Today a bride told me...

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by missy_kay, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. I met with a bride today and she said she wanted a photojournalistic photographer because at her friends wedding, the photographer was all up in the bride's grill. She said he even stopped the couple in the middle of their first dance! Then posed them seperately, then told them they can continue dancing! I was in utter shock! Do photographers really do that? Why on earth would they ruin a moment like that?
  2. Just like in real life, there are photographers who are jerks, and think they are the Real stars of the wedding day.
    98% of the real photographers are pro's, and would never become invasive as this jerk did.
  3. I think they do it, in part, because they would rather put up with this downside than face a lawsuit after the wedding for not getting a good shot.
    If you are not very experienced at wedding photography, it's easy to get 50 shots of a first dance with an arm in the way, a shadow in the way, a weird look on the face, etc. And some brides can get very prickly about things if you don't get a nice clean shot of big events like the first dance.
    I do not pose people at these events myself, but I do understand the reasons for doing it. Cheers, JJ
  4. Maybe her photographer wasn't a professional. Even in the old days, stopping the couple during the first dance, particularly to pose them separately, would have been unheard of. The most anyone did was to get the couple's attention at the least invasive moment so that both heads were turned for a smiling shot. I've never seen anything more than that.
  5. You can have a balance!
    If she knows ahead of time you'll want her to look at you a couple of times near the end, maybe, she can pose without interruption. I have heard of a photographer going inbetween the minister & the couple, too! As long as you've got a clear idea of what the bride wants, and your contract guarantees nothing, you should be fine.
  6. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Do photographers really do that?

    It is an unusual practice, but what did her friend want?

    Why on earth would they ruin a moment like that?

    Though stopping the dance and then posing the B&G separately is quite odd, did this Prospective Client indicate that the Bride was dissatisfied with her Photographer or their actions?
  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "Even in the old days. . . the most anyone did was to get the couple's attention at the least invasive moment so that both heads were turned for a smiling shot." . . .

    . . . then rapidly re-cock the Camera's Shutter without film advance and shoot the Brandy Balloon.

