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  1. #1

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    Photograph as a permanent record of significant event

    I was recently invited to be a "photographer" for a significant event. My colleague (who's in his middle age) has a son (who is 20 something) who was going to propose to his girlfriend. I was there to record this "historical" event. The "son" wanted "good" photographs so his father asked me to do the honor. (which I gladly did) Oh, by the way, she said YES!

    I captured the "moment" and soon after, all the family gathered to congratulate the couple. At which point, all of their younger siblings came, pulled out their camera phones and stood right in front of me nearly completely obstructing my ability to take photographs. It was like they didn't see me (and surely, they didn't care) being a photographer trying to get a shot for the couple and the parents.

    Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised but, to be honest, I was. Apparently, it was far more important for them to capture this "significant event" and shoot it across the "net" to their friends so they know NOW. Megan has to hear before anyone else does because she's my BFF! or something like that... In 30 seconds or less, it was all over the social media and people started responding. I'm pretty sure, in few days, no one will care their friends got engaged....

    I dunno... that was a day I felt old. "They" have different priorities. Now, now, now... got to upload NOW and let the "friends" (quoted for a reason) know now!

    On the flip side, I developed an appreciation for my colleague and his young son's appreciation for a good photograph - to be treasured by them and displayed in the future family room.

    I've actually seen this at weddings, too. People pull out their phone and take a shoot and start tapping.... Somehow, I think priorities are messed up...
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #2

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    welcome to the new world. At my office, the ogden utah daily newspaper, the fotogs have a cartoon up of some guy with a bunch of big cameras and long lenses around his neck telling a bunch of folks with p&s and camera phones to "please let me shoot, I'm a news photographer."

    "So are we" says everyone in the crowd.

  3. #3

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    Ha!
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    I quit doing weddings a few years ago for that exact reason. People don't appreciate great photos and or photographers anymore. Everyone thinks they're a photographer.

  5. #5
    hdeyong's Avatar
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    Now you see why so many people today have the attention span of a gnat.
    I watched a girl the other day, walking down the sidewalk, talking on her cell phone, walk right into a pole.
    They live in a different world, and they can have it. How truly satisfying can anything be, when it's all immediate and disposable?

  6. #6
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Photograph as a permanent record of significant event

    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    I quit doing weddings a few years ago for that exact reason. People don't appreciate great photos and or photographers anymore. Everyone thinks they're a photographer.
    Some years ago I learned an acute lesson from a wedding pro, a guy who was getting $10K per wedding back in the '70s. He was married to my cousin at the time.

    I was standing around with my shiny new Yashica SLR at a family gathering, when he was able to point out to me that my picture would be significantly better by simply standing a few feet different to frame it entirely differently. He was right, of course.

    I decided he could do better with a box Brownie than I could with all the high tech stuff in the world. What he told me, that stuck, is "the photographer is not in the camera."

    Today many people do believe that the photographer is in the camera.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  7. #7
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Smartphone cameras are ephemeral in nature. Pics can languish on those things (like mine!) for eons without seeing the light of day. They cheapen and debase the elegance of traditional studious/learned photography, but at the same time the spontaneity they allow in everyday life is unquestionably a boon that we are hopelessly entwined with. I use my smartphone for photographing things (including cameras, accessories and pricetags) while I go about doing further research, continually poking the phone's camera at whatever takes my fancy. Years ago it used to be a film camera and a LOT of film was wasted doing just those "shopping comparisons".

    There should however, be a rule at weddings that smartphones should not be used to usurp the authority or presence of an official photographer who is being paid to cover the event. The impingement is potentially very troublesome, interfering with the arrangement of the couple, guests, timing, facilities etc. In other words, they should keep well out of his/her way until the official photography is over and done with.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  8. #8
    Jesper's Avatar
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    People will always appreciate a good picture, and some will always believe that a fast picture with equipment technical enough (we all know that if the pictures aren't good we need a newer lens, right?). With the passing of time the good pictures will be more important and the crappy instant ones will vanish from memory.
    I rarely do weddings but when I do I try to scout the place in advance and plan the pictures ahead. There will be a crowd in your way so a small step ladder can be nice to have. You can also bring a camera that stuns the crowd and leave you room to work. A beautiful 8x10 field camera does the trick every time. No-one gets in the way of the shot and I have everybodies attention (you will however be photographed and sent across the net perhaps more than the happy couple but you will have to live with that).

    Perhaps I found it strange in your story that so many people were there to witness the proposal. If you knew about it in advance and they didn't they should hardly have time to react before the question was asked and answered.

  9. #9
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    Well, they left you capture "the moment", which is just a posed shot in fact. Then, after you captured it, they begun the usual habit. If they had prevented you from taking your picture, that would have been bad. After that, I would have gone near the couple and took a picture of all the crowd taking a picture.

    I'm not surprised she said YES, people don't stage all this to say NO. (We don't have "proposing" as an event with a photographer in this country, but no doubt we'll have it as soon as the voice reaches here that in America they have).
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  10. #10

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    If you want a subject to last as an image, make sure you use B&W and process it properly.

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