How to deal with "Uncle Bob"

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by jnina, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Hi! I have had this problem in last two weddings this last January: A pair of friends of B&G started taking photos all over the ceremony and recepcion, this guys (one with a D-SLR, the other with a P&S)where making it difficult to work since they where getting in our way (photog. and video). I talked to one of them in 3 occassion, explained as briefly and quietly as possible that I did not care them taking a shot once in a while, but to please not get in our way, I thought that this would be understood since B&G where paying us (photog. and Video) to do our job. This really got me upset, not that they took photos or got in the way once or twice (that happens in all weddings) the problem was that this two where all over the place walking around B&G so can see them in many of our photo and in the video, they saw us trying to do our job and they got in the way like we where not even there.
    What I want to know is how to deal with this over annoying people that do not understand that they are not doing a favour to B&G with this attitude.
    I'm sure that we can talk to B&G before the wedding and make them know that we don't want other photogs. hurling around. But what to do when they appear right in the ceremony??????
  2. Go to the B&G, and tell them of the problem; explain to them that you can not guarantee how their wedding pictures will turn out with the problems you are having with people interfering with the job THEY hired you to do.
    Also you should have a disclaimer in your contract regarding people like you had trouble with at your last two weddings.
  3. Show them a pic on the back of the camera to illustrate how they are ruining the shots. Will probably carry a lot more weight once they see it.
  4. yeah, tell bride (she cares more bout the pictures then the groom), show her a shot with "uncle bob" in background and tell her if they dont stop, they are going to "ruin" your wedding pictures!
  5. Everyone has a camera these days (most have a newer model than the one we carry ) --thats just how the future seems to be. The only saving grace is > we shoot 2 hours before the ceremony > which is usually not hampered by more than a few photographers. If you explain that the "Uncle Bobs" , of the day >> will be in any many of their images ~~ at least they can speak with them or except the falted images. Face it --the Presidents' daughter had her camera < in rapid mode > the whole time her father was at the inaugurational ceremonies ...and so were about another few thousand s attendees.
  6. It's important to have a relevant clause in your Contract. The B&G need to be aware that the conduct of their guests is their responsibility and that they should ensure overly enthusiastic attendees don't impede the paid pro. I feel this is yet another area where photographers are losing respect, sadly.
  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I suggest taking a much different approach to the suggestions above, especially as you have had this problem more than once, it could be you need to look introspectively, for the answer.

    Running to the Bride with your problems is the very last resort, and quite unprofessional as a first option; you are being paid - you need to sort it out or work around it.

    And contracts are all very well and good, but in the practical world, you are being paid to produce the goods . . . I suspect you won't last long in the practical world of business, pulling out the finely tuned default clause, after the event, and with very few prints for the album.

    Essentially, She (the Bride) would be your main point of focus - if these guys were "getting in our way (photog. and video).” then these guys are between you and the main subject of the evening.

    Simply fix that and the problem goes away – you are not really using a 300mm lens with two feet welded to one spot on the floor – are you?

  8. I agree that a photographer must be in control of the environment, as far as that is possible. Crowd control is an area of discomfort for many new photographers, and confidence comes with experience. I've had to learn those lessons myself, and have had to grow bolder, faster and more assertive, but I still think it's important that this is mentioned in the Contract, in case extreme circumstances should arise.
    William - if you have encountered a similarly difficult situation, how did you approach it? I feel it may not always be as simple as running in front of the offender. Suggesting that guests get their shots either before or after you sounds OK in practice, but it doesn't always work.
  9. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "but I still think it's important that this is mentioned in the Contract, in case extreme circumstances should arise."

    Yes. Especially for the areas of the world where contracts are important, it is very important to have the contract tailored and all bases covered in them.

    Frankly, Lindsay, I re-constructed the sentence where I mentioned the "contract" three times I did not wish to be misunderstood:

    I did not want to detract from your point about the content of the contract and any importance of it: but I wished to emphasise that Jose should not simply default, to relying upon it.


    I think that "crowd control" is a big problem for many beginners, too. That is why I was implying not to attempt it, initially.

