Should you shoot at a wedding?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Robert Kennedy, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I am going to try and split this thread off because it is interesting. Here is the post that I think we need to start with. My goal here is to open up a dialogue about the ethics of someone shooting at a wedding where they are not the hired shooter.

    Here is the post -

    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
    Robert

    We are getting off track here, but as someone who shot a few hundred weddings in a previous life, the fact of another camera intruding on the wedding coverage is very annoying. I don't want to get into a discussion of your rights to shoot at a friends wedding but the following is a few reasons that it is distracting.

    1. It is my living, and you giving or selling prints cuts into it.

    2. I want the B&G and family to pay attention to me. If they are looking around at other photographers when I'm posing or shooting, the picture quality suffers considerably.

    3. At the church amateurs will step in front of me while I'm trying to shoot. Shots that can't be redone.

    4.Time is precious and if they are posing for you, you are stealing valuable time.

    5. The B&G saw my work previously and that is why I was hired. They already know the prices and the quality. An amateur getting in the way and undercutting is hurting my business.

    I'm sure that whatever you occupation is, you would not be impressed with someone coming in and hurting your work product or disrupting your work.

    Anyway, just another point of view.

    Thankfully I paid my penance and have not shot weddings for years.

    Michael McBlane
    </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
     
  2. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I'd like to address these points one by one -

    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
    1. It is my living, and you giving or selling prints cuts into it.
    </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>

    Which is why I never sell any photos I take at a wedding. I do, as I mentioned, present the B&G with a special print from me. But this in no way harms the photographer's business since it shows up a good month or more after the wedding, and they don't expect it. I can't imagine anyone refusing to pay for their wedding shoots because my single picture (sometimes a tryptych on rare occassions) fulfilled all their needs! Giving a print of an image I took and that is unique to my vision won't cut in to anyone's business. Especially when it shows up well after the photographer has made his sale.

    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
    2. I want the B&G and family to pay attention to me. If they are looking around at other photographers when I'm posing or shooting, the picture quality suffers considerably.
    </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>

    Very true. Personally I never shoot over the shoulder like "Uncle Al". I like to stand back and look for those moments when nobody is expecting a shot to be taken. Street style, really.

    I can understand the concern though. It seems to me though that a couple of people I have seen do the formal shoots don't consider that the easiest thing to do is just plan to not have people around who can interrupt!

    And example -

    I went to one wedding where they had planned everything out so that the photographer would take the wedding party off to a pre-determined area and shoot all the formals, etc. while everyone else was herded by the waitstaff into an area with food and drink.

    In essence the B&G just disappeared. Thirty minutes later they show back up with the photographer in tow. Smart. Nobody standing behind the photographer with their Coolpix.

    At other weddings I have seen the pictures take place smack dab in the middle of the damn hall! I mean formals in the middle of EVERYTHING. Not very condusive to a good image. It seems to me that to do this correctly, one must ASSUME the worst of human behavior and then take the responsibility to correct for that. In other words it is not the wedding guests' fault if they get in the way of a shoot that is occuring in the middle of everything. The photographer must engage in some amount of staging. Of course this does not excuse boorish behavior by anyone.

    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
    3. At the church amateurs will step in front of me while I'm trying to shoot. Shots that can't be redone.</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>

    I have seen that. It does suck.

    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
    4.Time is precious and if they are posing for you, you are stealing valuable time.
    </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>

    See, that statement bugs me a bit. When I shoot in the studio, I am often under similar constraints. Time can LITERALLY be money. That is why I plan ahead. It seems to me that in any situation like this, one needs to be a manager somewhat. Down to having a list of who is in what shot. It should be made clear to the B&G that they need to follow the schedule, etc. to get what they want. It is an odd situation in that you are hired to do the job, but you also have to instruct and guide your employeers! Again, this issue can be avoided with some work beforehand.

