Weddings Unveiled Magazine snubs photographer’s image

Observation and Opinion from Andy Ebon, The Wedding Marketing Blog, about Weddings Unveiled Magazine.

“Marketing includes everything that touches the customer, or the customer sees.”

That reference was the opening thought in a wedding marketing blog post from about a year and a half ago. That post was a vignette about customer service… bad customer service.

Tonight, I followed a link on my Facebook news feed, titled: An Open Letter to Weddings Unveiled Magazine. The letter was published in a blog post by Anne Almasy, a wedding photographer who services ‘Atlanta & Beyond.’ She describes her experience with Weddings Unveiled Magazine in painful and thoughtful detail. She writes calmly and with quiet emotion.. Her words compelled me to share my thoughts.

Anne Almasy is something rare: A new advertiser for a print publication

… or was… Let me summarize, comment, and encourage you to read her post, in its entirety.

In short, she sent a loving photograph of a wedding couple, gazing into each other’s eyes, at close range, the bride’s hand touching a shoulder. Anne chose the photo for her ad, because in her words, “It says home, it says joy.”

The publication rejected the ad because ‘it did not reflect their personal beliefs.’ Did I mention that the happy newlyweds were a same-sex couple?

Apparently, the requirement that the wedding couple be heterosexual was not clear in the Weddings Unveiled Media Kit (pdf). I couldn’t find the requirement. I’m guessing Anne couldn’t find it either.

“As an industry marketing professional and thought leader, I’m both disappointed and angered. I have lived long enough to observe and experience cultural evolution in many forms. I can see incremental progress, but am pained by the pace of change.”

I don’t know Anne Almasy or her body of work in wedding photography; however, today, she has my utmost respect and admiration. The publication asked her if she might provide an alternate photograph to be used for the advertisement. She stood her ground… and took a pass.

Anne’s story is not complicated, and it demonstrates even in a progressive industry, such as the wedding industry, there are people and businesses living in the dark ages.

My opinion – as restrained as it can be…

People don’t choose to be homosexual, any more than they choose to be black, white, brown or any other race. It is clear, in the United States and elsewhere, that understanding, acceptance and legalization of gay marriages is growing, steadily.

To Weddings Unveiled Magazine, I whisper this…

“Deal with it! LGBTQ couples should be able celebrate their love, as others do… with joy and happiness. The wedding day should be captured in photography and video, as every wedding couple documents their experience, with family and friends. If you believe, as a media organization, that dictating the photographer’s choices of an image is somehow going to change the biology and love on our planet, you are delusional.

You may have noticed, we live in a public, social media world. And there should be a marketing message in that.”

Please click on this image to visit Anne Almasy's blog post and view an enlargement of this image.
Please click on this image to visit Anne Almasy’s blog post and view an enlargement of this image.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

 

 

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert

More photography foibles

This photographer got the big shot (recessional after the vows). However, the end was more than a tad bumpy. Thank goodness for the videographer… and YouTube.

See the post from Las Vegas Wedding Network Brides Panel about missing the first dance photo.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Blog

John Michael Cooper: Not your mother’s wedding photographer

I met John Michael Cooper (AltF Photography) in January 2001 at Bridal Spectacular, a Las Vegas bridal show. He’s not your mother’s wedding photographer. Can you say, “Trash the dress?”

John and his wife, Dalisa, are not shy about saying that their approach isn’t for everybody. In fact AltF may be a match for only 1 or 2% of all wedding couples. And that’s fine.

barrow-parker4

While most wedding photographers take a journalistic approach to documenting a wedding, John Cooper has a unique, creative, and visually striking style of photography.

Unique is one of those overused clichés, like perfect. However, in this case it applies. Photography from AltF is a rare bird. In Seth Godin‘s terminology, it’s a purple cow.

John Michael & Dalisa Cooper
John Michael & Dalisa Cooper

His eyes doesn’t just see something differently than you and I do. John is able to meld the persona of the bride and groom into unusual context with stunning backdrops, that are pure art. Thee images demand a caption, they tell a story and speak to inner thoughts and are simply remarkable.

Now, I’ll toss in another word I don’t use much; Genius

In a wedding industry where businesses worry about price points, bottom feeders, and being slightly better than their competition, John and Dalisa Cooper have light years of separation from their contemporaries.

Do they still have to do wedding marketing, like everyone else? Some. But once you’ve seen their work, you won’t confuse it with any other photographer.

When creativity meets technical skill and is combined with hard work, you get a result that rocks.

How about you?

  • Does your result rock?
  • Do people immediately see the difference between your product/service and the competition?
  • Are you in the top 1 or 2% of your industry?
  • If not, what are you doing to create that separation?

One more adjective: Jaw-dropping. Go to the AltF website, take your time, and take away a little inspiration for higher aspirations.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog