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Archive 2012 · down with bad vendor meals
  
 
joelconner
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p.4 #1 · down with bad vendor meals


sboerup wrote:
I hear a lot of photographers that have things "in their contract" that seem so far fetched it's a joke, some of them include:
1. Getting fed at the wedding. Are you really going to walk out and throw a tantrum because you got fed last, or didnt get fed at all? And just because its in the contract makes you justified? I don't see why this is in the contract.
2. No other photographers allowed. Last time I checked we live in a free country, and if you can't handle other "photographers" during the wedding day, then maybe you shouldn't be
...Show more

We have both of these things in our contract, but they are there in such a way that I think they are quite reasonable and actually help both of us.

1) We state that we will either need to eat at the reception or that we would need 30-45 minutes break to acquire food and eat. Everyone always just chuckles as says that "of course we are going to feed you!."

2) We state that when other photographers are present, it can pose problems with the final outcome of their photos, and if they allow their guests free reign with cameras, they need to be aware that shots can be messed up. I use this point to talk about what can happen with Uncle Bob's and such. I clearly tell them that I am not put off by normal people taking normal photos in a normal way, but that there are worst case scenarios that happen all the time.

I think so much of it comes down to tone and attitude on our end, as many have suggested. I do tend to agree with those who say that we are the hired professionals and we need to just get over ourselves. I have only ever had two vendor meals before out of 80+ weddings, and even though at the time, I admit, I did feel a bit bothered, looking back I realize that it was such a small thing to be bothered about...especially considered that these were both couples that we never really established a good friendship (like we do with so many of our couples).

I just saw a post someone made on another forum complaining to the ends of the earth about her vendor meal at a swanky reception where it was nearly $300 a plate. Personally, I would not be giving my photographers a $600 tip just so they could eat what I am eating...even if I did really like them. I understand everyone's frustrations about the food, and even though we think that what we do is the most important thing ever, we are just one cog in the wheel of their wedding. if you know the food situation is going to be an issue, prepare yourself for it by making other arrangements. If we lived in a place where that was more common, we sure as hell would figure out a way we can still eat!

That being said, though...I do fully agree that in the times when you are being fed that the catering companies should understand that you need to be fed early. That just seems stupid and childish for them to act that way.



Nov 01, 2012 at 03:00 PM
jmraso
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p.4 #2 · down with bad vendor meals


sboerup wrote:
2. No other photographers allowed. Last time I checked we live in a free country, and if you can't handle other "photographers" during the wedding day, then maybe you shouldn't be photographing weddings as it's only going to get worse. What if the bride hired two caterers? Would they be duking it out in the back room over how many guests liked their food more than the other?
3. Videographer disturbance. This to me is another cop-out, that you cannot perform your job because another hired creative with a camera is there to capture motion instead of stills. Just because its
...Show more

This is true but it kind of warns the B&G about other´s misbehaving if it happens so.

No intention to get off-topic



Nov 01, 2012 at 03:11 PM
cordellwillis
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p.4 #3 · down with bad vendor meals


sboerup wrote:
Not that these things shouldn't be considered or communicated to the bride, but having them in the contract makes no sense to me. Whenever I hear photographers tell me "oh, its in the contract for XYZ" it always sounds like an excuse for improper behavior or business policies.


You're taking it far too literal. Like all contracts it's a helpful way of doing things; a reminder if you will. A return policy of 30 days after purchase can be viewed the same way; if you try to return something on the 31st day the store can stick with the "contract" (your receipt) or be cool about it. I believe most will be perfectly fine with it because it's good business. Meals in the contract, no other photographers, etc work the same way.

Some clients don't think about breaks (nourishment) during an 8hour day of shooting. I'm sure with many of us it's a simple matter of requesting a meal or time for a meal.



Nov 01, 2012 at 03:34 PM
TRReichman
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p.4 #4 · down with bad vendor meals


canerino wrote:
So I never understood the animosity that caters have when we make a simple request to get fed sooner.


