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At a recent wedding at which I was the official shooter, I had quite a problem with a second shooter, (unofficial) and am not sure how I could have handled it?
When I arrived at the venue, a man introduced himself to me as the bride's godfather and said that he had ok'd it with the bride to shoot images during the day.
I was completely ok with this except that what turned out to be happening was he shot every shot the same as me. I did all the work, setting up the groups, setting up the bride and groom who did need some direction, and sorting everybody out, only to turn round and trip over him.
It occurred to me that there was some private arrangement for him to shoot the same shots as me but give them a disk with the images on free, thereby resulting in them not having to buy reprints from me?
I don't see how I could have stopped him but feel a bit p...d off about it.
Am I being unreasonable or is there anything I could have done?
I did, at least, manage to get the B & G away to get some shots of them, and he missed those, he also missed the evening shots 'cos he didn't have a decent flashgun!
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MMMmm Tricky one, Did you have an assistant?
If nothing else they can be very usefull for being in the way of other Togs......
We get this regularly and there's an easy way to deal with it.
First time you turn around and bump into him , apologise. Next time you bump into him, politely but firmly ask him to go join the rest of the guests as he's getting in your way. If there is a third time, you get the Best Man (whose job it is to deal with problems on the day) to remove him altogether.
If the B&G object, the question is simple - either he goes or I go. As their paying me, I always get my way...
You could have it in your contract that nobody with Pro level equipment is allowed to shoot images, but I think that'd be messy to explain and to police on the day.
I personally think you'll find that comparing his shots to yours will be a no-contest. You have the faces and reactions that 99% of couples are looking for.
You need a thicker chin and some good one liners
try this one.
"hi, are you the guy they didn't trust to shoot the wedding for them !"
I'll get my hubby to say that one!
You could always just brass-neck it and ask him straight if he's trying to do you out of some hard-earned profits. Just make sure you ask him in front of the rest of the guests.... loudly.
I totally agree with Andy in that he may have been at the same spot, but I doubt he's got the same quality of shots. They hired you for a reason. No point getting involved in disputes over who takes pictures with pro cameras, it's supposed to be a happy day - still, you are totally in the right to be firm if he gets in the way.
Hope it all works out.
Trudy, my only advice is to say,
great I need help getting the guests in line can you do that for me, it will be such a help having someone who understands photography. And we all know there has to be only one photographer active to get the subjects focus.
And then announce to everyone
I will be taking group photo's so please give me space to work and I will call you all in for shots as we change the groups.
Tactic 1 make him worry about grouping etc and let yourself stay in command, plus you can send him to the bar etc looking for the missing person .
tactic 2 means that he will have to photograph at the same time as granny and aunty Betty plus the subjects will be restless and thinking of their drinks.
I know I am not the most experienced but I did evaluate the option of doing wedding photo's but my business case relied on me selling a package to cover the work, re-prints I was going to offer at a nominal charge up to avoid such issues.
Quote: You could always just brass-neck it and ask him straight if he's trying to do you out of some hard-earned profits. Just make sure you ask him in front of the rest of the guests.... loudly.
Oof, although I don't like this - I think bringing up money to the guests is vulgar and makes you look unprofessional.
What about saying.. Errhhm, hows it going.... I am the photographer here today. I would appreciate you allowing me to taking the pictures for the guests. If you want to take some of your own snaps then do please go outside and do so but right now I have to get my job done. Thank you very much
Give him a reflector to hold and tell him the ideal spot is under that tree in that field over there...
Quote: You could have it in your contract that nobody with Pro level equipment is allowed to shoot images, but I think that'd be messy to explain and to police on the day.
That's a bit unfair on folk that have decent equipment but don't class themselves anywhere near pro level.
I can fully see Trudy's grievance especially if the other shooter had some sort of arrangement with the B&G and the fact that he was doing every shot Trudy was doing. However if he had a point and shoot would that have been acceptable? To have a blanket ban on someone just because of their equipment is verging on discrimination.
I'm not sure the best way to deal with it as the last thing you want to do is cause a scene. Maybe approach the best man and tell him he is getting in the way or his flash when coinciding with yours will make the pictures too bright and ruined. You could probably tell him any kind of horror story re the pictures and I'm sure he wouldn't be long in getting rid of the godfather.
Andy's right, You should alienate the person, if they are a guest get them in the images. If not what I have done is make an excuse to sort my camera and let the groom or best man know that the problem still exists as long as the person is still there. That normally gets them moved away quickly.
Never say it to the bride they are very highly strung at thier own wedding and images of a crying bride don't go down to well.
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