Entries in blog (2)


ATL Bound

So this was a surprise, but after spending a very quick work weekend in Atlanta it's definitely a city I want to go back and explore at a later date.  Head over to my travel blog for some quick insights, though :)

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The death of black and white?

When I was in college, black and white photography was considered to be the pinnacle of the trade, with that perfect black and white photo being what you always wanted to achieve. Even with the introduction of digital practices, you were still expected to create a photo that would "last", so to speak. You're taught to think in black and white, even when you're shooting in color, which allows you to understand the basics of composition and light, among other things. Shooting/developing black and white processes has always spoken to me that way, and still does on a regular basis. I guess that's why I've been a little surprised (and a lot dismayed) at the current turn of events at the photography studio I work at lately.

In the last few months, I've been in charge of submitting the studio's images to different blogs and publications in the hopes of receiving a feature.
This is a normal practice for most successful photographers in the wedding industry - not only is it free advertising (usually), but in the age of Pinterest, Instagram, etc., today's engaged couples have millions of wedding planning blogs to turn to, and you want to get your name (and your work) out there. Popular sites such as Two Bright Lights make this a one step process (they allow the photographer to submit their images to multiple publications at once, but also allow them to notify other vendors who worked the wedding or event in the hopes that they may want professional images), but you can also go through the blogs directly, such as the submission process for Style Me Pretty.
After submitting, we get one of two emails. The first is the "Congratulations! We'll be sharing your images!" email, which is always lovely to get. The second is the "I'm sorry, your images will not be used at this time" email, which is always disappointing. It's the second email that's been nagging at me lately, and not just because of the no - it's more often the reason behind the no. Sometimes it has to do with the amount of effects the studio uses, which I understand, especially with recent trends going towards a softer, more film-like approach (more on this subject later this week). What I don't understand? Almost all of them include the same suggestion: "Try using less black and white images, and then resubmit". Some websites/blogs/publications are going a bit farther, by putting "No black and white images"/"Submissions featuring black and white images will be ignored" into their instructions before you even submit to them.

There is a part of me that understands; black and white photography, especially within the digital landscape, can sometimes be used as a way to make a bad photo look, if not good, better. And when it comes to a print publication that is used to printing color, having one image in a feature black and white can seem out of place from a design standpoint. But in the world of wedding blogs, which usually feature between ten to a hundred images from an event in one post, completely nixing a submission because they feature a few black and white photos... well, that seems rather heavy handed. Especially now that a digital photographer can choose to shoot in black and white (rather than editing it in later), just like their film predecessors did before them (which makes the argument that digital black and white photos aren't really "black and white" null and void).

During consults here at the studio, one of the most popular questions we get asked is whether or not the couple-to-be will be receiving images in black and white, to which we answer - "yes"! Most brides and grooms walk into a consult with an idea of what their wedding portrait will look like, and in most cases, when asked to describe it, it's in black and white. The black and white photo is both classic and modern, which is why I've been so upset to find that some blogs are shoving it to the side in favor of the more "real" color photo. The trend lately for wedding blogs is to post more photos of the details rather than of the couple - which arguably puts black and white photos at a disadvantage, because how will you know the bride matched her flowers to the antique jewelry that hung from the mason jars in her eighteenth century barn ceremony space IF IT ISN'T IN COLOR?!? And although I understand, the fact of the matter is that we've got couples asking for black and white photographs, and most wedding blogs/publications are missing out on sharing some beautiful photographs solely because of their color format.

In the end, I don't think I know what bothers me more - that black and white photography is seemingly being thrown to the wayside as something that bad photographers hide behind, or because bloggers are portraying it as a medium that isn't as popular as color. In either case, when it comes to photography, there's always more than one option.

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