I will never forget my wedding. I remember the internet was young and I was searching around for wedding photographers. I found so many images that I was in love with. Photos that were photojournalistic, unposed and candid. I was completely won over by black and white images of wedding parties walking down cobblestone streets in Old City and I knew that was exactly what I wanted for my wedding pictures.
Then I saw the price tag and knew these photographers were way out of my very small budget.
So I did what I thought was right. I hired a friend of a relative that gave me a discount off his regular price and I felt like I was golden. I met him, discussed with him exactly what I wanted and more specifically what I DID NOT want. I don't want poses. I don't want cheesy 1980's shots of hands and rings over my bouquet. I want photojournalistic, I want black and white, I want....
Not wanting to lose a sale, of course my photographer said "Yep, I can do all that!"
Want to guess what my pictures are? Yep, posed, hands and rings over my bouquet, full color pictures that, technically speaking, are spot on. They are perfectly exposed, not a hair out of place, traditionally composed portraits. I wanted emotion. I wanted realism. I wanted JOY. I got standard.
I don't fault my photographer one bit. He did what I hired him to do. This was entirely MY fault. Not once did I ask to see his portfolio. I had never laid eyes on a single picture he took until he handed me my photographs three weeks after my wedding. I failed the process. I liken it to buying a classical music cd and expecting to hear my favorite rap artist.
You see, photography is like the music industry. There are so many artists. Yes, I said ARTISTS. And each one of us has something inside us that we need to get out in our own style and genre.
Some of us are pop. We like things that are catered to the masses. Studio set ups, props, poses. I can guarantee you that if you choose a studio photographer, you are going to get spot on, technically great images that you can have to cherish.
Some of us are classical. We like images that are soft and bright and airy and calm and peaceful. There's no harsh colors or interfering backdrops to detract from the soft moment in time being captured. They are beautiful images and they will be timeless.
Some of us are R&B. You know, the sexy ones. Ever hear that song that just is so romantic and you are immediately in your groove? Some artists are like that. They can take a picture of a spoon and turn it sexy. Looking for boudoir photos, find them!
Some are like indie rock. Raw, unfiltered. Documenting life as it unfolds with all the good and the bad thrown in. Lifestyle photography falls here with its beauty and imperfections laid out for all to see.
Some of us are rock. We like bold. We like loud. If you find a rock artist the colors are going to be loud and bright and in your face. They might have a vintage or matte feel to them or they may be straight up color.
But much like the music industry, there is room for all of us. There is a fan base for all of us. There are people that may feel like Pop today and classical music tomorrow. Its ok. There is no need to tear each other down and compete. That burning need in you to create gorgeous images for people, WE ALL SHARE THAT. Respect and nurture each other. And if you get a chance to meet and work together, take that chance and make magic!
Photographers, find your soul. Find what makes your heart beat faster and your blood rush stronger and go with it.
Customers, ask yourself where do I fit? What is it that I want? And then set out to find it. Do not choose a photographer and assume that even though their portfolio online is all studio work they can come into your home and rock a boudoir session like no ones business. Search around, look at every photographers' work and when you find one that speaks to your heart choose THEM!