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ramendoza asked:
I paid for a famous photography studio here for my Save the Date photoshoot. I spent around $1000 on them (that is relatively expensive where I come from), then another $1000 for the makeup, location and stylist/set designers. When I go the images back, I was really disappointed. Most of the shots were either blurred or focused on the wrong part of the image. They shot almost everything wide-open. I know my photography and the technicalities behind it. I reacted strongly. Am I wrong here?

You are not wrong. You paid for pro work and pro work should be in focus where it needs to be in focus. Now, there’s always room for an artistic point of view where you blow focus or blur things for a reason but I have seen so many photographers shoot wide open and blow focus.

I remember once seeing a blog post by a photographer / workshop leader in our industry. They posted about a recent portrait session they had shot and inadvertently uploaded some of the photos at the original resolution from the camera. I noticed this because of how long some of the photos were taking to load. I looked at those images at 100% and the focus was in the wrong spot on every one of them. They were shooting wide open on a very fast lens and there were lots of ears in focus but no eyes in focus. That’s not an artistic technique. That’s screwing up.

When you are dealing with VERY shallow depths of field you have to be VERY careful with focusing. Focusing my medium format camera makes me curse like a sailor at times. It’s so easy to look at an image on the camera, think it’s in focus, and then find later on a larger monitor to see the focus was off. Same goes for fast lenses on DSLRs. You can only see if it really is sharp or not when viewing between 50 and 100%. 

I’d be pissed if I was you.


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  1. zarias posted this