Iphone Wedding Photography

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by green_photog, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. I think they are shooting themselves on the foot and perhaps discrediting the profession to prove a point. A lot of iphone owners would think they could skip the paid photographer and get a friend to shoot with a rubbishy iphone.
     
  2. If you subscribe to the notion that composition is everything, then why not? Someone with an artistic eye can acquire pleasant images without having to worry about knobs and buttons just like the old days of disposable film cameras.
     
  3. Whatever works for them. I have been using a disconnected Blackberry for a lot of personal shots. It's not on a plan, so when I come home I catch the wi-fi and upload to FB and share with my friends. I can crop, zoom, recompose, amazing for a phone. Can I use my 400mm f3.5? No, but it does what it does.
     
  4. Cell phones camera's get better every year. Some of my kids just use them as their camera's and are very satisfied with the photos. The cell phone just does about everything these days.
     
  5. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The shots look good, what's the problem? It doesn't look like a "publicity stunt," it looks like photographers with creativity and initiative. Why not show some of your photos and we can compare?
     
  6. I think that most (but not all) professional photographers love being able to operate a piece of equipment -- a DSLR -- that can capture a super-high-quality image that could be used on a Facebook page or a billboard. But needs and tastes change. Maybe people are happy with the tiny low resolution image on their cellphone and the pictures they see on Facebook, but I'm not. It is partially a failure of the professional photographic community to educate our clientele about the enjoyment to be found in high quality images. It is also partially a triumph of technology that a cellphone camera can be sufficiently capable of producing a salable wedding product -- albums, small prints, and digital files.
    One question I would have is if a client wants wedding pictures just for Facebook -- say, 400x600 ppi -- and wanted all the picture files, if you gave them 400x600 ppi files would they be happy? After all, it's what they wanted....
     
  7. if you gave them 400x600 ppi files would they be happy? After all, it's what they wanted....​
    This couple would probably be happy with it, some people are happy to be the first of i anything. The question I ask is why the iphone? If the photog truely think that composition and what not are what set him apart, would a capable P&S not up to the job?
    This is clearly a publicity stunt to me. When I first started doing this, I got hammered by "seasoned" pros about backup and backup to backup. But this counteract the argument because even if your iphone fails, there's bound to be another iphone among the guests for you to finish the job.
     
  8. Let the race to the bottom begin.....
    Just how little can we give our clients and still charge a reasonable amount to put food on the table?
     
  9. Come think of it, I'm not sure how the photog can claim to be the first. How does he know that someone didn't shot a 30 minute wedding in the jungle of Kenya entirely with an iphone before?
     
  10. Maybe it's not such a bad thing for the wedding photography industry.
    It offers clients more choices, but more importantly, it can give photographers the opportunity to diversify in their shooting style. I'm sure getting great wedding pictures with an iPhone takes as much practice to master as anything else.
     
  11. Nice photos, but these were shot outdoors, in good light etc, etc. Nothing to worry about, move along...
     
  12. Immediacy, unobtrusive, new. What P&S can publish to flickr in seconds? The Leica was once a faddish toy,
    inappropriate for serious photography.
     
  13. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The Leica was once a faddish toy, inappropriate for serious photography.​
    Not just the Leica, but 35mm. Basically, "too low resolution," and not used for professional purposes for quite a while.

    Same thing here. It's not a fad, it's a creative photographer. As I asked above, where's the OP's photos that show some sort of significant differentiation for the type of photos in the article?
     
  14. It looks exactly like a publicity stunt, to give the impression that "we can do it even with an iPhone" (which they didn't), "we deliver our pictures immediately" and "we love everything Apple does" ... sounds like a bunch of gearheads trying to attract techno geek customers.
    If it wern't a marketing stunt, why would they even mention the iPhone was used?
    Personally I think this desire for immediate results is a bad thing. It puts pressure on photographers to be quicker rather than better and diminishes the artistic effort of the post-processing in the view of the public. Also, if the pictures are viewed at the event it diverts attention from the actual event and makes the photography a kind of a spectacle, while IMO it should be as unnoticed as possible. Finally when the guests have already seen the pics (unedited) at the event, they will be unlikely to see the finished product (assuming that there is one) a few weeks later.
    But it's the MTV generation where the next image must be flashed a split second later to avoid the viewer being bored. Any kind of deeper content that takes a half a minute to digest is shunned.
     
