who's in control anyway

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by mysteryscribe, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    There are three other vendors that I came into contact with when I shot weddings. More so at the end than in the begining for one of them.

    I love a good wedding director, even a not so good one. I try to let them take the heat for rushing things along, for getting the bride back into the church for pictures ect.

    I love caterers. If you can't get to know the waitresses you are most likely not going to get the coffee without going through the buffet line. The caterer also has the cokes for the help hidden away. Wedding punch sucks if you are thirsty and dehydrated.

    Now the newer one, the DJ, him I don't usually get along with.

    At the very end when I had come out of retirement, just to show my son in law the ropes, I had a special, Two hours for five hundred and I give you everything. When they open the door for the bride to enter, I started the clock. It was very important that things move steady and at my timing.

    The average protestant wedding take about 20 to 30 minutes. I can shoot all the family and wedding party in 30 more call it an hour fifteen minutes to get to the reception. There is 45 minutes left. Usually we do the first dance if there is a dJ, then cut the cake and throw the bouquet and Im was out of there.

    No they didn't get shots of the guest doing the electric slide. There were mostly small weddings though there were some larger ones. The larger ones were where the DJ and I had words. He thought his microphone topped my camera. In the end the final decission was the brides. I told her simply. In fifteen minutes I'm out of here, we can throw the garter and bouquet or you can do the electric slide.

    I never went away without the bouquet shot. But I sure upset a lot of DJs in the area.

    So you tell me, at a wedding you shoot, who is in charge???
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It's different everytime. Some weddings there is a single strong personality: bride, MOB, planner... Some it's a constant power struggle between many strong personalities. At others it seems like they go almost effortlessly, and I can't even tell who is running the show.

    Mainly time is the boss. Either things are on time, or they are running late.

    I charge by the hour, and only book one wedding per date. They can have as much as they want of me for my standard rates from 4 to 12 hours as long as they pay in advance. If they ask me to stay later on the day of the wedding the rate goes up. I tell them to use the DJ's schedule to determine how long they would like me to stay, so a late bouquet toss just means more money for me. Some brides do schedule everything in the first 2 hours of the reception so they don't have to keep paying me after that.
     
  3. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Keep in mind I've never shot a wedding but from a business stand-point my advice would be like Matt says, maybe get as many of those details clarified before you show up. Your rates, your overtime rates, who's making the final decisions for shots, what types of shots they definitely need and what types of shots they'd prefer to have if possible... etc.

    Again I've never shot a wedding but from a business stand-point I'd want as few details left to spontanious decision making as possible. It might be overly-anal but I would imagine it would pay off when you're in the situation.
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In charge of WHAT? The photography? That's me... ALL photography... mine and anyone else's.

    Most of the DJs I've come across are a nuisance. I try to remember they're just trying to do their job too. Some are slightly better at it than others.

    I'm happiest when they just do their job and leave me alone. At my last wedding, the guy comes to me and begins to tell me his schedule. When it started to come into focus that he intended to direct me and when I do things, I interupted saying, "I don't work for DJs." He didn't seem pleased. But, he went on his way and did his job and I did mine.

    The worst situation I ever experienced was last year. I pulled the B&G over to make a shot at the cake. The DJ spyed us and launched into a routine of calling additional people over and insisted the entire room do a countdown. I simply stepped aside and waited for him to finish. When I tried to resume working, the jerk started the routine all over again. Once more, I stepped back and waited for him to finish. And yeah... he did it a THIRD time. Finally, he shut up and I cound once more direct the couple and do my job. Two minutes later he arranged something on the dance floor with all the kids and then insisted I too join them to make a photo. I watched from across the room. Man, if I had a gun!

    To sum it all up... if I'm responsible for my work (and I am), then I call the shots... not some jerk with a mic. If I'm not driving, then I'm not workin'.

    Pete
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    In my opinion which everyone knows isnt worth much, we finally got the right answer.

    You have to answer for your photographs and justify your charges not the director or the DJ. They may not like what you do but the bride and check writer are the only ones you have to satisfy.

    Yes it is the bride's day but if daddy is paying the bill and he wants a shot of the bride and her sister together, I think I would do it without even changing my smile. No matter what my style was. It's about the business at that point.

    So, within reason, YOU have to be the one in charge of when and how you do things.

    All the other is good information to have but in the end it is up to YOU to take control not wait around for the director to tell them how to hold the cake knife.

    I can't tell you how many times I hollered at a caterer, "Hey can we have some champaign over here?" I love to let them do it, if they can do it on my schedule.

    Just my opinion again.
     

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