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Thread: Amateur wedding 'tog got in the way!

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    Amateur wedding 'tog got in the way!

    This scenario happened to me just this weekend! I was employed to shoot my sisters wedding on the weekend. A few weeks prior, she notified me that there would be the brother of a friend of hers coming along to the wedding, and that he was in uni and wanted to get shots for practice. At that point, she was under the impression that he thought he could make a bit of money out of the event (he was asking her 'what kind of shots' she would like), so she spoke to him and kindly set the record straight (that he was to NOT get in the way of the event or interrupt any of my shots).
    So here I am, on the boat with my sister, arriving to the ceremony, and what is this I see up on the hill? A guy with a 5D mkii and 70-200 f2.8L IS mkii hangning off his neck, snapping away and running about all over the place!

    Long story short, he wasn't a young uni student, and by all accounts he was assumed to be the paid photographer at the event before I arrived! He messed up several of my shots, and luckily my partner had a word with him when I went off after the ceremony to get family shots, saving me the wasted time doing so.

    Now I've not come on here to have a rant and rave, but if anybody else finds themselves in this situation I strongly urge you to arrange speaking to the 'keen amateur' well before the wedding, personally. I got 95% of the shots I set out to get, however there are others that are unusable (people getting shots done with the other 'tog in the mob of people after the ceremony), other guy getting in the way of family group candids etc.

    So I learnt another valuable lesson, at least
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    I will also mention that the amateur came and apologised after the ceremony which was good of him. Problem is, once the shots are missed and the impression is made it's all a bit too late.
    At the end of the day, if the bride ends up with more great shots that she would have had I been the only tog, then that is good. However, this also reflects upon me, as his images and actions will be attributed to my own.

    On the other side, if you are an amateur photographer attending a wedding, please make it your sole purpose to speak to the photographer before the event to discuss any possible issues in getting in shots etc. I

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    Just a quick question. I recently went to a good friends wedding and took my camera. Now I know that the paid pro tog has right of way in all areas but I had a hell of a time trying to get a photo. I waited till the pro set up for thier shot but as soon as they got the shot they jumped around and moved everybody before anybody else could click one off. I know the pro is working on a time limit and that they live or die on the quality of thier work, and now the question How do you think most pro togs react if I asked if I could sneak in after they obtained the shot they were after ? I only ask because it was a good friend and I really did not get any keepers for myself. Who would be best to talk to in this situation the pro at the beginning or try to arrange before the wedding with the b&g talking to the pro beforehand.
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    Communications is of the utmost importance between guests, amateurs and professional photographers at weddings

    for the weddings I shot today and yesterday, all formal group shots I happily organize the people/crowd together, then stand back and smile and let everyone take as much as they want, and when they have finished I will call out the order that its time for the professional shot. Happy endings for all

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    Communication is indeed the key, as Jackie has said, but not necessarily from the paid pro on the day, rather I believe it should come from the person(s) who told the extra photographers that they were welcome to shoot at the wedding. Maybe it comes down to it being written into the contract?
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjs2 View Post
    Just a quick question. I recently went to a good friends wedding and took my camera. Now I know that the paid pro tog has right of way in all areas but I had a hell of a time trying to get a photo. I waited till the pro set up for thier shot but as soon as they got the shot they jumped around and moved everybody before anybody else could click one off. I know the pro is working on a time limit and that they live or die on the quality of thier work, and now the question How do you think most pro togs react if I asked if I could sneak in after they obtained the shot they were after ? I only ask because it was a good friend and I really did not get any keepers for myself. Who would be best to talk to in this situation the pro at the beginning or try to arrange before the wedding with the b&g talking to the pro beforehand.
    there is no real need for you to take a photo in such a situation, as you would be able to purchase the same photo from the bride and groom at a later date. the official photographer made the image by using his/her experience to move the subjects into the right position, and to pose in just the right way. they are usually working to a very tight schedule, and also, they have earned the right to have exclusive shots. it is what separates them from the guests, it keeps these images off facebook, and also helps to justify their fee. today's dslr's are just large p&s cameras, and it is easy for a beginner, let alone a keen amatuer, to take a well exposed image. I try not to make any allowances if I can help it, but never risk upsetting my employers at any time. I guess this is where I and JM differ in our approach.

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    Just to add a small twist, when god was still playing for the Wallibies and I had and still have my first camera, KR super 11 full manual 35mm film job + kit lens, probally F11-F35 back then whan brought from BigW, I went to a very close friends wedding, I was asked to bring along my $100 odd camera and my limited knowledge. They had paid a friend of the brides father (photo jurno for a leading Sidaknee Paper) to tog away, he had brought along all the bells and whisltes and produced some of the worst pics we had seen. I went to my local kemist, paid my $10 and got some absolute perls.