    I have encountered many "Uncle Bob's" - and yes, I perhaps I move or act (more) assertively than some younger and less experienced than I. And I agree, it doesn’t always work: sometimes people continuously get in the way and make a pig of themselves at the shooting trough . . . sometimes we need to have a word . . . sometimes we need to optically slave a flash gun in their direction . . . sometimes we need to leave the video lights on . . . sometimes we just need to be there and push in “door stop” style. . .


    The OP mentioned both the Ceremony and the Reception - it seems to me (without specific details to clarify) that if there were problems at the Ceremony, then the Ceremony was not properly reconnoitred to establish and then control the best vantage points, or at the Ceremony the Congregation was a mobile entity.

    At the Reception, really I cannot envisage a great deal of difficulty moving freely to either get a reasonable long shot or move in closer and simply cut these characters off.

    Nowhere in the OP are the "Formals" either mentioned or implied, which I think you are alluding to here:

    "Suggesting that guests get their shots either before or after you sounds OK in practice, but it doesn't always work."

    In specific regard to Formals of the Wedding Party - I (mostly) always have a private venue organized between the Church and the Reception. For the Formal shots outside or inside the Church - I work very close and very quickly maintaining eye and vocal contact with the Wedding party at all times and simply do not allow any other Photographer between me and the group. I have no issue with people shooting from behind me or to the side, but I will move them from the rear of the Wedding Party, if they are in shot.

    In summary, my understanding of the OP was that the Photographer has relatively little experience in Wedding Photography, obviously that is why he was asking the question. The situation he described, IMO is not a "problem" it is just part of the working environment.

    My answer was to emphasise the need for Jose to (firstly) develop shooting techniques to work around and within these everyday occurrences . . . and not go running to the Bride with a sob story, or to revert to the sanctity of the contract, as the first, second or third course of action.

    I believe the second course of action is to learn and develop good communicative skills, and the third course of action is to learn and develop good People management skills. (not crowd control).

    The next to last option would be to have a word to the Bride, or, better still someone else with enough clout to fix the situation, Mother's of Brides are usually quite good at that - the last action would to revert to the words of the "contract".

    "William - if you have encountered a similarly difficult situation, how did you approach it?"

    The whole point is the very first job is to develop Rapport.

    If one has Rapport with all the key players (plural), really there is very few difficulties, because with Rapport, all the key players are in the Photographer’s court, and the key players wield the power over all the guests, and then the "similarly difficult situation" never has to be addressed, because the key players, address it for me.

