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Archive 2013 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?
  
 
russdenney01
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p.1 #1 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


I have been seriously shooting now coming up on three years. Over the course of that three years, I have been asked to be a wedding photographer on more than one occasion. I consider photographing weddings the kiss of death for any photographer that considers themselves an artist Having said that, I do understand the need for people to earn a living so do go off on me. I just chose to avoid it at all costs...one of the main reasons is because I am REALLY afraid I would mess it up...then along comes this little story...

Over the holidays, I had a mini-strobist photo shoot that had been arranged for some time and involved a few photogs, like myself, doing some strobist portrait work.

When speaking with a photog there, she told me she has photographed 10 weddings and was paid for doing so each time.

Here is the kicker, she has a $5000 kit and doesn't even know anything about her camera! She has no idea how to control DOF, what the aperture does, etc...I mean she doesn't know hardly ANYTHING about real photography. She puts her TTL flash on camera and puts the camera in automatic mode--AND has done this for TEN weddings!!! She also does not post process at all.

I see nothing wrong with her learning the ropes, but the fact that 10 people have trusted her with their wedding photos!!! I was afraid I would mess a wedding up, but I guess the bar can be pretty damn low...

What upsets me about it is that real, honest photogs are competing against her for the business and some people don't know any different...damn shame. I don't shoot professionally, but I still get upset when I see this kind of thing happening...



Jan 06, 2013 at 01:33 AM
david1234
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p.1 #2 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Highly doubt most "professional" wedding photographers are competing with her business...just sayin
Let her enjoy the craigslist weddings and learn.
I imagine everyone hiring her knows exactly what they will get as well.

cheers



Jan 06, 2013 at 01:39 AM
fgransee
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p.1 #3 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


You did not say if her ten clients were satisfied ... if they were happy with her service, then I think she is doing fine. My guess is she would hit the ceiling and then has to decide if she wants and can improve on her skills. Maybe she shoots low budget (with a $5K Kit ?) and those couples may not be able to afford a more skilled and more expensive photographer. Everything has its place ... I would not get upset about this. Frank


Jan 06, 2013 at 01:48 AM
jojomon11
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p.1 #4 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Get what you pay for and what I always hear "as long as the clients are happy right?"

In the end it is true stellar work or not

I have been asked to do numerous weddings or to be a second, I just say "no thank you" most of the time, not my gig

Phil



Jan 06, 2013 at 01:48 AM
russdenney01
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p.1 #5 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Valid points indeed...


Jan 06, 2013 at 02:08 AM
friscoron
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p.1 #6 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?



A year ago, with my D4, all my pro lenses, four speedlights, plenty of backup equipment, and being published as a photographer dating back a lot more than 10-15 years, and several years experience running my wedding video biz doing high-end weddings, I could not get a CL job as a 2nd shooter. Why? Cuz I hadn't shot 10 or 15 or 25 weddings, so they hired someone like the photographer you mentioned instead. The world of wedding photography is a pretty crazy place to be.

Now that a year has passed in which I shot a grand total of 13 weddings, I still don't qualify to be a 2nd shooter for a lot of these photo companies that like to hire 2nd shooters off of CL. But that's okay, as my wedding packages sell at a pretty good number and I'm doing fairly good at booking up 2013.

But bottom line, some photo studios just want someone who can shoot the shots and don't really care that it's all on Auto mode and TTL direct flash. You get what you pay for.

I do beg to differ with your comment about wedding photography not being artistic. Sure, a lot of it is purely documentary work, but there's still your own personal style that you can stamp on these shots. Beyond that, you get to do some gorgeous shots in the golden hour, and you get to get all creative with some night shooting. You learn quickly how to get some gorgeous mid-day outdoor portraits. And... you sink or swim.



Jan 06, 2013 at 02:50 AM
cwebster
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p.1 #7 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Worry less about what other people are doing, and more about what you are doing. You will have much better results and be happier.

<Chas>



Jan 06, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Langran
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p.1 #8 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


I've been shooting part time for 3 years and turned fully pro about 6 months ago. I know exactly what you mean about wedding being the 'kiss of death' but have to disagree with you. They're only like that if you don't have the skill or often the confidence to make them something else. Some of the best 'people' work I see is over in the wedding forum. Seriously to get the amazing photos some wedding togs get is impressive in itself let alone the fact that the people aren't models, they're just your average person. It seems to be an area of the profession with a higher than average percentage of rubbish photographers but I believe this just makes the good ones shine even brighter.

