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.