  10. it


    I try to tell myelf that the day isn't about me and work around them, even incorporate them into my shots.
    But sometimes I just snarl at them to get them outta my way for good. I've only had to bring it up with the B&G once.
  11. Suggesting that guests get their shots either before or after you sounds OK in practice, but it doesn't always work.
    So true! At a wedding in November, this cousin was so aggresive about getting her pictures that she pushed my wife out of the way. Thankfully, she didn't get hurt and more thankfully the MOB and the FOB saw what had happened. Amazingly, we never saw the cousin again, however we did see the images she so aggresively needed to get on her myspace page and to be kind, whey were not so good.
    There are still weddings being financed by the M&F of the bride and they are very aware if your performing up to their expectations and will take care of things if you are being hampered. Let the bride enjoy her day but make sure you speak up to the right people if you cannot get an overly zealous guest/family member with a camera to behave on your own.
  12. There are some helpful answers here, and William, I always find your replies very informative and I appreciate the extent to which you share your knowledge and expertise. As you said, experience is key to handling many of these situations, and developing a positive assertiveness is the way forward. This is something that personally I feel I have to work harder at. In terms of my comment regarding guests taking pictures before or after the pro, I was talking generally, as some photographers use that technique (with varying success). And I suppose some weddings are more boistrous than others. An usher (rather than the Bride or Groom) is generally appointed as a point of contact, should specific or persistent difficulties arise.
  13. To clarify - I meant speaking to an usher (who has agreed to act as a contact point) is what I would do (if necessary), rather than approach the B&G directly with any issues.
  14. I think you could just let them know if they don't mind having a certain person in all of their photos, they don't have to do anything. I agree with the idea of showing them a picture or two. It should be the bride or groom that talks to them about the issue.
  15. Before the wedding I try to discuss it some with the couple, but the fact is almost everyone has a camera these days, and taking photos is a lot of fun. I just expect that almost every guest will have some sort of camera (even the kids have cameras these days), and some consider themselves as just as good as any pro. I work around them, or try to get them to work with me. The last thing I'm going to do is go to the B & G during their wedding day celebration and bitch about their guests having fun. The number one complaint I hear from couples about wedding vendors of all sorts is when they (the pros) can't seem to handle the problems and obstacles that arise. That's why they hired the pro in the first place.
  16. You can put all the contract language in the contract you want, but it isn't going to stop determined Uncle Bobs (or whomever) from aggressive shooting behavior. Pre-emption is possible, but not all that successful, in my experience. Particularly if those Uncle Bobs want to shoot samples for their portfolio.
    And if they start their behavior during the ceremony, where you have little or no chance to speak with them about not getting in the way. For those instances, if you have an assistant, have the assistant rein in the offenders (a talk outside the sactuary). If you have no assistant, do it yourself, if you have a chance. If you don't have a chance, then unfortunately, you just need to deal with it--you can try hand signals, facial expressions, etc., but a determined Uncle Bob will deliberately not look at you. And I have used the 'insert body' method before, but it only works up to a point. That point is when your actions become a distraction to the ceremony.
    Side shooting during the formals is another issue which isn't being asked about above. If the offenders continue to get in the way during the reception, I would speak firmly with them, more firmly, and yet more firmly, and then resort to the couple or designated coordinator. It is, as William W. states, a last resort, but sometimes necessary. And it does help to be male and large, and since I am neither, I have, on occasion, resorted to it.
  17. I should add that the more aggressive tactics come only after every attempt has been made to make those troublesome people your "shooting buddies." Unfortunately, this is best if you already suspect that you will have trouble from those folks. This is where you take them aside before things start, get friendly, and 'in the spirit of cooperation, done all for the couple', map out a plan of action and hand signals. You can still attempt it after being blindsided during the ceremony, but by then, Uncle Bob will probably already be very defensive toward you.
  18. I usually talk to the best man and maid of honor about any problem like this. B&G need to relax and enjoy thier day!
  19. Usually a gentle dose of thier own medicine gets the point across.
    I think the Uncle Bob's get so wraped up in what they are doing, they fail to see that they are getting in the way.
    This has worked for me many times. When a key momment is about to happen, like the kiss during the ceremony, or the bride and grrom entering the reception, I just wait until a split second before that moment happens, and just place myself between the offender and the subject, seemingly unaware that I am blocking their shot.
    Most Uncle Bob's I've encountered are nice people, but just a bit too enthusiatic about getting the shot, and consequently get in the way.
    A subtle demonstration of what they are doing usually puts them in their place. No verbal communication needed.
    O.T.O.H, if somone is leaning into the isle during the processional or recessional, I will wave to them to scoot back in.
  20. What no one has mentioned yet is the problem with people standing behind the photographer during formals. Have you ever tried to take a formal with the flower girls in the shot when Mom is standing 6 feet to your left? I rarely have a big problem with people getting in the way, more often it's trying to get the subjects to stay focused on me and not the people attempting to have a conversatiohn with them in the middle of a photo shoot.
    My solution is to make a little joke about it, something like, "Okay, this is the only time today where everyone has to look at me and not our beautiful bride.... sorry about that!"
  21. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "As you said, experience is key to handling many of these situations, and developing a positive assertiveness is the way forward."
    Experience is only part of it.
    Personally, I undertook workshops and short courses on Communication, People Management and Interpersonal Transactional Analysis. When I was 22, two main areas of improvement I required for me to do well in business were: effective interpersonal communication & (people) management; and practical business. In that year, learning the skills in those two areas with a top notch 3 day, lock away seminar and a 12 week night course, cost me about as much as my year's tuition for my Advanced Certificate of Photography.
    There is no use having 30 years of experience, if all one has been experiencing is ineffective, habitual behaviour.
    It seems to me that whilst some Professional Photographers might consider "learning" Photography, from a traditional classroom course; a mentor; a group, or association; as an apprentice; by reading books; attending workshops; or reading forums and blogs - the "learning" of the theory and skills to effectively communicate and interact with; sell to; and manage people, is glossed over, at he very most . . . and learning how to run a business, is very rarely addressed at all.
    I regards to generally allowing the guest photographers, to shoot, before and or after the Professional - I understand your meaning now: I think that process works fine for the "must haves" or "record shots" - if they have some degree of management, like the cake cutting as one example. Personally I am still at the front and I reiterate: "I work very close and very quickly maintaining eye and vocal contact with the (Subjects) at all times". For the general flow of the whole day, especially if it is undertaken as a storybook or photojournalistic approach, "taking turns" really doesn't work at all, IMO.
    Thank you for the kind comments, Lindsay.
  22. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with Nadine, that size, and gender of the Photographer do make a difference when coming up against a determined Uncle Bob, especially if he is determined to grab shots for his portfolio.
    I think age is another factor which provides some leverage, especially when managing an Uncle Bob, by a male Photographer – perhaps some more leverage for a Female Photographer too . . .
    Also, I agree that a determined Uncle Bob has a distinct advantage if he begins his shenanigans during the Ceremony.

