Ended up being Main Photographer, Need Advice

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by iflynething, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    My cousin got married this Saturday. We talked in the past about me being a possible second shooter. I found out there was a main photographer which was a friend of the groom (it's always the friend). I asked if I could get to shoot this weeding since it would be a pretty big one and I could build some shots in a "major" wedding for my portfolio. I made sure before shooting there was not a clause in the main photographers contract of having a second shooter - there was not.

    The wedding started at 2:30. I got to the church at 1 pm and went right to work at getting shots of the bride and groom getting ready in their separate room, going up and down stairs to capture the progress. The main photographer shows up at around 1:45. The groom was almost dressed but I had already made about 30 shots of the groom and about 40 of the bride. I talk to the photographer and tell him I know you're the paid guy, and I will make sure to stay out of your way, he agreed and that was fine. The daughter of the photographer got there and started shooting the bride - only thing is she was already ready, there wasn't much to shoot of her. This was the first thing that irritated me.

    Fast forward to the wedding. It was all going great. We were all moving around - myself, the photographer and his daugher. They were in a bind...his camera was a 1D with a L wide angle lens and her's was a 40D with a Tamron 18-200. They couldn't get the shots. Her lens was slow, and his was too wide. I was prepared and had the 80-200 2.8 and was able to get wonderful shots. The wedding photography went great...or so I thought...

    We get to the group shots at the end and a little more than half way through, the main photographer gives out. He asked me if I was going to be at the reception for the cake cutting and such. He talks to the groom (I was able to hear) and says he is too tired and needs to take a break. The groom agrees. I come to find out that the guy apparently had cancer of some sort. While I sympathize with the guy, I cannot refuse the fact that I was annoyed he would book a wedding knowing he might not be able to finish it, since he would get tired. Maybe he didn't know this.

    I'm in a bind now though. The groom asked me to come to him after the honeymoon with a disc (with all the images.) to surprise the bride. I don't know how much he was going to pay me, how much the main photographer charged, if he got a deposit or anything like that.

    I feel like I should be paid in some way other than just a disc full of images for the groom and a "here you go, print at will." Although I was expecting NOTHING from this, things changed as you can see. One of the bridesmaids came into where I work and I kept it professional, but brought up that I was a little irritated the phtographer left and if she knew anything about it. According to her, the guy said - along with he was tired - that I was doing a better job anyways. I remember him saying something to that effect as he was talking to the groom. I talked with a photographer friend and he said bluntly, the guy probably got pissed off that I was there. If he had a clause in his contract that stated there is absolutly not other photography allowed (like I DO in my contract) I would be pissed too, but he didn't and it was ok'ed by the bride and groom that I second shoot, knowing they not pay me. Anyways, my photgographer friend suggested this:

    A) First talk to the photographer and see if he is able to compensate me in some way for having to leave and me take over

    B) Talk to the bride and groom and charge an hourly rate of $75-100/hr and either charge for the entire 6 hours I was there, with this price of $450-600 including 150 or so prints

    C) Charge for the 4 hours I took over after the photographer left, make $400 and then upload the images to my website and let them print from there, lowering my prices since they are in a bind because the other photographer left.

    Do I have any other options? What route would be best. I WILL NOT give a disc of just all the images for $200. I'd rather not make any money than have them print off at Wal-Mart or on their home printer and a reputation go down the drain.

    Can anyone give their ideas?

    Thanks

    ~Michael~


    I apoligize for the long post, but I need to give all the information so I could get a better idea from everyone
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  2. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    This is a hard spot since it was for a family member (cousin). My question to you is when you say you talked in the past about you being second shooter. Was it mutual or did you ask to take pics of the wedding? It kinda sounds like you had asked to take pics so you could have shots for a portfolio.

    If that is the case I think it would be wrong for you to charge for the actual shooting. Now I am on the fence about post processing as well. Since you stated you wanted shots for your portfolio and would post process anyway. So, in effect you had already agreed to do the work for free. Just would have been for personal use though.

    I think in this situation I would approach just the other photographer and not your cousin. If you cannot get anything from the paid photographer. I would chalk this up to a learning experience and move on. The fact is part of it was for your own use. And it's family. Not sure if your close or not. But is $500-600 worth the ire of other extended family members? If anything give it as a gift. Don't push the money issue with family! You can't win!! You definately do not want to look like your trying to take advantage of your cousin. This is how family arguments start.
     
  3. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    You were the second (unpaid) shooter - leave it at that. You were going to get the shots anyway, regardless if he was there or not.

    You owe the paid photographer nothing.
     
  4. Anesthetize

    Anesthetize TPF Noob!

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    I agree with this. Don't give all the pictures away, but do a nice job on the post processing and offer them your service as a gift, if it's not too much trouble. You'll have the pictures for your portfolio and they will have the pictures of their wedding. Also, you'll be the cousin who got the job done when it was needed and not the guy who tried to take advantage :)
     
  5. Kw_Reis

    Kw_Reis TPF Noob!

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    You took this job on without asking for any compensastion. With or without the pro photographer being there....you still offered to do it for free. If the pro photographer would have been there for the cake cutting stuff you still would have been there....So pay you for your time at the wedding? You don't deserve it because you did not ask for it upfront and youd be a prick to ask for it now for some other guy's **** up. You agreed to do the job for free, do it for free.As far as the groom wanting everything on a disc and PP and all of that, well that sounds like this was something that came about as a direct result of the other photographer not being able to complete his job. If you want to charge for the PP and the disc, explain to them that....or you could just be a good dude and give it to them as a gift for their wedding and always be remembered everytime they look at their photos that their family member that came through in the bind. Good deeds do not go unpunished bro, everything will come back to you eventually. Im a business owner bro, It takes 20 years to build a iron clad reputation, and only 5 minutes to destroy it. If you say something, stand behind your word...and if you **** up, make it right. If someone told me they were going to do something for free like this, then expected payment....lol Id tell them to kick rocks and keep the pictures.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  6. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    Actually I disagree with everyone else here,
    He asked if he could take photographs, Not for them, for himself therefore he needn't give them to anyone if he doesn't want to...
    The B&G agreed to let him take photographs, Not to work for free...
    I would speak to the Protog and tell him, since you had to hold the ceremony at the end, you would like the $75 an hour for the time you had to shoot because he wasn't there
    or offer him the images at $25 - 50 per
     
  7. Anesthetize

    Anesthetize TPF Noob!

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    Sure, talk to the photographer and work something out with him. Just don't charge your cousin directly for the hours if the photographer is charging them too.

    However, watch out for family disagreements and avoid them at all freaking costs. They have a habit of surfacing when they're needed the least.
     
  8. MelissaMarieImagery

    MelissaMarieImagery TPF Noob!

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    Idk, this post sort of upsets me... You were getting the shots anyway, if you planned on giving them to the B&G you should, free of charge. If the Groom decides to pay you for your time that's cool, but I don't think you should ask for it.

    This was a family thing, right? Doesn't anybody believe in favors anymore :(

    If i had two people at my wedding and my main photographer didn't do a good job, I might find it in my OWN heart to pay the second person, but if they asked me for money I would feel awkward and uncomfortable. I'd probably pay them because they were ballsy enough to ask, but be really offended and I think it could sour the relationship
     
  9. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    First off, thanks for all the great replies. With my replies to the following quotes, I might clear a few things up.

    I'm not exceptionally close to this cousin - we don't talk other than at family functions. I'm not trying to take advantage, but I just want everyone to know I had to take over.



    I couldn't, and would not give the photographer the images in any way. If the B&G were to buy pictures I shot, they would be from me. Even at $25, I have 375 I kept and worked on. Even if he bought 100 of the best ones from the ceremony it would still be $2,500. As I said, the groom asked me to come to him after they came back from the honeymoon. One thing I didn't say was he said he would take care of me - I'm assuming paying me in some way, but I'm not sure how much.

    It was understood by the bride and groom that I would take the pictures, both parties knowing it would be for my portfolio, BUT if they wanted to have pictures, they would pay for what ones they wanted and whichever size. I would of course offer a discount to my normal a la carte print prices and maybe give a package deal, depending on what they wanted.

    I don't think I owe the paid photographer anything, but I don't know if I was doing him a favor because he really felt bad or just got mad that I was shooting, even though it was ok'ed by the bride and groom. I WOULD like to talk to him to see what HE thought about the whole situation.

    As I said before, it was being shot for free, but they understood if they wanted prints, they would have to pay. That's it.

    I will have to work everything out with them once they get back. I"m NOT going to bother them on their honeymoon. I'm not sure if they will ask for the deposit back or what the contract stated about the photographer leaving. I just don't know any of that information and will have to talk to my cousin to find that out.

    I seem to be making this a much much bigger issue than it should be.

    I will say that I am NOT going give any images on a CD for a couple hundred dollars, if that. That's not how I work and I don't believe in selling images like this just for them to possibly be printed bad. It might take 20 years to build a good reputation, but what about that time in between where people print picture from your photo CD and some reputation was lost?

    I appreciate all your comments and advice

    ~Michael~
     
  10. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone. Looks like this thread went into the dumps.

    I'm back though. I got in contact with the groom and I made a slideshow for them

    I talked to him over the phone a couple of times and he asked what he owed me. I simply told him I was going to be the second shooter and that's it and I was going to do it for free in the first place so if he wanted to pay me, he could. If not, it was up to him and my cousin.

    I showed them the slideshow first so they could get an idea of pictures in store. The bride cried the entire slideshow and I may have even seen the groom doing the same thing.

    Anyways, I showed them some of the pictures and they talked and gave me what ended up being $140....and in the words of Billy Mays (R.I.P): "But wait, there's more..."

    I might be shooting a wedding for the grooms' nephew's wedding in a couple of months. He said they could contact me and I could give more details to his nephew.

    Just thought I would give an update. Thank you all for your ideas

    ~Michael~
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2014
  11. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    The B&G don't owe you anything, but the pro does, imo. You saved his ass for the reception. If I were in the position of the pro, I'd offer you something just as a thank you for covering me.
     
  12. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    I sat that whole slideshow just thinking "wow huge cake.. I hope he took some closups of each layer"
    I was dissappointed not to see any, then at the very end :)
    well done :)
     

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