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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 27 Jul 2013 (Saturday) 01:34
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Uninvited Competition... Anyone Relate?

 
MaxxuM
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Jul 27, 2013 01:34 |  #1

Warning - venting... Maybe some of you can relate though.

Was asked by a family member to shoot her wedding and I agreed (it would take the place of my gift). I'm not a wedding photographer - it takes a special breed to deal with that kind of organized chaos! We started around noon and went all the way through the nuptials at around 7pm. Everything went smooth, until we got to the reception hall.

One of the groom's uncles recently started a photography business and he got it into his head that he'd 'volunteer' to be the groom's official photographer (he didn't shoot anything before the reception). I was a little annoyed, but no biggy. If he needed work, I was willing to cut him some slack. That all changed when his step-son arrived with the video camera. The kid (probably in his early 20's) was getting in my way the entire night. The damn LED light he was using was also messing with my lighting (two remote flashes) and he walked in front of me blocking at least a dozen shots. I tapped him on the shoulder about five or six times and asked him to please stop walking in front of me. The little snot just kept doing it. Then the uncle starts trying to organize the reception photos... seriously; totally disregarding the nights schedule (group photos, cake photos, speeches, etc). That's when I saw HER; the real person behind this little coup. The wife/mother was pushing both of them to take over. She pushed the step-son to get in my way and was directing her husband every step.

The other annoying thing was the guy's equipment outmatched mine two to one $$$ wise, and I know that really doesn't matter, but it's damn hard to compete with a full-frame sensor & 1.2/f red ring when you're stuck at 2.8/f in a dark dance hall. The only thing going for me was that he didn't look like he knew how to use a flash (one camera mounted flash firing directly at subjects). But, I still had a little equipment envy.

Anyway, the family member (bride) was as pissed as I was. The groom was exhausted and like most guys in his shoes, was ready to get drunk by the time we got to the hall; so no help there. Tomorrow I will be delivering the photos and will get to see his work.

Anyway, just wanted to get that off my chest. It's the first time I've ever had a photographer vs. photographer impromptu throwdown lol.




  
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Phil ­ V
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Jul 27, 2013 02:06 |  #2

MaxxuM wrote in post #16157473 (external link)
Warning - venting... Maybe some of you can relate though.

Was asked by a family member to shoot her wedding and I agreed (it would take the place of my gift). I'm not a wedding photographer - it takes a special breed to deal with that kind of organized chaos! We started around noon and went all the way through the nuptials at around 7pm. Everything went smooth, until we got to the reception hall.

One of the groom's uncles recently started a photography business and he got it into his head that he'd 'volunteer' to be the groom's official photographer (he didn't shoot anything before the reception). I was a little annoyed, but no biggy. If he needed work, I was willing to cut him some slack. That all changed when his step-son arrived with the video camera. The kid (probably in his early 20's) was getting in my way the entire night. The damn LED light he was using was also messing with my lighting (two remote flashes) and he walked in front of me blocking at least a dozen shots. I tapped him on the shoulder about five or six times and asked him to please stop walking in front of me. The little snot just kept doing it. Then the uncle starts trying to organize the reception photos... seriously; totally disregarding the nights schedule (group photos, cake photos, speeches, etc). That's when I saw HER; the real person behind this little coup. The wife/mother was pushing both of them to take over. She pushed the step-son to get in my way and was directing her husband every step.

The other annoying thing was the guy's equipment outmatched mine two to one $$$ wise, and I know that really doesn't matter, but it's damn hard to compete with a full-frame sensor & 1.2/f red ring when you're stuck at 2.8/f in a dark dance hall. The only thing going for me was that he didn't look like he knew how to use a flash (one camera mounted flash firing directly at subjects). But, I still had a little equipment envy.

Anyway, the family member (bride) was as pissed as I was. The groom was exhausted and like most guys in his shoes, was ready to get drunk by the time we got to the hall; so no help there. Tomorrow I will be delivering the photos and will get to see his work.

Anyway, just wanted to get that off my chest. It's the first time I've ever had a photographer vs. photographer impromptu throwdown lol.

You should have approached the MoB or the best man, a quiet word with the 'director' would have sorted it.


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DocFrankenstein
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Jul 27, 2013 02:26 |  #3

Phil V wrote in post #16157511 (external link)
You should have approached the MoB or the best man, a quiet word with the 'director' would have sorted it.

yep


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MaxxuM
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Jul 27, 2013 02:38 |  #4

Phil V wrote in post #16157511 (external link)
You should have approached the MoB or the best man, a quiet word with the 'director' would have sorted it.

MoB is my relative and complete hands off person, so no help there. Best man was grooms own father, so the photographer was his brother, so no help there either. I was on my own. This is one of the reasons I hate doing weddings, particularly if it's your own family - politics. Not to mention the 10 or so hours of working :)




  
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DocFrankenstein
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Jul 27, 2013 02:43 |  #5

MaxxuM wrote in post #16157534 (external link)
MoB is my relative and complete hands off person, so no help there. Best man was grooms own father, so the photographer was his brother, so no help there either. I was on my own. This is one of the reasons I hate doing weddings, particularly if it's your own family - politics. Not to mention the 10 or so hours of working :)

At least the bride isn't the groom's cousin... ;)

Did the shots turn out ok?


