Recently, there was a Big fiasco online about some poorly taken Wedding Photos! It not only made it to the Strait Times, but the news about the photos went Viral as well. It all started when a bride, who was unsatisfied with the wedding photos that she received from a free lance photographer, wrote about her woes online. Needless to say, the Photographer was “flamed”, and there were many tongue in cheek memes made about the whole subject.
Here are some screen shots, of the headlines circulating online:
I have to say that the Photos in question can be better and that the Photographer seemed to have made the mistake of giving the client all the photos. He did not siphon out the bad photos, and just gave the client every photo that he took that day. Terrible mistake, but I think the “flaming” was much worse.
Personally, I have heard of many people who try their best to stay “öffline”, as they say that the Internet is full of negativity. The News that is shared, is seldom good news, but instead, platforms like Facebook and Twitter, are used to mainly spread negatively, anger and frustration. If only, we can use these platforms for good!
Recently, my friend who was made aware of the bad “wedding photos” issue through facebook, decided to do something different! Instead of just sharing, and laughing at the photographer’s expense, he decided to make a difference. Being a professional photographer himself, he contacted the photographer, on the same week the issue went viral, and decided to help him with his craft.
Here is an email Interview I did with my friend Michael Chan! A big thumbs up to my man, who is making a positive influence in someone’s life.
1. Tell us more about yourself (what you do, job, how many kids, etc.)
I’m a graphic designer turned photographer. I enjoy doing different types of photography. Church based events, concerts, weddings, news, disaster relief, attached personal photographer to foreign visiting government ministers, food and advertising photography. My wife Janice and I have one son Ansel.
2. How did you feel when you read about the article about the cameraman?
I feel sad for the couple and photographer. It is a mismatch of expectations.
The couple did not get to meet the photographer till the actual day, and the two parties were clueless about each other. The couple expected the photographer to do wonders on that day, as they were shown sample photos, taken by another photographer.
Upon delivery of photos, the photographer tried to be nice to the couple, and ventured to make some creative edits to some photos. In this case, the couple did not appreciate these edits. and therefore resulted in the facebook post.
3. What made you want to connect with the cameraman?
I feel particularly for the photographer. I’ve done shoots that are more than 10 hours. I know how it feels. It is tiring. With all the negative words going against him online. I can’t help but wonder how is he coping. So I tried contacting him.
4. How did he respond to you when you met?
Andy is friendly and I enjoy talking to him. He’s open to suggestions and help.
I helped by going through his wedding photos and talked to him, about how he engage his subjects while taking pictures. By doing this, I was trying to assess his photography skills and his processes. It turned out that he is pretty ok in his photography skills and experience. But needed more help on his post shoot workflow. I went through with him some basic steps and recommended to him some software, that would help him save time, and bring out better quality for final photo delivery.
5. How different was his story, from what was originally shared?
I saw the full set of photos he took for the wedding. I can’t say it is top notch but there are pictures that are useable. In fact those 20 photos posted online are the worst of the lot.
6. Was it a teachable moment that you could talk to your son about?
My 11 year old son knew about the story. I explained and described to him in details how I felt after a 10 hours shoot. His jaw dropped and he came over and hugged me thanking me for working hard for the family. I also shared with him the virtue of hard work and value of Kaizen attitude (An attitude of continuous learning and improvement)
Personally, I really liked what Michael did. He not brought something positive to the table, but he also made it into a teachable moment for his son! 🙂 I think the hug from his son, definitely brought a smile to his face! 🙂
At the end of the day, there are always 2 sides to a coin, and any news that we read, usually gives carries a biases in the story. If we really need to “Share” what we read online, let’s spare a thought for the victim, and let’s share to bring about good.