recently i was researching fellow wedding photographers in the chicago area because, if i am already booked on a specific date, i LOVE to refer clients to photographers with a similar aesthetic as my own. it's a nice thing to do and my heart skips a beat when others do it for me :)
while collecting my list of photographer friends i came across Studio Starling and noticed that they had a blog post that addressed the debate over publishing wedding photos on wedding blogs [ Wedding Blogs and the Photographer ]. honestly this has been on my mind A LOT lately and the fact that i came across this post while writing about my own photography philosophy could not have been more perfectly timed! i have been wanting to express my thoughts on this topic for quite some time...so here goes!
the emphasis on having your wedding published/featured on a wedding blog is intensifying and i believe all photographers should take note and ask yourself the following questions: do i photograph to get published, or do i photograph to document the truth of the day? why do i photograph weddings?
now i am not bashing wedding blogs. they are a great way for brides to gain access to trends + tips, they can be fun to look at, and they are also a nice way for photographers to advertise their photography studio and their wedding portfolio. i am also not bashing photographers that shoot just to get published. hey! if that is your style then more power to you; it is just not my style.
where i do have a little bit of a problem is when bloggers tell brides-to-be that good photographers get "published" and if a photographer has NOT been published then you should be cautious. YIKES! really?
in a blog post created by Style Unveiled [ thank you Starling Studio for pointing this out ] they offer their readers 10 tips to help choose a wedding photographer. although some of the tips were quite helpful, they lost me on a couple points. in their post they state:
"Does it look like the photographer has been published in wedding magazines and on wedding blogs?...It's important that the photographer you choose takes detail shots of your wedding. Why? It goes back to #2...getting published. If your photographer isn't excited about snapping detail shots or doesn't take many detail photos of your wedding, getting it published will be quite a challenge".
wait! really? should one of your top 10 reasons to hire a wedding photographer really include getting published? i kinda cringe at that thought. as a wedding photographer i happily document the details of the day, but not so you can publish the images on a blog. i do it so the bride and groom can look back and remember just how quirky their first attempt at arts and crafts was. Or smile when they see grandma's vintage lace doilies featured in the table setting. i believe too much emphasis is being placed on getting published!!
weddings are filled with reunions, vibrant energy, love and emotion and that is what we, photojournalists, set out to capture. that is what drew me to document weddings in the first place! and in the end, if one of my weddings happens to look publishable then that's cool, i may submit it. OR if my images are "not quite a fit stylistically" for this blog or that blog, and my client friends LOVE them, then that is pretty cool too!!
this june marks my 9 year wedding anniversary, and when i look back at my own wedding photographs it is not the images of my hand-made accents that i continually go back to [ and believe me, i slaved over them ]. it does not irk me that my wedding wasn't published in a magazine or blog [ because the images are still gorgeous regardless ]. what i do go back to, year after year, are the images containing all the beautiful faces of our friends and family expressing laughter, tears, joy and love!
all of this brouhaha surrounding "I must get my wedding photos published or featured on a blog" takes the focus off of what the photographer is really there to do. which is to tell your story through imagery that is truthful - imagery that celebrates the moments.
my father-in-law, norm, passed away just shy of our 1st year wedding anniversary. he was 49. for me, my husband, and our families, the images of him proudly enjoying our wedding day are priceless. they fill our hearts with happiness every time we look at them. weddings are filled, first and foremost, with the people we love! like this beautiful man in the photo above. as your photographer this is what drives my inspiration...capturing moments like these.
please feel free to comment. thank you!