by Skip Cohen
Trends in style, culture, new products change all the time. Hem lines go up and down, last year's fall colors from the fashion world are different than the year before and the list goes on and on. Well, photography is no different, especially in the wedding arena. Brides are influenced by the media. They're influenced by the look of images they see in magazines, in movies and on television, especially in advertising.
A good example would be how popular black and white photography has become over the last ten years. As part of the wedding industry we can think we had something to do with the trend, but the truth is it's come out of the media brides have been exposed to. And who's driving the media - how about all our friends on the commercial side of imaging? How about the art directors and product managers at all the companies whose products we purchase?
So, if you're looking for a great way to stay on top of the trends and stay in touch with what's hot and what's not - sit down every Monday morning and visit Workbook.com. In fact, I referenced the site in a post just a few weeks ago.
Today, you've literally got the world at your finger-tips. One trip through a few pages of a source like this and you'll see hundreds of images and different styles of portraits, fashion, product shots etc. I'm not suggesting you copy anybody's work, but you've got to stay on top of the trends. Maybe looking at the way a commercial food photographer handled the lighting on a salad and a glass of wine will give you a new idea on how to photograph the wedding cake or the champagne glasses at the next wedding!
Check out commercial portraiture and see how your own work stacks up. Check out landscape and architectural work just to get ideas on the composition and lighting as it might apply to the scene setters you need to capture for your next wedding. You'll find an unbelievable wealth of images from photographers all over the world and thanks to the Internet they're literally on your doorstep!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.