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...
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.
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.
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.
The other major usage (from many weddings) of the disposables is toys for the guest's kids. I've seen so damn many of those point-and-shred cameras given by some guest to their kids to keep them busy. I'd see fingers in front of flashes, lenses, kids with the cameras in their mouths, etc.
Keeps the kids busy, but in the end, only a few images actually are on the film.
Aggie, it is interesting seeing guests taking "souvenirs" from weddings. I don't get it, why do guests take the candles, cameras, tableclothes (yes, seen that), etc?
The other thing that is hilarious is seeing the couple give their video camera to their 6 year old kid to shoot with. I see the kid holding the camera, aim the lens to the ground, and running through the (dark) reception.
It's like APS film, only good for one thing...which is non-photographic...a toothbrush cover. Cut a slit into the end of the lid, and shove a toothbrush in it for hiking. I always get asked when I'm doing a 5-day hike, "you're shooting an APS camera on this trip?" "Nope, just wanna keep the dirt off of my toothbrush."