Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Lessons from an iPhone Instagram Wedding Photographer

I really enjoyed reading Morning Coffee with an Instagram Wedding Photographer, a harrowing discussion between a "real" (DSLR and bags of gear toting) photographer versus Kevin an iPhone (toting only an extra iPhone) photographer. What's more, I've found the piece to be surprisingly thought provoking.

The most obvious question: is Kevin a joke? I mean, could people really be paying him to shoot their weddings with a cell phone and post the results on Instagram? Well, it's been done before, and from the look of the photos pretty successfully. Perhaps Kevin is just riding a sort of hipster photography trend, where the main stream wedding photography methods are eschewed for what he offers. But that speaks more toward Kevin's clients, then Kevin himself. And if he's filling a niche, good for him.

Besides, and one of the commentators caught this, what about the One Camera, One Lens philosophy. If Kevin had showed up with a Leica MP and 35mm f/2 Summicron lens, he'd be (in some circles) a rock star. In fact, Kevin's going one step further, not only shooting with one camera, and one lens, but one aperture! Take that, composition-is-key-lenses-are-a-crutch crowd.

And what about other wedding photography firsts? Like the first time digital was used for a wedding, or the first time 35mm film was used. It took a Kevin to try each of these approaches, and I'm sure he was laughed off the stage by the pros then. But who's laughing now?

So, is Kevin a joke? At the end of the day, there's only one way to answer that: look at how his clients react to their photos. If the customer loves them, no. If the customer hates them, and was seduced by buzzwords, then yeah.

And of course, the thinking above applies to any new and disruptive technology (like say, 3D printing). Results. It's all about results.

Thanks to my friend Erin for being a great sounding board on this article.

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