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Thread: Wedding photographers --- can you relate?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Wedding photographers --- can you relate?

    I came across this very well written blog today. Although I don't shoot weddings (and would never want to), I could really feel myself relating to the author.
    http://coreyann.com/blog/corey-talks...lugged-wedding
    Have any of the wedding photographers on this forum had similar experiences?

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    Senior Member btaylor's Avatar
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    haha yes. I've heard somebody say at a wedding I was shooting once that she'd be able to get a good shot (for the bride) if the bloody photographer would get out of the way! There's a million moments where you think you're getting the perfect shot and somebody with an iphone thinks they can do it better by standing in front of you, makes things frustrating.

    I no longer shoot weddings. Best decision ever. It's a hard slog. I have a lot of respect for the guys that do it week in week out. Certainly not my cup of tea.
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    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Wedding photographers --- can you relate?

    The closest I've come to that feeling is when I had a nice shot of a pair of roosting GBHs all lined up, and a grackle just flew up and landed right in the scene. Can you bird photographers relate?

    I've gone to a couple of weddings where I brought my camera, and I tried very hard to not be 'that guy'. I introduced myself to the hired photographers, told them I'd stay out of the way but to tell me if I wasn't, shot ambient, etc.

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    Senior Member nvitalephotography's Avatar
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    I agree with that from both the photographers point of view and the wedding guest point of view. Whenever I'm at weddings and see the majority of people watching it through a camera, it just seems sad that they are doing that rather than just enjoying the moment. I think half the reason there is a paid photographer is just so guests can not worry about taking pictures.

    Of course that said I tend to take a lot of photos at weddings, but I'd like to think Im more respectful to the pro photographer than most. I stay out of their way and rarely use a flash.

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    Here is just one shot of many that were ruined from the one and only wedding I shot ...






    I read a blog yesterday discussing the blog you posted above, Jonathan and my daughter and I had a few minute discussion about it. We only shot one wedding and this was our only complaint about the entire experience. Did it make us consider never doing it again ...you betcha! Every relative and guest was taking photos and if they weren't, the passed the camera, phone, camcorder on to their children to do it for them! We were in constant battle to try and get the shot and it got to be near impossible. We both decided if we were to ever do it again, we would most definitely ask for it to be an unplugged ceremony. Comments made on the blog I read were things like, the photographer needs to take control of the situation that is what they are being paid for, they need to be Type A personality, etc. etc. Granted, maybe if it wasn't our first gig I would have been more prepared to expect this and handled it better but still, it is hard to work around 100+ guests taking photos!

    One thing I would like to bring up is this ...my son is getting married in a couple months. They asked me to be their photographer. I told them that I don't see how I can be Mother of the Groom and photographer. They told me if I don't do it they won't have a "photographer" because all of their friends will have phones anyway. Is this really becoming the new generations way of thinking when it comes to an average-budgeted wedding? I have a simple phone that you can talk, text and take crappy photos with so I have no clue how good these photos are that they will end up with. Do I give up enjoying my son's wedding to be their photographer to make sure that they end up with well captured memories? Do I battle all of their friends to get the shot or ask for the wedding to be "unplugged"? Or do I just put my photographer's mind to rest for a day and enjoy the wedding?

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    I haven't done a wedding in 30 years and back then I had the experience of being the friend w/ "the good camera" many times. And have volunteered at 3-4 weddings (cousins, friends of the family, etc) that truly didn't have the $$$ to get it done and it would not have been done if I didn't do it. Somewhat my gift to them.

    I really like the blog post and excellently worded request to unplug - one could have alot of fun w/ the request if you wanted to add some edge to it along the lines of a fawlty towers monologue
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist View Post
    The closest I've come to that feeling is when I had a nice shot of a pair of roosting GBHs all lined up, and a grackle just flew up and landed right in the scene. Can you bird photographers relate?

    I've gone to a couple of weddings where I brought my camera, and I tried very hard to not be 'that guy'. I introduced myself to the hired photographers, told them I'd stay out of the way but to tell me if I wasn't, shot ambient, etc.
    Grackle's....rudest birds around...

    I almost always bring my camera to weddings. But I do try to respect the pro photographers.

    Quote Originally Posted by nvitalephotography View Post
    I agree with that from both the photographers point of view and the wedding guest point of view.
    I typically hear that weddings are the events pros like to photograph the least. Not only do they have the issues with the guests, but usually the wedding party, parents, venue, general wedding craziness (and people get crazy around weddings), etc. And these are on top of having to give up nights and weekends to photograph the wedding. My wife's Uncle is a pro and he hasn't shot a wedding in over 10 years. You can see his face tense up whenever he talks about it. This is very unfortunate.

    But I'd say I am in this camp in that I can see both sides. Ultimately, this is one of those things where of course the solution is that the guest photographers and pro photographers to work in harmony....but in reality, of course, that isn't what is going to happen all of the time. In a perfect world, 4x6 prints wouldn't cost $9 each, which they did at a recent wedding I attended (and I know those pros were already well paid just to shoot the wedding). So, guests want photographs they can afford and pros want to minimize the obsticles they face in performing their job. Because of the cost of the photos, your average guest will likely never own, maybe even see, any of the photos a pro takes. And, then there are just the people that will be crazy and want their own photos no matter what. This, of course, sets up a natural conflict.

    I guess I don't see the need to blog about it, or maybe it was a few of the statements in the blog I didn't like. Every job has frustrations and obsticles, which are very often rude and inconsiderate people. But there is usually a lot of nervous energy and emotion at weddings. I suspect that for some people taking photos is the result of the energy and emotion. Simply putting down the camera wouldn't necessarily allow them to peacefully enjoy the wedding but rather they would be searching for another outlet for that energy and emotion. That said, it is amazing how inconsiderate, and rude some people can be, and feel bad when the author is talking about being pushed out of the way, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by ddt0725 View Post

    One thing I would like to bring up is this ...my son is getting married in a couple months. They asked me to be their photographer. I told them that I don't see how I can be Mother of the Groom and photographer. They told me if I don't do it they won't have a "photographer" because all of their friends will have phones anyway. Is this really becoming the new generations way of thinking when it comes to an average-budgeted wedding? I have a simple phone that you can talk, text and take crappy photos with so I have no clue how good these photos are that they will end up with. Do I give up enjoying my son's wedding to be their photographer to make sure that they end up with well captured memories? Do I battle all of their friends to get the shot or ask for the wedding to be "unplugged"? Or do I just put my photographer's mind to rest for a day and enjoy the wedding?
    I am headed to a wedding next weekend in North Carolina. It is actually the pro photographer's son getting married. He took the stand that he didn't want to shoot his own son's wedding and instead worked out a trade with another professional photographer. I am not sure that something similar can done in your situation. If it can't, if I were in your situation, I would probably take my camera and shoot the photos I would normally shoot as a guest (same with your daughter) without the pressure of "capturing" the day as the official photographer. But I may offer to take the formal portraits, because otherwise, will those even happen? That would also hopefully be less stressful because you could hopefully control the situation, we away from the other guests, etc.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 05-18-2013 at 12:45 PM.

  8. #8
    Junior Member kingscurate's Avatar
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    For those who do weddings, what about asking the bride & groom to put on invites or by another means, NO mobiles or cameras till night time?
    Just an idea, is it feasible?
    I aint a pro

  9. #9
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    Wedding photographers --- can you relate?

    An interesting read, I am no pro by any means but I love taking pictures and have been asked to help out at a couple of weddings.

    I've been to many weddings and in many of them I was the annoying photographer probably getting in all the good pictures of the pro at the events.
    This is something I will definitely consider in the future. I have always made an effort to stay out of the way.

    I do however have a good story out of this many years ago a friend of mine whom has a sister who lives in Boston had a wedding here in Melbourne Australia. It was a big event for the family as it was the very first time the whole family had been together for about 25 years. People travelled from different countries and states around Australia to attend this event.

    In total there was about 50 close family members who haven't seen each other or been together for years.

    The weeding photographer was great. He worked hard all night. We were having a great time I might even admit that I may have had a few to many drinks.

    Something however sparked my eye the whole family was lined up outside posing like a football team. This was a special request from them to have a family portrait. I went outside and positioned myself right next to the photographer wait for it with my brand new Canon IXUS V3! (3.2 megapixel compact digital). This was my first digital camera!

    Not only was I cheeky giving the photographer a bit of cheek about the size of his camera but by this stage I was quite happy

    The next morning I got a phone call from my mates mother at 7am. I reluctantly answered the phone and started apologizing. The first thing she said to me was Shut Up! I though here we go
    and then she said do you have your camera? I said ya its somewhere on the floor in my pants pocket!
    She started crying and asked me to come right over to their place With the camera. I got there and found the Bride and Groom plus half a dozen family members in tears. Apparently the photographer got robbed all his camera gear including their pictures were now gone.
    The photographer was there and they were already making arrangements to retake some of the posed images however the family portrait was never going to happen again as people already flew out.

    It turns out my images were perfectly framed and there was enough light in the foyer for my camera to actually take some half decent pictures.
    In short the annoying , happy party guest turned out to save the day.
    I still have that camera and it's something that makes me smile every time I pick it up.

    Lots of people like to take pictures some just choose to do it professionally. There is certainly an element of respect one should have for the pro at the wedding but it all comes down to the individual.


    Great forum.

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