by Andreas Tsiartas Published 01/04/2017
Today I call myself a wedding photographer and so does my portfolio. I have been a part of the wedding photography business for the last seven years and recently came to a point where I wondered what it is that makes a ‘photographer’ a ‘wedding photographer’? Is it just that they happen to shoot weddings? Is it the years of experience in wedding coverage? Is it the professional skills and knowledge around this subject? Or, is it just a label attached for marketing purposes? After much thinking, and some conversations with fellow photographers I realised that there is a fine line between wedding photographers and photographers who shoot weddings.
For photographers who cover weddings, they are not their principal working subject; neither their main area of interest. Weddings can be quite a profitable business option and, in consequence, the need of a healthy business can lead into the coverage of weddings. The minimum skills required for this kind of job is to have good knowledge using equipment and to have basic knowledge of framing and lighting. That’s almost all that’s needed to achieve the basic level of quality – the photographer is capable of shooting weddings and delivering a competent piece of work. For this kind of photographer, what’s left after one wedding finishes is just another one to go to.
On the other side, there are the wedding photographers. Of course, they share some characteristics with the photographers who cover weddings and vice versa but there are some specific factors that set them apart. The wedding photographers certainly know how to use their equipment for this kind of job along with a significant understanding of lighting and framing. For wedding photographers, though, weddings are the main subject of their occupation – in which they are deeply interested. Perhaps after exploring various fields in photography they have found themselves very interested in wedding shooting. This leads to the desire for improvement and evolution of their technique and the various other characteristics of their work. They might occasionally undertake other photography-related jobs so as to maintain a healthy business, but weddings are their passion.
The one great factor that sets wedding photographers apart from photographers who cover weddings is the way they see weddings. They perceive and feel weddings in a very different way to photographers who cover weddings. They approach each wedding as something new, different and unique. Each one is a new challenge for their work and themselves as photographers. They work to develop their own photographic style, one that will add a signature to their work.
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