  15. As long as they can deliver, then I don't see a problem.
    The problem comes along when the kid next door gets an iPhone 4s and starts advertising as a wedding professional. Then when the upset bride sees the photos she paid $100.00 for and sues the kid.
    Dave
     
  16. Look like nice shots to me, sure an iphone is not likely to be most photographers first choice of camera but why does anybody really care so much about what other people do. If the couple are happy with the shots and the photographer is happy with the shots then what is the problem it's the couples wedding afterall.
     
  17. A few weeks ago I was at an outside fall-fest in the next town. I was there for a different reason, not in any photographic capacity. During the day I made about a dozen pictures on my Blackberry. Later I ran into the local senior art center director, he knows I'm a photographer, he asked if I took any shots. I said I did get a few nice ones on my phone, I didn't bring a good camera. He replied, "Doesn't matter, I'd be really happy to get them so we could use a few". So, I sent him the files and a few were published in a local spot. I didn't see them in print, but he was very happy to have them, and did anyone know I shot them on a phone? Things have seriously changed in our world of photography with all this technology. We either get on the bus, or stand on the curb and smell the exhaust.
     
  18. Be prepared for questions like which Iphone is the best for wedding to appear here in not too long.
     
  19. Things have seriously changed in our world of photography with all this technology.​
    I think it is rather the appreciation of things have changed or lowered. Simply because we have so much of them nowadays. We have gone from Godfather to Shaspear in Love, or Pink Floyd to Arcade Fire in terms of quality.
    For example, you dressed up to go to the theatre before so every movie was important for you. Nowadays people watch far more movies than many years ago so we aren't quite concerned about qualities anymore.
    I'm afraid this spiral into mediocraty will continue in many many fields.
     
  20. I think the point about the shots being taken outside is noteworthy. Often I see the iPhone shots by the guests the next
    day on Facebook. Now I am sure in trained hands you might get a bit better shots, but the indoor reception ones i have
    seen are simply not even printable due to the amount of noise and slow shutter speed. Also the shutter drag old be
    unacceptable to me

    I do see value of the same day show. Ni now bring my iPad and have a reel with about 5-10 shots from their engagement
    and 5-10 shots from getting ready and ceremony that day. They are ones that are perfect in camera. The couple , their
    parents, and their guests usually go gaga for it. At the last wedding I did, I got 3 gigs out of it on the spot because guests
    like the photos so much. I put an email sign up sheet next to it and as the show cycles through it says photography by
    Fucci's photos and please leave your email address to receive a link to the online gallery with all of the images from
    today. Means I get print sales from both the couple AND their guests.
     
  21. The problem is that many of our customers do not know what a quality image is. They have been brought up in the age of low res, over exposed, device drive images. There will come a day when prints will be obsolete - everything will be electronic - hang a panel on your wall and change out the images as you like. want a wedding album - no problem here is mine on a handheld device. This is where we are going - so when we are there we wont need 21MP cameras - all we will really need is our Iphone... because by that time the res will be high enough to go on any device. It's the brain behind the machine not the machine that makes the image.
     
  22. 'tis no worse in comparison to the table-top *toss-away* cameras at the reception. The salesman or saleslady who can get a wedding couple to throw $70 to $100 at disposable cameras, and another couple of hundred in getting the film processed-printed...all in the hopes of getting a decent image or two.
    [...Maybe Nikon or Canon or Olympus or Sony will market a 14 MPixel cell phone down the road?]
     
  23. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Personally I think this desire for immediate results is a bad thing.​
    It's not new. The Polaroid was invented somewhere close to half a century ago. People have always liked immediate results.
    And I don't see this type of complaining when people talk about photobooths at weddings. Hmmm...
     
  24. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The problem is that many of our customers do not know what a quality image is.​
    For a wedding photo, "quality" should be what the image evokes, what it helps people remember about the event. That has nothing to do with equipment.
     