    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
    5. The B&G saw my work previously and that is why I was hired. They already know the prices and the quality. An amateur getting in the way and undercutting is hurting my business.
    </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>

    Like I said before, I don't sell. I give. And I only give 1 or 3 pictures well after the job has been done.

    I can understand the sentiment though. Here the wedding business seems particularly ummmmmmmmm........... insane is the only word I can think of at the moment.

    It seems everyone with a digicam and a printer is jumping in. There is actually someone who has ads saying that they will do a wedding for $60.00!!!

    And of course this makes anyone charging a realistic amount seem like a fraud of some sort. The average B&G are usually so swamped with bills at this point that they say "O.K." to $60.00. It must be insanely tough trying to combat the "idiot newbie" factor.

    Personally I refuse to shoot for anyone, but I do offer to give them some advice on choosing somebody and some questions to ask. Like what format, etc. I also tell them to expect to PAY. There are no "super deals" here. You get what you pay for. I also advise them to look for such things as samples from MULTIPLE weddings (not just one), high quality work, references, etc. It amazes me that people don't think of this on their own.
     
  3. David Hall

    David Hall Member

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    You guys make EXCELLENT points. And this thread is relevant because I am about to attend a colleague's wedding, and I plan on bringing a camera.

    Here's what I do always, and will do shortly:

    1) Use the Leica or Mamiya for small, sharp, fast black and white candids.

    2) Make small prints, 8x10 at biggest. They almost always beat the work of the main photographer. And, frankly, as a non professional, I am proud of that and love it.

    3) I do not step in front of the hired guy, and generally avoid him altogether, so as to not distract or delay.


    Is this wrong? Does this make you guys want to shoot me?
     
  4. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  5. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Interesting thread.

    Lets start at the beginning. I, like most photographers who are portrait photographers, didn't go to school to learn photography. We learned by taking pictures and if we wanted to do it for a living we almost always had to start out by doing weddings. Weddings are a great cashflow. Our proficiency usually was reflected in our prices. Some of us took seminars and courses to learn the craft and to upgrade our skills. Back in the seventies we usually depended on weddings to stay in business. The good ones eventually did fewer and fewer weddings, charged more and ended up doing more families and portraits, and the poorer ones had to live off it.

    During this time a guy by the name of Rocky Gunn perfected the concept of a photographer only shooting weddings. He'd book four or five on a Saturday, then send lots of shooters out to do the candids and then he'd show up and do the good stuff.

    This caught on and there were many imitators.

    So at any given wedding there were basically amateurs shooting under the name of a professional studio. And obviously some were better than others. The good ones did the high prices weddings and the others did the lower stuff,
    it was all about money.

    Later I guy by the name of, I think Dennis Regie (sp?) came along and made popular the photojournalist approach to weddings. Less formal. Now he has plenty of imitators. This allowed people without any training to blast away and consider it photojournalism.

    So back to the point. Many people shooting weddings are new at it and if you aren't paying a lot of money you're probably getting them for your wedding. So for you, the guest, to show up and take the occasional superior picture, is no great achievement. But remember they have a list of what is needed by the B&G and you have the luxury of taking a few shots that you consider interesting. You have a distinct advantage.

    As to ethics, I think you do what you want, take your shots, stay out the way and everybody will be happy.

    I remember times people like aunts or relatives would continually get in the way then at the reception would ask me how to get the film out of their cameras. They screw up my stuff and didn't have the knowledge how to use their cameras. Others would continually fire off my slave strobes with their flash. It wasn't a huge problem but it was a distraction. The things photographers hate is when you are posing people and amateurs take pictures of that. Then when the B&G are ordering prints they don't buy the extras for some relatives because they stole your shots. Not as good but good enough for the relative.


    We used to call shooting weddings "combat photography" and I'm glad I don't do it anymore. It was fun but a hell of a lot of work.

    Anyway that is my rambling opinion.
     
  6. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Robert makes some good points. Funny how the photographer is where they haggle the most and want the cheapest possible price and it is the only thing they will have to remember the wedding. I never understood this attitude.