I am having a hard time breaking into the market and competing against people who don't particularly have a talent for photography but I'm making ground and improving my work as I go. The important thing to remember is photography is as much business sense as anything else which is a shame for some but you just have to go with it. Even if a photographer isn't great at taking photos, I admire their business skill in getting a steady income from it - a skill I find much harder to learn than how aperture or off camera flash works.

In all honesty I'm glad there's a lot of people out there who aren't that good because it means the task of getting work and building my business isn't quite as mammoth. If everyone in the market were as good as the people I aspire to, there would be little chance to make it myself.



Jan 06, 2013 at 03:08 AM
russdenney01
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p.1 #9 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


I wouldn't go so far to say as I am "worried" about this woman I described...

Yes, her clients may be happy with her work...and maybe she is the only photog they could afford...all valid points indeed.

In response to Ron's comment about the "art" of wedding photography:

To me, wedding and portrait photography is less of an art form...at least the posed stuff...

I'm really weird like that...I tend to find the posed photos and things that are "built for the purposes of photography" not really art. I even include much of my own work in this "not art" definition.

For me, true art lies in the candid, the unplanned, and the unexpected things that are captured in their state of nature...much harder to come across for sure...

Of course, I realize many others will feel differently about this...



Jan 06, 2013 at 03:45 AM
russdenney01
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p.1 #10 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Looking at my previous comment, I do see where I said I was upset...perhaps a poor choice of word...I still sleep at night


Jan 06, 2013 at 03:52 AM
 



neighbourboy
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p.1 #11 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


russdenney01 wrote:
To me, wedding and portrait photography is less of an art form...at least the posed stuff...

I'm really weird like that...I tend to find the posed photos and things that are "built for the purposes of photography" not really art. I even include much of my own work in this "not art" definition.

For me, true art lies in the candid, the unplanned, and the unexpected things that are captured in their state of nature...much harder to come across for sure...


You should spend a few minutes over in the wedding forum perusing around. I'd be surprised if your mind wasn't changed, at least a little, there are some true artists over there. The wedding dudes are pretty amazing, when you think about it. They have to be good at portraiture, candids, architecture, and product photography. And they do it all in a time crunch, with their clients watching every move they make, sometimes having to intervene or calm nasty situations, etc. And yet they still crank out some amazing photos.

I often feel like those guys get a bad rap, and are some of the most talented, artistic folks in the field.

--David



Jan 06, 2013 at 04:24 AM
Pete D.
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p.1 #12 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Dont get the wrong impression by GWC doing weddings to make a quick buck. Wedding photography is the quickest form of photography to earn real good money compared to any other field. Anyway...i used to think like you until i read this article about wedding and fashion photography. Took me a while to search for it but here is the link: http://sidvasandani.blogspot.ca/2011/08/raw-talk-fashion-wedding-fusion.html


Jan 06, 2013 at 07:10 AM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #13 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


neighbourboy wrote:
You should spend a few minutes over in the wedding forum perusing around. I'd be surprised if your mind wasn't changed, at least a little, there are some true artists over there. The wedding dudes are pretty amazing, when you think about it. They have to be good at portraiture, candids, architecture, and product photography. And they do it all in a time crunch, with their clients watching every move they make, sometimes having to intervene or calm nasty situations, etc. And yet they still crank out some amazing photos.

I often feel like those guys get a bad rap, and
...Show more
David is my dude.
Well said. Well said.

Anyway. Who cares what kinda stuff she has or how she sets her camera? Why be worried about it? Their are posers in every single industry on the planet. Some make more money than even the greatest "artists" in their industries. Worrying about it is only going to make you lose sleep and get distracted from taking pictures yourself.




Jan 06, 2013 at 08:22 AM
CW100
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p.1 #14 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


russdenney01 wrote:
Over the holidays, I had a mini-strobist photo shoot that had been arranged for some time and involved a few photogs, like myself, doing some strobist portrait work.

When speaking with a photog there, she told me she has photographed 10 weddings and was paid for doing so each time.

Here is the kicker, she has a $5000 kit and doesn't even know anything about her camera! She has no idea how to control DOF, what the aperture does, etc...I mean she doesn't know hardly ANYTHING about real photography. She puts her TTL flash on camera and puts the camera in automatic
...Show more

I agree with the other posters, why should you be upset with this person. Apparently she has some artistic or business sense that makes her successful. True, it can be a "damn shame" that some people don't recognize differences in photos or photographers or camera gear but that's life.












