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Archive 2013 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?
  
 
forreal
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p.2 #1 · 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
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You seem to ass-ume a bit much, like you assume to know what I think. I know there were hacks pre-digital, it's simply gotten crazy since digital due to the simplicity of it all and the learning curve.

You say it is good for the industry, ok, that's your opinion.

My opinion and point is that you should not receive pay for services in such an industry without at first reasonably knowing what you are doing and having a fair amount of experience. What is "reasonable or fair"? I guess that could be argued forever. My point is, there are people out there that are taking on a moral obligation to professionally save memories for people. If they are going to do it for pay, then it would be nice if they knew what they were doing.

"Oh look at me, I'm a professional photographer"....

Sir, do you know what aperture priority is or how a particular lighting is going to affect your images?

"Who cares? My client doesn't know any difference, why should I?

-------------------------------

What's even worse, is that not only have I seen these "photographers" charge for their crap, but I've also seen them charge insane amounts for it. Cracks me up and saddens me all at the same time.

What's sad is that photography is not the only industry where there are people claiming to be professionals and expect to be paid as well as professionals, there are other industries too. example:

Recently I needed some work done on my pellet stove. I call a local company that claims they can fix it and know what they are doing. I make appointment knowing it is going to cost me 80 bucks an hour plus trip charge to have my stove worked on by said professional. He arrives totally unprepared, asking me questions about the unit that he is getting paid to figure out. I even have to look online for him for additional information to help him do his job. He has no clue what the problem is, cannot fix it, but still gets his service charge. I call another company, they come out, same type of charges, but these guys know exactly what to do and how to fix it with no problem whatsoever.

The above is a real example that just happened to me. This type of thing happens with so called photographers all the time and it makes everyone look bad and is completely immoral. If you don't know what you are doing, do not charge until you do. Now take note, I'm not saying don't do it, you have to get experience somehow. Simply do it for free until you have it down.

And for fun, here's another example:

Local "professional" convinces soccer board to use her for soccer pics of the kids and each team. Charges accordingly and folks receive 100% junk. Some of the pics are so bad they are hardly usable, yet she charged all the same and did not adequately capture the memories the parents where hopeful for. Again, this kind of stuff happens all too often and I will speak out against it with my dying breath. If you charge people for your professionalism, whatever the claim may be, yet you truly do not have an adequate grasp on what you are doing, then you are absolutely being immoral in accepting payment for services.

For the record, I am a hobby portrait photographer and do not consider myself a professional. I've been doing it for 20 years and do it simply for the enjoyment of the hobby. However, I do consider myself a professional landscape photographer and a professional wildlife photographer, which is what I've focused on all of that 20 years and have sold many images to books, mags and have sold many prints over the years. I'm not bragging by any means, I figure someone may ask, so there it is. The short of it, I can and do portraiture, but because I know I lack professionalism in that industry, I do not charge. But that doesn't mean I can't do some stellar work in the portraiture arena either.




Jan 06, 2013 at 04:22 PM
forreal
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p.2 #2 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


CW100 wrote:
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



I'm not complaining about them taking any business. They do nothing to me, as I've made clear, I do not do portraiture photography on a professional level, which is where the big problem is in this industry. I'm complaining about the lack of moral fortitude in it all.



Jan 06, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Chris Tylko
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p.2 #3 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


It's not worth getting upset about it. But I know exactly how you feel; I put a lot of effort into an image before I show it but have no interest in wedding photography and only occasionally do people work. The way I see it, "Weddings" are a wide market with quality ranging from bargain basement to ultra high professional with price points to match. Theoretically, ya get what ya pay for.

Case in point, I attended our niece's small back yard, "low-cost" wedding this summer. They hired a lady photog who fits the OP's description to a "T". She was equipped with a Rebel, a 50mm 1.8 and a 35mm f 2.0; she paid little attention to lighting (i.e. scattered cloudy day with glaring early afternoon sun)...and had no flash or reflectors. She told me she does minimal post work and drops a CD with about 100-200 shots for about $600. As you can see below, she also dressed for the occasion.

And you know what? The newlyweds were perfectly happy with what they got.

(By the way, I shot candids from behind the scenes with my 70-200 and gave my niece all of my shots for free in case the official photog's work turned out to be a disaster).





Ya get what ya pay for....




Jan 06, 2013 at 04:35 PM
friscoron
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p.2 #4 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Chris, this bare-footed pic is hilarious. But if she delivered the goods and the B&G were happy, then it's all good.


Jan 06, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Chris Tylko
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p.2 #5 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


friscoron wrote:
Chris, this bare-footed pic is hilarious. But if she delivered the goods and the B&G were happy, then it's all good.


Yeah...I felt I just HAD to post that one!



Jan 06, 2013 at 04:48 PM
CW100
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p.2 #6 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


forreal wrote:
I'm not complaining about them taking any business. They do nothing to me, as I've made clear, I do not do portraiture photography on a professional level, which is where the big problem is in this industry. I'm complaining about the lack of moral fortitude in it all.


