Unofficial photographer using wedding photos in portfolio

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by brett_buckley, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    A friend has a bit of a photography dilemma regarding the use of unofficial wedding photos in an online portfolio.
    In short, a couple asked an amateur photographer friend to take some photos at their wedding. This amateur photographer has used a selection of photos on their website as examples of their style of wedding photos as they are trying to establish themselves as a wedding photographer.
    The official photographer has now complained that an unofficial photographer has published these 'for professional gain' and has asked for them to be removed.
    For info, the amateur photographer owns the copyright to all of these photos, as well as all website content, and the official photographer was fully aware of the unofficial photographer's intentions (and expressed no issues) to use the photos in a portfolio/ on a website.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. What did the wedding party's contract with the hired photographer say? To the extent that the amateur has the couple's blessings, it seems as though they should look at the contract they signed, to see if there's any language on this subject.
     
  3. Thanks for your response, Matt.
    We shall ask the B&G to check the contract.
     
  4. As long as the photos weren't taken by the pro, he's got no compelling justification to demand that the photos be removed. It wasn't 'his' wedding, just a wedding he shot. I can see why he'd potentially be upset (especially since he's likely to loose some print sales as a result), but I just can't see any compelling justification...
    That being said, there are some relevant details which would be illuminating for us:
    Who has the 'official' photog complained too? and what justification has he cited for removal? What is the B&G's position (obviously they asked the amateur to shoot, but has that opinion changed?)? Did the amateur interfere with his shooting, or mirror his imagery?
     
  5. As requested:
    The official photographer has complained to the bride, and asked her to ask for the removal, saying that:
    "It's really not very professional to have them on there (The website) when he wasn't the photographer and should people look at both mine and his website and see that we both have images it can lead to confusion."
    The B&G are still happy for the unofficial photographer to use the photos on the website and in a printed portfolio. They are happy with the quality of the unofficial photos, have requested some prints and used a few in an additional album they have had made.
    The unofficial photographer ensured that the official photographer was given priority for all shots, and spoke to the official photographer during and after the wedding about shooting etc. It was made clear that the amateur was using the day to help build a portfolio, and no request was made by the official photographer not to do so.
     
  6. This situation is happening more and more, and normally, the official photographer can't really do anything to force the unofficial photographer to remove images from the unofficial photographer's own website, and which belong to the unofficial photographer.
    I can't see how contract language could cover this situation, as it would have to be extremely specific.
    However, it is bad form of the unofficial photographer to post images which were not taken in an official capacity as main photographer, particularly if the photographer wishes to enter the field of wedding photography. When one wants to join a profession, one does not wish to offend other professionals.
    The difference in this case is the fact that the official photographer knew about the unofficial photographer's intentions (supposedly). If he indeed was fully informed, he should not complain now.
    A middle ground would be for the unofficial photographer to post a note on his website (very clearly shown) that he was not the official photographer--that the official photographer was x. A nice touch would be to post a link to the official photographer's website.
    Not that it makes any difference to this case, but I personally wouldn't care if the same situation happened to me. I don't sell by the print or image, so if the unofficial photographer's photos are better than mine, shame on me. Otherwise, as the more experienced professional, my photos better be better...
     
  7. the official photographer was fully aware of the unofficial photographer's intentions (and expressed no issues) to use the photos in a portfolio/ on a website... ...The B&G are still happy for the unofficial photographer to use the photos on the website and in a printed portfolio.... ...The unofficial photographer ensured that the official photographer was given priority for all shots, and spoke to the official photographer during and after the wedding about shooting etc. It was made clear that the amateur was using the day to help build a portfolio, and no request was made by the official photographer not to do so.​
    I don't see what the problem is then. Perhaps the results were better than the contracted pro expected and has a different opinion now. In any event, if anything seems unprofessional, its the photographers posturing under these circumstances.
    I can't see how contract language could cover this situation, as it would have to be extremely specific.​
    Agree mostly but some exclusivity language we see could apply. Even if it does, the photographer agreed to disregard those terms which may not be helpful to the cause.
     
  8. Personal opinion:
    I would disregard the hired photographer's complaint.
    The amateur was asked by the couple to take pictures independent of any contractual arrangements the couple may have had with the hired photographer, therefore the amateur is not bound by it. He is free to do as he pleases within ethical and moral bounds and with consent from the couple.
     
  9. ... as examples of their style ...​
    IMO, I don't think it's right to use any shots where the professional posed the subjects and the amateur shot over the professionals shoulder. It really isn't "their style", it is the professional's "style", posing is half the work.
    Other shots should be no issue.
     
  10. I have to simply change my name to "what Nadine said" it might be faster.
    My question to the original photographer "what does it matter?" I mean really? Sure it's bad form to a degree for the "sidekick" to post, but I'm not sure it harms anyone's bottom line. I mean do you think there's a lot of work out there for photographers who show lots of work where the couple is looking elsewhere?
    Are there print sales or album sales that went to this other person, that would somehow have been sold to the b/g were those other pictures not in existence?
    My belief is that the other photographer just is missing the etiquette and having known the b/g felt that they were expressing their affection for them. Guests are there because they love our clients, they were invited to be a part of their day, they are not nuisances to our profession. They may stand in the way, take their own pictures and jack up the timeline, but they are not, in any way shape or form trying to be in our way. This person may very well be trying their own hand as a wedding photographer, one day they will know the same situation, they will hopefully remember and be chagrined, or not. It is just another aspect in the time in which we live. Adapt, overcome, and our craft will improve because of it.
    At least I believe that,
    d
     
  11. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Certainly this is happening more and more.
    On the face of it your friend’s “dilemma” is multifaceted and cutting to the chase this is how it all occurs to me:
    B&G engage an official Wedding Photographer, seems though s/he not too “seasoned” – (aka experienced), likely B&G are on the slimmer side of the budget line – which is fine just making the point of how it occurs to me.
    B&G “ask” friend to make some “extra” photos for them at their Wedding: quid pro quo – B&G get extra and B&G know friend is a budding Wedding Photographer, anyway.
    Inexperience of “official photographer” shows at Wedding in respect of not being astute or aware or skilled at shutting down someone else – that is if shutting down “friend photographer” was even on the agenda.
    “friend photographer” posts wedding photo is and is very pleased – makes ego very big, now I am “professional” – beats chest.
    “official photographer” sees website of “friend photographer” and has multiple dummy spits, most likely not even assessing what if any damage is likely to be done . . .
    i.e. Official Photographer doesn't rationally assess what damage is being done to his business by this "friend" showing his photos of the wedding . . . and also does not think through what damage might the dummy spit entice, down the track:
    Heavens - pause and think logically - readers here are champing at the bit to know the identity of this "Official Photogarpher" - not because of his PHOTOGRAPHY - but because of his DUMMY SPIT.
    B&G now have dilemma – and ask friend (the OP) about it . . .
    And OP makes post here.
    Well – if OP is good and honest friend of B&G wanting to bring good karma to messy "dilemma". . .
    Then OP will convey to B&G:
    • that B&G should consider how complicit they are in the making of this “dilemma” - by asking for extra from “friend photographer”, in the first inst.
    • that “friend photographer” is not acting with any “professional courtesy” (there is a long thread on that topic elsewhere, OP might like to search for it).
    • that “professional photographer” is acting like a goose, writing what was quoted he wrote.
    • that geese should be respected – not cooked.
    My advice: B&G should take responsibility for their actions and clear up the mess and make polite requests of both photographers which THEY (the B&G) engaged to shoot photos at their Wedding.
    Suggested outcomes as per Nadine’s comments would be good, for all parties involved.
    WW
     
