@MBC I couldn’t agree more with your standards. But as you said yourself, being inexpensive is not a faux since, as you say, those looking to go pro will charge less to get their foot in the door, so to speak. But I don’t see someone who charges substantially less as having no pride in their work, unless all they do is hand over a DVD of images unseen. That same photographer at $500 could spend all the time as the $2500 one because they look at it as providing a service that will be advertised by one of the best mediums possible, word of mouth. The photographer may not even be a “pro” at that point, but if he/she adheres to the qualities that define professionalism, I see nothing wrong with that. Yes, they may have to live in a tent for awhile (figuratively speaking, of course), but if they can accept that as the price of moving on to bigger and better things that will eventually lead to a better lifestyle, then all the power to them. Am I wrong to think that possibly you were also in that frame of mind when you first started out?
I think that’s a fair assumption in any profession. Great lawyers will start out as legal clerks and doctors as interns. Trials of the century and cures for cancer do not happen overnight. Even as a software developer., I have come a long way from writing “Hello, world!” on a monochrome green CRT to writing sophisticated multi-tier applications for both the web and desktop for multi-billion dollar businesses. There’s a lot of pride in that, whether it’s small is output to a screen or a client is deliriously happy with a $500 shoot. Do you not agree?
I’ve even taken the initiative to apply that professional talent to my passion. While the “what” of a photo is important whether it meets professional standards or not, for me the “when” is just as important. I’ve seen many photographs in my extended family where the person holding the photograph or in it has no real recollection of when it was taken. I’m not saying that it’s because of their age, memory skills, mental capabilities or anything of the like. I’m not even saying that they have to remember that the photo was taken at 11:37 AM on Friday, July 22, 1966, but they may if it was a very significant event like “You may now kiss the bride.”
For me, the “when” is very important, too. I don’t really care for image names like IMG_1234.JPG or DSC_5678.TIF and I can’t stand hundreds of folders like “Christmas 2009” or “Vacation 2012.” So I wrote a small utility that renames those files into “YYYY-MM-DD HH24.MM.SS.JPG”. That way, I know when a photo was taken within a couple minutes of what the real atomic time is, the disadvantage being it’s not foolproof in that I may not remember the exact year a shot was taken, let alone the rest of the date and time. But if I know it was the summer of 2002 or 2003, it makes for a much easier search either on screen or in the hundreds of thumbnail pages I’ve printed. I know there are other programs that may do that for me, but I wanted to have the pride in doing that for myself.
Anyway, I’m getting way off topic here raving about something most people wouldn’t give a damn about. My point is that experience definitely plays into a lower priced wedding shoot, but not time and consistency, especially when pride is on the line.