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Archive 2012 · A new kind of "photobombing"
  
 
Ian Ivey
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p.1 #1 · A new kind of "photobombing"


I suppose this is as good a reason as any to get some studio space.

I met a prospective client and her mom tonight at a local bakery/coffee place. We sat at a round table big enough for three; there were tables behind mom, and a booth behind me. The booth behind me was occupied by a big fella and his wife, who had a laptop and other equipment on their table, not going anywhere.

The bride, mom, and I talked for a good hour about their goals for photography, about the wedding day schedule, about my shooting style. They watched a little slide show on the iPad to see some samples. They asked questions about products.

At one point, the bride made a remark that mom and I found amusing. As we were all laughing, mom said, "...at least we're entertaining this man over here," and pointed to the guy sitting directly behind me, in the booth.

It quickly became apparent that he had been conspicuously listening in and observing us, and mom was indicating that he was laughing along with us.

As I turn to see what's going on, he announces, "Well, I'm also a photographer, so I'm enjoying watching you all discuss your daughter's wedding."

At this point, I begin to experience an odd sensation -- a strong desire to behave in a way that I can only describe as merely suicidal, given the sheer size of the guy speaking (I'm a pretty small guy). The sensation heightens considerably when, instead of politely withdrawing, he continues to address the mother:

"And I agree with what he's (pointing to me) saying about the value of wedding coordinators. In my experience, you want a coordinator, and I'd go even further and say that moms make the worst coordinators, because they need to be ..." and he goes on about this for a considerable time.

Maybe this wasn't a "photobombing," so much as a "photojacking."

There's more. Mom and the bride engage with him and ask him a question or two, and he proceeds to scare them with a little list of things to worry about. This just cremates my approach, which of course is to address client concerns, and reassure them. So, now, near the end of our conversation, instead of feeling calm and happy about meeting with me, the bride is considerably more nervous than she was before.

I finally politely wrest control of the conversation back, and we spend our last five minutes or so wrapping up. As I stand up, this guy interjects again, and in a big, friendly voice, says, "You sir, I need your card." I give him one. His wife reaches for her pocketbook and hands me his card, which I accept, and thank them, and turn to get the clients out the door.

And that's when -- I'm sure you've now seen it coming -- his wife reaches around behind me and hands his card to mom, as well.

And a number of bad words are all struggling against my strongest filters to escape my lips. I kept them bottled up, though I may have let a few escape when I got in the car.

Tell me, FM, how is this even possible? Are ethics dead? And manners? What planet am I on?

Edited on Aug 17, 2012 at 04:09 AM · View previous versions



Aug 17, 2012 at 02:00 AM
stevez32
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p.1 #2 · A new kind of "photobombing"


W O W


Aug 17, 2012 at 02:05 AM
ckhagen
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p.1 #3 · A new kind of "photobombing"


The conversation he had with your client was one thing (not cool but forgivable). The wife handing the mom his card was reprehensible. Ugh!

If I were in his position and it became obvious enough that I had to admit I was a fellow photog, I would just prop you up nicely and leave it at that.

I've run into a friend before while they were meeting with someone in a panera and I did say hey, didnt even mention I was a photog, but just looked at the clients and said "she's awesome you should hire her!". how to win friends...



Aug 17, 2012 at 02:07 AM
jcolman
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p.1 #4 · A new kind of "photobombing"


That guy deserves a room full of Bob's shooting over, above and behind him at his next wedding. What he did is totally unprofessional.


Aug 17, 2012 at 02:09 AM
whtrbt7
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p.1 #5 · A new kind of "photobombing"


Post their names on here and we'll go hunt them down . That's just poor manners and considered "poaching". I would have thrown hot coffee on them. Just kidding BTW. You serve them a Cease and Desist and you can sue them for damages later.

If you post their information here and we blacklist them, it's another way of getting satisfaction.



Aug 17, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Inku Yo
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p.1 #6 · A new kind of "photobombing"


Wait.. Virginia? DC area? Husband and wife photographers? Hmmm...


Aug 17, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Ian Ivey
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p.1 #7 · A new kind of "photobombing"


Wait.. Virginia? DC area? Husband and wife photographers? Hmmm...

Inku, I did my best to disguise your identity -- I even said the guy was really big.



Aug 17, 2012 at 02:17 AM
tobicus
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p.1 #8 · A new kind of "photobombing"


stevez32 wrote:
W O W


My thoughts exactly.



Aug 17, 2012 at 02:19 AM
maxwell1295
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p.1 #9 · A new kind of "photobombing"


Ian, you are a better man than most...


Aug 17, 2012 at 02:26 AM
ACRe
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p.1 #10 · A new kind of "photobombing"


Are ethics dead? Being an older guy, I have watched the decline of ethics for the last thirty years -- and lamented their loss. To point a finger, it isn't like our leaders are modeling good ethics for all us civilians, starting really with Richard Nixon.

That aside, what you went through was crap. Hopefully, she will see what a putz he is and lock you down.

