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When wedding photographers haven’t honed their abilities to capture split second moments and aren’t confident about getting those “definitive moments” which happen in a fraction of a second… be it a quick look, an momentary expression, a fleeting touch… they do what’s called “machine gun” or “spray and pray” shooting. That is, photographing rounds of multiple rapid fire shots hoping when the smoke clears they got one or two good ones.
Of course this crude method still misses getting the exact precise moment something picture-worthy happens.
To get the precise moment of action, the photographer has to be more of a sniper than a machine gunner. The photographer has to observe and anticipate the coming moment and press the trigger a fraction of a second before the action actually reaches its apex, so that when the moment occurs, the camera’s shutter is already tripped, catching it. That obviously takes skill and experience. I know firsthand about the kind of dedication it takes to master that.
Machine gunning may get the split moment before, the split moment after… but maybe just not the exact moment in between.
So what happens when photographers aren’t skilled enough to zero in on the precise definitive moment?
You do get many many photos.
Most of which are the near misses however.
Hopefully some are good.
But few are ever great.
You may have friends who’ll tell you as much about how it went with their wedding photos. Ask them.
Flashes go off. A lot. In the couple’s face. And guests’ too.
And it gets twice as bad if it’s a two photographer team.
That’s what happens.
This video (by Adam Forgione of Pennylane Productions) shows what the experience of “spray and pray” is like for the wedding couple.
I’m sure they didn’t sign up for this kind of treatment on their wedding day. What sane person would?
(Notice at 7 seconds in how Adam shows us it’s not the guests contributing to the paparazzi environment.
Also, watch carefully. You’ll also see when the flashes go off show the photographers aren’t getting the better expressions.)
But do you think their photographers warned them it would be this way with tons of flashes popping all night?
Well, maybe, but not in those words. Chances are they masked it when they told the couple:
“We’re going to take 2,000 to 3,000 photos! All different angles!”
And the couple mistakenly thought that sales line meant lots of great shots. Lots of great moments would be captured.
Only to find out after they’ve been subjected to firing flashes all day, that it didn’t. That it meant repetitive shots. Missed moments. Annoying flashes in their faces.
That left in were the inevitable blinks and bad expressions to make up the quantity of photos promised to them.
It also meant the task of culling through that huge pile of photos to find the only few good ones – was as equally annoying.
(Thanks to Adam Forgione for the video. He says he “hates” all the flashes photographers like these shoot off because it also ruins the video for the couple.)
I prefer substance over quantity. Any day. Staying unobtrusive.
A wedding isn’t something to be handled like a machine.
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