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....