Posts tagged with wedding

Professionalism

  • Posted on March 26, 2010 at 1:49 am

(Portions borrowed [in brackets] from Bambi Cantrell)

Sometimes people confuse me. If I buy a calculator, does that make me an accountant? Would you trust me to do your taxes? [What I mean is that many younger photographers, or should I say less experienced ones, just seem to think the only thing necessary to become a “professional photographer,” is] to buy a digital camera and [take lots and lots of pictures and maybe you will get lucky, and then once the job is done, to retouch the heck out of them or “fix them in Photoshop.” A great portrait] or great wedding photography [starts with a very experienced photographer who understands the anatomy of the face, the direction and use of light on that face] and the flow of events at a wedding.

It shouldn’t be someone who is just starting out and has little or no experience doing weddings, or who has no professional training in portraiture. Sure, everyone has to start somewhere, and not everyone has the luxury I had of both being paid during my formal training and receiving it from multiple photographers, but those who start out on their own immediately are doing a great disservice to their friends and paying clients. Some of these will never really know just how badly they’ve been cheated because those photos that were missed simply don’t exist.

I also have to comment on the “purists,” those who avoid both flash and posing and claim to be “pure photojournalists.” Nonsense. I know real photojournalists, and they know when and how to use flash to avoid poorly lit and highly unflattering photos, and they know how to pose people to get the best results both in looks and in efficiency. I’m not saying they spend the entire wedding or event posing people, only that they can and do because sometimes that’s necessary to get the images they need – and the client wants.

Personally, I can’t imagine trusting the memories of your once-in-a-lifetime event to someone who just bought a camera. Experience and training matters as much for photographers as it does for accountants. Okay, yes, it might sound self-serving, but you should hire a professional photographer for the same reason you should hire a professional accountant: because you don’t find out how badly things are messed up until it’s too late, and just like receipts that weren’t saved that result in the IRS denying the expense, photos that aren’t taken are irreplaceable.