When you meet the photographer, talk to them about the camera and what size of image their equipment is capable of producing. Ideally, a minimum of A4 size is OK, but the larger the image capability the greater the resolution and in turn the greater the depth to the image that they take. An easy way to recognise a pro from a wannabe with regards the camera is to identify whether they use a simple point and shoot camera, or an SLR. SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex and will capture more light information in each shot providing greater detail and increased dynamic range – the added boon of interchangeable lenses for specialist requirements means an SLR is a must for any professional photographer.
The Capacity and the Processing
Whether you choose a digital or conventional cameraman will affect the output in two ways – the volume of shots taken, and the ability to tweak the photographs. Many photographers who use traditional equipment will place a limit on the number of photographs taken during the day and 99 times out of 100 this number will be lower than their digital counterparts. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with this, and indeed the phrase ‘less is more’ may well be applicable, after all it’s quality not quantity that counts. However, when faced between one photographer taking 48 shots on conventional equipment and another taking 480 on digital equipment, the phase ‘less is more’ tends to raise the response ‘yeah right!’.
Of course the average number of shots taken is somewhere around 100-150 for conventional photography and 200-300 for digital but you do need to check this up front. A conventional photographer should take along plenty of film whilst a digital photographer should have sufficient capacity on their memory cards.
What they do with the images after the day is the next thing to consider. Digital images can be easily tweaked on a package such as Adobe Photoshop to eliminate those bags under the eyes, the ‘no parking’ sign in the background or the toilet paper stuck on the mother-in-law’s shoe, and if done well you shouldn’t be able to tell. Likewise conventional images developed in dark rooms can quite easily be scanned into a computer and tweaked in much the same way.