  25. This also demonstrates something that many of us have argued about for decades... That the power of the images comes from behind the camera, and that the type/ model/ level of camera, (assuming the camera is capable of capturing that image) is utterly irrelevant.
    IMPO, the posted images were acceptable, not great (esp the lack of decisive dof), but better than many I've seen posted by pros. So if they can beat 'pros' w/ their iphone, it's not them who need to rethink their profession, but their competition.
     
  26. This also demonstrates something that many of us have argued about for decades​
    I don't question that skill is more important than gear. Does it mean all pros should just shoot with Iphone now? If not, than I dont' see the point to this exercise. The photog is obviously a good one and has a good team but if he can get this result with an iphone, he can get far better result with proper gear.
    I'm sure Danica Patrick can drive a Civic faster than I can a Ferrari. Does it mean all race drivers should race on a Civic from now on because it's skill that counts?
     
  27. If the type, quality, or level of camera doesn't matter then why don't we all just start shooting weddings with $5 disposables? Or $69 5 MP p&s cameras from CVS? It does matter because pro photographers need to have consistent control over specific variables (exposure, focus, shutter speed, etc) in order to effectively express feelings and emotions through their photographs. If a photographer wants to limit them self to an iPhone camera's capabilities for the sake of expediency and being a cool tech geek, then that's fine. But nothing beats the image of a bride and groom through a 70-200 f/2.8 shot wide open with beautiful background bokeh. Or a glorious church interior shot with a superwide.
     
  28. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Does it mean all pros should just shoot with Iphone now?​

    Did anyone say that? Show us where.
    IMPO, the posted images were acceptable, not great (esp the lack of decisive dof), but better than many I've seen posted by pros.​
    Exactly. Why doesn't the OP show us how their photos, which must have been taken with the best gear on earth, look, so we can compare them.
    And race car analogies are just plain wrong. Unless you think that shooting the fastest is what makes for the best photographer.
     
  29. My son has two HTC phones, a Sprint EVO that's without service anymore he uses for music and camera, and a brand new AT&T Inspire, which is basically the same thing but a little better. They have awesome cameras in them with many control settings and effects. They are very, very capable. Then he uses a free app called Adobe Photoshop Express, very cool. He also uses a Samsung 14mp(?) P&S that's killer. He doesn't shoot for money, but he has some fantastic stuff from his phones and p&s. I don't see where any of this equipment causes a dumbing down or lack of ability to get some really good shots. Is it a D3 with 300 2.8, no, of course not, but it certainly can work in many situations if we choose to employ it.
     
  30. The equipment does matter but only in so much that it does not limit your photography. If a photographer can turn out his/her style of photography using a cell phone, holga, kodak box camera etc, and they are happy with the results and the customer is familar with the photographer style of work then what exactly is the problem.
    Why don't we all start shooting with iphones? Personaly the answer is simple most would not be comfortable shooting with an iphone in the first place. For most an iphone could well limit their photography in such a way that they could not achieve the results they normaly achieve. That does not mean though that someone else could not get the results they want from one.
     
  31. Photographers are a funny bunch. When I first started out I was told wedding is a once in a lifetime thing, no reshoot and you need backup to your backup in case of emergency so only the best of the best should do it. Now it's if you can shoot with Iphone, disposable cameras and be happy with it, that's fine too.
     
  32. "Now it's if you can shoot with Iphone, disposable cameras and be happy with it, that's fine too."
    Times have changed, consumer habits change, technology evolves, how people feel about marriage is different from what it once was, and lives have become more transient, transitional, where nothing lasts forever.
    Doing well in the photography business isn't a birthright just because you once paid your dues. It's a continually evolving process to remain relevant in a competitive marketplace in which only the most creative and resourceful will remain.
     
