April 27, 2021
Is wedding photography dying? Are people caring less about having photos from their weddings and prioritizing videos and highlight films instead?
If you're curious in any sense then keep reading and watch a short video - hear renowned photographer, Taylor Jackson's thoughts on the topic.
Read more: Finding your ideal photography clients starts with you
Blog post cover image: Nicole Ashley
Taylor Jackson (00:00):
The future of wedding photography - I talked about this on the podcast that you probably don't know exists. And I don't really promote it. On that episode I talked about something very unique that will be coming up on the channel actually. I will be posting the full length behind the scenes of this in time - behind the scenes wedding days, take a little while to edit. A request that I got from a real client was something that was interesting. It was something that I think I talked about here on YouTube. A number of years ago that my ideal wedding day, I do photo video coverage - if you're not familiar with that, hopefully you're learning hybrid as well
Taylor Jackson (00:35):
and we'll talk more about that throughout the video. My ideal wedding day would be to go in to make an amazing highlight film. So a great four minute highlight film and deliver family photos, couples photos, and kind of that's it, the gallery being 200 images. And that tells the entire story of the wedding day. Now, my question for you is how do you feel about this? Is this something that you think could be real? Do you think people are gonna want wedding photography, pictures forever? Or do you think that people are maybe going to want more video? Here's my thought: every single social media platform coming up right now, obviously is all switched to video. If you're on Instagram, cuz you're like, I love taking pictures. Instagram's like, ha enjoy no one seeing those pictures, make it into a video instead.
Taylor Jackson (01:26):
And is that just social media and what's happening there, or is that what is actually going to be transitioning to our industry as the people that are on those platforms begin to grow up and to get older and to get married. And if you've come up on a platform where there are no still images ever, what is your use for still images? That's kind of weird. Also weird would be, do you have a digital picture frame with a constantly moving boomerang from your wedding day going on? I don't think that will be the case. I think that there still will be a need for those images, those still frames of the family. Like obviously people are gonna wanna print them still and put them over their mantle. Unless mantles are gone too and we're moving onto something else. But for the full do people need photos of their hair and makeup being done? I pushed so hard against this when I was first getting into the industry. So when I was getting into the industry, it was 2003, 2004, 2005. And the struggle was that every photographer, at least locally here in town.
Taylor Jackson (02:34):
But one of the things that I had to push really hard against was the fact that everyone locally was doing salon coverage. I thought salon coverage was really, really stupid. What salon coverage is, and hopefully you've never even heard of it, was that you began the wedding day at the salon. Photojournalistic-wise, I understand the relevance of this if you wanna properly document a day, yes, you begin there. Maybe you wake a couple up and you begin the day with them at breakfast. I was more in the camp of "I don't wanna do that." I don't need to be at the salon at 8:00 AM with the bridesmaids getting ready. Yes. Maybe it does make a better rapport throughout the wedding day that you've been with them from the beginning, but it also definitely burns you out in photography to spend three hours at a salon, taking pictures and pictures that open the gallery in a place where hair and makeup hasn't maybe even been done yet.
Taylor Jackson (03:20):
And I would tell all my couples this, but if they were like, "Hey, so like these people are offering full day coverage. They want to be there from the beginning to the end." I'd be like, "I don't want that at all." And my couples were like, "yeah, that makes sense, I don't know why we were being forced to do this.” And I, all of a sudden had a much better rapport with my couples, that I was being honest with them and I wasn't trying to oversell them on a 16 hour day or whatever, just to get their money. And now we're kind of on the same page when it comes to weddings. And I started speaking a little bit more about that. Basically, I discovered that it was a thing that people didn't want to do, and it was a standard in the industry here.
Taylor Jackson (03:51):
And I started just talking about what my ideal wedding day would be. And I made a blog post called my ideal wedding day and it's gone now, it was from like literally 2007. And it outlined the basic flow of the day. I basically planned their entire wedding day for them in this blog post as well as gave them links to venues that I wanted to be a preferred vendor at (that I wasn't a preferred vendor at at the time) and those relationships did begin to develop. And also if you are interested in becoming a preferred vendor, do I have a birthday deal for you?! So you probably know by now, but my birthday, my membership website is on sale until my birthday, which is July 14th. If you're watching this before July 14th, get in on the deal. And it's basically, if you wanna take your wedding photography business from part-time to full-time, it is the place to do it.
Taylor Jackson (04:29):
Thousands of photographers have already done it. So, come on through and a hundred percent money back guarantee. If you sign up, send me an email here, and if you're just not happy for whatever reason or it wasn't what you were expecting, send me an email, I'll send your money back. So no risk to you to sign up. Also, we're doing weekly content - there is a behind the scenes wedding day that went up this week. And also, I don't know how many ongoing weeks of content, 70, 80, 90 weeks of ongoing content. There's a lot up there as well as all the courses, all of my presets you get access to - there's a lot. So just click through to that. And I was not yet a preferred vendor at any of these places. And by making that blog post and booking them weddings, which I think is kind of the key, if you can book someone else work, you very quickly become a preferred vendor.
Taylor Jackson (05:08):
If you're just looking at them to send you money, it's not really gonna be on their priority list. But, if you start booking weddings for venues, all of a sudden, they look very positively upon you. And that was something that was kind of calculated within that as well, that I wanted to also work at these venues. And I knew that my ideal couples were likely looking at a couple of them and if I could expand their wedding search and they could be like, "Hey, we didn't even consider this venue. We saw it. We love it. And now we're booked there." That looks great on me cuz I'm now kind of planning their wedding day by a blog post I made, but also to the venue. And that's really when my wedding photography business started to take off. Back to the topic, does it make sense,
Taylor Jackson (05:42):
if you are a hybrid photo-video shooter to maybe start talking a little bit about this and see how well it goes over in your local market, if couples do seem to become attached to it, or if you find resistance in it. I am genuinely curious how this translates to your couples and your place in the world, whether it is going to be a much more video-centric market in the future and wedding photography is going to be second and the entire market's gonna flip. And that was kind of my prediction way back - once I started doing video, I saw how much better you could capture the emotion of a day within three minutes, rather than in a full gallery that you click through. And I'm curious, so put your thoughts down in the comments below. I'd love to talk more about this and get more of a full picture of kinda what's going on in the industry and make a future video that maybe goes a little bit more into that. Or maybe once I've done more of this style of wedding I'll let you guys know. That's all; an open letter today.