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Wedding photogs expensive? Have you seen other professions eroded by hacks?

 
 
tony cooper
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      01-28-2012
On Sat, 28 Jan 2012 17:20:19 -0500, Robert Coe <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On Sat, 28 Jan 2012 21:15:31 +0000, Bruce <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>: "Mr. Strat" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>: >In article
>: ><(E-Mail Removed)>,
>: >RichA <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>: >> There is a complaint in the trade's industry in Toronto that Third
>: >> Worlder's with no apparent training or skill are vastly underpricing
>: >> jobs, eroding wages in the industries (mostly contractors) and hurting
>: >> the industry's overall image by doing sub-par work.
>: >>
>: >> I've been asked numerous times by people to shoot weddings or
>: >> portraits and I'll never do it. I'm not a pro photog and I can't ask
>: >> the prices they would so I won't degrade their profession's reputation
>: >> by doing a job I have no training or major experience doing. It's not
>: >> as dire a someone without a medical license practicing medicine, but
>: >> the results to the particular profession are just as bad, maybe
>: >> worse.
>: >
>: >I've been doing photography in various forms for over 45 years - 16+
>: >operating my own portrait studio. I estimate that I've photographed
>: >600-700 weddings which isn't much compared to some in the biz. But it's
>: >still a lot.
>: >
>: >What passes these days for professional photography is mostly crap. I
>: >hate the crooked horizons and washed out trendy junk. Nobody learns
>: >about light and shadow, musculature, posing, etc.
>: >
>: >And with digital, the craftsmanship is gone. Today, all you have to do
>: >is press a button, and you'll probably get something well-exposed and
>: >in focus. You don't have to spend time in a darkroom sloshing around
>: >chemicals...using the right combination of film, paper, and chemistry.
>: >
>: >I'm glad I got out of it when I did.
>:
>:
>: My sentiments exactly. I think wedding photography is one of the most
>: stressful jobs I have ever done. I am *so* glad that I don't do it
>: anymore. It was good while it lasted, but even better when it
>: stopped.
>:
>: I think the idea of buying 20 inexpensive digital cameras and giving
>: them to the wedding guests is a very good one. Whoever then has the
>: job of collating and editing the results into a coherent record of the
>: event will soon realise that wedding photography is rather more
>: difficult than it might first appear, especially when the formal shots
>: that people want (despite their prior protestations to the contrary)
>: do not appear among those taken.
>
>I've been to two or three weddings where they did that, but I believe there
>was always a professional photographer there too.


I've never seen this done at a wedding, but I've frequently seen it
done at the reception. Reception shots are entirely different from
wedding shots. The wedding photographer generally doesn't know who to
photograph when there's a large number of guests. The disposable
camera-on-the-table allows all the guests to be photographed.

The wedding shots are formal, but the reception shots are candid and
reflect what goes on at the reception. When my daughter was married,
a pro shot the wedding but she was not engaged for the reception.
Disposable Instamatics were on each table. My daughter treasures the
candids as much as the formal wedding album.


--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
 
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MC
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      01-29-2012
Mxsmanic wrote:

> It sounds like some people here are bitter about the fact that people
> can take good-quality pictures today without "paying their dues" with
> hours in darkrooms and thousands spend at labs.
>
> What technology does is even the playing field. Now everyone can have
> a decent camera and take pictures with it easily. Which means that,
> to a greater and greater extent, the only thing that separates pros
> from amateurs is the photographer himself. Equipment doesn't matter,
> and doesn't help.


But the point that is being made is that it is this technology that has
given the really bad photographers a false sense of being good. This
leads to the world to being flooded with mediocre photographs and
photographers which, in turn, leads to the bar being set so low that
the ingnorant and uneducated will actually employ second rate
photographic services as being the norm.
Anyone can push the shutter button on a camera but very few understand
what makes a a good photograph, let alone how it is acheived.

MC
 
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Bruce
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      01-29-2012
Robert Coe <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>On Sat, 28 Jan 2012 21:15:31 +0000, Bruce <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>: "Mr. Strat" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>: >In article
>: ><(E-Mail Removed)>,
>: >RichA <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>: >> There is a complaint in the trade's industry in Toronto that Third
>: >> Worlder's with no apparent training or skill are vastly underpricing
>: >> jobs, eroding wages in the industries (mostly contractors) and hurting
>: >> the industry's overall image by doing sub-par work.
>: >>
>: >> I've been asked numerous times by people to shoot weddings or
>: >> portraits and I'll never do it. I'm not a pro photog and I can't ask
>: >> the prices they would so I won't degrade their profession's reputation
>: >> by doing a job I have no training or major experience doing. It's not
>: >> as dire a someone without a medical license practicing medicine, but
>: >> the results to the particular profession are just as bad, maybe
>: >> worse.
>: >
>: >I've been doing photography in various forms for over 45 years - 16+
>: >operating my own portrait studio. I estimate that I've photographed
>: >600-700 weddings which isn't much compared to some in the biz. But it's
>: >still a lot.
>: >
>: >What passes these days for professional photography is mostly crap. I
>: >hate the crooked horizons and washed out trendy junk. Nobody learns
>: >about light and shadow, musculature, posing, etc.
>: >
>: >And with digital, the craftsmanship is gone. Today, all you have to do
>: >is press a button, and you'll probably get something well-exposed and
>: >in focus. You don't have to spend time in a darkroom sloshing around
>: >chemicals...using the right combination of film, paper, and chemistry.
>: >
>: >I'm glad I got out of it when I did.
>:
>:
>: My sentiments exactly. I think wedding photography is one of the most
>: stressful jobs I have ever done. I am *so* glad that I don't do it
>: anymore. It was good while it lasted, but even better when it
>: stopped.
>:
>: I think the idea of buying 20 inexpensive digital cameras and giving
>: them to the wedding guests is a very good one. Whoever then has the
>: job of collating and editing the results into a coherent record of the
>: event will soon realise that wedding photography is rather more
>: difficult than it might first appear, especially when the formal shots
>: that people want (despite their prior protestations to the contrary)
>: do not appear among those taken.
>
>I've been to two or three weddings where they did that, but I believe there
>was always a professional photographer there too.



