I recently read about someone talking about their $30,000 photo. It immediately pulled me in. I read how this one photo she had on display that got so many reactions, much like I do with this photo of Kiesha & Kyle. After I read her article I realized she was right. It was a $30,000 photo.
Here is my $30,000 photo, and I'll tell you why it is.
It was taken on a live film set in Auckland, New Zealand. The film had not been released yet and I had to be discrete in how I shot angles and not to reveal too much that could expose the film set, or the location that had yet to have it's first debut on the big screens.
It was a military wedding. He is a Marine and she is in the New Zealand Air Force.
I flew in from North Carolina along with my husband to capture their day.
In my bag was Canon's top of the line equipment for professional photographers. We used all of it!
The gear itself was an investment over $20,000. If you consider our travel, our work time, our editing...This added up and when I stepped back to look at this photo I am so proud of, it is worth at least $30,000. But reflecting back to that day (weekend), the experience and this couple - priceless! The humbling realization that I was trusted to capture something so valuable to them was a once in a lifetime day for all of us.
After all the fun, I spent much time editing and making sure all their photos were clean and sharp and exactly what they hoped for.
Then, I printed this photo on a huge canvas and every where I go, THIS is the photo I get the most reactions from. Tears from moms, strangers and couples.
When you add it all up, yes, you can say it's a $30,000 photo. Or if you are me, Zack (my husband), or this bride and groom, we will all tell you it is priceless. It was worth every penny.
I thought I would share it with you all once more, I appreciate it so much more than I had after reading another photographer talk about the value of their work and what an investment it takes from your photographer and not to under-value your work. My value is based on your reactions. Reactions that I capture without you realizing it while you're on the other side of my lens. Reactions from strangers when it's a huge canvas mounted for anyone to see and tell someone else about. It is a beautiful and powerful effect.
It takes an investment from your photographer to create a great photo, one you can say is worth $30,000! So, think about that when you are shopping around for your wedding photographer. When the most precious moments in your life are captured, you want the person just as invested as you are.