  8. If you have a choice of either the back of the groom's head or the back of the bride's head, and the light is really low-level...the photographer did what was needed to get a image for the couple. It could be he or she will photoshop the images together?
  9. I never interrupt the first dance - unless the bride and groom specifically request it. If they do request it - then I talk to the DJ beforehand to make sure he or she is in on it. If they don't request it, then I don't take it on myself to get in their way and interrupt.
    I do ask and remind them right before the dance (and before the other important dances) to both look at me (at the same time no less) at some point and smile.
    William W brings up a good point - we're all assuming that the bride did not request this action and was appalled by it, as was the friend of the bride - without hearing directly from the bride in question - we have no way of knowing. As she was a "friend" of the bride as opposed to being a bridesmaid - one may question how inside she was on the requests that the bride had made of the photographer and whether or not the bride was dissatisfied with the photographer being in her "grill" all day. It may very well be that the photographer was doing what the couple requested - it is after all the bride's day and a lot of us were trained that the bride is the ruler of the land / rock star / QB / Center of attention on her wedding day.
    Whatever the case, it's clear that this prospect wants a different, more laid back approach to her wedding and from your work shown Missy - you will do a wonderful job for her!
  10. Hey everyone! The bride told me her friend(the one who was interrupted) was also upset with the photographer's actions.
    The bride yesterday also told me something else interesting. She said that she would never want to go with a less expensive photographer because she wanted to know what she is paying for. I always thought the opposite, that brides want less expensive but I guess higher-end brides want to pay a lot.
  11. I never interrupt the first dance - unless the bride and groom specifically request it.​
    I've never heard of anybody asking that their dance be interrupted. Why would they think of this much less want it?
    I guess if you're going to do this just pick any moment of the night when the lights are low and stage the couple. No need to do it during their first dance.
  12. I can't imagine a photographer stopping the first dance, I can't also image bride and groom wanting their first dance to be interepted to get a better shot.
    I fully agree with the comments above this is not a professional behaviour.
    I have not heard of such a case in Bulgaria, but there are some photographers who try to "boss around" the whole wedding which is also unacceptable in my opinion.
  13. In today's world of "churn & burn" shooters and people with zero experience opening up their own studio, I'm not surprised by much of anything any more. Many of them are shooting cheap and some are actually much more expensive than established pros in their area............
    Personally, I've never interrupted the first dance but occasionally I've had the B/G notice that I was shooting nearby and they stopped for a moment and posed on their own. In that situation I would quickly take the shot and then drop my camera and back off the dance floor. From there I would back up more from the dance floor and use the zoom to be less intrusive.
  14. "she said she wanted a photojournalistic photographer"​
    So she was looking for a fashion wedding photographer.
    Lately all the photographers are wedding photojournalist without knowing what photojournalism really is.
  15. It shouldn't be surprising that some brides would rather go with the more expensive photographer. I once went to a restaurant that had a $12 steak and lobster dinner... needless to say, I ordered a $10 burger and fries. You get what you pay for in life.
  16. Ugh! this just took me back to my cousin's wedding last summer in which I was a bridesmaid and my daughter was the flower girl. The photographer thought she was a rock star and the entire day revolved around her. She posed EVERYONE and EVERYTHING - no PJ whatsoever. No moment was too important for her to step in, stop everything, grab people and make them cheese it for the camera. She also ran an entire hour over her time limit for taking photos after the ceremony - cutting the reception very short, and there was not enough time for the B&G to do everything they wanted. They didn't even have a Last Dance. Not only that, she was incredibly rude. When the reception first started, my 3 year-old AKA the Cutest Flower Girl on Earth decided she was going to take to the dance floor by herself and do the Twist. Then an adorable little boy the same age in a tux comes and starts to twist with her! The photographer was standing RIGHT THERE and had been taking photos of the cake for 10 minutes at that point. I politely tapped her on the shoulder and asked if she could take photos of the flower girl and the little boy, and she shook her head and said "I'm busy". She was taking photos of the CAKE!!
    The bride was so appalled by her behavior but was too shy to say anything. My family still talks about how rude and awful she was whenever we talk about that wedding.
  17. I heard once from a friend's friend that he went to a wedding where the photographer made the couple exchange the rings in the altar 3 times so he can get it from multiple angles..
    after that i'm not surprised by anything anymore. maybe until i see a photographer wrestle an alligator or something.
  18. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "but I guess higher-end brides want to pay a lot."
    I don’t think that high end Brides necessarily want to pay a lot, but I think most do want: High-end service; High-end Product; High-end Label . . . and sometimes all three.
    I think that most High-end shoppers (who buy high end Receptions with the trimmings and the Total High-end Package) are most astute with money and what it is spent upon. There are exceptions, but in the main the cashed up people are cashed up because they are sharp with money and astute with what denotes high service and good quality product and they are not want to throw their cash around willy-nilly, just because then price is high – many know a good deal when one comes their way.

    “She said that she would never want to go with a less expensive photographer because she wanted to know what she is paying for”

    Commenting solely on the basis of this report; then this Prospective Client seems quite confused as to how to assess quality in both service and product.
    As you (Missy) seem to have this Prospect’s trust and given what seems to be her propensity to chat about other’s proclivities: I see closing this Prospect’s Wedding, and subsequently providing more than promised as a great opportunity for you to make her an Ambassador of your Business for a long time.
    The way this business situation is finessed is important: I suggest you consider who the real client is, it might not be the Bride.

    “I've never heard of anybody asking that their dance be interrupted. Why would they think of this much less want it?”

