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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 19 Jun 2012 (Tuesday) 05:36
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Some tips for an unaffiliated secondary photographer at a wedding

 
nicksan
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Jun 20, 2012 17:08 |  #16

photobug7d wrote in post #14607846 (external link)
The bride/groom can have as many photographers they wish at THEIR wedding paid or not paid.

If they are insistent upon having a friend be a photographer, that should definitely be discussed and agreed upon beforehand and stipulated in the contract. The bottom line is, the more of these photographers you have, the harder it's going to make the pro's job, because inevitably someone's going to interfere.

photobug7d wrote in post #14607846 (external link)
Out of consideration to the paid photographer I would contact that person about 1 week ahead of time and make them fully aware that you will be there shooting out of the request of the couple getting married. Ask if they would like to get together before the wedding and discuss some professional does and donts.

Again, unless the couple is insistent on this, I wouldn't really want to be bothered by something like this. I'm paid to get the shots. The friend? He/she is there as a guest. Big difference. I shouldn't have to discuss any does and donts with a GWC.

photobug7d wrote in post #14607846 (external link)
If you get snubbed by the paid pro then to hell with them and do what is asked of you by the couple getting married.

Not so cut and dry. Make sure you aren't violating the terms of the contract. You are really doing the couple a disservice by having a "hell with them" attitude. They paid lots of money to have a pro there to cover the day. The last thing you want to do is interfere with that.

photobug7d wrote in post #14607846 (external link)
It always amazes me that just because you are the "paid" photographer that does not give you 100% of the photographic rights to the wedding (unless you are demanding it of the couple).

Wait, so they are paying me thousands of dollars NOT to get exclusive coverage? :lol: As the paid pro, do I have a right to go all gung-ho and shoot down anyone with a DSLR? Of course not. Should I have exclusive rights to the money shots? Absolutely.

photobug7d wrote in post #14607846 (external link)
I do help out a professional from time to time and I am paid for it. That person lays out to me ahead of time exactly what they want of me. I also sign a waiver and must turn over all photos that I take to them in the end and must delete any copies I have once they tell me too.

There's a big difference between being there as a paid assistant/second shooter and a guest/friend with a camera, i.e. a GWC. Understanding that distinction will go a long way towards not being a nuisance at the wedding.




  
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SuzyView
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Jun 20, 2012 17:09 |  #17

I love it when guests do all the candid shots at receptions of the family and friends that I don't get. I can't be everywhere, and I don't mind others doing that. As a second, I like it when the primary is off with the B&G and I'm left with the fun. But I don't like people showing up to take pictures that follow me around. Your attitude of getting what the primary doesn't is a good one, but warm him/her first.


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nicksan
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Jun 20, 2012 17:12 |  #18

SuzyView wrote in post #14607939 (external link)
I love it when guests do all the candid shots at receptions of the family and friends that I don't get. I can't be everywhere, and I don't mind others doing that. As a second, I like it when the primary is off with the B&G and I'm left with the fun. But I don't like people showing up to take pictures that follow me around. Your attitude of getting what the primary doesn't is a good one, but warm him/her first.

I think there's a big difference between guests taking candid shots at receptions and someone showing up as a guest and trying to get "portfolio" material. There's a conflict of interest there, especially if the said photographer follows you around.




  
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photobug7d
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Jun 20, 2012 17:41 |  #19

nicksan wrote in post #14607937 (external link)
If they are insistent upon having a friend be a photographer, that should definitely be discussed and agreed upon beforehand and stipulated in the contract. The bottom line is, the more of these photographers you have, the harder it's going to make the pro's job, because inevitably someone's going to interfere.


Again, unless the couple is insistent on this, I wouldn't really want to be bothered by something like this. I'm paid to get the shots. The friend? He/she is there as a guest. Big difference. I shouldn't have to discuss any does and donts with a GWC.


Not so cut and dry. Make sure you aren't violating the terms of the contract. You are really doing the couple a disservice by having a "hell with them" attitude. They paid lots of money to have a pro there to cover the day. The last thing you want to do is interfere with that.


Wait, so they are paying me thousands of dollars NOT to get exclusive coverage? :lol: As the paid pro, do I have a right to go all gung-ho and shoot down anyone with a DSLR? Of course not. Should I have exclusive rights to the money shots? Absolutely.

There's a big difference between being there as a paid assistant/second shooter and a guest/friend with a camera, i.e. a GWC. Understanding that distinction will go a long way towards not being a nuisance at the wedding.

All your points are arguable.
I assume you advise your clients ahead of time what you expect of them? fair enough. But I am simply replying to this persons original question.
Based on the question I can only assume the paid professional has not gone over the contract thoroughly with the couple.




  
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SuzyView
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Jun 20, 2012 17:49 |  #20

nicksan wrote in post #14607952 (external link)
I think there's a big difference between guests taking candid shots at receptions and someone showing up as a guest and trying to get "portfolio" material. There's a conflict of interest there, especially if the said photographer follows you around.