    I remember once I was shooting in the street and a guy stopped by and asked me if I would shoot his wedding. I said, I would love to but I dont have the equipment necessary to do a good job, the guy kept insisting, and I kept giving him the same answer, so finally he said "you wont do it even for a couple of hundred dollars?"...lol....thats when I broke down laughing and told him, you want me to shoot your wedding it would be a couple of thousand!......
    He quickly left.....

    Doing weddings is one of the hardest jobs there is, so the photographer as Robert points out should be a manager as well as a photographer. He should inspect the venue first hand well in advance of the wedding, plan for the shots and also plan for people who will also take pictures. If the photographer is good and his work is good then he should not be worried about other people shooting, OTOH if he is mediocre then a guest upstaging his photographs might be a worry. The good wedding photographers never even worried about people bringing the cameras, as Robert points out they had planned the photo shoot and talked to the B&G to make sure they understood the schedule, so that all was done as quickly as possible and they could enjoy their wedding.

    What they actually told me is that they hated the "video" guy....with his hot light and usually getting in the way of the photographer. Specially since it was the photographer who set up the shot and the video guy would just step in and take advantage. Many of my friends told me that they made sure the B&G knew that the video guy was under his commands, or that they would refuse to shoot the wedding.

    So I guess it all depends, if the main photographers shows up with a coolpix and you with a hasselblad, well I can see the problem and how he would not like to have you take pictures. If he OTOH shows up with with professional equipment and looks organized then he should not worry about it, invariable people will want to take pictures and he also should be a diplomat.
     
  7. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    It may be the reason that the haggling takes place is that with todays era of throw away marriages that the bills often last longer then the marriage. Sad, but true.
     
  8. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    There is a good point to be made about what the hired shooter has to do and what someone else can do. I have the luxury of throwing away the vast majority of the shots I take at a wedding. A pro doesn't. What gets me is the "Bronica bad, Nikon o.k." attitude that I ran into. A good picture is a good picture is a good picture. As long as some basic equipment considerations are taken, the camera type is pointless compared to the photographer's skill. A crappy 4x5 chrome will not blow away an excellent low-light portrait taken on grainy T3200!

    I find the comments about the development of the wedding industry fascinating. Especially in regards to PJ style. Blast away and keep the winners. When it comes to digital this seems to be the case also. Again and again we hear people say "you can erase the bad photos". Which makes you wonder how MANY bad photos someone is taking! I wonder if history is not repeating itself with the vast influx of cheap digital shooters.

    And I definately agree with the "combat photography" statement. It takes someone very skilled to handle such a highly emotional situation!

    And I also agree about those damn video guys. The last wedding I was at I was shooting 3200 (I love to play around with film and styles at these things...I usually shoot everything from Pan F 50 to 3200 pushed to 6400)., and the video guy turned on his light! I watched as my meter pegged itself and I lost what would have been a neat shot of the B&G.

    Plus I was blinded. I can't imagine the pro shooting at that time (who was very good) enjoyed having to work around this! Especially since the video guy was running everywhere. You'd be getting a drink and WHAM!, there is this dazzling light shooting out from the other side of the ballroom.

    Personally, I never understood the video thing. I guess if you like tape of family and friends drunk it is useful....
     
  9. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    A comment and one story:

    I've never understood the concept of print resales being an important part of a wedding photographer's compensation. What does he charge per print for the sale of 4 extra 8x10's to be significant? If I were doing wedding photography I would charge (hansomely!) for my time and three good albums - Bride and Groom, Parents and In-laws. And by the way, if you want the negatives, they're yours. Anyone else taking pictures would be fine with me, I've been paid and my medium format formals will be technically superior to anyone else's there.

    Now as to the question, should you shoot at a wedding? If the Bride or Groom is a close friend or relative, I believe you have an obligation to. It's too big a day for the bride to depend on one person taking pictures.