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Iscariotau
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Jul 27, 2013 03:24 |  #6

would love to hear about your results and his..


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cdifoto
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Jul 27, 2013 03:52 |  #7

MaxxuM wrote in post #16157473 (external link)
Warning - venting... Maybe some of you can relate though.

Was asked by a family member to shoot her wedding and I agreed (it would take the place of my gift). I'm not a wedding photographer - it takes a special breed to deal with that kind of organized chaos! We started around noon and went all the way through the nuptials at around 7pm. Everything went smooth, until we got to the reception hall.

One of the groom's uncles recently started a photography business and he got it into his head that he'd 'volunteer' to be the groom's official photographer (he didn't shoot anything before the reception). I was a little annoyed, but no biggy. If he needed work, I was willing to cut him some slack. That all changed when his step-son arrived with the video camera. The kid (probably in his early 20's) was getting in my way the entire night. The damn LED light he was using was also messing with my lighting (two remote flashes) and he walked in front of me blocking at least a dozen shots. I tapped him on the shoulder about five or six times and asked him to please stop walking in front of me. The little snot just kept doing it. Then the uncle starts trying to organize the reception photos... seriously; totally disregarding the nights schedule (group photos, cake photos, speeches, etc). That's when I saw HER; the real person behind this little coup. The wife/mother was pushing both of them to take over. She pushed the step-son to get in my way and was directing her husband every step.

The other annoying thing was the guy's equipment outmatched mine two to one $$$ wise, and I know that really doesn't matter, but it's damn hard to compete with a full-frame sensor & 1.2/f red ring when you're stuck at 2.8/f in a dark dance hall. The only thing going for me was that he didn't look like he knew how to use a flash (one camera mounted flash firing directly at subjects). But, I still had a little equipment envy.

Anyway, the family member (bride) was as pissed as I was. The groom was exhausted and like most guys in his shoes, was ready to get drunk by the time we got to the hall; so no help there. Tomorrow I will be delivering the photos and will get to see his work.

Anyway, just wanted to get that off my chest. It's the first time I've ever had a photographer vs. photographer impromptu throwdown lol.

You weren't paid and wedding photography is a helluva huge gift...far far beyond what everyone else gives (small appliances, even cash).

With that in mind, I'd say don't worry about it. You had no obligation to provide specific photos so there should really be no skin off your back.

If you are paid though, have a contract with a get out of jail free card clause in it saying you're not responsible for missed shots due to others' interference, etc and if you have to, do as posted above: mention it to the director, planner, and/or diplomatically tell the offender that her interference is costing the bride money.

EDIT: I'll even go so far as to say it's partially your fault for not carrying yourself and operating in a way that commands respect. I'll also say that if they really did get in your way a significant amount, you weren't moving around enough. I find that roving around gets you a lot of varied shots and as a result, no one can be in your way very much. Wherever they are, go somewhere else. Don't stand in one place and expect them to never enter your field of view. Heck even if they're deliberately placing themselves where you are, if you keep moving they won't be able to keep up. Take a shot, move. By the time they think they've spotted you, you're not there anymore. They can have a spot you're done using.

I've worked with a lot of photographers, videographers, and guests with better equipment and it's very rare for me to miss shots because I don't stay put. I might not get THE shot I wanted but I'll almost always get something just as good.


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highway0691
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Jul 27, 2013 04:03 |  #8

I hope you got photos of them doing their thing so you can shoe the B&G why you were sidelined.

These kind've people really do annoy me, this is an extreme case though. I make sure I go over this as a possible issue in the meeting I have shortly before the wedding. I explain some of the problems I've had in the past and I also tell them that if it occurs I will think nothing of asserting myself, in a pleasant way though.

The wedding I did yesterday in fact. The Mother of the bride with iphone (MOBWI) who was champagne affected started to get a bit disruptive, telling people what to do, where to place hands, how to smile etc and slowing things down massively. All I had to do was have a quick word to the bride who nipped it in the bud, problem sorted.


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Jul 27, 2013 07:18 |  #9

The videographers light makes a nice hairlight. Your equipment was fine by the way.


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MaxxuM
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Jul 27, 2013 16:04 |  #10

DocFrankenstein wrote in post #16157540 (external link)
At least the bride isn't the groom's cousin... ;)
Did the shots turn out ok?

Iscariotau wrote in post #16157580 (external link)
would love to hear about your results and his..

They love how mine came out. Shot about 700 or so shots and whittled it down to around 200 of which half were used to create a photobook. Will see his shots sometime later today. I’m curious too.

cdifoto wrote in post #16157610 (external link)
You weren't paid and wedding photography is a helluva huge gift...far far beyond what everyone else gives (small appliances, even cash).

