What is a good reason to leave a wedding

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by etphoto, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. Just curious what everyone's opinion is on this. Thank you lord this hasn't come up with any of my weddings but with an elderly father and mother I've often wondered what I would do if it did.
    I don't think I have to go into the importance of wedding photography for the client. Hopefully for them, its the ONE time they will be getting married and capturing the moment correctly as it unfolds is one of the most important reasons to hire a professional. Just what outside occurrence has to occur for you, the photographer, to pack up and leave early, even during a ceremony? Does a phone call from your wife that you're mom/dad was just hospitalized reach that level? Leaving the wedding early and getting to the hospital doesn't ensure your parent will pull through. Getting to the hospital only helps you, not them. What about a call that your wife was just injured in an accident? Your child? I hope I never have to make that call.
  2. no thank you. I have an aversion to hypothetical bummers... t
  3. Ed,
    I don't have my phone on me (or turned on) while I'm shooting an event so I don't worry about this. The odds of something really bad happening aren't zero, but close enough to zero that I don't think about them.
    I know that these days everybody seems to be "connected" constantly — but I don't find it necessary to live in the 21st century all the time. In addition to turning my phone off (or simply not having it with me) when shooting, I also leave my phone in the car when I go into church, turn it off at dinner, during meetings with clients, etc.
  4. Wow, what a question!
    If I ever found myself having to choose between a moral/ethical commitment and a legal contractual obligation, I will breach a contract over a violation of morals or ethics every time.
    Why? because the loss to the bride/groom in the hypothetical wedding can always be compensated financially or re-staged as a substitute, but a breach of moral or ethical commitment can never be compensated in any other way than the fulfillment of it.
  5. I guess you could stay home 24/7, and sit by your phone and wait for what you think are inevitable events. No working out of the house, no traveling by air, no getting too far from home.
    I know what I'd do--and have done--is chose a life.
  6. Well both parents died on the weekends. Still did the weddings. It's not easy. I shot one wedding when I was
    pretty sick, the flu, 103 degree temperature. I guess you just have to do the job. The people getting married don't
    care, well they probably do care, however they want you to capture the wedding event.

    When situations happen, it's best not to say anything to the couple. This could wreck their wedding moment.
  7. Do the job. That may be very hard but unless a child were suddenly in a dire situation I'd have to do the job. Even then I'd have to find someone to fill in before leaving the event. I wouldn't say anything to the couple unless I was turning the job over.
    Rick H.
  8. My phone is off during weddings. My husband is at home and knows not to even leave me a message because there's nothing I can or will do. I'll photograph the wedding, go home and whatever happened in the meantime ... well, will have happened in the meantime.
    I've photographed a wedding after a dog bite, drove myself to the hospital afterwards and got treatment. Photographed a wedding with broken ribs, after sitting through a night watching over one of our dogs after cancer surgery ... the list is endless. In short: I made a commitment to photograph my couples' weddings and unless I'm dead or gravely injured, I'm going to be doing just that.
  9. I have to say, this is for sure one of the hardest situations for a photographer and it's a great topic to bring up.

    You should have something written in your wedding contracts. The phrase "AN ACT OF GOD." This wording in a
    contract is pretty much a must, at least in the US. A while back, maybe 3 years, someone on this site wrote
    saying he or she got into a car accident when going to a wedding. I wish I could recall more information of what
    happened. Perhaps someone remembers or the person that this happened to will pop in and tell us about it.

    Off the topic. My holiday presents were a new fish eye lens, a new 9000f Canon scanner that scans medium
    format film as well as 35mm! Can't wait for the new wedding season! At weddings I only use the fish eye for a few
    shots, but for some reason this is my favorite lens.
  10. Ed, I would not keep a phone on, while doing such an "over my head" job as shooting a wedding. - I also wouldn't run a car radio while driving through a village without trafic lights, where I have to sense others coming across corners to give them their right of way. Some things simply benefit from my undiluted attention.

    Work is work & fate is fate. I 'd ask my wife now, if she feels able to put food on the family table after that call ends my career. - If she doesn't, I'd beg her to flush her soul elsewhere, while I am out to shoot weddings and would start practising turning the phone off.

    There is nothing wrong with doing an "everybody alive?" call when you finished closing your camera bag for the day. In a worst case a shock knocks you out or you crash your car while speeding to the hospital, but well your memory cards should survive that.

    Sorry if I sound too cynic. All I know: I shoot better when I'm 125% into that. There is verbal input that can knock me out physically for abot 10 minutes and other that can derail me mentally for quite a while.

    I don't know how much you involve your family into your business but "covering the genius' back while he is out to work" is something you should demand, even although you are most likely a better multi tasker than me.

    If you are really worried: maybe try to organize an emergency plan for the rest of the family? - I.e. a bag of convenience supplies half prepacked half planned for each of your parents, that your wife could drop at the hospital "just in case" while you are still out? - I guess your branch of the family showing it's flag over there should be morally enough till you get over a few hours later.
    Also figure out when in a wedding schedule would be a good point to pack up, rush out and get away with just charging nothing for what you did so far to compensate the couple and make them happy.
    Put that point & scenarios into your contracts, break your "radio silence" once you are there.
    In an ideal world your wife should get your backup shooter going, send them to your location, share the bad news & instructions while handing you the keys of the cheapest car you all have.
    Good luck.
  11. For those saying to not keep a phone on. Doesn't anyone know where you are? If my wife knew I was at a venue photographing a wedding she would call that venue or even have someone drive there to notify me of an emergency situation. I don't mean to sound cold hearted, but me going to a hospital doesn't help the patient, it only makes be feel better. Whats a few hours wait? Now, if my child was there, that's different. I'd probably leave the wedding.
  12. The situation, Thankfully, has never come up. My father did pass on a Saturday, but it was on an off weekend. My wife knows where I am and that I don't / won't answer a phone during a wedding.
    If one of my kids was ill, injured, etc.. I probably would leave to be at their side.
    The only other excuse for leaving is something happening to the wedding party, couple or wedding venue.
  13. I don't have the iron will of an emergency responder or someone whose job oversees the safety of others all while being prepared to sacrifice my own.
    It's just a job, and I'm not willing to put that ahead of my close personal relationships. If I have to leave, I have to leave (assuming I can even get wherever it is I'm needed in time). Missing one wedding because of a personal tragedy won't ruin my career. If prospective clients think it should, then they're not the clients I want.
    We're wedding photographers, not presidents or army generals.

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