Thursday, September 2, 2010

I’m not a professional.

All professional wedding photographers:

1. Are great social networkers
2. Are always super sweet and friendly
3. Are outgoing
4. Shop at Anthropologie
5. Have rock star attitude

I am precisely none of those things so therefore, I am not a professional. Never minding the fact that being a professional simply means you are getting paid for your work, these days, with the availability of DSLRs, super-fast lens, and post-processing tools for mass consumption, everyone and their dog’s babysitter can keep an arsenal of photography goods in their backpacks to rival that of any “professional.”


So now we have this conglomerate pool of “professionals” in this easy-entry industry because who wouldn’t want to get invited to fabulous weddings every weekend just because you own a nice camera? Wedding photography promises us that we will be touted as mini-celebrities in our neighborhoods because all photographers keep blogs (and of course, we know that EVERYONE is reading your blog, I mean, they gotta be!) so therefore, this is as close as you are going to get to joining the ranks of, say, Anthony Robbins, as you'll ever get. I say Anthony Robbins because the number of wedding photographers that can truly make a living on shooting events alone is probably a fraction of a percent of those of us who would like to think we are bringing in the big bucks. The rest of us, like Mr. Robbins, sell our knowledge of how we made it “big” in the industry to other wannabe photographers who are so eager for the secrets of the trade that they willingly shell out money for information as secretive as, well, common sense.

So I’m telling you right now, as long as you wear your converse sneakers with skinny jeans and own a fedora-like cap and skinny tie somewhere in your closet, hold your camera like Sylvester Stallone holds his gun in The Expendables, and start every conversation with “Are you Canon or Nikon?”, then you can call yourself a professional. I can say all these things (and again, what do I know?) because I have been there. I was part of that legion of newbies who hailed all of the rock star photographers like they were gods and goddesses of a parallel universe. I was that photographer slut who went to all the networking events and shot all the weddings for next-to-nothing or worse yet, FREE. And now that I am so far removed from the business of it all, I can start to find the joy and art in photography again and take pictures of family and friends just because it is fun.

From here on out, I will dedicate every post on Thursday to photography: what makes a good picture, what equipment I use, Photoshop how to’s, and things here and there about my experiences in THE INDUSTRY. Best part of it all is that I can do this with a clear conscience and know that I am not trying to raise my popularity as a photographer (because I never want to make another dime for doing something so many of us are willing to do for free, including myself) or increase my clout in the industry or blogosphere because that is simply not what I am a part of or after anymore. I just want to get down to the basics of photography because it is fun and also examine the life of a photographer because it can be, at times, very funny. Join me if you care to learn from and share tips with a NON-PROFESSIONAL (how scandalous!)…or not.

This week, I only have two before-and-after pictures to show you (and not very good ones at that) because I usually save over the originals since any image I ever share with others have always had a healthy run-in with Photoshop. But I just wanted to start off by giving quick examples of how a dark and poorly exposed picture can be “saved” by post-processing and we’ll take a closer look at them next week.





Following my baby story? Come back tomorrow for Chapter 6.


  1. yeah, i'm also excited for your thursday specials!

  2. Will chapter 6 include details of the actual birth?! That would be amazing to read!whenever ive asked new mums what it was like, they say sth along the lines of "Its like something you've never felt before" Ahh OK??

  3. ive seen u on J*, ahh a girl after my own. she is by far my 'professional'

  4. hi b fiji. the birth part will come much later since there is a long story before. if you are interested, you might want to start reading chapter one and on.

    yeah j star is the first photog i found out about and her vibrant pics were what inspired me from the beginning. i only visit a few blogs each day and hers are one of them.

  5. Love this - your five things at the beginning that make for a professional cracked me up. I actually have no ambition of being a wedding photographer so I will enjoy your Thursday spotlights on photography. Have a great night!

  6. That's an insight. At least you are putting it on the table as is, too much phoniness around the notion that "taking photos is difficult", especially these days. HOWEVER, there is talent and a keen eye to detail, slight observations, and dedication to beauty and true form that make one a "photographer" vs "picture taker." Alas, your photos have a soul, so to heck with "professionalism". May I suggest a good photographer here then: and definitely take a look at his flicker
    He is not a "professional" yet actually he sure has the attributes that elevate him to a higher point.

    Great idea for spicing up Thursdays!

  7. Your pictures are beautiful and so is the photo editing, which I am still trying to practice myself. Yay for Thursdays! I'll have to check back.

    Thanks for commenting over a my guest blog at scary mommy, I too thought I would be this cute sexy perfectly dressed mommy, that is until they! Happy Friday!

  8. I'm a new follower from It's Friday I'm hopping. Please stop by and follow me back
    Have a great weekend!

  9. Who cares about labels? Really.

    I love your photos and how you edit them... and I love the way you write. :)

    Have a happy weekend!

  10. But how is this post processing done ?

  11. hi haddock, i will go over everything that i know about photography (not a lot but some) every week on thursdays from here on out. hope you will join us!

  12. Great post! Like many I've known, I got lost somewhere too in the pro world. I never really entered it, but contemplated it obsessively. But I realized that my real joy came from landscape and nature photography. I do take portraits but just for my family. Love the editing and look forward to more of your posts!

  13. i'll be sure to check back on thursdays to see what you're up to.


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