I had a phenomenal shoot with a great couple a few weekends ago and I also had a chance to chat with a relative of the bride that told me they loved my work. Talk about a fun filled night for me :)
She had seen my website and really loved how I captured “the feel” of the day. She also mentioned that my work really stood out on WeddingWire and the Knot. When I asked her why she thought that was, she said:
“Your work is natural. The brides all look beautiful, but you can tell that you just captured these beautiful shots. You didn’t pose them and make them look all awkward.”
While part of that is true, I have to tell you, yes, I did create those looks. I didn’t magically happen onto a bride looking gorgeous the entire day and snap the perfect shot, every single time. Let’s not kid ourselves; if you are a professional photographer, you know how many raw shots go into one “perfect” one. But that got me to thinking about something I think a lot of “purist” photographers are really, really wrong about. If you’re a great photographer, great. If you have an eye for capturing beautiful rule-of-thirds images and can recite reciprocal exposure back in under 3.2 seconds, awesome! But if you want to be a wedding photographer, you have to know post processing. Pure and simple.
I say this because today’s modern brides don’t want to stand in front of a 80’s inspired partially grey backdrop while you get your soft box all set up. And you position their arm just so. And you have the groom put his hands on her shoulders…you get where I’m going with this.
Today’s modern brides want you to capture their beauty, not make them feel awkward (that’s shows in the images, by the way). They want their shots to look perfect, but also natural. Well, to do that, you need to know how to do all the fun (and I’m not being sarcastic here) retouching work that used to only be expected at high fashion magazines and print ad agencies. Learn about skin softening. Learn liquify. If you don’t, the market and your clients are going to pass you by for someone who does.