A Cautionary Tale :: Modern Toile Photography

Whadup, peeps!

I just hung up the phone with my friend. She was calling on behalf of her friend, let’s call her Cate. Let’s call her Cate because since the Oscars, I have been obsessing over this dress:

Source: oscars.movies.yahoo.com via Alyssa on Pinterest

Anyway, Cate is in a pickle. This pickle isn’t the kind of pickle that can be solved with a snarky vent session with the girls. This is not even the kind of pickle that can be solved with a snarky vent session over a bottle…or say 3 bottles of wine with the girls. Here is what happened:
Cate felt a familial obligation to hire a relative to photograph her wedding. The photographer was inexpensive. The photographer was eager. I will even go so far as to say the photographer was well-meaning. The photographer, however, was NOT a pro. At this point, you’ve all sucked in your breath as you know what’s coming, right? That’s right D I S A S T E R – and the nightmare that caps-lock imply.

Said photographer watermarked the images and then deleted the originals. Newlywed Cate is in possession of wedding photos that are likely never to be salvaged. The watermark is in the middle of the image. Even if one were able to successfully repair in Photoshop, it will be extremely costly. Watermarks aren’t meant to be removed. It’s worth mentioning an aside about Photoshop: It’s not magic. I know everyone uses Photoshop as a verb and it holds a certain mystic to the untrained, but it’s just a tool. A spade will make a hole in the ground, but it will not guarantee your vegetables will grow. I wasn’t provided details as to whether or not Cate’s images were the proper dpi for printing (dots per inch: 240 – 300 resolution is required for printing while 72 is used for web display…And I’m losing you. Moving on.), I’m assuming that the watermarked images were intended for web display. That means that even if someone spends literally hours doing very fine detailed Photoshop work to remove the watermark, the file may not hold enough information to render a print even as small as 4×6. Without a print, Cate’s future children will never be able to cherish a frame of their parent’s love and commitment. An iPod slideshow is not an heirloom.

This is not the first time I’ve heard this story. Just amongst my married non-photography friends, I’ve heard two similar stories. Buyer beware. Check references. If you do nothing else, ask if your potential photographer has business insurance. If they’re unwilling to spend money on liability insurance (for protection if your drunk guest trips and falls over a light stand, injuring guest and your venue not to mention the poor unsuspecting light stand) then they’re not professional and you need to find one who is.

Ohhh, so on a less dramatic and decidedly happier note: The Future Mrs. Darcy unveiled my new Etsy banner. Behold:

The Etsy site is shaping up! And so, might I add, am I. I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard for my recently booked tripped to Paris. All this weight training and double-time cardio is causing me to eat…oh, like everything in sight save my own hand. It’s turned me into a gangly food-vacuuming teenage boy. I’m craving carbs like crazy. I am ashamed to admit that next to me there is an empty bowl. The contents may or may not have been….strawberry ice cream. And it was good.