It's a great idea as a supplement to a competent pro, but not as a
replacement. 20 guests will inevitably capture some shots that a pro
working alone or with an assistant could not.

But the major challenge of wedding photography isn't getting the
shots, it is getting the people organised, alone, in couples, in
families and in larger groups, in all the correct locations. That's
the most stressful bit, and it really helps if there is a family
member who can assist in getting the people together in the right
order at the right time. Once that has been achieved, getting the
images is relatively straightforward, weather permitting.

For amateurs who want to have a try, there are many good books, DVDs
and online tutorials which set out what needs to be done. However,
reading them is one thing. Doing it all on the day is something else
altogether. The ability to stay organised and keep a cool head when
things go wrong - which they almost always do - is more important than
photographic ability. A missed shot is much worse than a poor shot.

I enjoyed doing it, but I don't miss it at all. I cannot think of any
circumstances in which I would ever *choose* to do it again.


 
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MC
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      01-29-2012
Mxsmanic wrote:

> MC writes:
>
> > But the point that is being made is that it is this technology that
> > has given the really bad photographers a false sense of being good.

>
> Well, for many years, expensive equipment has also given really bad
> photographers the false impression that they were good. So has
> anything really changed?



Yes. In this world of digital technology there are a darn sight more
of these "misguided" people. Once upon a time you could, at least, see
the good through the bad but these days there is so much rubbish to
wade through it is not an easy task to find the decent stuff.


>
> > This leads to the world to being flooded with mediocre photographs
> > ...

>
> Mediocrity has been the rule for as long as photography has existed.
> The gearheads who were willing to work with glass plates and mercury
> vapor weren't any more artistically talented than photographers today.



No, but they were probably more technically savvy and they knew how
light works. They had to, it was very expensive to ruin a plate.


> > ... which, in turn, leads to the bar being set so low that
> > the ingnorant and uneducated will actually employ second rate
> > photographic services as being the norm.

>
> But that has been true for ages, too. Look at the success of Olan
> Mills.



I refer you to my "ignorant and unaducated" comment )


> > Anyone can push the shutter button on a camera but very few
> > understand what makes a a good photograph, let alone how it is
> > acheived.

>
> Well, if very few people know how to make a good photo, then it
> follows that nearly as many wouldn't be able to recognize a good
> photo, either.



Quite possibly, that is the case )

The whole point of this thread was to draw attention to the fact that
the properly trained and experienced professionals are being ignored by
clients in favour of some really awful, mediocre rubbish merely because
the clients tend not to see further than the flood before them.

MC
 
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MC
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      01-29-2012
Mxsmanic wrote:


> I see more photos, but most of them are simple documentation, not
> attempts at art. I see very few people attempting to produce art...



But the thread was originally talking of, as am I, paid for pro photo
services like wedding photographery, not mere "art" photography.


> > No, but they were probably more technically savvy and they knew how
> > light works. They had to, it was very expensive to ruin a plate.

>
> So they produced properly exposed photographs of tree bark. The same
> is true for digital photographers today. It's just easier to do.



But today you can snap away until it is right, costing next to nothing
in skill and money. Get one wrong today and it's, "so what, I ll take
another twenty. One will probably turn out OK". Back then they had
to try and make sure every photograph was correct. They did this by
understanding the technicality of it all. OK, so there may have been
errors along the way but uderstanding the physics and machanics of what
you were doing was paramount to limiting these errors.


> You seem to be implying that the more work a person has to put into
> producing a photo, the better it will be, and that's just not true.
>
> > I refer you to my "ignorant and unaducated" comment )

>
> Olan Mills cried all the way to the bank.



Does it make him good though? Like I said, the ignorant and uneducated
will employ anyone if they are cheap enough and the images turn out to
be "passable" as the current norm.


> > The whole point of this thread was to draw attention to the fact
> > that the properly trained and experienced professionals are being
> > ignored by clients in favour of some really awful, mediocre rubbish
> > merely because the clients tend not to see further than the flood
> > before them.

