Bad Wedding Photography- "Fauxtography!" / by Christian Webb

Wedding Photography-Bad Wedding PhotographySo that's three times now that I've gotten a request to shoot someone's wedding.  The most recent came from a friend who has a friend that is getting married and needs a photographer.  The friend recommended me and shortly after, I got an email. Well, truth be told up front, I'm dying to shoot a wedding.  Would LOVE to be responsible for capturing images from such an important event in a couple's life.  I'd love to see if  wedding photography is for me.  Something I maybe want to get serious about. BUT I WON'T. I WILL NOT. "I DO" ....NOT!  While that temptation is there for me as a photographer,  as a professional,  I know better.   I think part of being professional is knowing what you can and can't do.  Or, shall I say, what you can do, and what you know you really, really can do well.  I know some will say "hey, you never know until you try!"  That's true, to a certain extent.  But,  do you REALLY want to TRY...and see how it goes on someone's magical day?  A once in a lifetime (well, supposed to be) event of utmost sentimental importance?  As decent as I think I am with a camera these days, and while I'm pretty sure I know I can capture some good portraits and general shots from the day, I'd be hard pressed to truly know the ins and outs of how to properly shoot a wedding and deliver a worthy photo package  to bride and groom.  My growing curiosity with shooting a wedding has led me to plenty of online sites of wedding photographers, their blogs and plenty of YouTube "How to's" regarding different aspects of covering a wedding.  If push came to shove, I guess, yes, I could try and pull it off and throw caution to the wind.  Truth be told though,  I'm not even sure how these few couples ended up wanting me to shoot their day. More than likely it was simply based on the referral of a friend of mine. The couple probably didn't have much of a budget and were looking for any type of photographer.  I could take the gig, take whatever money they've got and use the excuse that it's helping to build my portfolio and get experience.  But seriously, and my point with this blog, is to say that's NOT what being a photographer is about. That's definitely not what being professional is about. Out of the many genres of photography, a wedding has got to be up there with one of the most tasking and time consuming of assignments.  The preparation, the actual shoot and the post processing all combined require the commitment, patience and expertise of a lunatic! (So I've heard!)  I see many photographers out there advertising one way or another that they shoot EVERYTHING!  Fashion, portraiture, boudoir, lifestyle, commercial, families/babies...and yes, weddings!  Bad idea if you ask me!

Here's the deal: First, shooting some photos in a controlled environment is no where near as tasking as shooting a whole wedding.  Second, this is one of those times where yes, your GEAR/EQUIPMENT does matter.  Perhaps not brand wise or having the latest, most expensive camera, but just practically speaking as in WHAT gear you have.  Here's what I know from my own investigation into the matter:  To truly do a decent job you'd need the following - 2 camera bodies, at least 2-3 fast lenses, backup drives, memory cards, speed light(s), light modifiers of some type and a TON of other this & that items you can't possibly think you'll need in the spur of the moment. AND, most important, a ton of personality and patience.  At the end of the day, taking the time to assist a wedding photographer is the best bet and sure fire way to jump start your own career in the business.  Right now, that's actually what I'm looking to do. Get a few under my belt and then assess whether or not I can eventually go at it on my own.  All of that said, I'm not looking to discourage anyone.  That's not my thing. I'm just sharing my opinion and hopefully, guiding a few others who maybe didn't see it as so before.  I'm promoting that we all as photographers have one another's back and shed light on, give perspective on the business whenever needed. In the process, save an ambitious photographer from possibly ruining a couple's precious day as well as possibly ruining his or her own future as a photographer.  But, then again,  perhaps there are couples out there who actually like that look in the photo above! Bad composition and horrifying post processing. In this case that terribly hideous color selection work.  All relative I suppose!  What do you think?

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