Over the years I’ve heard many times the comment “You must have a nice camera” when somebody was looking at one of my images (btw, I do have a nice camera; actually I have a few since I bring backups with me). And the photographer hears: “Your creative decision was not a factor, you had a nice camera”. Yes, today’s cameras are very advanced and allow the photographer to be more creative and get results that were not possible a few years back. This also allows for people in general to take better pictures, but it’s no substitute for experience and creativity of the photographer. A good analogy would be a Formula 1 car. You give me one of those and I’ll leave you behind at the stop light in a plum of smoke. Put me in a race, and I’ll guarantee you that I’ll be last one to cross the finish line. I might get lucky and somebody might get in an accident and this way I would not be last (similar to when somebody gets a lucky shot), but short of that, my nice car would not help me much.

And recently, I saw an article in the news where the photographer was … a monkey. OK, the monkey wasn’t photographing a wedding, but it shows how good the cameras are nowadays. And I’m sure (some) people would think “Hey, if the monkey can do it, why not my cousin who just got a nice camera?”. Unlike the article (or a portrait session), a wedding (or a Mitzvah) happens once in a lifetime (I know the skeptics will say that 50% of the marriages end in divorce, but I’m pretty sure Hollywood makes up 40% of that 🙂 ).

And that prompted this article and the beginning of a new series: Why hire Jean Valentin Photography? Over the course of this series, I will show you what makes Valentin different (than a monkey and more 🙂 ). If my charming accent will not do it, or my awesome looks, or … OK, I’ll stop now 🙂 … the images will sure do it. As they say (not sure who “they” are), a picture is worth a thousand words, so be prepared to “read”. Check back often, not only for this series, but to see what JVP is up to. For now, I will leave you with two emails that I received recently (I included the screen shots for the skeptics out there 🙂 ):

Nannette – mother of the bride

“Hi Valentin,

Since the wedding several people have sent us their photos. These days anyone can take a decent picture, but this shot is why we hired you. It’s breathtaking.

Even before we see the rest of your work, I want to thank you for how you worked on Saturday. As the mother of the bride, not all my special memories involved photos. I had heard about intrusive photographers invading the home in the last hours before the wedding, ordering people around and staging “special” moments. You two were better than unobtrusive. You actually had a calming effect. From the moment you arrived, everything flowed. Your humor and occasional off-topic conversation filled the time I would otherwise have spent watching anxiously out the window for the limo. Those last two hours before the wedding turned out to be much more fun than frantic and will now provide another fond memory.

Thanks so much. I’m really looking forward to seeing the rest.”

Lauren -bride

“Hi Valentin,

Thank you so much! What an awesome email to read when we came home from our honeymoon 🙂

You and your assistant were so great all day. I was a ball of stress, and both of you knew exactly what to do and how to do it when I didn’t have a clue. Thank you for that … In the meantime, that picture is great! I already made it my display photo …. I can’t wait to see the rest!”

Oh, interested in the monkey pictures? You can view the article here.

Philadelphia Wedding Photographer