I believe everybody who starts with photography is trying to make super-sharp pictures. I will not hide that in the beginning, it was my goal as well. But if we are on photo-session with two people showing emotions and happiness in the rain, shouldn't we make this picture a little bit blurred to add emotions to this picture as well? Or should we stick to the ideology of sharp pictures and don't care about the artistic vision what we have in our mind?
Why people believes that pictures should be sharp?
I would say that people started to believe that the perfect picture should be a sharp picture a long time ago. If we will go back in time, old cameras weren't able to capture sharp pictures as today's modern cameras. The art of photography started to evolve towards perfectionism. People were trying to produce a camera that will be able to capture sharp pictures. So once that camera was created, people started to believe that this is it ... sharp picture = perfect picture.
That's why when you make a little bit blurred picture and post it on social media, you will get a lot of criticism from other "professional" photographers.
Am I a bad photographer if I am not making super-sharp pictures?
Let's imagine this:
You are starting with photography, learning the basics and trying to take pictures with your new toy. You are reading articles, watching youtube tutorials and finding Facebook photography groups. In one moment you will take an awesome picture, with wonderful emotions ... and you believe this is the perfect picture. So you will decide to post this picture in one of the facebook groups and guess what? You will be criticized because the picture isn't so sharp as others believe it should. But you LOVE the moment what you captured on that picture because you believe that this is what makes that image "alive". You believe that people captured on that photo will look at that picture a few years later and cry. But "photographers" will tell you that you should erase it and never give it to the client because it's just not matching the standards. So the newborn photographer is starting to believe these people and from that moment he is going to delete every blurred picture which he will take. Doesn't matter if he captured the perfect moment or not.
This is not my story, because I was living with that "super-sharp picture" ideology from the beginning as I saw tons of criticism so I was afraid to post anything that was not 100% sharp. But it's the story of people who were brave enough to post their pictures and read the criticism from others.
Let's play with honesty
Find your old photo album and start to look at your pictures from childhood. Now honestly answer my question: Did you ever pay attention to the fact that your childhood pictures are not 100% sharp? Because they are not ... and anyway you are smiling, or even crying right now when you are watching them.
I believe that we should pay more attention to emotions, feelings and captured moments. Not the fact if it's 100% sharp or not.
I will tell you honestly, that with time I realized that there is nothing wrong with blurred pictures. On the opposite, they are giving us the illusion of the story behind.
What do your clients expect?
People don't expect perfect & sharp pictures from you. People expect memories captured in your pictures. They want to remember those moments. They want to open their wedding album and go back in time in their minds. Your clients are normal people, who want to have a beautiful memory of their important day. They are not some professional retouchers that will 10x zoom your picture to remove an ant.
What if my client requires all pictures super-sharp?
If you are a photographer who cares more about emotions and feelings than the technical part and your client is mad because you didn't provide all pictures 100% sharp - that client is probably not the right customer for you. You should not accept the job - it's simple. That's why I believe you should make a photo session before the wedding to check out if the client will like your style or not.
Don't accept every offer that you will get. It's better to have a satisfied client than a mad client that can make a lot of noise and damage. That's the best advice that someone gave me a long time ago.
I am not a photographer for everyone
I realized that I am not a photographer for everyone. I don't like to do 100% sharp pictures all the time as they are not creating the illusion of a good story. I like to add some mystery to my images by making them a little bit blurred. Also, I don't want to do photography for the client whose photo requriments are not the same as my vision of photography. I don't want to do something with what I am not 100% comfortable with. I don't wanna lose my vision and the things that I love in photography because of the client which has a totally different opinion about photography than me.
Of course, I am not saying that your client's portfolio should be created only from blurred pictures - no. I am saying that sharp pictures are important, but not all of them should be 100% sharp if you want to add some illusion of a good story to them.
Tell me, what is the point of being a photographer and doing the style of pictures which you don't like to do? How it's that different from normal work? In the end, you will be unsatisfied.
Start taking pictures for people who love your work and your style, not for other "photographers" who care only about the sharpness of pictures.