Every day is an opportunity to grow but sadly many refuse to learn, this stop growing.
Through the eyes of one of fellow photographers and also one of the reasons we should always strive to be better then what we were yesterday.
The experience By Merlize Jogiat from MJay Media Group
I have owned a DSLR for the better part of 7 years now and in all that time I have always considered myself an amateur Photographer.
My Definition of an amateur is someone who is always learning and willing to learn, when you have reached your capacity with nothing else on the cards to learn, and then you become a professional.
In that sense, nobody should be a professional anything as life is a learning experience.
Two weeks ago I attended a wedding, where the photographer that was hired for the wedding was not selected by the couple, but rather by the venue. Now for reasons unbeknown to me, either they needed to save money on hiring this specific photographer or they needed her to gain more experience by allowing her to shoot at this particular wedding.
Regardless of their reasons, in my opinion it was an uninformed choice made both for their brand and for the couple who only get to share this day once.
Before you label me as judgmental, let me state the reasons for why I think that the choice was and ill-advised one.
The girl who was meant to be the photographer could not have been more than 18 years old as her mother escorted her. Yes, I understand that her age does not come into play, but hear me out.
I had a talk with her earlier in the day, since I always have my camera with me as I wanted to get some shots; I asked her if she was shooting full or cropped frame, her response “I don’t know”, First red flag.
I let it go, since if you are an amateur like I am, you are not expected to know everything, right? Except for the fact that later on her mother told me that she had studied photography, meaning, in her first module, full and cropped frame should have been explained. Maybe not….
As the day progressed I noticed that all the pivotal moments of the ceremony were not being captured. I sang a song, the preacher spoke a few words and family said a few things to the couple. The ‘Photographer” was not capturing any of this as she was sitting in the back of the church with her mother. I had to step in, call her to the front and ask her to capture those moments. Not very pleased with me, she sat more to the front, and only attempted to catch the first kiss, WITH THE GROOMS BACK TOWARDS HER, SHE DID NOT EVEN BOTHER TO STAND UP TO GET A BETTER ANGLE!
As you can tell, at that point I was a little more than just annoyed, after all, this is a family wedding and as I was tasked with the job of singing and being the MC, I could not fulfil the task of photographer as well. After that point though, I was not expecting things to get any better.
Once the ceremony was done, we all walked outside and it started to rain lightly, I immediately thought “what a great opportunity for images”.
So I grab her, my camera, my triggers and my flash, we take the bride and groom to a great spot and I instruct her how to use the triggers. Hand her my 50mm 1.4 Lens as she was using the standard 18-55mm Lens.
This moment will go down as the most ridiculous I have ever experienced.
She turns around, takes her lens off her camera, and then tries to put my lens on her camera the wrong way around and says to me “It won’t go on “…. Frustration had turned to anger at this point.
Fast forward to the evening of the event, the room was small and extremely dark. There was no way on this earth one would get a single good shot without a flash especially with a cropped frame camera. But as it turns out, her flash batteries died earlier in the day, so she shot everything, which was only half of the reception anyway, with her dead flash, camera on Auto and ISO all the way up.
I don’t have to see the images to know, there is nothing that can really be salvaged out of the images captured on the day.
Now, there are two things I need to address here: Armature – Willing to learn
Professional – Knows everything Right?
So why was this girl giving me such an attitude when I was trying to help her get really great images? Images that were not even captured as she kept pointing the flash in the wrong direction.
Secondly: What the heck was she thinking, shooting someone’s one and only special day and SHE CANT EVEN FIT A LENS?????
My very first wedding scared me so much; I went out of my way to hire all the correct equipment to make sure that I did not disappoint the couple. When the bride saw my images, she cried, she had no idea she would be so happy with them… and I hated them!
At 7PM the photographer at this wedding, packed up as her time was up… really?!
Her mother also at some point said to me “this is not her first wedding; she knows what she is doing”
I felt so bad for the couple that I offered them a shoot as a gift because if they do get any images, they will be cell phone quality at best.
I hope that this young girl really does go and do her homework after this and that the venue is more selective the next time they chose a photographer, because those are the only memories left of their big day, the choice could affect the photographer and the venue for a long time to come.