  33. Green Photog , Oct 23, 2011; 10:57 a.m. Things have seriously changed in our world of photography with all this technology. I think it is rather the appreciation of things have changed or lowered. Simply because we have so much of them nowadays. We have gone from Godfather to Shaspear in Love, or Pink Floyd to Arcade Fire in terms of quality. For example, you dressed up to go to the theatre before so every movie was important for you. Nowadays people watch far more movies than many years ago so we aren't quite concerned about qualities anymore. I'm afraid this spiral into mediocraty will continue in many many fields.​
    Or we went from The Omega Man to Gran Torino, or The Captain and Tenielle to the Decemberists. I'm sorry, but if you think that everything older is automatically better, then you're not looking very hard at all. And this is from a guy with an Alfred Hitchcock collection and a Fisher tube amplifier.
    Photography, as a business, is about providing the best possible product. Photography, as an art form, is about providing something unique that others may not have seen. If the clients liked these photos, and are the sort that are glad to be 'the first' to have a currently unique product, then I fail to see what the problem is.​
    While I don't disagree that appreciation is lowered, I very much disagree that it has anything to do with the clients themselves. The lower cost of photographic (and video, and audio) equipment means that your average client hasn't seen/heard really good stuff, so they're more willing to accept the quality that they have seen. It's YOUR job to show them better work that makes them want it, and not THEIR job to understand the difference without seeing it.
    There are only two reasons - and I can't stress this enough - that 'the older stuff' seems better. The first reason is that fourty years ago, the cost of equipment was such that only those that were very rich or very devoted could afford to buy it. The other is that after forty years, we've forgotten all the junk. Browse through Netflix at all the awful b-rate movies from 1970: blackspoitation flix, kung-fu movies, awful horror schlockfests, and a million Breakfast at Tiffany's wannabees. Some of them are good. Most are terrible.​
    And don't even get me started on The Searchers, The Monkees, Lulu, or any other 60s and 70s one-hit-wonder bands that were put together literally just to make money. If you don't think that Shakespeare in Love or Arcade Fire is good after you take an honest, hard look at the past, or that shooting a wedding with an iPhone is a unique idea, then I frankly don't think you understand the way that entertainment, art, and business work - either together or separately.
     
  34. Well Green many would argue that the iphone is the best of it's kind :) A wedding is still a once in life event and you still need backup equipment. People want different things today though, so while there will certainly be plenty of couples that want a photographer using traditional equipment and methods there are always some couples looking for something different. At the moment the iphone is seen as a cool product that has a rather decent camera and in capable hands can produce very nice images.
     
  35. So is it the job of the pro photographer to provide the client with what they want ("I only need images on my cellphone to show my friends at work so go ahead and shoot our wedding with your iPhone") or is it to show them something wonderful that makes them want it ("I must have that 20"x24" print -- how much do you want?"). With today's current low standards, the former is much easier but it just serves to help the industry on its way down the death spiral. The latter is harder because you have to create something wonderful, something to get the client's juices flowing, to get them to lust after your product.
    I have to say, this has been one of the best discussions I've seen yet on this forum. And nobody has compared anybody to Hitler......yet.....:)
     
  36. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Photographers are a funny bunch.​

    Photographers have photos. Where are yours? You keep saying how important all this is, but you seem to be unable to show us anything significantly "better" than what is in the article.
     
  37. This sort of reminds me of some of the debates I've heard about the Lytro. F/2 Aperature, no shutter, post capture focusing!? There's NO WAY DSLRs are going to keep up with that!
    I could care less with what people are using, I'm completely happy with my meager setup and if someone enjoys using their iPhone in that aspect then more power to them. Whatever facilitates you taking more shots and enjoying the process is what you should stick with.
    If somebody is feeling threatened about iPhone photography they should focus more so on why they aren't feeling competent about their own work...
     
  38. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    If somebody is feeling threatened about iPhone photography they should focus more so on why they aren't feeling competent about their own work...​
    Exactly.
     
