Sunday, October 03, 2010

Do the Bride and Groom Bear Any Responsibility For The Quality of Their Wedding Photographs?

Regarding a post on a Flickr Forum:

The OP asks about shooting with a small camera as a second shooter and is excoriated into renting a top of the line DSLR so as to make the highest quality images possible. Some are indicating that it is simply impossible to do a good job as a second shooter without years of knowledge and the reading of thousands of pages of manuals. You would think that this assignment required the abilities and the knowledge of a hundred photographers...

The wedding venue the couple chose is a gymnasium.

A. Gymnasium.

And they are hiring low-budget wedding shooters to boot.

(Whoa... I am fine with low-budget wedding shooters. Glad that she can hire someone to do pictures for her wedding and obviously she doesn't have the funds to pay for hi-budget wedding shooters. I get that. In fact, I am very glad that low-budget wedding photographers exist because I am not elitist in the least thinking that brides should either pay $5K for a wedding or shut up - her $700 makes her unfit for receiving pictures. There are those that believe that, but NOT me.)

I think that the bride and groom and 'wedding planner' if one is involved bear a great deal of responsibility for the quality of the images. Choose a shitty venue, and chances are the images may not be as nice as the ones in the photographers book shot at a world class venue.

I am also tired of hearing this elitist crap about oh, how terribly difficult it is to shoot any wedding. In a French Cathedral... yeah.

In a gymnasium... not so much.

My post from this morning.


"...Listen, if someone is getting married in a gymnasium they have no clue about quality and probably don't require it...."

YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! Yes Yes Yes.


I am starting to think that shooting that 'special day' is incredibly difficult and requires the best of the best and the brightest of the brightest to even attempt to shoot a 'wedding'....

Man... I can't even think how skewed my thinking was.

I would hope that the bride and groom have some say in the fiasco---err, ceremony.

They are having it in a gymnasium and hiring inexpensive photographers and you would think it was the best venue in the world and they were entitled to D Regie work at basement prices.

I think they are most assuredly expecting decent photographs. Memories for their day. Prints to share and give out to loved ones.

And these are unattainable unless we read 1600 page manuals and have cameras that can shoot in near darkness rendering astounding 20MP for the utmost in crystal sharpness.

Look... I have great respect for wedding photographers. I did it for a while and freeeeeeeekin hated it. (so maybe my bias is showing, but I don't think so).

1. It is NOT rocket science.
2. It is NOT the unattainably difficult challenge requiring the utmost skill.
3. It is NOT requiring all the latest gear and coolest flash.

It requires an eye and an understanding of people and a clear ability to deliver images that are acceptable under the circumstances placed before them.

8 years ago, we were told that we had to ditch the 5MP cameras because wedding photography required 8MP (Photo East, Denis Regie speaker).

So - the part about wedding photography needing 8 MP. Now we need 21MP?

It is a total game and an insincere one at that.

Without pointing at any single poster here, and the ones I am referring to with this next statement are NOT posters here...

I think it is a croc that some wedding photographers start telling people that 'you can't do this' and 'you can't do that' and 'it takes decades of shootin' fer free to get good enough to charge money for weddin's.'


In a gymanasium.

You betcha.

Seems more like a 'protectionist' philosophy to me. And it isn't only in wedding photography that I find this stuff, it is very alive in the commercial shooters as well. "Man this industry sucks, no one should even consider it, it really sucks - did I tell you how bad it sucks... don't even think about entering such a sucky business."

Meanwhile they are waiting for their new book to come in so they can hit the lists. It's all bullshit.

Tough market? Things changing? You betcha! New boss different than the old boss? Yeah, maybe. So?

It's a low dollar wedding in a gymnasium. I would submit that most anybody could shoot it and get decent images. Even with a point and shoot. The bride certainly shouldn't have very high expectations... it is in a GYMNASIUM.

Shooting in a grand cathedral... with 20 bridesmaids and a budget of $80 grand... yeah, better have the cred and the abilities. Skills.

But then I am guessing that bride didn't seek out the cheapest no-name she could find...

Ya know.


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