OK, so you're part of the photo morality squad watching out for the "big problem in the industry". I suppose you're also for government licensing to weed out the unmoral photogs.
if only those consumers would recognize the "big problem"













Edited on Jan 06, 2013 at 11:12 PM · View previous versions



Jan 06, 2013 at 11:05 PM
russdenney01
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p.2 #7 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Guys...this wasn't meant to be a big deal...no need for folks to get so worked up.


Jan 06, 2013 at 11:08 PM
forreal
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p.2 #8 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


CW100 wrote:
OK, so you're part of the photo morality squad watching out for the "big problem in the industry". I suppose you're also for government licensing to weed out the unmoral photogs.
if only those consumers would recognize the "big problem"


There's no reason to get all sarcastic about it. No "squad" here, just inserting my opinion like the next guy. Maybe you're one of those folks I'm talking about. I can only assume so by your defensive posturing here. If that is the case, I mean you no harm or malice and I'm sorry if I offended you.



Jan 07, 2013 at 03:42 AM
joelconner
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p.2 #9 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


There are few photography fields with as much competition these days as weddings...at least in our experience (we shoot weddings, seniors, families, boudoir, commercial/corporate, and some babies...and my background was fine art)

Yes, there are many wedding shooters with little to no artistry. On the flip side, though, I do not know another area of photography where there are so many people pushing the envelope of what is creative/expected/normal. There are many wedding photographers who are the most creative photographers I have ever met in my 12 years of shooting. I personally am ALWAYS pushing myself in the art of photography.

Check out Fearless Photographers and you will never wonder if there are creative wedding photographers out there.



Jan 07, 2013 at 04:40 AM
dhp_sf
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p.2 #10 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


forreal wrote:
I'm not complaining about them taking any business. They do nothing to me, as I've made clear, I do not do portraiture photography on a professional level, which is where the big problem is in this industry. I'm complaining about the lack of moral fortitude in it all.


how is it immoral if a given client can look up a photographer, look at his/her crappy work, and then agree to hire said photographer to shoot more of their crappy work and they deliver?

if the photographer is showing photos that aren't his or isn't delivering what is shown as his/her talent level why is this the photographer's fault? people should be held accountable for their own actions. if i go out and buy an off-brand lens to save out on some cash and i don't check out the reviews or anything and just assume it's going to work, it's on me if it has crappy image quality or slow focus or whatever.

just because I or some random person on the internet thinks that a photographer's work is trash doesn't mean they should not be allowed to offer their services for a fee. Everyone starts somewhere. Not everyone will rise up and prosper.



Jan 07, 2013 at 04:56 AM
 



snegron
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p.2 #11 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Wedding photography business is hurting due to two basic factors:

1. Current generation of clients have little or no appreciation for art. Most couples have grown up in a world where cheap, unimaginative Facebook-type pictures are the norm. They are incapable of appreciating a good image.

2. For the few who do appreciate art, the economy has limited their budget. When it comes down to choosing between catering or photography, they prefer to forgo photography in favor of a fancier menu. After all, most guests will have their expensive smartphones and ipads at the wedding, so the couple will get to see instant results on whatever social media they waste their time on.

Before you start hurling insults toward me let me make a quick disclaimer. Am I bitter? Yes. Do I have any experience in the wedding photography business? Yes. I have been shooting weddings since the mid 1980's; back when medium format film was king. I transitioned to digital when the fad first started. I have seen first hand how the wedding photography business has gone down hill.



Jan 07, 2013 at 04:56 AM
joelconner
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p.2 #12 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


snegron wrote:
I have seen first hand how the wedding photography business has gone down hill.



I have only been shooting weddings for 8 years (full time for 3 years), and while it may be harder now than it was, there is still a very viable market where money can be made. My wife and I work in the biz full time...and it pays our bills plus some. It's just more a challenge now, and you REALLY have to push yourself creatively and on the biz side to stand out from the sea of "photographers." It may be that the "glory days" are gone, but before...technique and knowledge was the most important factor. Once you had that nailed, it was mostly a walk in the park. Today, though, technique has been extremely simplified due to digital. Thus, creativity and "fresh ideas" are what push things forward.

It's just tough on so many who have been in the industry for a while because the game has changed so much. But, people are still buying tickets in the new one..big time.



Jan 07, 2013 at 05:30 AM
joelconner
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p.2 #13 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


I should also add...there are other factors that are very important now in addition to creativity, but I was speaking mainly on the subject of the actual imagery.


Jan 07, 2013 at 05:31 AM
honorerdieu
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p.2 #14 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Just reading through this thread... having expensive equipment or possessing the technical knowledge does not make one a competent photographer. It takes creative vision and style to be competitive in the photography industry.


Jan 07, 2013 at 06:59 AM
honorerdieu
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p.2 #15 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


forreal wrote:
There's no reason to get all sarcastic about it. No "squad" here, just inserting my opinion like the next guy. Maybe you're one of those folks I'm talking about. I can only assume so by your defensive posturing here. If that is the case, I mean you no harm or malice and I'm sorry if I offended you.


I think you were the one being defensive in the first place. If clients want to hire cheap photographers based on their affordable price range and they're happy with the images, then who are you to complain about it if you're not in the same industry?