    One of my now wife's best friends was getting married, so I took a rangefinder with a 35mm lens and a small flash for fill to the wedding and reception. I only shot one 36 exp. roll of Kodak consumer print film, very unobtrusively and never got in the way of the professional photographer. I never had the roll developed, pretty much forgot about it, since I was shortly getting married myself and lost track of it.

    Ten years later, my mother found the roll of film in a drawer and had it developed at the local chain store, just to see what it was. Considering the passage of time, the negs turned out very well. My wife and I mentioned this to the couple, in passing, when we saw them next and they exchaged a strange look... turns out the wedding photographer had had some disaster and could not provide any pictures. They cobbled together an album with shots from the immediate family, but forgot that I had taken any. My pictures were a significant addition to their album, to put it mildly.

    The unhappy end to the story is that the groom was killed at the World Trade Center. I'm glad his wife has those pictures.
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, there is haggling at every stage of the wedding business (my parents used to be in the jewelry business, so they saw that end). I don't think the photographer has it any worse than the florist, caterer, jeweler, dressmaker, tux rental, etc.

    Personally, I find most wedding photography tedious and formulaic, so when we got married, I asked a friend who is a landscape photographer and loathes wedding photography as much as I do to photograph mine and I in turn photographed his. It all worked out well. We each wanted a few good shots rather than leather albums and the rest of that nonsense, and we each got what we wanted.
     
  11. Robert

    Robert Member

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    I wonder how much of the haggling is just a reflection of the low opinion many have of photography. They believe almost anybody can do it so why pay so much? Not many would consider asking the person next door to make a wedding dress but many will consider asking almost anybody to take pictures. Worse with digital I'm guessing now people will be looking at injet 8x10s and wondering why they should pay more.

    Personally I think if you can't handle Aunt Edith and Uncle Bob with thier cameras you're in the wrong business. People will bring thier cameras no matter what you do. You can try to stress everybody out by banning them but I bet some body will still sneak one in.
     
  12. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    "Personally, I find most wedding photography tedious and formulaic,"


    Quite true but aren't 95% of wedding tedious and formulaic. The B&G are wearing their uniforms, as per tradition. The bride wears white( now there's a strange tradition). The whole thing is this strange interplay that is basically a blur to the B&G. They are herded to place after place for the entire day to live out this strange fantasy that has been instilled in women for centuries.

    The family pays thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars for clothes, cake, hall, limo, music, booze, food, and of course photography. And the next day it is all gone except the pictures. And only 50% of the marriages last. It is a very strange industry.

    I agree, get married, invite a few friends to your house, have a party and get a friend to take some pictures. Then give the B&G a great honeymoon and give them the downpayment for a house with the money you saved.

    Later.
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    "Quite true but aren't 95% of wedding tedious and formulaic."

    Absolutely! We also dispensed with as much of the tradition as could be dispensed with without offending the family too much, while still having a good party in a nice place with good food and good music and our good friends and family having a good time. I wore a suit that I wear on other occasions, and my wife used her sister's wedding dress. The formalities were performed by a judge and took about 10 minutes (I edited her prosposed speech down to about 2 pages). Limos were not rented, bouquets were not thrown and there was no striptease garter dance. We had a great jazz combo that did not play "Turn the Beat Around" or "Electric Slide" (which for some odd reason are on every "Wedding Band" video demo). Instead of a stacked wedding cake, with the B&G in plastic on top we ordered a desert we liked from a favorite restaurant. A good time was had by all (except for one neurotic friend who was going through a depressive episode, but she seems okay for now).

    We don't have albums of photographs, but we have memories in the place we usually keep memories, and that's enough.
     
