Guests ruining wedding photos

TCampbell

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You guys might get a snicker (or perhaps a painful memory) out of this article I noticed on CNN.

Wedding photos: When snap-happy guests go too far - CNN.com

It's mostly about guests who just HAVE TO GET that key photo so they pop up at the worst possible moment and ruin the shot. They also discuss weddings where guests are being asked NOT to take photos (at least not during the official part of the ceremony.) Lots of example ruined photos are included.

There's a link to a Huffington Post article with more (I think the CNN article was derived from the Huffington Post article.)
 

pixmedic

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got lucky at the wedding i second shot in Tampa. the wedding coordinator was very nice, and made announcements before the ceremony about people staying out of the way of the hired photographers, as well as not using any flashes as it might interfere with our flashes. thankfully, all the guests complied.
 

vintagesnaps

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I know a photographer who now includes in the contract and makes clear he will bill for the time he spends waiting for guests w/cell phone cameras etc. to get out of the way... seems to work in getting the clients motivated to encourage their guests to let the photographer do his job.
 

Derrel

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They should have had a section about newbie photographers who expect an unobstructed view for 60,70 feet away on critical shots, with 100 to 300 guests present, and who are totally out of position to get the important shots because they are too timid to take up a decent position where THEY can actually "get the shot". The photos in that article were pretty weak...like the woman in jeans photobombing the groom and best man...c'mon...that's a posed formal photo, with a person going for an obvious, funny photobomb...what kind of a professional shoots such an awful wedding photo? The photo could easily simply NOT be snapped. Motion the woman "OUT!" and do not shoot if She's Trying To Eff-Up The Shot. But then again, a newbie shooter might actually allow some joker in a shot like that. A "professional" wedding shooter would not even bother shooting a shot like the one with the woman and the groom and best man...unless she was totally, 100% oblivious to the background.

I used to shoot weddings. Part of the idea is that as the photographer of record, you are there to get the shots. If you get "closed out" on a ceremony shot because somebody pops up in the aisle and you're 60 feet back, hiding with a 70-200 and sniping, it's obvious that you're not really doing the kind of thing needed. If there's been an Uncle Bob or two in the 40-60 minutes prior to the ceremony, he should already have been sized up. It's a matter of having the confidence to be the professional who was hired, and getting yourself in the proper position to GET the shot. As a wedding photgrapher, you need to recognize what's going on, and what the guests are like. No excuse-making.

Again, the shot illustrating being blocked by a single guest in the aisle..c'mon...the photographer's hiding wayyyy in the back at ground level,shooting down the aisle, and expecting NOT to have ANY obstruction, ever? That would have been somewhat unrealistic in the 1980's and in the 1990's. Today, that's pretty dumb. The photog would inthat case do well to walk right up to Uncle Bob, whisper, "Excuse me, slide over a bit," and make a pushing gesture with the left hand, and take up her shooting position, and shoot from Uncle Bob's distance.

Again, nice article, but the photos show a lot of utter inexperience on the part of whoever snapped those images. Like so many Huff-Po articles, kind half-assed. I read Huff-Po every day, so I am familiar with this kind of fluff piece type of web "reporting". THe article also probably represent the frustration of the self-taught shooters with a year in photography, and no idea of how to be assertive.
 

pixmedic

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there's no excuse for photo-bombs with the formal staged shots. plenty of time to make sure everyone is out of the way. (unless your going for some humorous candids)
as for the rest, this is why I prefer to shoot with a short zoom and be closer to the action, if possible, where noone can "miss" me shooting, where that might happen if i am lurking in the back with a long tele.
 

Derrel

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there's no excuse for photo-bombs with the formal staged shots. plenty of time to make sure everyone is out of the way. (unless your going for some humorous candids)
as for the rest, this is why I prefer to shoot with a short zoom and be closer to the action, if possible, where noone can "miss" me shooting, where that might happen if i am lurking in the back with a long tele.

Exactly: a photo-bomber in a posed candid of the groom and best man??? There's simply no excuse for shooting that kind of garbage. As I said, the photos illustrating that "article" were pretty weak sauce.