Jan 06, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Marcus Watts
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p.1 #15 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Not really your business to get upset. I mean you can but you can never win that battle, there will always be be photographers not adequately skilled shooting weddings.

David Beckstead shoot Auto. So does Jeff Ascough.

Not my choice but they put out great work.

As fgransee pointed out, do you know if her clients were satisfied?



Jan 06, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Ana Reyes
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p.1 #16 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


neighbourboy wrote:
You should spend a few minutes over in the wedding forum perusing around. I'd be surprised if your mind wasn't changed, at least a little, there are some true artists over there. The wedding dudes are pretty amazing, when you think about it. They have to be good at portraiture, candids, architecture, and product photography. And they do it all in a time crunch, with their clients watching every move they make, sometimes having to intervene or calm nasty situations, etc. And yet they still crank out some amazing photos.

I often feel like those guys get a bad rap, and
...Show more

x2 Some of those wedding guys are total BADASSES! And would have been badasses no matter what direction they went in photography.



Jan 06, 2013 at 02:06 PM
donrisi
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p.1 #17 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


russdenney01 wrote:
I'm really weird like that...I tend to find the posed photos and things that are "built for the purposes of photography" not really art. I even include much of my own work in this "not art" definition.

For me, true art lies in the candid, the unplanned, and the unexpected things that are captured in their state of nature...much harder to come across for sure...


A wise man once told me the true definition of "Art:" Anything another person will pay for. Hopefully, pay a lot for.

One of the most amazing photos I've ever seen was a portrait of a bride. Was it art? Darn right it was, by any definition.

Don't limit yourself in your definitions. Allow yourself to expand that definition, and you'll find a whole new world of challenges opening up to you.



Edited on Jan 06, 2013 at 06:36 PM · View previous versions



Jan 06, 2013 at 03:07 PM
forreal
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p.1 #18 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Russ, you basically summed up my issues with "photographers" since digital became so available. You have every Tom, Dick and Harry coming out of the wood works accepting the title as a "professional photographer" by accepting payment for jobs when they don't know squat about photography. They have some OK to nice equipment, can set it to "P" or auto and fire away. Then happily stand there with their hand out expecting compensation for their "professionalism". It urks me to no end. You also see it on any one of the photog forums out there, this one included. Someone posts their latest paid gig, gets a little hard C&C from the community, explains client was happy with them.. yahda, yahda, yahda.

Do the public an honest service folks, learn to walk before you run.

Keeping it real.



Jan 06, 2013 at 03:21 PM
alohadave
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p.1 #19 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


forreal wrote:
Russ, you basically summed up my issues with "photographers" since digital became so available. You have every Tom, Dick and Harry coming out of the wood works accepting the title as a "professional photographer" by accepting payment for jobs when they don't know squat about photography. They have some OK to nice equipment, can set it to "P" or auto and fire away. Then happily stand there with their hand out expecting compensation for their "professionalism". It urks me to no end. You also see it on any one of the photog forums out there, this one included. Someone posts
...Show more

Bleh!

You seem to think that there weren't hacks before digital made it easier to become a photographer. There were plenty of bad to middling photographers that people used because there were far fewer choices.

I say that the explosion of people offering their services is a fabulously good thing for the industry. If people are happy paying less and getting what they want, then the market has expanded, and ultimately provided more work for photographers in general. You'll see in a few years that the industry is going to transform itself into something that you can barely recognize. It's going to hurt some people, but it'll help a lot more.

Photography has never been about selling f/stops or shutter speeds. It's about marketing and salesmanship, the technical details don't matter to anyone but photographers. Customers care about pictures that capture them in a good likeness, or capturing an emotion



Jan 06, 2013 at 03:48 PM
CW100
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p.1 #20 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


alohadave wrote:
Bleh!

You seem to think that there weren't hacks before digital made it easier to become a photographer. There were plenty of bad to middling photographers that people used because there were far fewer choices.

I say that the explosion of people offering their services is a fabulously good thing for the industry. If people are happy paying less and getting what they want, then the market has expanded, and ultimately provided more work for photographers in general. You'll see in a few years that the industry is going to transform itself into something that you can barely recognize. It's going to
...Show more

you see this in all the time in photography business threads and forums. Photographers who complain about other "photographers" and the business they are getting. I wonder if it's like that on carpenter forums. Or those plumbers complaining about amateur plumbers stealing their business











Jan 06, 2013 at 03:57 PM
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