The Modern Wedding Photographer
I was at one of Coventry and Warwickshire most popular wedding venue locations yesterday doing pre-wedding engagement photos with my Leica M9. There was a wedding taking place and everyone was outside for their photos. As a fellow wedding photographer I am always interested to see how others operate, what gear they are using and what directions they give. I could hear a loud authoritative voice from a far moving people around in what appeared to be an orderly fashion. The bridal couple were then brought out to where we were shooting so I let them use our spot to get their photos. A formally dressed photographer arrived with two mid range crop sensor DSLR cameras around their neck and lenses attached. My first observation was the lens hoods were still fitted backwards on the lens bodies. I looked on in bemusement as they started photographing the wedding couple. The camera had a bare speedlight pointing up to the sky flashing away perhaps in an attempt to bounce light off a distant satellite. No posing direction was being given and it appeared little or no consideration was taken to composition and direction of available light. They were there a matter of minutes and were moved on back to the house. The photographer said thanks to us and they were gone.
We then carried on with my manual focus Leica M9 rangefinder and manual off camera flash. I was thinking to myself, in today’s world of ‘professional’ (oppotunist?) wedding photographers, how many of them could actually photograph a wedding day if their auto everything cameras suddenly died and a guest lent them a full manual camera with a basic non-TTL speedlight? I would guess as few as 25% of new wedding photographers who have started in the last 5yrs.
Sample photo I took yesterday – Leica M9 + 1980s Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2
There is of course big money to be made in the wedding industry today, especially in the Asian wedding market. I think many people who are good at project management with good communication skills have realised that they do not actually need to know anything about photography, f stop, shutter speed or ISO. Modern cameras give nice pictures automatically and if it doesn’t Photoshop can fix it. I think it is 100% true that for wedding photography technical ability only plays a very small part in getting new clients. I would say communication skills come first followed by project management and of course who you know. As they say it is always who you know not what you know!
I am wondering if I should now advertise my photography workshops days to wedding photographers to teach them the basic fundamentals of photography just so they appreciate what the f number means on the back of their camera.
If you are reading this and do want to join me on a photography workshop, either in my studio in Coventry or on location in London feel free to get in touch – http://www.matthewosbornephotography.co.uk/Photography-Courses.html
If you are reading this and are looking to book a wedding photographer that offers photos using a 1950s film camera (Leica M2), a more modern medium format film camera (Mamiya RZ67 Pro II) or a manually operated digital camera (Leica M9) then you can find out more detals here – http://www.matthewosbornephotography.co.uk/Wedding-Photographer.html