If you're a wedding photographer and you're using a Sony, Fujifilm, or even a Hasselblad, sorry, you're not a pro. At least, that's what Brides magazine would have you believe.
I try to exercise a lot of patience in life, but seeing publications in a position to educate instead pass off obvious misinformation is a pet peeve of mine. Such is the case with Brides Magazine, which recently published an article titled "Essential Questions You Need to Ask Your Wedding Photographer" with a glaringly wrong piece of advice that could compromise both work for a photographer and a couple's ability to choose an appropriate wedding photographer. In the original version, the article advises brides to ask their photographer what sort of equipment they use:
What kind of equipment do you use?
'They should say either Cannon [sic] or Nikon, which are the most readily available professional cameras available,' says Tiffani. 'However, there are professional and amateur cameras in both brands. A professional camera should be a 'full format' camera. This will ensure that you can print large-scale prints easily.'
Obviously, there are numerous things wrong with this statement. Our own Jason Vinson does gorgeous work with crop-sensor Fujifilm cameras. Plenty of shooters have made the switch to Sony mirrorless. And we haven't even mentioned those who use medium format systems. Beyond the fact that this is just plainly bad broad-spectrum advice that's demonstrably incorrect, I find it all the more annoying because it encourages clients to ask questions they probably don't fully comprehend the answers to (through no fault of their own considering they're likely not photographers). It would be like me refusing to go to a restaurant because of the brand of knives the chef uses when I don't know the first thing about knives. But more importantly, what about how the food tastes? What about how the photos look? Why is Brides not encouraging couples to really study portfolios to find a style they love instead of interrogating photographers on their brand choice, sensor size, whether they use film or not, and what type of file they shoot? If you don't know photography, their answers will mean nothing to you anyway, and if you do know it, you'll know that the final images matter way more than if it wasn't shot on a full-frame Can(n)on. A properly educated client makes better choices that make for more compatible working relationships, and that's better for the everyone involved.
What kind of equipment do you use?
Ideally, your photographer would use the most readily available professional camera.
I'm sorry, but I don't even know what "readily available" means. The latest model? The most popular? Again, this sort of thing is frustrating for me not because I'm sitting here, itching to snipe at some publication for giving poor advice, but because people read magazines and give them assumed authority, and they take what they read and come to wedding photographers with it. And when they unnecessarily pass on a photographer they like because of some technical piece of information that they don't understand and that doesn't matter, it hurts the photographer in the lost income and it hurts the couple in that they possibly pass over the right photographer for irrelevant reasons.
What do you think? Should couples be asking photographers about their equipment? Or is it just the images that matter?