    Moral of this little story, I stayed out of the way till said pro tog had finished with the million $ set up, did what little I could and get some great results, BUT I RESPECTED THE PAID/PRO SNAPPER.

    So he/she may have had the best intrest at heart/ornot. And like you say, well to know your place in the pecking order and respect the wishes of others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjs2 View Post
    Just a quick question. I recently went to a good friends wedding and took my camera. Now I know that the paid pro tog has right of way in all areas but I had a hell of a time trying to get a photo. I waited till the pro set up for thier shot but as soon as they got the shot they jumped around and moved everybody before anybody else could click one off. I know the pro is working on a time limit and that they live or die on the quality of thier work, and now the question How do you think most pro togs react if I asked if I could sneak in after they obtained the shot they were after ? I only ask because it was a good friend and I really did not get any keepers for myself. Who would be best to talk to in this situation the pro at the beginning or try to arrange before the wedding with the b&g talking to the pro beforehand.
    Some pro's will give you time to take your shots as well, others won't, as this thread shows. The trick is to work 'with' the Pro, when they are not giving other guests an opportunity to take some photos. Find a spot out of their way, usually behind them over one of their shoulders, but back far enough you are not interfering, and take your shots 'with' the Pro (but don't necessarily use flash, or you might raise their ire). If the wedding party start looking at you, rather than the paid pro, stop, the Pro wants them looking at his/her lens.

    Timing is everything.

    But the best thing you can do is firstly ask the bridge and groom if it is OK to take photos, before the big day, and introduce yourself to the Pro, as an avid amateur, and tell them you will not get in their way. Most Pro's respect that and may be more accommodating. If they respond negatively, then that is their choice, but at least you tried.

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    I think most couples expect guests to know their place and not get in the way of the paid tog. I know we never explicitly told our guests anything, despite plenty of dslr owners.

    I'd expect the paid 'tog has every right and duty to tell any guests to get out of the way, and if they don't then surely the best man etc should do the job, not the actual couple.

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    Sorry ZedEx I did not intend to hijack your post.

    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    But the best thing you can do is firstly ask the bridge and groom if it is OK to take photos,.
    Bit of a Freudian slip there rictas A bridge is something that you run over with a car

    Quote Originally Posted by TOM View Post
    there is no real need for you to take a photo in such a situation, as you would be able to purchase the same photo from the bride and groom at a later date. .
    Hi Tom I think that a shot that I take myself has that personal feel. I know that if I snag a keeper that I will make a copy for them and you could say that they will not buy a print from the pro but I take a lot longer to get my shots from camera to print.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjs2 View Post
    Sorry ZedEx I did not intend to hijack your post.



    Bit of a Freudian slip there rictas A bridge is something that you run over with a car
    Oops. Though i know one or two brides that could have done with running over

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    Here's a tight crop from a snapshot I got from the boat as we arrived at the venue. This is NOT the look you want to convey to all the guest who were already at the wedding venue. As I said, by all accounts, everyone thought this guy was the pro!!!! Just think of any other paid job, and how frustrating it would be. You wouldn't want to be contracted to build a house, only to arrive to find some random guy already building it?
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    I've had my say on this issue.

    Few here agreed with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
    I've had my say on this issue.

    Few here agreed with it.
    I must have missed that, care to elaborate?

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    I see he's bouncing his flash off the sky

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    Quote Originally Posted by reaction View Post
    I see he's bouncing his flash off the sky
    he also has a nice man-bag

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    Quote Originally Posted by reaction View Post
    I see he's bouncing his flash off the sky
    It's always a great day to made to laugh so loud that my workmates are wondering ###. Got to love a good sense of humor.

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    As far as I can see, the guy had a camera with a big lens attached.
    I don't see why anyone should take issue with guests with pro looking gear.
    It's really his behaviour that's the question and the heart of the issue. Unfortunately, the stereotype does tend to fulfil its own prophecy though.
    Because I'm pretty amateur myself and do occasional weddings, I do find it very hard to tell people to 'stop getting in the way'
    I don't like his man bag
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    Interesting. Cause he has a DSLR, flash and big white lens, people were assuming he was the Pro, and funnily the same guy turns up at the beach, and the same people who assuming he was a Pro at a wedding, would most likely assume he was a pervert (or worse) and call the Police etc. Are we not doing in this thread the very thing we argue against when photography in general is questioned? We can either be part of the solution, or part of the problem.

    Ah society is such a wonderful thing

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