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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 07 Jun 2015 (Sunday) 11:03
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POLL: "Do You Get a Meal at the Wedding Job?"
Do you get a meal on your weddding job?
40
90.9%
Do you bring your own meal?
1
2.3%
Is the option of a meal in your contract?
3
6.8%

44 voters, 44 votes given (1 choice only choices can be voted per member)). VOTING IS FOR MEMBERS ONLY.
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Does Wedding Photographer Get A Meal?

 
gjl711
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Jun 08, 2015 15:30 |  #136

banquetbear wrote in post #17589193 (external link)
...The banquet manager may well have asked that question. And the couple may well have responded with "no, we don't want to pay for the photographer."

Or the couple expected a bill for say 50 people and got one for 55 and when questioned was told that it was for the photog and others.

I wonder if it is customary to foot the food bill for the hired subcontractors at other events or if this is specific to weddings.


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Jun 08, 2015 15:30 |  #137

banquetbear wrote in post #17589193 (external link)
...of course he has no legal obligation. Where did I argue that? We were talking about advanced notice, not legal obligations. The photographer was not legally obliged to pay the bill, but he paid the bill.

The banquet manager may well have asked that question. And the couple may well have responded with "no, we don't want to pay for the photographer."

Well then the venue would have no responsibility to feed the photographer. And then the argument is between the couple and the photographer.


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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Jun 08, 2015 15:33 |  #138

As a 2nd shooter, I have been asked by brides and grooms not to take photos while people are eating. Nothing is ever going on during that point, at least at the weddings I am at. Only once were we told that we couldn't eat and that was only because 20 more people came that weren't expected and they ran out of food.

I always bring at least one sandwich and some fruit snacks. Something that won't be messy or leave me with nasty breath. Usually eat it while driving from location to location.




  
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banquetbear
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Jun 08, 2015 15:36 |  #139

bumpintheroad wrote in post #17589200 (external link)
Well then the venue would have no responsibility to feed the photographer. And then the argument is between the couple and the photographer.

...of course they didn't. But they did. And they sent a bill. So the client forwarded the bill. And the photographer paid the bill. And the photographer has now changed their contract, so this won't happen again.

Managing client expectations is part of the photographers job. If the photographer wants to get fed, then put it in the contract.


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banquetbear
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Jun 08, 2015 15:43 |  #140

gjl711 wrote in post #17589199 (external link)
I wonder if it is customary to foot the food bill for the hired subcontractors at other events or if this is specific to weddings.

...there really isn't a "custom." Some subcontractors always bill for meals, others don't. An AV company might request meals for the sound guy who sits at the back of a conference all day but won't request meals for the riggers who set up the microphones in the morning. It really is a case by case thing.


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scorpio_e
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Jun 08, 2015 15:44 |  #141

So I guess it all boils down to the OP. He should have never paid the invoice to the bride.


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scorpio_e
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Jun 08, 2015 15:48 |  #142

do you think the client got advanced notice that they were going to get billed for the photographers meal? There was never an agreement to supply a meal, the photographer had a meal, the venue billed the client, so the client billed the photographer. When the client gets stuck with an unexpected bill who do you think should be responsible for paying it?

Well the couple should pay for it of course. !!!!!It's their wedding..Their responsibility ..Their agreement with the venue.


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JoseCanseco
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Jun 08, 2015 16:00 |  #143

Not as a photographer, but I've performed in the band at countless weddings. At 100% of them, the entire band and photographer(s) have been fed. I can't speak for the photographers, but we have this written in our contract. We don't demand a meal, but we ask that meal be provided wherever possible at no cost to the band. I've always assumed the B&G build this into their headcount and budget (contracts are signed months in advance, so the meal issue is never really an issue). Also, the band has always had free access to the open bar, but that's a different topic altogether.


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bumpintheroad
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Jun 08, 2015 16:00 |  #144

banquetbear wrote in post #17589216 (external link)
...of course they didn't. But they did. And they sent a bill. So the client forwarded the bill. And the photographer paid the bill. And the photographer has now changed their contract, so this won't happen again.

Meaning the venue had no responsibility but fed the photographer anyway. On behalf of all photographers everywhere I thank you for your consideration. And I would think the couple would also be grateful for your correction of the oversight, and would do the responsible and considerate thing and pay for the extra meals. But some couples apparently won't be, which is why the OP is where he is.

banquetbear wrote in post #17589216 (external link)
Managing client expectations is part of the photographers job. If the photographer wants to get fed, then put it in the contract.

Managing client expectations is part of every service provider's job. The venue should ask the couple about vendor meals separately from guests and explain it is reasonable and common practice for them to be fed. The photographer should specify a meal is required during the event.


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Jun 08, 2015 16:14 |  #145

banquetbear wrote in post #17589216 (external link)
bumpintheroad wrote in post #17589200 (external link)
Well then the venue would have no responsibility to feed the photographer. And then the argument is between the couple and the photographer.

...of course they didn't. But they did. And they sent a bill. So the client forwarded the bill. And the photographer paid the bill.

Another possibility is that the couple agreed with the venue that vendors would be fed, but later they changed their minds and decided that vendors weren't entitled to free food. They may not have understood that vendors would get the same extravagant, overpriced meal as guests. Details like that are often lost in communications between a customer and a supplier. They may have had buyer's remorse about the cost of the whole wedding and decided they could save a few bucks by billing the vendors. (I wonder whether the DJ paid.) We don't know what went on between the venue and the couple. We don't know what went on in the bride's/couple's minds.

I do think the bride behaved despicably in charging the OP when no one had told him the price in advance. This goes double if she or another member of the party invited him to eat.


