Why "Trendy" SMP-Style Processing is such a BAD idea

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Does this include the VSCO film-emulating processing that EVERYONE is doing right now? I think the pee-colored processing is already out (except for folks like Simply Bloom who unfortunately built their entire brand around it) but the film processing goes even further in terms of hiding bad photographs and making people seem more artistic than they actually are. Also, heavily VSCO-edited photos look like shit printed in my opinion.

Post # 4
2516 posts
Sugar bee

@PassionatePhotoLady:  I totally agree. I’ve seen some “vintage” processed photos that just make everything look dull and dark. That’s not how I want my wedding day to look! I’m a much bigger fan of the bright, sharp photos that I see on SMP. I think that’s a look that will look beautiful for a lifetime.

Post # 5
6953 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@PassionatePhotoLady:  I agree with the overprocessing, but not your last comment. I hear that SO much on wedding blogs. “Mismatched bridesmaid dresses will look so dated” “Candy bars are too trendy”. You know what? I see my dad’s monsterous sideburns and mexican afro in my parents’ wedding pictures and I think it’s AWESOME. I see my grandma’s 30s era beaded dress and I love that it’s so clearly THAT era. 

So yeah, although I won’t want the “vintage” overprocessed pics, I do hope my kids will look at my pictures and know it’s “so early 21st century” anyway. 

Post # 6
3787 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Sure. But I also *personally* think it’s silly to try to do anything that’s going to be “timeless.” After all, everything ends up dated, and any photos are just a snapshot of a moment that is situated in a specific historical context. I.e., whether we want to or not, everying – wedding photography, clothes, sense of humour, etc – is affected by the way society is at the moment. I think the faux vintage photography trend is just one of those things. 

I also personally think half the fun of wedding photos is to look back and chuckle at choices later in life. I’ll never be ashamed to show my family or friends later. It was what it was. Regardless of how the photos are processed. 

I think people should do what they like and own their choices. I personally think it’s worth hiring someone good enough where technical mistakes aren’t abundant or obvious, but like everything else all brides are on a budget of some sort or another and that’s ok too.

Post # 7
3250 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

People are always going to follow trends, usually the trends are related more to fashion than post-processing, but we are part of a digital age. I do agree that having ALL of your wedding photos highly processed isn’t my taste either.  My Mom’s pillbox in her wedding photo makes it very 1960’s, but that was the style at the time.  My photos will also eventually look dated…..it’s inevitable and ok.

Post # 8
288 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Ehh Devil’s Advocate here… while I don’t disagree with your points (and my own tastes definitely don’t skew pee yellow skies!) I think you’re missing a big factor – the most important thing is that you LOVE your photos. Our wedding photos were digital in that film-y style, and I got a lot of prints – none of the skin tones were off or anything, and I personally love that aesthetic. 


I guess my question is – if something makes me really happy to look at, why avoid it just for the fear of someday it looking dated? Why would I go for a photographer whose style and processing I don’t love right now?


Take this with a grain of salt, I guess, as I am a colored skinny jean wearing, tattooed, unapologetically love what I love type of person in general, and I’m 100% aware that I’ll probably look back in photos where I’m wearing those poppy colored jeans and laugh. But I don’t mind the thought of laughing at myself a little and thinking – “oh! 2013 – to be young and careless again!”


Post # 9
1992 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014



I don’t know much about photography, but I think this thread is very interesting. Could you all post some examples to show what you are talking about? What does SMP look like? Or VSCO?


Post # 10
788 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Miss Leopard


This is SMP- http://www.stylemepretty.com/


VSCO- If you browse through SMP you’ll see this kind of processing. It emulates film. It can be over done, and done right.






I personally like it. I process that way and I dont do it as a trend or a coverup. I evolved into a vintage style, vintage is very much in many areas of my life. People can easily see consistency and know its my style not a cover up. ha ha However, I dont like pee yellow skies and some of those weird trying to be vintage presets. I like subtle vintage like I process.


Spot coloring, ewww!


Post # 11
4483 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Lol, I think you’d hate my dream photog! That’s okay though, to each their own. 

Post # 13
1398 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I think OP should post examples of what she’s taling about to really make a clear point.

SMP photos are beautiful and some reputable SMP featured photographers actually do use film cameras. I want to know which kind of photos OP is referring to.


Post # 14
8677 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Photo editing is like a tattoo. You love it now, but you might hate it 10 years down the line. By then, you don’t have the luxury of completely redoing them like you would a tattoo.

Post # 15
1240 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I disagree on the point that a particular photography style will make your wedding look dated. EVERYTHING about your wedding will make it look dated! Look at ANY wedding photo from the 70s, 80s, and 90s – you can probably find some at your parents’ house. Wink There really isn’t any way to make your wedding look “timeless,” despite what wedding blogs and magazines tell you.

I also generally disagree with any advice framed as “why you don’t want this” – a wedding should be about the couple and what they like. If you want yellow-tinted wedding photos, freaking go for it!

Post # 16
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I agree with lots of these points. I do notice that lots of shots that if the preset was removed would just be a nothing photo. And they don’t print well. Also it gets really boring when everyone hops on a bandwagon. I don’t even think those VSCO presets look like film at all. The silly thing is 99% of the people getting married today dont even know what the difference between film and digital looks like. The sillier thing is that neither do most photographers. That being said, it’s p to the couple. Pick what you like. Just make sure you know why you are picking it and that they do a good version of it. There’s bad and ood versions of everything. 

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