Clarification – Why I Hired a Professional


As some of you know my blog is always, at least, two days behind. It is like the slow sibling you have that always takes just a few minutes to “get” everything. 😉 I am totally kidding – all my siblings are super smart…. :S

Anyway, a few days ago I posted the following image on my IM Facebook Page along with another photography group page. I anticipated a few likes, a few comments, and at least a few, “this is dumb”s. What I did not expect is the savage and insane posting, re-posting, and blogging of it. Within 24 hours one of the re-posts had over 800 shares and it was on several photography blogs. Since, I have received an almost constant flow of emails, messages, and comments (both negative and positive) about this comparison.

I have found myself repeating things over and over again and getting absolutely no work done. Hence, this blog post. It will either answer your questions, make you love me, or make you hate me. I am OK with any of the above and don’t be afraid to share what it did for you. 🙂


Compare-1002 Clarification - Why I Hired a Professional



How These Images Came to Be


The image on the left was shot by yours truly. The image on the right was shot by my assistant (not second shooter, not bride’s mother). Her job at this wedding was to train my intern but I gave her the extra camera and told her to shoot away while I didn’t need her. She should have MORE camera and photography knowledge than your average guest.

I did the post processing on both images. I wanted both pictures but the second one was so dark I couldn’t recover much and it is actually focused on the guests, not the couple. I spent more time on the second one than the first.

Note: I do want everyone to know that I am not tearing apart my assistant’s work. As I stated before, this was actually her idea, her plan. She is an incredible, beautiful, crazy talented girl and I love her to pieces.

The Same Equipment

Yes, same equipment. Many people seem to be convinced that I am fudging the truth because apparently, fabricating stories to circle the internet is what I live for. 😉 But, I know they were shot with the same camera bodies because both of them are mine. I know they were edited with the same programs because I enhanced them. … It must be strange to realize someone is truthful. 😀 The lenses are similar lenses. One was shot with a Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 the other with the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4. I included a screen shot of the shooting metadata below for the skeptics.
ScreenShot2012-08-08at84214PM Clarification - Why I Hired a Professional


Same Lighting

This is a big one and I understand why. We decided to add it because she had the equipment to trigger the OCF but decided that she liked the look better without it. So, same lighting stayed because we were in the same room with the same lighting equipment thus had the same lighting advantages/disadvantages.


Only Feet Apart

Again I seem to be a compulsive liar! I am working on it. 😉

Some of you are convinced I was on the other side of the room where apparently the lighting was better and therefore this set of photos is null and void.  But look for the speaker in both images, there should be two in the second one. Now find the lovely blonde girl standing in front of/next to the speaker in the second picture; she is on the far right side. Now find her in the first one; she is on the left hand side. You only have to take about 6 steps to get that change. Don’t believe me? Put a chair in the middle of the room, stand so the door is its right side. Now, move to your left until the door is on the left side of the chair… takes about six steps; unless you have little baby steps or giant yeti steps.

Same Moment

These images were shot within 5 seconds of each other. I actually chose these images because of that. We weren’t always shooting at the same time and when we were it wasn’t of the same thing. So, finding good examples limited my choices and I wanted them to be as close as possible. The photo on the right was actually shot before the photo on the left. By the time my camera fired (a whopping 4 seconds later) the groom had finished taking that step thus turning him and his bride a little more.

And again for the skeptics – the time capture metadata.

ScreenShot2012-08-08at84226PM Clarification - Why I Hired a Professional



I am a good photographer. But I, like everyone on the planet, still have room for improvement. Doing something like this might make me appear as a terrible, arrogant shlub. However, the purpose was not to build myself up. The purpose was to educate. When this assistant started working for me she wanted to start a vs book. A book where we could show people the difference, not to smash others but to help them know why we are worth it, explain that to others, and feel confident in their decision.  But, we never got around to making a book. I decided that we would do an online series instead. And even with all the drama this has hashed up I still do intend on finishing that series. But, this time I will spell experience correctly. Who knew there are no ‘A’s in experience!!?

A lot of people are unsure about why you hire professional photographer when they have the same equipment you do. It is like this in every industry. How many times have you or your kids or your husband or your best friend decided to cut their own hair. Sure sometimes it comes out OK  and sometimes even great but are you going to cut new bangs yourself the day before your wedding? That was the point we are trying to make. I strongly encourage our brides and grooms to let their friends and family take pictures during the wedding. It doesn’t bother me and often creates cool effects and great moments for me to capture.

