It’s “Throwback Thursday” once again (wow, time really does fly doesn’t it!) and, after Dom “The Tog” has this week been busy giving talks all about wedding photography, today we thought we’d bring back a topic that featured heavily: the changes in the industry that have happened over time and of course the biggest game changer in town: the internet. So here’s one or two thoughts on the matter that we first published this time last year…
For years wedding photography held a relatively lowly status in the eyes of the professional photography community. It was considered too commercial, uninventive and bizarrely thought of as an easy path, despite the evidence pointing to the fact that wedding photographers were under far more pressure and having to work much longer hours than, say landscape or fine art photographers. Perhaps it was simply the stigma of working in a fairly lucrative industry or perhaps it was the fact that back then wedding photographers worked primarily in their local area and were rarely seen on a national stage, allowing some perhaps to pick up plenty of business without really pushing their art-form forward. However this stigma came about though, in recent years it’s been well and truly blown out of the water.
Now many of those who once criticised the wedding photography industry are themselves looking to take on some weddings, and for artistic rather than financial purposes. Great wedding photographers are now hugely respected in the industry, but what brought about this huge shift in the way wedding photography is perceived?
There have of course been many influences. Firstly the age of digital photography has brought about new opportunities and a new perception and awareness of photography and the way we take pictures by professionals and the public alike. Although in some ways everyone now seems to think they’re a photographer I think it has, at the same time, made most people realise when they see an outstanding image that there is a real difference between what they’re able to achieve and what a master of photography can produce.
Secondly of course there has undoubtedly been pioneering work by some of the great wedding photographers who have forced the photography industry to stop and take notice, and in the process started to change the whole perception of wedding photography and the artistry that can be involved.
The really big game-changer though has undoubtedly been the rise of the internet – a change that has allowed couples to look further and wider and forced photographers to look not just to be the best in their local town but to aim higher and try to be the best and most creative photographer anywhere in the world. Resting on your laurels is no longer an option because when you’re looking to book your wedding photographer you’re not limited, as you were in the past, to those few ads in the Yellow Pages, the world is your wedding photography oyster and you should explore it in full before making your decision.
Photographers now rarely serve solely their local town and often find that they are travelling the length and breadth of the country or even worldwide to photograph weddings for couples that just love their style and the way they see the world. You no longer need to physically visit every single photographer in your local area to see their portfolio and make a comparison, you can see and compare images at the click of a mouse or a swipe of your finger. You have the option to book (visa permitting) virtually any wedding photographer anywhere in the world, and some of the world’s finest are gaining recognition on a global scale by couples and their peers whilst the work is being constantly pushed forward to bigger and better things. It’s a very exciting time to be a wedding photographer and a great time to be booking one.
It is of course worth checking out your local photographers first, after all the internet has also allowed photographers to move further away from the major cities and still be in high demand so your local photographer might well be extraordinary. But remember it’s about finding the person who’s going to capture the images that you really love, no matter where your wedding is, at home or abroad. The internet may have been a universal game-changer, but it’s finding that photographer whose work speaks to you that should truly change the game for you.