We all love a good wedding photo! That is right where the problem begins. Good wedding photos are all that we see, Why is that? Let us take a look at one example, the styled photo shoot and our perception of the ideal wedding photo.
I love a styled shoots but whilst they convey the glamour and finesse of perfect photography, these are arranged or staged shoots in the most eye catching of locations. They do give a idealistic impression of how wedding photos should turn out and affect our perception of the ideal wedding photo. Everything is sourced, collaborated and arranged. The best of the best is brought together to give the best possible photos. The images will then go onto the author’s blog or website.
Unfortunately due to social media, sharing and the internet, these images will soon appear out of context and all over the likes of Pinterest and photo sharing websites. Once out of context the “ideal” is easier to believe. These images now on their own have a different meaning. They are no longer bound by their original purpose and just fuel the fire of believability and stereotype the idealistic wedding still further.
It doesn’t end there of course, celebrity weddings, royal weddings, big budget weddings. We fall for these too, share them and get intoxicated by them.
There are too many “perfect” sets of wedding photos and this raises the bar too high for couples wanting to get married and prefer, or “expect”, that set of photos they desire. Disappointment can easily arise when the conditions or budgets for such glamorous locations is not available. Real weddings, unlike “photo shoots”, have very tight time constraints and less than idyllic settings and weather.
Grey overcast and raining, winter weddings, with small roomed venues are less than ideal. It happens! Ceilings can be low or very high creating flash challenges. Room to manouver the camera and guests can be restricted and group shots, almost impossible. It is these weddings that happen everyday but we are constantly reminded of the “ideal”. Styled shoots do nothing to alleviate the truth behind such low budget affairs or where circumstances are less than perfect. It is this ordinary wedding we should be seeing more of. Compact venues, cramped spaces, bad weather.
Alas the big internet search engine does nothing to help here. The more popular results are those with more comments and more shares and more views and links. These “super weddings” get much of this attention, shoving them further up the search engines. Thus the “normal” or “everyday” wedding photos, find themselves lost in the bottomless pit of the world wide web. Do a search for “ordinary wedding” and some rather extraordinary images appear! Need i say more.
This is like human selection. It is human nature to like what society calls “attractive”, for centuries, attractive people have been marrying other attractive people, hence there are fewer less “attractive” people around. That wedding image that seems so perfect, it probably is. Contrived, engineered and forced to the top of the search engines. You may have heard it before, search engines show us what we want to see.!
Don’t feel obliged to spend out on a huge summer wedding, or a location fit for royalty. Make the most of the cubbyholes and compact spaces of a smaller venue. Have more intimate photos taken, perhaps go for a smaller guest list. Perhaps even have a pre-wedding shoot somewhere nice and scenic and then a more relaxed photo shoot on the day. Ultimately in command of our perception of the ideal wedding photo.