The diversity of wedding photography.
A few days ago I came across a blog post in one of the many photography facebook groups I have found myself in that was a really negative read.
I make a point of making sure that I am a part of positive communities in my industry as I am much more of the camp 'lift people up rather than shoot them down'. Constructive criticism is always important in creative work and it helps you improve and move forward. HOWEVER I have no interest in allowing headspace for people who just want to be horrible for whatever reason.
So I came across this blog post and it was dressed up as a helpful guide for couples in choosing the style of their wedding photographer. Great, if that was the reality. Basically the message was: All styles of photography and editing are shit unless its mine.
In a way I wish I never read the thing. It immediately made my voice of self doubt creep in and start telling me that its been right this entire time, I am an awful photographer because look this photographer is saying how awful your work is. The voice which we all have was quickly squashed as I have learnt to do over the years.
BUT what the hell?? The thing I love about the wedding photography industry is the diversity. There are so many talented individuals out there all producing work that is true to them and their message. Our industry would be so BORING if everyone did the same thing.
Because the thing is as an artist (you can slap an ego on that statement if you want but that is what I am) you produce work for yourself first and foremost. That doesn't matter if your style is dark and moody or bright and airy. Your work is an extension of who you are and what you love. You then secondly brand and market yourself to the people who love what you do.
I actually do not want to appeal to every single couple out there. I want people to dislike my work, I want to be like marmite. Because not being booked by those people who want me to work differently to who I am leaves room for the people who really love what I do.
You wouldn't commission Picasso to paint you a painting in the style of Monet. You would go to Monet if you want a Monet. It really is that simple when choosing a wedding photographer.
As a couple, find someone who's work makes you feel something amazing. Because that photographer most likely feels something deeply about their work and thats where the magic will happen. Sending a photographer a pinterest board of photos that are the polar opposite of what they do will only squash their creativity and passion for you and your wedding.
'But I am the client' I hear you say.... True.
But you can make the right decision right from the very beginning when you are choosing who you want to photograph your wedding. Don't pick someone who you want to change, pick the person who's work represents that pinterest board or vision you have.
There is enough choice out there, I promise.
And isn't that amazing! The technology and growing community in the wedding photography industry is really opening the door for creativity. There are amazing people inspiring one another and helping each other grow as individual artists. Embracing one another's mistakes and lifting each other up rather than trying to stamp each other out.
I suppose thats why that blog post stood out to me. I have conditioned my online environment to be a space of growth and positive influence so I can be the best I possibly can be. There will always be one that slips through the net though ;)
I will finish here: Photographer's keep being you, keep making work that you LOVE, make mistakes and push your boundaries, keep creating photos that are made with passion and authenticity. And lastly keep supporting one another, we all want the same thing.... a successful and thriving industry that provides couples with diverse and quality work from amazing people.