Ettiquette (or however you spell it)

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by fotogenik, May 21, 2006.

  1. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    ok ettique lesson needed from all you wedding photographer's.

    I am developing a second website to promote wedding and other normal type photography pictures (as opposed to erotic and artistic stuff)

    I need some wedding photo's for the online portfolio but I do not want to have a bride and groom pay me for unknown quality. Is it rude for me to snap some shots in a wedding that I am invited to (with the Bride and Groom's permission and cooperation of course) when there is a paid photographer there doing the "official" wedding photography?

    I am just seeking like 12 shots for a basic online portfolio to show to prospective clients.
     
  2. DepthAfield

    DepthAfield TPF Noob!

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    If your intention is to shoot “over the shoulder” of the pro, you’d be wise to confer with him/her first. I can say from personal experience, that having Aunt Martha and Uncle Schmoe (or anyone else) snapping away on either side of you when you are trying to shoot is very distracting to the subjects, and not appreciated by the hired gun. Many pros include a rider in their contract that forbids any other photos from being shot while he/she is at work.

    On the other hand, if the hired photographer is not actively working… I see no reason why you shouldn’t be allowed to shoot to your hearts content!
     
  3. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your response, no, my intention is definetly not to shoot "over the shoulder" of the "hired-gun"

    I intend to compose and shoot my own shots while not interferring with the "hire gun"
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    "with the Bride and Groom's permission and cooperation of course" THIS is the FIRST consideration. Despite what many photographers think, this entire event is about the bride and groom and thier families. You should ask for this permissions before the wedding day. Explain exactly what you wish to do and how much time you want from them on their wedding day. If they choose to take time out for you on their wedding day, it will be THEIR choice and not that of a photographer they hired.

    Now... since you're asking about proper etiquette, consider if you should even ask this of them. They have presumably spent many hours planning this day, and asking them to add something to their schedule to accomodate your interests may not be in good form. If they are relatives or very close friends (in other words, if they "love" you), they may want to do this. If you decide to ask them, give them some time to think about it before answering. And... make it easy for them to say "no." I'm sure the last thing you want to do is impose your will on them on this day.

    As for shooting over someone's shoulder, you wouldn't want to do that anyway. You want to show YOUR work. Making a snapshot of what someone else has set up and asserting that it's "yours" is in bad form.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Pete
     
  5. WNK

    WNK TPF Noob!

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    I believe that in order to use their photos as promotional material, you need to have the permission of whoever is in the photo anyways, so definately check with them first.
     
  6. Oldfireguy

    Oldfireguy TPF Noob!

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    First and foremost, I am not a wedding photographer, never will, don't want to be.

    Last winter my daughter was married and asked me to take the photos. About two weeks before her wedding a close friend was also getting married. I asked if it would be OK to bring some equipment and practice some shots. No problem.

    When I arrived early the first thing I did was talk to the guy they hired to shoot the wedding and told him what I wanted to do, practice. Not only did he have no problem with it, he took me under his wing and showed me some great lighting set-ups, poses, etc. The guy was great and I learned a lot.

    I shot my daughters wedding using some of the tips he had given me and they came out great.
     
  7. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    I was approached by them already and asked if I wanted to use their wedding for promotional shots to help me get my portfolio done, they are friends of mine.

    Stuart
     
  8. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    They signed a model release to allow me to use any photographs I take of them for promotional purposes.

    Stuart
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So.... what WAS your question?
     
  10. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    I guess my question was, Would you, as a professional wedding photographer be upset if the bride and groom allowed another photographer to take some promotional photo's at a wedding you were being paid to do?

    Should I talk about it with the "hired gun"? I don't wanna start off my career with having somone who is already established and doing it for a living being upset about something I did. I spose I just wanna make sure I am not "stepping on toes".

    Stuart
     
  11. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    To build a portfolio for wedding work, you need quite a few things. The most important is a full set of pictures from one wedding - if your punters are smart, they won't be interested in your 12 best wedding pictures - ANYONE can take just one good picture on a day. The proof is in consistent good shots of a whole wedding.

    That aside... one technique I've used is to make friends with a vicar. There are always people who can't afford a photographer and would jump at the chance for a "free" wedding. Do a couple at cost price, making it quite clear that you're new and are building a portfolio. Then you'll cut out all the problems you're currently mulling over.

    FWIW, if you're attending a professionally shot wedding, stay the hell out the way. Shoot candids of people, or use a really long lens and get right out of the way. If someone interfered with me shooting a wedding, they'd be sorry. :twisted:

    Rob
     
  12. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I'm sure you won't like this answer, but to most wedding photogs, it's a HUGE no-no. In my contract, I am the ONLY photog to be there in a professional capacity.
    What I would suggest is to contact a pro wedding photog in your area, and offer to apprentice in exchange for portfolio photos. The photographer might ask you to put some text on the photo like, "So in So for So in So Studio", but most photographers are pretty cool about it.
    You really can't expect to spring it on the Hired Gun the day of the wedding. He/She is already going to be stressed out enough without this added surprise. Ask the bride for the name of the Wedding Photog, and try to contact him/her prior to the event. If they say no, then leave the pro cameras at home. They will be after all trying to preserve their livelyhood, and I don't know of anyone doing this professionally who hasn't already paid their dues doing grunt work for others.
    You'd be suprised just how much you can learn starting out under someone else. You don't have to do it long, maybe just a few times, but it will bring you into the career in a respectful way.
    Once you are the hired gun, you'll appreciate it too.
    I hope you don't take this wrong. It's meant in a helpful manner. But I also want to be completely honest about it from a Wedding Photographer's point of view.
     

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