Death and Resurrection of The Photographer of Weddings, Baptisms and Communions

BBC photographer is a classic. I am not referring to the reporters of the British channel, but the photographer of weddings, christenings and communions. Something that many prefer to be called as the social report and that has experienced different stages, with its consequent changes and evolution.

Wedding photography seemed cystic, repetitive and boring came new perspectives that have relaunched this type of photography and have wrapped it creativity and ingenuity, with new dose of artistic impact. And, Yes, also technology has managed to provide new points of view and it has improved (in some cases) the work of the photographer. But let’s see how the BBC photographer has evolved, trends and how to face the rise of not always professional competence. We are Gala and we go on wedding.

Wedding photography: it can innovate? do you allow it?

To be a genre in such tradition and whose objective be clear: the acquisition of the most important moments in a wedding ceremony, does not appear to allow too many options, alternatives or innovations. Finally and after all, what is essential is to achieve document key moments a wedding where the bride and groom are the protagonists and where There is little room for improvisation, Since everything happens very fast, the environment is not easy to control and should be very well prepared.

And in fact, so. Wedding photography has remained very similar for decades. Even if we have to go back to the 1990s, when at last, some photographers decided that it is already well perched front, boring poses before the camera to where the bride and groom leave not always favored. Spreads the tension of the moment, nerves and, moreover, are very repetitive photos. Not therefore less important, but that can be addressed with new perspectives.

From the boring past in search of spontaneous

Photo by Susana Barbera

Last few years cobra lot of weight known as “documentary wedding photography”. It is not another thing that make a story in the purest journalistic style. Where the photographer tries to go unnoticed and recorded the ceremony without which none of the actors finish posing, forcing smiles and artificial postures (although not is worth knowing how to pose before the camera).

This also comes powered by a technological reason clear: the rise of digital photography. At the time of the film a wedding photographer could take 300-400 photos approximately (10-15 reels). With the arrival of digital this is triggered and some photographers, as confesses Vicente Alfonso, Extremadura photographer (and former collaborator of Engadget photo), now made some 3,500 photos for wedding.

With this increase in the number of images, the photographer can afford to register the key moments, the usual, but also many other moments, sometimes less momentous in a ceremony or celebration, where to get capture feelings that you emerge during a wedding, in addition to fun and emotional situations without preparation. Spontaneity is the most demanded.

All this entails more and more photographers and, of course, boyfriends who hire them, seeking more naturalness. Thus, the bride and groom neglectful of another aspect to take into account in such an important day and can focus on live, enjoy, and focus on that day. Now, the photographer becomes a privileged spectator, a “nearly invisible” guest who focuses on document everything that happens.

This style of documentary or photojournalistic increasingly are taking greater boom if possible, and today It is a clear trend in wedding photography, that is also extensible to other social stories: baptisms and communion (which, by the way, have become true photography weddings). Even the spontaneity to the end also is being imposed, the style of urban photography and street photography.

Photography, video… something more?

The same happened with the story in video the wedding. Something that has been doing for some time but with the advent of digital cameras has enhanced and, now, with the latest trends can be new possibilities (in the style of music video, as in the above example).

How indicates Jesús López (wedding photographer with 20 years of experience in Seville, with Aldebaran study), “now even we allow ourselves the possibility of projecting some of the photos and video clips during the Banquet”. Almost live, using the possibility of editing of current digital tools. Even with the support of cameras with Wi-Fi connectivity You can place several and record various perspectives without being vigilant photographers. This option also allows different points of view, by placing cameras in places where a photographer may not arrive but yes put your camera controlled remotely. Alternatively, for example, directly place a GoPro peculiar somewhere, as in a bottle of whisky.

But, there are other trends that they are imposing and manage to expand, diversify and innovate at weddings. Although, as also Jesús López tells us, “we don’t know if really this additional work compensates for in some cases”. We are talking about trends as curious as a photocall, where we can find from a simple background where the guests pose to the arrival of the celebration to much more sophisticated options where you get to install a complete system of continuous lighting and flashes in the purest style of the red carpet famous events.

