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08/08/2007 12:21:49 PM · #51
Originally posted by jpochard:


That's true...but as someone who just paid a photographer a good chunk of the wedding budget I would be unhappy if my photographer was either extreme...a bully or a wimp. In either case, I think it would affect the quality of the photos taken which is the bottom line to why I'm paying him/her. There should be enough self confidence to deal with the snap-happy relatives in a way that allows the photographer to do the job, while allowing the guests to get some shots. I really don't think it has to be all or nothing. Wedding photography skills include more than just taking the photos...you have to have excellent people skills as well. If you don't, I think you're in the wrong specialty.


Yup. I absolutely agree with everything you wrote. If the photographer can't get the shots then they aren't doing their job. But if they get in the way of the B&G enjoying the day with their friends/ family then they aren't doing their job either. Those 'no cameras but mine' type clauses are a good example of that.

Message edited by author 2007-08-08 12:22:07.
08/08/2007 12:22:11 PM · #52
I have a solution that Ive used. when I meet the couple, I tell them I don't mind family members taking photos, but sometimes it does take away from the final product. I show them a wonderful picture of the flower girl walking in taken from behind w/ some idiot taking a shot w/ a PS right in front of the girl. The shot would have been perfect but the other photog got in the way. If you demonstrate how it will probably be fine, but there is a chance they mess up the must have shots, usually the couple will take care of it. I leave it up to them if they want to kindly tell their family to not take photographs.

I have also stood directly in front of an Uncle Bob as he was trying to compose a shot. Not the most subtle way to let him know hes in the way, but it worked.
08/08/2007 12:33:12 PM · #53
Originally posted by levyj413:

And cudjoe, since you said it at least twice, are you really, truly put off your game because the other guy had a canon? I've seen good-natured trash talk between folks, but this seemed like it actually bothered you.


Nah... really I couldn't care less about the Cannon thing, frankly, the few digs about his camera that I did get in over the day are probably what kept me sane, but between Cannon and Nikon, for the most part it's 6 of this half a dozen of the other for me (other then on some small technical differences)

I'm sure had it not be over 30 out, and I hadn't been blindsided by the whole things, and things in advance had been different, weh might have even got along and had a good day.... possibly... he was sort of overbearing regardless :)

as for your other comment's I agree with you. my frame of mind (and of the other's here I'm guessing ) is to get great shots for the B&G, frankly I don't often show wedding pictures here so that I'm not thinking about what a DPC'r will say when I post it during the wedding. an so that I can keep ego out fo the matter as much as possible.. having said that, if we didn't have a bit of an ego, non of us wuold ever to a wedding :)
08/08/2007 12:40:45 PM · #54
The bottom line is this-:

Book Mark Simms and Me to shoot your wedding and we gaurantee we will mummify the video man, batter all the guests and then go off somewhere nice with the B&G to get pissed..

Now you tell me... isn't that worth a measly £1500 ?
08/08/2007 12:47:13 PM · #55
Hmmm...let me jump up on my soapbox for a moment....
I just attended a wedding this past weekend and as a HUGE shutterbug, I have my 2¢ worth here. I have always taken my camera to most wedding functions simply because I love to take photos. I do not, nor have I ever been "in the way" of the photographer and wouldn't aspire to be a wedding photographer. I just love to take photos in churches with all the beautiful natural light. After having many phone calls from friends begging me to take photos at their weddings, I actually thought about it for oh, about a minute, and have decided that I didn't need that stress in my life. Because of my laid back approach to wedding photography, I get phone calls all the time asking if I'd do photos for other's weddings, but I always decline. My biggest thrill is just being ''behind the scenes" and catching the moments. As I have told many people who call and ask me to photograph their weddings that, " I don't ''round up Uncle Phil and Aunt Rose" to get their portraits." It's just not something I'm comfortable with. But I guess because of word of mouth, they still seem to want my services. Go figure. But I have declined so far and like it that way. So, I will be the one in the background (without a flash, mind you) and staying comfortably out of the way of the photographer. And believe me if a paid photographer ever asked me to stop photographing something, (which has never happened) I'd politely comply. And no, I'm not selling photos to anyone after the fact, in case that's what you were thinking. Although I have given the brides family some beautiful portraits in frames as gifts. Does this make me a bad person?? I think not.
08/08/2007 12:47:45 PM · #56
Originally posted by MAK:

Book Mark Simms and Me to shoot your wedding and we gaurantee we will mummify the video man, batter all the guests and then go off somewhere nice with the B&G to get pissed...