  12. I, likewise, agree with Nadine's middle ground suggestion and the William's expertly analysis above which, as usual, provides helpful clarity and perspective. The more rare occurrence is that I'll disagree on the advice portion this time.
    While the clients allowed a potential mess to arise (unlikely as lay people to realize this consequence) their responsibility was dispatched (even if fortuitously) upon the following events...
    "It was made clear that the amateur was using the day to help build a portfolio, and no request was made by the official photographer not to do so."
    &
    "the official photographer was fully aware of the unofficial photographer's intentions (and expressed no issues) to use the photos in a portfolio/ on a website"
    The official (which really just means 'hired for pay via contract unlike everyone else with a camera') took ownership of any mess when they consented to this arrangement. For the hired photographer to not just complain but also hassle the clients about getting the friend photographer to remove photos is unwarranted. The hired photographer doesn't deserve to have the clients to take any responsibility or for them to do the bidding of their hired photographers demands. If anything, the hired photographer deserves their swift rebuke if they are so inclined to deliver it.
    Likewise as to the friend photographer. Everything was up front and made clear with ample opportunity for any concerns of any kind to be raised. It didn't hurt that "the official photographer was given priority for all shots".
    I agree with Nadine's mention of clarification between the hired shooter and the extra shooter as a professional courtesy but no one else owes the hired shooter anything else because the hirer shooter agreed and consented to what happened.
    The hired photographer is responsible for the current "mess". The mess being their own complaints and demands of others.
     
  13. Is Brett Buckley the 'friend' or 'unofficial' photographer? Is it Brett?
     
  14. I'm not sure it matters what the contract between the official photographer and the B/G says as it relates to the other photographer. Unless that person has some agreement of some kind, with the B/G or the official photog, I don't think they can be bound by any contract between the B/G and official photog. They wouldn't be a party to that contract. I would just move on. Nadine's remarks, as usual do point out what would be civilized conduct of the other photographer. However, I don't see a need to demonize this other photographer or belittle that person if one hasn't actually seen the website, or the persons photographs. In this situation, it sounds like the person telegraphed his intentions pretty clearly, and no one complained. A little late to try to put the genie back in the bottle.
     
  15. Someone is taking things a little too seriously. So what if the other photog is using it "for professional gain"? The official photog is either really good that he didn't want his creativity stolen or he is a little insecure.
     
  16. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    “I, likewise, agree . . . [etc} . . [BUT] the more rare occurrence is that I'll disagree on the advice portion this time. [etc. expansion & explanation] . . . the hired photographer is responsible for the current "mess". The mess being their own complaints and demands of others.”​
    Haha! [insert long debate between JH and WW]
    JH: points are noted.
    Rebuff in a nutshell:
    Indeed, the “official photographer” (IMHO) was (a) not in control at the time and (b) acted like a goose, with the dummy spit e-mail.
    However, whilst attribution of blame, and defining who is (ultimately) responsible in some manner might be desirable: an happy B&G and both photographers saving face, might be a better outcome . . .
    The B&G are the lynch-pin: and this position is best suited to “tell and calm” the official photographer that they are very happy with his work and “ask” friend photographer to indicate clearly on the website, that he is “FRIEND” photographer.
    It is my opinion, therefore (based on getting a quick and good outcome) for the B&G to act.
    ***
    “Is Brett Buckley the 'friend' or 'unofficial' photographer? Is it Brett?”​
    Or the G?
    To be frank, the actual relationship of the OP to the B&G crossed my mind.
    Nice question, Art.
    In the interest of actually getting a “good outcome” for this “dilemma” - it would be really great if this question on notice, were answered.
    WW
     
  17. To me, the real problem here is that potential clients may be misled by the pictures into thinking that the unofficial photographer has experience of shooting a wedding as official photographer which he/she hasn't. It's one thing to wander round a wedding taking a few snaps, and quite another to photograph as official photographer. What is more, some of the situations photographed might have been created by the official photographer.
    It's a bit like photographers who may use pictures taken at a workshop to get real life clients. One often hears tales of photographers who have decent pictures in their portfolio who go on to ruin someone's wedding, and this is the kind of situation that it arises. Either the unofficial photographer has enough weddings under his/her belt as official photographer to show them - or he/she doesn't.
    If it's just a matter of including one or two pictures from a wedding as unofficial photographer, while most of the material on the site was taken as official photographer, it seems to me less of a problem.
     
  18. The official photog is either really good that he didn't want his creativity stolen or​
    To me that implies that the unofficial photographer may be intending to use photos some situations that the official photographer had created. In that case, I think the unofficial photographer should not even think of using the images to try to get clients, and I would certainly sympathise with the pro doing everything possible to stop them.
    If I were a client who booked someone on the basis of those photos, then discovered afterwards that the photos had been taken by shadowing someone else, then I would be looking at initiating proceedings for fraud etc.
    If the pictures were more reportage-y ones away from posed portraits, groups etc. and quite different from what the official photographer was photographing, ie. not shadowing the official photographer's ideas, then it's more of a grey area, using one or two might well be OK.
     
  19. Just to revisit and clarify: the reason I asked about the contract wasn't because I think it has much bearing legally/litigation-wise ... it's just a way to get a sense of whether or not the paid photographer's complaint is based on his having a serious stance on the issue, in advance. If the anecdotes are correct, and the B&G did explain it, and the contracted photographer had no beef... then there's no beef of consequence. Which is a matter completely separate from whether or not the amateur's representation of the B&G on his own portfolio might be construed as misleading to his prospective future clients.
     
  20. the unofficial photographer may be intending to use photos some situations that the official photographer had created... ...I would certainly sympathise with the pro doing everything possible to stop them.​
    The pro didn't sympathize with themselves and chose to do the opposite when there was plenty of opportunity, if not actual prompting, to do so. Surely any shooting of any pre-arranged posing wouldn't have gone unnoticed at the time. Making a change of heart request of the friend photographer is one thing but, bugging the clients about something the pro photographer assented to, is itself bad form.
    If I were a client who booked someone on the basis of those photos, then discovered afterwards that the photos had been taken by shadowing someone else, then I would be looking at initiating proceedings for fraud etc.​
    It may deserve pause but actions for fraud? The friend still had to correctly operate their camera with correct settings, framing. flash use ect. Plus, they just learned about a particular pose which they used quickly but might have used at the next occasion and so on. Unless they knowingly are incapable of achieving the results, there is hardly a basis for a lawsuit for 'fraud' merely because they just learned how to do something and then did so.
     
