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Thread started 29 Sep 2012 (Saturday) 23:06
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Annoying guest....

 
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PeaceFire
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Sep 30, 2012 18:08 |  #16

My reaction would have been based on *how* the guest said the things he did. Sounds like he wasn't exactly being polite about it and if I'm given attitude I'll give it right back. I had a guest once at a wedding actually grab my arm forcefully when I took a candid of him and tell me "if you do that again, I'll break your camera". No joke. I reported him to security immediately. The B&G had no problem with it, or at least never said anything to me about it and even referred me to several others.


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Sep 30, 2012 18:25 |  #17

awad wrote in post #15062280 (external link)
BUT. sounds like this guy was a douche canoe and odds are he would have had an issue with you regardless, so you handled it the best way for your situation.

Granted, none of us were there and there's only so much we can armchair-photog SMP's actions, but above is how I see it.

Now, arguing with a person at a wedding will likely turn out to be bad, but it seems that SMP had the full support of just about everyone else at the wedding.


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Sep 30, 2012 23:17 |  #18

I think you were wrong. Your gear shouldn't be bothering guests and you shouldn't talk to guests like that, even if he is a giant dbag. Completely unprofessional of you. And you sure shouldn't bother the B&G on their special day over trivial stuff or to break up an argument you have with one of their friends or family members. I know I sure wouldn't want a studio light with umbrella going off near me for an entire reception.

You never look good arguing with a guest at a wedding under any circumstance and you sure don't look good getting the groom on your side to win an argument.


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Oct 01, 2012 05:56 |  #19

Wow. Hard to say how I'd approach this but gotta say I agree with those stating they'd avoid a confrontation like the OP relates.

That said none of us were there and by the sounds of it all turned out OK without too much extra drama.


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Oct 01, 2012 06:34 |  #20

As far as I'm concerned, as a personally invited guest of my client, everyone in that room is to be treated like a client (and some become one). Terribly inappropriate of that guest to handle your equipment instead of coming to talk to you like an adult, but the right response to bad behavior is typically not more bad behavior.

I don't know that I've ever met with a client after the shoot and not had them say how many good things they heard about me from other guests; that I was personable, that I was friendly or fun, that I was working hard for the couple. I would hate to have any guest come to a client of mine and suggest that I was a real jerk all while leaving out the part about how they were a jerk first.


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Oct 01, 2012 07:57 |  #21

Beyond what everyone one else is commenting, imagine if this idiot was left to his own devices all night and allowed to sabatoge the equipment, causing the photog to miss several or all key shots. B&G could have a case to seek compensation for not being happy with the quality of the work, correct?


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Oct 01, 2012 07:59 |  #22

cabinajm wrote in post #15064297 (external link)
Beyond what everyone one else is commenting, imagine if this idiot was left to his own devices all night and allowed to sabatoge the equipment, causing the photog to miss several or all key shots. B&G could have a case to seek compensation for not being happy with the quality of the work, correct?

Yes, because the photographer was too hard-headed or ego driven to move a light so that it wouldn't both a guest.


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Oct 01, 2012 08:40 |  #23

jonwhite wrote in post #15062080 (external link)
A well off single chap with 4 girls at his table all = possible future clients but definitely not now and who knows how many other people they told about this photographer getting them chucked out of a wedding?

I wouldn't want him as a future client.


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Oct 01, 2012 09:29 |  #24

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15064307 (external link)
Yes, because the photographer was too hard-headed or ego driven to move a light so that it wouldn't both a guest.

I see this issue pretty much has everyone split on whether this was the best way to handle the issue or not... I don't think it could have been done any better. I don't think I would do anything really different if I could do it all over again. I would have preferred to not having had the experience at all...
I've never had a single guest come tell me a light was annoying them. I've had venue staff asking for a stand to be moved once or twice to facilitate fast-moving staff with large trays getting around, that kind of thing, but never a comfort issue.