And yes...one of the simplest, oldest professional photo strategies in ALL types of documentary work is to get CLOSE, so you can be right there, where the action actually is occurring. I thought the article was pretty weak, and poorly researched. Again, I'm a regular Huff-Post reader, and we all know that in the web news/info-tainment business, space needs to be filled every day.

The article really was not "for photographers" as much as an advocacy piece for no-photos weddings, where the guests stop being happy snappers, and start acting like guests. But it does illustrate the kind of lack of experience that the wedding photo biz has these days...photobombs and being blocked out by Uncle Bobs are realllllly basic issues that any pro even or news shooter used to learn very quickly. Being able to be assertive, and to step up and BE the PHOTOGRAPHER is something many people cannot really do without a lot of anxiety. Some people never get past their fear and timidity and are very uncomfortable walking up and taking up a shooting position that is rightfully "theirs".
 

pixmedic

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there's no excuse for photo-bombs with the formal staged shots. plenty of time to make sure everyone is out of the way. (unless your going for some humorous candids)
as for the rest, this is why I prefer to shoot with a short zoom and be closer to the action, if possible, where noone can "miss" me shooting, where that might happen if i am lurking in the back with a long tele.

Exactly: a photo-bomber in a posed candid of the groom and best man??? There's simply no excuse for shooting that kind of garbage. As I said, the pghotos illustrating that "article" were pretty weak sauce.

And yes...one of the simplest, oldest professional photo strategies in ALL types of documentary work is to get CLOSE, so you can be right there, where the action actually is occurring. I thought the article was pretty weak, and poorly researched. Again, I'm a regular Huff-Post reader, and we all know that in the web news/info-tainment business, space needs to be filled every day.

well, I cant speak for how the "pros" do it...i just second shoot. I can only attest to how I shoot. (providing it works for the main photographer) I mostly use either my 17-50 or 24-70 zoom. sometimes the 85mm prime if i have a large enough space. I typically find that for anything longer than that i have too many people between me and the subjects which leave a LOT of chances for people popping up in front of me. (unless im actually TRYING to get a group of onlookers in the shot)

for most of the pictures the article posted, It looks like most of the "incidents" were either totally avoidable, or easily fixed by clicking the shutter a second or third time. or simply TELLING the person they are in the way. the pic with the person right beside the photographer that was distracting? ridiculous. what idiot photographer just LETS that guy stand there ruining shot after shot? and KEEPS shooting with him still there?

I feel that article would have made more sense if it was titled "photo mishaps that happened to photographers with 2 months experience"
 

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pixmedic said:
SNIPO>>>I typically find that for anything longer than that i have too many people between me and the subjects which leave a LOT of chances for people popping up in front of me. (unless im actually TRYING to get a group of onlookers in the shot)

>SNIP>> It looks like most of the "incidents" were either totally avoidable, or easily fixed by clicking the shutter a second or third time. or simply TELLING the person they are in the way. the pic with the person right beside the photographer that was distracting? ridiculous. what idiot photographer just LETS that guy stand there ruining shot after shot? and KEEPS shooting with him still there?

I feel that article would have made more sense if it was titled "photo mishaps that happened to photographers with 2 months experience"

Yeah...those were all utter newbie mistakes...
 

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All of those shots shouldn't make it into a final wedding edit, excepting maybe one.

The solution is simple, just be in the right place at the right time and be affirmative with people when they are in your way. When shooting formals, in a loud, clear voice I say "Alright, everybody LOOK AT MY CAMERA NOT THE PERSON TAKING PHOTOS BEHIND ME". Snap a handful of shots of that group, and move on. If someone is trying to butt into my photos, I politely ask them to move. For the ceremony or any other highly important moment, just don't be timid. You are being paid to be there and provide the best coverage you can without being absurdly intrusive. That means getting up in there and getting the good shots, not standing in the back with your 70-200. It is expected of you. This is all coming from a pretty shy person.

Oh, and karate chop the **** out of those jerks that don't get outta your way when you ask nicely :lol:
 

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