To help you make your decision, I've done something extremely unusual. I've posted exactly what you can expect and the prices for my packages right here online.
Many people choose their photographer on nothing more than price or a couple pretty pictures on their website. They believe every photographer provides exactly the same service and all they need to do is to get the best deal.
It's a little like saying there's no difference between a skateboard and a Mercedes. After all they're both forms of transportation!
If you just want someone to follow you around and take snapshots, then by all means look for the cheapest one you can find. But if you want someone who will take care to capture that perfect moment in time, here are some of the things you should look for.
Exactly what's included?
If you book a portrait session, do you get 15 minutes with the photographer or 60? Are different backdrops included or do you have to settle for one? Get specific details of what you're paying for before you commit.
Who's going to be taking the photos?
It's not uncommon to book a photographer and then have an assistant show up for the session. When you book me, you get me.
Will you be getting a disc of High Resolution JPEG images?
Many photographers provide a service called "shoot and burn." That means they shoot all the pictures, burn them onto a disc and hand it over.
I start by editing out the ones where your eyes are closed, the lighting was off or somebody moved when they shouldn't have. I then color correct and fully master the ones remaining. You get a disc with only the high resolution good stuff.
Do you take credit cards?
When you pay with a credit card, your money is protected. It makes getting a refund much easier if your photographer doesn't deliver the photos or tries to skip out with your money. I was born and raised in Key West and I come from a family that's been here for 4 generations. You can rest assured I'm going to be here when you need me.
The man who has created himself to be one name.
VIDAL, local born native conch, has made his niche in Key West as a celebrity as far back as 1976 when he began national dance competitions. His next venture was in local, state and national Male-Model competitions. As he grew more for his love in photography, VIDAL has made his big contribution to Key West by becoming its foremost photographer for people and fashion.
His work always has that flamboyant, fashionable flair that has made VIDAL #1! He attributes his success to a talent that has been given to him by God and is second nature. VIDAL loves people and it shows in his work. VIDAL has been flown all over the country to capture special events and affairs. These places include: Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Tallahassee, Paris, Gainesville, Atlanta, New York, Dallas, Las Vegas and San Francisco. VIDAL also attributes his fame for not only creating visual impact and technical excellence, but being easy to work with and having an outgoing personality!
When clients request Vidal as their wedding photographer, he wants them to know they're hiring a modernist. But Vidal's avant-garde, upbeat style isn't the only attribute that sets him apart from the crowd. A unique approach to wedding photography and an optimistic attitude about the entire industry make this Key West native extra-ordinarily successful.
Vidal has been in business in Key West, Florida since 1980. "I don't know what it is about the Keys," he explains, "but people want to get married when they get here!" Perhaps this explains why there is such a strong need for a good photographer in the area, but why does Vidal choose weddings as the majority of his workload?
"I just like weddings," Vidal admits. "I've enjoyed them since I was a kid. When I go to conventions I hear other photographers grumbling about having to do weddings just to pay the bills. But I've never felt that way. Each wedding has a unique characteristic, something special, and I try to capture that mood."
How He Does It
For Vidal, capturing the mood begins even before the wedding rehearsals take place. Six weeks prior to the event, he spends time with the bride in his studio, preparing a large portrait for the reception. Later, this wall portrait will be hung above the bridal book, or in another central location at the wedding. If the couple prefers a picture of themselves together, an engagement shot can fulfill the same role.
In addition to this prenuptial preparation, Vidal often acts as a "wedding facilitator," organizing the procession, suggesting when the cake should be cut, and attending to other necessary details. "There isn't a real established system here in the Keys," observes Vidal, "So I often help out, making sure everything goes in order, according to etiquette. Following a format doesn't have to be boring" Though he may be sticking to tradition in his choreography, his photographs tell a different story.
Another outstanding quality in Vidal's work is his emphasis on the wedding as the couple's day, both as individuals and together."I've heard a lot of wedding photographers claim the wedding is the bride's day, but it's the groom's day, too," asserts Vidal. He adds a personal touch to his work that other photographers often miss-special time alone with the groom. For Vidal and the client, it makes all the difference. "I spend time photographing the bride, her dress, and her family as most people do. But I also work with the groom, and his friends and family. It's very special for the people involved, it really makes a difference, and they remember all the personal time we put into it together."
Vidal is always looking for ways to improve his photography-artistically, technically, and economically. He uses WPI's newsletter "not only for getting ideas about other people's work, but for the good business aspects." Vidal continues: "It really helps in all areas of business," and he strives to utilize any information that could make him a better wedding photographer.
One might notice that Vidal seems extremely comfortable in his work. "I think it's because I'm used to both sides of the camera," agrees Vidal. He has done a variety of modeling assignments, including print and runway work, and believes it gives him a two-way understanding of photography and a perspective few photographers can lay claim to.
Vidal also tries to make his clients as comfortable as possible. His residential studio puts people at ease. "It's warm, inviting and homey. People are really comfortable there," says Vidal. The less tension the customers feel, the better their pictures will be.
Overall, Vidal's work serves a dual role: exhibiting his and the subject's personalities. This approach has made each wedding he photographs a separate, exceptional event. Vidal admits he's "never done two weddings that were alike," and he hopes things stay that way. With his original approach and enthusiastic attitude, Vidal will continue to be a creatively unique person with a sensationally special touch for upbeat, avant-garde photography.
National Clients Include:
- Columbus Dental
- Mentor Corporation
- Calvin Klein
- Alcoholism & Drug Addiction Magazine (Medical Mag.)
- The Dupont Corporation
- Bell South, Inc.
- Fiat of Italy
- Con-Agra Corp.
- Mentor Corp.
- Calvin Klein
- BCD Travel
- Avis Rent-A-Car
- Kelly McGillis, Actress
- Eileen Zuckerman, Author
- Rob Camiletti, Actor
- Nanette Fabre, Actress
- Discovery Channel
- Playgirl Magazine
- Pearce Health
- Miss Teen Florida, USA
- Miss Florida, USA
- Miss Panama Jack
- Ms. Ujena Swimwear, Las Vegas
- TIB Bank of the Keys
- afa Corp.
- Barnett Bank
- Clouds of Miami International Album Cover
- Marriott Corp.
- Shares Medical Systems Corp.
- Levi's Jeans
- Don Brassington for Tarmac World Magazine
- Colours Guesthouse Featured in "Tempo" an upbeat German Magazine
- Las Salinas for Builder's Association of Missouri
- Dr. Larry Siegel for Alcoholism & Addiction Magazine
- Florida Keys Aqueduct
- Underground Plumbing of Wall Street
- Randy Moore, C.P.A. for International C.P.A. Magazine
VIDAL loves both sides of the camera and the stage. He has not only won several Male-Model competitions for fashion but also for his hair - Tilly of the Yellow Strawberry is one of his hairdressers and together they have won three International Hair Affairs.
VIDAL has made the Florida Keys very proud of him by becoming PLAYGIRL'S REAL MAN OF THE MONTH (the national and international Magazine that is not only seen all over the USA but also in the UK, FRANCE, SPAIN, and GERMANY. VIDAL was also featured on Fox's TV series "Key West" as a bodyguard and received his first speaking part on the set.