No guests were bothered by any of the lights. This guy wanted everyone to believe he and/or his lady friends were, but I don't believe they were. He was just trying to swing his weight around and impress his ladies. If someone at a wedding is telling you that the lights are causing them a headache, and they have to yell over the music to tell you so, doesn't really have a headache from the lights... over 8 feet high, angled towards the ceiling... and no one else at any of the other 2 lights had issue (my assistant and I went around to ask after this group left) - no one else had issues - some even said they didn't realize it was there or didn't know what it was (and 100+ weddings under my belt, I've never had anyone tell me a light is causing them discomfort at a wedding).

This little group left. Other guests moved on to this table. We checked with them, no issues with the lights.

Could I have moved the lights? See previous post on that specific question. Options were take it down or place it somewhere that neither safe or productive to what I'm doing. Neither is an option.

Hard headed? Perhaps. Say I move the lights... then what? What if that spot is also bothering them? What if they next decide that ALL the lights are bothering them? What if after a few more drinks under his belt he decides that he can relocate them all on his own? Damage to gear? Guests?

Some of you really think you can solve all situations w/o reaching out to B&G or someone else? Most situations, I'd say it can be done. And I will agree, resolving issues w/o B&G getting involved is ideal. When a guest REPEATEDLY sabotages your gear and affects your work and only then DEMANDS that gear be moved, how long do you not deal with the issue?

He set the tone on how we communicated. It doesn't help that music was loud to begin with. By the time he and I first spoke, he certainly had not earned any respect from me. In no way was I disrespectful, but I wasn't falling for his BS. As explained earlier, this is not someone that approached me and politely asked for something to be done. He didn't come to me or my assistant. Even when I walked right up to the lights the first 2 times to investigate why the light was not going off, he didn't say a thing. It would have been so easy for him to say something either time, but he didn't. Maybe he didn't see me walk up and fix the light. Or He messed with the gear, and was then hiding everything opposite to that. My biggest mistake was assuming that some of the kids running around were responsible for the battery to be switched off the 1st time it happened.

Here's some extra info...
It took exactly 4 shots for him to turn off the battery. Start of intro, 4 shots, less than a minute, battery is out... rest of into doesn't get light from that side... One of the ladies would have had to complain to him after the first one, and within a minute, he's dealt with the issue...
Then came the first dance... I got 7 shots with lights - I was controlling them from my AC3, and didn't use a lot of my own lights for the first dance - but I was set to use light, I got 7 shots, or roughly 2/3 of the way through the 1st dance, and then lost that light

By this point, the lights have been up and in use for less than 10 minutes, and he's disabled one for more than 1/2 that time.

Do people really go from everything is fine to this light is giving me a headache to lets turn off this light in less than a minute???

bottom line... I don't care who you are or where we are... assume you do not have permission to touch my gear. If it causes you issues, let me know as soon as you can - don't play games. If the gear is a safety issue and you take it upon yourself to move it somewhere safe, I can understand that.
This is not even taking into consideration the impact it has on the work itself...


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Oct 01, 2012 09:32 |  #25

jonwhite wrote in post #15062080 (external link)
A well off single chap with 4 girls at his table all = possible future clients but definitely not now and who knows how many other people they told about this photographer getting them chucked out of a wedding?

A single guy that shows up at a wedding with 4 girls isn't someone that's thinking about getting married any time soon...

4 girls that show up with a single guy at a wedding makes me think this may be an episode of "The Bachelor"....


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Oct 01, 2012 09:36 |  #26

cabinajm wrote in post #15064297 (external link)
Beyond what everyone one else is commenting, imagine if this idiot was left to his own devices all night and allowed to sabatoge the equipment, causing the photog to miss several or all key shots. B&G could have a case to seek compensation for not being happy with the quality of the work, correct?

Right!
Imagine I say nothing, and lets say there is an alternate suitable spot for the lights.
B&G never hear about this issue.

I deliver the pictures. They're unhappy about some of the results. And then I spring out the "well, there was this one guest that made it tougher to get what you wanted, so this is the best I could do in that situation"

They would probably respond with "Why didn't you tell us??", or possibly even "obviously it wasn't that big an issue otherwise you would have brought it to our attention", or worse "you're just making excuses for this crappy work"

If there's no record of an issue, then in the eyes of the B&G, there was no issue...