  21. As someone who was in the same or a similar situation last year - I can respond as to how it occured and how we (other photographer and I) handled it.
    Setup:
    I signed a wedding contract with the couple in Sept 2009 for an August 2010 wedding - retainer was paid, and all was fine. I reached out to the couple a month prior to the wedding just to confirm everything - got a response that yep everything was fine, but couple had a "friend" who was getting started in photography business and wanted to know if I was okay with her shooting too. Not knowing better or wanting to risk losing the entire wedding - I said sure - no problem. Day of wedding - she shows up, shots a few over my shoulder, gets the couple for a few of her own, and then becomes a guest for the reception. (while shooting a few more...) . Day after wedding - boom photos go up on her fb page and people start complementing her on the photos and saying what a great job she did photographing the wedding....
    My Resolution:
    I sent her an e-mail requesting that she point out that she was not the primiary photographer at the event pointing out to her that she was there as a "guest" and not the official photographer. I was not asking that she remove any images - they were hers. I just respectfully asked that she share credit.
    Final Resoluton:
    She responded saying that she was sorry and she would fix it on FB right away, thanking me for allowing her to watch me work and seeing how I did things differently than she did. Also thanking me for being professional about it and understanding the situation, and actually allowing her to enjoy the wedding as more of a guest than a working session, since she was "a guest". She put a note on the album and a link to my sites on her fb page.
    So - my advice - Be nice...Don't slam the other photographer, don't threaten legal action.
    Keep in mind that the bride and groom are the customers. You're not their customer. Had you "taken charge" of the situation, you could be the one who looks a fool. The other photographer was there because the couple asked them to be. If anything - the couple should have done as mine did and asked if it was okay. Had I said no - I might have kept the gig, but would have lost more than that. Or I might have lost the gig completely.
    Dave
     
  22. I think the hired photographer has no legal grounds to stand on. Unless the amateur photographer had an agreement with the professional he can do anything he wishes -- as long as he has the permission of the people in the image to use their images.
     
  23. The pro didn't sympathize with themselves and chose to do the opposite when there was plenty of opportunity, if not actual prompting, to do so.​
    We heard one side of the story. I suspect if one were to ask the pro what happened, things might sound a little different. I also suspect that, like David below, the pro may well have been wanting to please the client and didn't mind allowing the other person to get some practise in, but didn't realise (or wasn't clearly told) that the other person was wanting to set up a wedding photography business using those pictures.
    Of course, maybe the pro was told about that all in advance (seems unlikely) but even then - my concern is not for what the pro agreed to or didn't agreed to, it's whether potential clients coming to this person are being mislead about what that person's experience is and the situation where they took the pictures.
    If this other photographer did the creative direction of posed pictures without the pro's input, then it would be less of a problem. But if it's a situation more like David describes, of this person photographing situations created by the pro, then it's much worse.
    Surely any shooting of any pre-arranged posing wouldn't have gone unnoticed at the time.​
    The pro may not have wanted to cause an unpleasant scene at the wedding. But in any case, may not have realised that the pictures were to be used to set up a wedding business.
    It may deserve pause but actions for fraud?​
    Fraud would be an extreme case, depending on how the pictures are presented to potential clients. Borrowed from Wikipedia: "Fraudulent misrepresentation occurs when one makes representation with intent to deceive and with the knowledge that it is false."
    In the UK, at least if it was implied by showing them on a website that these were pictures taken for a client as official photographer at a wedding but the photographer didn't actually have that experience, there would likely be an action at least for misrepresentation, and the basis for a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading for breach of trading standards. It assumes of course that there was some loss eg. the photographer didn't go on to do a brilliant job, and assumes the client found out about the misrepresentation.
    If the misrepresentation was more blatant and deliberate, eg. the photographer said expressly that the pictures were taken as official photograper for a paying client, then it would much more likely be fraudulent misreprentation. Either way, potential clients would have the right to feel aggrieved at being duped into employing a photographer who tried to hold themselves out as having experience that they didn't.
    This kind of thing arises I think more frequently than we realise - photographers take pictures at workshops where the artistic direction etc. is very much inspired by the person running the workshop. The photographer uses these pictures on the website, and the actual results for clients look nothing like the website portfolio. It's one reason why clients are well advised to ask to see complete galleries from recent weddings.
    The friend still had to correctly operate their camera with correct settings, framing. flash use ect.​
    Most modern cameras can more or less do that with little user intervention. That's a relatively tiny part of being a wedding photographer, and a monkey can pretty much get it right most of the time (see the recent monkey self portrait that was in the news - that might be a good basis for the monkey to set up a portrait business)
    If the unofficial photographer makes it clear on his website that the pictures were taken as a guest at a wedding, shooting over the pro's shoulder, then there's no problem.
     
  24. I should add to my comment about my personally not caring should the situation happen to me, that I would definitely manage the situation as it unfolded, regardless what I was told about the unofficial photographer's intentions beforehand.
    I used to allow would be wedding photographers to shadow me, if they were polite. I don't anymore, because these would be photographers gradually became less and less nice, and less and less aware of professional courtesy. Now, I can spot would be photographers easily, because their offensive attitude is prominent from the get go. By 'offensive', I mean as opposed to defensive. Most of them assume I will not like them, so they tend to take stealthy measures to get their pictures, including using a tele zoom to shoot what I'm directing from the back of the room (!).
    Others just baldly shoot whatever I shoot, including formals and make no attempt to hide the fact. They figure that if I don't stop them or say anything, they are just forging ahead. Now, I stop people. They can shoot anything else they want, but they can't shoot what I shoot (what I am directing), and they can't take time away from my shooting, or hog the best angles or direct their own sessions if that takes the couple's time and attention away from my need for their time and attention.
    A lot depends on how they approach me. If they are nice, and honest, I have sometimes been nice in return, giving them some tips and actually using them as second and allowing them to do some direction on their own. I ask if they intend to use the photos on their website, and if so, I ask that they indicate they were not the official photographer at this wedding. More and more, though, these would be photographers take the offensive approach, and I don't have the time to try to turn them around.
     
  25. The fraudulent misrepresentation would have to be material to be relevant. In my mind it is completely irrelevant if the photographer were "official" or not, if he was "paid" or not. One does not judge photographs based on the status of the photographer -- the picture speak for themselves. As a lawyer I don't think the photographer has any duty or obligation whatsoever to disclose the circumstances under which the photographs were taken. However, he does need the permission of the people in the picture to use their likenesses for commercial purposes.
     
  26. The fraudulent misrepresentation would have to be material to be relevant​
    Any misrepresentation has to be material to be relevant, fraudulent or not. If a person induces a client to appoint them by misrepresenting their experience, then that is likely to be material. The likely test would be whether the client would have gone ahead and booked the photographer anyway, even if they knew the full facts.
    One does not judge photographs based on the status of the photographer.​
    But a sensible client ought to. There is a world of difference between coming up with creative ideas and managing a wedding while getting great results, and standing behind someone and photographing a situation that someone else has set up.
    If you booked someone on the basis of their creativity and experience, and then discovered that yours was the first wedding that they had the responsibility of photographing as official photographer, then you'd have reasonable grounds to feel aggrieved. Especially if the photographer went ahead to mess it up due to their inexperience.
    However, he does need the permission of the people in the picture to use their likenesses for commercial purposes.​
    That would be in the US. UK law is rather different - though in this case, permission would be needed anyway, but for different reasons.
     
