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‘Wedding photography’ easy?

suffolk-weddings
Why is ‘Wedding photography’ so disrespected? I’ve just completed another assignment as a Suffolk Wedding photographer and I cannot understand why the genre is treated as the poor relation of photography. The excellent ceremony was given by celebrant Dawn Rees (see b&w photo below).

A number of years ago, my photo partner, Andrew Florides, was commissioned to do a two day fashion shoot in Knightsbridge. The renowned Bermuda based clothes designer, rented a house with models hired from the much acclaimed ‘Storm Agency’. The house was filled with quite an entourage from the fashion world. Andrew set up a large backdrop with several studio lights and took a few test shots with the models. The owner of the company was delighted with the first test shots and after seeing another batch of images, said she would like to give Andrew some advice. Expecting feedback from the day’s shoot, she proceeded to critique his website: “Andrew darling, you must remove your wedding images from your site, if you want to be considered a serious photographer”. Andrew was taken aback with this and asked: “Why?” She then lit his fuse by saying: “Anyone can be a wedding photographer”.

Andrew, a Suffolk Wedding photographer, then responded with: “I beg to differ and the best way I can explain myself, is by referring to our fashion shoot. Look around us, there is a controlled studio lighting rig, where we have tested the results and it’s a constant. Also, there are plenty of staff around all focused on making our fashion shoot a successful one. In direct contrast, weddings are full of variables. Different lighting conditions, unfamiliar locations, changing characters all expectant and within a thoroughly ruthless schedule. Additionally, you are being hired by people who are likely to be employing a professional photographer for the first time. Unlike this fashion shoot, there are no opportunities to reshoot, so the photographer must really know his camera well. On top of this, one must coordinate sometimes several hundred wedding guests, whilst the venue caterers are breathing down your neck. From arriving at the bride’s home to sitting down at the reception, the work load is relentless, sometimes going on to 2 or 3am. Then after the wedding the topic of conversation is usually how everyone is looking forward to seeing the results, the memories. A giant responsibility. Isn’t it ironic that the hardest and most skilful work on my website, is the one you wish me to remove. The fashion shoot is ‘a walk in the park’ compared to a wedding photographer providing excellence, for his clients.” There followed a silence that rarely can have been so articulate. It was a ‘touché’ moment on a grand scale and on behalf of all belittled wedding photographers everywhere.

If you have an up and coming wedding in the family, I urge you to read our ‘Wedding prices’ 

advice, that clearly explains what you may expect to receive, in return for some very differing price levels.

 

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By Roland Blunk

Roland Blunk(http://www.rolandblunk.com)
Throughout my career, I have been privileged in being commissioned by so many influential clients. Having discovered photography and graphic design before the digital revolution, the possibilities for visual expression seem almost magical to me, as we live our lives together with daily miracles and wonderment. My design and photography skills were learnt in their original pre-digital form. Slow, sometimes laborious, but wonderfully rewarding. Consequently I am forever in awe of the kit I have at my disposal. My main camera is a Nikon D4, which I use with either AF-S 14-24mm 2.8; AF-S 24-70mm 2.8 or AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 Nikon lens. I process my work on a MacBook Pro, so I can shoot, download, evaluate and post-produce my work, before posting it from anywhere and to anywhere within minutes of shooting. I have travelled through time from being Roland Blunk, a 60's London art student, using my parents' attic as a first 'dark room', to using the world as my studio and that really is a miracle to me. I studied design and photography in the late sixties, at what was then Hornsey College of Art, London. Life, after a series of drab boarding schools, was exciting to say the least. Jimmy Hendrix played upstairs at the Manor House pub, James Brown at Cook's Ferry Inn and Charlie Mingus at Ronnie Scott's, to name a few local distractions. I followed this by studying graphics at the LCP and the huge irony surrounding my design studies, concerned my exclusion from applying for the 'Graphic Design' degree course'. As I left school at the age of sixteen to study at 'Hornsey', I skipped my A's and so studied on the LCP's diploma course. A couple of years after leaving the LCP, I was thrilled when Tom Eckersley head of graphics at the LCP, and one of the foremost poster designers and graphic communicators of the last century (Google him), answered my application to lecture, with the news that he loved my letterhead design. Consequently I was offered a visiting lectureship, on the same degree course that I was not welcome to study on! Now let's keep that one quiet. My clients have included: Action Aid Arista Records The Arts Council The BBC The British Council The British Tourist Authority The Crafts Council The Design Council Eversheds Solicitors The Guardian Haymarket Publications Her Majesty's Stationery Office Hoeseasons Holidays The Institute of Chartered Accountants The Institute of Contemporary Arts Island Records The Longman Publishing Company The Manchester City Art Galleries The National Portrait Gallery The Opera Babes The Royal Shakespeare Company The Scottish Development Agency 'Sotogrande' Spain The V&A Museum I have lectured at major art schools in Great Britain including 'Central Saint Martins' London, and my work has been reproduced in the Swiss graphic publication 'Graphis' Annual, The 'Designers & Art Directors' Annual and 'Modern Publicity' Annual. I was nominated to 'Fellowship' status of the 'Chartered Society of Designers' in the mid 80's. In 2002 I qualified as a 'Snowsport England' ski coach (level 4) coaching instructors at the 'Norfolk Snowsports Club'. Each season I worked in both Austria and Italy as a freelance Alpine ski guide, with an 'Internationaler Verband of Snowsport Instructors' (IVSI) licence.