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Oct 01, 2012 09:59 |  #27

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15063373 (external link)
You never look good arguing with a guest at a wedding under any circumstance and you sure don't look good getting the groom on your side to win an argument.

I kinda see it differently...

I'll agree that he and I discussing things in front of everyone else doesn't look good.
But if I don't get the groom in on this, those discussions would last a lot longer, happen more frequently, and possibly escalate into who knows what...

this minimized any exposure to other guests... longer it lasts, the bigger the issue will appear to those not involved... this was done quickly and quietly...


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Oct 01, 2012 10:15 |  #28

PeaceFire wrote in post #15062312 (external link)
I had a guest once at a wedding actually grab my arm forcefully when I took a candid of him and tell me "if you do that again, I'll break your camera". No joke.

Wow! what a jerk.

I fully appreciate SMP's reaction and he was well within his rights. Would somebody go tamper with the DJ's gear if they are annoyed with the pitch? That said, if it were me I would have probably moved the lights and be done with it. No need for distracting confrontation if I can avoid it easily.


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Oct 01, 2012 10:16 |  #29

No guests were bothered by any of the lights.

That you know of. A lot of people are very non-confrontational and wouldn't ever speak up publicly or to someone's face.

(my assistant and I went around to ask after this group left)

I think that is incredibly unprofessional, too. You are going to go around telling a group of friends and family of your clients that people have issues with how you work? Issue was resolved, spend your time creating images.

Could I have moved the lights? See previous post on that specific question. Options were take it down or place it somewhere that neither safe or productive to what I'm doing. Neither is an option.

It is absolutely an option to adjust your shooting style if your is bothering guests so as not to create a scene. How bothered the guests were is irrelevant. You could have diffused the scene by adjusting your lights, but you chose to act unprofessionally and escalate the situation.

Some of you really think you can solve all situations w/o reaching out to B&G or someone else?

I have never seen a reason to interrupt the B&G on their wedding day to settle a dispute between you and a family member. They aren't the teacher and they aren't the principal. They are two people in love on the most important day so far in their life. Respect that and if there is a situation, handle it professionally without getting them involved if they don't need to be involved. And they didn't need to be involved in this situation.

He set the tone on how we communicated.

It doesn't matter. You are there in a professional capacity. You cannot blame his douchebaggery on how you react to him or how you treat him. You could have apologized and moved your equipment and adjusted your style for the night, but you choose to escalate the situation instead.

I don't care who you are or where we are... assume you do not have permission to touch my gear. If it causes you issues, let me know as soon as you can - don't play games.

So he should have stopped you from shooting the first dance to tell you that your equipment was annoying? I'm not saying he was right to touch your gear, but you need to see it from his perspective [even if he is a stupid bugger.]

A single guy that shows up at a wedding with 4 girls isn't someone that's thinking about getting married any time soon...

You are making judgements about people without knowing anything about them. The people at the next table could have been. You just never know. Everyone in every wedding is a potential client in some way.

I deliver the pictures. They're unhappy about some of the results. And then I spring out the "well, there was this one guest that made it tougher to get what you wanted, so this is the best I could do in that situation"

If you aren't good enough to adjust to another situation then you shouldn't be shooting weddings. What if your AB just fried? Are you no longer able to shoot the wedding because of that equipment failure?

The B&G don't need to know every little obstacle you overcome in their day. There will always be something, but if you become a source of stress, you can count on not getting referrals.


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SMP_Homer
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Oct 01, 2012 10:47 |  #30

based on the responses, it's hard to say what would have been the best way to deal with this...
The outcome was good, so I don't think I'd redo anything different...

the best scenario is this not happening... unfortunately, it happened, and the next best option is minimizing how long this is an issue...
I'm not convinced that meeting this guests's demands would have resolved the issue - moving lights sounds easy, but safety and performance reasons prevented this in this case (for the record, they were placed in front of a pillar - the closest guest was a good 10 feet away and this guest was not at this guy's table)

but thanks for the feedback - should something similar come up again, this experience and the comments that followed will hopefully be remembered...
and for those that may run into something like this, hopefully you get something out of this...


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