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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 03 Sep 2016 (Saturday) 22:20
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Mom of bride wants to take photos during engagement shoot!

 
jenward74
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Sep 03, 2016 22:20 |  #1

How do you handle this diplomatically? I have encountered this a handful of times over the years. Mom/Grandma/Sis wants to bring her camera and take photos during the photoshoot. In the past, I have just let it go (small town, everyone is friends with everyone, don't want hurt feelings or bad publicity). I have even had one grandma want to take photos in my newborn studio with all my equipment setup and props, etc. So today I get a message from an engagement/wedding client who says her future MIL wants to come to the engagement session to photograph it with her own camera. The future bride and her future husband don't really want her there, but also don't want to tell her "no". So they have thrown the ball into my court. Is there any good, diplomatic way to handle this, besides just letting it happen?


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frozenframe
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Sep 03, 2016 22:39 |  #2

Kinda of a sticky situation. I would not allow it. Since the B&G both do not want her there, I think I'd tell them that they should be the one(s) informing MIL not to come. I think it would be less difficult for them, since they booked you and not MIL. If MIL is allowed, I'm guessing the mood will be affected.


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Snydremark
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Sep 03, 2016 22:46 |  #3

When I shot a buddy's wedding, the groom came out and informed everyone that they had paid us to get pics, and that they could take pics as soon as we were able to complete our task; and, then asked them to help clear the way for us.

Worked out nicely, and since the message came from him it wasn't confrontational or anything.


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kjonnnn
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Sep 03, 2016 22:53 |  #4

Tell them to tell the MIL, "The photographer said, if you cooked a big fancy dinner, would it be ok if he brought his own pots and pans and cooked his own food?"




  
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Bassat
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Sep 04, 2016 00:22 |  #5

Nancy Reagan: "Just say, NO!"




  
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tdlavigne
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Post edited over 2 years ago by tdlavigne. (2 edits in all)
     
Sep 04, 2016 01:09 |  #6

Tell them to grow a pair (diplomatically of course). It shouldn't be your responsibility to get involved in family drama. Otherwise, your obligation is to your clients (not MIL) and trying your best to ensure they have a great shoot. If they insist, inform the MIL that you're being paid to do a job, and in your professional experience any additional parties on the set always serve as a distraction and the quality of the photos always suffers. No need to beat around the bush, it's an unnecessary distraction, and sometimes controlling your set means you have to be the "bad guy", but the other option is MIL shows up, makes the couple super uncomfortable...photos suck...you get blamed. Or MIL shows up, distracts the couple and gets in the way...photos suck...you still get blamed. At the end of the day you at the photographer are responsible for everything, be it the other people in the way, the weather, a cow stampede, UFOs landing...everything. Best to just get it out the way and try to control as much as you can to limit the possibilities of a negative shoot.




  
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scorpio_e
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Sep 04, 2016 03:41 |  #7

I would say no. UGH let the Bride mom do the engagement session herself. She would be a distraction.


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AZGeorge
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Sep 04, 2016 12:32 |  #8

jenward74 wrote:
=jenward74;18116187 . . . . The future bride and her future husband don't really want her there, but also don't want to tell her "no". So they have thrown the ball into my court. Is there any good, diplomatic way to handle this, besides just letting it happen?

I'd suggest taking one for your clients and simply giving MIL a polite but firm no. Tell her that only you and the couple will be present for the shoot.

Since it's a small town and blood stains can be hard to remove you might get your clients' permission to toss her a nice bone and MIL know you will be sending her a couple of "early and exclusive" pictures.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt. (3 edits in all)
     
Sep 04, 2016 12:54 |  #9

"Our bride and groom both have asked explicitly for private photo sessions with our photography studio staff so that they are not distracted during the photo sessions, and we will be honoring their request by excluding friends and relatives from these sessions, per their request."

That way mother/mother-in-law have to IMPOSE themselves on the will of the B&G , not merely override the request of the 'hired help'


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filmuser
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Sep 04, 2016 13:06 |  #10

Hang a sign on your entry to studio. NO CAMERAS BEYOND THIS POINT. That way you do not have to tell anyone anything.




  
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phantelope
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Sep 04, 2016 13:22 |  #11

at an event we attended the photographer got up on a chair and told everybody to please put cameras and phones away during the family photo session, so as not to distract the subjects. Explained that they won't know if to look at grandma or aunt Sue or the paid photographer etc.
I'd do something similar, "please no photography during the photo session, shoot all you want after the paid for shots are taken".


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Hogloff
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Sep 04, 2016 18:58 |  #12
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Snydremark wrote in post #18116205 (external link)
When I shot a buddy's wedding, the groom came out and informed everyone that they had paid us to get pics, and that they could take pics as soon as we were able to complete our task; and, then asked them to help clear the way for us.

Worked out nicely, and since the message came from him it wasn't confrontational or anything.

Perfect way of handling it. Win-win for everyone.




  
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Hogloff
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Sep 04, 2016 19:01 |  #13
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phantelope wrote in post #18116736 (external link)
at an event we attended the photographer got up on a chair and told everybody to please put cameras and phones away during the family photo session, so as not to distract the subjects. Explained that they won't know if to look at grandma or aunt Sue or the paid photographer etc.
I'd do something similar, "please no photography during the photo session, shoot all you want after the paid for shots are taken".

Another excellent post. Very professional unlike a bunch of other suggestions.




  
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Mom of bride wants to take photos during engagement shoot!
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