Report: UK Couples Favor Uncle Bob to Wedding Photographers

*sigh* it seems like Uncle Bob could be winning the wedding photography wars…

In the UK, couples are ditching wedding photographers in favor of amateurs and GoPros; at least that’s what a report from Amateur Photographer is stating. So rather than paying an experienced professional, they’re going for friends, friends of friends, relatives, and essentially crowd sourcing their wedding using hashtags on Instagram.

It’s a sign of the times; but honestly, we should have seen this coming.

One of the biggest things that a wedding photographer tries to convince a couple of is the fact that with them, they’re not just paying for a photography. Instead, they’re getting a full fledged service of people skills, professionalism when it comes to editing (mostly) an engagement package, maybe prints that can’t be rivaled, etc. But judging from how weddings have evolved in the past couple of years, it appears that we should have seen this coming.

What am I talking about? The global state of economy lent itself to couples being more creative, having smaller weddings that are more intimate, and with more of an alternative DIY style. I’ve been to them, you’ve been to them, we’ve all seen them as much different from everything else out there. Planners have been thrown out, catering is sometimes done by families who cook loads of food, etc. Of course, all of this depends on the ethnicity of the weddings, religion being involved, etc. But more and more are doing this without the involvement of religion.

Tie all of this together with the growth of social media. Everyone is a photographer (not necessarily a good one) and by using Instagram, everyone can shoot a photo, upload it to Instagram using a hashtag to curate the wedding album, and then later on the couple can show off their images really easily. Professional photographers can combat that by using web-ready cameras to port an image from their camera, to their phone and then to the hashtag. But sadly, they haven’t been doing that despite there being times during a wedding when it’s perfectly fine to do so. Unfortunately, people don’t prize photography in general as much as they should. To that end, photographers should be marketing themselves more as artists who use photos more than anything.

Sounds pretty hipster to you? I’ve gotten emails about this: but that’s how the world goes.

  • Richard Jackson
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    I think people underestimate the time and effort to obtain good photos/videos.
    There is a fine line between being present in the moment and missing seeing the event with your own eyes.

  • Chris O’Connor
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    Please include the available data from your source. A single venue polled 1,000 people and found 1 in 3 (a minority last I checked) did not want a pro. They also found 1 in 5 were not happy with the amateur results. There was zero data of a trend.

    But I guess that headline will get clicks.

    • VSB
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      Not a very well-written piece, either.

  • BlackRipleyDog
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    I was asked to “Uncle Bob” my daughter’s wedding along with a close friend of hers who blew my stuff out of the water. Weddings are once-in-a-lifetime (for most of us) event and if it means that much, hire a photographer who really has an eye for it and not rely on crowd-sourcing.

  • RetLaEnvEnp
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    Shot 12 weddings as “uncle bob” – got it out of my system and it was not always a good experience. Pro photographer does not show up for rehearsal supper – uncle bob shoots it. Pro does not shoot the wedding cake or families of the bride or groom – uncle bob shoots em. Pro photographer looses all pictures of wedding – only pictures are in uncle bob’s expensive pocket camera that the pro photographer raised hell about when he was taking a picture across the room.

    The pros that were nice to me did outstanding work – one group had at a expensive wedding in New Orleans had 3 still photographers, 2 light men, 1video camera man, 1 man with a boom mike, make up person and a director. I shot the audience and put my camera up – their work was incredible.

    General rule – the ruder the hired photographer is to uncle bob – the worse the wedding pictures will be. A real PRO does not worry about uncle bob. Uncle bob is easy to work with; a pro tell uncle bob to stand behind him/her to one side or the other to take a picture. Easy to do and polite.

  • Dan C.
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    Back in 2000 when I got married we didn’t have money for catering nor a photographer. So one of our friends rented a bbq-trailer, and everyone brought their (then) new high-tech point and shoot digital cameras. I guess we started a trend 🙂

  • Bewar3them00n
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    I’m “Uncle Bob” !
    My sister was doing her wedding on a shoestring, where everyone contributed whatever they could, my contribution was to do the wedding photos, am I a wedding photographer? No, but I have plenty of experience with photography, being a designer and illustrator.
    This is the state of things today, the adage that a “Jack of all trades, master is none” has been changed to “master of all” as people’s skill sets have had to be expanded, (I also used to be an optoelectronic engineer, working with fibre optics 25 years ago before changing to a more creative field) I can also repair old manual cameras.
    This also applies to anybody who has a dodgy copy of Adobe Creative suite, they can be a “designer” too, which also impacts an my current field of work, I just have to make sure my illustrations, and photography gets constantly pushed into new areas to keep ahead of Joe Public