    I guess if you are not a Bloke, and Big, and Old, somewhat like a Dinosaur: it is necessary to determine what leverage lay within the personal traits and attributes that one has.
    Managing recalcitrant behaviour at the Ceremony: it is important to address the behaviour quickly and efficiently but without distraction.
    There is no “one size fits all” approach – the general method of management must suit the Photographer – and then be tailored to address the individual situation and the particular Uncle Bob.
    Though I seem to sound like a broken record – a good workshop addressing this topic, will provide one with a range of techniques to address aggressive and rude behaviour, generally.
    PS Nadine, I am on a strict diet (simply less food), and more exercise . . . so I intent not to be so large, in the future. :)
  23. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

  24. Booray--I don't think Jose is asking about the formals session, but you might want to search the forums as this particular issue has been discussed before. What works best for me is to control the session by being the 'nice guy'. You tell people that they will have their chance, but you get your picture first without anyone else trying to get the subjects' attention. Then you let them shoot, but keep it short. Any slow people lose their chance. You also keep a friendly but authoritative demeanor, and break down groups quickly.
    For shots of kids, the above works well--use the people/moms on the sidelines as assistants to help you get the attention of the kids.
    It should be pointed out that some cultures are worse than others, when it comes to the pairing of technology with weddings. At some of these weddings, subtleties absolutely don't work. I have photographed weddings where there were about 5 or 6 videographers and countless people with P&S and more advanced DSLRs--all of them guests, with (I'm sure) several photographers wanting to put their portfolio together. Even direct confrontation sometimes fails.
    As for photojournalistic coverage with aggressive shooters around, this is a judgement call. You either decide to interfere or not. Your decision depends on what you told the client you will be getting in the way of kinds of shots. At the last Bar Mitzvah I photographed, the DJ invited all the kids to gather round the Bar Mitzvah boy at the end of the candle lighting. The videographer opted to stay back--I opted to muscle my way into the tight circle to photograph them blowing out the candles. And I wasn't gentle, because I had no time to say anything.
  25. Give the uncle a reflective disc and put him to work.
  26. Good idea, Mauro, and it works sometimes, but I heard from another photographer that put guests to work, that those guests complained that they weren't there to assist the photographer. You don't want that to get to the couple.
    William W.--I could eat everything in sight, get wider, but I'll still be 5'2" and female so nothing would change...
  27. once in a while you can use it to your advantage...
  28. Out here, we announce in the invitations that professional photography will be taken during the wedding and reception, and no private photos or videos will be allowed. Its the same for concerts, dance eisteddfods etc. The toss them out or they lose the camera. Simple. They squealed when this first came in, but its only fair.
  29. If all else bat! Oh come on, you all think it sometimes, I know it. Can't lie here!
  30. Heh-heh! I love to 'Uncle Bob' at friends' weddings! But I'm always respectful of the official still and video photographers and give them plenty of room. I prefer to capture candid moments as inconspicuously as possible. No one has ever had to ask me to get out of the way, and I'm rather tall.
    Consider the bride's perspective. She already has plenty on her mind. She doesn't need to take on babysitting responsibility for Uncle Bob. Besides, maybe she's really looking forward to seeing Uncle Bob's photos. The pro can only be in one place at a time. Uncle Bob can capture people, perspectives, actions away from the event's main focus. During those endless months when the bride is waiting for her book to arrive she'll treasure Uncle Bob's snapshots, and if they're any good at all, she'll be showing the Uncle Bob shots to anyone who bothers to ask about the wedding.
  31. I took photos at a nephew's wedding! Of course I was the wedding photographer - is that OK? :)
  32. I had this same thing happen to me last week at a wedding and was so happy that the groom went and nicely handled it. He was so respectful in that manner. He just told them that he had signed a contract stating that myself and my staff were the only ones to be taking pictures. I make sure that I have this in EVERY wedding contract I sign, but there are always some people who don't even respect that and you still have to be aggressive. The only thing I can say is like everyone else here...put it in your contract and let the bride and groom know how disruptive the guest is being.
