Google wedding photographic theory and nothing much pops up, it's sad but true. I refuse to believe that such a massively important genre of photography is not examined from a theoretical perspective but I fear I may be right! I once dated a recently divorced man who said in relation to group shots at weddings of all things, he said: "it's a wedding, it's what people do, it's wedding photography it has to be a certain way". My heart sank a little as I do not buy into that wedding rhetoric, it's why everyone's photos look the same and as I lamented at his apparent belief in the wedding status quoand to be honest, his decision to print his wedding photo book via photo box, I mean seriously, he spent over £50,000 at a wedding in a Galway Castle but could not invest in a decent album. That bugged me. Apparently, it bugged his daughter as she went on to draw all over it with the red pen. He eventually divorced, perhaps not spending money on their wedding photos until 18 months after the wedding was never a good sign.
It's that belief, it a wedding, it's what people do approach to wedding photography that really annoys me and inspired me to study photography at the post graduate level. I was not interested in learning any more photographic tips or the practice of photography so to speak. I adore photography blogs I really do but I was not looking for lens advice or how to pose or even had any interest in the battle between Nikon and Canon. What I wanted was a greater understanding of my photographic craft, I adore Jasmine Starr and think Cincotta is a rock star but, to be honest, I'm not after any more practise tips. I have a creative eye, I have talent, not uber obsessed with the mechanics of photography. I'll happily admit that some photographers are technical shooters others shoot from the eye, there is no right way to be a photographer. What I was/am really after is understanding wedding photography from a theoretical perspective. The why behind the shooting. Why do we do things the way we do as wedding photographers.
So, I invested £10,000 in doing a photography MA instead of investing it in the kit. Why? That's complicated question with a multilayered answer but here is why I did an MA and next time I will talk about how it enriched my wedding photography
I did a photography MA:
To understand the evolution of wedding photography from a cultural perspective, why do we shoot the way we do?
To understand what role the camera plays in creating the happily ever after we chase?
To understand where the wedding photographic lingo come from, and what are the influences behind our wedding trends and styles
To fall back in love with photography
To understand wedding photography in the context of feminist Theory
To see photography outside of the bubble of wedding photography, to understand photography as an art from, to appreciate photography from an academic perspective, I mean really see it for the academic subject it is.
To understand the visual language of photographs, What role the internet has played in shaping wedding photography, Why do we feature weddings? Where does this need to have our wedding seen come from in the context of networked images and the digital revolution.
Just a few thoughts, next time I will talk about how it has improved my wedding photography