Bride changed her mind about which shots..

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by cliff_henry, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. How would you handle this?

    At initial consultation bride indicated on check list and in
    discussions she wanted shots of her dressing, getting ready,
    w/mother and maid of honor, and the general pre-wedding shots. My
    style is primarily PJ. Tonight at the rehearsal she said no, don't
    come to her room before wedding. She only wants me to shoot her in
    the chapel. She is a little stressed out and doesn't really have a
    grip about now. I tried to explain she would like the dressing
    shots and she would miss them as part of her wedding story. I told
    her she would regret not letting me shoot them. She said no!

    I don't feel I can push this any further, but I know after the
    wedding and she settles down, that she will wish she had the shots.

    Should I try again tomorrow to get her to let me shoot her dressing
    or do I stand a chance of making an already high strung bride even
    more upset.

    What would you do?

  2. Cliff,
    I have faced this before and I would not second guess the bride. She had made up her mind and trying to change it for her will only make her annoyed with you. I'm sure your business is largely based on your reputation and you don't want a "high strung bride" telling all her family and friends that she hated you because you didn't listen to her.
  3. Be respectful of her needs and constraints. Her 'man' may be jealous? She may all of a sudden be uncomfortable and bashful with you being around. If it were me, I would approach ger one last time on the event date and afford her the option to reconsider in a manner that is comfortable for her to decline...since she has already done so. (After all it IS HER day.) All too often we focus on the product and neglect the emotions and politics.

    ...listen to your customer and you can't go wrong!

    If your contract stipulates coverage of this type, have her modify it via a hand written addendum too exclude such coverage and have her sign and date it. Sounds lawyerly...but business is business when ghastly sums if money are involved. This is especially true if her parents are paying. They will come back with a discount request if you sit idle for two hours!
  4. You may try to have a conversation with the bride's mother before the preparation phase begins (or the maid of honor.) If that does not work out for you, just save the film, and try to get a few shots of the bride after she is dressed (with her dad, her bridesmaids, the flower girl, etc.)
  5. If the place where she is getting ready isn't out of the way (like at a parent's home), then
    come prepared to shoot the getting ready shots, but let her ask you. Don't press the
    subject any more.

    Each bride is different, some shy, some not so shy. Some freaked out, some calm as a
    Buddhist Monk. Just go with the flow... and be ready for a flip-flop from the Bride at a
    moment's notice. It's what makes shooting weddings interesting, huh?
  6. Thanks guys. I knew I could count on good advise and "level heads" to help me make a decision.

    Marc, Yes, that's what makes shooting weddings interesting and fun.

  7. Cliff - I've also run into this. A few times I backed down because I sensed that she was just too nervious to deal with photos prior to the ceremony. I understand that as I was a bride recently. There was so much to do and to worry about that dealing with photos on top of everything else can be daunting. <p>When I run into this - I am very understanding.. Then I suggested "Why not get completely ready except for the veil and I'll come in and shoot you putting on the veil at least as well as Dad coming into the room and seeing you for the first time". I also made sure she understood that I would not "need" anything from her to do this. Anotherwords... I'd be invisible and she didn't need to give me a second thought. She agreed and it worked out. <p>It isn't often that this happens but when it does - I just have to use my sensitivity and assess how stressed that particular bride is. I feel my customers are the boss and all I can do is gently suggest. It so much depends on the personality of each girl. Admittedly a woman has an advantage with getting ready shots over a guy. I know many guys that have a female assistant. She could have given a second thought to having a guy in the room.
  8. I don't promise the client what the photos will look like, therefore I don't need to modify the contract. I can go with the flow. Probably the bride discovered there is no room left for the photographer, and she will be running late due to the hair dressing appt.
  9. Thanks Mary, great advise. I plan to just let her know I'm there and ready if she wants me to shoot any pre-shots. I like your idea about getting just the vail and father coming in - I try it.

    Timber, our contract does not guarantee any particular shots, I just want her to be happy with the results. I'll try to "go with the flow". Thanks.

    Are we having fun yet!

  10. You do not know what she wants better than she does. and you don't know what else
    is going on in her life or how self-conscious she might feel right now.