  33. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    5'2" and moving at speed through the tight circle, before the candles were blown out . . .
    Oy Vay . . . if I were the 105kg Uncle Bob in your way, I would opt to move . . . I might be just well trained my wife is 5'3". . . but her Sister can be more ferocious - she is 4'10"
    Have a great day.
  34. Client's perspective here - I got married last summer, and I played Uncle Bob at another wedding.
    I would refuse to hire a photographer who stipulates that he/she can be the only person taking photos at the wedding. People love taking photos and I would not want to deny my guests the pleasure of doing so. Other guests can capture images that would be impossible for a pro because (1) the pro does not know the guests very well, and (2) a pro can only be in so many places at one time. Yes I did get a lot of cr@p photos submitted to me from guests on DVD, but there were some real gems as well. Just a matter of sorting and throwing a lot of stuff out.
    As for Uncle Bob. I would hope that if uncle Bob was disruptive during the ceremony, the JP/priest would step in and ask Bob to sit down. I think having a good working relationship with the JP/priest is key - knowing what to expect from eachother. When I played Uncle Bob I sat down in a pew along the isle near the front. Got some nice shots, methinks, looking over the shoulders of the proud parents. The pro got in the way for a number of shots but I managed.
    btw - at my wedding my photographer asked me how aggressive he should be in getting the shots - endmembers being shooting candids from the back, and the other endmember being inches away from us and blasting us with flash. Nice of him to ask, from a client's perspective. If the client asks for candids then Uncle Bob is going to be part of it. I asked the pro to be aggressive at key moments and to hang back at other times to allow my friends and family a clear view.
    If things really got out of control it's nice to have a go-to person. The DJ at my wedding had a line in his contract for this - who to ask for help when the s..t hits the fan. Could be the best man, bridesmaid, the fathers of the groom and bride.
  35. Hi All
    Why dont you say to "Uncle Bob" or "Auntie Marge" ( they are just as bad), "You can have the couple for a few minutes to get the shots that you want." While they are taking their pictures you can often get a great candid at the peak of the action because Aunt & Unc are usually slow. When you get a great shot, announce it to all within earshot and deliberately show the key offender and genuinely thank them for that setup. Its nice to watch them puke on the inside. All the time have a big happy smile on your face and maintain that demeanour- they wont hang around long!
    To the people who want to have contracts for this situation - maybe it will work on that day but you WILL NOT get any word of mouth advertising out of it, quite the opposite.
    If people do continue to get in the way, you must work out a "nice" way to get in their way without raising hackles. Keep calm, happy and talkative - to do anything else will give them victory and make YOU look bad !
  36. I agree with Roger that sometimes you can use it to your advantage:
  37. when shooting formals, i tell everyone at the start, IM FIRST! anyone comes in front of me or attracts the couples attention. ill stop and stare at them and say "professional photographer number 2" lol once i shoot, i tell all the camera nuts to shoot, but shoot fast.
    but, durning a ceremony, i cant talk to the offending person so ill just shoot around them. If i have to stand in front of them and block their view to give them a slight "hint" i will.
    BUT, sometimes u will lose... i did one wedding (outdoors) at a gazebo. Got in perfect spot to capture the cermony, when the minister said, "why are u guys (guest) so far away, come closer!! they all gathered around the couple so close, I couldnt even see them! I was 100% blocked out haha.....
  38. Going back to an earlier comment, I have never seen a Contract which prohibits guests from taking pictures, that would be ludicrous. I would always encourage attendees to use their cameras, but the purpose of a clause in the Contract is to remind the B&G that the paid professional must have precedence.
    William, I agree, that is what I meant (my insufficient wording) ' ........ experience, AND developing positive assertiveness' (the latter by whatever means is most appropriate, the workshops you mentioned sound perfect, if one can afford them). The experience I referred to need not be in the photographic arena - I found that doing some part-time teaching really helped. Now I know why most teachers are bossy.
    Being small and female, the next stage might be a jacket with spikes on ....
  39. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    (Aside comment)