I do not feel threatened by people with cameras. I have some of the most incredible clients on the planet. Really, you should meet them; you would love them too. And I don’t need or want to allow myself to worry about what might happen if my neighbor buys a camera and starts shooting weddings. But, I do want to educate my clients – current and future. I want them to have a visual representation of what I am trying to accomplish for them and continue to help them feel as confident as possible in their decision to work with me.

Hurt Feelings

A large part of the constant flow of messages I am getting are coming from people who are standing up for my images, this post, and me in general. I am so grateful for that and for these people. They are incredible. And they are the reason I love my job. However, please don’t stress yourself out over the things that are being said. Please don’t let people annoy you. No matter what you love or who you admire there is hate club for them. I am not claiming to be one of them, I am just not exempt. That is OK. I have my own opinions so I guess I have to allow everyone else to have one as well.

You keep asking how I am doing and how I am handling this. Honestly, I am fine. I learned how to spell experience so it is molding me into a better … grammerer…? 😉 Plus, I have pretty thick skin. Well, sometimes my husband looks at me mean and I burst into tears and sometimes my dad hollers near me and I sob like a two year old… but those are completely different issues. 😉


  1. Why should you invest in a professional photographer? Why not an amateur? « Pearson Photography

    August 9th, 2012 at 5:50 am

    […] For skeptics that are concerned with the accuracy of the image, here is a link to the blog of the photographer that created the image. She explained it quite well. […]

  2. why hire a proffessional

    August 10th, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    […] same equipment, so you really can't do an apples to apples comparison. I don't know why the author calls them similar lenses when they're really, really not. __________________ My […]

  3. Debra

    August 10th, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Fantastic. Good grief do people really have nothing better to do in thier spare time than to jump all over professionals for trying to defend the job they have that puts food on the table? Honestly I dont see anyone on facebook or the net saying “Don’t pay that haridresser!! You own scissors dont you?”

  4. Anthony Henri Oftana

    August 13th, 2012 at 4:54 am

    i saw your photo also on FB from a friend who is also a shooter… and a couple of them commented at how both were disappointing images…

    i defended your work as well as posted Robert Doisneau’s “The Kiss” as both are similar…

    in this particular post whoever posted it originally for my friend to repost suggests “dead space” and “blurring peoples’ faces” if you look at “The Kiss” it has similar properties…

    anyway, bottom line keep up the great work, i had a chance to peruse your site and its wonderful work!


  5. Carrie

    August 21st, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Laughed a lot while reading through your post and thinking about how ridiculous people can be. Loved hearing the story behind the image I’ve been seeing for weeks now.

    I saw this image numerous times and never caught the spelling error. Clearly you learned your lesson and the human spell checkers of the world will finally be satisfied they really made a difference by pointing out other people’s flaws.

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    August 28th, 2012 at 3:16 am

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  7. Christopher Barr

    August 28th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I don’t disagree with the sentiment of course, a expensive camera does not a professional make…but the howls and hoots over this failed attempt at being a professor of the obvious is over the top. OK…so this isn’t even close to credible comparison but my heart goes out to you Kara. You deserve a break for heaven’s sake. I think the deluge of negative criticism that piled onto you about this fumble at self promotion is as unnecessary as your desperate defense of why you are “…a good photographer”. Your work speaks for itself and we all make silly mistakes.

    A simple Roseanne Roseannadanna “…nevermind” would have been fine.

  8. admin

    August 28th, 2012 at 4:14 pm


    Thank you – I think? Either way the opinion of someone as talented as you means a lot to me so, yes, thank you.


  9. Christopher Barr

    August 28th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Kara…mmmm…yes, this on a second read this is sort of back handed support….I think this is more to my intention if you want to change it out……

    I don’t disagree with the sentiment of course, a expensive camera does not a professional make…but the howls and hoots over this attempt at being a professor of the obvious is over the top. OK…so this is a poor comparison but my heart goes out to you Kara. I think the deluge of negative criticism that piled onto you about this fumble is as unnecessary as your defense of why you are “…a good photographer”. Your work speaks for itself and we all make silly mistakes.

  10. Why I Hired A Professional… | Miraculous Events

    September 12th, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    […] Although this has nothing to do with event planning (directly), I thought I’d share this post because it really sums up a lot of things for brides/grooms – as they are searching for wedding professionals to provide a variety of services desired for their special – all in one photograph. If you would like to read her entire post (because it really is interesting, especially due to its postage creating quite a stir across the web), you can find it here. […]

  11. Bruce Toombs

    November 16th, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    All I can say about this is … fair enough! And frankly, the photo on the right is clearly superior to the one on the left, so… !

    Keep shooting. Be happy.

  12. admin

    November 18th, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Thank you Bruce! Love your photos. 😀

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