The Art of Wedding Photography
The Art of Wedding Photography is more than a concept but it’s drowning in a saturated sea where only a few discerning clientele attend to salvage it.
You have read flowery words from wedding photographers before, but what really makes them different.
Professionals in the field can compare technical skills, style, genre, composition, experience, editing, and business skills but honestly what does that all mean to you, the bride and groom?… In the end does it really only come down to words and prices? Probably yes to some couples.
Wedding photography is not just a business, it is a creative outlet that provides so much satisfaction for everyone, including the photographer. Your event and your relationships are unique and special and somehow that has to come out in the photographs, no easy task.
Choosing a photographer
There are so many technical tips I could give regarding choosing a photographer…but I won’t because jargon is never helpful. Instead I will share some ideas to help you think about the things you should consider.
One of the essential criteria you should consider should be experience a minimum of at least 3 years. Of course there are many talented young photographers on the market, however Event Photography is an extremely complex field, it requires very astute business skills, excessively perfect time management, impeccable customer relationship skills as well as the obvious technical and artistic skills.
Event photography is also a huge responsibility, photographers are entrusted with the most important days of someones life, so much can go wrong, failure could be so destructive. Experienced photographers work full time in the industry, they take precautions, prepare well, instinctively know where to be and what to do and how to get the best out of you during the ceremony. They know how to work with other professionals, you and your guests. You can also be sure that a seasoned photographer is surviving in his field and is still likely to be working in a few years from now when you have your event. I have witnessed so many quit after trying and failing in such a tight market.
Experience definitely does help as with most jobs wedding photography is a highly demanding role with very specific skills.
Memberships and Awards
Being a member of impressive sounding photography groups and holding awards etc would mean nothing to you. However It might look impressive to see all those links, they are merely competitions. There is currently no official auditing of wedding photography in any country. Awards are generally won after paying subscriptions for photography group memberships and submitting work to them for a panel of unknown judges to approve. Groups are usually set up by other photographers. You are always the best judge of photography for your event.
Wedding Photography is challenging
The photography field is constantly challenging, its an extremely expensive, constantly changing, highly competitive, excessively time consuming and hard to profit from. Experienced photographers know this and price accordingly.
I shall write more about this in a future blog.
A major factor to consider when choosing your photographer
A major factor to consider when choosing a photographer should not be the price. Asking an artistic wedding photographer their price before viewing their work is fairly insulting to a passionate artist, whilst it may seem a pretty reasonable request to you. Artists like to have their work appreciated and they prefer you to choose their work over other artists not their price. If your photographer feels appreciated, the work you get will reflect that.
Everyone can take photos
Everyone can take photos. We snap photographs daily, posting our lives in pictures on social media. Anybody can draw, we have done this since we were kids – but to what degree? What makes one artist produce better work than another? Talent, skill, perception? If we are trying to understand art then we are doing it wrong.
Art is not about understanding, its not always about how technically good it is, its not even always about talent or skill or communicating a message, whilst these things are important, what is more important is how it makes you feel.
Art is how an onlooker feels when they view that art, what emotions it evokes, what mood it portrays.
Its not for me to tell people how they should feel. As wedding photographers we strive desperately for people to feel something pleasant when they view our work but can not expect the same feelings from everyone.
Imagine a world full of people who liked the same things, who reproduced the same things. This would destroy the very things that make us human …creativity and emotions.
Basically If you feel nothing at all when looking at photographs or art, perhaps it is not good for you at all.
Memories of Exhibitions and Galleries
I remember wandering round galleries, falling in love with a piece of work because it evoked certain emotions and feelings in me. I was then left totally dejected after reading the little description from the artist about how I should feel looking at his work. I felt misled , my feelings were so out of touch with the artists. Did I miss the point? Were my feelings messed up? I felt I clearly did not understand the art! my original love of that piece of art vanished, I failed to meet the artists expectations.
Images invoke certain moods and emotions, they differ greatly from person to person and can not be forced by description from someone else. Even negative emotions can be powerful. The worst art of all, is art that evokes nothing at all from the viewer. That being said negative emotions in wedding photography would not be desirable.
Surrounded by visual media
We are surrounded by visual media, so much so that most people are desensitized to feeling anything at all about images around us. We are driven by opinion, trends or instruction, we follow. The result is always one of dissatisfaction.
This is how you should choose your photographer
Its easy to choose a photographer, if its a few snap shots and pictures that you want for a cheap price there are many people that will snap your wedding. Its not easy to find a photographer whose work touches your emotions, If you want images that evoke feelings, you need to be much more selective.
Take time, don’t fall for flowery descriptions, do not be told by the creator how you should feel, look at the photographers images what thoughts come to you, calm, seductive, vibrant peaceful, joyous? If you like those emotions that’s your photographer
Wedding Photography is challenging, creating it as an art is even more challenging. Our customers need to feel their memories. We need to strive to make them feel that same feeling years down the line when reviewing their wedding images. If we achieve that , we have really created art from our wedding photography. Consequently our customers have received true art, and that is something you can not put a value on. In return we have achieved trust loyalty and most importantly happy customers.