It’s a Jungle Out There

August 7, 2008

Apparently we photographers seem to have a pretty cool looking job. It seems like everyone wants to do what we do. In fact, another husband/ wife photo couple we know has had two of their wedding client couples quit their bank jobs and go out to get a camera and start their own photography business. I’m not typically one to make a judgment call on what people do with their lives, but that’s nuts!

In the past two weeks I have received several emails from people who used a photographer that seemed like a great deal only to realize after the wedding that their pictures were crap. These were not local people or photographers and I wasn’t given any names so don’t think I’m trying to stir up anything. I just wanted to point out that it is so easy in 2008 to go get an inexpensive camera, a template web site and load up the 25 best photos from your cousin’s wedding. You can in fact look pretty legitimate without actually having to know what you are doing. This is one reason that we intentionally created our web site with over 2,000 images so that it would be obvious that we have done this a few hundred times.

Here is a cut and paste of an email I got over the weekend. I am blocking out the personal details to protect the innocent:

Hi! My name is **************. I got married in May. I loved absolutely everything about my wedding, except the photography. I unfortunately learned how important it was to shop around for an incredible photographer. I was wondering if y’all would be willing to do a newleywed shoot. My husband and I are both in law school at the university of ***************** in ***************. I looked at your pictures of Lindsay and Adam ******* pictures and was so impressed. Please let me know if you would be willing to do something for us. I was thinking maybe a shoot around Christmas . . . early enough for it to be our Christmas picture! Let me know what you think. Thank you in advance, ********

I feel really bad for her. I received a very similar email from someone who was married in Jamaica in June. Now, I haven’t seen the images from these weddings, so I don’t know how bad they are, but the bottom line is that the client did not get what they expected to get, they are bummed and that is not good.  I’m looking forward to working with them and creating some imagery that they can be very proud to show other people.

3 Responses to “It’s a Jungle Out There”

  1. Kasey Robinson Ellis said

    TRUE, TRUE, TRUE! This is the one piece of unsolicited advice I continue to give anyone and everyone I know that is even thinking of getting married. Thank you so much for the beautiful images that you have given Andrew and I of our wedding day. We are so grateful! Also, we wanted to thank you for how wonderfully our album turned out. Our families loved it, and we are so pleased to have such a lovely book to share with our children someday!
    Thank you both for all that you did to keep our day special.
    Kasey & Andrew Ellis

  2. Hey James,

    Great article!!!!
    We see the same thing all the time in our field also.
    I see new guys all the time that get a new video camera and a website and call themselves a wedding cinematographer….but in reality, they have no idea what goes into creating a high quality wedding film.

    Paul Jackson
    Four Seasons Films

  3. Jeremy said

    Hey James,

    Great post. I am constantly amazed at all the people who get a digital camera with some F Stops and a little depth of field action and they think they can be wedding photographers. I’ve got several acquaintances and friends that have done this and I simply shake my head as the quality of the images shot are nothing that I couldn’t do with a Canon Digital Rebel … and I’m just a web designer. Keep up the great photos and mastering of your craft. People are drawn to beautiful stuff, regardless the medium. And your stuff is beautiful. Proof is in the pudding and I’m glad to see you showcasing so many beautiful shots so people can have confidence that you guys are the real deal.


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