It would be wise to look to the likes of influential photographers who provide educational resources for photographers of all skill levels to help the industry as a whole. I have rarely seen leaders who has been in the wedding/landscape/nature/wildlife industries complain about mismatch of price level to a photographer's skill/expertise.

When someone says "I have been shooting for XX number of years" I am usually more leery because it goes both ways; a long time photographer can either be mediocre and "just getting by" or have shown progression and surviving in this highly competitive industry.

Joey Laurence is one example who quickly became successful in commercial/portrait photography after he picked up a camera around 2006 or a few years earlier...and he's only 23 years old.

Jasmine Star is another example. She's an international wedding photographer who was voted as one of the Top Ten wedding photographers by American Photo Magazine and she only started her business in 2006 with a Canon 20D.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that there are many paths to being successful in the photography industry. Those who have no passion for photography in general usually die off anyway.



Jan 07, 2013 at 07:34 AM
forreal
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p.2 #16 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


honorerdieu wrote:
I think you were the one being defensive in the first place. If clients want to hire cheap photographers based on their affordable price range and they're happy with the images, then who are you to complain about it if you're not in the same industry?

It would be wise to look to the likes of influential photographers who provide educational resources for photographers of all skill levels to help the industry as a whole. I have rarely seen leaders who has been in the wedding/landscape/nature/wildlife industries complain about mismatch of price level to a photographer's skill/expertise.

When someone
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I'm confused as to why you would have such a problem with my opinion on this matter that you have to find ways to defend yourself? I've simply agreed with the original OP and elaborated a bit on the matter. Lots of folks have brought some good points to the table on this issue and I agree with the majority here. I still stand behind the idea that if you do not have a good grasp on what you are doing, you should not be charging for it. Again, one should learn how to walk before they run. That is all I'm saying here. If you disagree, then fine, I'm OK with the fact that you disagree. That's the nice thing about individuality, we are who we are and think the way we think. Just because I think it is immoral to push a profession when you are not a professional doesn't mean I expect anyone else to think like I do. I'm only stating the way I feel about it. Again, if you don't, then fine by me, I'm not pushing anyone to think like me. Yet for some reason a few here feel they have to come rushing in to defend against me in some fancy, crazy fashion. Be upset with me if you want, it's not going to change my opinion on this subject.



Jan 07, 2013 at 02:10 PM
qburke
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p.2 #17 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


The beauty of capitalism - the marketplace decides. Being a good photographer is one thing, but if it is paying the bills you need to develop the business skills as well. Who are you marketing to? If you're market can't discern good photography for blah photography, then what makes you stand out?

Focus on your target market (or figure out who your target market is) and serve them extremely well - forgot about everyone else, because you either cannot make them happy or they are not worth your effort.



Jan 07, 2013 at 09:47 PM
robert61
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p.2 #18 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Wedding photography is becoming the domain of momtographers.


Jan 07, 2013 at 10:06 PM
snegron
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p.2 #19 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


joelconner wrote:
I have only been shooting weddings for 8 years (full time for 3 years), and while it may be harder now than it was, there is still a very viable market where money can be made. My wife and I work in the biz full time...and it pays our bills plus some. It's just more a challenge now, and you REALLY have to push yourself creatively and on the biz side to stand out from the sea of "photographers." It may be that the "glory days" are gone, but before...technique and knowledge was the most important factor. Once you had
...Show more


I understand your point and I am not knocking it in any way, however, I personally don't think it has anything to do with pushing oneself creatively. It should have more to do with skill than with anything else. Photography is and has always been about capturing the defining moment; look at any of the Pulitzer prize winning photographs for the past several decades. Far from being simple snapshots with custom presentation or marketing gimmicks, true photos capture a moment that tells a story. That is the artistic aspect of photography that has been lost with this current generation.

I have shot many images at weddings that are truly moving; images that include not only proper technique, but also capture that defining moment. In the past, couples appreciated that. I saw it in the tears of the bride when I showed her the proofs after the wedding. I can still recognize a good image when I see one, but this generation has no clue. These same type of images are now tossed to the side in favor of posed, unimaginative shots I took as requested by the bride or groom.

It used to be that my main competition was other photographers with a different shooting style. Now my main competition are photo booths.




Jan 07, 2013 at 10:41 PM
qburke
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p.2 #20 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


I have shot many images at weddings that are truly moving; images that include not only proper technique, but also capture that defining moment. In the past, couples appreciated that. I saw it in the tears of the bride when I showed her the proofs after the wedding. I can still recognize a good image when I see one, but this generation has no clue. These same type of images are now tossed to the side in favor of posed, unimaginative shots I took as requested by the bride or groom.

I think this is completely false. The Wedding Photographer forum is full of "defining moment" images that both photographers and non-photographers appreciate, and these images end up in albums. And I believe this generation is very artistic and they do have a clue - it's just a different flavor than generations before. There might be a little more sifting to find work that stands out - as social media and digital equipment makes it so easy to share everything, but I don't believe this means the art form has been degraded.

Some of you guys sound like old farts - talking about the good 'ole days, and how kids these days don't listen or give a darn.




Jan 07, 2013 at 11:15 PM
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