>
> Maybe, but it's not a difference in equipment or technology that is
> responsible for this.



It has a major, major role to play.


> Good photographers remain good even if they are surrounded by bad
> photographers. The ease of use of digital equipment doesn't threaten
> them, no matter how many amateurs it encourages. However, bad
> photographers who depending on large investments in expensive
> equipment to limit the competition are in serious trouble these days,
> as anyone can produce technically clean photos today with a very
> small investment.



We seem to be going in circles. Well, we will just have to agree to
disagree )


MC
 
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Chris Malcolm
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      01-29-2012
In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems MC <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Mxsmanic wrote:


>> It sounds like some people here are bitter about the fact that people
>> can take good-quality pictures today without "paying their dues" with
>> hours in darkrooms and thousands spend at labs.
>>
>> What technology does is even the playing field. Now everyone can have
>> a decent camera and take pictures with it easily. Which means that,
>> to a greater and greater extent, the only thing that separates pros
>> from amateurs is the photographer himself. Equipment doesn't matter,
>> and doesn't help.


> But the point that is being made is that it is this technology that has
> given the really bad photographers a false sense of being good. This
> leads to the world to being flooded with mediocre photographs and
> photographers which, in turn, leads to the bar being set so low that
> the ingnorant and uneducated will actually employ second rate
> photographic services as being the norm.
> Anyone can push the shutter button on a camera but very few understand
> what makes a a good photograph, let alone how it is acheived.


Those who can't tell the difference between bad photographs and good
photographs are wasting their money hiring someone who can take good
photographs. If there's a demand for cheap bad photographs what's the
problem with satisfying it?

The people who can tell the difference between good and bad
photographs will naturally want to hire a good photographer, so what
are the good photographers complaining about? Surely not that they
used to get paid for good photographs by people who would have been
happy with cheap bad photographs but the technical difficulties and
costs of photography made it difficult for cheap bad photographers to
exist?

--
Chris Malcolm
 
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David J Taylor
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      01-29-2012
> Those who can't tell the difference between bad photographs and good
> photographs are wasting their money hiring someone who can take good
> photographs. If there's a demand for cheap bad photographs what's the
> problem with satisfying it?
>
> The people who can tell the difference between good and bad
> photographs will naturally want to hire a good photographer, so what
> are the good photographers complaining about? Surely not that they
> used to get paid for good photographs by people who would have been
> happy with cheap bad photographs but the technical difficulties and
> costs of photography made it difficult for cheap bad photographers to
> exist?
>
> --
> Chris Malcolm


Many people will hire a "pro" because:

- they had a recommendation.

- they hope the pro won't mess things up, and you will get a set of
photos.

- the pro has the authority to discipline those present into groups, which
a friend of the family might not.

- the pro knows what the expected shots are, and will be able to work to a
checklist.

- it's a pay and forget approach, and something less to worry about on the
day.

I suspect that the quality of the gear or of the images is not high on the
list of reasons! Mind you, it's not a circle I move in these days, so I
may be quite wrong.

Cheers,
David

 
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Mr. Strat
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      01-29-2012
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Bruce
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> My sentiments exactly. I think wedding photography is one of the most
> stressful jobs I have ever done. I am *so* glad that I don't do it
> anymore. It was good while it lasted, but even better when it
> stopped.
>
> I think the idea of buying 20 inexpensive digital cameras and giving
> them to the wedding guests is a very good one. Whoever then has the
> job of collating and editing the results into a coherent record of the
> event will soon realise that wedding photography is rather more
> difficult than it might first appear, especially when the formal shots
> that people want (despite their prior protestations to the contrary)
> do not appear among those taken.


A lot of what I see are images taken outside. Here in the Pacific
Northwest, we have rain nine months out of the year. Since none of
these amateurs knows how to use more than one flash, I wonder how they
do it.

And you're right...they want to do all these artsy things but ignore
the basic bread-and-buttter shots that people want (and buy). Eh...just
give 'em a CD or DVD and call it good. Very bad business plan.
 
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Mr. Strat
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      01-29-2012
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Mxsmanic
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> It sounds like some people here are bitter about the fact that people can take
> good-quality pictures today without "paying their dues" with hours in
> darkrooms and thousands spend at labs.
>
> What technology does is even the playing field. Now everyone can have a decent
> camera and take pictures with it easily. Which means that, to a greater and
> greater extent, the only thing that separates pros from amateurs is the
> photographer himself. Equipment doesn't matter, and doesn't help.


No, I'm bitter that people with no talent or understanding of the
basics are screwing people out of their hard-earned money.
 
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Mr. Strat
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      01-29-2012
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, MC <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

> But the point that is being made is that it is this technology that has
> given the really bad photographers a false sense of being good. This
> leads to the world to being flooded with mediocre photographs and
> photographers which, in turn, leads to the bar being set so low that
> the ingnorant and uneducated will actually employ second rate
> photographic services as being the norm.
> Anyone can push the shutter button on a camera but very few understand
> what makes a a good photograph, let alone how it is acheived.


Ka-ching! We have a winner here.
 
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