Upload & Sell: Off
repetitious and uncreative. Another photographer locally who also does weddings said it. He said he can only stand to do weddings because in between he gets to shoot other things that keep the spark of interest and creativity going.
I agreed that some aspects were repetitious and some demands (in Vegas, the las vegas sign/fremont street/strip tour/etc.) are very similar, but there are still many opportunities to do different types of photos for each client and creativity is still involved.
What do you think? The fact is, almost everyone wants photos of....bride hair/makeup, other people interacting in/around getting ready rooms, processional emotions w/groom's expression as bride walks down, rings, kiss, any other ceremonial events, group formals, b&g posed/otherwise photos, grand entrance, first dance, mom/son dad/daughter dance, others having fun, other reception events...they are redundant.
Some of the best angles to capture the shots are also redundant. Bride looks at groom, framed from side, from behind shoulder, close, far away. Church/ceremony site full spread wide angle, closer/35mm, and closer again 85mm/70-200mm. Focus on parents watching ceremony (possibly with context, e.g. b&g in background), bridesmaids, groomsmen, try to catch emotions from these most important people as well as b&g, children being silly if around...catch the hugs to parents, try to get the face of the parent/etc...
But these things present their own challenges, like space, permission for freedom of movement, and what expressions people actually have.
Grand entrance, just like processional, is pretty redundant. However, younger wedding parties often dance and the challenge becomes getting a few in-focus shots of them doing whatever they are doing at the peak and without really stupid-looking faces. Always a work in progress to get that right...the other important thing I find difficult with grand entrance is trying to get the party around the persons entering to show that it's not just an empty cave they're walking into. Food photos, usually get those...usually backlit. Same for other details. Everyone wants detail photos of how they personalize their reception. Capture life and fun and motion in the dancing. This is always a challenge to get just right, but sometimes I re-learn something I forgot...the 35mm does this very nicely sometimes, given just about the right distance from the subject (somewhat in-your-face), it can draw viewers into the experience sometimes without even seeing the full body motion. I really need to write down exactly how to do this next time I remember it.
Which brings me to another point that I really have to STOP doing (I tell myself this all the time)...I don't need to always expose faces to normal levels, and I don't always need to get the entire face, head, body, etc., in the frame. I constantly forget these (besides waist/shoulders crops).
group posing for big groups 20+ is a chore unless I have an unusual vantage point (e.g. above), in which case it can be done both more easily and more fun. Groups of 10 or less give much easier opportunities for longer lenses and more experimenting with posing besides the standard...provided we 1. have time for different poses for each person, and 2. we have the right personalities. I find it hard suggesting anything outside straight-forward basic group posing for older, more serious people including parents, and virtually impossible to try if they don't understand or speak English well...
Posing b&g, well, I've never been that happy with how I do this, and I have definitely fallen into patterns and predictable rerun shot ideas that I need desperately to get out of. So much can be done if you just know how, but the knowhow I have slips away most times when I'm actually doing it, so I don't think of different framings, poses, uses of environment, etc...until the wedding is over. The repeating mental block of doom. But variety and creativity is still possible here, once you have gotten must-have shots like solo headshots. A lot of clients want photos of them walking, holding hands with her looking back at me, leaning against an edifice of some sort, or having a specific background around the Strip...and then the rest is up to me.
So I disagreed about weddings not having opportunities for creativity and challenge. Time limitations yes, but there are still opportunities.
Feeling underappreciated, feeling like just another GWC is something else the other photog mentioned happens with weddings. I have not felt this way often, but I did at one recent wedding where it seemed like all I was there to do was take photos on demand, like I could just come over here or there and snap a photo of this or that...I don't remember the details anymore, but I remember getting that distinct feeling like I was not considered to be more capable at taking interesting, good photos than anyone else with a camera on that day. I wondered if I was another GWC. Sometimes I believe I am not far off from that, and then I rebel against that because I specifically desire to be much better than a GWC. I want my photos to stand out in photographic aesthetics and appeal. I want to be the one who really does know what they're doing with posing, framing, making photos interesting and multi-dimensional while capturing the story effectively and much better than others could.
But I don't often feel like the clients consider me just another GWC, and so I told the other photog this isn't usually the case for me.
He did have another suggestion I thought was good: Shoot something for yourself. Something besides weddings. I like this idea, and I would like to shoot model photos or couples photos. But first I need to find the right opportunity for this...
Does anyone here feel that weddings can become repetitive, uncreative? Do you ever feel underappreciated by your clients?