With that in mind, I'd say don't worry about it. You had no obligation to provide specific photos so there should really be no skin off your back.

If you are paid though, have a contract with a get out of jail free card clause in it saying you're not responsible for missed shots due to others' interference, etc and if you have to, do as posted above: mention it to the director, planner, and/or diplomatically tell the offender that her interference is costing the bride money.

EDIT: I'll even go so far as to say it's partially your fault for not carrying yourself and operating in a way that commands respect. I'll also say that if they really did get in your way a significant amount, you weren't moving around enough. I find that roving around gets you a lot of varied shots and as a result, no one can be in your way very much. Wherever they are, go somewhere else. Don't stand in one place and expect them to never enter your field of view. Heck even if they're deliberately placing themselves where you are, if you keep moving they won't be able to keep up. Take a shot, move. By the time they think they've spotted you, you're not there anymore. They can have a spot you're done using.

I've worked with a lot of photographers, videographers, and guests with better equipment and it's very rare for me to miss shots because I don't stay put. I might not get THE shot I wanted but I'll almost always get something just as good.

Yes, it was a big gift, but she’s family and they paid for most of the wedding themselves.

“... carrying yourself and operating in a way that commands respect.” As ex-U.S. Army special ops soldier, I’ve never heard that questioned of me. Most of the time strangers say that I intimidate them. Your advice sounds a little like military tactics... Shoot, duck, roll, shoot, duck, roll.... However, if your subject has a bright LED lamp in their faces, no amount of moving around will help.

I hear what you’re saying though. I got most of the shots, but there were more than a few with squinty eyes, halos, miscalculations by the flashes, but the worst ones were where he was asking people to look at him while I was doing the same. Half the people are looking in one direction and the other half, another.




  
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Jul 27, 2013 17:18 as a reply to  @ MaxxuM's post |  #11

Meanwhile at another photography-r-us forum...

"Man I was asked to photograph my nieces wedding. My son who had a few videos on youtube with 1000s of Likes thought it would be cool to document his cousin's wedding too. It would be a gift.
I thought it was great since I have <insert awesome full-frame camera> and <insert awesome L lenses> and besides it would help with my portfolio.

Well everything was swell until this little snot with I think some sort of small sensor Rebel getting in our way. Didn't notice him much until he followed my son and us around. How annoying. I'd have a word with him if it weren't for my brother's daughter wedding. But I got some awesome shots because I took charge at some point and organized the composition. Sorry had to rant."


;)

Maybe this uncle was also "asked" to shoot the wedding?

If you are not paid, no contract, all bets are off. You're just another happy snapper in the family wedding. Move on.


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MaxxuM
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Jul 27, 2013 21:25 |  #12

delhi wrote in post #16158953 (external link)
Maybe this uncle was also "asked" to shoot the wedding?

If you are not paid, no contract, all bets are off. You're just another happy snapper in the family wedding. Move on.

I think when the bride asks, that pretty much trumps everyone. Especially after I did the invitations, portraits, pre-wedding, & wedding photos. And like I said, I never had a problem with them until they actively began trying to sabotage my work.

But, now you got me thinking. There's a chance that the father/step-son/wife didn't know that I was the "official" photographer. Perhaps they didn't go to the church for the wedding. True or not, it's still damn rude and may be part of the reason he closed his previous business to begin this new one. I guess you just had to see it happening to appreciate the blatancy of it.




  
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Jul 28, 2013 02:33 |  #13

MaxxuM wrote in post #16159430 (external link)
I think when the bride asks, that pretty much trumps everyone. .

^This.


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Jul 28, 2013 02:38 |  #14

should have just bought a toaster!


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Jul 28, 2013 03:47 |  #15

MaxxuM wrote in post #16158814 (external link)
They love how mine came out. Shot about 700 or so shots and whittled it down to around 200 of which half were used to create a photobook. Will see his shots sometime later today. I’m curious too.

Yes, it was a big gift, but she’s family and they paid for most of the wedding themselves.

“... carrying yourself and operating in a way that commands respect.” As ex-U.S. Army special ops soldier, I’ve never heard that questioned of me. Most of the time strangers say that I intimidate them. Your advice sounds a little like military tactics... Shoot, duck, roll, shoot, duck, roll.... However, if your subject has a bright LED lamp in their faces, no amount of moving around will help.

I hear what you’re saying though. I got most of the shots, but there were more than a few with squinty eyes, halos, miscalculations by the flashes, but the worst ones were where he was asking people to look at him while I was doing the same. Half the people are looking in one direction and the other half, another.

Hah too funny. It's not far off. I do feel a bit SEAL Team 6ish at times. :P

I'm only 5'1 and never served in the military so it's not really even about intimidation. It's more a case of "here to do a job and it's dead obvious to everyone around." If you're not there professionally it's almost like they're dogs and smell your fear.

I mean, you'll always have people getting in your way. Generally though it's unintentional and they'll move if asked nicely, or they just pop up in front without realizing you where there because you're pretty good at not being seen.


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