I really enjoy all the photos my friends post on Facebook documenting their life, families and travels. These photos make me smile and brighten my day. This article is not about you. This is an article about people who start a photography business without proper equipment and experience.
We have all watched American Idol during audition week and have seen some horrible auditions. A lot of those people have delusions of grandeur. They think can sing because everyone they know has told them how wonderful they are. Then the judges come on and tell them how horrible they are and they are completely shocked. Some of them have been singing for years and no one has ever told them how bad they really are.
How does this associate with photographers? It all starts with a person who buys a DSLR camera to capture the lives of their families. Then they start taking photos of their kids and posting them online and showing them to other people. None of their friends or family will ever tell them that their pictures are horrible. Then you get their friends who start telling them how wonderful there photos are and ask them to take pictures of their friends kids. Once again, everyone will tell them they are an amazing photographer. Then, a new professional photography business is born.
Tonight as I am writing this I came across a person who has a close personal friend who is a fauxtographer. They took some picture of her and posted them on Facebook. The pictures were horribly over exposed. The subject had this red tint all over their face and the composition was bad. Another picture their face had rainbow colors all over it. I cannot even tell you how this was done. However, because that person is a friend of theirs they said “You are a great photographer!” Now this person has a business page and is soliciting their photography services. So there you go, this proves my point. Photography is all about art and how we see art. But, when you just throw your camera in green mode, or P and start snapping away it does not make you a professional photographer.
Another type of person who suffers from the American Idol effect is the family member who buys a camera and within a few weeks makes a Facebook page and puts photography after their name because everyone in their family told them how good they are. Because their pictures are already amazing they have no motivation to learn techniques to improve their craft. They don’t upgrade their equipment or even have the proper equipment to take good photos. I have a perfect example. A couple hired a wedding planner, event planning service, etc. They spent a lot of money on some of these high end vendors. Unfortunately, they chose the groom’s brother to take the photos. He just added photography to his name and is now a pro photographer. This is where it becomes dangerous and reckless. A wedding is one of the most important milestones in a couple’s life. There are moments that can never be recreated. The pictures that were posted were dark, underexposed, and the most awkward angles I have ever seen. The entire wedding was shot with a stock lens, no flash and in auto. Of course everyone has complimented him on his photos. There were some really fun candid photos. Photos that are great for Facebook and to share among friends. But, these were not the caliber of photos that you print on canvas and hang on your wall to preserve your memories for years to come. Nor were they the kind of photos that build your portfolio so as to preserve others wedding memories who are paying you for your professional services. I have had numerous people approach me at sessions and get their wedding horror stories about how they should have never hired a friend or relative who claimed they were a photographer. They always look back at their pictures with regret. But, they also will never tell that person how they feel because they don’t want to hurt their feelings.
I urge Brides of the Treasure Valley and all brides to really screen your photographer. Look at their portfolio. Look at magazines and high end photographers from New York and Los Angeles. Even if you don’t choose a higher end photographer it would help to compare their photos. I was recently interviewed for a published book, Wedding Photography – The Questions You Need To Ask: As Seen Through The Lens Of Industry Professionals. It can soon be found in bookstores and you can also purchase it through Amazon. There is so much important information in this book.
Here is the link http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/147741603X
There are a lot of people that say the camera doesn’t make the photographer but in the case of weddings both is needed. You need the proper professional equipment including backup equipment. You also need a working knowledge of your equipment and of photography in general. Although natural light is an amazing tool it is not a substitute for an external flash. There generally is not any natural light at night. Shooting a wedding with substandard equipment is never an option It really bothers me to see people advertise wedding photography when they aren’t even capable of doing portraits. I feel bad for all those brides getting substandard photos from someone who suffers from the American Idol effect.
If there is one thing to take from this article is never let a family member or friend photograph your wedding unless they have photographed many wedding in the past for people they don’t know and have good references from people that are not friends of theirs. Plenty of brides make this mistake every year. So, please don’t become a statistic. Photography is one of those businesses that you get what you pay for.
I would love to talk with any brides that have any questions. Give us a call at 208-779-0183 and check out our new website at www.cranestudioimaging.com.