What is the future of wedding photography?
This is a really interesting one to ponder on. Especially if I’m booking my wedding photographer two years in advance. What will the future hold? Will there be new fangled tech that I’d be interested in? For example, let’s hope you’re not booking a photographer that offers your images on disk. Goodness me. (Laptops are starting to drop the old cd readers these days anyway, let alone the file size restrictions that a cd/dvd is limited to. Don’t get me started). Even USB’s are dated, and digital delivery of your images is in. Who knows what could be next.
In the last few years we’ve seen changes to the photography industry. Changes that our Bride’s and Grooms aren’t necessarily noticing, such as the resurgence of film photography, and the rise of what we’re calling “hybrid shooters” – who photograph a wedding day with both digital and film cameras, and match the look of the images in post-processing. We’ve seen mirrorless cameras get to a point where they provide a real option for photographers looking to switch to a lighter, smaller kit, allowing them to ditch the extra weight of their big digital SLRs – and as some of our photographer friends have noted, they don’t stick out like a sore thumb with big camera gear, but rather blend in with the guests a lot easier. But what about trends that affect the Brides and Grooms? Trends that change the products or services on offer, or the medium that it’s delivered in. Let’s look at a few.
Drone aerial photography
Drone photography has soared to new heights (bad pun, sorry!) this past year, providing brave wedding videographers with a tool get get some amazing wide footage, but will we see that cross over into still photography? Drone cameras do have the ability to shoot still images, and if wedding photographers start taking a look into it, the crazy images they could create will be endless, and the possibility of filming a few nuggets of video at the same time seems like an easy option to offer as a bonus. But with drone cameras comes other issues, such as extended set up time, so the need to allow much more time in the middle of a wedding day for portraits. Oh, and there’s also the big risk of a drone going rogue and flying into the Bride and Grooms faces. Agghhhhh!!
Video Replacing Still Photography
Now that we see wedding films of great quality, telling great stories, and dropping the cheesiness that is usually associated with wedding films, is the future of wedding day coverage actually films and not photographs? We believe into 2017 we’ll see more and more couples choosing to add video into their day, but I think the point where photography is scratched from the wedding day completely is a very long time away, and there’ll always be a place for wedding photographers at weddings. There’s something very timeless about a photograph.
Unplugged ceremonies are a bit of a trend that see the Bride and Groom asking guests to keep the camera or phone tucked away during the ceremony, allowing the professional photographers to do their job – without any potential wildcards, if you will. It’s always nice to receive a photo from your photographers of the front row guests watching the ceremony, with tears in their eyes, rather than a photo showing all your guests holding up cameras, watching the wedding through their camera’s tiny viewfinder, or worse, faces blocked by those massive iPads and their cases.
What’s our view on this? Well, it’s entirely up to the couple really, and what they would prefer – we don’t push for either way. We totally understand that being the Mother-of-the-bride and being told you can’t take photos must really suck, but we’ve also missed shots before by having ambitious guests jump into the isle with their cameras just as the first kiss happens, completely blocking our view. In the end, we document the events of the day as they naturally happen. Weddings are unscripted, and live of course, so we certainly embrace that.
We’ve had some couple’s in the past that have decided to go semi-unplugged – for lack of a better term – asking their guests that, if they take photos, not to post them online for a fortnight, so that the first images that they see from their wedding can be the professional images. The other extreme is to embrace a “plugged-in” wedding, encouraging your guests to take photos and share them under your own hastag, such as #jessanddave.
Hashtag and Embrace
Create your own hashtag (that doesn’t seem to be in use across the social media platforms) and go wild. Have your guests post their images to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the like, giving you something to look through during your post-wedding day breakfast. There’s also a few apps specific for collecting images from your wedding day, such as Wedding Snap, Wedding Party, Capsule, etc.
A method like this allows you to see some images a lot quicker than waiting the few weeks for your professional photos, but of course, the images are usually quite amateur-ish. If you were worried about how your arms will look in the photos, you can almost guarantee that the weird angle that guests take photos from may won’t be overly flattering.
What if, in the future, you could see your professional images sooner. On the wedding day, even. We’ve been toying with the idea of using an assistant to shadow us during the wedding day, editing and posting a select few images on the go. This would be made possible by new technology cameras that have built-in wifi and such. It would mean the primary shooter would send across an image or two every now and then, and with a quick edit, the assistant would be able to “live” post those images to Instagram. Imagine the possibility of your guests being able to follow a hashtag throughout the whole day, following along with your ‘getting ready’ shots, or the ‘portrait shots’ from the middle of the day while they wait for the reception to start. Kind of like they’re “live-tracking” the wedding. Is this part of the future of wedding photography?
We’re keen to start experimenting with live-blogging images we’re shooting on a wedding day, so if you’re interested at all in being a part of it, let us know!!
Same Day Album Delivery
Oh dear, this one is loco. It is possible, as you’ll see in the video below, so it’s definitely a possible future trend so we must mention it, but having talked to James Day, the photographer behind this, it’s quite an elaborate task to pull off. What you’ll see is James Day and his wife delivering a finished wedding album to the Couple, James’ wife’s twin sister and her husband, the night of the wedding. The. Same. Day! James had a full team behind him on this: editors working on the images as they’re shot, album designers piecing it all together as the day progresses. It even involved sponsorship from several companies, to get the gear needed for such a mammoth task. A task so big, it won’t be repeated too often at all. Take a look.
So What Does This All Mean?
In the end, I think that us as wedding photographers, are slowing evolving into something I would liken more to the title of ‘creative directors’, meaning, the future may not be as simple as photographers using just the one camera to create the one format of image, but rather using any means of tools / apps / etc, to document a wedding day in the best way possible.
What do you think the future is for documenting a wedding day? Click the like button to share this article and leave a comment.
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