– Posted by Mark
We photograph a lot of weddings around here at LeahAndMark.com – this past weekend I was in Maine for a wedding in the woods behind the couple’s farm. I flew into Portland, Maine with Alumni Intern Jenna as my 2nd shooter on Friday; photographed their rehearsal dinner that night, and then their wedding on Saturday.
Sunday morning – Jenna and I woke up early to go do some shooting in the area. The sky, the clouds, and the weather all played along. Jenna’s the one modeling in these photos.
Now – before I go on (and on) about what I’m going to say – let me just state that I understand photographers that specialize in one specific thing or another (not including the ones that ‘specialize’ in basically, everything). However – when it comes to wedding photographers that almost exclusively photograph weddings – I do wonder about how those photographers are able to keep things really fresh. Sure – you want an experienced photographer handling arguably one of the most important days of your life, but if that photographer pretty much photographs only weddings – then how much variation (read: creativity) will their work have?
I’m not saying it’s impossible – I am saying that it’s impossible for me. I photograph as much of everything else, as I do weddings. I try out crazy and crazier ideas during model shoots with the Interns, or at other less pressure events – and I bring that experience (both failures and successes) with me on wedding days. When I have to shoot in the mid-day sun, outside, with hard shadows. Or in complete darkness. Or with failing gear.
I’ve always said that every session I do is practice for some unknown photoshoot in the future. Because one of my biggest fears is not that I’ll fail miserably – it’s that I won’t make the most out of a shooting opportunity, because I didn’t have enough skill or knowledge.
Basically – I don’t want to be presented with a badass photoshoot, and then make boring photos. That’s one of my biggest fears.
I never went to art school, or photography school – so I’m still working on completing my 10,000 hours of practice and work. I’ve only been shooting for two (2) years. Exactly two years. This August marks my 2nd year of doing this photography gig – and 1 year of doing it full time. I have a long way to go – a lot more to do – and I’m not slowing down at all.
If you’ve been following us around here for a while – you know that we do a lot more work than what’s required sometimes. Specifically – we shoot a lot of EVERYTHING, and we go to the trouble of shooting for the sake of shooting.
We shoot and photograph because it’s our job – and we treat it that way – our day job, not just our when-I’m-inspired job. Professional novelists write EVERYDAY. Professional runners, run EVERYDAY. We’re Professional Photographers.
If it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill – then I’ve still got a long way to go with photography – and you know, that’s not a bad thing.
– Posted by Mark