  39. Jeff, where did the OP say he was "threatened" by iPhone photography, or didn't feel competent?
    You keep droning on and on about him showing work that is better ...
    ask me that question, and I'll gladly show you stuff that is "of the moment, " has good composition, AND could NEVER be shot with an iPhone no matter who's hand's it is in.
    If clients want to treat their wedding photography that way, that is their decision ... and all the best to them. I have no problem at all, since they are not in any way my target audience. If ALL wedding work goes this way, I'll simply do something else, even though I could probably do okay with an iPhone. Sorry, but "Okay" isn't in my working vocabulary no matter what the client's inclination may be.
    Since I actually care about both what the images convey as well as what it is about, I use all the tools available to me to capture a certain mood, feel or place attention where I want it, not where the tool says it is.
    While I agree that some wedding work is more focused on what it is about rather than what it was shot with, not ALL wedding photography is that type. Many of us shoot family images that are VERY important to the families being shot ... like my a recent wedding where the family wanted a shot of 30 people for 24X30 prints, or my last wedding with 20 people in the wedding party that had to be shot in near dark conditions.
    Instant need gratification for social sites is cool, it's a place to show and tell ... so, I can publish some key shots for the client by the time they are getting up the next AM. What's so hard about that? Frankly, I LOVE when guest post their crappy cell-phone shots on Facebook, and then I follow up with some well crafted, selective focus, light balanced shots ... it's great advertising. Cell phones have been one of my best marketing tool yet ... LOL!
     
  40. I don't shoot weddings, though once in a while someone will inquire because they've seen my work
    and like my "style." If in the future I ever do shoot one, it would probably be with my iPhone...
     
  41. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Jeff, where did the OP say he was "threatened" by iPhone photography, or didn't feel competent?​
    I was quoting someone else, FWIW.
    You keep droning on and on about him showing work that is better ...​
    The ones that complain the most don't seem to photograph, from what one can tell here.
     
  42. "..Maybe Nikon or Canon or Olympus or Sony will market a 14 MPixel cell phone down the road?]"
    Man I wish they would. Back in and around 2004ish Sony Ericsson took some of their good Sony p&s cameras and
    basically slapped a phone on the back of it. The models in the us paled in comparison to the ones available in Korea
    then which had much better cameras attached. I would love it if my phone could act as a good point and shoot rather
    than a really poor one (I have a droid with 5mp camera and flash but the flash is horrid!) would I use that to shoot a
    wedding, no. ;) but to just have on me regularly, that would be great. Like a canon g10 with a phone, yay!
     
  43. The other is that after forty years, we've forgotten all the junk.​
    This is a very good explanation why the past always seemed to be better than the present, thanks Zack. The other thing is that the average quality of things have gone up so that the gap better average and good shrunk to a point that people are not willing to pay for quality.
    Capable hands can produce amazing pictures from a $500 P&S nowadays. But you still see people here debating the merits of a $2000 prime over a $1000 zoom lens.
    It's easy to say that we are in business because of skills and not equipment. But I know, among other things, my pictures look better than uncle Joe's P&S is the expensive equipment I use.
    If in ten year, a $500 P&S can produce images that my 1Ds2+70-200 would today, I honestly don't know if I would still be in business or not.
     
  44. >>> It's easy to say that we are in business because of skills and not equipment. But I know, among
    other things, my pictures look better than uncle Joe's P&S is the expensive equipment I use.

    Compelling photographs that evoke feelings, or that stirs narrative in the mind of a viewer are much more
    driven by a photographer's skill creating the image, rather than "expensive" equipment simply being put
    into play...
     
  45. Brad, I agree, evoking feelings and constructing a moving narrative with imagery is a talent, not a result of using some expensive piece of gear.
    However, it is faulty logic to assume that using better gear precludes talent being the primary driver as seems to be implied by some statements on this thread. In fact, certain choices of gear can be an integral part of evoking a feeling or conveying a particular emotional reaction. Subject isolation, and all those other myriad pictorial options that makes for powerful imagery that helps tell a story or evoke an emotion.
    To take it further, I'd say restricting oneself to something like an iPhone, while a seemingly cool idea, can limit the range of pictorial AND practical options depending on the photographer's intent, as well as the realities most wedding shoots present. It's a one trick pony with a fixed perspective and little to no control of those pictorial options. While such restrictions can be a nifty discipline for the photographer, they are simply self-centered restrictions IF you have any grasp of how a wedding actually plays out in terms of a complete narrative.
    The lack of direct, long term experience in shooting weddings is evident in this bias toward content being the only important aspect of doing this type of work ... meaning understanding the practical aspects of wedding photography faced by those who put bread on their family's table from such work as opposed to some creative experiment. Just because someone may like your style or approach ... doesn't mean they grasp the true ramifications IF they did have you as the sole iPhone photographer at their wedding. What people say, and what they actually expect in the end is very often two very different matters.
    To demonstrate what I mean ... most clients want their ceremony documented, and it IS indeed part of that narrative we so cherish. So, as often happens, you are told that you cannot use flash and must stay at the rear of the church ... what's the iPhone photographer to do now?
    I could cite dozens of such instances where an ill equipped photographer will not be able to evoke those emotions or complete that narrative, not due to lack of talent, but due to lack of the appropriate tools.
     
