Actual Day Wedding Photography Gone Wrong

I had witnessed an excessive sharing of this actual day wedding photo album in Facebook around the second quarter of year 2016. Many people probably thought it was funny and I had to admit that I laughed when I first saw them too. The "special effect" applied and the unglamorous expressions with some literally eye-rolling shots triggered most of the humours.

The then newlyweds signed up for a wedding package at a studio at a low price. The wedding studio somehow set a budget of $350 for 10 hours of actual day wedding photography and definitely could not assign a good photographer for the couple. Eventually, the couple received 800 plus photographs before they uploaded around 21 of the photographs that sparked the internet sensation. The couple then got sponsored for free photoshoot from some companies (good marketing for the companies) and some people thought the couple were being cheapskate.

There are, however, some facts everyone should take note instead of simply mocking at the photographer and the uploaded photographs:

  1. These are probably the worst photographs in the entire album
    "We just wanted to share some of these hilariously bad photos with everyone" - the "victim" mentioned.

    We do not know the difference between the owner's taste for "bad" and "hilariously bad" for sure. The rest of the 800 plus photographs are likely not as "bad" as these 21 "worst" ones. Do not let these unglamorous photographs give you the idea that the entire album contains photographs of such quality.
  2. There will always be unglamorous photographs taken
    Everyone's eyes will blink and some people will roll their eyes when they are smiling excessively. I have personally experienced subjects showing unglamorous looks at the point of time I have clicked the shutter button, which is inevitable. What I usually do is to take a few more photographs every time if it is an important moment, which eventually causes me to spend more time in filtering very similar photographs.
  3. Not all pretty and handsome "models" can present themselves well
    Sometimes, standing in front of the camera, even the hottest faces can turn blank and the sexy bodies can look awkward. And yes, during event shoot, if you and your guests are not professional models, do not always expect yourself to present yourself well in every photograph.
  4. The unglamorous photographs may be given on purpose
    Some photographers do give humorous (slightly unglamorous) photographs to their clients, but of course, not if the subjects appear too ugly. There is a limit to it and every photographer has different tolerance.

    There is also a chance that the photographer wants to increase the number of photographs because some clients are particular about quantity. This is the reason why I do not hesitate to push away clients who insist me to give them an estimated number of photographs during discussion - I would rather not earn the money than to have my photography work be affected and eventually spoiling my own reputation.

    Lastly, some clients would rather receive all the photographs unfiltered - they want to get all photographs, including the bad ones (blurred, unglamorous, badly exposed). This may also affect some photographers' decision. Of course, professional photographers are likely to reject such demanding request.
  5. Many newbie make the same post-processing "mistakes"
    I am referring to the de-saturation of certain parts of some of the photographs. The photographer is probably trying to create a certain mood, which in the eyes of most people, has failed badly. Art work is subjective though.
  6. Others' opinions do affect one's judgement
    Heard about peer pressure? It is an obvious mistake to everyone since others are sharing the photographs in a humorous tone. However, if the "victim" has not mentioned anything unpleasant about the album, the reaction about the post-processing won't be as strong because not everyone knows how to tell the quality of photographs.

    I have many freelance photo model friends in my Facebook and I often get to see their new photoshoot work. Some photographs taken by amateur photographers may have similar quality, but I have seen many other "photographers" singing praises to the photographs due to the hot models and their cleavages. How many people with good taste for photographs would dare to voice out and risk offending the models and photographers? Eventually, the comments will affect judgement.

    I was not a good critic of photographs before I started doing photoshoot and I am fortunate that a commercial makeup artist has given me some good lessons. In fact, I am still learning and I am still ways behind her expectation. How many photographers are as lucky as me?
  7. No cheaper, faster, better
    Cheap stuffs may not necessary mean bad, however, in many cases, expensive ones are better.

    The total price for an actual day wedding photography is at least a thousand dollars. According to some of the experienced photographers I have spoken to, the minimum market rate for event shoot is $150/hr. That is to say, if you are paying for a $2000 or $3000 wedding package from a studio for your wedding gowns, hair and makeup and photography, how much will the hair and makeup artist and photographer receive and what kind of end products would you expect? Let us be realistic.

    In this case, the photographer was given only $350 for 10 hours of photography work. 10 hours did not include the travelling time, time for filtering and editing the photographs. The $350 is not even 25% of the market rate of $1500.

    Some kind friends have suggested me to approach bridal studios to tie up for business since there is a long stretch of them near my house. I do not think I should be underpaid with probably just one-third of the market rate or less, given the quality of my work. If I can stand such insults (getting low pay), I would have taken up the many low budget enquiries I have been receiving and done a half-effort job for each of them. No, that is not my style of working.

This is eventually a good lesson for everyone, especially new photographers and non-photographers. New photographers should understand that this style of editing does not look flattering to most people. As for non-photographers, all of them should realise that photography does not come cheap.

When anyone wants to sign up for any photoshoot package with a wedding or photography company, do request the company to showcase the portfolio of the photographer who will be assigned for the actual shoot. Also, make sure there is no last-minute changes of photographer unless the photographer falls sick.



Sources:

- The bride's post
https://www.facebook.com/jaclynyjy/media_set?set=a.10153623323097099.1073741828.650062098

- The photographer's post
https://www.facebook.com/chungsiew.goh/posts/467425530122121

- Todayonline:
After online infamy, wedding photographer apologises for 'terrible photos'

- Redwiretimes
"Cheap, Shameless Newly-Weds Cried Wolf to Extort Freebies from Bridal Studio"



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