Snap happy relatives

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by zaramuni, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. zaramuni

    zaramuni TPF Noob!

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    I recently did a wedding where as soon as I would finish setting up a shot an annoying wedding guest would stand in the prime position and take the shot. Despite asking him to move repeatedly, he would still move into my frame just as I was taking the shot. I have parts of his body in almost all my shots. Because the bride was explicit about allowing other guests to take pictures, I just grinned and bore it, but any advice on how to deal with this in the future? Definately don't want to institute a "no other photographer" rule
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Part of being a good/successful wedding photographer is being able to take charge of a situation like this...or working around it...or avoiding it altogether.

    I don't like the ideal of giving the client a 'no other photographer' rule either...but it may be a good idea to have that rule in your contract anyway...just in case to need to enforce it, or at least use the threat of it to help with jerks who don't get out of the way.

    Having guest around, shooting behind you, can be a problem because the subjects may not know where to look and then your shots will suffer...but actually having someone step in front of you...I find than unacceptable. In a situation like this, I think it's important to let the bride (or your main contact) know that someone is ruining your photos...photos that they paid you to take. Sometimes, all it takes is a for the bride or someone to tell them to back off so that you can do your job.

    Using a loud or commanding voice can be a photographer's best tool. Sometimes the photographer has to take charge and be very confident about it. It's like a class of boisterous high school kids, they will usually settle down much faster with a loud, confident teacher than they would for a timid, soft spoken teacher. It may be a fine line between seeming confident and seeming rude...but that's part of being good.

    Another option might be to use a step ladder, so that you are above the crowd.

    Another option is just not shoot in situations like this, tell the clients that you won't shoot where other cameras will be around. Some clients won't like this, but some will accept it and plan accordingly.

    Remember, this is you reputation as a photographer on the line. If you shots have a bunch of people who are looking in all different directions and maybe even ruined because someone is getting in front of you...that will reflect badly on you.
     
  3. JonR

    JonR TPF Noob!

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    If you have the chance, lay down the law before it gets to the group shots. Before you start taking photos say

    'Ladies and Gents, I'm now going to do the group shots. I'm happy for other people to take pictures after I've finished but B&G are paying me a lot of money to get these shots. So I'm going to arrange the groups and then take the photo, when I've finished I'll give you all a signal and you can step up and snap away'.

    If you have a step ladder, then deliver this speech from on the top of it!

    And obviously, change the money bit depending on the situation / sense of humour. If you see people bristling (well, if he's any good he should be able to get the photos no matter what grumble grumble) then you've just put a foot wrong.
     
  4. drgibson

    drgibson TPF Noob!

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    Just another reason why I don't do weddings. ;)
     
  5. *Mike*

    *Mike* TPF Noob!

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    One guy I've heard of used umbrellas in the aisle with him to crowd out the others. I've never gone that far, but I thought it was pretty brilliant. After all, the bride is paying good money for the right equipment and expertise... who's going to argue with a pro using lights/reflectors.

    I've never been ballsy enough to try it - but it made me smile just thinking about it.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One trick I've heard of...is to set up a flash with an optical trigger, but point it back at the crowd of relatives. Every time they fire off their little P&S cameras...your flash will fire at them...ruining their photos and/or bothering them. Maybe not the most professional thing to do...but funny.
     
  7. zaramuni

    zaramuni TPF Noob!

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    hahaha - I like the umbrella/flash ideas! Right now I'm working on Big Mike's suggestion and writing it into the contract that i get first go at posed shots. Anyone know of examples that i can follow?
     
  8. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    I cant believe how ignorant someone must be to walk in front of your shots, and to not move when you ask them to.

    IMO that isn't something you will be dealing with at every wedding, simply because not every is that rude.

    and mikes idea of the anti P&S flash is awesome.
     
  9. drgibson

    drgibson TPF Noob!

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    Another Idea is to keep a copy of the photos you have with the errant body in them and show them to your clients as a warning as to what can happen.
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good point.
     
  11. brighteyesphotos

    brighteyesphotos TPF Noob!

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    I have told each guest that had cameras that they are to wait until I am done. This is also a reason why I tried to get as many shots as I could before the wedding. Most times, the guests have not arrived, thus will not bother you. For the big group shots and those B&G shots, you just gotta tell people, if you have a camera, please wait until I have gotten my pictures since that is what I am here for. As for the guy who was standing in front of me, I would've walked up to him and said, "you are in my way. Please move and please wait until I am done."
     
  12. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    This is quite a good idea but it doesn't really solve the problem - the problem is the guest in the way and this is the result rather than the solution.

    Why not combine Big Mike's idea of telling the bride and DrGibson's idea of using the ruined shots to show the bride her shots are being ruined by showing the bride the ruined shots while still in the camera - obviously no use with film!

    What about being quite devious about it and keeping a couple of shots of someone's back on your memory card and saying to the bride that more shots will be ruined and could she ask guests to wait their turn. Obviously don't make that person identifiable if they're from another wedding party!
     

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