But hire Central Florida event and wedding Photographer Brian Pepper of Digital Imaging Direct and he’ll get every shot every time.
Brian has been shooting pictures since 1999. He was Kodak’s national training manager and taught staff and clients in world-class destinations including Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood & Orlando, Sandals Resorts, Niagara Falls, San Diego Zoo, Parrot Jungle and hundreds of others.
Brian also designed Kodak’s digital systems for years until armed with expertise and his cameras, he left Kodak to run his dream business Digital Imaging Direct.
While point-and-shooters pop up to weddings, life’s big events and corporate functions the results can be disastrous memories when shots are missed by an amateur with a camera.
“Amateurs aren’t insured, they don’t carry backup equipment, if they don’t have liability insurance they can’t even come onto some properties,” Brian said. “What if they miss the shot or they weren’t paying attention or forgot?
And the picture is only part of what Brian provides.
“Half the work we do is in post cleaning up the pictures. We spend more time in post than shooting. We edit a wedding video and while the wedding lasts a few hours, there can be 35-40 hours of editing to get that video for the client.
“Our average booking includes a photo album. So we consult with the client so we know what they want before the event, there’s the shoot, editing, we edit the pictures, build the album. It’s serious planning and editing to get the perfect picture for every client.”
Brian’s had panicked clients call at the last minute for next day shoots and has no problem with the turnaround. He got a call at 5:30 p.m. and showed up the next day and shot from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. for an awards production at Shingle Creek. He did so well he landed the month-long gig.
One of his regular assignments is shooting the cover of Fun World Magazine a monthly about amusement parks and national attractions. The group told Brian that his job was to shoot the first ever cover without a person on it.
“Don’t let us down,” they told him. Brian took a picture of a giant slide and crossed his fingers. It was such a hit that he shoots one cover—minus people—annually.
Weddings, of course, are always high energy, more so for those where a Marine has flown in for a day to be with family.
“Every time there’s a Marine in uniform, we know it’s going get emotional,” he said.
“Think about it, they’ve been through a lot and who knows what they’ve seen or had to endure over there. Then here they are at a wedding. Never fails.”
And then there are the surprises that come up as they often do with weddings.
Brian had been hired to shoot a backyard wedding. He got to the location early to setup and while waiting for people to arrive heard the roar of motorcycles outside. At first he’d been alarmed about the barbecue which had been served home style without utensils from coolers. But then he saw the biker gang that had arrived visibly armed with guns and knives.
“We did our job and the bride was happy with the album,” he said.
The most interesting person Brian has shot was Harris Rosen.
“It’s not because he’s a millionaire and he’s responsible for creating all these venues like the Rosen Center, the Quality Inn Plaza Hotel and places on International Drive.
One of the most memorable events Brian has shot was a Best Buddies Friendship Ball Prom. Best Buddies is an organization that creates one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and development disabilities.
“They throw this prom because most of these kids are not invited to their high school proms,” Brian said. “So they have a prom just for them. There was a dance contest, the girls did nice impressions of the queen’s ‘wave.’ Miss Teen Central Florida took pictures with them…
“It was great and it was a good feeling to see everyone having fun.”
Case in point, Brian is donating proceeds from all that’s sold online from the Best Buddies event back to the organization.