  27. Simon makes good points but there is a matter of degree and circumstances to contend with. Are the images cited as a representation of a fully self orchestrated wedding shoot or are they mere samples of images the photographer may achieve. Consider all the photographers who post their best sample images on their site vs those who put up the actual albums of full weddings and those in between those two approaches. Fraud and misrepresentation can be very detailed fact specific matters and a fuzzy line legally as it is.
    In any event, if pros are concerned about other pro and quasi pro/aggressive amateur shooters, they should communicate about this with clients early on if not before client status arises. Communicating with the other shooter at the event is sound too and doesn't require a 'scene'. Surely the communication can be conveyed in a positive way. If need be, exclusivity can be made part of a contract though I know there are limits and consequences to enforcing it. It really boils down to communicating well. Sometimes a client will want another photographer present however. Its just a fact of life and will have to be dealt with. David Haas handled his post situation well. I bet he could have handled the pre-shoot phase well too but decided not to just in case.
     
  28. Another great example of how if it ever comes to be that I would need to supplement my full time photography income with weddings, I would just get out of the business altogether. I can't believe how much I hear amateurs bragging that they got better shots than the hired photog and that the bride and groom love them, it is sickening. I don't take my camera to friend's weddings for just this reason.
    Amateurs just Can Not Help it, they have to shoot, feel important even if they are not hired too....barf!
     
  29. I had one similar incident in my career -- all worked out well. The bride and groom had hired a photographer for the wedding and he did specify that they restrain others from taking pictures at certain times -- during the ceremony -- at the special locations set up by the photographer for picture taking. I was hired by National Geographic who was doing a book on the World's Religions to also shoot this particular wedding (I don't remember why this wedding was chosen) and I worked with the wedding photographer. We had very different clients and uses. All worked out fine. That was before law school.
     
  30. I can't believe how much I hear amateurs bragging that they got better shots than the hired photog and that the bride and groom love them, it is sickening. I don't take my camera to friend's weddings for just this reason.​
    You would engage in this "sickening" behavior if you brought a camera to a friend's wedding?
     
  31. Amateurs just Can Not Help it, they have to shoot, feel important even if they are not hired too....barf!​
    I have to agree with you Daniel. It's funny to see people who get all excited about the smallest thing in a wedding like the clicking of the glass and they just have to pull out their iphones, Blackberrys or something to shoot. It's almost as if that they are losing out on something if they don't do it. I guess if you only go to weddings occasionally, you'll get excited about them and you simply react to the circumstances without thinking about itpurposes.
     
  32. How many here think that just standing next to Ansel Adams at a camera or Andre Previn at a piano they could produce the same result. If a professional photographer only has to offer that they will show up -- they have nothing to offer. If the pro's shots don't stand out no matter who was standing next to them with a camera they ought to think about getting a real job.
     
  33. Amateurs just Can Not Help it, they have to shoot, feel important even if they are not hired too....barf!
    have to agree with you Daniel. It's funny to see people who get all excited... ...and they just have to pull out their iphones, Blackberrys or something to shoot.​
    Bashing people who enjoy taking photos doesn't tell us much about the issue here which is whether the pro should be pressuring their client, after the fact, to get their freind to take photos down from the freind's website.
     
  34. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "Bashing people who enjoy taking photos etc . . . doesn’t help​
    Yes, quite so. Bashing any of the players doesn't assist.
    All the parts and all the players here, are just inexperience / inexperienced.
    Perhaps if more people read threads like this before the event: B&G's would plan better; Friend Photographers / Budding Pros would learn Professional Courtesy and Official Photographers would think more, before writing emails to Clients . . .
    And friends, who post in forums, would respond to the suggestions and views and also reply to questions.
    WW
     
  35. And friends, who post in forums, would respond to the suggestions and views and also reply to questions.​
    Comeon, he's only been here for a day, maybe he's inexperienced.
     
  36. Excuse me (I'll admit to not having read much of the thread)
    In the simplest terms contractually. The Pro shooting the wedding had a contract to provide a service & goods for a fee. I find it extremely unlikely that there would be any clause/clauses restricting the use of other images taken by others. (would be interested to read any such clause...)
    Given that the Amateur was there with the full knowledge of the Pro and at the permission of the Couple being wed, the Pro has no cause to complain.
    There are two mutually exclusive contracts here. One Formal the other implied neither having a bearing on the other.
    From the Amateurs view point this is quite flattering that the Pro feels threatened. Perhaps the Pro should be asking some serious questions of them self.
    If it's a case that the Amateur has been shooting over the shoulder of the Pro, then we have an issue, as in practical terms the Amateur is taking advantage of somebody else's work. This cannot be condoned and If I was the Groom would be pointing out to the friend that they have over stepped the line. If this isn't the case, I can see no reason why the two sets of images cannot exist happily along side each other.
    I also hope that the Amateur has given a set of images or a selection of the images to the Bride & Groom as a token of thanks for allowing them access to the wedding for personal gain/promotion. (Model release! is my parting shot)
    Regards
    Finlay
     
  37. To the best of my knowledge, the only situation in which the official photographer would have legal rights to complain/request a cease and desist/etc. would be if the unofficial photographer made a clear claim that he was the one contracted to shoot the wedding. If he just said, "Here are some photos of a wedding I went to," there's no absolutely no cause for complaint. If he said, "Here are some photos of my last wedding job," it could be inappriopriate.
    Anything in between, ask a lawyer :)
     
  38. I used to let them stand next to me, and I would help them get good shots. It's all an insecurity issue. There's no way the newbie clicker next to me was going to make any of the getting ready portraits and formals I already did alone and that's what payed the bills. This is a none issue just whining.
     
  39. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "Comeon, he's only been here for a day, maybe he's inexperienced."​
    Maybe you misinterpreted the meaning - it goes to the recognition of input thus far; and the immediacy; and wanting to solve the problem.
    It was a PROMPT, not a complaint.
    WW
     
  40. I think there are two main issues here.
    PART 1 - if the Unofficial Photographers (UP)was over the shoulder they should have said you can not do that... and controlled the situation at the wedding and reception. if the UP's images are nothing to do with the official photogs set-up's - like details and candid's etc - then the official photographer needs to drop it. with all of my set up I allow no one to take photos while I am shooting- not even guest with PS - too many red dot to photoshop and it's just distracting - my clients know this up front. I do not have time to let people step in and shoot - so the photog should have managed this if this is the case.
    PART 2 - I think it is completely unethical for the guest to post images taken at a wedding where he/she was not the main or second hired shooter. This sends a message to potiential clients that you were hired to do this wedding - which they clearly were not. It also it somewhat arrogant to think that coming as a guest with no pressure to get the shot is the same as being a main or even second for that matter. It's one thing to present yourself in the light of truth and something entirely different to leave out information like I really wasn't a shooter for this wedding.
    So bad for the main to not manage the situation at the wedding - Bad for the guest "posing as a photographer"
     
