Wedding Photography

My niece Rachel got married on the weekend. My granddaughters were flower girls.

I took along my tiny Lumix camera (see above,) but for most part I tried to stay out of the way of the wedding photographers and videographer doing their very capable jobs.

I did get to see a lot about how wedding photography (?) has evolved in the past decade or so. Some rather cranky observations follow:

  • The pros stick to real cameras. They are packing mirrorless now. The old SLR is history. The still photogs used Canon and the video guy had a Sony. They all used secondary light sources (i.e. a big powerful flash.)
  • The pro photos tended to be taken with a longer range zoom lens at greater distances than I remember from past weddings. Why this is I don’t know.
  • I was glad I packed my own little Lumix instead of my Nikon SLR kit as I would have looked like an impossible photo nerd otherwise. As it was, I probably had the only amateur camera at the festivities.
  • Which brings me to the other so-called photography – whoa! There was an incredible amount of quantity versus quality going down.
  • Everybody else at the wedding was using Smartphones. Millions of bad photos and videos were recorded. People took stuff during the wedding ceremony which I think is gauche. At least they were polite enough to kill the flashes. Otherwise it would have looked like an Adele concert and driven the real photographers nuts.
  • During the dinner and dancing folks were doing selfies, still photos and videos in bad light without a flash. I am sure the phones’ computational photography might help – but gimme a break. I saw videos taken without even looking – just hold your phone at waist height, point it toward the dance floor, and record. Using a weak flash at a distance of 10 meters in semi darkness used to be a recipe for disaster. Today they just keep on shooting.
  • I also discovered for the zillionth time why I would never want to be a professional wedding photographer. The pressure to be nice, meet all the expectations, take flattering portraits of old folks with the radiant and beautiful bride must be incredible. Spare me.

When the pros called it an evening the snapshot and video frenzy carried on. I hope the happy couple gets the benefit of these additional 100,000 pics. They might get a couple of good ones.

The wedding venue was lovely so I contented myself with a few landscape shots without people. Not many other folks did that. But that is my shtick.

I have often lamented the fact that photography appears to be a dying art today – especially amateur photography. Thank goodness for the pros – at least Rachel and Dan will have something nice to look at when they celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Published by Ray MacDonald

Ray MacDonald is a retired food scientist who lives in Almonte, ON.
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