HA! Gotta love it. lol
08/08/2007 01:29:54 PM · #57
Originally posted by MAK:

The bottom line is this-:

Book Mark Simms and Me to shoot your wedding and we gaurantee we will mummify the video man, batter all the guests and then go off somewhere nice with the B&G to get pissed..

Now you tell me... isn't that worth a measly £1500 ?


Let's go and gatecrash a wedding for the London GTG X - sounds like it could be fun...!
08/08/2007 01:37:16 PM · #58
Originally posted by Matthew:

Originally posted by MAK:

The bottom line is this-:

Book Mark Simms and Me to shoot your wedding and we gaurantee we will mummify the video man, batter all the guests and then go off somewhere nice with the B&G to get pissed..

Now you tell me... isn't that worth a measly £1500 ?


Let's go and gatecrash a wedding for the London GTG X - sounds like it could be fun...!


We could also take AlexSaberi along as eye-candy for the bridesmaids.
08/08/2007 01:42:30 PM · #59
YES!! i hear this.... i am not to great with the wedding Atmosphere... i really dont like it... there was a guy shooting my wedding ( i knew the guy very nice to work with ) and my mother in law kept jumping in fromt of him wile we were taking or grp shots after the weeding.... WITH HERE CAMERA CELL PHONE!!! and on top of that it doesnt make a clck noice on here phone it said this..." SAAAY CHEEESSE" and we are up there sweeting my wifes dress it liek an extra 80 pounds lol... ( i was getting mad for the photographer as a fellow photo guy myself)

now myself.. i shot a wedding were the bride had a bossy bride made... and she tried telling me how to postion them... so most of the pictues are of here flailing her arms around point the direction were every one to go....
08/09/2007 07:20:24 AM · #60
Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by jpochard:


That's true...but as someone who just paid a photographer a good chunk of the wedding budget I would be unhappy if my photographer was either extreme...a bully or a wimp. In either case, I think it would affect the quality of the photos taken which is the bottom line to why I'm paying him/her. There should be enough self confidence to deal with the snap-happy relatives in a way that allows the photographer to do the job, while allowing the guests to get some shots. I really don't think it has to be all or nothing. Wedding photography skills include more than just taking the photos...you have to have excellent people skills as well. If you don't, I think you're in the wrong specialty.


Yup. I absolutely agree with everything you wrote. If the photographer can't get the shots then they aren't doing their job. But if they get in the way of the B&G enjoying the day with their friends/ family then they aren't doing their job either. Those 'no cameras but mine' type clauses are a good example of that.


Those "no cameras but mine" clauses are nothing but smoke anyway.

They're unenforceable in any practical sense.

08/09/2007 08:07:30 AM · #61
Originally posted by Spazmo99:



Those "no cameras but mine" clauses are nothing but smoke anyway.

They're unenforceable in any practical sense.


If they're unenforceable, then what is the solution?

Message edited by author 2007-08-09 08:07:43.
08/09/2007 08:32:00 AM · #62
Originally posted by cudjoem:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:



Those "no cameras but mine" clauses are nothing but smoke anyway.

They're unenforceable in any practical sense.


If they're unenforceable, then what is the solution?


Diplomacy, you have to use your people skills.
08/09/2007 08:39:00 AM · #63
So I understand your frustration but here are a couple of thoughs about shooting weddings.

You gotta love it and that means loving dealing with his & her whole families. You can go a long way in making your own experience (and the families' experiences) better at the wedding by being accomodating instead of antagonistic.

If you know your business model and know where you're making money then consider this: everyone and their brother has a digital camera and everyone has taken one great picture at some time or another even if they're complete duffers. Uncle Billy-Bob (apologies to Billy) probably got some cute pic of one of the kids last month and the bride's mom or someone suggested him. You're gonna make your business grow by letting Uncle Billy-Bob take all the pix he wants during the wedding because your pictures will be consistently better than his and/or anyone else's. Right?

We used to line up formals after the ceremony and (demonstrating Judi's dominant proclivities) we'd take control of the situation and not let people pull others away but we'd also say, "After I've finished each shot, I'll give you all a second to step right in behind where I am and take the same thing so please be cooperative, let me setup the shot and take mine and then you can take yours." Believe it or not, people were considerate, cooperative and we still produced much better results for the bride (A) because I know to look for more through the viewfinder than if the bride is in focus and (B) I know better how to process and (C) I've purchased tools that enable me to outperform almost any amatuer and I've worked at learning those tools.