  41. We weren't told if the friend shooter presented it in that way.
     
  42. Thanks for all the comments and advice, and apologies for not having responded to the latest lot sooner.
    Just to clear up some of the additional questions raised about the situation...
    The unofficial photographer is not an amateur photographer, but has only recently considered branching out into wedding photography. However, as I'm sure people are aware, in order to get paid jobs, you need some kind of portfolio, which going off some of the posts on here means you would presumably be classed as an amateur in that particular area while building said portfolio. So, to the people physically sickened by the sight of someone taking photos without being paid, how did you start off becoming a pro without ever having been an amateur?
    Photos taken by the unofficial photographer were independent of the ones set up by the official photographer, and were more of a documentary style. No 'over the shoulder' shots were taken at all either.
    The unofficial photographer provided a disc of all photos to the B&G as a thank you for the experience. They were also consulted before any photos were published.
    Regarding professional courtesy, the unofficial photographer actually emailed the website link to the professional saying thanks for allowing him to shoot and that any comments and critique on the photos would be welcomed (as discussed during the reception). It was also made clear that the unofficial photographer fully appreciated that the pro was a busy person, so wasn't expecting free lessons in photography or anything. This was approximately four months before the pro emailed the B&G to ask for them to request the removal.
    The unofficial photographer did not mention either way on the site that he was shooting in any official capacity, but this was purely down to a lack of experience in professional photography, not malice, an attempt to mis-sell a service or (don't make me laugh) fraud. He has now said that he will be clarifying this on the website, but as the photos are his copyright and no posing, set up or composition was copied or stolen he sees no reason why he should remove them entirely.
    The unofficial photographer was also requested by the B&G, who knew he was looking to build a portfolio, so while I'm sure while a couple of people will shudder at the thought of a wedding guest getting above their station, it wasn't a simple case of an 'agressive wannabe' running around with a camera.
    It has also since become clear that the B&G are not entirely happy with the pro (photos and general attitude since money changed hands) and it has been suggested by the B&G that some additional photos are taken by the unofficial photographer (with them in their wedding clothes) to capture shots that were requested but not provided by the pro.
     
  43. Well then--it seems the official photographer has no grounds to complain or demand removal of images.
     
  44. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you for the response.
    The articulate information clarifies a lot and it is now much easier to see the scene, and the preceding to it and the proceedings of it.
    Specifically: all the points are noted which address any comment I made and questions overt or implied, and specifically, thank you for that.
    It is still my opinion that the B&G take the reins: however now that it is apparent that they are dissatisfied with the Official Photographer’s work and attitude it would be best apply more finesse the situation, until all dealings are complete and all goods recieved.
    In this regard, if “friend photographer” is indeed a “friend” then maybe if he and his work takes a background position for a short time, that is all the finesse, which will be required.
    Also, in light of the additional information you have provided I withdraw the comment:

    ““friend photographer” posts wedding photo is and is very pleased – makes ego very big, now I am “professional” – beats chest.”
    Whilst this comment was created with merely a bit of descriptive theatre in mind and not malice – it is acknowledged that no “chest beating” was involved at all – so: sorry if that raised the hairs on “friend photographer’s” neck: but it was never meant to, rather it was meant only describe a “newbie” being pleased with himself, which is a common human response.
    WW
     
  45. thanks for the clarity - I think that if the photographer we are speaking about wants to get into the wedding business - they need to network in their community through their local PPA chapter and put it out there that they want to "tag-along" without pay... this way you are a shooter known to the pro and you can use those images in the portfolio --- most newbies want to be a paid second shooter right off the bat and I have found that I do not use but a handful of second shooter images... B&G buy my style not my seconds style - so it's not and issue with me. I do put it in my second's contract they cannot name the location anywhere on their website or blog - nor can they name the B&G or the wedding date. They also have to wait one month after the wedding before posting. This way I can get all my images out, up and marketed based on my business.
     
  46. If the contract doesn't state that he is the exclusive wedding photographer, then he doesn't have much recourse, I believe.
    Now...about the use of photos on a website by another photographer after the event. This is the part that irks me. My thoughts are, under no circumstances should a person misrepresent the position he or she was in as a photographer. He should specifically state that he was a guest at the wedding. A potential bride and groom need to know this. Taking photos when the pressure is off is a whoooole different animal than being the hired pro who has to think about five different things at once while in a pressured situation. There's also the dimension of being a friend of the bride and groom - also completely different than being the professional who is hired. It's a given that the friend should be able to get some funny moments during the reception that isn't always possible by the pro. They know the people - and are automatically more relaxed. They are going to get some photos that you wish you could (the candid crazy ones). However, the pro will know what to look for that the friend will not. They know when they see something across the room that has potential and will wait for the right moment for an emotional shot. So in this regard, I don't find them to be competition. I don't discourage these people because I put myself in the bride and groom's shoes and know that they want as many pictures as they can get.
    That said, I don't sit well with over the shoulder shots from people that I perceive to be in it for their own gain without the pain. I've had it from so many different angles - from a friend tagging along with her camera, to videographers who want shadow me and slow up my timing -- or worse -- to have no respect for "the moments" at the reception. I can certainly work around the videographers, but it's become kind of a sick joke for me to include the videographers in some of the shots because some can be so obnoxious that they are sharing the dance floor with the bride and groom during the first dance, or completely block the guests' view of the bride and groom during the toast because they park themselves directly in front of them. I have had aggressive guests who try to elbow me out of shots, haha. If it gets too annoying, I won't hesitate to say something. If someone has anchored themselves in a spot (like at the cake cutting) that I want, I don't think twice about stepping in front of them. But I digress.
    I disagree that it's up to the bride and groom to fix the situation. It is up to the photographer who wants to be a pro to fix the situation. He should defer to the wishes of the pro that was paid to photograph the event. The question was asked, "but how can he get started in the business if he doesn't do this?" He gets started like many other people who get started -- you start by being a small guppy in a very big pool. You do a couple weddings dirt cheap. Do a friend's wedding who can't afford a photographer for free. Etc. The cream will always rise to the top. If he's good, his photos will show it and he will start getting business. If he's not that good, he won't get business. That's the way it works. But he can't claim a wedding as his own unless he shoots it as the main photographer.
    As far as the bride and groom not appreciating the photos that the pro took -- really? Did they ask to see his portfolio before they hired him? Did they ask to see a couple of examples of full weddings that he shot? If not, then they have only themselves and their small pocketbooks to blame. I take offense to the notion that "after money exchanged hands" they decided that he wasn't all that he was cracked up to be, and they if they further stated that they liked their friend's pictures better, than shame on them for being rather small in courtesy and grace. It's up to the bride and groom to do thorough research before they hire a wedding photographer.
    Shows like "say yes to the dress" and "bridezilla" have made it perfectly acceptable to act like Veruca Salt. I try to steer clear of people I sense might be like that. Or by people who try to get the most for the least. This isn't a used car lot. Respect is mutual. If you paid for a Ford, then don't complain that it doesn't perform like a Rolls Royce.
    Tell the photographer friend of the bride and groom to put on his big boy pants and become a wedding photographer the right way....through hard work and some personal sacrifice. Not by gleaning wedding pictures off another photographer's back.
     
  47. William W - No hairs raised and understand what you mean.
    Francie Baltazar - Thanks for the mention of PPA and the clarity regarding acting as a second shooter.
    Maira - No offence, but while I agree with quite a few of your points, and take on board what appears to be some sound advice, I think you're either irked about a completely unrelated incident and you're venting here, or you've skipped the additional posts that clarify a lot of your gripes/accusations and essentially make many of them irrelevant in this particular situation.
     