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  15. DKT

    DKT Member

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    I sympathize with the wedding guys here a bit , because I have to shoot alot of public events and often have a dedicated shot list that I have to get done. Sometimes we do setup shots of groups of schoolkids etc, on stage at awards type ceremonies, and will have literally less than a minute to do the shot. We may do 25 or so one right after another....on a stage in front of maybe 350 people waiting for us to get off so they can move on. We do 2 exposures, next group, 2 shots, next etc. ....there have been times, where people would get up there and try to get a shot and trip the synced strobes of whatever--the kids think it's done & they split--we miss the shot etc. Or, mass confusion, we look like idiots--the subjects don't know where to look. " Do I look at mom, or the photographer??" You might say "look at mom"...but I'm the one who gets yelled at if the shot doesn't turn out.....I had to shoot a big ribbon cutting type ceremony over the holidays--I was told there'd be like 5 people in this one group shot, and it turned into 25+ before my eyes.In a lobby that was packed with hundreds of people. I set it all up on a staircase and almost lost my voice trying to keep everyone in line--I had to yell, because it was so noisy. One person was AWOL, and they *had* to be in the shot...we waited about 5 minutes and everyone wanted to leave, go back to the party all around us. Finally, this person shows up, and I have to continually move this crowd back (unfortunately a long buffet table is behind me) and just barely get these people framed in with a 20mm lens. Now I'm sweating it out because I'm shooting with one strobe on a bracket. I get ready to do the shot, and then--bam!--there's like a half dozen people behind me with point-n-shoots shooting from all angles. The people are confused , because they all want to get out of there and think I did my thing...I have to politely put everyone back in place, move these people behind me out of there, move the buffet line back etc. Who am I to these people? I'm the staffer--the employee...who are they? These are not just "everyday" people...I'm not in a position to be pushy or rude here. But I had to be very clear and firm in the end-- to the point of being pushy....so put in perspective--you got some poor guy trying to do his job, let him do it. He's the one who'll get chewed out afterwards, when everyone has forgotten what Uncle Joe did etc. He's the guy y'all are complaining about now....

    Like any working photographer, I have people approach me for weddings all the time. I don't do them. I tell them, no way. You hire a professional--too much work. But really, they approach me because they think as a photographer who's not a wedding photographer, I'll cut them a deal. They always mean well, but there's some sort of bizarre reasoning that kicks into intelligent people about any sort of commercial art or design. They think it's "fun"...."why should I pay you $2000 to shoot my wedding, when it's fun?". C'mon, fess up--who hasn't had someone ask them to shoot a wedding for the cost of film, because it's "fun"....Even if it's fun, it's still alot of hard work....

    I've shot 5 weddings, everyone loved the shots. Me, though? It wasn't fun....I did it professionally at 3 of them, even though I knew all these people. I charged real money and worked my ass off on that day....and the days after it getting it all squared away. I let others shoot, it didn't matter to me as long as I got what I needed, but I made sure I got what I needed and I did it like I do at work--politely, but I make sure I get it, or try the best I can, even if I have to step on some shoes....

    So what about the other 2? Well, both were courthouse weddings and they were actually fun. The first was my own wedding. I shot myself--no pun intended!--I took my old Nikon and a 20mm lens and a 283. I held it out at arms length, bounced it off the ceiling and shot it on tri-x...gave it to the witnesses and had them take some shots....we had all had a blast. The second one, my wife & I were witnesses for some friends of ours. I shot in on a couple of leicas and some fast film....to me, this is the way to do it. Save your money, have fun, enjoy yourself...but if you hire someone, or enter a business agreement? It's business, that's all there is to it.


    KT

    Opinions expressed in this message may not represent the policy of my agency
     
  16. DKT

    DKT Member

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    BTW--y'all complaining about the video guys? Guess you've never shot any news events, huh? I shoot news events in my job--from the other side though--not the media, but the gov't. angle. same sort of thing though, we're in there with the press. I do the inaugurations, bill signings, ceremonial stuff etc. Video is only a pain if you're shooting TTL strobes (sometimes they can wreak havoc on the metering, of course your strobe is killing the video camera slowly, so it works out)...I've always liked the extra light, even though it's the wrong color balance, at least it's warm and not green....If you shoot alot of handheld, events type work, you shoot wide open alot and drag the shutter. Having a camera crew there means you might be able to actually stop down, or shoot at a decent shutter speed.

