Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Yes, we do 'do' weddings!

Weddings. Ah yes, the eternal question: Do you or don't you? A fair enough question, and one which many photographers seem to stumble over when trying to answer. Funny, really, that there appears to be stigma attached to being labelled as 'a wedding photorgapher'...

I must admit, for many years I was one of those people. And for exactly the same reasons as the majority, I should imagine... For one thing, it is often viewed that if you are, say, an industrial photographer and you suddenly start shooting weddings at the weekends, you have somehow 'sold out'. "Trying to make ends meet, are we? Things so bad that you have had to resort to the 'unthinkable'?!...".

Actually, in my case, this could not be further from the truth. My introduction into wedding photography was via another photographer - someone who already had a succesul business set up in the sector, and who was looking for an additional photographer to join him. Of course, I made the usual excuses as to just why his 'very generous offer' just wasn't for me, but ultimately he won me over to his way of thinking. How? Slowly. And in a very gentle 'take it as it comes' fashion.

In hindsight, it was a great a great opportunity and a great decision of mine to go along with the offer. At that time, the weddings which I photographed for him filled a few income gaps in my commercial and editorial work throughout the year. And besides, my weekends were generally quiet, so it was something of a no-brainer: get out and about, meet some great people, take pictures (which, of course I loved doing), have lots of fun, whilst at the same time earning some additional income.

As a quick side-note... I think it is also interesting that there is clearly still a certain public perception/expectation of what it means to be a photographer. Many is the time that I have answered the question 'What do you do for a living', only to be asked the immediate follow-up 'So, you do weddings, then?'

Weddings are actually great fun to photograph. And as a photographer, you are in a priviledged position. Personally, my approach is one of being led by the couple's preference of imagery; some like more formal shots whereas others (and increasingly, this is the majority) prefer the more candid 'reportage' feel. Either way, I feel it is the photographer's duty to record the event not just as technically and professionally as possible (that goes without saying), but also as discretely as possible, too. Yes, there are times during the course of the day where instructions need to be shouted, and people need to be arranged, but in the most part you have to remember that as their photographer, you are simply there to record events for the bride, groom and their wedding party to enjoy in the years that follow.

So here it is - Yes, I (and by that I mean we as a company) do 'do' weddings!

But to be clear, this is just one of the many wide-ranging services offered to our clients, in much the same way that there are also many add-on products offered to compliment the work we produce.

1 comment:

Pete Tiley / Titan Images said...

Great read. Weddings are and perhaps always will be the singular biggest debate for seasoned and fledgling photographers the world over. I am sure we have all met 'a wedding photographer' akin to Robbie Heart of the Wedding Singer and I am sure we have all met people like Damien Lovegrove.

However and whoever you are it takes upmost skill and dedication to shoot a wedding well and you only know the job is done when the book is in the brides hands and she starts crying with joy. I totally concur on your sentiments and thankfully, at the moment I only have three this year. I takes a lot of bottle to turn people away. Last year I declined an African wedding with 8 bridesmaids...I kid you not.

The other hot topic is sports photography, but thats for another day.