Andrew



Aug 17, 2012 at 02:38 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



cineski
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p.1 #11 · A new kind of "photobombing"


My thoughts are: Why worry about this other guy? You were probably so shaken up by this whole thing the bride was freaking out by your energy. That's what killed you.


Aug 17, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Ghost
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p.1 #12 · A new kind of "photobombing"


I think playing cool is the best you can do. There's no point getting into a pissy affair. It will just sour yourself with your clients. Let's hope your clients don't end up seeking 'advice' from this husband/wife team. I too think the wife handing the card is just unprofessional.




Aug 17, 2012 at 02:42 AM
amonline
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p.1 #13 · A new kind of "photobombing"


I think you're worrying too much this soon. However, you didn't say much about reinforcing your client's faith and trust in you in the end. I hope you didn't just let his conversation be the bulk of how the meeting concluded. BTW, does he/they actually do weddings? I would give him a call and tell him the business card thing was inappropriate. I don't care how much bigger the guy is, that's just BS.

Regardless, let your work speak for itself.

Oh, and cough up the name. I wanna see what he has to offer for stepping on toes.



Aug 17, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Ian Ivey
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p.1 #14 · A new kind of "photobombing"


After I said farewell to mom and bride outside the store, I went back inside to get some bagels, and then walked over and talked with him for a few minutes. Friendly enough guy -- I get the sense that he just lacked common sense, or social awareness, or some such thing.

I didn't bring up his interference, I just wanted to take his temperature -- mainly out of curiosity, because his behavior was just so spectacular.

He was looking at my web site when I walked over to chat with him. We talked shop for a minute. He asked me what I shoot with. He has a stock photo of a D3 + 85 f/1.4 on the front of his card, so I inferred that it represented his equipment, and said I also shoot with a D3/D3s combo. He waved and expressed envy and said he shoots with a couple of Sony bodies and a D70. At that point, I realized I was probably talking to someone who aspired to shoot weddings, but who had probably only shot one or two, and really had no clear concept of the work it takes to attract prospects.

Even giving him that benefit of the doubt, it's still preposterous behavior, but at least I left with an amusing story.



Aug 17, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Ian Ivey
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p.1 #15 · A new kind of "photobombing"


Alan wrote:
I think you're worrying too much this soon.

Yeah, "worried" isn't where I am -- the bride either will or won't book, and I'm okay either way. The right word is "bewildered." It was just so hilariously over the top, I had to share the story with all you storytellers.

I'm annoyed not because I'm worried about him poaching the client, but because it disrupted my conversation with the prospective clients. The card-behind-the-back was outrageous, but in my judgment poses only a small threat. It's the interruption that really got my goat.

I hope you didn't just let his conversation be the bulk of how the meeting concluded.

Definitely not. Worked hard to get back on track, and blocked several possible openings for him to re-insert himself, and ended on a fairly good note. But the interruption definitely hurt the flow, which is what made me sad.



Aug 17, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #16 · A new kind of "photobombing"


that is a screwy crazy story ...wowzers.

i am with amonline.... if the name slips .... darn if there was a little web surfing/facebook surfing.



Aug 17, 2012 at 04:10 AM
DavidM5
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p.1 #17 · A new kind of "photobombing"


Ian Ivey wrote:
He has a stock photo of a D3 + 85 f/1.4 on the front of his card, so I inferred that it represented his equipment, and said I also shoot with a D3/D3s combo. He waved and expressed envy and said he shoots with a couple of Sony bodies and a D70.


A stock photo of a D3 on his card?
That alone says tons...he's a wannabe.

I wouldn't worry about him trying to steal your client.



Aug 17, 2012 at 04:18 AM
NathanHamler
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p.1 #18 · A new kind of "photobombing"


Wow i'd be pissed...i did meet with a couple one time at Panera, while i was waiting i noticed a couple and parents a couple tables over meeting with a videographer...so i met with my clients, as i was leaving, they were walking out as well, i held the door for them on the way out, and asked if they had a photographer for their wedding yet...they said they actually had just booked one...so i said cool, sounds good, and congratulations on getting married...they seemed cool about the solicitation...

But i agree, meeting in public places can be a drag sometimes....

And yes, please divuldge the name by accident... :-)



Aug 17, 2012 at 04:24 AM
mccallmedia
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p.1 #19 · A new kind of "photobombing"


Ian Ivey wrote:
He has a stock photo of a D3 + 85 f/1.4 on the front of his card, so I inferred that it represented his equipment, and said I also shoot with a D3/D3s combo. He waved and expressed envy and said he shoots with a couple of Sony bodies and a D70.


The D4 must not have been out yet when he printed his cards. Hopefully the "website" on the card is a link to his facebook page for the icing on the cake.

In all seriousness though I wouldn't worry about this guy stealing your business but I completely understand being pissed off at the situation. I would have called him out right then and there when he handed the card but I tend to be outspoken that way. That's a pretty retarded business strategy.



Aug 17, 2012 at 08:27 AM
sherijohnson
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p.1 #20 · A new kind of "photobombing"


what a piece of work, both of them


Aug 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM
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