I agree. I have never had an instance where someone was shadowing me to do that. When I go to weddings, I generally don't take my big cameras, just a little P&S. And I definitely don't use it during the ceremony. But as a pro, I like being the guest. No stress.


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bnlearle
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Jun 20, 2012 17:54 |  #21

For the record, I agree COMPLETELY with Nicksan. Excellent points, man!


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KenBPhotos
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Jun 21, 2012 06:02 |  #22

nicksan wrote in post #14607952 (external link)
I think there's a big difference between guests taking candid shots at receptions and someone showing up as a guest and trying to get "portfolio" material. There's a conflict of interest there, especially if the said photographer follows you around.

I am not going to be following around the photographer unless they are 100% OK with me learning from them and even then I wouldn't steal their shots or get in their way. In fact my original plan was to be everywhere they weren't. I don't think there's anything wrong with me taking some photos of the event as I see it and calling them my own. I took them, therefore they can be part of my portfolio because they are my photos. I'm not interested in the staged shots created by the photographer. Do you honestly think I would just have the photographer stage a shot and then sneak in there and take a shot and call it my own? I definitely wouldn't do that cause I have respect for people that do this professionally (and I have respect for myself). I understand the difference.

I am potentially shooting a friends wedding in August by myself. I plan on practicing a ton before I do this, but it's something I am really excited to do and I thought this could be a great way to get some practice in if I play my cards right. So that's another reason why I wanted to ask this question. Apparently from the mixed reactions it seems like some working photographers don't mind a second (courteous/respectful) photographer at the event they're working and some really do mind. So I got my answer that I need to just talk to the photographer first and I absolutely plan on doing that.

And OK so bringing two bodies was maybe not the best idea from the beginning. I wasn't approaching this the right way in that regard. I will just bring a bare bones setup.

Thanks for the advice and criticism. I appreciate getting advice from the source.




  
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fotojennik
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Jun 21, 2012 07:07 |  #23

KenBPhotos wrote in post #14610459 (external link)
I am not going to be following around the photographer unless they are 100% OK with me learning from them and even then I wouldn't steal their shots or get in their way. In fact my original plan was to be everywhere they weren't. I don't think there's anything wrong with me taking some photos of the event as I see it and calling them my own. I took them, therefore they can be part of my portfolio because they are my photos. I'm not interested in the staged shots created by the photographer. Do you honestly think I would just have the photographer stage a shot and then sneak in there and take a shot and call it my own? I definitely wouldn't do that cause I have respect for people that do this professionally (and I have respect for myself). I understand the difference.

I am potentially shooting a friends wedding in August by myself. I plan on practicing a ton before I do this, but it's something I am really excited to do and I thought this could be a great way to get some practice in if I play my cards right. So that's another reason why I wanted to ask this question. Apparently from the mixed reactions it seems like some working photographers don't mind a second (courteous/respectful) photographer at the event they're working and some really do mind. So I got my answer that I need to just talk to the photographer first and I absolutely plan on doing that.

And OK so bringing two bodies was maybe not the best idea from the beginning. I wasn't approaching this the right way in that regard. I will just bring a bare bones setup.

Thanks for the advice and criticism. I appreciate getting advice from the source.

Definitely listen to what Nicksan said, it is pretty much dead on.
I am new to this industry as well, but I went through your exact same situation not too long ago at my brother's wedding.

I would e-mail the paid photographer ahead of time just to give them a heads up. Don't say the "building a portfolio line" either, that won't go over so well. A lot of photographers have something in their contract about being the only photographer at the event (what that means is that no one else taking pictures at the wedding can use their shots for promotion/website/etc.​..) and really, why potentially cause a problem when it can easily be avoided? Be sure to ask if there are any times/areas where they definitely want you to stay out of the way.

Definitely don't bring 2 bodies, that's a bit overzealous.

It's worth mentioning that your bounce flash could ruin (over expose) the photographers shots if they happen to be at the same time, so I would respectfully turn your flash off for important moments like the first dance, parent/child dances, cake cutting, etc... so you don't ruin key shots for them -- leave that to the pro.

Be very respectful to the pro and hey, who knows, maybe they'll bring you along on a wedding sometime. If you do want to get into wedding photography, consider the implications of pissing off a local professional (they may have a number of friends in the business). Just something to keep in mind.

That's all I can think of for right now, but as I said at the very beginning, Nicksan has already covered just about everything :)


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Jun 21, 2012 08:03 |  #24

photobug7d wrote in post #14608045 (external link)
All your points are arguable.
I assume you advise your clients ahead of time what you expect of them? fair enough. But I am simply replying to this persons original question.
Based on the question I can only assume the paid professional has not gone over the contract thoroughly with the couple.

If they signed the contract it's the signing party's responsibility to read the contract they are signing, not the photographer's responsibility to go over it with them. Most do and they should, but they don't have to. And be smart and don't sign anything yourself without reading it first.


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brokensocial
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Jun 21, 2012 08:18 |  #25

Stay out of the pro's way, and don't be that guy in the corner of all the wide shots standing with a big camera and a big zoom. We dealt with that guy a couple of weddings ago, and yes, he was the worst part of what was otherwise a great day.


