To My Wedding Photographer Peeps
Me sharing some ramblings on Google+ and the wedding industry
Warning Please note: It’s a long post … but at least I’m taking the time to discuss things, there will be spelling mistakes and maybe even be wrong on an idea or two and it could be organized better… but hey I need to get back to editing now. So if the lack of perfection bothers you I’m more than happy to give the money you paid me back
Pasted from my Google+ post found here
There are TONS of photographers on G+ sharing and interacting on a daily basis. BUT…
Let’s face it: My wedding photography peeps haven’t really gotten on the bandwagon yet. Meaning: They are mostly NOT on Google+ yet. Yes there are a few… but there are sooo many more out there (aspiring and established)
A few of them have profiles but even then they don’t use G+ very frequently.
I shouldn’t complain
Granted I don’t suppose I should complain too much since I get calls about weddings all around the world because of Google+ and have become known as “Jarvie: The Wedding Guy” (Which aint bad branding)
Some thoughts on Wedding photographers
Wedding photographers are a diverse group… sometimes they’re social but often they do quite well for themselves and decide to seperate business from their personal lives (I know tons of Amazing wedding photographers in Utah who have a very selective group of friends) and aren’t very social amongst other photographers. (Let’s be fair sometimes it’s because they want a life outside of photography and they prefer non-photographer friends)
Somtimes it’s just because wedding photographers are among the most busy photographers of any out there. They take and edit crazy amounts of pictures… more than most others. Who has time to do the other stuff? right?
Some come from the old world where they view helping other photographers is like shooting yourself in the foot by helping your competition. (something I can understand but isn’t my personal philosophy) those that do socialize seem to do so based on a dollar numbers only… they’re trained to do so when economically advantageous.
It’s actually kind of the Joke at the WPPI conference/tradeshow that you always end your presentation by pimping your workshop, book, video or training organization.
(again I don’t fault them for trying hard to be successful… yes there are appropriate ways to get people to want your services or product)
But being on google+ doesn’t really mean fast money to anyone as of yet. it’s an investment into yourself, into other people and into a system that they’ll have to have faith will still be there for them 4yrs from now. Many people don’t have the vision or are simply more than happy with where they’re at… that’s a lot of them. They’re happy with their past investments and their position in the mediums they’ve found themselves.
As for me
It’s kinda fun being the big fish in the small pond (even though the pond is 90 million people big) Twitter was harder because it wasn’t really about how awesome your pictures were. But google+ people are more apt to recognize that because the pictures are much more in your face.
Yeah I’m not technically a huge fish like the 30 or so other amazing photographers that got on the Google+ suggested users list. (with good reason) (And got 300-400k because of it) But I am aware and appreciative to be the most followed photographer Not on those lists and that’s cool and is pretty amazing to me. But my creativity, hundreds and hundreds of hours of work and many hundreds of posts probably had something to do with it.
Frightened of Weddings
What’s neat is that let’s say 90%+ of the photographers on here wouldn’t touch wedding photography if someone bribed them a lot of money to do so. (isn’t that so +Trey Ratcliff +Colby Brown +Thomas Hawk +Jay Patel ?) But those people still get requests to do weddings… and some photographers even get married from time to time. All around the world… which should be nice with my lack of a travel charge for weddings.
I’ve invested hundreds and hundreds of hours sharing, teaching, and helping to organize a community that I know it will all play out well in the end. And if not I’ve still made lots of friends and gotten better at my craft with the push to share and help others.
FACEBOOK – TWITTER: A historical perspective
I was an early adopter to facebook… in fact I used to get a lot of weddings through ads on facebook back before anyone else tried. (Been years since I’ve done that.) Then all photographers started to realize how helpful facebook was. Then they came out with FB pages and now every photographer seems to have a page.
I still use facebook a lot because that’s where the more typical clientelle are and that’s where my clients are and where they put their pictures.
I remember the first WPPI where there were a few of us that would meet up because we knew eachother through the new site called twitter that was already getting attention in the media but photographers hadn’t quite jumped on yet.
* #wppi searches*
WPPI is a conference for wedding and portrait photographers… it’s like wedding photographer spring break. It’s heavily talked about on twitter these days and even amongst my friends on FB but isn’t really showing up on Google+ yet.
