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Archive 2012 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when yo...
  
 
Johnny B Goode
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p.1 #1 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


It's wedding season and the inevitable is bound to happen; you have a friend/relative getting married and they invite you to be part of the wedding party. This means a hired photographer posing/coordinating/orchestrating the sequence. Banking on the fact that no matter how good you are its logistically unfeasible to stay on any sort of time table if most of your shots are self portraits, that hired photographer is most likely not you (I suppose you could get away with it if you're an usher and only in a few shots).

Truly you only want the best for the bride and groom. Do you critique his/her gear? Do you trust his vision from behind the lens? Do you zip your lips and stay incognito out of respect for the profession? Do you stay incognito so your suggestions don't come off as pretentious?


On top of all that -this person getting married chose you to be in the wedding party signaling you out as one of the most important people in their life. I'm willing to bet there are moments you'd like to capture with your own equipment. Do you bring your dslr (pro or non pro?) or maybe a less conspicuous P&S or mirrorless? Or maybe you resist the urge?

This discussion of how you should act is open to all skill levels; from the enthusiastic enthusiast to the top dollar pro what's your take?


Edited on Jul 11, 2012 at 02:22 AM · View previous versions



Jul 11, 2012 at 02:19 AM
tobicus
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p.1 #2 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


If you aren't the hired photographer, the best thing to do is to let the hired photographer do his or her job.


Jul 11, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Johnny B Goode
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p.1 #3 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


Obviously it's best to let them do their job.

So maybe this is better discussed from the other side of the camera.
As a professional hired for a wedding: letís hear anecdotes/conversations that have provided inspiration or annoyed the piss out of you.



Jul 11, 2012 at 02:37 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #4 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


Leave your camera at home and keep your mouth shut.

If you make any "critique" to the bride and groom, you'll only upset them and cause concern on their wedding day. Some friend you'd be!

If you try to "help" the pro, you'll only irritate him and make the photos worse because he's not working at his best when irritated. Some friend you'd be for worsening the outcome of the photography in your misguided attempt to help.

And leave your own camera at home and enjoy being in the moment rather than experiencing life through a lens.



Jul 11, 2012 at 02:53 AM
marti.g3
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p.1 #5 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


Either you're a groomsman or a photographer, but don't try to be both.


Jul 11, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #6 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


marti.g3 wrote:
Either you're a groomsman or a photographer, but don't try to be both.

^^^^^ this.

it is bad form to try and snipe pictures at every possible opportunity.
We become better shooters when we enjoy moments and be apart of an event we are invited to.

Part of shooting and shooting with a purpose is to understand your clientele. look at it as an opportunity to enjoy your friends special day and SILENTLY observing from the other side of the camera if you must.

Otherwise enjoy the party and forget about shooting.



Jul 11, 2012 at 03:06 AM
jprezant
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p.1 #7 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


if a member of the wedding party had a 5d over his shoulder and kept whipping it out, I would be pretty annoyed.


Jul 11, 2012 at 03:18 AM
larhouser
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p.1 #8 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


They are sure to hire a photo'g they like the work of - regardless of your opinions re: the gear and technique he uses.

Sit back, relax and enjoy sharing an important memory with friends!



Jul 11, 2012 at 03:20 AM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #9 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


The time to give your input is before they hire someone. After that it's time to shut your mouth and not ruin it for them and simply enjoy their day with them. If they wanted photos from you they would have hired you. Enjoy the party simple as that.

If you do say anything you'll just make them worry or make the photographer annoyed or nervous or whatever. Nothing is going to change for the better by you saying something or telling them how to do their job.



Jul 11, 2012 at 03:20 AM
KibblesNbitz
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p.1 #10 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


If anyone told me what to do or offered "suggestions" I'd be really pissed off. First of all, 9 times out of 10 the person making "suggestions" is actually some amateur or $500 special photographer, but even if they were some super amazing photographer, I still wouldn't want their input during a wedding, because then it wouldn't be my style of coverage, which is why the couple hired me in the first place. Leave the camera at home, and enjoy the night.

I've had it happen to me. I was photographing the cake cutting, and some MomWAC bossily told me, "Stand here, stand here for the shot!" to which I gave her a look like "Yeah, okay, sure lady" and then I completely ignored her "advice" and didn't move at all. Got an awesome shot because I stuck with what I had in mind when I purposely stood there.


In short, keep your mouth shut!



Jul 11, 2012 at 03:30 AM
 

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SloPhoto
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p.1 #11 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


We had this situation recently. We helped them find a photographer. They chose an awesome one. Their photos will rock.

If they were forced to go the budget route or had gone with an untested photographer, I would not say a word unless things went really really really bad.



Jul 11, 2012 at 03:46 AM
teebat
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p.1 #12 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


You really have to ask these questions? Most working (pro) photographers when invited to a wedding/party/event do NOT bring their gear because they want to have a good time and don't want to be the PITA uncle bobber. Let alone critize the working photographers gear.