    It is her party. do you want to spoil it by making her feel like you (a hired hand) are
    questioning her judgement? If she has changed her mind you have to respect that.
  11. Ellis - Yes I agree - it is their party.. Yet, I still say it depends on the client. I guess you have to know who you can work with and who you can't. <p> I've changed many brides minds about where to do the photos, when to do the photos, timing, getting ready shots, but was very very diplomatic. I tell them they are the final decision maker but that I don't want them to have regrets later on. <p>In the early days I didn't press certain issues and have had brides wish they had done something different. Now, I explain that I'm bringing to them not only my photographic expertise but years of experience with weddings and couples. Bottom line is that they are the boss, but I do "suggest" alternative ideas. I can not tell you how many comments I've received later about -"I'm glad I listened" or "I wish I had listened".
  12. Mary Ball's comment is really the stuff of practical advice usable
    for wedding photographers. While Ellis V. comment sounds like
    he wants to give the Bride some space, Ellis does not deal with
    these circumstances every weekend for decades. Mary's
    comment puts her on the ready for any changes in the Bride's
    planning. It acknowledges that the photographer may have
    workable solutions that the Bride has not considered. Wedding
    photographers can, and should be able to give advice and not be
    intimidated by the frantic, nervous bride.

    Many a time have I listened to the limitations of the Bride's plans,
    then been able to sneak in a few photographs. Some Brides do
    not want to trouble the photographer or other people. The
    photographer should be a ready soldier to try to reach the
    mountain top in whatever weather there is.

    The Bride's plans can change on the day of the wedding (oh, tell
    me!). So all wedding photographers should be ready for this
    change in plans.
  13. I like the response regarding getting the shots of getting the veil on, and the father seeing the bride for the first time. Perhaps getting their a little earlier (that the time for pre-ceremony shoot of parents Bmaids etc), and take the detail shots (flowers, rings, shoes, makeup cases etc etc), and then the bride has an option of relenting and letting you take some photos of her getting zipped up etc. Plus, if there are flowergirls and they are getting ready at the same locations, they are usually dressed first, so you can get some photos of them as well.

    If you are unobtrusive and calm, the bride may feel more willing to let you take photos... Just make sure you let her know you will be there doing the detail shots.
  14. Most photographers have never planned a wedding. There is no definite way to know if
    there will be time to do many photographs. So, if you are Mr. Do Everything She Says, you
    are in for a reawakening. Not everything can always be completed. Time must be saved,
    and picture ideas are thrown out in "real time".

    Don't pressure the Bride to "complete the contract". In fact, don't have a contract that
    places either of you to perform certain photographs. You can have a guideline, or a
    "dream sheet", or some "ideas", but be willing to change everything and "go with the flow".

    That is what photojournalism is really about: recording the story.

    The Bride will never "settle down" until she does the "first dance". She feels responsible
    for the happiness of all her guests. This is too much of a burden to bare. To be a "model"
    for the photographer is just more stress.

    It used to be that the mother of the Bride did all the details. That changed in the 1970s.

    A smart wedding photographer looks for little time slots, ways to "fit in" those missed
    photographs during the wedding day. I have posed shots at the reception that make the
    bride look unmarried and sitting in the dressing room!

    I give the Bride a sample time schedule. She can get ideas when she should be at the
    hairdresser's, and when to start certain photos. But this is only a guide because all kinds
    of things pop up: problems, unusual problems pop up: somebody needs a ride, a
    bridesmaid is late; traffic on the freeway, the dress gets burned by a cigarette ashe, you
    name it.

    Don't get too emotionally involved with her plans. "Go With The Flow".
  15. Actually, I'm a photographer that recently planned her own wedding! It did give me lots of perspective from their point of view. But it mostly confirmed what I thought I knew. The day can be hectic and tense - or it can be smooth with good planning. My wedding was better than I expected because I allowed enough time for getting ready and meeting and greeting and playing as well as being a photo subject. I help my couples plan and explain that if they want photos like what I'm showing them in our initial meeting, we need to allow time to acheive it. Fortunately, most of my clients agree and photos are a high priority. <p>Like Timber, I make suggestions to the couple about timing. I suggest they change their hair appointment if it is too close to the time I arrive. I suggest longer cocktail hours if the shot list is very long for family group photos. I suggest the "friends", Aunt, uncle cousins shots be done during the reception. I suggest an earlier ceremony when they want outdoor photos but haven't realized we'll have a problem with sunset. <p>I have a time and shot list and do require the couple to give me a list of their "desires". But ---- 1) I explain that it is a guideline and not set in stone. As Timber says, anything can happen and you have to be flexible and sometimes wing it. 2) I always have a plan A and plan B when there are complications to timing that make it impossible to shoot what we planned to shoot at a given time. 3) I have a disclaimer in my contract that explains that the Wedding Info sheet I work from is a guide and not a guarentee.
  16. Timber is right when she said "Go with the flow." Your attitude will set you up for high blood pressure. Remember that this is her and the groom's wedding. She has the right to make any changes she wants and if she said she does not want you in the dressing room, that should be it. Don't sweat it. She knows that she will never see any dressing room shots and that is the way she wants it.
    I use the same attitude when there are problems, such as when the bride or groom is running late, or if some important person has not arrived. It is their problem, not mine. They know that.
    You need to relax.
  17. Cliff, follow the brides wishes, or die.

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