I was gonna do a giveaway of passes on my account with +SmugMug‘s help
But the people just aren’t on yet. So now I’m wondering what to do… and that’s what prompted this write up.
It will take time
I understand why wppi is not showing up on searches yet.
I remember a few other topics that I would search for on Google+ and they would barely show up and every week I check and more and more content is showing up on those themes each time.
So it will come along eventually. Specially when photographers know they can post with their phone. Though granted conferences like WPPI have horrendous cell phone/internet reception and using twitter via text is not a pretty thing. so twitter can sometimes be much easier and will continue to be most prevelent this year.
Soon they’ll come to Google+
Granted there are ALREADY hundreds of thousands of photographers on G+ along with lots of early adopter types I just don’t know if the rest of the wedding world will jump on til probably late this year or next year.
I have little doubts that they’ll come and those that made the investment now will be benefited in the long run if they play their cards right.
Understanding the Google+ crowd
But they’ll need to understand that the crowd on Google+ is much more accommodating to people that share and the crowd is more discerning on great work and great personalities. So some of the old twitter / blog tricks will have to be adapted. But hey there is still a decent cult of personality which let’s face it exists everywhere. Yes I admit that many of the leaders of the wedding industry have actually abandoned doing wedding photography and they’re heavily followed because they spend their time teaching how to be successful in business above teaching photo-skills. (And I can understand why people love this) But it’s a different crowd on Google+
They’ll come when…
1. I think they’ll wait for there to be vendors giving away things on Google+ or some talk about it at WPPI in las vegas. Then they’ll all rush to it.
2. They will come when they understand that posts to Google+ will help their content show up much higher on Google searches specially among their friends.
3. They’ll come when they know how much better a location Google+ is to present their pictures and how much more social it can be. They don’t know that they can connect with all sorts of clients and clients friends with Google+ and not have the clutter that connecting would create on FB or twitter. I can understand why they’re sticking on FB where they’re used to high levels of interaction and many or most of them will just wait to follow the crowd to wherever they go.
4. They’ll come when their heros come this way… when the people they know and respect come this way.
Follow the leader
Think about it your landscape/travel people are who are here on google+ but the big names in the wedding world aren’t the people that talk at conferences at WPPI are not. None of them. Not a one. I am not one of those guys.
not even the organization WPPI themselves is on. They don’t even have an account.
If they do have an account they’ve written something like this 4 months ago:
“Hey folks, I think I am over Google+. I’ve reached the Facebook friend limit, but you can still subscribe to my public updates at http://www.facebook.com/thebecker I won’t be updating this page or checking it anymore (not until G+ catches on to the masses at least). Connect with me on FB or Twitter @thebecker.”
Funny because these were some of the pioneers in things like blogs and twitter and facebook before they reached the masses and they didn’t have a problem then.
They used to be the thought leaders… and now they’re getting comfortable is my theory. There are many that with their influence just want to dictate what the industry should get into and where it should go. It’s easier than leading by example and taking a temperature and relating that info.
I’ve just been silently doing weddings for years now and never ventured into the national/international scene until Google+
I am the high end photographer for the mid/low-range wedding. (It makes me happy but it doesn’t make me known) I don’t submit to wedding magazines or the wedding blogs that act as king makers. (Style me pretty, 100 layerd cake)
I don’t mind if they don’t come
It’s alright … I don’t mind at least getting a head start and being here with just a few of my wedding friends… there’s some pretty amazing wedding photographers out there… all the great ones have very good and sometimes unique styles. A rising tide
But when they do come
I will be happy.
It’ll be great… more awesome photographers to share with us awesome wedding photography. A rising tide
Wedding photographers are very talented… they use their skills in many arenas beyond wedding photography. They can be good at so many different styles because they’ve been through the fire/gauntles of being a wedding photographer.
And when they join I hope at least my personality and willingness to share keeps me ahead of the curve. haha
Until that time… Who are those Wedding photographers who are going to be at WPPI or want to go but need a pass?
Let’s get our G+ “Clique” on at WPPI
And share my ramblings with your wedding photo buddies if you so desire.