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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 16 Feb 2012 (Thursday) 11:29
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"Why I'm Bored with the Wedding Industry"

 
wdwpsu
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Feb 16, 2012 11:29 |  #1

Not me.. This individual. Some interesting thoughts. Some I agree with (Stars are the best speakers and not the best photographers). Some I don't.. But, that's what happens when someone puts out a polarizing post like this..

http://blog.mymusea.co​m/post/17713040670 (external link)


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nicksan
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Feb 16, 2012 18:52 |  #2

Do you know who wrote this? I can't tell. It's a very anonymous post. I certainly agree with a lot of what was said, but then again the information is nothing new, at least for me. IMHO, Wedding Photography is often times very formulaic. I think it's just the nature of the beast and it can be very difficult to keep the creativity up, so what the person wrote kind of hits home for me in some ways.

Personally, I don't try to define photography. It's something that I love to do, and it's just as simple as that. I also wouldn't be shooting weddings if I didn't enjoy it.


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Red ­ Tie ­ Photography
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Feb 16, 2012 18:59 |  #3

I thought it was a good read, and I think he was right in a lot of ways. It is his opinion, so of course it cannot be wrong, because it is what he feels.


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snakeman55
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Feb 16, 2012 19:30 |  #4

While I agree with a lot of it, it feels a little like complaining about top 40 music. With any art the most popular examples are always similar and over polished and more flash than substance.

You just have to dig a little deeper. For every Nickleback there is a Mutemath. You just have to be willing to find it. You're not going to convince the masses to not like reality tv.

The irony of this post is that his sentiment is becoming a cliche. He's by no means the first to voice those exact objections to mainstream wedding photography.


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wdwpsu
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Feb 16, 2012 22:00 |  #5

nicksan wrote in post #13911090 (external link)
Do you know who wrote this? I can't tell. It's a very anonymous post.

I don't know. I saw Zack Arias tweet about it and that's when I decided to share it here.


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PeaceFire
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Feb 16, 2012 23:54 |  #6

I agree with many of his posts, but I for one do not want to "experiment" with what is probably the most important day in my client's life at that moment. I'm getting married in less than two weeks and I'd be PISSED if my photographer randomly decided to do something "out of the box". I want pictures because I know I'm probably not going to remember half of what happens that day (and won't be there for a lot of it), and I want to see what it all looked like and look back at it for years to come to remember it. We'll have some fun with the portraits, but that's a very small part, usually, of the whole day.

Of course, if a client is cool with it then by all means "experiment". But can you imagine going in without telling your clients anything and, I don't know... shooting the whole thing only from the neck up or something like that? Most of my clients are awesome but even they would pitch a fit and I'd never be able to live it down, even if other photographers thought it was brilliant.

It sounds to me more like his complaint is that wedding photographers don't really get to work for themselves. You are working for the clients and in most cases the clients are very protective of their wedding days.


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Antarion
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Feb 17, 2012 03:35 |  #7

There is another thing to keep in mind:

For us wedding photographers those similar styles and posts from other wedding photographers all over the web may be a bit repetitive and boring over time but for many clients who don't follow photography on the web and just want their one and only wedding event captured, there is no such thing as repetitiveness.
They look at some websites a few month before their wedding and select the phtographer that fit their needs in images, sympathy and price and go on. They probably won't even recognize that many photographers use a similar style and poses all the time. (And I do think there are plenty of different styles and unique photographers out there)

So should you try new things? Of course you should. But it's not that bad to have most of your work done the way you do it normally imo.




  
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wdwpsu
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Feb 17, 2012 07:28 |  #8

The blogger definitely makes some great points.

By experiment, you don't have to go all in. But, it's always good to challenge yourself and to try something new at every event. I always like to get the safe shots done first, and if there's time try some new idea. If it works out, cool. If it doesn't, that's okay too.

I've heard the stories of (predominently second) shooters that did things like shot the whole wedding with an iPhone or some other gimmick. And, if it compliments the primary photographers work, then why not.

But, one thing I gleemed from that article that I am guilty of is getting too much inspiration from other wedding photographers. I need to look at other forms of photography, film, art to grow my own unique style. If all we do is look at other wedding photographers' work, it does all become the same. That's what I hate about the nucleus known as WPPI, it's 10s of thousands of photographers all learning from the same dozen people.

I recently started doing more street photography and set up some photowalks. I saw some "freshness" to my style as a result of that..


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SMP_Homer
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Feb 17, 2012 09:46 |  #9

I got bored reading that article...


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umphotography
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Feb 17, 2012 13:24 as a reply to  @ SMP_Homer's post |  #10

I think the guy is full of bull.

He made his points and I slightly agree with some of them. Especially the part about everyone wanting to teach and market themselves instead of getting behind a camera and letting your work do the talking. He is right on that to a point.

