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12-31-2009, 02:53 PM   #1
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New trend, or lazy wedding pro?

One of the multiple weddings I attended this summer was for my niece. At the wedding, I remember the flash from photographer they hired flickered so fast and furious, I assumed it was for red-eye reduction. It turns out he was taking five to ten shots every time he pulled the trigger. Ok, better safe than sorry.

However, after the wedding, he sends my niece several thousand shots from which she is to choose her keepers. It took her months to wade through them. To make matters worse, the shots were so covered by his watermarked logos, that it was difficult to see the eyes and expressions.

Is this a new trend for wedding pros to leave it to the customer to sort out the shoot?

(For me as an unpaid photographer who is often called upon to shoot events, it is a matter of pride to sort out the crap and post process before I send out my work).

12-31-2009, 03:13 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
One of the multiple weddings I attended this summer was for my niece. At the wedding, I remember the flash from photographer they hired flickered so fast and furious, I assumed it was for red-eye reduction. It turns out he was taking five to ten shots every time he pulled the trigger. Ok, better safe than sorry.

However, after the wedding, he sends my niece several thousand shots from which she is to choose her keepers. It took her months to wade through them. To make matters worse, the shots were so covered by his watermarked logos, that it was difficult to see the eyes and expressions.

Is this a new trend for wedding pros to leave it to the customer to sort out the shoot?

(For me as an unpaid photographer who is often called upon to shoot events, it is a matter of pride to sort out the crap and post process before I send out my work).
That's weird, just two minutes ago I posted a remark upon this trend in the SLR camera section.

When working as a wedding photographer in the UK the company I was with reckoned on taking 150 shots on average from which the bride was given about 60 to choose from. I offer much the same now and that's digital. Weddings are about people, not an opportunity laid on for a photographer to demonstrate either his kit or his ego, and it is never, ever a good idea to show any client all the pictures because at least half are going to be crap and you are only as good as your last photo.

Justin.
12-31-2009, 03:37 PM   #3
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It's more a sign, I think, that pretty much anyone can afford a DSLR now and all they have to do is get some business cards printed and suddenly they're wedding photographers. It has the effect of depriving the true professionals (and there a a few on this forum) of work as well as giving the industry a bad name.
12-31-2009, 03:54 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by justinr Quote
That's weird, just two minutes ago I posted a remark upon this trend in the SLR camera section.

When working as a wedding photographer in the UK the company I was with reckoned on taking 150 shots on average from which the bride was given about 60 to choose from. I offer much the same now and that's digital. Weddings are about people, not an opportunity laid on for a photographer to demonstrate either his kit or his ego, and it is never, ever a good idea to show any client all the pictures because at least half are going to be crap and you are only as good as your last photo.

Justin.
That's funny, because your post on that thread was spot on with what I was talking about.

12-31-2009, 11:35 PM   #5
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Here are my views on this, laid out bare for 2010 :-)

I don't think it's simply a sign that anyone can buy a DSLR and call themselves a pro-photog. I have seen pro-photographers with 20-30 years experience doing some crazy stuff, including during my own wedding, which made me just want to kick the guy out and whip out my own camera.

Then there's downright lazyness. Many photographers are doing the "dump" on clients - provide a slew of images to the bride/groom and let them sort through them. If I take 800 images during a full wedding, I will sit and check every one of those images to make sure the bride and groom receive a set of images (anywhere between 300-600) ready to print and without a dozen copies of each shot. I would never drop raw files on DVD and say "Pick them and I'll work em."

I even had a local pro do that to me, even after knowing full well I was a fellow of the trade. We wanted family portraits done a couple of months after our baby was born and of course a do-it-yourself shoot would be a big pain. As proofs we received a few dozen photos, each about 1.5x2, on medium stock paper, raw from the camera without any cropping or correction, on a comb-bound book. To add to it all, we were required to return it as he graciously reminded us a few times while we considered our order.

I simply think it comes down to common business sense and professionalism, or the lack of either in this case.
01-01-2010, 05:39 AM   #6
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it's because of this trend that I refuse to do weddings. I don't want to tarred with the same brush as the amateur wedding photographers, no disrespect to the real wedding photographers.
01-01-2010, 05:57 AM   #7
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It's lazy and incompetence. Pure and simple. The so called "Pro" is no such thing. Doesn't know how to shoot, doesn't understand the business and too clueless to do a good job.