  48. Maira. excellent post, you're spot on.
    Brett, no offence, but if you already know the answer you want to hear, then why ask on the forum in the first place?
    It's very good if the unofficial photographer was not taking any pictures remotely similar to the official photographer/taking pictures over his/her shoulder, and not photographing for example portraits in situations prepared by the official photographer, and that may justify inclusion of one or two pictures on the website, but it doesn't change the fundamental issues. If the unofficial photographer has enough experience in any case they will have shot enough weddings as official photographer so that they won't really need to include these odd extra unofficial pictures on their site.
    As to how they get experience as official photographer without a portfolio, Maira described it well.
    Maira is also abolutely right about eg. videographers. There are some who build an entire business by following the photographer round and videoing everything over their shoulder, getting in the way a lot in the process. Most are perfectly fine to get on with and do their own thing, but there are a few that make a business just by leaching off others creativity.
    Personally, I'm delighted that others should take pictures at weddings I photograph - the more the merrier. But I do object when others start to make a business from following me around. We're told the unofficial photographer didn't do that in this case, which may or may not be true, but in any case, the unofficial photographer shouldn't need to use those photographs to set up a business. Giving them to the bride and groom, yes absolutely, put a load of them on a wedding website without warning that these were some pictures taken as a guest at a wedding - no, it would be unethical.
    I would qualify that by saying - if there really was no shadowing or otherwise being inspired by the official photographer, then including one or two pictures among lots of pictures from weddings where the unofficial photographer was the official photographer, that would I think would be OK. The problem is that I see too many photographers misrepresenting their experience, their capabilities, the circumstances where photos were taken, on their websites, and to me it is just a no-no. The result is lots of clients who are terribly disappointed when photographers muck up their weddings. I often come across people who have tales about the final results at their wedding being nothing like the standard work the photographer advertised on their website.
    If this unofficial photographer has the experience to produce the results when he's official photographer, then that's great, and he will already have more than enough material taken as official photographer to show on his website to prove it. If he doesn't already have that material, then he doesn't know whether he can or can't.
     
  49. Thanks for the clarity Brett.
    It does sound like the Pro is feeling threatened or at least out done on this occasion. Your point that the unpaid Tog was setting up their own shots does take the heat away from the argument however after reading Maria's post (I do not wholly agree on all the points...) I do accept that the second set of photos need to be qualified so the prospective vendors are aware they were not shot in a Professional capacity and would further agree that following the path of rights in building a photographic Wedding Portfolio is the ethical and Professional manner to approach building a Wedding business.
    That said on the whole the Pro needs to take a chill pill, he has not been miss represented nor taken advantage off. We have two independent sets of images from the same day...
    The Friend does need to consider the legitimacy of the 'Free shoot' in a professional context. Having read Maria's argument I'd not be using such material for direct sales of services. It does however give the Tog a point of reference in terms of what can be done...in which case a valuable learning experience.
    I hate threads when they get this long, so again I've not read everything..apologies if I'm off script with the above.
     
  50. The OP's question is that if the piad tog has the legal rights to ask the unpaid tog to remove pics from that particular wedding from the unpaid tog's site. The answer clearly is "no".
    Whehter the photographic community has the morla high ground as a group to ban such practice is irrelevant.
     
  51. The OP's question is that if the piad tog has the legal rights to ask the unpaid tog to remove pics​
    Err, nope that was not the question - not in the original post at least. He didn't even mention legal rights of the pro tog, let alone ask about them. He just described the situation generally and said "Any advice would be greatly appreciated."
    No reason not to include a discussion of legal rights if you want, but that's not what was asked about.
     
  52. It seems to me that the ethical/practical discussion of 'what should I do' is more interesting and relevant than the legal one, but just in case anyone is interested in the legal side of it - if the unofficial photographer did put the photos on his website in a way that was misleading, then at least in the UK, there would be legal recourse that the official photographer could bring against the unofficial one, if he could be bothered. Whether he actually would go to the effort is another matter, but technically he could, and US law may well have roughly equivalent provisions.
    A lot would depend on the specifics of how the photos were presented and to what extent the unofficial photographer was being misleading about his experience etc. - and in particular whether clients might book him where they wouldn't if they knew the full facts, but it's not accurate to say outright that the official photographer would have no legal recourse.
     
  53. that an unofficial photographer has published these 'for professional gain'​
    Hi Simon, "for professional gain" seemed to be a drumed up term to me specifically invented to suit the purposes of the paid tog. I don't know much about copyright much less copyright laws in the UK but take the biggest wedding on earh, the Will and Kate wedding. There are numerous unpaid togs camped outside of the palace or church, snapped a few shots and posted them on their websites, many obviously did so for "professional gain". Does the royal family or the paid togs to the royal wedding have the rights to ask all those upaid togs to remove pictures from their sites?
     
  54. Hi Green, no there's not too much wrong with using pics for commercial gain usually (subject to all the usual caveats about model releases/provided the B&G don't mind etc.). Commercial gain is on the whole a good thing.
     
  55. Green - I guess it's how you interpret "for professional gain." The OP stated that the amateur photographer posted these photos on his website as examples of their style of wedding photos as they are trying to establish themselves as a wedding photographer. If he doesn't disclose his true role at the wedding, then it is for professional gain. Pretending he was the official photographer portrays to the client that he was vetted against other photographers when the bride and groom made their choice, and they chose him. They didn't. He didn't meet with them to discuss the wedding. He didn't offer them samples or albums to look at. He didn't converse with them prior to the wedding regarding options for after ceremony locations, or counsel on timelines based on his experience. He didn't answer any questions or offer wedding check lists. He didn't set up lighting equipment, nor did he offer advice on how he handles a wedding when it starts late and ends later, reducing the manageable 1.5 hours to a measly 30 minutes of after ceremony photos. He doesn't offer photographic examples of how he handles a back lit wedding, or a dark church. All he shows are some nice journalistic photos of his friends. It takes more than that to be a wedding photographer. Learn by doing -- but be honest in the process.

    Taking photos of Will and Kate and posting them on your website is a cool thing, but it just proves you have a long lens and were on the grounds. Show me a picture of the Queen talking intimately with her grandson, and you'll hook me. Otherwise, I'm not impressed.
    Can he use the images? Probably. This is more of an ethical issue on the part of the amateur photographer. You can justify anything if you try hard enough. For example....if you won 3rd place in a photo competition hosted by your city's zoo, you would technically be an "award winning photographer." Would it be ethical to advertise yourself as such? I say absolutely not. However, others might think, "hey whatever makes me sound good and gets me business."
    Unfortunately, in this day of instant gratification, there are too many eager and inexperienced wedding photographers that don't want to invest the time and effort to learn what they are doing before they do it. They are cutting their teeth on weddings that they secured through empty promises.
    I'm not saying that this particular amateur can't do the job he portrays that he is paid to do. I'm just saying that for every one lucky break of a good inexperienced photographer, you will get 20 that will not meet the standard. If a buyer is not willing to be thorough before signing a contract, then he or she may be in for a surprise.
     
  56. He has now said that he will be clarifying this on the website, but as the photos are his copyright and no posing, set up or composition was copied or stolen he sees no reason why he should remove them entirely.​
    Maira, the paid tog was paid to provide a service and I don't see how the unpaid tog's action even if it leads up to "professional gain" is any of his concerns.
    As to the ethical side, if the unpaid tog clarifies on his website his position, what does it really mean to the average brides who have no knowledge of photography? They likely won't know the difference between back lighting or harsh direct sunlight. And no bride books photog based on their knowledge on these subjects too.
     