The drones are also invited to weddings and communions

And there is more: the use of drones. A unstoppable technological trend in photography and video, and that it takes some time adopted by wedding photographers. Very useful for, above all, fragments of video from a very original point of view. It is something that increasingly will is demanding more, especially because until now the price to be paid for using a drone for some details of photo or video not always was very affordable.

This is changing dramatically and see a drone at a wedding every time is more common. That Yes, “until the day in which a drone from falling out of the bride and groom and a number to look” as confesses Jesús López between smiles, referring to the danger that can lead to their use (especially non-professional, of course). But, this is something that has already happened, as we see in this video:

Mobile now always present, for better and for worse

Photo by Jack Zhang

The extension of the use of smartphones has also allowed new possibilities for the social report. Although it is sole using an advanced camera, there’s no denying also are getting curious and results to consider mobile moments. And to photograph a wedding with a mobile phone? Well, it’s something that also has already been done, although we do not know if many boyfriends are formed with it (for now).

What is certain is that all guests carry their smartphone and also want to have your own photo. In this there is no problem, until they stand between the bride and groom and the photographer and hinder you to do their job. So, it is a difficulty added and new which is more and more present.

My wedding is this hashtag, use it

Photo by Mike Seyfang

And how could it be otherwise, the social networks they are also invited to weddings. All have “Facebook” or “its Instagram”, so why not use it? We find weddings where the use of a hashtag (type “#BodaPepeNuria”) is promulgated and so guests can contribute their grain of sand, with photos, reviews and other details to enrich a wedding celebration. There is even an application that helps us to choose it (as WeddingWire Hashtag Generator).

Support changes: the album to download online or the custom flash drive

Another aspect that has changed, but here if we find a strong weight of tradition, is in support of the wedding story. The life album It is something that is still offering by photographers and valuing by the bride and groom. Although also indicates Jesús López, “with the expansion of digital photography it was losing value, but we we remain committed to it, because it is the best memory that can keep your wedding”.

But it is inevitable that many bride and groom do not want the classic album. In fact, it is usual that is offered the delivered work in digital media, either on DVD (already less) or in a pendrive (custom presented in a box) with all the photos and videos (or even via download online).

Extending wedding photography: proboda, postboda, and more

By Vicente Alfonso pre-wedding photo

Long since there is an addition to the story of weddings as it is the so-called “pre-wedding”, as confesses Vicente Alfonso is something that always offers the bride and groom and that, from his experience, seems very important to carry out (always includes it in the price). Mostly because it is where empathizes with the bride and groom, where it gets the necessary feeling then, during the important wedding day, get better results.

Although this is not something new, since before it was called “the test profile”, now is becoming more frequent. And not only the previous, also the day after, the “postboda” and up to the loss of hand, manage to complete (and complementing) the story of the own day of the link.

When Photoshop also stands out at the wedding

Photo: Quinn Miller

The work of the photographer’s social report does not end with the last tail of wedding celebrations. Now comes the hard work of editing and post-production. Those registered more than 3,000 images have to edit them, select them, sort them and tweak them. This will get the wonderful pictures of the wedding, where is can enhance the style of the photographer and gives the final touch to the story.

But clear, as Photoshop has also become democratized also wants to highlight and some grooms are supporters of that take greater role. This coupled with other influences from cinema or television allows us to see photographs of weddings in full invasion of dinosaurs or in a zombie attack. Very geek, but certainly eye-catching and memorable. That Yes, not to everyone’s taste.

Of course, can not miss other techniques such as light painting or the timelapse.

Photo: Steven Kowalski

Is the team really so important for the wedding photographer?

Something that has always been in value is the importance of the wedding photographer team. Not only for pretend and need to “show off” as a professional, but today there are more tools that help the photographer. Although we find prestigious wedding photographers able to make a full report with a compact as a single camera (such as the British Kevin Mullins). And he makes it clear, that the photographer, her look, style and experience is really important. As shown in the prestigious Fran Russo, a good wedding photographer bide with what is around.