Jul 11, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Johnny B Goode
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p.1 #13 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


KibblesNbitz wrote:
I've had it happen to me. I was photographing the cake cutting, and some MomWAC bossily told me, "Stand here, stand here for the shot!" to which I gave her a look like "Yeah, okay, sure lady" and then I completely ignored her "advice" and didn't move at all. Got an awesome shot because I stuck with what I had in mind when I purposely stood there.

In short, keep your mouth shut!


I feel like stories similar to this MUST happen all the time.



Jul 11, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Johnny B Goode
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p.1 #14 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


teebat wrote:
You really have to ask these questions? Most working (pro) photographers when invited to a wedding/party/event do NOT bring their gear because they want to have a good time and don't want to be the PITA uncle bobber. Let alone critize the working photographers gear.



No I don't have to ask these questions, but in light of some recent experiences I got to thinking...

the first of which:
A friend who is a working wedding photographer was in his brother's wedding. He told me the vibe during the session was "off" and it didn't seem to be working. He used his experience to evoke reactions, emotions, and create a better atmosphere. He's charismatic and apparently knew how to subtly create the scenes (or the energy to make the moments happen) so the photographer could get the good shots. The photographer probably didn't even know what this friend was doing.




Jul 11, 2012 at 04:25 AM
DwightD
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p.1 #15 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


Long time lurker here - had to register to post to this topic. While we no longer are officially in business, we still do some charitable shoots and still have most of our gear. My daughter recently got married, and as the father of the bride, I was to walk her down the aisle, of course. My wife and I also offered to shoot the wedding for them as our present.

Not sure we'll do that again.

I was in my "photographer mode" more than "Daddy mode" and didn't really get to enjoy the day because I was "on". The video (by someone else) was very moving and meaningful when I viewed it, because I hadn't really viewed the wedding as a Dad, but through the viewfinder.

I believe we got some good stuff of the day for them, but missed some things because I was out from behind the camera during the processional and father/daughter dance, and some outdoor work because of the awful heat.

When we work up the images to create the album, I think we can deliver a stunning product to my girl, but would I do that again?

Probably not - I'll either be in the wedding party, or shoot their wedding as a gift, but not both.

And it's been suggested here to just be in the wedding and keep your mouth shut toward a hired gun. I second that, unless you're sure you can contribute positively such as Johnny B Goode described.

In my case, the groom was an ex wedding photog - before hand that was a bit intimidating, but during the wedding he was very good to work with and never ever crossed the line to telling us what to do.

Interesting experience - a first, and probably last.

DwightD



Jul 11, 2012 at 02:26 PM
ckhagen
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p.1 #16 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


Take your photographer hat off and lock it in the closet.

Am I the only one who has zero desire to meddle in my friends photography choices and doesn't even think about bringing my camera (besides maybe my iPhone) to a wedding I'm a guest at? I just feel like after you shoot a million of them, there's nothing more exciting than just *being* at one and enjoying the friends and family and the food etc... Taking out a camera just sucks the experience out of it.



Jul 11, 2012 at 02:38 PM
goosemang
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p.1 #17 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


I was in a wedding last month and didn't bring any gear. in fact I didn't even talk to the photographers about photography at all. I wanted to relax and enjoy the day, and I figured the photographers didn't want to feel like someone may be judging them or whatever.

sometimes you have to put the gear down and participate a little



Jul 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Mitch W
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p.1 #18 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


I'm actually going to my best friend's son's wedding this weekend. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to just hanging out with friends, partying, and enjoying the day! I personally couldn't care less about what the photographer will be doing as I will be in full-on guest mode!


Jul 11, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Manzelle
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p.1 #19 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


My plan at a friend's wedding is to get tar-tar with other friends, not to take photos or give unsolicited advice.


Jul 11, 2012 at 02:54 PM
sherijohnson
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p.1 #20 · Etiquette for Photographers in the Wedding Party (when you're not hired)


SO I have to share this story, it is not real, I woke up from a dream this morning that really messed with my brain. In my dream I was in the wedding party of my best friend and they had a timeline that was detailed down to every minute detail for the wedding party.... I was focused on being in the right place at the right time for preparation, etc. Then all of a sudden I start wondering if memory failed me regarding if I was hired to provide a photo booth or any of the wedding photography.... because of course you can't really be IN the wedding AND be the photographer. So in the dream I did find out that I was hired but that for some reason all of the follow up and payments weren't addressed and what in the world was I doing in the wedding party.... so it was a messed up dream and I am glad it's not reality and it never will be.... SO to answer your question, you shouldn't be attempting to do any photos, let the photographer do their job and just be a good friend and be IN the pictures.


Jul 11, 2012 at 03:29 PM
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