  57. Hey if a wedding couple can't help a friend out looking to add some wedding pics to his/her portfolio then the world has become a pretty sad place.
    Many wedding photographers started out taking pictures at family members weddings that they were invited too. When other family members or friends would see the photos they would often ask them to take some shots at their weddings.
    After the second world war photographers would often show up at churches and shoot on spec hoping to sell some prints to the couple later.
     
  58. Green,
    Re the unpaid photographer. We agree that he should clarify his role at the wedding, and not let the buyer assume he shot those for pay.
    I respectfully disagree with your other point. What do you talk about when you are meeting with a client for the first time? One of the books I show the bride, or the couple, is a self mounted album with prints I select to portray my knowledge of composition, the mechanics of the camera and technical skill based on experience. I flip the pages and then I briefly describe the scenario. "During this wedding, which was at 4:30 p.m. in September, the sun was positioned directly in the back of the church so that they streamed in the back windows. Had I not known how to compensate for that very harsh back lighting, the bride would have come up the aisle as a silhouette." etc. It doesn't take long, and they are duly informed that I know what I'm talking about.
    I disagree that the bride doesn't book a photographer based on knowledge. I've been told more than once that the reason they booked me over other comparable photographers they met with was because of my "passion when talking about photography." They hear it in my voice when I describe scenarios. Which is a good thing, I guess, because I'm not a very gregarious person.
     
  59. And in case you can't figure it out -- my position is to protect the couple from being misled by a person portraying himself as a paid photographer to get the gig. There's a right and a wrong way to advertise yourself as a new photographer. The right way is to say you want to break into the business and will offer you a free or low cost wedding. The bride knows what she's getting and that it may be a bust, but perhaps that's a better alternative than no photos at all. The photographer gets to gain the experience needed as it relates to the whole process. There's more to wedding photography than just taking pictures.
    The wrong way is to post your "journalistic" photos on line without disclosure, and then charge a rate that isn't commensurate with experience. That's deceit.
     
  60. Based on all the info from Brent, the unofficial photographer did nothing wrong, and official photographer is acting like an insecure spoiled child. I do enjoy all the speculation about the unofficial photographers intentions and the quality of his work based on un-verified or supported assumptions since I don't think anyone but Brent has actually seen the wibsite or the photographs. I know if I was shooting a wedding I wouldn't and don't like it if people are keeping me from doing my job, but I don't give a fig if everyone else's photos go up on FB or whatever, why would I? That would be so presumptuous. A wedding isn't about the photographer, the photographer is just another vendor at the job. That's my opinion.
     
  61. the photographer is just another vendor at the job​
    If I felt like that, then I would give up wedding photography, and do something else where I'm 'just doing a job' but more profitable and less effort. To me, the wedding photography is something much more personal, and something I actually care about. Some vendors do turn up, do the job, collect the money, go home, and I always thought it sad, both for them and their clients.
    I don't give a fig if everyone else's photos go up on FB or whatever​
    I don't think many photographers would care if photos went up on Facebook, nor on for example in a photostream on Flickr or on a blog "here's some pics I took as a guest at a wedding, anyone want me to come along and try my hand at taking some pics at their wedding?" and such like. No problem with that whatsoever. But the OP described the situation thus:
    used a selection of photos on their website as examples of their style of wedding photos as they are trying to establish themselves as a wedding photographer.​
    That is quite a different situation. It sounds very much as though the photographer may have a dedicated website where they're holding themselves out to be a wedding photographer, which may not make it clear that it's an amateur who hasn't done a wedding in anger, and that would be a whole different ball game.
    It may be that that isn't the case, and we're just talking about a Facebook gallery or suchlike, but if not, I would have expected the OP to have told us by now.
     
  62. They likely won't know the difference between back lighting or harsh direct sunlight. And no bride books photog based on their knowledge on these subjects​
    I met a bride/potential client last night who specifically asked how I'd handle backlighting during the ceremony. She had a friend who'd got married with a backlit ceremony where the hired photographer's pictures all came out as massively underexposed silhouettes.
    I'm wondering what kind of experience that photographer had with dealing with all the different tricky lighting situations you come across at weddings. Perhaps he'd just shown a selection of snaps he took as a guest at friend's weddings? Whatever, the result was a friend's ruined wedding photos. An experienced professional ought to be able to cope with whatever situation is thrown at them, and backlit ceremonies is a pretty basic and common one.
     
  63. if I felt like that, then I would give up wedding photography​
    You might be mistaking the meaning of what I'm saying here... Any job one takes on should be done with the highest respect and professionalism and hopefully, with love and enjoyment as well. What, I'm saying that in the overall picture of the bride and groom in a wedding, as important as photographs are, wedding photographers should not lose sight that the wedding is the thing. All the others are there to serve the bride and groom. It's not about some photographer's needs. In a situation like this, if the facts are as Brent said, the pro should never even have brought the bride and groom into this. Why does this become their problem? It seems to me that sometimes listening to professional wedding photographers, they act as if the whole event was about meeting their concerns, not the B/G. As important as the photos are to B/G's, and I guarantee you different couple have different sense of how important they are from most important to an afterthought, there are other things also going on that are just as important to them if not more. Yes, make beautiful heart felt photographs that will capture the specialness of the event for them, that's the job, knowing even if they don't get it now, in the future they will appreciate what you've done, but don't lose perspective about what your doing either. Photography is not the only thing going on there.
     
  64. Barry,
    I'm not sure if you are comprehending the message from the photographer's point of view. I confess that I don't remember all the responses, but I don't think I saw anywhere that any photographer was trying to hold photos hostage. Every single photographer I know do not care that other people take photos and post them on Facebook. I agree that the bride and groom should have as many photos as they want. Just don't misrepresent them as having taken them as the pro. That's not too hard to fathom, is it? Share a hundred thousand pictures if you want, just don't mislead the public on what your role is at the wedding.
    Now to your other point. You said, "It seems to me that sometimes listening to professional wedding photographers, they act as if the whole event was about meeting their concerns, not the B/G"
    You're not a wedding photographer, I take it. What exactly do you mean by that? Other than the posting of photos (which I already said isn't a concern to many photographers).
    It's ALL about the bride and groom. They state expectations. We do our best to meet those expectations. We aren't "directing" them to do what we want -- we are adhering as best as we can to their wishes. If you think I'm walking around telling the bride and groom what to do all day, you have no clue what we do.
    However, I am realistic with them. The bride may desperately want to hit three locations within two hours - because "I want as many pictures as possible!" but fails to factor in her 30 groupings in her formal shot list, the time in the receiving line, and the 45 minutes of travel involved. It's my job to tell her that this is a difficult achievement. This doesn't make it about meeting MY concerns -- it's my concern that they are going to be one hell of a stressed out bridal party. It's my job to be able to convey the message and still have them feel good about the decision to consider quality of quantity. It's my job to make sure I get the best shot possible at the ceremony and the reception. It's my job to "go with the flow" when timelines are smashed to pieces. It's my job to be professional and unaffected by any unexpected circumstances that come my way (like a tornado, or the lights not working in a church, or the ceremony running 1/2 hour longer than expected and confessions beginning 1/2 hour sooner than stated, etc., etc., etc.). It's my job to capture emotion. Most of the time that's easy, but sometimes you get a couple that are as emotional as stones -- it's my job to find it. It's my job to nicely explain to cousin Johnnie (who is usually about 10 years old) why he needs to move out of my way when I'm shooting. We don't direct this stuff. It's not about us. It's our JOB to ensure that it remains about them. It's our job to give them exactly what is their heart's desire within the framework that we are given, and convey all communication and demeanor in a way that is as friendly, comfortable, stress and error free as possible.
    So. If a guest wants to get into wedding photography - go for it. I've had so many people come up to me and tell me that, I've lost count. Share the pictures. Give them to the bride and groom as a gift. Just don't pretend to be a wedding photographer until you actually do it for real. It offends me. Why? Because some gullible bride and groom are going to get suckered into hiring an unqualified photographer based on the deception he fed them. If that makes me one of those awful "all about me" photographers that you are complaining about, then so be it.
     
