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Hey everyone,

 

I just wanted to make you all of a new trend, and a question that needs to be added to your "ask photographer candidates" list.

 

More and more frequently, I'm seeing photographers that have attended workshops with top-tier talent posting the workshop images on their websites as their own work. In many cases, these images were set up by the workshop instructor utilizing a professional model: the student pretty much only had to click the button. Often, these photographers cannot reproduce the caliber of work you're seeing on their websites. You should be asking any photographer you might be considering if they are using any workshop images in their portfolios, and asking them to identify them.

 

This is all over the place these days, partly as a result of the proliferation of workshops being offered. If a photographer wants to attend a workshop to improve that's AWESOME (I teach workshops... so I've nothing against them), but it really stinks when people use those learning opportunities to misrepresent their current abilities.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adlergray View Post
Can you tell us how we would know its a work shop photo since many of us don't get to meet with our photographers before we book them?
Well, there's no way to just look at a photo and tell, but workshop images tend to be bridal portraits or bride/groom images. They almost invariably use gorgeous brides and grooms who are, in many cases, professional models.

Other than asking, the biggest thing to look for is a big disconnect between the quality of a handful of "rockstar" portraits and the quality of their actual wedding coverage. Make sure you're asking to see complete sample weddings, not just relying on the greatest hits to make your decision. If the photographer only has a handful of images that really impress you, be aware that those images may not be representative of the work you'll receive.

Simply asking outright will go a long way though. Most of these folks aren't malevolently trying to mislead potential customers. They have just convinced themselves that those workshop images are "their work," even if they couldn't reproduce that level of quality if they tried.

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I think that's great advise, however I must say, that I haven't seen too many photographers that will do this. Yes I have seen them post those type of photos on their blogs, but they credit it the workshop. I just don't want our forum members to feel they have to worry about this, because these types of photograhers are few and far between.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TammyB View Post
I think that's great advise, however I must say, that I haven't seen too many photographers that will do this. Yes I have seen them post those type of photos on their blogs, but they credit it the workshop. I just don't want our forum members to feel they have to worry about this, because these types of photograhers are few and far between.
As a relatively "serious" amateur photographer (that is nowhere near pro) I'd have to concur with this viewpoint. I thought the original post was somewhat alarmist and somewhat distorts the value of the images obtained from "workshops".

I personally have attended some photography workshops and while some of the images obtained from them are under the guidance of the instructor, the majority of them are taken "from the lens of the student". That is, the images taken do actually reflect the artistry of the photographer taking the shot. Thus, I somewhat disagree that workshop shots are simply "point there, and shoot" to get a great shot. Photography is a far more complicated art than that. No reputable workshop (that I've ever heard of) is ever constructed to just give people good shots; the point of them is to teach students to take good shots on their own.

I also think it would be pretty difficult to replicate a "live" wedding shot in a workshop without it being fairly obvious to the observer. Nevertheless, the simple question of whether a photo was from an actual wedding or not should clear up the confusion, and is a worthwhile question to ask.

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