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bumpintheroad
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Jun 08, 2015 16:20 as a reply to  @ banquetbear's post |  #146

gjl711 wrote in post #17589199 (external link)
Or the couple expected a bill for say 50 people and got one for 55 and when questioned was told that it was for the photog and others.

I wonder if it is customary to foot the food bill for the hired subcontractors at other events or if this is specific to weddings.

It depends on the event, shooting schedule, nature of the engagement, time spent working and location. Too many permutations to list, but in general if the event requires creative or technical staff to be working or on-site for more than 4 hours and the event is not convenient to any restaurants (term used loosely), then meals are provided.

In my experience, the contractor usually has a section in the contract covering travel, food, lodging and other incidental expenses. Unfortunately, if you don't spell it out there's a chance of being misunderstood, or worse, intentionally screwed.


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bumpintheroad
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Jun 08, 2015 16:44 |  #147

OhLook wrote in post #17589263 (external link)
They may not have understood that vendors would get the same extravagant, overpriced meal as guests. Details like that are often lost in communications between a customer and a supplier.

I didn't want to go there (lest I further upset banquetbear). But yes, the cost to accommodate a guest is different than the cost to feed a vendor. The guest fee includes cocktail hour (usually with an open bar), hors d'oeuvres, champagne, a multi-course meal, full and attentive service by the venue staff and the benefit of the venue's atmosphere. The vendors just need a quick and reasonably nutritious meal to keep going. IMHO, the vendor meals should cost no more than the same menu items at a comparable-quality restaurant. But these are negotiations and decisions the couple need to consider.

OhLook wrote in post #17589263 (external link)
I do think the bride behaved despicably in charging the OP when no one had told him the price in advance. This goes double if she or another member of the party invited him to eat.

This is certainly another factor and the main reason I would not have paid. The couple did not gain the photographer's agreement in advance to pay for the meal. He had no opportunity to consider and refuse. He was fed without question and (as I believe we've reasonably established) as is normal and customary in this situation. Had the photographer been presented with a choice, even if it was to pay for his meal, before or even during the event, I would feel differently.

JoseCanseco wrote in post #17589249 (external link)
Not as a photographer, but I've performed in the band at countless weddings. At 100% of them, the entire band and photographer(s) have been fed. I can't speak for the photographers, but we have this written in our contract. We don't demand a meal, but we ask that meal be provided wherever possible at no cost to the band. I've always assumed the B&G build this into their headcount and budget (contracts are signed months in advance, so the meal issue is never really an issue). Also, the band has always had free access to the open bar, but that's a different topic altogether.

Yours is a different industry. I would never touch a drop of alcohol during an event, nor would any photographer I worked with or any who worked for me. In fact I won't drink anything but plain water or coffee to avoid even the appearance that I'm drinking alcohol.


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Jun 08, 2015 22:23 |  #148

Obviously peoples idea of customs differ, and peoples experiences are clearly going to differ in a number of ways and reasons, and some may not be tuned into to "how it's done" even in their own neck of the woods.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that in my neck of the woods, it is ABSOLUTELY customary to feed the help. Photographer, video, DJ, etc.

I can also tell you that the client would not even need to be involved, other than the 10 minute break, as around here the caterer, bar tenders, photographers, etc, all tend to watch out for eac hother. The caterer that gives me a meal, the bartender that provides me with a cold seltzer, are going to get my recommendation. It's good business to take care of each other. Referrals happen.. The Caterer would positively insist on feeding them.

And having been in the event business and venue business for a good deal of my life, I have never encountered a caterer that was not prepared to feed a good half dozen to a dozen more people than what was ordered by the client. That's just standard preparation. No, in fact to not be prepared for that uncertainty (or certainty!) for an extra handful of guests, or feeding some additional people, would reflect very poorly on the caterer.

"Sorry I ran out of memory cards, i can't take any more photos" .. not something you'd here from the photographer. "We can't feed anyone else" likewise, you don't hear that from caterers. At the end of the night, there is always extra.

This is how I KNOW that the Newlyweds in this case were just not familiar with custom. that "$XXX.XX per plate" line means they did not discuss it with the Caterer. I would bet on it. It was a knee jerk reaction from someone that felt overly entitled to the "helps" time.

I come from this from the P.O.V. of a professional event manager, a Venue operator, a wedding client that OF COURSE fed the photographers and the band, and the trivia jockey, (and well anyone else that our excellent caterer decided to feed!) and yes, on the rarest of occasions, I've even been a wedding photographer (ok 3, but still)

The answer to the OP's question is: YES.

We can debate the realities of contracts, and discussion of the meal period ahead of time,. In fact I would highly recommend that the client be aware that the photographer needs to get that brief break and sustenance. I suppose it is within the realm of reality that some newlyweds may not understand these basic bodily needs and or niceties,..

But that is not really the question. The question is if it is customary,.

...and as our own pole here indicates clearly, this is simply how it is done! (again, at least in my part of the world, and yes that extends to Ontario where the OP posted which is also my part of the world. In fact having spent a good part of my life in Ontario Canada and i would find it even more likely there.)

Are their exceptions to this rule? Of course, apparently some people will even cut you in line. But the poor behavior of the individuals living on the fringes of civilized society do not get to make the rule. They can only be the exception.

The line cutters, the road ragers, those that don't tip, and yes, the internet trolls, none of these people make the rules, or the customs.

Thankfully...


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Jun 08, 2015 22:26 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #149

Hear, Hear and Huzzah!


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Jun 08, 2015 23:02 |  #150

Wilt, I am still reeling from the 2 to 5 thousand photos presented for review. :) And I thought I clicked to much. ;-)a


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