The Trend Toward Real Time Photography

wedding photos
Brides waiting three weeks for photos is a relic of the past - by Joxemai

Justin Ng is a photographer with over 130,000 people on his Facebook page, numbers that would make some Fortune 500 companies blush with envy. What’s funny is that Justin didn’t even start out life as a photographer, he started out as a Windows developer and PHP programmer.

Now he’s getting between 50 and 60 inquiries a month to shoot weddings.

But Justin managed to hit on a trend in wedding and event photography that has been building for some time; the trend toward real-time display of event images, as the event is happening.

Justin Ng developed a smart phone app that guests and those unable to attend the ceremony can download and watch the wedding photos pop up in real time. There’s even a feature that allows guests to download high resolution copies of the images they like.

The trend is not a surprise and anyone in wedding and event photography should be educating themselves about the technical realities of how such a setup might work. While you may not be able to develop your own smart phone app, you could still use an assistant with a laptop and wifi connection to do almost the same thing.

Other options may include gadgets like Eye-Fi’s wireless SDHC cards. There are also attachments for your camera that will transmit files wirelessly. The tech pieces are out there and the market will belong to those adaptable enough to figure out how to use them.

The trend is making itself known in subtle ways. One feature many brides are opting for are monitors at the reception that play slideshows of the wedding photos. Other services, such as having a CD or DVD with wedding images ready for guests by the time they leave, are gaining popularity.

Social media options are also gaining popularity. Having at least a few of the wedding photos up on Facebook and other social media sites the same day, is almost an expectation with many tech savvy couples today.

All of these real-time inroads will put pressure on everyone in wedding and event photography to step up their tech game, both in terms of real time photos and turn-around times for image processing. The days of waiting three months for wedding photos are a footnote in history, even waiting three weeks is out of the question for many brides. Many are calling about their photos in three days and are annoyed they have to wait that long!

Regardless, the time to start exploring your technology options is today. Waiting until the services are pre-bundled and available commercially could well be too late.

Five Trends In Wedding Photography

wedding photography
Retro styling is making a comeback - By Ícaro Moreno Ramos

There’s a fine line between the words “trend” and “fad” in the world of photography. The word “trend” implies gradual and sustainable growth over time. The word “fad” has somewhat negative connotations among photographers because it implies glitz with no substance. Those of us in the business a while recall infant portraits in an over-sized tea cup with just the twinge of a shudder.

In wedding photography the market changes fast and the difference between trend and fad is sometimes hard to distinguish. There are some changes I’m pretty confident calling as a trend at this point.

Photo Booths

These can be the old style retro photo booths where guests pose for pictures, or a more modern digital equivalent. The idea is instead of just signing a book, guests sit for a quick picture. Instead of a simple guest book full of incomprehensible scrawl, the happy couple has a digital guest book of the people just as they were that day.

Overall I like this trend, but it adds to the overhead because the mechanical type need to be staffed.  You don’t exactly want to clamp your Nikon D700 to a tripod and let people shoot self-portraits with it.

Proposal Photography

I’ve filled in on at least three proposal shoots this summer. This has moved from the fad to trend column in a big hurry, to the point now it’s almost an expected part of package along with engagement photos.

It’s more work, but at least it’s fun. While a wedding is a huge amount of work to shoot right, proposal pictures really are snap-snap, goodbye. In, out and done in thirty minutes.

Boudoir Shots

This is hardly a new trend. Boudoir photography came into existence about 15 minutes after the first successful photography process was developed back in 1826. Boudoir popularity has kind of ebbed and flowed since then and is making a comeback lately.

Usually not part of a standard package, it is getting to be a more requested as an add-on. If you’re a guy, you might want to think about partnering with another female photographer in town because some customers will be more comfortable with a woman shooting those shots.

As a purely professional precaution, I take my wife along if I’m going to be shooting one, or a female assistant. That way there’s no questions about propriety.

Wreck The Dress

Wreck the dress
Wreck the dress is your chance to be creative - Karl Leopold

Another one of the more enjoyable trends in wedding photography, this is your chance to go crazy on a lovely wedding dress. Pictures in the pool, a mud pit, the ocean, let your imagination run wild.

Probably the best one I’ve seen was one done at the paintball park, it was certainly the most colorful.

Again, more work but also more fun.

Slideshow At The Reception

This is a little more tricky, but is definitely a hit with the guests. A slideshow of the wedding photos play on one or two big screens at the reception. It gives everyone a chance to imprint those memories, for better or worse, while it’s still fresh in their minds.

You’ll probably need a gear mule to help with this and the equipment is not cheap. But this points to a growing desire for real-time photo sharing.

Look for this trend to continue as well as a desire for near real time posting on Facebook and other photo sharing web sites.