I have always been viewed as a “Big Kid” among my friends and families. I have my swinging moods, my endless questions, my annoying curiosity, and I talk more than I listen, and worse, I’m always doing the opposite.
In photography, I have gone through being a truly commercialized wedding photographer, shot dozens and dozens of couples in a year till you literally forget their names, faced fierce back-biting from fellow competitors in the industry and being called names. In those days, I have also earned enough to own many expensive equipments, ran 1 gallery and 1 studio at a time, and spent massively in advertising.
But now, I am telling you, “It’s always good to be like a child once again!”
I ask myself so frequently, “Why am I doing what I am doing?”, “Why did I ever pick up photography?” and “Why did I become a wedding photographer?” As for the last question, my answer is “I like to see people happy!”
Being a child again means, we’ve gotta get back to basics. We have to return to our roots. We have to love what we do and do what we love! We must be pure in our intentions. We have to be honest to ourselves and to the ones we love. We ought to be simple. We also have to be darn curious about everything. We ought to be sensitive to everything around us, our own feelings, others’ feelings. Bottom line – We have to be sincere.
Commercialization in weddings takes away it’s original true meaning. As wedding photographers, we should feel honored that we are chosen to document someone’s once-in-a-lifetime event. We should remain faithful to it’s original intention and meaning – documenting it in it’s happiest form! NOT use it to selfishly win recognition through awards to gain personal fame and glory.
Every wedding is already different by itself. We don’t have to try to make it more different. In trying too hard to make things different, we end up showing off more of the photographer’s gimmicks than the couple’s true joy. Now, before some industry award winners start shooting me, I am not saying awards are bad. Winning awards from established wedding photography organizations can motivate us to learn and improve our skills and give us more confidence to come out with more masterpieces. But I am talking about our intentions.
Don’t sacrifice your wedding couples. If all you are looking out for through your viewfinder on a wedding day is award-winning shots, you sure miss many simple but important and necessary document shots. Believe me, an artistically blurred movement shot of the back of a bride for example, won’t be more important than a F8 sharp smiling posed shot of the bride and her dad. Before you know it, dad won’t be around anymore. People die. We all die.
If I only live to win recognition, I’d rather die.