    KT
     
  17. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  18. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    Too true. Weddings are a nightmare of excess.

    My sister recently went to a wedding in Boston. It was at the Four Seasons. The thing was over the top. Total was in the low $100,000 range!

    And of course the wedding industry is such that EVERYONE wants their share.

    A few wedding industry "rip offs" -

    Wedding Butterflies - $10.00 EACH. You release them instead of throwing rice. At $10.00 a PIECE, it seems cheaper to hire the kids in the neighborhood to collect them for $1.00 a shot.

    Cake Serving Fee - If you don't buy THEIR cake, they charge you a fee per plate to serve cake. Even if YOU serve it yourself! Good lord!

    Drinks - Seriously, $6.00 for a cheap glass of domestic wine from Arkansas? This is why I bring a flask to weddings....

    And I definately agree that weddings are tedious and formulaic. Especially in that I have yet to see anyone really request anything arty. I'd imagine many shooters would love to have someone say "What do YOU think we should do?"
     
  19. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  20. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Member

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    So that's the real reason why men always want a son.... so the other family can pay for the wedding.
     
  21. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    An interesting thread.

    I don't do weddings - I don't have the disposition for it --- I shudder when I think of what working with the Mother of the Bride would mean.

    I think it has cooled down somewhat lately - but in the near past I would have equated Wedding Photography as trying to compete in a barrel of wolverines. It had been, nearly, a showcase for rip-off artists.
    Case in point - a friend of the family was preparing to be married. She approached me, and I told her that I did not do Weddings, but I referrred her to another photographer who would.
    I saw her a couple of days later - she said that they had engaged a Wedding Consultant - and they had "taken care" of everything - and "photography"(n.b.) was included.
    We attended the wedding. The photographer appeared professional - medium format camera - the usual pictures "down the aisle, the "tossing of the boquet", the formals, etc.
    The couple went on their honeymoon. A week or so after they returned, the received a post card - their pictures were ready.
    To the photograper - and the usual proofs. They selected this one, and that ... and the wonderful Leather Bound Album. Then...

    The Five O'Clock Surprise -- What they had selected would cost them $2500 - additional. They, shocked, said, "I thought that photography was included in the Wedding "Package". The answer? "Oh it was -- the *photography* alone. The prints (8" x 10"s at $100 each), the album - everything of any use to the couple was NOT - and would be extra. By the way, *I* own the negatives - and it is my policy to detroy them if the prints and album are not ordered within one month."

    My friend had quoted them a price of $1200 - with everything - including ownership of the negatives - so that they could choose whoever they wanted for reprints.

    Only one of many horror stories... there are others - the Photographer who was enticed by the open bar and proceeded to get *smashed* with predictable photographic results - and it took the couple a session with their lawyer and the court system to get their deposit back... with *NO* photographs...

    One of the worst "scams" I know about is these disposable cameras at each table during the reception. It is not uncommon for fifteen or twenty of these things to be at a wedding, and not produce ONE half decent photograph.
     
  22. docholliday

    docholliday Member

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    Ed,
    That sounds so typical for current day wedding photography. Some untrained idiot who calls themselves "pros". To a point, the disposables would be more useful if the money was saved for the honeymoon. Half the time, while I'm shooting, some half drunk, stumbling fool will wander right in the middle of my shot and pop off a few frames with their finger in front of the lens. The only thing they did was delay what was going on for a few more minutes.

    I've shot a ton of weddings, and for those who use the excuse "they bring a camera to shoot where I can't be", I have to say: DO THAT. I always wonder why they say that, but when the shooting starts, they seem to always be within 10 feet of my position at any given time.

    I don't mind if guests shoot, except during formals (I give the guests 15 minutes to do their shooting, while I go smoke a cigarettte, then I ask the non-essential people to head towards the reception so I can get the group shots done) Somehow, the guy who told me that he's only shooting things I'm not seems to be next to me, but he never got into a single picture. Hmmm.