I could rant on and on about this as I compete with these idiots all the time. They offer a low price, which entices the client and brag about the thousands of shots they provide. Then the real pros tell the bride that they will get 100-150 top quality shots for more money and look like we don't (on paper) provide the couple with much. The reality is we provide a whole lot more.

There is no way a couple should get all the images to sort through. I proof every shot, delete (well really put them in a an 'Unused Folder" - nothing is ever deleted) and send them only the best work to choose from.

Wedding photography is about the people and not the photog. You need to try and capture the feeling of the day, stay out of the limelight and not change the mood for the couple or the guests. Firing (particularly a flash) 15-2500 shots is just getting in the way and being a rank amateur.

If the shooter has a blog or guest book on their web site, the bride should clearly explain how poorly these shooters do the job. There's no way that shooting this much didn't interfere with the day.
01-01-2010, 06:52 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
It's more a sign, I think, that pretty much anyone can afford a DSLR now and all they have to do is get some business cards printed and suddenly they're wedding photographers. It has the effect of depriving the true professionals (and there a a few on this forum) of work as well as giving the industry a bad name.
I've got to agree with this, I've looked through Craigslist many many times and the amount of people charging a thousand for weddings after seeing their portfolio is just atrocious. Not going to name or post any links here, but it looks like it was taken out of a camera phone with the way it was exposed, and edited in Paint with the final product comes out with insanely overblown highlights. The SLR/DSLR isn't what it used to be anymore, most people having a DSLR means they own a camera and nothing more. People need to watch out who they're paying for, they wouldn't want to wonder why they even paid that "pro" photographer that much.

01-01-2010, 10:19 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
It's lazy and incompetence. Pure and simple. The so called "Pro" is no such thing. Doesn't know how to shoot, doesn't understand the business and too clueless to do a good job.

I could rant on and on about this as I compete with these idiots all the time. They offer a low price, which entices the client and brag about the thousands of shots they provide. Then the real pros tell the bride that they will get 100-150 top quality shots for more money and look like we don't (on paper) provide the couple with much. The reality is we provide a whole lot more.

There is no way a couple should get all the images to sort through. I proof every shot, delete (well really put them in a an 'Unused Folder" - nothing is ever deleted) and send them only the best work to choose from.

Wedding photography is about the people and not the photog. You need to try and capture the feeling of the day, stay out of the limelight and not change the mood for the couple or the guests. Firing (particularly a flash) 15-2500 shots is just getting in the way and being a rank amateur.

If the shooter has a blog or guest book on their web site, the bride should clearly explain how poorly these shooters do the job. There's no way that shooting this much didn't interfere with the day.
Peter,

Just been admiring your website, some really nice shots there, warm and 'modern' without being pretentious.

Justin.
01-01-2010, 02:21 PM   #10
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Another such tale.
And I can trust Peter to get passionate about it too - and so he should!

A recent thread describing a very similar incident:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-photography-techniques-styles/756...otography.html
01-01-2010, 02:44 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogroast Quote
I don't think it's simply a sign that anyone can buy a DSLR and call themselves a pro-photog.
There are other reasons for shoddy work but try going to a Digital Photography Workshop. I went to one a couple of years ago and I would say a good 30% of them had just bought their DSLR and wanted to know how they worked so they could be wedding shooters. They were very proud of the business cards they had got printed.

At the end of the day, it's up to the couple getting married to do their homework, get references etc. and not let the dollar amount be the deciding factor.
01-01-2010, 03:10 PM - 1 Like   #12
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To answer the original question - it is definitely a trend. As a result it is one of the first things I address when talking with a couple. I explain to them that unless they REALLY want 1000's of pictures I would never subject anyone to that sort of punishment. If they say they want to see them anyway I still talk them out of it. Sometimes (not often for me) the final version of a photo looks WAY different than the original and I don't want anyone seeing the original version. They are paying me as an artist for the final product and thats all they are going to get.. But that is the nature of this profession. The number of knowledgeable and experienced photographers being paid for photo services is definitely smaller than the number of inexperienced part-time photographers. Its not hard to spot the difference when you know what to look for but a shiny new white lens will fool lots of consumers
01-01-2010, 03:24 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
There are other reasons for shoddy work but try going to a Digital Photography Workshop. I went to one a couple of years ago and I would say a good 30% of them had just bought their DSLR and wanted to know how they worked so they could be wedding shooters. They were very proud of the business cards they had got printed.

