I am not a “Wedding Photographer”

It’s been a couple of months since our cross Canada Road Show and I am delighted that I am still receiving emails from the attendees.  Several emails were concerning my reply to a question from our Calgary Event as we were on the topic of websites, galleries and social media.  The question was whether or not to have separate websites for each “niche” of photography.  So one website for weddings & portraits, another for commercial, another for glamor etc so that you present to your clients that you “specialize” in this type of photography.  Personally I prefer to have all my photography on my one site (as I do) and one response was “but wouldn’t a potential client look at someones photography site that only has wedding photography on it and think this photographer “specializes” in wedding photography while this photographer does weddings, portraits, commercial, pets and so on.  The perception being that you are a “General” photographer where as the other photographer focuses on wedding photography thus he/she is more suited for weddings.

My response was… “I am a photographer, I do it all.  If they go to my site they will not only see my wedding photography, but also see that I am pretty darn good at commercial, pet’s, babies, kids, maternity and anything else I attempt to photograph.  My skills as a photographer bleed into anything that I wish to photograph.”  I am not a “wedding photographer” I am a photographer.

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3 Responses to “I am not a “Wedding Photographer””

  1. Rick Weaver - Memphis Photographer Says:

    James, thanks for this blog post. I’ve toyed with the idea of having a separate “seniors” page because I felt my “classicly-styled” web site would not be as attractive to the kids as some glitzy flash site with music. However, I just interviewed a senior model whose mom said she looked at every single image on my web site and just “HAS” to have me do her senior portraits. So maybe I will go with a separate senior portal or maybe not. We’ll see how the next few months of senior season pan out and the feedback I get. I may do a test portal and ask my senior models to comment on it. My considering a separate portal for seniors stems from wanting to appeal to their younger outlook, rather than trying to convince them I specialize in seniors.

    For the rest of our clientele, I agree, the images on your site “rounds oneself out” as a photographer of multiple situations, which means you not only know how to craft the natural light and OCF used at weddings, but can also shape that light and get good classical portraits, created at weddings as well. In my opinion, studio experience is a necessary skill to make you a great on-location photographer, because you take that skill of shaping the light in the studio out into the field. I see many “on-location” or “natural light” photographers in my town who don’t know what to do in the bright sun or with the flat light of an overcast day. For this reason, you don’t want to be lumped in that group of “wedding photographers” who aren’t skilled in other types of portrait photography.

  2. Angela Waite Says:

    Hey James, I was at the Calgary event (great seminar btw) and I’ve also been told at portfolio reviews and through marketing articles that you need to have a “look” or a specialization to stand out in a competitive marketplace. I thought your comeback was quite good. I’m a photographer.
    And its true what Rick says. Be a specialist doesn’t mean your creative or skilled or bring a unique perspective to the table. That is what we need to be promoting more than a specialization.

  3. Jillian Bickle Says:

    Very well put James! And I have to say, love that picture of the twin girls you did 😉
    .-= Jillian Bickle´s last blog ..Fathers Favourites Coming Next Month =-.

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