portrait journalism vs photojournalism

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by swoop_ds, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. swoop_ds

    swoop_ds TPF Noob!

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    When I take pictures I love to not even be noticed, but at a wedding, posing is generally expected and the portrait pictures are generally speaking what the clients will actually get developed.

    I really like photojournalism but I feel that portrait journalism is what most clients want these days for wedings/events. Does anyone on here lean more towards photojournalism?

    Sorry is this post seems vague I was just curious as to what others think of this.
    -Dave
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't like to put labels like that on my (or anyone's) photographic style.

    Many photographers use things like 'Photojournalistic' or 'Candid' as catch words. To me, that says that they may not know much about posing people and it's just easier for them to 'hide' and talk photos when nobody's paying attention to them.

    Of course, there is the other end of the spectrum, where a photographer might want to pose & script every photo, which could certainly be annoying to some people.

    So rather than define your style with a label, I think it's important that you have the ability to go with the flow of the wedding day while still being able to give the client what they want and getting shots to the best of your ability.
    Sometimes you have to step up, take control and become the centre of attention...other times you can be more journalistic and just capture what is happening.

    I have usually found that even when a client/couple says that they mostly want 'candid' shots, it's the posed family & group shots that end up being the most important. Their parents has posed wedding shots, their grandparents too. Maybe that was all they had, but they still have them in an album or frame somewhere. They want that too.

    If you talk to a photographer who makes their money selling prints (re-prints), they can usually tell you which shots sell best. The good ones learn to avoid the shots that don't sell and take more of the ones that do. In the digital era, it's getting more and more common to sell or include digital files, so without extra print sales, it may become less important (for us) to concentrate on the shots that sell...but you probably still need them to make the client happy.

    And lets' face it...usually the family/group shots are fairly boring. Look at a bunch of wedding photographer's sites. How many family group shots do you see on display? Not many. They are usually going to be the artistic, creative shots of the bride & groom, or just the bride.
     
  3. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    I think for weddings, you need a type of fusion. When you are shooting a wedding, you are going to get a ton of PJ shots. You can't stop the first dance and say, "Ok, look this way...put your hand here".

    You need to know how to do the formal stuff, but remember that they don't always have to be the normal hands crossed standing in an arched line at the altar type of stuff. You can make it fun and contemporary.

    However, keep in mind, Mom and Grandma might get pissed to only see contemporary types of shots. They want the standing at the altar with every cousin they have type of stuff.

    What I find sells the most though, is table shots. The couple have the disc, so they don't buy a ton, but the guests buy like crazy.
     

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