The classic saying “Too much of a good thing is never a good thing” had never felt this true to me. Not until I sat my laptop down to start crafting this article and suddenly a heavy rush of many different topics flew through this old and rusty mind of mine. And just like a 1976 Datsun with too much gasoline flooding its spark plugs (another proof of the above saying ), my brain engine stalled, creaked a long eerie gut-wrenching squeak, and dropped dead. It simply couldn’t choose, all topics sounded good. So I thought, $¢µ€ŵ the magazine, and let this one be a laid-back multi-topic conversation, without the usual seriousness you normally find in my articles (kidding guys ).
I Think Most People Don’t Really Need SLRs
Come on now folks. You go on a full instant noodle diet for two long months. You flat out lie to your wife and tell her that the expensive camera you’re buying is solely for capturing her beauty day in and day out. (Sidebar trivia: there might be TWO lies in the previous sentence ). You skip work, call in sick (boy, your lies are piling up, eh? ), and purchase that state-of-the –art SLR you’ve been drooling for at your friendly neighborhood camera shop. (cue drumroll here)
And you do what??? You set it on Auto, leaving the camera to choose and set its ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, picture control, and a zillion other manual settings envied by pocket camera users. You even leave it to the camera to choose which object it should focus on by setting it to Multi Area Focus. You then set your camera to keep the photos in its lowest resolution possible to save on memory card storage. And although you could make big prints out of them, you never do.
Topping the list: you say that you’d never change lenses as you fear that dust might get into your interchangeable-lens camera!
I Think Some People Really “Need” SLRs
No it’s not a typo
Go visit a shopping mall, any shopping mall, in its rather busier hour. Take a normal breath (doesn’t have to be a deep one, you’ll see ) and hold it in. While holding your breath, look around and try to spot a visitor with an SLR draped around his/her neck. Unless you’re visually challenged (or you’re holding your breath in the mall’s parking lot), the odds say you’ll live to read my next article (my gain, your loss ).
I once saw a cool looking fellow strolling the mall oh-so-confidently with his entry-level SLR hanging freely in front of his chest, complete with his basic 70-300 lens zoomed all the way to its longest setting. I honestly thought that it was purely unintentional, and I simply assumed that the lens zoom mechanism was loose and it had crept out accidently. So imagine how hard my jaw dropped when the fellow stopped, checked his lens (that apparently had crept back in a little) and zoomed it to its longest setting again! (Moron factor. Check!)
I Think Manual Books Kill Trees!
I strongly feel that manufacturers should just leave out manual books when they ship cameras. People just don’t read manuals.
If you say you do, then stop setting your camera to Manual FOCUS mode when I mean Manual METERING mode. (Gosh, photography is hard enough, let the camera handle the focusing, our eyes just cannot match the accuracy of the camera focusing system).
If you say you do, then stop asking why you cannot get every object (of different distances relative to the camera) in your frame in focus, though you had set the camera to Evaluative Metering mode!
I Think Some Customers WANT Bad Pictures
They search for the cheapest photographers. They’d prefer vendors they meet at the cut-throat wedding conventions over vendors they’d have to meet personally. They force their so-called “concept” into the photographers. They don’t listen to the photographer’s advices. They must want bad pictures
I Think Indonesia is the Best and Worst Place for Photography
Top notch sceneries. Top notch gangsta’-like securities. Enough said
Hands down, one of the most joyful weddings we’ve ever covered! The couple, the family, the groomsmen, the bridesmaid, they all made the whole day feel like a nice summer breeze ^_^
It’s that time of the year again, the wedding edition of Jakarta Magazine! ^_^
To me, shooting weddings is a real love-and-hate game. Hate the lengthy gear preparation the night before (charging 22 batteries is a buzz-kill ). Hate the fact that I have to wake up before I’m even officially asleep (gosh, how a 3-am make up session does wonder to your sleep quality). Hate the overly annoying family members, who think they’re better shooters than your beloved photographer here. (Yes lady, I checked out your FB page! Your pictures (censored by the magazine editor!)
On the flip side, love the ice-breaking conversations I have with the nervous bride so early in the day, and that first smile of hers I get on camera. Love the reaction on people’s faces when I show them the pictures I just took. Love the moment when a super-cool dad breaks down in tears realizing he’s no longer the number one guy in his baby daughter’s life (Dads, no worries, you’ll always be her favorite, forever ).
Now, the love got me into the business. And despite the hate, the love keeps me in. And despite the constant protests from my old failing body, the love drags me back in. And as I once said in one of my Facebook posts, I wish that I could be a part of this, forever.
So it really broke my heart to see the oh-now-so-many heartless wanna-be wedding photographers starting their business with a huge huge bang (think gigantic stand in every wedding exhibition, with prices so low you’d swear they’re subsidized by the government ), and ending the very same business not a year or two later, driven to the ground by the endless disgruntled clients they let down. Making matters worse, unlike other choices in life, choosing a wedding photographer isn’t a choice you could easily correct further down the road, as you’d usually realize your mistake on your wedding day, or after, way too late to do anything.
And, by the very same token, most couple looking for a wedding photographer, simply don’t have the know-hows to successfully gauge a photographer they’re about to hire. Read on, this article might just help you.
Don’t be fooled by a few nice photographs. Make sure you ask to see enough of their portfolio. Ask how many weddings are exactly under their belts, and get the pictures to back up their answer. You don’t want inexperienced newbies photographing your once-in-a-life-time event.
Identify and convey to them the pictures that you like and the ones you dislike, and why. Take a little control on how your pictures will turn out.
Find out what the process is like with your pictures, and how long the process takes. Wedding pictures are so much less fun to look at if they’re only delivered to you a year after your wedding.
Ask around, ask around, ask around. Go to review sites, and look for comments on your photographer.
Find couples that used their service before, and kindly shoot them a nice e-mail. They’re the best source of information on your photographers. Don’t forget to send them a warm thank-you note after your wedding.
The Meet and Greet
But nothing beats your own guts. You need photographers that click with you, they’ll spend the whole day with you . You want photographers that can take pictures as you see them in your head. So insist on meeting the photographer before you sign that contract.
Good photographers would always want to see who they’re going to shoot, so they can start drafting that concept in their head. So, mid-way into the conversation, ask how they would imagine shooting your day, and the feedback should give you a better understanding on us, photographers. We’re always happy to share our concept and ideas with you. Just pay for our meal and drink, we’re making a lot less profits than you think.