Los Angeles, California Photographer
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Wedding Photography Trends in Russia and the World
In 2008, after a terrible worldwide economic crisis, many owners of “SLR” entry-level cameras decided that shooting weddings would be a great way to earn extra money.
This eventually led to a glut of inexperienced wedding photographers, along with the inevitable lowering of image quality for clients. This in turn led to a drop in the level of trust and confidence in the profession of wedding photography. Professional level photography cannot be learned overnight. Photography is a craft! – A craft that can be learned only with hard work over a long time.
Plus the level of investment is more significant that most amateurs realize. A true professional needs to have at least 2 pro-level camera bodies, 5-6 professional quality lenses from a wide angle for shooting large groups of people in confined spaces to telephoto for distance and portrait shots, not to mention professional lighting equipment (and even more backup gear). And if you add all of the necessary high-end computer equipment plus software, the investment is at least $10,000 USD. Not to mention the fact that a true professional attends ongoing education and workshops, has years of experience, spends many nights looking at photos of other internationally recognized photographers to learn new techniques in shooting and in post-processing, and devotes time to develop his or her own unique style of shooting.
Any wedding involves much more than simply shooting the images, which is only 5-10% of the total time spent on the preparation of the final wedding album. There is also a significant amount of time needed for post-processing which can take many weeks of work for each wedding. Given all of the above – you can expect the minimum amount which a truly professional photographer charges will be least $1500-2000 for about 6 hours of coverage. Top experienced photographers may charge many times that amount.
Now let us turn to the very special day of the wedding. There are two main trends in wedding photography.
First, there is the traditional approach, where the photographer takes charge and spends a lot of time directing everyone on the wedding day. The pictures turn out about the same from wedding to wedding so there is consistency in quality, but there is a loss of emotion and spontaneous moments. The bride and groom are periodically taken from their guests for posed portrait sessions. To avoid this, it is possible to arrange for posed portrait sessions either before or after the wedding day so you can spend more time with your guests.
Second, there is the photojournalist approach where the photographer concentrates on shooting the story of the day as it happens, unscripted and unposed. This approach helps you remember the genuine feeling of the day and you can see the moments and emotions which happen and are gone in a second, never to be repeated. There is still a short amount of time devoted for the regular portraits and group shots, and they can be seen as an organic part of the magical story of your day.
Do not misunderstand me – I do not mind posing my brides and grooms at all – I do that all the time. But if you want a large selection of beautiful photos taken in your wedding dress then make the effort and spend a day with a good photographer and makeup artist. But do not do it on the wedding day because on the wedding day you don’t have a lot of time and there is no chance for re-shoots.
This is something that is already being done in the advanced markets of the U.S. and Britain and other countries in Europe, and will soon come to us in Russia (I know this first hand after a conversation with a representative of the magazine “Bride in England”). Use the wedding day for the photojournalism approach, and take a second day for the staged posed portraits. You do not necessarily need to book a photographer for the whole day of your wedding – just a few hours at the most interesting moments. With this approach you can completely enjoy the wedding day and get great and memorable photos, and later without having to worry about the dress you can pursue your wildest photo dreams and can even swim in a pool with the wedding dress or take other shots that you would never take on your wedding day.
We now turn to the issue of cooperation at the wedding between the bride, groom and photographer. If you choose your favorite photographer, you should trust him completely, or you will find yourself in a situation similar to the patient on the operating table giving advice to the surgeon on how to carry out the operation. The happier and more positive you are – the better the photographs will turn out. Removing some of the common shortcomings of a photo is much easier than to correct the spoiled mood caused by worries about whatever is happening at the wedding.
The conclusion is simple – choose a professional and trust him, be positive and enjoy the great moments of your wedding which you’ll be telling your grandchildren. This is the best way to get the results you desire.
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