The photography community is in an emotional uproar as we hear about Style Me Pretty closing it's doors. I've seen about 30 photographers ask, "What is the real reason Style Me Pretty is closing?" There are a bunch of different reasons that people are coming up with, as we are all left in awe of it happening with less than a month's notice. Some are speculating that it's lack of funding. Style Me Pretty relied pretty heavily on money from their Little Black Book vendors. These vendors would pay a fee to have their business names come up when couples were searching for photographers in their local areas (or destination). It takes great customer service and visibility for photographers to want to keep paying for such a service.
With the use of Instagram and personal blogs, others guess that this might be the cause. When vendors send their weddings to big name blogs, they are at the mercy of those editors. The photographs have to be perfectly in-line with the blog's vision and on top of that, the editors of said blog will be the ones to select which photographs will be featured (if any). With the use of Instagram and personal blogs, WE, as photographers, get to choose what we show. WE get to choose if we want a perfectly curated page or if we want to show pure emotion. Wedding vendors are wondering if this is going to be the case for all big-name wedding blogs.
Regardless of the reason, the industry is shifting, and I believe in a positive way. I'm not happy that Style Me Pretty is closing it's doors, as I don't want to see any business go under. But, I do like the idea that we are taking weddings back into our own hands and returning to the simplicity of love and matrimony. It's true that none of what we are guessing could be the reason, is the reason. Though, what it has done is awoken something deep inside of us, as photographers. It has us questioning our own intentions and what we decide to show through our work.
While the details of a wedding are beautiful and help tell a story, they are not the story. Maybe this will stop future brides from telling their photographer, "I really want my wedding to be published!" Maybe we will have conversations with our couples about the importance of the portraits and candid moments, and not that we need hours to photograph their invitations.
While I thank Style Me Pretty for featuring my work several times, I am excited to see where the industry is heading.
While this is beautiful:
I would rather get back to this: