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My Photographer Hot Takes

It's about to get hot in here!! This post is full of a few controversial Concepts in the photography and wedding industry, I've heard these topics discussed over the last few months, and I just wanted to put all my thoughts on "paper"... My take might not be yours, and that's totally okay! We're all welcome to our own opinions. Now further ado, let's get into my first photographer hot take!


Photographer hot take one - presets

WHEN I FIRST GOT STARTED AS A PHOTOGRAPHER, I WAS TOLD THAT PURCHASING AND USING PRESETS IS CONSIDERED CHEATING. I WOULD SPEND HOURS EDITING EACH AND EVERY PHOTO FROM SCRATCH. I LEARNED THE TRICK OF SAVING AND COPYING MY SETTINGS BETWEEN PHOTOS, WHICH DEFINITELY SPED UP THE PROCESS... BUT I WASN'T QUITE GETTING THE FINISHED PRODUCT I WAS LOOKING FOR.


SO, I CAVED AND BOUGHT PRESETS. BEST DECISION.



THE TAKE - PRESETS ARE NOt CHEATING. IT ALLOWS YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY TO BE CONSISTENT FROM SESSION TO SESSION (WHETHER YOU PURCHASE OR MAKE THEM YOURSELF). EDITING IS incredibly TIME CONSUMING, SO WHY NOT FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT a SMOOTHER PROCESS. THERE'S SO MUCH MORE INVOLVED TO GET TO THE FINAL IMAGE THAN JUST ADJUSTING THE COLORS AND HIGHLIGHTS. MOST PRESETS CANNOT BE SLAPPED ONTO PHOTO AND HAVE IT BE DONE. THERE'S TON OF ADJUSTING THAT STILL HAS TO GO INTO IT.


HOT TAKE TWO - DRINKING ON THE JOB

Kaleigh Madison's Photographer Hot Takes - Drinking on the job. Bar Birthday Photos

Coming from a girl that doesn't drink in general, we all know what my take is going to be. I'm sure we've all had the reception with a dance floor that goes an hour too long and time passes by slowly. Although having a drink might make the last few hours of work more enjoyable, there's still consequences.


The Take - just don't do it. What's the first thing they teach you about drinking in high school health class? It impairs your vision and delays your motor skills. Sure, this might result in a few funky, artsy photos... but it could also result in you causing harm to yourself or someone else. Even if you have insurance, it might be voided knowing you were drinking on the job.



Hot take three - tilted photos

Kaleigh Madison's Photographer Hot Takes - tilted photos. Maternity Session in Field

If you're on instagram, you've seen tilted photos. When this trend first surfaced, I hated it. Being someone that is fairly technique focused, producing photos that were not at all leveled were an absolute no. But then I reminded myself...


the take - photography is art. Art includes blurry, out of focus, and even tilted photos. I'm one to love a blurry or out of focus photo, so why would a tilted photo be any different? I've started forcing myself to include them in my galleries to stretch myself outside of my comfort zone. and, I'd be lying if I said I'm not starting to love them.




If you've made it this far, turn down the AC... It's about to get toasty.



Hot Take Four - film photography On your wedding day

Kaleigh Madison's Photographer Hot Takes - Film Photography on your wedding day. Wedding day champagne toast

Alright, things are about to heat up. This take isn't diving into the concept of film photography. I personally love film photography. I love the process. I love the look. I love the nostalgia. What I don't love is the idea of hiring a film photographer and a digital photographer separately (unless the two photographers have already worked out a deal).


With film becoming trendy, some couples are seeking a film photographer without consulting with their (already hired) primary photographer. Most primary photographer contracts specifically state that you cannot hire another still photographer. Also, plenty of photographers also offer film... so make sure that you're chatting with your primary photographer before attempting to hire anyone else. one reason being that they might be able to offer that service to you. And two, you hiring another photographer (even if it's just film) might void your contract with your primary photographer.


The Take - If you want film photography for your wedding, hire one photographer (your primary photographer) to offer that service to you. So many photographers now-a-days offer film photography as a service. IF your primary photographer doesn't have the equipment or the knowledge, they can hire a film photographer either just for film or as a second shooter for the day. Regardless, all professional (aka - paid for) still photographs related to the wedding day are the property of the primary photographer, Therefore, all contracts should be under the primary photographer.


Hot take five - Tagging for Second Shooters

I had a good conversation with a different photographer when It comes to who a second shooter can and cannot tag in their photos along when they should be allowed to post content from that wedding. As a second shooter, you're growing your industry knowledge while building connection. Social networking might seem difficult if you're not allowed to tag any of the vendors beside the primary photographer. I totally get it, but...


Kaleigh Madison's Photographer Hot Takes - Tagging second shooters. Elopement in Zion National Park

Hot take - second shooters should only tag the primary photographer. that's it. It's in my contract with my second shooters that cannot tag anyone besides me, and they have to wait 8 weeks to post any content from the wedding. As a second shooter, you're ultimately there to assist with the needs of the primary photographer. To be really blunt, a second shooter wouldn't be a professional photographer at that wedding if it wasn't for the primary photographer. The primary photographer has been working with the clients and vendors and is typically calling what shots the second shooter needs to take. Therefore, pay credit to your primary photographer.