    I'm not complaining that he's going to take my money or break my sales...he won't. My brides and grooms want me to build them a storybook album that will lasts years to come and they never have wanted me to press-fit some of Uncle Bob's pics from Wally-world in there.

    NOW, wanna hear about the videographer? First, I do shoot video, but not for weddings. And, I use a betacam SP and a Sony MV. No, NOT DV, MV. But, the videographer is the most disrespectful people I have run into at any wedding. There has only been one occasion where I have had a videographer come up, introduce himself, and ask if his lighting would interfere with something I'm doing.

    They walk out in front of my when I'm framed for a posed shot. What the hell does posing shots have to do with the video coverage? How would he like it if I lit the place with about 12,000WS of strobes and kept popping them during his shoot? Or, how would he like it if I decided to light my shots with a few Arri 14KW cans?

    If it were a newscast, I could see. But it ISN'T a newscast. It's a damn wedding. I even had one guy give me his card which read " (name omitted), VideoTOgrapher" They idiot kept shooting his 1.3MP still mode on his Canon during my shots with his pop-up flash. He told me, "if you could give me the negs, I'd scan them up and put the images onto the video CD in a collage for the couple. I always offer them that." What? WHAT? He shot very little video. And when I told him that was ludicrous and asked the couple about it, they freaked. This was a $7,000 job. The videoTOgrapher was charging the couple for the video at $2,500. He ended up only giving the couple a 23 minute video. He explained it to them as "the photogs always give me their negs so I can use their footage." Why should he profit off my 13 hours of work? He was only there for 2 hours.

    The one wedding where the videographer was a true professional had a few Arri 2.5K lights and lit the room nicely. He also consulted with me on the lighting beforehand, offered to leave his lights and stands up for my shoot, and even helped me set up my strobes. The guy actually showed up with a light meter. I have not ever seen a videographer show up with that. He had softboxes and lanterns (Chimera) to light the room evenly. He had a Pro-DV camera and 2 SVHS cameras for side footage. He had assitants. Etc. HE WAS A PRO.

    So, I don't want to hear about videographers. 90% of them are hacks and have no idea how to produce a *quality* movie. That's what brides want, a movie. If they just wanted to record the ceremony, most of them set up a camcorder in the balcony or somewhere and film it. Hell, this guys lights made it so I could shoot during the ceremony at 1/125@f8 without any strobes.

    SO, it isn't just Uncle Harry that annoys me. It's anybody who doesn't respect another. I try to respect anybody and everybody at the wedding, including the asshole wedding planners who think they know everything.

    Oh, well, more wedding hell later...
     
  23. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    See, why would anyone shoot someone ELSES setup? That just baffles me.

    I think those disposable cameras are a good idea IF they are simply given away as gifts. I don't understand people who set them out on the tables and then take them back to be developed. Who wants to see pictures taken by your old college roommate's wife? Only her. So hand them out as gifts and let the guests develop them and keep the pictures.
     
  24. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the principle behind the disposable cameras is that the guests know each other in ways that the hired photog doesn't know the people at the wedding, so in theory at least, they might capture some groups of people who are meaningful to the couple or the family that the pro isn't aware of, even if the pictures are just lousy snapshots.
     
  25. David Hall

    David Hall Member

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    There is one other use for the disposables.

    At MY wedding, I had a photographer friend work. Before the wedding he met some guest, they fell in love, and spent most of our reception off making out somewhere. And he was so distracted he did not set the shutter speed right on the camera, so the formal portraits had that shutter-curtain-drag effect from not being synched.

    We had just attended a wedding with the disposables and thought it was a "cute" idea. So we did it and thank God...our ONLY wedding pictures were from those!

    The exception, not the rule, of course. But it biases my view of having the disposables there too.

    dgh
     
  26. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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