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nicksan
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Jun 21, 2012 08:55 |  #26

KenBPhotos wrote in post #14610459 (external link)
I am not going to be following around the photographer unless they are 100% OK with me learning from them and even then I wouldn't steal their shots or get in their way.

Chances are, they won't be OK with having a GWC "learning from them". I know I wouldn't want a guest shadowing me trying to learn from me. It's really not about stealing my shots because I am confident enough to know that my shots will come out very good. It's just about it being a pain in the ass dealing with a GWC following me around. If I wanted that, I would have an actual paid second shooter there.

KenBPhotos wrote in post #14610459 (external link)
In fact my original plan was to be everywhere they weren't. I don't think there's anything wrong with me taking some photos of the event as I see it and calling them my own. I took them, therefore they can be part of my portfolio because they are my photos.

Being everywhere they weren't...which could mean you might be in their frame, you know, that guy holding a DSLR ruining a shot. Just be careful you don't turn out to be that guy. Now I'll say this again. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being there with your DSLR and a few lenses. Nothing. But I do feel it's wrong to go in there with the attitude that you have every right to shoot some shots and use them for your portfolio. Looks like you have your heart set on doing that. I would make sure you aren't violating the terms of the contract.

KenBPhotos wrote in post #14610459 (external link)
I'm not interested in the staged shots created by the photographer. Do you honestly think I would just have the photographer stage a shot and then sneak in there and take a shot and call it my own? I definitely wouldn't do that cause I have respect for people that do this professionally (and I have respect for myself). I understand the difference.

Actually second shooters do that all the time. When I hire a second shooter, I sometimes let him/her shoot some of the money shots. I let them slide right in and shoot away. But there's an understanding between the second shooter and I. The second shooter is there to learn and gain more experience, so I'll let the second shooter get his/her shot. I might limit how many times that happens of course. I also understand that the second shooter is building up his/her portfolio. I have no issues with that. A GWC? Yeah, I'd have an issue with that.

KenBPhotos wrote in post #14610459 (external link)
I am potentially shooting a friends wedding in August by myself. I plan on practicing a ton before I do this, but it's something I am really excited to do and I thought this could be a great way to get some practice in if I play my cards right. So that's another reason why I wanted to ask this question.

And you should practice. That's a great attitude to have. Use that wedding for your portfolio, since you are going be there as THE photographer. Play it safe on this one and just enjoy it as the guest. Get a few snaps in, but really, just leave it at that.

KenBPhotos wrote in post #14610459 (external link)
Apparently from the mixed reactions it seems like some working photographers don't mind a second (courteous/respectful) photographer at the event they're working and some really do mind. So I got my answer that I need to just talk to the photographer first and I absolutely plan on doing that.

I don't mind a hired second photographer that I picked out. I mind an overzealous GWC. HUGE difference.

KenBPhotos wrote in post #14610459 (external link)
And OK so bringing two bodies was maybe not the best idea from the beginning. I wasn't approaching this the right way in that regard. I will just bring a bare bones setup.

Thanks for the advice and criticism. I appreciate getting advice from the source.

Good choice on not bringing two bodies. I suspect you'll do the right thing. Just use common sense judgment and stay out of the pro's way. Do talk to the pro but don't chat him/her up. The pro is there get the job done and earn his/her keep. Pick your spots when approaching the pro.




  
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Jun 21, 2012 10:27 as a reply to  @ nicksan's post |  #27

I have been the GWC and the lone photographer at family weddings. One sister asked me to shoot her wedding (budget reasons) and I did a reasonably adequate job. The other sister asked me to shoot during the ceremony (five minutes before) because they had only paid the pro to shoot the official shots after the ceremony. In the later case, I was able to give them shots of the wedding that they would never have had. As long as the guests do not get in the way of the pro, then there should be no problem. Let the pro get his contracted shots and concentrate on the candids of Uncle Joe and Aunt Maisey.


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Jun 21, 2012 19:02 |  #28

If you're there to shoot filler and practice exposure you are welcome at any wedding I shoot.

If you're there with a sense of purpose, or to build a portfolio, shoot over my shoulder or get in the frame I'll invoke the clause in my contract that says I'm the only working tog there and quite literally will ask you to put your camera away or I will.

The pro tog should be the only 'commercial' tog there. So you want to build a portfolio? Meaning putting the photos online? Not going to happen. It creates commercial disparity. Imagine you were looking for a photographer and saw my work, liked it and then saw the same couple, at the same wedding elsewhere?

That would compromise the integrity of both of you.

Also, if you aren't seated I will have to clone you out in photoshop. I don't want to do that when you aren't even supposed to be there.

See this guy in the white shirt and camera strap...?
A camera enthusiast who cost me a load of shots, always away from the main group, always ahead of the bride and groom and always trying to get 'his shot' at the cost of mine.

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Some tips for an unaffiliated secondary photographer at a wedding
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