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Gear & Apps

WedPics | The Wedding App You Wish You Thought Of, Or That No One Did

By Kishore Sawh on December 8th 2014

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There’s a general love/hate relationship that those who make their living with photography have regarding technology. In one breath, we always want our gear to advance, and perform better that the last iteration, and in every conceivable way. In another, we hold the fear that we can’t keep up with the coming change in industry that is on the front doorstep, and that advancing tech makes it somewhat easier to do our jobs – so more people do it, and the value drops, along with paid work. It pushes the working photog to find new ways to monetize, new reasons to be valued, and changing how we view our work. Well, an app is out that might make all of that a little bit harder, especially for wedding photographers. It’s called WedPics.

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If you’ve attended a wedding in the last 5 years, you’ll have noticed that the guests tend to see the ceremony and the reception through an LCD screen, rather than with their own eyes. Everyone’s got a phone camera or some other camera, and everyone’s using it. Nevermind that 95% of those will never be looked at again, and the other 5% will be glanced at briefly, everyone wants to capture the day’s events, regardless of the professional who has been hired to shoot. WedPics is a social photo sharing app that lets anyone involved in the wedding to share their handiwork with the bride and groom, and everyone else, instead of the couple having to chase down attendees for their photos.

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It’s available for iOS and Android, and has a desktop interface for added control. It is entirely free with unlimited guests and photos, allows for comments, multiple albums, allows download of the high res versions of the images without cost, and gives a realtime photo feed.

[REWIND: How To Package & Mail Your Prints, By Some Of The Best In The Business]

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It’s easy to see the appeal; all the photos will be different, someone may catch moments neither the others nor the pro did, they are likely to be more personal, and offer numerous perspectives on the day. Further than that, it’s instant – no waiting around for weeks to get the images from the wedding photographer. What may not be so easy to see, since it happens behind the scenes, is just how popular this sort of thing is, especially this company, and how fast they’re growing.

Thoughts

TechCrunch recently divulged a few details about the business end of WedPics, and the numbers are astonishing. In its Series B, funding the company has closed on $4.25 million with an expected $5 million at the finish. This is even more surprising given that the company isn’t based in Silicon Valley or secondary hub Atlanta, but in Raleigh, NC. They are signing up 25,000-30,000 new brides a month. TechCrunch quotes CEO Justin Miller as stating the company was hosting over 6,000 weddings a weekend this summer – grasp that, if you can, with a wedding acquisition cost of only $2!

From some of the comments, it seems some wedding photographers are not happy about a service like this as they feel it will cut into the demand for their own service. I don’t really see this as something that replaces the need for a professional, not yet anyway, and it may actually be a good idea to recommend it to your clients. What say you?

Sources: Techcrunch, WedPics

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Steve Vlahos

    I laugh at apps like this. It’s like asking the family in the waiting room to help perform the surgery since they are there. Like the commenter above stated, you’re not going after that cliental because they are cheap to begin with. It amazes me that we have become a society of cheapskates and try to find the cheapest “deal”. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to bunch everyone in this category because there are those that value art and the craft or photography. For me, when and if I get married, no camera’s other than the photographer will be allowed ;)

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  2. J D

    Not competition but at the same time its not my cup of tea. How will these photos be moderated? I’ve seen photos from weddings where a similar idea was in place and according to the couple well over 90% of the photos were just unusable for anything or flat out inappropriate (think pantsless selfie in the bathroom).

    I would rather my guests enjoy my wedding and be there in the moment instead of looking at it through a screen.

    And I feel bad for the wedding photographers that already have to deal with people being in the way and glowing screens in every shot. This is only going to encourage people to get up and try and get “the shot” first. I attended a wedding where at the time of the first kiss, seven guests all jumped up trying to get the first picture of the couple to put on Facebook. I don’t think the wedding photographer even got a first kiss photo.

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  3. Mac MacDonald

    I’m getting married 01/01/2015 and I’m going to be certain the crowd has this app on their phones. So cool everyone can feel a part of it and contribute in a small, but meaningful way!

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    • Peter Nord

      Are you going to ask your guests not to shoot during the ceremony so that the photographer can get photos of you and the bride rather than a bunch of people holding up their phones?

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    • Mac MacDonald

      Peter,

      Great question. I thought about this as well. The way our seating is arranged (semi-circle with a lane down the middle and wide open on both sides) it will be easy-ish for the 2 photographers to snap photos without being obstructed by the iPhone paparazzi. This is an outdoor wedding and very small.

      It is both my fiance and my second wedding so we want this to be fun, interactive and not stuffy. We’re employing the help of two of our photographer friends for the formal photos and will be less upset if every shot isn’t perfect than if it were our first wedding.

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  4. Robert Moura

    Anyone can photograph now a days, cameras are smart and totally automatic, and this site to me is another social media site with no threats, why……………… cause we are beyond that, we are pros that create artistic images and put them in a high quality albums, besides alomost every Bride wants here album done professionally and video too!
    I doubt that Wedding couples will have time to setup their selfies durning the event

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  5. Alex Lewis

    Hi Kishore…I came across your article on Twitter and wanted to thank for you for the thorough write-up! As someone who has been with WedPics since its inception, we have been very sensitive & cognizant to not market WedPics as a replacement for the professional photographer simply because…it is not. For the brides & grooms who roll the dice without hiring a professional, they run the unfortunate risk of missing out on the purest photographic timeline of what will surely be one of the most special days of their lives. The clarity, vividness and creativity offered by a professional is something that should not be compromised. Ever.

    Regardless of how smartphone camera technology further advances in the future, we feel and will always feel, there’s no substitute for the trained eye and instinct of a professional. Regardless if WedPics exists or not, we live in a time where guests are going to take photos with their smart phones and digital cameras. WedPics offers a simple solution to getting all of those photos in one central, private location to save the couple the hassle of chasing them down.

    We are always looking to bridge the gap between WedPics & the professional photographer, and hopefully dispel any rumblings that WedPics is a viable replacement for your services. As we grow, we genuinely hope to create strategic partnerships with professional photographers that can positively benefit all involved. Concerns, complaints, feedback, ideas? We truly welcome hearing from your industry and anyone is welcome to contact us at info@wedpics.com. Thanks again Kishore!

    ~ Alex

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  6. Mitch Walla

    This isn’t competition. It’s nice to have, but smartphones can’t handle the job, especially in low light, or any case where motion blur is an issue. This might see improvement, and it might pull the cheapskates away, but they weren’t going to pay you anyway. They probably would have also complained about everything as well.

    It’s a great compliment to your work, as long as you can prove how good your work is. It would be a travesty for all the 2nd rate “wedding photogs” that have work that doesn’t look any better than a cell phone picture. Present it as an option to compliment your fantastic photography, and at the same time, show them why your skills are so valuable.

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