test or education or not.. it all boils down to INTEGRITY. can you deliver such quality of images to the couple knowing its their big day ?
if the photog has no proper technical know-how to shoot a simple photograph of it being bright and sharp (at first) how can he go handle a wedding ? and to charge.. which is much worst.
i believe it all boil down to the integrity of the photographer...
well.. such days are over....
Be someone's assistant. do what a assistant must do. learn the ropes. touch the camera. understand why he is doing this. and slowly move up the chart.
with everyone trying to grab a piece of the pie. i foresee alot of others are out there taking shortcuts. and yeah.... call themselves a photographer when they do not even know why should they shoot M mode or cant even read lighting !
but really. film is just so classic that it just reminds me of the good old days...
Being an experienced working professional wedding photographer, there are certain skills set that you need to have - one hand are the hard skills - how to operate your equipment, how to read and use light. Then there are the soft skills how to compose for best visual effect, how to handle people in different situations, what happens when and why and what sequence, what and how to do when there is a **** hit the fan situation. Most of this you pick up on the job. Most of it is common sense and some is plain you were taught as a child which is manners.
The WPAS being a professional wedding photographers association will go into courses of various aspect of the business; we are working out the structure for this. We know that on going education is what is need to keep in tocuh with the pulse beast of the market. This is reflected in the fact that passing the certification test is not for life - a retest is need after 5 years which can be waived if a certain number of approved courses are taken. We will be rolling out the first of the educational events on 24th Nov. Stay tune for more info on that seminar.
For certification we test on what the brides will be evaluating you on - the pictures and your knowledge on how to go about working. Trust me to say passing needs a certain standard; for an exam to have merit the passing bar has to be set so that there are failures but not so high there there are no able to pass. Some one who is competent will pass.
The aspect of what is the structure of a wedding, the different practices amongst the various dialect group, ethic groups, racial groups is some thing we are current not testing. Smile even the old aunties some times cannot agree what is the "correct" way for many events in a wedding - who is to say who's procedure steps for a certain ritual is correct - each family or extended family feels that what they do is the correct way. Our job is not be a wedding producer but to document and add our artistic touch to this documentation.. Let stay focus on what we are supposed to be doing.
While we are not the sole voice of the wedding photographers , we are banding together photographers of like minds who want to move themselves forward to the higher levels of their craft. As a group we are stronger than as individuals. For instance a WPAS member can attend the MPA convention from 29 Oct to 31 Oct at S$435, a rate almost similar to that which a MPA member pays and the amount is in S$ not pounds so no forex surprises.
For non WPAS members, we can do the sign up at S$560 but all registration must be in by Oct 15th.
This is possible because some of the current committee members have opened a dialog with the MPA and there are areas of common interest where the 2 associations can help one another. Any one else will have to pay the MPA non member rates which I think 250 pounds.
I agree with what you say...about integrity. The problem for a bride is that it all a you say issue. You say you can deliver, you showed all these portfolios. At the end of the day all they have to go on is trust and that has been abused often enough for horror stories to circulate. So much that some will trust only in professional association certified photographers.
WPAS does not claim to represent all wedding photographers in Singapore. We are professional wedding photographers who want to grown in our craft and grow the respect and stature for wedding photographers are a whole. We are professionals doing our work and a "Hey camera man come take my picture" person. As individuals we will grow slower, earn respect slower but as a group when we interact and share we learn faster. As a group if our standard of work grows, brides will get know and seek you out and as a shooter in demand you will gain the respect of the bride. Smiles it is also a case of "if not for the passion, then for the money" too, just to pull a phrase from Jerry G.
Last edited by ellery; 13th October 2009 at 01:03 AM.
What kind of coverage would they/we get as a member of WPAS if **** hits the fan?
From my past experiences with wedding photogs, most of them never meets the cut, setting a minimum pass rate or bar, is not really helpful imo.
My own wedding which I paid thousands for, most of the pictures came out soft. I am sadly disappointed.
Apparently, non of the forumers here remember an incident happened here in our ownbackyard about 6 mths ago.
In my opinion, it is even more serious than this UK couple.
It was reported in the paper that, a freelancing wedding photog, doing wedding ceremony and dinner reception photos in our local InterContinental Hotel, located at Middle Road.
Besides asking to shoot, he also enjoy himself with all the food and drinks. Ending up he had got himself drunk, he hail a cab leaving the place with his bagful of gears. Along the way, he asked the driver to stop by the the curbside for him to get down to puke. While he was throwing out whatever he consumed earlier on, the cab left leaving him behind.
As he was drunk, he couldn't remember what type of cab ( in Singapore, there are 7 cab companies, colour of cab comprise of red, blue, yellow, white, black, green, grey, silver, light green,orangy brown, dark blue, off white, and some with advertisement sticker ), what number, or who is the driver.
End up...everything is GONE.
Make police report, but bcoz of no info, police cannot trace anything, and put up reward announcement in local papers for the driver to return his memory card, but to no avail.
Any body here know who is this photog ? Pls keep your mouth shut, or else his career will be shattered.
Which is more serious, draw your own conclusion.
Last edited by cabbySHE; 18th October 2009 at 04:11 AM.
It's an association. Not a school. If there's any sort of "test", it can easily be administered via portfolio review before acceptance into the association. Another would be accreditation... but like all things related to this, can be wayang-ed, faked, and don't mean a thing.
Anyway, I recently shot a wedding. Saw a videographer regularly switch his camera from landscape to portrait orientation. Hmmm...
I do not understand your first question ... the one with xxxxx hits the fan.
There are numerous people out there who will shoot a wedding thinking it is simple, they can do it ect. What they never vet is what they get over what can be gotten. Experience in the field and training helps make a difference. Most wedding photogs are self taught - only a few go through the follow a mentor route. The biz is a wonderful sort device the really bad tend to go out biz sooner or latter; the good become more and more well known.
Certification is more than just passing a visual and theory exam - what is also looked at by 3 pairs of seasoned eyes are a trade view assessment whether there is an understand of what is needed, what a client needs are and are they met, artist input is it there or not. If you have enough understand and experience it becomes obvious from a set of photos whether the photog can make the minimum grade for professional work. From what I hear if you have too much experience the first thing you see are fault and flaws. A standard mark means there is a first level separation of can delivery from the cannots. Otherwise why would we have SISR, TUV, ect for commercial goods ? In the end a standard is held up by the integrity of those who assess and the association(s) who set and maintain it. No point doing things that end up harm your rep and/or the association(s) rep 'cos in this biz your rep is part of your goodwill. Bad rep has a $ impact on your biz - no one would play about with their rice bowl.
If you are talking about the newbie in the biz without any training, experience, support net then a certain porportion would have issues like those. It would not be true to say all wedding photog are like that.
How did you go about hiring your photographer ? By recommendation, thru searches within professional photographers association websites, by bridal studio package or from CS ? Did you meet, view works, talk and get a person to person feel ? What is your yardstick for sharpness - did u mentioned u want sharp sharp photos - some shooter have a style of PP to give a diffused glow to photos - these can look soft.
Ok, this is the following-up story ( published 21st Oct ) ...
"Married couple who sued wedding photographer recreate their nuptials
A husband and wife who sued their wedding photographer for a "woefully inadequate" service have recreated their nuptials so a new set of pictures could be taken. "
It's a good move that the WPAS is setting some standards as far as wedding photography is concerned.
However, I am a little skeptical this will have a huge impact in the market here.
Firstly, you must understand the Singapore market is pretty too small for people to care what certification the photographer has. And within the group of wedding photographers themselves, the standards vary too much. WPAS is not an elite organization that charges say at least S$10000 per wedding.
Secondly, WPAS is set up by mutual friends, acquaintances, colleagues etc. Who defines these standards? It's still those people within that identical community. Moreover, photography being a subjective art, one man's meat is another's poison. I've looked thru the portfolios of some WPAS photographers and truthfully, a handful are commendably good while others seem "dissociated", ie lower standards.
Thirdly, unlike the usual profession like doctor or lawyer, even if a wedding photographer is certified, he is not strictly speaking, bound by any strict code of conduct controlled by say a government or the country. For eg, if a doctor is found to do something not legal, he is liable to be sued and the health ministry can take action. The wed photographer? He has simply produced a set of images to be judged satisfactorily by another group of like-minded photographers, which may not necessarily mean they will satisfy clients.
In other words, there are many photographers out there who didn't join WPAS and could also produce high standard works.
So I feel while it is a good first move to establish something, it's a gigantic task for WPAS to convince couples (unless they are sold on the idea of some certification means high standards).
I feel most discerning couples here will still choose photographers based on pricing. And then, the next step depends on what kind of portfolio the photographer can produce. Certification is really a low priority thing.
To give an analogy, I have a friend who has a Grade 8 in piano. When I asked her to play for me certain popular tunes, which I doubt are difficult (as she admitted also), she struggled and played like she only started to learn piano! On the other hand, there are many talented musicians out there without any cert. But they can play and improvise music "on the go" which easily puts those with music certification to shame.
Personally, if I choose a wed photographer, I won't care about certification (which has no legal binding at all). What's important is word of mouth and how you feel towards the photographer when you communicate with him and see his works.
what a disaster.. wouldn wan my wedding photos to be like this
WPAS has come a long way in a short time. In spite of the limitations discussed, such as members not having the legal obligations to comply to standards and practices, or the comprehensiveness of very standards and practices adopted by the organisation and so on.
Some efforts to bind photographers is better than no efforts at all. I can imagine the hours behind getting WPAS to arrive at where they are today.
I also agree that the biggest challenge posed to WPAS is actually getting bridal couples to subscribe to the accreditation. This is unfortunately a rather tall order, and is a potentially expensive and time-consuming one.
Nonetheless, the group's efforts is to be applauded. While it has not arrived at the ideal state, I'm confident their eventual destination is a mutually beneficial one for both consumers and photographers. All the best guys.
With the inplementaion of grading of the members, similar to that of hotels, members can be classified into groups of.. e.g. freelancing member without studio facility, or associate member with studio facility, fellowship member with under one roof type of service package, or even student member.
then a guideline of pricing and a brief description of service provided can be printed like... freelancing member ( service charge ranging from $ X - $ Y dollars ), likewise for members of different grade.
With these guideline pricing, clients should have a better understanding and clearer view of the market.
Of course, the pricing need to be revised from time to time to fit the economy.
Priscllia thanks for taking the time to write your views, we appreciate the input. 8-)
Every thing takes time and we are only at the early stages. Give us time we have events rolling out both on educational and publicity fronts
I saw you are asking about equipment for wedding work - smiles drop in at one of our events and talk to anyone of us in the trade. We all love what we do and do not mind being asked for viewpoints. 8-)
Last edited by ellery; 28th October 2009 at 11:32 AM.
I don't know what to say but all I can say is that I pity the couple for the photos of a once in a lifetime event.
I have read this news and other links in other discussion thread.
The photographs that this photographer took is damn horrible.
1. He does it on purpose
2. He is on Crack or drugs
i can take better than him maybe a few times.
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