At the end of the day, it's up to the couple getting married to do their homework, get references etc. and not let the dollar amount be the deciding factor.
I've seen it at Ed Pierce national seminars and even at the state photography convention. I expect to see more of the same this March at the regional NJ and NY convention. Some of those cards are scary and so are their websites with their funky-spelling that makes no sense.

But I do get some evil satisfaction in that most of them shoot Canon/Nikons twice the price of mine and their images leave lots to be desired.

I've made it part of my marketing speech to customers to let them know what to expect from me and that we don't do the CD/DVD dump. You can't argue too much with someone looking for a bargain, however I do point out that unlike the taste of the food and cake, which will likely be forgotten, the idea is that the images captured will last a lifetime.
01-01-2010, 03:57 PM   #14
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It is often suggested that offering a budget service and printing a few cards is the path to immediate bookings and the snatching of work from under the noses of full timers, it certainly doesn't work like that in this part of the world. There are only so many weddings to be photographed and trying to break into the market around here is not just a question of price, there is also tradition and loyalty to established operators. A friend in his early forties once proudly announced to me that he had already booked his funeral with the same undertaker that had been burying his family for generations, that's a hell of a mindset to get to change.

The local established photographer who took over from his father has only started advertising in the last couple of months and I hear he's gone very quiet of late. If he's not getting the bookings then there are not the bookings to be got however cheap the service offered. In fact I think he rather blames me for taking all his work (if only that were the case) but it's just so much easier to blame the new kid on the block.

I to get frustrated at seeing the antics of some wedding photographers and also the results where I know I could do better but as has been remarked on this forum and is gradually being realised in the photographic world generally, the great IT revolution of the past 15 years, of which digital photography is just a part, has completely changed the way we communicate and in many respects has devalued photography along the way.

Let's face it, anyone can be a great photographer now, why? Because that is how the Canon's, Nikon's et al of the world have been marketing their goods and if uncle Fred and his shiny new DSLR is willing to do the job for a few quid or even free as a present then who's to blame the bride, after all she has been been subjected to the same marketing pressures and believes that all that matters is having a camera with X or D or preferably both somewhere in the model name. It is the major retailers and manufacturers who have been competing with the pro's, not just the poor guys who buy into the dream.

How do we overcome this? I'm not at all sure that there is a universal formula we can apply but each of us who care for the craft have to do our bit in pointing out that quality tells, and back up our sales pitch with the goods. We are up against the big boys flogging ever more sophisticated kit to guys who don't realise that that photography is so much more than just a camera, and yet we continue buying from the very same people who have laid such a curse upon the business.

Rant over

Justin.
01-01-2010, 04:22 PM   #15
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It's a bad trend.

I saw this recently with a friends wedding, the photographer handed out cards with a gallery link, and while there were some nice pics on there 15 percentish, the majority was unnecessary crap.

I do think that some clients want to see everything as they might feel what you think is bad is good to them, or they have the perception that more is always better.

It's ironic that what they are paying for is your eye, filtering time, processing time, ect.

I do have a relative that is a professional photographer for a firm that shoots food for large chains. He's has a good eye, and his standards are quite high. A while back, a cousin basically put in a tough position where they insisted for him to shoot their wedding so strongly, he ended up being almost forced to do it (for free). He doesn't shoot weddings, but I was there and saw that he did his best and put a lot of effort into getting great shots. When he was done, he gave them a printed book with the proof sheets for them to pick out what they wanted. He took a LOT of pictures, when saw that I knew it would take hours if not days to sort through. I don't know if he just wanted them to have their choice, or if it was a little payback for putting him in such an awkward position.

I got married about a year later (this was before I actually understood the difficulty of shooting a wedding), and asked him to shoot our wedding, and offered to pay for his services. He tried to tell me in so many words (nicely) that he'd rather not do it, and just be able to come to the wedding as a guest.

I'm glad I didn't push him hard on it, and he did give me about 50 finished shots that were really nice, and better than the photographer I hired.

I'm rambling now... but I do think that dumping photos on people is lazy, and shows a lack of professionalism.

And why would you want clients (and potential clients) to see your bad shots?
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