It’s share my thoughts Wednesday

Dear Wedding Industry,

Today is a sad day, but it has been long coming. I feel I must introduce the Kill List. A list of all things that must die. I’m sorry to have to do this to you – you’ve been such a good companion. And it saddens my heart ever so slightly, because some of these things I really like and use myself. But my heavy heart does find a glimmer of glee, because some of these things I don’t love, and I’m just sick of seeing. As I have watched you mature and grow, I have started to see a certain consistency in your ways, and I think it’s time to start changing. I say this with love and the hope we may find harmony and unite again.

The Kill List
-Themed days of the week
-Shooting for wedding blogs over the couple
-Furniture in the middle of nowhere
-Teepees (I feel I barely knew ya)
-People side-by-side holding hands with a deadpan look (I feel I knew ya too well)
-People holding every detail item they possibly could
-People holding every detail item they possibly could in close-up hand shots
-Style shoots (got a special article coming for this)
-Details being more important than people
-Fine Art
-People holding old cameras
-Things dangling from strings on trees
-Things dangling
-Trees (I’m sorry dear trees!)
-Tons of space over people’s heads
-Frontal feet shots where the shoes and socks aren’t really that interesting
-People being so small, their eyes are 3 pixels wide
-Tilt-shift (it was worth mentioning twice)
-People jumping in the air (when did this make a comeback? I thought it died 2 years ago?)
-Cutting images off above the mouth
-Stop motion movies
-Heart signs
-People doing weird stuff they’d never do in real life so photographers can stuff more vintage goodies into the picture.


P.S. Add spot toning. Oh, wait. That’s long dead. Maybe we can revive it?

P.P.S Oh, and dear flare, I love you, but you’re on my watch list.

Leave a comment


  1. says

    As someone who makes photographs of people first and details second, this makes me incredibly happy. I’m so tired of seeing vintage sodas, sad faces and people trying to hard to make something “artistic” while never truly establishing a personal or photographic connection with the couple. While all of us are guilty of a few of these, I’m glad someone is addressing them all head on. Thank you thank you thank you.

    • Spencer Lum says

      Thanks Niall! Yeah, I’m guilty of many of the above, myself, and I know everyone has their own way of honoring their clients, but things have gone crazy in this industry. I feel like photographers are being guided by the blogs, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I miss the simple things…like people.

  2. says

    Oh man, right on Spencer. Sometimes I feel like a jackass calling out my friends on some of this stuff but man – what has happened to good solid ‘I am documenting this day because it is important to you, not because of my need to flex my creative muscles?’ Who knows… just keep pushing forward, I guess :] I gave a talk a couple of weeks ago on storytelling and doing what you think is right and important rather than what the industry says… hit some of the same concepts, actually. If you’re interested, it’s here if not, well, keep on calling us out on our crap.. we need it.


    • Spencer Lum says

      Oh, that’s just plain hot – I loved the prologue. Wish I could hear your voice reciting it…no doubt amazing. I guess the world’s a changing, and what was is fast becoming vapor. But I hold out and hope. I think there’s room for more.

  3. says

    My favorite “love to hate” on your list is the mustache. Why must every wedding have mustaches-on-a-stick? People, it’s not original, or cute, or quirky anymore. It’s just dumb.

  4. says

    Very well said. There were so many features on some “styling pretty” website wherein you don’t even see the faces of the grooms and the brides… makes me scratch my head big time. 😀

  5. says

    Found this blog a while ago, it’s quite possibly the best one out there. You voice opinions that many speak of. Congrats.
    The blogs are needed to feed the brides, yet you are 100% correct that a lot of shooters shoot FOR the blogs and magazines and not for the couple. I shoot for the couple, for the families, and as a result, I sometimes come home with maybe 6 detail shots. Blogs and magazines haven’t figured out that the images that potential brides want to see..are those emotional ones that the past bride got.

  6. says

    This post made me laugh…hard!
    Our wedding photographer walked us over to the farm next door and wanted us all to sit on an old rusted tractor…
    Um no…sorry.

    Love the blog.

  7. says

    We cannot stop reading through the archives of your blog. Seriously. Not only is your writing incredible but, because we’re also photographers, we (obviously) can relate. Thank you for being a breath of fresh air – we appreciate it.

    And keep these kill lists coming; yes, we’re totally guilty of some of these things, but they’re so hilarious.

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