  46. Also, just to note in the article, they did still bring along a good dslr as back up. They didn't ONLY bring the iPhone.
     
  47. >>> However, it is faulty logic to assume that using better gear precludes talent being the primary driver
    as seems to be implied by some statements on this thread.

    Marc, no such assumption was made. I was merely stating the primary driver of compelling photographs.
    That's all.

    With respect to the rest of your reply, I'm not sure of it's purpose or direction. As I said previously, I don't
    shoot weddings. I do think most people are aware that certain equipment may be required to support and help realize
    one's personal vision/style, or type of photography, whatever that may be.
     
  48. Jerry L & Vail F, Nokia N8 has 12 Mpx camera: http://redskiesatnight.com/tag/n8/
     
  49. I wonder if the cultural shift is not as much about the equipment as it is about the ready availability of photography 24X7. I have become the family photo archivist, and one of the telling changes is the sheer number of photos over the past decade, and the frequency of opportunities to shoot them. On another reacent thread I recounted how I had the cost of photography explained to me when I was in my teens, back in the 60's, and when I look at the number of photos from those times, and all the way through 90's it's obvious that photography was a special, occasional thing. Today we have a generation that has grown up and is going through their adult lift events for the first time, and they are used to always being able to take photos of anything, anytime. So when I say to them that they should treat photography at a wedding as a once-in-a-lifetime thing it just doesn't resonate. What does resonate is immediacy, flexibility and spontaneity, which is what they have seen photography do for most of their lives. The whole perspective on the meaning of a photo changes when you know that you can take another 100, or 1000 tomorrow for no extra cost. And, as someone above pointed out, perhaps the institution of marriage itself is just less meaningful and therefore doesn't rise above the day-to-day idea of instant photography anyway.
    As far as whether this is good or bad in my opinion, it is what it is. I see no value in trying to educate someone on the inherent "rightness" of a quality output, when that has little or no value to them. If good enough is indeed good enough, then the market will adjust to that expectation. Oh, and I did think the photos presented were pretty good, actually, so at least for that presentation not much had been sacrificed.
     
  50. pretty good looking photos for an iPhone camera. the way I see it if a couple is willing to hire someone with an iPhone to take photos then they were never a quality client to begin with.
     
  51. Ray, welcome to pnet. If you go back and check the article, there's one short statement that's easy to miss. The client was one of the photographer's weddings.
     