    Though the chances were that the Client’s would not request an interruption, I only raised the point because we did not know . . . and my comment about the Brandy Balloon shot was not a joke: at least here, in the late 70’s and early 80’s the double exposure in the Brandy Balloon was often requested to be a Full Length of the B&G on the Dance Floor . . . it matched the double exposure of the Wedding Certificates with a tight headshot.
    A skilled Operator would not interrupt the First Dance, but would need to have the skill to be in the right place at the right time to grab a good Full Length shot (before the floor was full).
    A skilled Photographer was particularly necessary as around the time when these now passé images were popular, many B&G were refusing to take dance lessons, prior to their Wedding and thus were not skilled in the art of the Waltz . . .
    Do B&G’s take Dance Lessons now, to do it right?
  19. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I thought Photojournalism, was what Capa did.
    WW :)
  20. Lately all the photographers are wedding photojournalist without knowing what photojournalism really is.​
    It's not lately..ppl have always marketed themselves to fit what is in fashion right now to get business.
    If one day suddenly it's hip to be a sewer photographer then you will see all the photographers suddenly updating their "about me" page that they are indeed sewer photographers...
    whether they actually are or not is irrelevant.
  21. I've seen wedding photographers do worse. I was at an outdoor wedding during a hot summer and the photographer felt it was too hot for his suit and tie, so in about a half hour into the ceremony he takes it off and is running around in a wife beater taking pics. Note this was a very upscale wedding. Another time a photographer I worked with at one wedding accidently walked into the bride's dress room before the wedding (without even knocking) and she was completely bare and he says "smile for the camera", and took a few pics. A few minutes later he was politely asked to leave.
  22. I hate the word "photojournalism" for anything other than working for a journal. If you aren't photographing a public event for publication in a news journal or paper, you're not a photojournalist. Professional photographers are present at a wedding as a private contractor, not a journalist. Nothing against the shooting style, I just wish we could all call it something more appropriate, like "documentary" photography.
    As to the photographer interrupting during a special moment: only a cad would do this. You should set up beforehand in preparation for special moments like the alter, cutting the cake, and the first dance. A great thing about weddings: there's a script, so it's not like these things just pop up out of the blue.
  23. I would slap the photog if I were the couple.
    Seriously, I find that hard to believe. I would suggest the bride who said that to you was misinterpreting the situation or something of the sort. If it indeed happened that way, I would say that photog may have a short career.
    Did you book her?
  24. Of all of the weddings I have been involved in, I have never seen this done.
  25. Insecurity can be a very frightening thing for a photographer. I believe the problem lies with both parties, the photographer and the couple. The photographer because they don't have confidence in their skill set to get "the shot." and in the couple for failing to discuss shooting style and expectation of the photographer. As I work with more 2nd shooters, one thing I notice is a complete overkill of shots. A second shooter can take 3,500 or more shots, mostly of the same pose, napkin or whatever. I have come to the conclusion this is a result of not being confident the exposure or focus is good, therefore, in their mind taking 5 identical shots of everything is the best insurance policy. It probably goes back to the concept of bracketing exposure, but somehow they forget to change anything. So I would say the best way to ensure you get the first dance is to stage it. When I review images, the only way I know it was the first dance is the lack of others on the dance floor for the wide shots. Close ups I couldn't tell if I didn't remember the sequence of events. In this case I believe it was nerves not ego driving the photographer, but they will soon realize that trying too hard to get the perfect shot will create more problems than its worth. Suppose the b/g were stopped mid dance and the shots didn't turn out? What do they say to the happy couple when they ask about the pictures from the 1st dance?
  26. I did book her yayyy
  27. I attended a friend's outdoor wedding as a guest a few years ago. The minister and the B&G were in a small gazebo, really only big enough for the 3 of them with a nice little bit of extra room. During the ring exchange part of the ceremony, the photographer went into the gazebo and actually got in between the minister and B&G, unexpectedly from the look on the minister's face as he was being nudged out of the way, so she could shoot some close ups of the rings and hands.
  28. Seems totally stupid! If you cannot take a clear shot while the couple are in a slow dance then you have to be a amateur!
    If by any chance I feel the song might come to a end in the next 40 seconds and I don't have a clear shot I would call their attention to me by making a signal to them to look at the camera while dancing and take the shot, never stop the action and only and ONLY if I did not get at 3 or 4 clear shots. This ussually does not happen, couples dance and ussually they speak to one another while dancing and that is the moment to have them looking at each other and at least one of them smiling!
    You just need to be ready, its not so hard!
  29. There are professional photographers and photographers and people who own good cameras. If you choose only one of these over the other two you will get someone who will get the job done. Most people don't understand the difference, but some think they do and don't understand the significance of their choice. Wedding photography is also a specialty. It requires skills far beyond just knowing how to compose or expose a good picture. There are probably many photographers who can take decent pictures but doing them in the hundreds or even thousands during the wedding day and in all lighting and logistical conditions is not necessarily a skill that all of them possess. Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.
  30. How many weddings have you been to as a guest, not as a photographer? I can only think of one that I have been to in recent memory where the photographer didn't think he was the most important person in the room. I understand the need to get the shot and I think a lot of that behavior comes from dealings with unhappy brides/moms after the wedding. I think if brides had the opportunity to see their photographer in action, they might not hire him.*
    I shoot "PJ style" because that is my personality. The photos need to show that I was there and tell the story of the day, if people don't remember seeing me, all the better. The event is not about me (ok, mine was, but I really struggled with that).
    *'Him' because I have never been to a wedding with a completely obnoxious woman photographer, all the jerks were men.

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