been asked in the past why I don’t offer photography as an add-on to my service, essentially offering photography through Cutting Edge Entertainment like many other DJ companies do. The answer is quite simple, and it’s always the same… because at Cutting Edge Entertainment we focus on what we do best, Event Entertainment. I know what some of these other companies are doing is making them a lot of money, but the product they are delivering is average at best. If you want an excellent photographer, hire and excellent photographer, not a DJ Entertainment company that ‘also offers’ photography.
Oh, and if the selling point is “Our photographers have shot hundreds… even thousands of weddings.” Who cares? The amount of events an individual has worked does not ensure quality, it might simply mean that the price is cheap enough to book hundreds and thousands of jobs. Very much like furniture made of cheap materials; It certainly sells more than the good stuff and it might even look good when it’s new, but it certainly isn’t a family heirloom.
Always remember, quality remains long after price is forgotten. Better yet, you get what you pay for.