With increasingly busy lives, it seems that the burning need to capture all of life’s precious moments in photography or video form is continuing to gain in popularity. Wedding days are usually planned as a momentous, once-in-a-lifetime moment, which means wedding photographers continue to be in high demand, but with the wide availability of high-end camera equipment at affordable prices, are wedding photographers still necessary?
It took one professional wedding photographer to underline their potentially universal skills, by photographing and videoing an entire wedding on a Huawei Smartphone. But suggesting that everyone can be a pro wedding photographer carries its own risks, such as downgrading the role of professional wedding photographer – which can lead to unsavoury incidents such as roles being reversed and a wedding photographer being the one asked to pay for the privilege of taking pictures.
The Value of Wedding Photographers
Frantic schedules and 24/7 working have made the personal time spent with friends and family into something sacred. The sheer pace of modern life has made people around the world understand how easy it is to miss those precious life moments, such as watching children grow up or seeing a favourite artist in concert. Weddings are no different, whether it is a low-key celebration or a spectacular, lively one.
While sophisticated camera equipment is more widely available, it changes things. It means a higher quality of photography is more possible by amateurs compared to years ago, trends in the professional wedding photographers market indicate this alone is not enough. Weddings, being more highly organized than ever before, are increasingly likely to be planned as themed occasions – with this trend being cited as a key driver in the forecast growth in flush mount photo albums up to 2025. This kind of bespoke service is likely to be out of the reach of even the keenest amateur.
Elsewhere, the commercial photography market in the US has averaged an annual growth of 1.9% over the last three years to reach a market value of $1.8 billion in 2019. Anyone planning to take the step up into the professional game will have to focus as much on their marketing and engagement plans as well as their technical skills, with powerful branding and strong networking also crucial in making a success of a wedding photographer’s business.
How Wedding Photographers Use Their Skills
One particular aspect of a wedding that an amateur wedding photographer will struggle to capture is in the tiny details – the emotions, facial expressions and unique body language of people in the full flow of a happy celebration. A professional wedding photographer is an expert in framing these moments in the best way, working on the right angles, lighting, and positioning to take a photograph that completely reflects the mood of the moment.
Knowing how to use natural light and blend it with everyday actions such as eating, talking, dancing and walking around tests the skill of wedding photographers in acting as prompts rather than directing. It is often the small instances of interaction that are the most meaningful and unique in a gathering of friends and families, and tastefully recording these moments in a flattering way makes for a timeless memento from that special day.
With wedding trends looking likely to expand into hugely creative developments in 2020, there will be an enjoyable test for professional wedding photographers to truly capture the colour and style of the moment. Massive floral arrangements, quirky décor that includes self-serving drinks bars, and more emphasis on colour in the clothes worn by both bride and groom, gives wedding photographers plenty to work with on the day.
Changing Trends for Wedding Photographers
Any self-respecting wedding photographer is certain to stay abreast of industry trends and changing techniques, and the current fashion in weddings is to aim for a more relaxed vibe. This underlines the natural feel of the day, allowing guests to feel comfortable in a way that doesn’t feel staged, while the photographer remains in the background, refraining from putting too much emphasis on staging shots and interrupting guests.
The so-called ‘reportage’ style puts a storytelling spin on the traditional wedding photographer role, with the photographer seeking to capture a narrative from the day on top of attractive, colourful pictures. Another new trend is the ‘first look’ photo, where a photographer captures the exact moment a bride’s father sees his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time. And even technology is getting in on the trend-setting, with drones being used by some wedding photographers to capture wider shots of the overall celebration.
Despite the rise in available photography kit for home use, professional wedding photographers are likely to be in as much demand as ever. Their unique skill in capturing moments in a creative yet naturalistic way is something that even the keenest amateur would struggle to replicate.
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