Look

We all shoot and market in similar manners. NOT BECAUSE the industry is being run by amateurs and amateurs are teaching amateurs how to photograph weddings as he has suggested. I think he is full of himself.

We market and shoot in similar manners BECAUSE that what the trend is these days and thats what the client wants to buy.

Seems like a no brainer to me. Were gonna hit 90K this year with that formula. So, does that mean im part of the amateur crowd that he is suggesting ? My clients don't think so.

Second point.
He sounds like an old timer who is upset because the industry has changed so drastically over the past 5 yrs and the price point that the old crowd was getting has changed dramatically as well. Gone are the days of the 5k show up and shoot it wedding and hear is your album, thank you very much mentality. Kids these days are very sharp,know what they want, and are not going to put up with Old time thinking. Either you change and adapt or you move on. I think thats the case with some who no longer shoot weddings. They want it their way and wont adapt to the newer generations way of thinking, so they get on a computer and start to whine about how bad the wedding industry is------BS

Third point-
This is not easy. You have to be versatile,physically fit, know how to keep yourself out of trouble with lighting,have good posing skills and you have to have great people skills to survive. If you cant do that you is deep DoDO.

Fourth point:
I would love to get more creative and do some of the things he suggests. So how much time and money are you supposed to invest in a session and where are the people that want to go through that process ?

People are generally happy with nicely focused, nicely backlit, shallow DOF images. People are busy and just don't want to go through that process so they settle for something that fits their needs, not some egotistical bored with the industry crybaby interpretation about whats boring and what is not. lots of clients, I would say the majority of clients like what we do and thats why we are in business and others are not.

Fifth and final point:
much of the artistic stuff he showed and is talking about has much more to do with what you do in post processing then it does with anything else. If you want to spend that kind of time in post and get more artistic and then try to target an audience that want that artistic look......GOOD FOR YOU. If you can raise your price points because of that effort.... EVEN BETTER

BUT the majority of the market, and the figure is 80%, are in a the mid range price brackets for their areas. In Minnesota, that price point is $1200-2800.00 for 82% of the market. Other areas will vary. So my question for him is, how much time and effort should one put into the artistic side when the markets are where they are at. And, how would you expect one to stay in business and go the artistic direction as he suggests. As mentioned, the vast majority of clients, 80%, like boring, back lit, shallow DOF images that wedding industry photographers do on a daily basis.

I think the guy is just crying in his beer. Times and people change. If you cant stay with it,,,,sit back and write whiny complaints about how bad the industry is--------im tired of hearing guys like him frankly

" Those that can play the game, Everyone else pretends or teaches "

Its really that simple for me


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snaphappyphotography
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Feb 18, 2012 01:01 |  #11

snakeman55 wrote in post #13911247 (external link)
The irony of this post is that his sentiment is becoming a cliche. He's by no means the first to voice those exact objections to mainstream wedding photography.

Seriously.

Another cliche. It's not the gear it's the photographer. I listened to a rant like that for 20 minutes from a guy who finished his conversation by saying the D800 was useless because it was 4FPS. And I'm speaking of one of the most famous photographers in the world.

Lots of soap gone, lots of soap boxes to stand on.


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snaphappyphotography
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Feb 18, 2012 01:05 |  #12

PeaceFire wrote in post #13912645 (external link)
I'm getting married in less than two weeks and I'd be PISSED if my photographer randomly decided to do something "out of the box".

Heck yeah! It's about you! This is the only day of your life that's about you. The next day it's back to work with your butthole boss and lame co-workers. But your wedding day is yours. You're a celebrity and for at least one day in your life the world needs to recognize it.


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snaphappyphotography
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Feb 18, 2012 01:09 |  #13

umphotography wrote in post #13915591 (external link)
Kids these days are very sharp,know what they want, and are not going to put up with Old time thinking. Either you change and adapt or you move on. I think thats the case with some who no longer shoot weddings. They want it their way and wont adapt to the newer generations way of thinking

Amen!


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snaphappyphotography
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Feb 18, 2012 01:13 |  #14

umphotography wrote in post #13915591 (external link)
BUT the majority of the market, and the figure is 80%, are in a the mid range price brackets for their areas. In Minnesota, that price point is $1200-2800.00 for 82% of the market. Other areas will vary. So my question for him is, how much time and effort should one put into the artistic side when the markets are where they are at.

Yes, everything depends on your own market. His rant about being more creative might work perfectly well in Manhattan, but not as you say in Minnesota. Someone in NYC might be thrilled with an 8x10 camera, but not so much where I live in Mississippi ;)


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snaphappyphotography
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Feb 18, 2012 01:17 |  #15

I'm going to shut up as soon as I submit this paradox; I agree with the blog completely, but he's absolutely wrong about everything. Ha! All his points are great and thought provoking and I will keep them in mind. But unfortunately generalizations and ideals don't translate well into very specific situations. But I appreciate his critique. Critique is always worth something, even if it doesn't change everything.


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