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Yesterday I was horrified!!! I really couldn’t believe my eyes. I felt so sorry for this bride and groom. I was at a wedding yesterday (not shooting it) and watched a “photographer” who claims to have been in the business for 20 years. In all honesty it killed me to watch this person work this wedding. This person never once changed his lens. He used a medium lens all day for every shot. This particular lens is usually my last choice on a wedding day, and usually only used for group shots. This lens can leave your images looking flat and boring with little or no contrast.
He had zero direction for his bride and groom. The poses were unflattering and made the bride and groom look fat and wide. Sorry but it’s true. He washed out all of the beautiful natural light in the venue by literally carrying a white umbrella and strobe on a stand for every shot he took. Killing the look of the venue that the clients paid very good money to use. Not to mention annoying everyone around him. He didn’t even turn off the totally unnecessary modeling light making the unsightly equipment a beacon for all to see during the entire wedding. I couldn’t stand to watch him completely hack up this beautiful available light that surround the place inside and out. The couple would have a similar look in a Photo Booth for god sakes. I can’t say this is artistic in any way. I could go on but I’m truly not here to bash anyone. But I deeply want to try and illustrate poor quality versus good.
I asked for a card, which was printed and cut out from a home photo printer. Everything about this service was of poor quality, sheer laziness or complete lack of talent and true understanding of Photography, which by the way means ‘light drawing’, it’s a creative process not simply documentation. There are a million ways to screw it up! After looking through this persons website I saw more and more of the same stuff, people in unflattering posses, washed out portraits with zero depth of filed (When it goes all blurry in the back) and an absolute lack of creativity. Please understand the reason I am writing this, is to help prevent people from completely throwing their money away on a once in a life time day. You have been waiting your whole life for your wedding day. This is the marriage of your soul mate in life. You’ve dreamed of it since you were a child, guys and girls. After all is said and done the imagery is what’s left… Your photographer can take your wedding day and either destroy the dream or display the sheer beauty of that day using the best possible tools, experience, raw talent, creativity and much more. Many people can buy a nice camera these days. There are people who have been doing photography for decades and still, are barely using all of these tools to the full extent. Some people will really never get it and that’s fine, just don’t charge people for your service.
Our industry is flooding with new photographers. I’m happy for people who want to express themselves with photography and art. Some may become great photographers. The majority will not. It takes a long time to be able to take money from a person and call your self a professional. It also takes that special something that a small handful have. When looking to hire a photographer don’t just look at the price, in fact a small price just like anything else, is bad quality, it’s a waste of money. After asking all of those questions your bridal magazine, or online research tells you to ask your photographer, really look. Look at the images. Use your heart. Look at the clarity and quality. Is it flat and mundane? Do the images pop out at you? Do the images make you feel something? Are the colors elaborate? Can you see and feel the moments captured? Or better yet, does it look better than you could have ever imagined? That is my goal when I pick up my camera.
Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him.
“It’s you — Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist.”
So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.
“It’s perfect!” she gushed. “You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?”
“Five thousand dollars,” the artist replied.
“But, what?” the woman sputtered. “How could
you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!”
To which Picasso responded, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”