In the past most people only ever got the chance to be photographed professionally for the dreaded school photo, at a wedding or if you were really unlucky those family photo places where you get to sit in front of a range of hideous back drops having a dozen photos taken while you pretend you actually like your family. Oh yes my mum’s house is adorned with family photos from Olan Mills where my stroppy teenage face can just about be seen from behind my strategically arranged hair.
Now you can have book a photographer for practically, anything not just your wedding but for a pre-wedding, post-wedding, trash the dress, trash the suit, one year anniversary, love shoot, maternity shoot, birth shoot (actually in the delivery suite, I shit you not), newborn shoot, family shoot ……… how long before we just start getting photographers at funerals?
Hey I’m all for it, I love getting dressed up and posing in front of a camera (well actually my husband is the main instigator of photoshoots, he’s a massive poser) but I think that maybe we need to stop kidding ourselves and stop labeling these shoots as though we are trying to some how justify the fact we are doing them. When you start seeing zombie inspired engagement shoots I think the gig is up. The whole exercise isn’t about you getting married or celebrating your enegagement it’s about you wanting to do something daft/creative because it seems like a giggle and you had this time with a photographer as part of your package (and you might get featured on a blog).
Some people just want their fifteen minutes of fame, they want to do something that will catch the attention of someone with a platform so they can have their face splashed about for a bit. I doubt very much without the internet, social media and blogs that people would be putting so much effort into these photoshoots, some people must be spending almost a grand with the props, hair, make-up, clothes etc.
So what’s my point? I’m sure I had one. Oh yeah:-
1) It’s ok to be a poser and it’s ok to be a bit vain. We’re always so bloody self-effacing and when it’s false modesty it’s so transparent. If you want to get dressed up and play ‘next top model’ for a few hours just do it.
2) Don’t slag off those people who do, at least they have the guts to do something they want
3) Stop calling zombiefied engagement shoots,’ engagement shoots’ because they aren’t and you’re not fooling anyone. I’m not trying to quash creativity but I just want people to be honest about their motives and maybe we can save the world from boring photography. By getting this type of thinking outside of the wedding world and into the wider photographic world we may never have to see another overexposed, white back dropped, spot colour photosession again!
Oh Shoot the Couple was an idea from my husband who after being involved in a few shoots for student photographers thought there should be some dating service for photographers and people who are happy to volunteer to be photographed. I’m not sure about the idea but I love the name.