    "William, I agree, that is what I meant . . . etc"

    :) Ha! I understand your thought patterns more clearly now.

    This highlights the particular limitation of this type of intercourse: the forum using the written word sometimes requires constant refining of what we first write. That becomes tedious for some and others might get frustrated with what might seem nit picking comments, when in fact we might only be seeking clarifications.

    I know that my (literal) writing style has been annoying to some folk over the time I have been commenting here . . .

    Thanks so much for coming back. In doing so, you have made what I think is an excellent point - I hope many read it.

    We should always look theory we have learnt and the skill sets we have gained elsewhere and think how we might adapt them to what we are doing now . . . Teachers have many skill sets, upon which they can draw to help them with success in a small business and other ventures.

    I have particularly enjoyed our conversation, Lindsay, thanks.

  40. william W. said "Running to the Bride with your problems is the very last resort, and quite unprofessional as a first option; you are being paid - you need to sort it out or work around it." Sorry William, the bride hired me, she signed the contract, she has the most influence at the wedding. So ask the bride to ask the guest to stop.
  41. When getting ready to take a picture, stop, pull your camera down from your face, and annouce so that all can hear (not yell, just announce it) that Uncle Bob needs to move out of the way again, then take your picture. When he does it again, you announce again that he needs to move. He should get the hint, and if he doesn't I assure you the bride will give him the hint after he is the cause of things stalling.
  42. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "the bride hired me, she signed the contract, she has the most influence at the wedding. So ask the bride to ask the guest to stop."

    The Bride hired me, also.

    On that issue, and in my situation, My Bride is paying for more than just Photographic expertise and a set of necessary or predetermined contractual images. She is also paying for a smooth flowing, enjoyable experience with captures to remember the same. In this regard, I stand by my previous comment which you have quoted.

    Also, please note the use of my phrase "as a first option" and the relationship of that phrase to the other phrases in my sentence.

    In regard to your assumption that the Bride has the most influence at the Wedding, and (implied) that being a result of her being the signatory to the contract:

    IMO, that postulation is open for debate. The first point of my argument on that matter, would be a stressed Bride, is not necessarily the person of most influence - or perhaps, she could be the person of great influence, but in the entirely wrong direction.

    On matters of people of influence, I did mention others in the Wedding Party, and I also mentioned the necessity of Rapport.

    Your business model, customer base and experiences may vary: and the simple one fits all answer you have given, might work perfectly for you. However I remain unconvinced yours is best advice for the question asked.