Some photographers go as far as not allowing their second shooters to ever post photos from the wedding or even follow the other vendors. I definitely don't go that far.


Hot Take Six - budget shaming

THERE WAS A TIKTOK THAT RECENTLY WENT VIRAL WHERE A PHOTOGRAPHER (IN MY OPINION) MOCKED THE POTENTIAL CLIENT THAT INQUIRED FOR THEIR WEDDING BECAUSE THEIR BUDGET FOR PHOTOGRAPHY WAS MAYBE A QUARTER OF HER STARTING PRICES. THE PHOTOGRAPHER THAT POSTED THE TIKTOK ENDED UP GETTING ROASTED BY THE INTERNET. ALTHOUGH I DON'T BELIEVE SHE SHOULD BE ATTACKED BY ONLINE TROLLS OR GIVEN 1 STAR GOOGLE REVIEWS, I DO BELIEVE WHAT SHE DID WASN'T RIGHT.


I PERSONALLY ASK WHAT A CLIENT'S PHOTOGRAPHY BUDGET IS IN MY INQUIRY FORMS BECAUSE IT PREPARES ME FOR THE POTENTIAL GHOSTING IF I KNOW MY PRICES ARE OUTSIDE THEIR BUDGET. IF IT'S A PROJECT I REALLY WANT TO TAKE, I MIGHT WORK WITH THEM BY EITHER REMOVING CERTAIN SERVICES OR REDUCING HOURS (WHICH I VERY, VERY RARELY DO). IF YOU DON'T WANT TO RECEIVE INQUIRIES FROM CLIENTS THAT HAVE A BUDGET THAT YOU DON'T FIT INTO, EITHER A) LIST YOOUR STARTING PRICES, OR B) STRAIGHT UP PUT YOUR PRICES ON YOUR WEBSITE.


WE CAN ALL AGREE THAT THE WEDDING INDUSTRY IS PRICEY. THOSE THAT ARE GETTING ENGAGED AND ARE WEDDING PLANNING DON'T HAVE THE WEDDING INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE YOU DO AS A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER. MAYBE THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT CERTAIN SERVICES SHOULD COST, AND MAYBE THEY DON'T WANT TO GO INTO MARRIAGE WITH A MAJOR PERSONAL LOAN (WHICH IS WHY MY HUSBAND AND I ELOPED).


AS SOMEONE THAT ELOPED LAST YEAR. WE STILL SPENT UPWARDS OF $10K BETWEEN THE DRESS, FLIGHTS, HOTEL, PHOTOGRAPHER, ADDITIONAL DETAILS, PERMITS, ETC. UNLESS YOU COURTHOUSE IT IN YOUR DAY CLOTHES, GETTING MARRIED IS NOT CHEAP. BUT, KEEP IN MIND THAT YOUR WEDDING VENDORS DO NOT SEE ALL THE MONEY YOU PAY THEM. AS A BUSINESS OWNER, WE GET ROCKED IN TAXES. AT THE END OF THE DAY, I PERSONALLY ONLY POCKET 40% OF THE INCOME MY BUSINESS BRINGS IN AFTER SETTING MONEY ASIDE FOR TAXES AND BUSINESS EXPENSES.


SO, LET'S BREAK THAT DOWN A LITTLE. IF I CHARGE $1000 FOR A 6 HOUR WEDDING. I PERSONALLY ONLY SEE $400. FOR YOUR 6 HOUR WEDDING, I'M DOING AT LEAST 12 ADDITIONAL HOURS BEHIND THE SCENES BETWEEN PREPPING, CULLING, EDITING, BOOKKEEPING, ETC. WITH ALL THOSE NUMBERS, I WOULD ONLY BE A LITTLE OVER $22 AN HOUR. THAT SEEMS LIKE A PRETTY DECENT HOURLY RATE IN ALABAMA, BUT NOT IN CALIFORNIA. HOPEFULLY THIS PROVIDES SOME PERSPECTIVE!


HOT TAKE - IF A POTENTIAL CLIENT CANNOT AFFORD YOU, DON'T BLAST THEM ON THE INTERNET. IF A PHOTOGRAPHER IS OUT OF YOUR BUDGET, DON'T BLAST THEM ON THE INTERNET. PERIOD.


COPYING VS INSPIRATION

Kaleigh Madison's Photographer Hot Takes - Copying vs Inspiration. Couple portraits on wedding day, through glass.

THIS HAS BEEN A BOILING HOT TOPIC LATELY IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY. WHERE IS THE LINE BETWEEN STRAIGHT UP COPYING SOMEONE AND USING SOMEONE'S ART AS INSPIRATION? MY GRANDMA ALWAYS TELLS ME, "THERE'S NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN." A GREAT EXAMPLE WOULD BE A RECENT TRENDY PHOTO OF PUTTING THE WEDDING COUPLES RINGS INTO THEIR SLICED PEICE OF CAKE AFTER THE CAKE CUTTING. THAT PHOTO STYLE HAS BEEN FLOATING AROUND LATELY AND SPARKED SOME controversy OF COPYING. HOWEVER, A PHOTOGRAPHER FOUND THE EXACT SAME PHOTO CONCEPT IN AN ARTICLE FROM MAYBE 20 YEARS AGO.


IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE CREATIVE ACT: A WAY OF BEING YET, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. THERE'S A FEW CHAPTERS DEDICATED TO THE CONCEPT THAT OUR IDEAS ARE TRULY NOT JUST OUR IDEAS. THEY'RE A COLLABORATION OF THE WORLD AROUND US. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE COME TO THAT SPECIFIC THOUGHT AND ACTION OUT OF NO WHERE. SOMETHING AND SOMEONE LED YOU TO IT.


HOT TAKE - IF YOU'RE STRAIGHT COPYING AND PASTING CAPTIONS, GUIDES, WEBSITES, SOCIAL MEDIA BIOS, BLOG POSTS, ETC... I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT WE ALL NOTICE, AND THAT'S NOT A GOOD THING. IF YOU'RE USING PREVIOUS PHOTO CONCEPTS FROM PHOTOGRAPHERS ON INSTAGRAM OR PINTEREST AS INSPIRATION, GO FOR IT IF THAT'S YOUR CREATIVE FLOW! HOWEVER, IF YOU'RE PRODUCING PHOTOS WITH THE EXACT SAME CONCEPTS AS ONE SPECIFIC PHOTOGRAPHER... YOU MIGHT AS WELL GIVE THEM A CUT OF YOUR EARNINGS. THAT'S ALL I'M GONNA SAY.


WHAT I WANT TO SEE MORE OF IN WEDDINGS

THIS ONE ISN'T TRULY A HOT TAKE, BUT JUST A TON OF CONCEPTS I REALLY WANT TO SEE PLAYED OUT IN 2024 AND 2025 WEDDINGS. SOME HAVE BEEN TRENDY FOR A WHILE, BUT NEVER SEEM TO ACTUALLY MAKE IT TO MANY WEDDINGS.


ONE - WHO WALKS YOU DOWN THE AISLE

IT'S TRADITION THAT YOUR FATHER WALKS YOU DOwn THE AISLE. IF THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT TO DO EITHER BECAUSE IT'S TRADITION OR YOUR FATHER IS A BIG PART OF YOUR LIFE, GO FOR IT. BUT FOR SOME PEOPLE, THAT'S NOT THE CASE. I BELIEVE THAT THE PERSON THAT WALKS YOU DOWN THE AISLE SHOULD BE A HUGE STAPLE IN YOUR LIFE. I ALSO THINK IT'S A MOMENT IF NO ONE WALKS THE BRIDE DOWN THE AISLE. GIVE HER HER MOMENT!!


TWO - CIRCULAR CEREMONY SEATING

ALMOST ALL WEDDINGS HAVE THE TRADITIONAL ROW SEATING FOR THE CEREMONY. WHAT TYPICALLY HAPPENS AS THE BRIDE WALKS DOWN THE AISLE, EVERYONE STANDS WHICH MEANS THOSE ON THE OUTER EDGES BARELY SEE THE BRIDE. CIRCULAR SEATING COULD HONESTLY CHANGE THAT BY PROVIDING MORE SPACE.


THREE - MORE CEREMONY EXITS

MOST COUPLES SAVE ANY CELEBRATOR EXIT FOR THE RECEPTION. BY THE END OF THE NIGHT, YOU'RE SWEATY, YOUR NOW HUSBAND HAS LOST HIS TIE, YOUR LASHES HAVE FALLEN OFF, HALF YOUR GUEST HAVE LEFT... DON'T GET ME WRONG, RECEPTIONS EXITS ARE A FUN WAY TO DO THE FINAL SEND OFF. HOWEVER, LET'S NOT FORGET ABOUT OUR CEREMONY! IMAGINE A DIP KISS HALFWAY BACK DOWN THE AISLE BUT SURROUND BY ROSE PEDALS OR BUBBLES. IT JUST ADDS THAT LITTLE EXTRA SPARKLE.


FOUR - BRIDAL PARTY IN ALL WHITE

WHITE IS TYPICALLY HELD FOR JUST THE BRIDE. HOWEVER, THEIR IS SOMETHING CHIC AND VOUGE ABOUT THE WHOLE BRIDAL PARTY BEING IN WHITE DRESSES.


FIVE - GETTING MARRIED NOT AT A CHURCH OR VENUE

IT'S 2024! IT'S TIME TO START THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX. YOU CAN GET MARRIED JUST ABOUT ANYWHERE NOWADAYS. IN THE HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA AREA, PERRY HANCOCK (@perryhancockphoto ON INSTAGRAM) HAS ABSOLUTELY POPPED OFF LATELY WITH HER PHOTOS OF A WEDDING AT THE SPACE AND ROCKET CENTER. ICONIC!! IMAGINE GETTING MARRIED IN AN ART MUESEM, RANCH, FAMILY FARM, LIBRARY, COLLEGE FOOTBALL FIELD, ETC.



 

Thank you so much for reading my blog post!!

Let's get social - follow me on IG (@kaleighmadison.photo)

With Love

Kaleigh


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