"Do you do weddings?"
"Do you do weddings?" Solid question. The answer... it depends.
The photography industry recommends that photographers find an area of focus and stay there. "Be an expert in that space, be the one that stands out among the rest, be the one that can educate his or her peers, and be the one that masters all the appropriate skills within that genre".
I agree with that sentiment to a point. Far be it for me to consider myself an expert at this stage in the game but I do feel confident saying some skills can be transferred from one area of focus to another, while others, maybe not as much.
Take for example children and families. With Children being my main focus and families a close second.
Children are magical, curious, and funny little people. They do their own thing, they look their own way, they will either follow direction or they won't. To photograph children well, a photographer must be flexible, nimble, and patient. Typically the desired results being a connection with either the viewer or perhaps what they are doing at the moment, emotion, and timeless images.
Families are a beautiful, chaotic, and diverse group of people. They also have their own ways, need direction and guidance, and have dynamics that make them unique. To photograph families well, a photographer must be flexible, provide directive, and .. be patient. Typically the desired results being connections with each other and their family unit, emotion, and timeless images.
Let's switch it up a bit and talk about Architectural photography. With the subject of images being beautiful structures that are commonly quite tall, sedentary, and beautiful, there isn't much need for direction, posing, or prompting. Patience probably isn't a key skill to photographing structures (though, let's be real, we need this for life in general! haha), yet perspective and practicing composition is absolutely everything when it comes to architecture. Whereas, photographing Children and Families, you MIGHT be able to break some common rules to focus on the connections you're making in your images. For Architecture photography, typically the desired result being an image that captures a broader audiences attention, promotional materials, unique and strong perspectives.
It's true, there are a lot of photography guidelines that apply to ALL types of photography. Exposure, Composition, Perspective, etc. but when it comes to which subject you are capturing, you're going to need different skills or at least some transferable ones that allow you to make the transition.
So - "Do you do weddings?"
What exactly are we trying to capture at a wedding? Connections, Emotions, Timeless Images... see what I did there? I transferred my skills.
Then, yes, yes I do weddings.
I've done a couple. Very small, unique, intimate, and beautiful weddings. The focus being the bride and groom, their family and friends, and the experience. Typically these weddings are low key, not on a hurried schedule, and pretty laid back.
But if you are looking for a photographer to capture a wedding for 10 bridesmaids and 15 groomsmen, 6 flower girls, and a massive show for the world to see, then I am probably not the right photographer for you. It isn't that I don't love large weddings but I don't move fast enough, I don't have the grit for a fast paced wedding, nor the desire to be just an observer.
I prefer to be a part of what I am capturing. An influence in what images I create and capture. I want to be right in the guts of it, being able to smell her perfume, see his freckles, and share their intimacy, so that I can capture those precious moments. I want to help ease the nerves but be part of the excitement. Being able to achieve this means doing things on a much smaller scale. This also allows me to transfer my skills as a Children and Family photographer with an ease that makes it comfortable for all of us.
If you'd ever like to see if we are a good match, just shoot me an email :)