Having said that, my wife and my buddy that works for me alternated between riding herd on the family and people in the posed shots and they also took candids while I was setting up or shooting such that we tend to produce thousands of pix from which to choose. We were also are with the bride and groom from the time they started to get ready whether that was at home, the beaty salon, the church or whereever. Three cameras over five to ten hours in the hands of practiced wedding photographers can give you enough raw material that no one at the wedding can possible produce as comprehensive a story of the day. Having said that, if you don't have two other shooters, you can still capture the day better through your skill and professionalism than good ol' Uncle Billy-Bob.

We don't shoot weddings anymore because we just had another baby this spring and that's taken or time up again but when we get back to weddings I can tell you that we'll be going the route of letting all some family members get their crappy shot with an f/5.6 lens or their point-and-shoot and then not notice the aunt Gertrude has her eyes closed and that she looks like a darned corpse standing right behind the bride's left shoulder in the group shots. Let them take those shots; we'll be taking the ones that the couple hang on the walls.

Good luck to you. Wedding photography can be a wonderful, energizing business. Nothing is more fun to me than sharing that day with people and capturing memories of things that they will be too psyched out to remember until they see your proofs. Don't get uptight, discuss how you'll operate with the bride, groom and whatever parents are paying and then be prepared and in control of the scene before, during and after the wedding and while Uncle Billy-Bobs will continue to be annoying, you can laugh as you go deposit the check and make extra sales when the bride's mom realizes that his pix suck compared to what you delivered.

At least that's been my experience.
08/09/2007 08:40:00 AM · #64
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Diplomacy, you have to use your people skills.


Amen.
08/09/2007 08:41:11 AM · #65
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by cudjoem:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:



Those "no cameras but mine" clauses are nothing but smoke anyway.

They're unenforceable in any practical sense.


If they're unenforceable, then what is the solution?


Diplomacy, you have to use your people skills.


Exactly - but I think those sorts of clauses say a lot about the photographers that are trying to enforce them.
08/09/2007 08:50:13 AM · #66
Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by cudjoem:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:



Those "no cameras but mine" clauses are nothing but smoke anyway.

They're unenforceable in any practical sense.


If they're unenforceable, then what is the solution?


Diplomacy, you have to use your people skills.


Exactly - but I think those sorts of clauses say a lot about the photographers that are trying to enforce them.


It's just a guess, but I'd say that those photographers that have those clauses don't actually plan to enforce them. They're just bluffing in an effort to minimize the chance that the bride will ask "Uncle Bob" to show up with his full rig and drive the hired help crazy.

08/09/2007 09:08:52 AM · #67
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

It's just a guess, but I'd say that those photographers that have those clauses don't actually plan to enforce them. They're just bluffing in an effort to minimize the chance that the bride will ask "Uncle Bob" to show up with his full rig and drive the hired help crazy.


It is done to avoid liability: if the photos are rubbish as a consequence of uncle bob's interfering, the unhappy couple are prevented from suing you as your failing arises out of their breach of contract.
08/09/2007 09:13:17 AM · #68
Originally posted by KevinRiggs:

:snip:

At least that's been my experience.


You have always been a good source of knowledge, and your insight is missed greatly! Your sense of 'keep it fun yet professional' really seems to work - it's nice to see someone who works well under pressure, and still remembers how to stay 'a class act'.

Glad to see you guys keeping your priorities Kevin - enjoy those young ones! Need to GTG with you again; you ever get hold of 'Red' for a shoot? I promise you will LOVE that girl!

(btw - no offense takin; I know I'm part 'neck LOL)
08/09/2007 09:31:06 AM · #69
Riggs,

Thanks! and I agree... to be clear, this is the second time I've had the problem, but the first it's ever been as bad as the guy trying to take over the show. I love doing weddings. I enjoy taking part in their big day... I suppose if I didn't I would have quit already (granted this is my first year doing it),

On the Upside, the Father of the bride apologized prfusly for the uncles (other side of the family) behavior, and totally understood our leaving after the formals (the reception wasn't in this contract, but we were invited... and we gave up a very fancy meal in leaving). also the bride appearantly did love the pictures (called last night to tell me so... which is funny cause I really dont think they were my most inspired shots ever (not bad, mind you, just not totally inspired)

08/09/2007 09:37:58 AM · #70
Originally posted by Matthew:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

It's just a guess, but I'd say that those photographers that have those clauses don't actually plan to enforce them. They're just bluffing in an effort to minimize the chance that the bride will ask "Uncle Bob" to show up with his full rig and drive the hired help crazy.


It is done to avoid liability: if the photos are rubbish as a consequence of uncle bob's interfering, the unhappy couple are prevented from suing you as your failing arises out of their breach of contract.


Exactly, but most such clauses that I've seen specify that the photographer will leave or place a price penalty on such occurences. They don't say that the photographer will not be held liable for poor results as a result of "Uncle Bob's" poor behavior.