  43. Thank you all for your advise. I have been doing wedding as a Videographer and Photographer for about 14 years. What happen in one of the weddings that I mentioned is that this guy was foreing guest coming invited but the groom, seems that this guy is a Pro in his country and it seems that he misunderstood that he was a guest and not a hired photog. It seems that Auntie got also carried away.
    What I finally did in the ceremony is that I turned off the camera and sat down for about 10 min. and just stared at this guy, finally it seems that he got the message as other people started looking at me and looking on him, he finally slow down his intruding. I really do not know if this was the right method but at that moment I really do think that I made the best choice because I was so upset that I was going to smash the guy with a monopode that I use for one my flashes.
  44. This is considarably different, but some friends got married, one of the bride's friends that took people and baby portraits begged to be the wedding photographer, even though having no experience. From what I understand, she was lost as what to do, and when she saw someone with a pro-looking camera taking a lot of pictures, she put hers away and stopped taking pictures. About a year and a half later she delivered the not to impressive final product. To me, I just don't think I would stop doing the work that I am contracted to do. In this case, it was just a bad choice of an unexperienced photographer. In your case with 14 years experience, the other guy MUST OF REALLY been getting on your nerves to cause you to stop.
  45. This person was disrespectful and this was another way of having this person be aware that he was not acting in correct way, I mean this guy was really over B&G in the Ceremony, if you could say that he was getting great pictures that will be wonderful but how the hell will he get better pictures then me when I had a set up four or five flashes working to cover all the church and I had a assistant with a flash on a monopode. Anyway after he felt all the looks from me and the guest he kinda sat down and intruded less.
    B&G for next weddings are getting advise to prevent this from happening again.
  46. William: "I know that my (literal) writing style has been annoying to some folk over the time I have been commenting here . . ." .... and it is a great relief to others. (-:
    Jose, I think what you experienced is indicative of how respect for the profession has lessened somewhat in recent years. I won't say much more, because it's often been debated on the forum. But there are many more Uncle Bobs than there used to be, thanks to the accessibility of digital. This was a big topic at a large photographic convention I attended recently. It was felt that our profession as a whole has an ongoing responsibility to educate our clients and the general public - most of whom still believe that a pro is somebody with a nice camera.
  47. I always go to these people and explain them first time kindly not to walk in my way. Mostly this helps.
    Also I tell the couple during the intake interview that they should tell their guests at least not to take pictures during the ceremonies. They hire me for this and pay a lot for it.
    The guests should enjoy the ceremonies and not bother about taking pictures.
    You cannot avoid that pictures are taken during the day, and honestly I don't worry about that. Sometimes I even step aside if one wants to take a picture.
  48. So many words and aggressive suggestions for such a simple problem. Make friends with them. There are hundreds of ways to do that. It works every time.
  49. Interesting post.
    Have you actually faced the "real" uncle Bob?
    I shot a weeding where uncle Bob was the bride's uncle ... Bob :)
    He was doing video with one hand holding the camera and the other hand in his pocket. I didn't notice him until he showed up in front of my lens almost all the time during the ceremony in the church.
    I approached him gently and asked if he could pay some attention when moving around. Guess what? He was really upset that I came to talk to him as he was recording and what I asked him was recorded in the tape as well.
    He even offered that we went out of the church for a fight ... Hahahahah.
    I kept it cool, did my job and by the end of the ceremony, he came to appologise and at the reception, offered to carry my lights ...
    Sometimes it's good to have an asistant as well to watch your back.
  50. I have been on both sides of the aisle, and as a photographer I usually explain to people that I'm being paid to take the best photos that I can and ask them to bear with me and let me take my photos first, then if the bride allows I will step aside and let them take a few photos. This seems to always work and after Uncle Bob gets a few shots he usually retires to eat or to the bar. On the other hand I have attended weddings and have been asked by the bride to "shoot a few shots" as she knows that I'm a photographer. I even had a "distant" cousin tell her hired photographer that she wanted me to take photos as I was a professional and wanted really good photos at her wedding. I took a picture or two and then "suddenly" my camera broke. And since I only brought the one, she would have to rely on her photographer. The other photographer seemed to understand.
    It's a "depends" situation. There is no right answer. Just use the golden rule-how would you like to be treated in this situation- and go from there.

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