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

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RichA, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    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.

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01/27/Wedding_photographer_explains_prices#comments
     
    RichA, Jan 27, 2012
    #1
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  2. RichA

    Mike Guest

    Please explain that statement, as it makes no sense at all.
     
    Mike, Jan 27, 2012
    #2
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  3. RichA

    Robert Coe Guest

    : RichA writes:
    :
    : > 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 done two or three weddings after being pestered a great deal to do them,
    : but I've never been happy with the results, and I daresay the people who
    : wanted me to shoot the weddings weren't happy with the results, either.
    :
    : Sometimes people say "oh, I like the style of this photo, could you shoot my
    : wedding the same way," but they don't actually mean that. If you really do
    : shoot the wedding in that style (photojournalistic or whatever), they turn out
    : disappointed, because they don't have all the standard photos that dedicated
    : wedding photographers produce. They think they want to be different, but they
    : don't. Sometimes it's hard to convince them that wedding photography is a very
    : specialized type of photography, and it's not necessarily a good idea to
    : experiment in other styles of shooting for an important once-in-a-lifetime
    : event.
    :
    : I have signed over copyrights and negatives in cases where I've done weddings,
    : as a consolation prize, but I still think they were disappointed. They got
    : interesting photos, but not the ones that they truly, subconsciously wanted.

    Quite right. To do weddings properly, you have to be good at both portrait and
    event photography. They're different skills; and if you don't have both, you
    have no business passing yourself off as a wedding photographer.

    In the past five years I've shot two weddings as a friend or family member,
    and I think my pictures turned out pretty well and were appreciated by the
    participants. But in both cases there was a professional wedding photographer
    on scene. I wouldn't have done it otherwise.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Jan 27, 2012
    #3
  4. RichA

    Mort Guest

    Exactly. When asked by friends or relatives to shoot a wedding, I tell
    them to hire a professional wedding photographer with good credentials
    and recommendations, to do the standard poses that people really do
    want. I then volunteer as an additional hand, to take pictures that
    might not be done otherwise: some human interest occurrences, close-ups
    of the wedding cake and the invitations, some brief interpersonal
    interactions, etc.. In that way, I have not really refused a dear friend
    or loved one, and they get their pro pictures plus my additional human
    interest shots.

    Regards,

    Mort Linder
     
    Mort, Jan 27, 2012
    #4
  5. RichA

    MC Guest

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01/27/Wedding_photographer_explains_prices#comments

    Because owning a camera, in one guise or another, has become as common
    as owning a phone, other areas of photography are also affected. For
    example, everybody is now a photo journalist.
    I think it is a trend that will not reverse. Owning a top of the range
    DSLR, it seems, makes you a pro photographer and friends and family are
    hoodwinked into thinking this. I mean, if they own such a camera
    surely they must be good, right?
    Setting yourself up as a pro is also a lot cheaper than it was. For a
    start you do not need a darkroom or access to one. As long as you can
    use a computer you are away. Portable studio gear is also a lot
    cheaper (or at least you can get hold of "starter" kits). People who
    know nothing of photography are oblivious as to how much it all costs.
    If it, and you, look the part you are half way there.

    MC
     
    MC, Jan 28, 2012
    #5
  6. RichA

    Mr. Strat Guest

    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.
     
    Mr. Strat, Jan 28, 2012
    #6
  7. RichA

    Bruce Guest


    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.
     
    Bruce, Jan 28, 2012
    #7
  8. RichA

    Robert Coe Guest

    : 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.

    Certainly.

    : 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.

    I'm sure some do, but I suppose you're basically right.

    : 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.

    But so what? Craftsmanship isn't what matters; results are. If some things
    about modern photography are easier or quicker, what's wrong with that?
    Doesn't it give you more time to spend on artistic judgement, rectification of
    mistakes, exploitation of special effects, etc.? Or to take a different point
    of view, to get more work done in a given time and be more price competitive?

    : I'm glad I got out of it when I did.

    If the shoe fits, wear it. But I'm probably as old as you are, and I'm glad to
    be getting my toe in the water now. When photography was added to my duties at
    work, I leapt at the opportunity; in the film era I might have ducked it. Time
    will tell whether I made the right choice, but I'm happy with my decision so
    far.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Jan 28, 2012
    #8
  9. RichA

    Robert Coe Guest

    : >In article
    : ><>,
    : >> 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.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Jan 28, 2012
    #9
  10. RichA

    MC Guest

    Mr. Strat wrote:


    Exactly. Many of those who own such cameras think that the camera
    alone will make them a pro. It does take some learning, admittedly, to
    use the depths of photoshop but for slight retouching only a miniscule
    amount of skill and time is required.


    ....and about 5000 wannabes and thinkIcans took your place :eek:)

    MC
     
    MC, Jan 28, 2012
    #10
  11. RichA

    tony cooper Guest

    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, Jan 28, 2012
    #11
  12. RichA

    MC Guest

    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
     
    MC, Jan 29, 2012
    #12
  13. RichA

    Bruce Guest


    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.
     
    Bruce, Jan 29, 2012
    #13
  14. RichA

    MC Guest


    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.


    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.


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


    Quite possibly, that is the case :eek:)

    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
     
    MC, Jan 29, 2012
    #14
  15. RichA

    MC Guest

    Mxsmanic wrote:


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


    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.


    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.


    It has a major, major role to play.


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


    MC
     
    MC, Jan 29, 2012
    #15
  16. 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, Jan 29, 2012
    #16
  17. Those who can't tell the difference between bad photographs and good
    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
     
    David J Taylor, Jan 29, 2012
    #17
  18. RichA

    Mr. Strat Guest

    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.
     
    Mr. Strat, Jan 29, 2012
    #18
  19. RichA

    Mr. Strat Guest

    No, I'm bitter that people with no talent or understanding of the
    basics are screwing people out of their hard-earned money.
     
    Mr. Strat, Jan 29, 2012
    #19
  20. RichA

    Mr. Strat Guest

    Ka-ching! We have a winner here.
     
    Mr. Strat, Jan 29, 2012
    #20
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