Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 68,775   Posts: 1,484,484   Online: 891
      
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Just north of the Inferno
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    750
    Images
    27
    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&#39;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&#39;m posing or shooting, the picture quality suffers considerably.

    3. At the church amateurs will step in front of me while I&#39;m trying to shoot. Shots that can&#39;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&#39;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'>
    Official Photo.net Villain
    ----------------------
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Just north of the Inferno
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    750
    Images
    27
    I&#39;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&#39;s business since it shows up a good month or more after the wedding, and they don&#39;t expect it. I can&#39;t imagine anyone refusing to pay for their wedding shoots because my single picture (sometimes a tryptych on rare occassions) fulfilled all their needs&#33; Giving a print of an image I took and that is unique to my vision won&#39;t cut in to anyone&#39;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&#39;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&#39;t consider that the easiest thing to do is just plan to not have people around who can interrupt&#33;

    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&#33; 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&#39; 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&#39;m trying to shoot. Shots that can&#39;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&#33; 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&#39;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 &#036;60.00&#33;&#33;&#33;

    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 &#036;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&#39;t think of this on their own.

    Official Photo.net Villain
    ----------------------
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    South Pasadena, CA USA
    Posts
    470
    You guys make EXCELLENT points. And this thread is relevant because I am about to attend a colleague&#39;s wedding, and I plan on bringing a camera.

    Here&#39;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?

    David G Hall

  4. #4
    Aggie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    So. Utah
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,925
    Images
    6
    ..

  5. #5
    blansky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Wine country in Northern California
    Posts
    5,029
    Interesting thread.

    Lets start at the beginning. I, like most photographers who are portrait photographers, didn&#39;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&#39;d book four or five on a Saturday, then send lots of shooters out to do the candids and then he&#39;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&#39;t paying a lot of money you&#39;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&#39;t have the knowledge how to use their cameras. Others would continually fire off my slave strobes with their flash. It wasn&#39;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&#39;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&#39;m glad I don&#39;t do it anymore. It was fun but a hell of a lot of work.

    Anyway that is my rambling opinion.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    4,530
    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&#33;......
    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. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    6,242
    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.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Just north of the Inferno
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    750
    Images
    27
    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&#39;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&#39;s skill. A crappy 4x5 chrome will not blow away an excellent low-light portrait taken on grainy T3200&#33;

    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&#33; 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&#33;

    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&#33; 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&#39;t imagine the pro shooting at that time (who was very good) enjoyed having to work around this&#33; Especially since the video guy was running everywhere. You&#39;d be getting a drink and WHAM&#33;, 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....
    Official Photo.net Villain
    ----------------------
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    958
    A comment and one story:

    I&#39;ve never understood the concept of print resales being an important part of a wedding photographer&#39;s compensation. What does he charge per print for the sale of 4 extra 8x10&#39;s to be significant? If I were doing wedding photography I would charge (hansomely&#33 for my time and three good albums - Bride and Groom, Parents and In-laws. And by the way, if you want the negatives, they&#39;re yours. Anyone else taking pictures would be fine with me, I&#39;ve been paid and my medium format formals will be technically superior to anyone else&#39;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&#39;s too big a day for the bride to depend on one person taking pictures.

    One of my now wife&#39;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&#39;m glad his wife has those pictures.

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    17,081
    Images
    20
    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&#39;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.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin