No Gimmicks

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by todd frederick, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. I put this under the category of "other" since I could not find any
    other appropriate category.

    Anyway, I want to open a discussion regarding wedding photography
    techniques...I guess you might say: Traditional v. Gimmicks. My last
    client didn't want any "cheesy" photos!

    In a personal e-mail I sent this statement to a new wedding

    "My one and only goal with weddings is to give my couples photographs
    that they will still appreciate on their 25th
    gimmicks!" That's MY "mission statement."

    That means, for me a very straight, honest documentary photograhic
    approach with the traditional formal and portraits included is my
    prime objective.

    I worked with a studio for a short time that was into cross-
    processings, weird colors, high contrast, and extreme tilts, montage
    albums, and, I also remember, in the 1980's when double exposures
    were the big thing (with ghostly couples hovering over the altar or
    trapped inside wine glasses) and extreme fog filters somehow made the
    wedding an etherial, other-worldly, experience.

    I am more down to earth nowdays and all I want to give my clients is
    a very good documentation of their very special day with some very
    nice portraits included.

    Any thoughts on this or where you think wedding photography is headed? parents'wedding photogaphy was one B/W 4x5 print!
  2. I could never get into those gimmicky things. All that extra darkroom stuff just didn't thrill me and as a lab guy it was a pain to do. Fortunately, we didn't have much call for this stuff. I always was a traditional portrait type shooter. Recently, I have found the PJ style somewhat interesting and have been playing with it as an assistant photog to a colleague. Details are typically foregone with traditional coverage. PJ style picks up these details a lot. I like being the guy who gets to "play" without the stress of "having to get the shot". Another colleague thinks the PJ stuff looks like bad snapshots. I have to disagree, but everybody has their own tastes.
    I feel the future is in those new albums that use collages. I like the idea of more images to tell the story. Somehow 36 8x10's chosen by the bride never did do that for me. More dragging the shutter and multi light techniques will be the norm. But sooner or later the formal portrait will be back and they won't have guys like Monte Zucker around to teach them anymore. Times keep on changing and that's how it should be. I for one don't like to stagnate. I feel if your photography today is the same as it was 15 years ago, you're doing your work and clients a disservice. Even guys like Monte have changed considerably in recent years. Always willing to try something new without giving up the old completely.

    BTW my parents didn't have ANY photographs from their wedding! How dare they! I should have been there! LOL

  3. My aim is to take nice photographs at a wedding, rather than nice wedding
    photographs, I like my photographs to be honest, I never arrive at a wedding
    with a tick list of images I want, I think you can always tell when something
    has been choreographed. However I am photographing weddings, and I
    would hope to try and produce images that flatter, and in doing so, I am no
    longer doing straight documentary photography, but I think that your ability to
    catch the best of the day is what your there for, andf it's finding that balance
    that I enjoy.
  4. Some wedding photography reflects the times they were shot in. Of course hindsight is always 20/20, and some of the choices were pretty awful as seen through our current eyes... as were many things of certain eras. Like baby blue, white stitched tuxes with ruffled shirts and bell bottom trousers. But, hey, that's the way we were. "... or where you think wedding photography is headed?" With the advent of higher end digital cameras made more affordable in the not to distant future, even more people will think they can shoot weddings (it's already happening). IMO this will weed out the marginal shooters who have done okay by just getting the job done competently. The more the general public's tastes improve due to exposure to ever improving TV, Movies and Still Photography, the more pressure there will be for wedding imagery to keep pace. Proper exposure and technical expertise just won't be enough. Even more than now, design, intuitive timing and a real affinity for the insightful human moment will be what separates a successful wedding photographer from the pack of merely competent shooters. We will need to be able to run with the big dogs, or be eaten by the upstarts with their $1,000, 16 meg. full frame Canon EOS 20D with in-camera Image Stabilization, 16-100 f/2 ASPH zoom, and 880EX multi-matrix flash with 80,000 lighting situations pre- programed into it (including one called "wedding photography") " parents'wedding photogaphy was one B/W 4x5 print!" Funny you should mention that. I'm currently restoring some of my parents wedding shots. The only things I have to work from are 60 year old, very damaged B&W prints. My aunts and uncles told me that my folks were movie star good looking, but I didn't realize it until I started this restoration. VaVaVoom mom! ( I'm giving her a little album for Mother's day).
  5. Wedding photography is no different than other types of photography, and the look and style changes over time. Changes in the look of photographs is driven by photographers who want to keep "fresh" and not get into a rut, and the enabling technology of new photographic gear. Another influence was a downturn in the commercial photogaphic market and many editorial, advertising, fashion and corporate shooters going into wedding photography.

    This influx of fresh blood and technology has had a big impact on wedding photography. The fact that it is somewhat trivial to get a technically correct (in focus/properly exposed picture) raises the bar for creating a visually striking image. Some of it is in the realm of gimicks, and "in" this year and "out" next year, but on the whole the level of art in wedding photography has risen over the last 10, or so, years.

    In the end, though, what counts is finding clients for what you sell.
  6. "I am more down to earth nowdays and all I want to give my clients is a very good documentation of their very special day with some very nice portraits included."

    This is in line with my style. I'm basically there to document the event, and I throw in some family portraits as a necessary evil. :)
  7. I do photojouranlism and illustrative weddings and prefer high quality library bound albums with standard pages from Kambara. However, I have been receiving a lot of interest from people for editorial syle albums, where several small images are placed on top one 8x10 that defines a theme for that page. Visit to see what I mean. The pages are either flush mounted or printed on heavy paper. I've seen guys at bridal shows who have done their own layouts that look a bit corny, but Graphis Studio has their own design staff - you just upload the images. I ordered some sample materials to see what clients think. I prefer to give them actual prints, but I think I might add this option since the demand is there.
  8. "...some of the choices were pretty awful as seen through our current eyes... as were many things of certain eras. Like baby blue, white stitched tuxes with ruffled shirts and bell bottom trousers..."

    Hey Marc, who showed you the pictures from my first wedding?

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