by Phil Jones Published
It's certainly been all change in the wedding photography business since the introduction of digital technology, reports the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers' Chief Executive Phil Jones.
Digital imaging has come steaming in and taken over from the tried and trusted method of film. In a recent straw poll of SWPP members, it was apparent that 76% shot their weddings digitally though many did also use either 120 or 35mm film to supplement or back up their shots.
The most popular camera manufacturers in this sector of the market appear to be Fuji and Cannon, Nikon coming a very close third. It is also apparent from the survey that Olympus is making steady headway with many pros using the E1.
Not surprisingly many of the members surveyed who are still film based, are users of Photoshop and use inkjet technology for their printing requirements. Many believe that it will only be a short matter of time before they too turn to digital for their means of capture.
Figures also show that 75% of all pros use a professional lab for their printing needs yet the majority also have their own in-house printing facilities, most of which are top end inkjet printers.
Many members have embraced digital imaging largely due to the limitless creative options available. Going back not so many years, album design was almost non-existent and it was difficult for the photographer to make his or her own mark
Nowadays though, the more forward thinking album manufacturers have introduced into the market graphically designed albums that have transformed the thinking of many and have shown how individualism can be captured and presented to the client
Since photographers have also been coming to grips with image manipulation programmes such as Adobe's Photoshop, they too have extended the boundaries of conceptual design.
Exclusive digital capture has become the norm for many top photographers relying upon a couple of cameras to capture an entire wedding. Yes of course there can be pitfalls in this practice though many of us old timers can remember tales of woe involving film. Needless to say, all professional photographers should cover themselves by obtaining professional indemnity insurance.
But digital imaging has not just become important as the means of capture in the professionals weaponry, it has also become the means of sales. Photographers are now burning slide shows to DVD for their client's perusal or using LCD projectors to sell bridal albums or wall portraits. Some also use the web to display images and make addition sales
It has become apparent from viewing submissions for the various competitions run by the SWPP that the boundaries of creativity are being pushed further and further every day. Available to any photographer who can come to grips with digital capture and manipulation there is nothing to prevent their artistry gaining new heights.
The SWPP being the largest independent trade association for photographers in Europe has gone considerably far to helping the industry within the UK by championing the transformation from one media type to another.
Over the past five years the SWPP has run numerous courses on digital imaging with such Guru's as Barrie Thomas, Mike McNamee and Tom Lee and has worked closely with many of the top manufacturers such as Epson, Adobe, Wacom Nikon, Fuji, and Olympus. Information on current seminars and workshops can be found at www.swpp.co.uk .
Digital imaging is here to stay, already in such a short time enormous strides have been taken and if technology races on at it's current pace the future is going to be very exciting and I for one are glad to be involved.
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