  65. Maira,
    Of course people shouldn't misrepresent their portfolios as a general rule, but there's nothing in any of the facts given in this situation that even suggests the "non-pro" did any such thing. There was what sounds like clear communication by the other photog, he had the B/G's permission to show his photos of the wedding for a portfolio. There's nothing wrong with him or doing that. The professional photographer in this instance comes across to me at least as being a bit of a prima-donna. Where does he get off asking the other guy to take down his photos and then complain to the B/G? Sorry. I'm a photographer too, and I just don't get how that is professional. I really don't have a problem if the new guy puts himself out for hire. If the photos he took are his own creations and represent his skill level than how is it a misrepresentation of his quality? As long as he's honest about his experience, I say I have no right to tell him he or she shouldn't work. In this case, I'm sure you are discussing a general proposition about misrepresenting oneself. Fair enough, but there is nothing in the given facts here that suggested anyone did that.
     
  66. Where does he get off asking the other guy to take down his photos and then complain to the B/G?​
    I completely agreed. The B/G paid their photog to perform a service not to adjudicate a dispute between the paid tog and the unpaid tog. If I am ever in this situation, I would just deal with the unpaid tog myself and not involve the B/G. Looking back, it is rather unprofessional for the paid tog to get the B/G involved unneccsarily.
     
  67. I agree with you Barry if the photos are the other guys own creation then they represent what he could be capable of. If the B&G were happy for him to take them photos then whats the problem. If the B&G want to give a friend some of their time to make so portraits then again whats the problem it's their wedding day. As long as the guy is not representing himself as some kind of experience wedding photograper and is honest with clients about his experience or lack of it then again what is the problem.
    Wedding photography is not rocket science, it's not easy either and it is easy to mess up with no second chances. But shooting in back lit situations, low lighting and difficult lighting situations is something just about every photographer on the planet should be able to do. These are not skills exclusive to wedding photographers or techniques exclusive to wedding photography. These are basic skills that every photographer needs to learn to produce decent compentent photographs.
    As I understand the other guy in this story is not an amature photographer so should have developed these skills already. Worrying about whether he can cope with technical side of photography is not really something to be concerned about. If his style is photojournalistc then he may well not do posed shots but seek out couple that want a more informal approach.
    Now please don't think I agree with the current fashion of buying a DSLR shooting some snaps at a friends wedding and two weeks later setting up a website and selling oneself as a wedding photographer. I sincerely hope and believe that this is not the case here. A wedding is the last place to learn basic photography skills or basic posing skills. Those skills should have been learnt long before going anywhere near someones wedding.
     
  68. I would just like to say sorry to the pro photographer at kirk & laura's wedding in my portfolio here
    on photo.net as the 5 group photos under the tree were set up by her. also the first 4 photos in
    [weddings ]were shot on a photo workshop.
     
  69. the photographer is just another vendor at the job.​
    I agree. I don't do wedding photography but I do play music at weddings sometimes. live music, Photography, Catering, etc. are all just services to enhance the day. There isn't anything special about wedding photography compared to all the other vendors.
     
  70. I would just like to say sorry to the pro photographer​
    Rather than apologise and go ahead and do it, wouldn't it be better just not to show them as examples in your own portfolio?
    I suppose, at least you're not trying to show them on your website for potential clients as examples of your work. I hope!
     
  71. There isn't anything special about wedding photography compared to all the other vendors.
    To put what you said it context to the issues photographers have vs. the caterer or musician. It would be like guests pulling up chairs and playing the harmonica and blow in empty bottles along with you as you play Long Tall Sally. It's like Aunt Sally and Cousin Martha and Sister Susie rolling up their sleeves and elbowing the caterers for counter space because they decided that the bride and groom wants some canoli to remember along with the other desserts.
    And although there may be nothing special about the photographer compared to any other vendor, there is a difference. Whether or not the band packed the dance floor...whether or not the chicken was soggy or cooked to perfection...they become faded memories. Long after the food is eaten and the music is played, the photos are moments of that day that last forever.
    You can argue that all the guests could provide the photos that the bride and groom need. You may be right. If they aren't fussy and particular, they could. If they are satisfied with snapshots (and many are) But. As I have mentioned several times throughout the thread, it's not just about just taking pictures. If you've never shot a full wedding from beginning to end as the hired professional, you will not comprehend what I'm saying. And...if you are a hired pro that thinks wedding photography is so easy that anyone can do it, please speak up now. I'd like to hear your side - maybe I can learn a few things.
    And as far as the other guy who fessed up to his portfolio photos that are from his camera, but staged by someone else....all I can say is that there are a lot of you out there. Buyer beware.
     
  72. and playing the harmonica and blow in empty bottles along with you as you play Long Tall Sally​
    That happens (although there isn't enough money in the world to make me play Long Tall Sally.... or Brown Eyed Girl for that matter!).
     
  73. Steve -- :) Bringing it full circle to the OP. The harmonica player takes a photo of himself playing with your band and you see a flyer at a coffee shop where he advertises himself for hire to play. It would never happen, right, because it is absurd, deceiptful and borderline crazy. That's how I feel about people who advertise themselves as a wedding photographer using photographs taken as a guest.
     
  74. although there isn't enough money in the world to make me play Long Tall Sally​
    Actually, I probably have played Long Tall Sally. I was think of that other Sally, with a Mustang!
    It would never happen, right​
    I'm sure it would. Doesn't make it right though.
     
  75. Somehow we have to leave our ego's at the door. The "Official Photographer" was paid for his work. I know that it's a pain to have other photographers distract our b/g's but it goes with the territory. I believe the pro should have simply ignored the post of the same wedding. While he may loose some business if his work is compared to the emerging photographer and found to be equal or less than, that's not likely at this point. He should use this as a selling tool to educate prospective clients by showing his unique way of seeing a scene or his technical mastery. I'm not saying bad mouth your competition, I'm saying create problem awareness by showing how the dress from your shot maintains details and isn't blown out etc. How timing affects the feel/emotional impact of the picture.
    In short, who cares? The photographer was paid for his services and isn't trying to keep a secret his unique style - after all he posted the pics online where any other photogrpaher can emulate his images. Be confident and sell your experience and ability, if it isn't better than the emerging photographer, you probably need to address your business model...
     
  76. He should use this as a selling tool to educate prospective clients by showing his unique way of seeing a scene or his technical mastery.​
    If he has either of those things (I'm not suggesting he hasn't in this particular case, just generalising).
     
  77. The only reason the main photographer complained was that the images from the amature were good pictures.
     

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