If you look at enough photography on a regular basis you start to notice techniques which photographers use as way to stand out from the crowd and make their pictures look different. The trouble is that other photographers see these techniques, copy them, and everyone ends up looking the same. How many of the following techniques have you noticed making an appearance in wedding portfolios recently?
- "Vintage" Photoshop effects
- Overlayed textures
- Fisheye lenses
- Cheesy, awkward looking poses
- Dramatic, moody, artificial lighting
- iPhone Hipstamatic/Instagram type photos
- "Photoshopped" fake skies
- Tilt/shift "making things look tiny" lens effects
- Selective colouring
- HDR (High Dynamic Range) processing
- Fake-looking blurred backgrounds
None of these techniques can "save" a bad photograph. They can only dress it up as something a bit "different". Gimmicks are just that - cheap and easy ways to make your pictures look different. But photography doesn't need gimmicks to stand out from the crowd - it just needs to be good.
The only real way a photographer can differentiate themselves from the crowd is their eye. Every photographer has their own vision, their own way of seeing and capturing the world, and that's what you should be looking for when you're trying to find the right photographer for your wedding - someone who sees the world in a way that inspires you.