08/09/2007 09:53:46 AM · #71
Originally posted by Spazmo99:


Exactly, but most such clauses that I've seen specify that the photographer will leave or place a price penalty on such occurences. They don't say that the photographer will not be held liable for poor results as a result of "Uncle Bob's" poor behavior.


OK, to recap... a) keep being as patient as I was. b) learn some better paparazzi control methods. c)put a clause is that say's I can't be held resposible for 'uncle bob's poor behavior (not a clause that say's either 'no other camera's', or ' here's the penalty if you do...'). d) keep loving the good weddings... e) keep poking fun at Cannons...lol

did I miss anything? :-D
08/09/2007 10:13:47 AM · #72
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Exactly, but most such clauses that I've seen specify that the photographer will leave or place a price penalty on such occurences. They don't say that the photographer will not be held liable for poor results as a result of "Uncle Bob's" poor behavior.


Legally speaking, you don't need to spell it out in the clause: if I have a contract with you, and you breach it in a way that causes me to breach my part of the contract, you cannot sue me for my breach.

Personally, I would not include any clause in the contract dealing with this, but then I don't work in the US where the risk of litigation is higher and I am confident that I can manage the situation where there are other photographers around.
08/09/2007 10:25:42 AM · #73
Originally posted by Matthew:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Exactly, but most such clauses that I've seen specify that the photographer will leave or place a price penalty on such occurences. They don't say that the photographer will not be held liable for poor results as a result of "Uncle Bob's" poor behavior.


Legally speaking, you don't need to spell it out in the clause: if I have a contract with you, and you breach it in a way that causes me to breach my part of the contract, you cannot sue me for my breach.

Personally, I would not include any clause in the contract dealing with this, but then I don't work in the US where the risk of litigation is higher and I am confident that I can manage the situation where there are other photographers around.


Maybe I should move to London... granted here in the Rockies is too nice to leave :)
08/09/2007 11:09:14 AM · #74
Originally posted by Matthew:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Exactly, but most such clauses that I've seen specify that the photographer will leave or place a price penalty on such occurences. They don't say that the photographer will not be held liable for poor results as a result of "Uncle Bob's" poor behavior.


Legally speaking, you don't need to spell it out in the clause: if I have a contract with you, and you breach it in a way that causes me to breach my part of the contract, you cannot sue me for my breach.

Personally, I would not include any clause in the contract dealing with this, but then I don't work in the US where the risk of litigation is higher and I am confident that I can manage the situation where there are other photographers around.


Yeah, they do , or should. Mine says

[15] While every reasonable effort will be made to produce and deliver outstanding photographs of the Wedding events, because the Wedding is an uncontrolled event, Photographer cannot guarantee delivery of any specifically requested image(s). No other photographer will be permitted to photograph, pose, direct or interrupt while Photographer is working. Any breech of this agreement will constitute a reason for non-completion of the job with no liability to the photographer and the loss of all payments made under this contract.

08/09/2007 11:30:23 AM · #75
When my sister-in-law got married she asked me to bring my gear, even though she had hired a pro. I told her I would stay out of the way, but would shoot some candids for her. She had no faith in the pro. They had hired her, because she was a friend of a friend and when they looked at her portfolio it was all mountian biking shots- no weddings, no portraits, nothing but biking.

The photographer sets up the formals and everything seems to be going good. I was roaming around shooting family and misc. things. By my count the photographer shot 18 rolls of films. When time came for the end of the ceremony and the kiss and the walk back down the aisle the photographer was leaning against a wall, casually changing her flash batteries. My wife elbows me in the ribs and glares at me for having my camera in my lap. I ended up shooting the end of the ceremony, the walk down the aisle and most of the recieving line. The photographer changed her batteries and then decided to go hit the buffet table before, as she told my sister in law, it got crowded.

Four weeks after the ceremony- and about 20 phone calls from my sister in law- she finally got the results of the photographers efforts, 32 shots (poorly printed), no negatives and a cd of positively horrible flat bed scans from beaded surface paper. There were no shots from the formal shootings, aside from 1 of the bride and bridesmaids, that was about 3 stops under exposed. There was a couple shots of the ceremony including the bride walking down the aisle, with both shots cutting off the top of her fathers head. Everything else was candids from the reception. She's been trying to get the negatives ever since, which the contract says they were to get the negatives, but the photographer has been traveling around on the mountain biking circuit and keeps telling her "Oh, they're in my storage unit, when I get back to town I'll get them for you."

The moral of this story- if you're going to hire a pro, at least hire a pro wedding photographer.


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