Vent-Shooting for the Ultra Wealthy

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by bennielou, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    Man, we all want that right? Boy, did I get a wake up call...

    So I get booked online. All the goodies and pretty much everything I had to offer on top of that.

    I never met the B&G. They were out of state. In fact everything was booked from out of state. But the venue is here in town. Everything looks cool. I book a lot of jobs via the internet.

    So I go to the venue. The very best hotel in town. I already knew that, but these people had 3 floors blocked off. One floor just for the reception. 700 guests. I didn't know that before hand. So we split up the three man team to cover everything going on a once.

    The wedding party is the who's who of the planet. I didn't know that either. The guest list is celebrities, major business people, newcasters, powerplayers and actual royalty.

    The wedding itself was in the $800,000 range

    I was stoked. Who wouldn't be? At first......

    The bride looks like Grace Kelly. The groom is totally sweet and super handsome.

    Most of the guests were total dolls. Some were not. They thought it was fun to mess with us...to try to block our shots....on purpose.

    Some would not let us take shots of them at all.

    Others were flat out rude.

    The wedding party, was reclusive in taking photos. So were some of the guests. I have never heard, "No photos" as much in my life.

    I've never been viewed as an employee, and on this wedding I wasn't viewed that way by everyone, but about 90 percent viewed me that way. People snapped at me with their fingers, and called me, "Girl". I was blown away.

    So I finally made it to the bigtime wedding. After many years of hard work. It's definately the most beautiful, crazy, star studded wedding I've ever worked, but at the end of the day, I was dissolusioned. I was a bit angry. And I discovered that I'd rather work for the groups I am most used to.

    Most couples I work with think of me as a friend, not an employee.

    Being an employee sucks.

    Anyway, I just needed to vent. I can't exactly go to the families with my feelings of frustration.

    After uploading the RAWS, I know this is going to be a fantastic wedding. How can it not be? But I'm not sure that I ever want to repeat this experience. Ever. It was truly the hardest thing I've ever encountered.

    Again, just venting. Thanks for listening. I needed to "spill" to other people who would understand.
     
  2. guitarkid

    guitarkid TPF Noob!

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    i'm sorry that happened to you! i really am! i have been in that situation. not with famous people, but wealthier. it's one of the reasons i'm glad i'm not pursuing weddings like i was. i stopped all advertising and marketing and just rely on the site. in any case, i know what you mean about seen as an employee. most people could never even think of doing what we do! i also get sick of going up to people for photos and hearing...get me later...or, i don't think so. there was this one time where this older guy was out on the dance floor with a younger girl so i approached them during a slow song, as i do with everyone else. he was really rude and attempted to hide from where i was taking photos. my gut told me he was cheating on someone with this girl. i could be wrong, but based on how he acted, that's what i thought. so of course i shot a few nice shots which wound up in the gallery. this other time, this young couple told me how poor they were and they really needed someone good, etc etc etc. we gave them a good break and i wanted the gig. we pull up and there are ferraris and porche's at the hall..even a lamborhini! from that point on, i don't cater to anyone with a sob story. i would rather stay home than to get paid less and deal with snobs! i'm not a peasant. there's my rant. so right now, i still do weddings but don't pursue them and i'm really happy. i'm going back to what i love...shooting bands and anything else that comes around. this includes HD video production. i'm also getting back into guitar again and starting to record heavily for a new CD. i did the wedding photo thing hard core since 2002. these last 2 years really tapered off with the economy and i too felt more like an employee / peasant. i have a tough skin but got tired of feeling like that. no one in this life is better than anyone else and i can't stand anyone who thinks otherwise.
     
  3. Some Idiot

    Some Idiot TPF Noob!

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    CHARGE EXTRA, that will make the pain go away
     
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  4. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ack, to be treated that way really sucks. I have fortunately not been in that situation, but I could only imagine what you were / are feeling over all of it.

    I guess the grass isn't always greener. Just because they have the cash, doesn't mean its actually a step up in terms of your photography business. Sure, you probably gain a bigger reputation when you can attach bigger names to your client list, but do you really want more of the same?

    I assume the reasons you do what you is because you dont want to be an employee, you want to run your own business and be your own boss. So for people to look down on your because you are working at their event must suck. I'm sure these narcistic elitists also look down on anyone else who is doing a service style job.

    Chin up...back to what you know and you do well. Lesson learned and all that jazz :)
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Generally speaking those at the top of the wealth/social ladder have little difference from those you find at the bottom ;)

    Good on you for not losing your cool during the day, such a suddenly dismissive environment like that can throw some people. Also I bet most of those "No cameras/photos please" are so used to saying it infront of a camera that its more automatic than anything else
     
  6. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    I'd say the vent is well justified, but the level of sympathy is tempered. I have played second on a few weddings, and that kind of treatment is dished out no matter the aristocratic level, as you are not THE photographer...... you are merely the helper. Even though I am running around with a camera as well, you were seen "gophering" during the formals.


    guitarkid, are your shift keys broken ?? I think I actually made it about a third of the way through that before I decided to quit....
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    You did better than me. ;)
     
  8. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I dont mind the shift keys, I'm curious to know whats up with the Enter key :sexywink: :hug::
     
  9. Renol

    Renol TPF Noob!

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    I find it interesting to hear/read things of this nature. Being the still "up and coming" photographer that I am I keep wondering if I should make this a profession or keep it a hobby. This just adds more fuel to the burning fire of debate. But yea I would be sorely tempted to completely ruin the event because of the way I was treated if I were in your shoes. I tip my hat to you for keeping a lid on it and not blowing up at them. Above all I appreciate you sharing your experience.
     
  10. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    Thanks all. I knew you guys would understand the frustration. It was really hard to keep my cool.
    I looked forward to this type of event for years, but discovered it's simply not my cup of tea.
    All my prior clients have been friends. I do their baby photos, and their Christams photos, and they are like family. That's the type of client I'd rather have.
    I give props to photogs who handle these types of events on a normal basis. But for me, I just don't need it. :)
     
  11. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    +1

    I actually just pretty much skipped gk's post cause of it.
     
  12. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm sorry but it's hard for me to be sensitive to this subject. What did you expect, to walk into the wedding and be treated like a queen? I mean seriously, although you might WISH to be treated as a 'friend', in reality you are doing a job, and as such you are their employee. If you wanted to get pats on the back for every 'job' you do, stick with baby or child photography.
     

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