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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Day 7 - And on the Seventh Day, they...worked their butts off...

In Allentown, Pennsylvania there is a fabulous photo retailer - Dan's Camera City . Dan's is one of the most forward thinking and customer oriented photo retail outlets I have ever known. It even has its own 'University' where classes are regularly programmed to teach their customers the principles, techniques and processes connected with so many aspects of their photography. For this reason, Creative Photo Workshops became a part of the scenery. Yes, Glynn and I found ourselves, of all places, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. We were there to run three separate workshops. They became four before we left. More on that later. The first of them was our Creative Wedding Photography workshop
The wedding workshop is perhaps the most difficult for us in some ways. In fact, it can even become a little awkward at times. It is difficult because there is always a keenness to shoot the setups Glynn and I establish - which is fine - except that there has to be time for explanation too and this workshop requires a little more patience than some other workshops. It is also difficult because there is an expectation on our part that our customers have already attained a certain level of prowess and knowledge in their photography before they take on the responsibilities of wedding photography. Glynn and I have never run a wedding workshop in which at least some of those who have attended have returned for our Understanding Your Camera workshop so that they can learn about shutter speeds and apertures. For us, this is a real eye opener. And, once again, it proved to be the case in Allentown among some of those who attended. For some, a basic understanding of metering was not present, and so much of the time was simply spent establishing shots in which lessons on proper incident or spot metering techniques were necessary. Unfortunately, that is time taken from the more specific aspects of wedding photography, such as posing and managing the shoot. This is not a criticism of our customers. Rather, it is an education for us, alerting us to some of the misconceptions about modern photography. The whole "take 4000 pictures on Auto and hope for the best' mentality is somewhat pervasive within that aspirational new collective of neophyte wedding photographers. It is an entirely inappropriate and unprofessional approach to the couple's Day of Days, but that is the fault of the industry, not entirely the photographers themselves Every time we run our wedding photography workshop it is adapted for those specifically in attendance, which is fine, but wedding photography has unique difficulties and challenges associated with it that we prefer to spend more time addressing. I never get to actually shoot much at a wedding workshop, which in this case was ashame as Mike, the owner of Dan's Camera City, had arranged for a wonderful location with some beautiful lighting opportunities and I would have loved to gone a little ballistic, I have to tell you....

If becoming a wedding photographer is something you aspire to, become proficient with your camera manually. No racing driver has only an automatic licence for his car, and it could be said that wedding photography is the Speed Racing equivalent of professional photography. 

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The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

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