Fake it till you make it doesn't really hold any water when the shit hits the fan - and sometimes the shit hits the fan. Then what?"
Wedding Photographer Shawn Taylor looking forward to 2020 - his move to St. John's Newfoundland and his 15th year working full-time as a photographer.
St. John's, Newfoundland | With a camera in every pocket and many longing for a side gig - newly engaged couples looking to find a wedding photographer are finding themselves faced with a larger smorgasbord of "professionals" than in years past.
Social media has turned everybody into a 'professional' wedding photographer, a DJ, an officiant.
The wedding industry is a lot like the funeral industry.
Anywhere you find people making decisions based on emotion over logic - anytime you find a large group of people spending money with their heart over their head you are bound to find those hoping to find easy money and a quick buck.
How much is cheap worth to you?
My best advice for couples planning their 2020 wedding is Caveat Emptor or "Buyer Beware."
Almost every wedding photographer these days claims to be a photojournalist. Ask them to describe photojournalism in their own words and see how they answer. Are you happy with their answer?, or are they just using it as a "buzzword" they know prospective couples are looking to hear?
"There are so many different terms that people throw out," says David Roberts of the Wedding Photojournalist Association. "The bottom line is that you should look at their work and think, do I like this? If you look at it and think, I could do this myself, don´t hire them."
A true photojournalist is a trained professional who can go into almost any setting and see a shot with no excuses and no worries about the lighting, about the angle, about anything. A photojournalist, both through training and being equipped with the proper tools, can come up with a shot where many photographers would say there is none.
Candid coverage is always popular, however, having a quick mix of posed formals is essential. Keeping Grandma happy is a good thing, but at the same time as Nina Willdorf says in her book Wedding Chic, "...don´t listen to your mother, who would be happy having the photographer use all their time taking formal family portraits. Keep in mind the total number of family portraits should make up less than five per cent of your images."
"I´d rather see a shot of Grandpa and Grandma exchanging a proud peck after the ceremony. Don´t let the formal shots overwhelm the total photography package. Keep it quick and simple. Have your photographer spend his time - and your money - focusing on the photos that will resonate the most with you and your husband for years to come."
Beware of 'artiste ego' the 'car salesman' and the 'influencer.'
If a photographer is acting arrogant, almost as if it is a privilege for you to be able to hire them, or always in sell, sell, sell, mode, perhaps it is time to look elsewhere?
Willdorf sums up the "photographers ego" nicely. "Before we found the photographer we fell in love with, there were a cast of other, less appealing applicants. One notable photographer I visited was obsessed with the intricate shadow work in her book. Her zeal scared me, mostly because I thought she fancied herself a faaahbulous fashion photographer, not a wedding photographer. Clearly, she still considered herself an artiste - not a service provider."
Quality vs. Quantity?
In the words of Ansel Adams,
"There are no rules for good photographs. There are just good photographs,"
Feedback always welcome.
HI I'M SHAWN.
I have been a full-time Wedding Photographer since 2005.
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