  52. It seems again and again that a lot of these debates revolve around people on either sides' differing interpretations of just what it is that a photographer does. I will present my own interpretation, not because I think it is the only "correct" one, but in hopes that it gets the ball rolling and helps us all understand why we think the way that we think.
    Photography is unique among all art fields, in that for the last fifty years or so it has been almost the only form of 'art' that is frequently used for strictly non-artistic purposes. Many textbooks are still illustrated with drawings or etched plates, and those that want to spend the money still comission pastel or paint portraits. And then of course there's the argument about whether or not book illustrations really count as art, which I dont want to get into. Other than that though, photography is the only art that sometimes isn't art. Even grafitti meant to mark a gang's territory is never without any artistic value, as the whole purpose of it is to provide a visual narrative in the form of symbolism.
    There are four types of wedding photographers. I am not counting "newbs with cameras" in this discussion. There is the traditional photographer, who takes pride in providing clients with the highest-quality images and the highest-quality customer experience. There is the artistic photographer, who is looking to create memorable and unique images for the client. There is the documentary photographer, who wants to record everything that happened that day. And there is the businessman, who wants to do whatever his clients want, so that they will be happy and provide referrals.
    Obviously these types overlap sometimes. But every wedding photographer reading this right now knows that when they begin a consultation, they have one of these mindsets. It may change later on, but you start with one of them.
    A traditional photographer would never use an iPhone. The images are too low-resolution, the dynamic range is terrible, and so on and so forth. And he is correct, since it looks bad.
    An artistic photographer would use an iPhone if he felt it would make his client's images different than other wedding images. His goal is to be unique, and certainly using a camera that no one else uses is one way to do that. He is correct, as it is unique.
    A documentary photographer could use an iPhone to capture candid images that are much more natural than if he were using a large, imposing professional camera. If he did it on the sly, subjects might not even know they were being photographed; they might not even know he was the photographer, and they might just think he was some guy sending a text message. He is also correct in using an iPhone, as it lets him document things that other camera might miss.
    The businessman just wants to get paid. If the clients want him to use an iPhone, and he has that in writing, he will. And he is correct, as it gets him paid.
    So there are plenty of reasons to use an iPhone, and plenty of people to whom it is a correct choice - just as to Cartier-Bresson the Leica was the correct choice, and Adams and Weston were "just shooting rocks" with large format cameras.
    The fact is that to be successful in this business, you need to be traditional, artistic, a documentarian, AND a businessman. The only way to succeed otherwise is to be a very likable person in a small town. To say that new, offbeat technology is never a good choice is only being a traditionalist, and eventually this path will lead you to dried-up customer bases regardess of your abilities. To say that new technology is always good is to neglect traditionalism and business acumen, and will eventually lead you to the same result. But to accept weirdo stuff for what it is - and lensbabies, Holgas, and the like fall into this category too - and use it when it provides something that your normal equipment cannot, is the mark of not only a good photographer and artist, but a wise one.
    But that is only my take. Your milage may vary, and I encourage you to explain your own rationale.
     
  53. I am more a traditionalist Zack, and I find your synopsis indeed interesting, but I keep an open mind to things such as the iphone photographers. This is what they did, not what I'm going to do. If I had my way, I would still shoot everything and only on square film. Nothing else really speaks my personality, but it's just not practical anymore.
     
  54. I hear you Dave. I take at least one roll of 6x6 or a few frames of 4x5 of the bride and groom during the 'portrait session' for every wedding I do. While one can argue that the colour of films is more or less 'correct' than digital, no one can argue that the resolution of the image isn't far superior to any 35mm-sized DSLR - and the images from that sitting are the ones they are most likely print and pass around.
    Plus it gives them something different too ... seriously, who does weddings in film anymore? Almost nobody under 50, unless it's some kid just out of photo school using his K1000.
     
  55. Zack, I think there is always a desire to categorize or list things if for no other reason than to promote clarity of communications.
    When we do it, whether we are highly experienced at this type of work or not, we do it from a photographer's perspective using our biases and inclinations. However, it remains an internalized rationalization.
    As I mentioned, clients who would pay for their wedding to be photographed (as opposed to artistic experience, or for free), we then enter onto a world of expectations that aren't as clear cut or organized. As ubiquitous as photography is in our society, it still amazes me what people really expect compared to what they think they want when hiring you ... even if you are crystal clear in your one-on-one presentation and representation on a website.
    BTW, I am not against alternative forms of tools for shooting weddings at all ... I was blown away by the fellow on the DWF that shot some 8X10 B&Ws at one of his weddings, and one of my mentors in NYC shot a major ad campaign with a P&S. If time would allow, I'd love to fire off some 6X7 B&W film with my RZ, and may shoot some stuff with an iPhone when I get my new one with an 8 meg camera.
     
