|Emerson Photography. Documentary and reportage wedding photography in Durham, Sunderland, Newcastle and the whole of the North East.|
Really, really bad wedding photography!This week has seen the whole of the wedding photography community up in arms about David Jay's advice to new wedding photographers. If you really care, you can see it on David Jay's blog, here.
If you can't be bothered looking, it's basically a 10 step system offering very suspect advice to wannabe wedding photographers. Suggestions include sticking your camera on auto mode when you get flustered, and buying David's software to make everything OK. It's the kind of advice which makes seasoned photographers double-facepalm.
One interesting by-product of the furore has been one of David's clients coming forward to share a small selection of her wedding photos with the Facebook community. The 30 or so photos she displayed really were truly, deeply awful. David has since defended himself by saying he shot 3000 images that day, and that the bride herself has (re?)-processed them to make them look even worse (I have no idea why he would give RAW files to a client, but he may have had his reasons).
As I looked at the images, I was reminded of Clayton Bennett, the Sunderland wedding photographer who was chased through the courts after a series of disasterous weddings - the case was widely reported in the national press last year. This musing, in turn, led me to remember various other recent cases of really, very bad photographers being called out and made to account for their disasterous business practices.
The point of all this though, is not to put down other photographers.Rather, I started to think, "Well everyone has off days don't they? Everyone, no matter what their profession is has the odd day where nothing seems to go right surely?". And the more I thought about it, the more I realised that in some professions, an 'off day' is not an option. There are times whilst shooting a wedding where I'll realise that for whatever reason, a shoot isn't going quite as planned. Maybe the background is cluttered, maybe the bride is worried about getting mud on her dress, maybe the groom is keen to go and mingle with his guests. My job is to pick up on these minor niggles, usually without even consciously realising it and take steps to rectify the situation.
Like all wedding photographers, I've come home with photographs which don't reflect the very high quality that clients rightly expect, so my clients never see them. I put in long, hard hours of editing and processing to ensure that every single image is one I'm proud to show my customers.
To finish this ramble, I firmly believe that there is no place in this very crowded industry for those taking short cuts, doing things by halves or for the plain lazy! It's hard work! And I absolutely love it and embrace it.