Death of the Wedding Photographer by Dominic Lee, AMPA

Wednesday, Oct 31st, 2007 in The IPWS Blog by Dominic Lee | 1 Comment

       Last year many customers were asking, can you please shoot film? This year they would accuse you of being a dinosaur for not shooting digital.

But recording a wedding digitally is at least ten times more work than it was on film. Yet the price has not altered significantly in the past few years to cover the extra skills, equipment and time required.

       We were well and truly sucked in by the sales pitch which promised us an easier life if we went digital. And don’t you just feel like smacking a customer in the kisser when they say “it must be sooo easy for you now with digital”?

       

       Where does that leave the customer?

They too have also been well and truly sucked in by the digital hype. Believing they are getting a bargain upon discovering a chancer who offers them “the lot” on CD. But how many brides will do more than email 2 or 3 of the 1000 images to every friend & relative they have in the world?, consigning the rest to their hard drive, leaving that age-old tradition of the wedding album, falling on its knees.

      

       As for the album manufacturers!

They continue with the hype, telling us that their latest breed of album is the future. When in fact by the time the wedding comes around and the Bride & Groom leave the studio with their all singing, all dancing magazine / book style digi-album, the Fashion Police are hot on their tail with sirens blaring.

      

       So where does that leave the photographer?

Check out an old copy of the Golden Pages and you will notice two things when you compare it to the current issue. (1) Many experienced photographers have dropped “weddings” from their listing.

And (2) many new budding photographers that placed ads a few years ago are no longer listed!

One Comment:

  1. Mark Belshaw
    Posted January 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    At last someone has articulated what many of us have believed but hesitated to say. I am no luddite but saw the dangers for the photographer with the advent of digital. I continued to shoot film until i found myself apologizing to largely ignorant clients. What does it matter that the film is replaced with a CCD as the capture medium; the final image is the critical issue. If i needed to retouch i scanned.
    Did the advent of digital democratise photography. Universal access was always there for those who made the effort to learn its principles. I regularly see standards of photography in magazines that would have been rejected outright several years backs. The image has been devalued along with the photographer. Anybody with a digital camera can claim to be a photographer and do. I have saw my client base disappear as photographic needs are met “in house”. My work for graphic designers has largely disappeared as they rushed to buy a D80 or whatever; They invoice their clients for the design work and the photography and the client is none the wiser and the image library is always useful to fall back on. The photographer was never in the loop
    So thats where many of us are chasing after crumbs and hoping the client won’t default on payment
    Every year the yellow pages swells with new talent or not chasing work and prepared to work for buttons.
    I could go on but whats the point.
    We are where we are

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