We recently had a chance to attend a celebration of two people committing to spend the rest of there lives together. Or in other words a wedding.
Now I might of mentioned before that I enjoy a wedding. There is something special about standing up in front of friends and family and declaring your love for one person. I know I’m an old romantic at heart. My wife, son and I were fortunate to be invited as guests. We had no pressure and could relax and enjoy the day.
Now being a photographer you always keep an eye on what other people are using to take images. The official ‘togs were using Nikon and I dare say any other make would probably yield similar results if you know what you are doing.
But what about the guests? Well there was a very pleasant chap with a compact camera taking pictures at the evening do. Everyone else (including us) were using …….yep you guessed….wait for it…. our phones. Once the official photographers had gone there wasn’t a DSLR or mirrorless camera in sight. In fact all the guests throughout the day only used their phones. And yes the pictures did get posted to social media more or less as it happened.
Now mostly you are looking at a mid twenties group here, with a few either side just to spread it out a bit. Potentially these are the people who MIGHT progress towards a more fully featured camera in the future. Why is might in capitals? Because they might not.
Here’s the interesting thing. The phones provided enough video and still picture quality for those using them. Together with the ability to instantly share to social media.
Now whether us two bodies and a handful of lenses toting oldies like it or not, we have to accept younger people are not into imaging in the same way.
But what people use at one wedding isn’t definitive. No it’s not. But it isn’t just one wedding. It’s several weddings, birthdays, It’s when your out and about. The bag carrying photographer is becoming an endangered species. If you don’t believe me, have you looked at the latest sales figures widely available and commented on over the web?
We are witnessing a change in how society thinks about and records it’s activities. The camera manufacturers are like dinosaurs trying to wake up and come to terms with that. Don’t get me started on prints 🙂
I still don’t believe mirrorless is the answer. I’m not convinced it will attract enough new photographers to be sustainable. Anyone wanting a half decent kit now will have to spend a lot of money to carry around a device and some lenses that can only take pictures and has woeful connectivity.
Will smartphones take over?
Arguably they have already. We have a multi function device with internet access in our pockets at a (compared to cameras) reasonable price. Cameras not built into a smartphone will become more niche. Perhaps they are now. Do we ever recognise a niche until it’s happened?
My 27 year old son shows no interest in photography. At all. Judging from the similarly aged people at the wedding they are more than happy with their phones.
There in lies the problem. For us older non gear heads cameras are good enough. For the younger ones phones are good enough. Bridging that divide is going to be difficult.
The next time your at a celebration, be it wedding, birthday, anniversary, religious festival connected to your faith ,take a few moments out to see how people are capturing the event.
Most of all remember why your there, enjoy the day and capture the event and memories the way you want…………..