  56. Marc, I don't think that an internalized rationalization needs to be silent or unexpressed. Saying the words out loud, and understanding why you believe them, is not the same as becoming overly logical and detatched. Much in the way that a psychoanalyst might ask you, "And what do you think that means?", or an art professor might make you write an artist's statement for something as casual as a monthy critique, putting your own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs into words is - to me at least - necessary to the development of any artist.
    If, to take the argument counter to my own, the only reason that you can come up with for using an iPhone at a wedding is, "Because it's high-tech and cool," then you probably shouldn't be using one. Similarly, if your reason for using an 8x10 camera is that it you look good when you pull it out (as opposed to the quality, or the customer experience), that's another good reason to scrap it.
    Granted, this is ivory tower mumbo-jumbo, but I've found that in my own work, explaining my projects over and over to friends, models, professors, and gallery owners - and often explaining them differently as the projects developed and I really honed in on them - helped me to understand what I was doing, why I was doing it, and what I needed to do next to further the project. If I had relied only on my 'internal rationalization' as you put it, then the only way I could be successful would be if my artistic aesthetic were so uniform that it held the work together. And that would be boring, because then you'd have 40 similar photos :)
     
  57. Zack, I think you misunderstood my post. By internal rationalizations as photographers, I meant as a whole, not individually. We as a body try to catagorize what we do, and I think we do a pretty good job at communicating that to one another.
    Where the train falls off the track is when dealing with the public who, while exposed to a lot of imagery that has formed their tastes, is less familiar with any categorizations we use for communication, guides, or as ways of self-development.
    I'm speaking to the practical aspects of communicating what we do to the public who is specifically searching for a wedding photographer, since this is the Wedding Photography Forum. For the most part, they are not of the photographic community, aren't Art Directors or visual artists, and this foray into photo purchase may be the only time in their lives they will do such a thing (except maybe portraits of their kids and family later).
    Yes, there are more sophisticated clients that grasp the style of work they are selecting, however most people think that because we are professionals, we can and will do anything photographic. I'm sure most of us have had a client send us a photo of a Vera Wang ad, or some exotic, once in a lifetime wedding shot as examples of what they'd like ... LOL.
    I am primarily hired to shoot candidly, decisive moment stuff and all that. Some clients have been enthusiastically adamant that it all be journalistic and mostly B&W if not ALL B&W ... like my B&W street photography. Then two weeks before the wedding I get the whipped-puppy consolatory e-mail where the Mom's have become involved ... guess what happens then.
    Or, I'm going along doing my artistic thing, and a family member comes up and says they want to do a massive family group shot that no one discussed before hand ... and the client begs me to do it for the sake of peace and family love. What then?
    This stuff happens all the time no matter how we may be clear with our communications before hand. We could refuse on principle, throw our scarf over our shoulder and stomp off in artistic disgust, or just do it, so we can get back to doing our main thing.
    As to a iPhone or a 8X10 ... whatever. If you are a good photographer you can do candid work and the bigger stuff with the average DSLR, and suffer none of the disadvantages of an iPhone or 8X10 in the unpredictable world of wedding photography.
     
  58. I read some of the posts above, not all. I skimmed the OP link article. Artistic tastes of others sometimes get on my nerves too. I think that is the topic here. I have had two cameras as a photo hobbiest. I shot and photoshopped several years on both, the first was a Kodak Z740 point-n-shoot and the other one I still use is a Nikon D40 with 2 kit lenses covering 18-55 and 55 to 200 and an occassionally used F1.8 35mm. From these I've posted 3,600 images on flickr since 2006. In my mind the Kodak point n shoot rots in comparison. In my mind any preference for those Kodak images over the Nikon DSLR shots are like the iPhone-camera-love mentality. I look back on my old Kodak pics and think "UGH!" nasty. However, it seems just as many if not more of hits from viewers go to my old Kodak shots. Many of those look poorly exposed to me. Also the Kodak shots are much more noisy and I had to process the heck out of them to make them satisfactory in my mind, to the point where they look "artsy" though that was not my original intention. Some I do like, when lighting conditions were right. People tend to go to choose better composed point-n-shoot images on my photo stream but the colors or exposure or noise sometimes look ~BLEHH~ bad in my eyes. You can't zoom in much without cringing. The iPhone is like that. You are stuck with those limits on a sensor that size. People on Facebook seem to like it. I have female friends who don't seem to care how poor the quality is as long as it jars a memory. They like the conversation it stirs. It reminds me of birders who only want an ID on a bird, they do not care if it looks good. These people are not real image enthusiasts. iPhone camera devotees, if that's all they use, they are not real image enthusiasts, they just want a conversation on Facebook.
     

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