Photo of Harry (Howard) Potts

Susana Barberá, Cadiz photographer of international prestige, says in this regard:

“You can make incredible photos with an iPhone, but the camera is just a tool, what matters is the vision of the photographer. Before buy me a better camera, always invest in training, with better training always will make better photos with a camera worse.
“Get a modest team that you needed benefits but without becoming crazy, better furnishes your head, open your heart, fills your mind of quality photography, know interesting, buy glasses with which you see the world of otherwise and insurance that your picture will be different”.

For its part, the couple formed by Vinny Labella and Nacho Mora award-winning wedding photographers located in Zaragoza, with Look photography, says the team regarding:

“In our case a fast approach or a high”iso”can greatly facilitate us things. But the really important thing is to be prepared both physically and mentally to endure a whole wedding (on many occasions more than 10 hours)”.

She is clear that the human part is and will remain key despite the photographic progress. And indeed, the own style and the look of every wedding photographer is what really stands out and so gets his job. It is your cover letter. And this is more necessary every day before the rise of vicious competition in this sector.

The brother-in-law with reflex and the flourishing of the competition

It has always been complicated for the wedding photographer stay updated, follow trends and keep your style at any time. Be faithful also to achieve a prosperous career. But, is that before he had specialized photographers and now, it is very different.

Currently there are many more, so the competition tightens and forces to be demanding, but is also the budding amateur photographer with advanced camera that is released to perform a wedding story, in the majority of cases by friendship or some relationship with the bride and groom, without contract of by means, without being professional and, of course, are not always the results to the height.

To do this, they have arisen numerous associations and organizations for wedding photographers all over the world (such as the WPPI, WPJA or UnionWep Hispaniola), aiming to bring together professionals, provide support, offer training, advice and even contests and conferences. All of this, because wedding photography is not easy and a professional should know to distinguish themselves. Although, however, they also make mistakes, as the recent news of a wedding photographer fined 8,000 euros for having not done backup of a wedding story.

And how fighting professionals in this situation? Some take it with good humor, as Vicente Alfonso, who confesses that many guests at weddings are trying to correct or indicate how to make better photos. But how complicated is in that unfair competition, of fans who made reports without quote, all in B, without security and, what is more serious, pulling prices decrying professionals.

Nacho and Vinny (Look picture) explain that:

“it’s something that has always existed and will exist… However is something with which already counts on the wedding day. “So the hired professional photographer photos have to provide that”plus”that any guest can give or even integrate these brothers-in-law with reflex at the wedding, since they are part of it not?”

For his part, Susana Barberá indicates:

“They don’t worry me, I think my work is for minorities, the more you print, you have fewer clients, but they are more faithful. When those in-laws become 20 minutes by shooting at f16 and praying that all layers are put in place by magic and get it… maybe worry me or hire them as a second photographer. How personal is your work less competition has.”

Personal style: the real difference of the wedding photographer

Photo by Susana Barbera

And on how to stand out from fans or the rest of the competition, Susana Barberá is also clear:

“It is not look outside but inside, the only way to differentiate is to make a more personal work, if you are looking out for you will always be a bad copy of someone, if you are looking for inside always can become the best version of you. Doing what housewives and not so much what goes is what gives you wings to give you with more passion and more than ti and unintentionally, that makes the difference. I always thought that I purchased, not to sell me. Do a good job to make people buy it without having to do tricks for verderlo”.

Another way to distinguish themselves is work as a team, as they do in Look photography:

“We like to work as a team, two photographers are going to the wedding. We try to find different perspectives and to tell a story where they appear all or almost all of their players. Sometimes we need that extra help in order to make artistic pictures where raw material more composition and light than the moment.
We have a single camera (obviously have another spare) and two objective focal fixed that we are changing depending on the scene. We try to go the lightest possible, thus we concentrate on see ‘the moment’ and at the same time seem almost one guest wedding. Often the bride and groom do not know where we are, in this way we got spontaneous photos.”

To conclude, we are left with a good definition has given us Jesús López: there are wedding photographers and then, people who make wedding photos. It is necessary to distinguish them.

We thank photographers Vicente Alfonso, Jesús López, Susana Barbera and Look photography.

And you do some experience or anecdote in this type of photography? They are welcome in the comments.