The day after Christmas I saw an article by Charissa Cheong on Insider.com, Professional TikTok creators are charging couples to film their weddings in a bid to help them go viral on their special day. Despite the long title, I read the article, but I didn’t pay much attention. The next day someone shared it with me and told me that I should, in fact, pay careful attention to it.
Why should I? I’m not a wedding photographer. Sure, like many who carry a camera, I have been asked a few times to capture the big day for family and friends. But that’s not something I’m interested in doing as a career. It’s too much work. Oftentimes, the wedding photographer is the first to arrive and one of the last to leave. Twelve hours of photography might equal 24 hours of culling and editing. Besides that, people sometimes don’t like pictures of themselves, because they see their own perceived flaws as flaws in the pictures, which is an unfortunate predicament for the photographer who photographs people. I’m also not a TikTok influencer. Yeah, I have social media accounts, and my Instagram has nearly 35,000 followers; while I never thought it would ever grow anywhere near that big, it’s still small-potatoes to be considered within “influencer” territory.
The article—what I missed the first time I read it—is about the power of swiftness. People are turning to TikTok creators to capture their wedding day because they can get ready-to-share pictures and videos quickly. People nowadays are less interested in a photo-book or DVD of their big day; instead, they want something that they can post to their social media accounts. Yeah, those polished products with a one or two week turnaround are great, but by the time the married couple receives them, the wedding is old news. Instant can be better than perfection. The younger generation in particularly would rather sacrifice “quality” for quickness.
Something else the article brings up is that people are interested in intimate and genuine content. “[Taylor Richardson] focuses on taking ‘raw footage’ and ‘candid’ images,” the article states, “which have a more ‘personal’ and ‘organic’ feel.” Richardson is then quoted, “The results end up looking like I was attending the wedding myself, like an amazing friend who never put her phone down the entire day.” It’s like the whole blurry picture trend—imperfections make it seem more true, more real, less staged. That’s what the younger crowd wants—authenticity. Or, at least, perceived authenticity.
What does any of this have to do with Fujifilm? Well, you all have a huge advantage! You can shoot straight-out-of-camera pictures using Film Simulation Recipes, and deliver amazing edited-looking pictures very quickly. Because you don’t need to edit, aside from perhaps some cropping, straightening, and maybe occasional very minor touchups, your biggest challenge is culling and delivery, not post-processing. That’s huge! Remember, it’s not perfection the client wants, but authentic pictures, quickly.
It’s not just photographs that the newlyweds want, but also ready-to-share videos. Video editing is even more slow and cumbersome than photo editing, but it doesn’t have to be. You can use Film Simulation Recipes for video, too (note that Grain, Clarity, and Color Chrome Effects are unavailable in video mode), so no need to color grade. You will have to splice clips to make under-a-minute short videos that are oriented tall and not wide. Consider having one camera dedicated to video and another for stills. If you don’t have much experience filming and editing short-form videos, that’s something you’ll want to get comfortable with well before the wedding day, and I suppose that’s why TikTokers have a leg up on everyone else. Storytelling is much more important than perfection, so consider ahead of time which clips you want to get to tell the story that you want to create.
Some people will look at the Insider article with disappointment. Those darn social media influencers with their iPhones and TikToks are ruining wedding photography! Some people will look at it with indifference. Why should I care? I’m not a social media influencer or wedding photographer. For some, though, who pay close attention, there’s a great opportunity for you, and the time is now to jump on it. You are already ahead of the curve because you own a Fujifilm camera and shoot with Film Simulation Recipes. Worry less about perfection and more about authentic in-the-moment images that are perhaps more raw and candid. The quicker that you can get these pictures into the hands of the client, the better.
The real advantage that you have over “TikTok Wedding Content Creators” is quality. While the iPhone is a good photographic and videographic tool—and don’t forget the RitchieCam App (a shameless plug)—it pales in comparison to what your Fujifilm camera is capable of. Your image and video quality can be so much superior while equally quick. The fruit is ripe for you, all you have to do is harvest it. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but if this is something you’ve been thinking about, it’s time to be decisive with your decision. If you want to be a wedding photographer, your opportunity awaits.