Photographic Style, Filters and Snapchat!
So let’s have a quick chat about photographic style and what that means to you as a couple getting married.
I think here it’s very important to look back at pictures from generations past, what they taught us and what they bring to our mind when we see them. Here you’ve got pictures of my Nan and Grandad getting married, my mum and my dad, my auntie and uncle, my great aunt Pam, and so on. Now, what’s true of all these photos is there is that timelessness to them. Okay, it’s clear from the technology involved and from the way that it’s rendered that you know when it’s from, but they all look elegant. They are classy and they stand the test of time.
Right now in the digital revolution we live in, we are subjected or subject to ourselves to a proliferation of styles and ideas all the time changing what feels like on a daily basis. I, like many others have always wondered, do you go with it? Don’t you? Or do you stand behind elegance and the style that you’ve worked to hone after years of being a photographer.
For me the key is to think back just a few years: we probably all remember that time we went through the Colour Pop revolution. If you don’t remember it in simple terms people took an image, everything was desaturated to monochrome bar one colour, which was the only thing standing out. I look at those photos now and to my eyes, they look dated. They tell of a time around 2008 where digital technology was taking over and technology could be harnessed to produce these with ease. But do they stand the test of time now? If you see one of those images now, what does that tell you? For me an interesting fact is that Google, the market leader at reading what we want, abandoned their colour pop features in 2017 that they had launched with great fanfare. Let’s put it this way: if you don’t like what you see, then it is vitally important that you don’t fall into one of the current trends. Like all these trends this will eventually go out of fashion and then the circle repeats. Your wedding photos need to last forever, and a trend in my opinion isn’t going to help that.
To illustrate this, I’ve taken some of my wedding photos from 2013 and 2014 and put on filters that were on trend and in vogue at the time of their wedding. Some work, some don’t and some are really a bit much: the question is how will they look five to ten years from now if we’re thinking this now?
I think it’s also important we recognise we currently have a proliferation of filtering and the likes of Snapchat filters adding random bunny ears, fake smiles, strange borders and glow to images. Now, are those images ones that you really want to show to your children and your great grandchildren in the years to come? I think probably not. How would we react to seeing pictures of our grandparents with filters overlaid on them in the way that is currently fashionable?
This is why it is important to have a professional wedding photographer. I’m very aware that money does not grow on trees and when it comes to planning a wedding day there are always sacrifices that need to be made. But don’t let photography be one of them. If you don’t believe me read the articles linked below which explain why my brides have told me I was the most important person on their wedding day. Certainly please don’t think that you can cope just with photos taken by guest as they are likely to be covered in filters which can’t be removed.
This therefore is why, when it comes to style, my style is exactly that, it’s MINE!. I don’t fall into fads and I certainly don’t chase the current thinking and stylistic thinking. At the end of the day, we’re always going to try new things, we’re always going to be experimenting to make interesting photos and make them sing that a little bit more. But the base point of all that I do is that your images should last forever and they should always be timeless regardless of when you look at them.
The last thing I would possibly want is for you to turn around, look at your wedding images in 10 years from now and think oh my goodness gracious, what were we thinking? To that end, I’ll be frank and open with you about these things. If you’ve got some ideas about images that are current trends then please do share them with me and let me know what you’re dreaming up. But if I have a concern that they may not live, and they may in a few years be dated then I’ll have that conversation with you.
Ultimately, I’m not just a photographer, I’m also your trusted advisor. I am somebody that is here to make your day perfect, special and to bring memories to life forevermore. And so, while I absolutely understand the value of Snapchat filters and similar it’s also fair to say that I think it’s important, particularly for wedding photography, to put to one side those theories, those ideas, and particularly the results. I believe we should embrace photographs and imagery that will live forever and will tell the story of your day in the years to come with smiles, happiness and love. My aunt actually put it best when I was speaking to her about this topic and I’ll quote her as a result.
“The point is Phil, elegance is timeless. You deliver that every wedding so don’t ever stop doing that. Because if you do I’m getting on a plane to stop you in person!”
For forever, not just today
Style and fads come and go but your wedding photos will be with you forever. That’s why it is SO important they are timeless and elegant.