|Fuji 400 colour film, about 1999, unknown camera|
And I think it all comes down to 'seeing' a photo. I can put something of myself in a portrait. I can envision what I want as an end product and I can feel the emotion in a portrait, but a landscape eludes me. Now I recognize a great landscape when I see one. And I think I've been lucky and pulled off a few 'good' if not 'great' landscapes in my past. But I really believe that to be a great photographer in any particular area you need to be able to see. You need to have a vision for your subject, and a passion for it. That is why the best photographers in the world specialize, whether they be Ansel Adams, Chase Jarvis, or Arnold Newman. It's too diverse of a craft and art to be the best at everything. So if you are photographing weddings and you find yourself feeling like it's a job, and your work is about as inspiring as the shot above, then maybe you need to stick to what moves you. Wildlife? Birds? Cars? Pets? I'm just sayin'. That's all.
This was my giant segue into talking about wedding photography as a specialty. It seems like so many people today call themselves wedding photographers. And they open up wedding photography businesses. All on the strength of a really good shot of a bear, a bird or a plane at an air show. I kind of don't get it. Wedding photography is hard. It's specialized and it takes single minded determination and love to do it even reasonably well. Owning a camera and being a closet bird photographer does not qualify you, nor should it. Why does everyone go to weddings to make money? Is it really a service to the Brides of the world?
I'm not saying you can't be a good landscape photographer and a good wedding photographer. In fact to be a really good wedding photographer you have to be good at action, portraits, photo-journalism, landscapes, architecture and fashion. You have to be able to use artificial lighting and natural light, shoot in low light (or virtually no light), you have to be good with people, make them laugh, help solve problems and be a shoulder for a nervous Bride or Groom (or mother-in-law). But if weddings aren't your passion. If you don't have an eye for them, then please, for the love of all things good, for the love of your craft, please find some other type of photography to sell. If you aren't sure if I'm talking about you, if your website contains photos of bears, birds and Brides all at the same time, I just might be talking about you. At the very least, have two separate websites!
In the meantime, I'm going to be working on my landscapes. I owe it to my Brides. And I'm going to keep scanning film. I'm sure some photos I took 12 years ago are good right?
Thanks for popping by the blog!