(Closed) So you think you’re a photojournalist?…

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
1566 posts
Bumble bee

I noticed the same exact thing when I was looking for a photographer – everyone and their mother markets themselves as photojournalists nowadays. But can you blame them given the nearly ubiquitous obsession with photojournalistic wedding photography among brides? Nevertheless, it does make the label largely meaningless. Fiance and I generally ignored photographers’ descriptions of their work and just let the photos speak for themselves. 

And regarding what photojournalism is – I’m not sure that any of the wedding photographers I saw were true photojournalists, since they combined candid shots with posed ones. I think most brides are looking for this kind of mix, so that’s what most photographers will provide no matter what they call themselves. 

 

Post # 5
Member
1566 posts
Bumble bee

Out of curiosity, what about shots with the families and/or bridal party? For me, the main point of  the formal shots is to get photos of us with his family, my family, and our close friends, which I don’t think will happen naturally throughout the night…at least not in any way that looks good 🙂

For photos of just you two, I think candids are great – if you guys usually look good in candids, I think this is better than posed shots too. 

Post # 6
Member
5263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

Ahh, this bothers me so much! I genuinely love the style, so I pay close attention when someone claims that they have a photojournalistic style. Half the time they’re doing the portraits because family requests them, I understand that, but it’s a general style, and I feel like a lot of the so-called photojournalistic shots are obviously posed. 

Post # 7
Member
49 posts
Newbee

Okay I think I need to chime in here. Im a photographer and before I started doing wedding solely, I was a photographer for several newspapers so I am very much aware of what true “photojournalism” is. To make it clear a photojournalist under any situation is not to get involved with whom they are photographing. When I worked for the newspapers I was plainly told by the photo edit to not speak with who I was photographing until after the event when I was to ask for their personal information. Now being a wedding photographer it is obvious that this type of style lends itself quite well to the getting ready shots, ceremony, and reception, simply because there are a ton of moments to be captured where you simply dont want to disrupt the moment and simply just capture it. However, there are more moments in the day that need to be a little directed or at least have the input from the bride and groom and that involves a lot of interaction between the couple and their photographer. Then are you all have mentioned, there are the family photos where let’s face it, do you really think that you are going to get your grandparents to run and jump and play and all be in the same picture without any direction from the photographer to make sure the lighting and posing is correct? Probably not. Certain images during the day need to be posed and ignoring that I feel is doing a dis-service to your clients. So, with all that said, I think when photographers call themselves photojournalist it is simply a buzz word because it lets them use that word as a marketing tool to sell that they are masters at capturing natural moments during the day and you wont be bothered, but do you really want that is the question? From my experience, I would be very very very leary of a photographer who is not aware of formal posing and proper lighting techniques. And yes, you can still be a photojournalist, but I think in today’s wedding photography market that term lends itself to more of the meaning of capturing candid moments throughout the day than being a true photojournalist…but that’s just my two cents as a photographer who has been there and done that!

Post # 10
Member
49 posts
Newbee

You are more than welcomed! I think that’s the hardest part for couples looking for a photographer. For me it’s hard to define my photography as a certain “style”. I think a photographer’s work should speak for itself and not to be categorized.

As for family portraits, if you only want a few of your immediate family then that might be something to consider on your wedding day. Formal portraits shouldn’t take a long time and I always tell me couples that this is the time for you to have images taken with family members who are close to you and you want to remember from your wedding day, NOT a time for everyone to jump in and have a mini family portrait session. They normally laugh at that because they have been to wedding where family portraits took up to an hour and are shocked when I tell them with me it is 20-30 minutes max and less if you are a couple who only want a few…I had one couple who only had a list of 5 posed shots with family….I was thrilled trust me!

I guess my suggestion would be to put aside what photographers call themselves and really look at their work. If you love their work then set up a meeting with the photographer to look at their albums and get a good feel for how they capture the wedding from beginning to end. But the most important part is making sure they listen to your needs and what is important to you. I wouldnt want to hire a photographer who insist that you spend a lot of time with posed family shots, if you truly want a more natural flow to your wedding day in capturing those memories!

I really wish you luck in finding a photographer and dont stress…the right one will show up!

Post # 11
Member
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Ben Chrisman, who was WPJA’s photographer of the year in 2007 (and whose work is STUNNING), describes his style as “documentary photography” on his blog, which I think is a much more apt term than “photojournalism” for what “wedding photojournalists” are actually doing.

@veganglam – You have such fabulous taste, I’m sure if you just trust your instincts you’ll find a photographer who is perfect for you 🙂

Post # 12
Member
739 posts
Busy bee

Great Post!! 

My FH and I are both full time wedding photographers with backgrounds in photojournalism.  We both agree that the term [wedding] photojournalist is completely over used to the point it’s annoying.  Our portfolio is heavy on the captured moments but we don’t consider ourselves true photojournalist since we do set up a good deal of shots. A true photojournalist will have little contact with you through the day and give you no direction, they are their to capture not to create. 

Post # 13
Member
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I have to kind of agree with the person who said photographing a wedding is being a photojournalist, PERIOD. Photographers can call themselves what they will, but the fact of the matter is we know our clients EXPECT that first kiss shot, EXPECT photos of their first dances, cake cutting, etc., and all of that is just “capturing the moment.”

So why do you see so many posed shots on “so-called” photojournalists Web sites? It’s because regardless of what people SAY THEY WANT these days, the slightly more posed, GORGEOUS shots of brides and grooms in front of scenic backgrounds CONTINUE TO BE WHAT SELLS. Personally, I have TONS of random shots of things that go on at receptions, brides and bridesmaids cracking up getting ready, I even have one of a bride scooping her cat litter on her wedding day. Would I put this stuff in my portfolio? Some, yeah, but just enough to give a taste … the slightly more “set up” stuff still tends to be the client faves.

Post # 14
Member
209 posts
Helper bee

Some more info, photojournalism, especially for newspapers, require really hands off approach to shooting and editing.  Literally editing a photograph is pretty much not allowed, even for the slightest change in WB. At least that was what my professors told us during lectures.

Post # 15
Member
49 posts
Newbee

As a photojournalist shooting for a newspaper you can edit white balance and brightness/contrast, sharpen, and crop and that’s about it. And you are correct, when shooting there is NO contact with the person. I have not seen any wedding or portrait photographer take this approach, so in essence they are not photojournalist; however, they are using similar tactics to capture those candid moments! But I totally agree with LBPhotography that what sells are those shots that are posed, everytime.

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