Miss a day in posting due to busy work schedule. Here’s a shot from my archives which I still love till today… some shots just last through time…
Still thinking of how to compile my portfolio, it’s all over the place, badly needs organizing. Here’s a photo for the day. If I don’t start the ball rolling, nothing will ever get done. That’s life.
My blog has been void of wedding images for a long while now. If you have been following my blog, you would have known that I have quit from shooting weddings as my main genre since last year.
What I basically did was I cut down the number of weddings I shoot to about less than 6 a year, in order to rediscover my passion in photography and re-learn photography all over again.
My life has been so much more fruitful since then and I am enjoying photography like a fresh new enthusiast once again after more than 10 years in the business. I realized there’s still so much to learn, and there’s so much I have been missing out as a professional all these years.
The “professional” label is lame. It means nothing more than you are making money out of photography and you are dependent on it for livelihood. It certainly does not necessarily mean you are skilled, knowledgeable and passionate in today’s context. If the level of judgment/fussiness by our clients in this part of the world suddenly increase by 50%, I guess more than 1/2 of the professionals around us might be facing unemployment.
Doing photography as a job is entirely different from living photography as a lifestyle. Doing photography as a job is to meet the standards of our clients. Living photography as a lifestyle is to constantly strive to reach higher standards set by ourselves.
A painter won’t choose to paint a same painting over and over again in his life if he’s an artist. I can’t paint the same stuff over and over again either. Shooting less weddings enable me to focus better on each job and personalize my brush strokes, my eyes for each wedding. NOT looking at other wedding photographers’ works IS a MUST in carving out your own style.
Guess it’s about time I update my portfolio. Here’s just one photograph for the day to start with. (I must admit I have a self-discipline problem to tackle)
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.