I don't think it is animosity as much as the fact that the caterer has an important, time-sensitive, quality-dependent job to do and an audience of hundreds (usually) to please. There is a lot of pressure and there are many stakeholders in the performance of their duties. If you put yourself in their shoes for a moment I think it is reasonable to understand why the other vendors have to take a lower position on their list of priorities, right?

I recently worked a huge wedding with a great caterer that I'm close to. It was a 5-course meal, a late evening wedding, and things were running behind. They were sweating it trying to feed 300 people at a very big-deal wedding 5 courses and they were doing their best to manage the situation. Dinner ended up finishing about 40 minutes late. As soon as the plates were down the wedding events were back on track and the schedule moved. We didn't get fed, and we were totally fine with it. I don't hate the caterer, I sympathize with them. The last thing I wanted to do while they were in the trenches was to pile on and make a big deal about my meal.

We have a choice about which relationships we make adversarial. We're looking at our struggle on the day, and just like us other people are struggling to get their jobs done too. My solution is be the bigger person in the moment then go out and commiserate over it as friends. In fact, I'm buying that caterer dinner this week as we celebrate making it through the huge event. We're friends -we're on the same side.

I'm curious if you guys see things differently from the other side of the situation. Who do you want to work with - the person who rolls with the punches, who doesn't make personal demands, who gets their job done with a smile on their face and solves problems instead of creating them? Or the person that bitches about temporary things? How would you feel if your second shooter made a big deal about when they eat when you need them shooting vital events? How would you feel if your hired second made a big deal about not wanting the perfectly adequate meal you provided and made your job more difficult by demanding something else in the moment?

- trr



Nov 01, 2012 at 03:44 PM
joelconner
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p.4 #5 · down with bad vendor meals


TRReichman wrote:
Who do you want to work with - the person who rolls with the punches, who doesn't make personal demands, who gets their job done with a smile on their face and solves problems instead of creating them? Or the person that bitches about temporary things? How would you feel if your second shooter made a big deal about when they eat when you need them shooting vital events? How would you feel if your hired second made a big deal about not wanting the perfectly adequate meal you provided and made your job more difficult by demanding something else
...Show more

bingo.



Nov 01, 2012 at 03:46 PM
jmraso
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p.4 #6 · down with bad vendor meals


TRReichman wrote:
canerino wrote:
make a big deal about my meal.



Last time I made that I was in my mother´s arms 44 years ago


Edited on Nov 01, 2012 at 04:19 PM · View previous versions



Nov 01, 2012 at 04:14 PM
canerino
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p.4 #7 · down with bad vendor meals


TRReichman wrote:
I recently worked a huge wedding with a great caterer that I'm close to. It was a 5-course meal, a late evening wedding, and things were running behind. They were sweating it trying to feed 300 people at a very big-deal wedding 5 courses and they were doing their best to manage the situation. Dinner ended up finishing about 40 minutes late. As soon as the plates were down the wedding events were back on track and the schedule moved. We didn't get fed, and we were totally fine with it. I don't hate the caterer, I sympathize with them.
...Show more


I recently worked a middle of the road wedding with a very good caterer that I dont know at all. It was a salad/dinner/dessert meal and things were perfectly on time. I had a good rapport with the head of the catering business throughout the day. They did a really great job. I had a busy timeline after dinner. The caterer approached me and said that the meals would be coming out at the end of dinner. I very kindly requested that if there was any way we could eat sooner rather than later it would really help with the tight timeline at the end of the night. You would think that I was telling her that I planned to sell the USA's secrets to the Russians. She told me that I wouldnt be eating until after everyone else.

I didnt make a big deal out of it at all...she did. I made a very reasonable request and she turned it into something bigger than it actually was.



Nov 01, 2012 at 04:16 PM
jmraso
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p.4 #8 · down with bad vendor meals




I didnt make a big deal out of it at all...she did. I made a very reasonable request and she turned it into something bigger than it actually was.


I can picture her !!!



Nov 01, 2012 at 04:22 PM
sboerup
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p.4 #9 · down with bad vendor meals


Maybe when I hear "its in my contract" it means that its just information, but not in the "terms and conditions". The only reason to have anything in your contract is to protect you in case of a breach on either party. So when I hear photographers saying that Uncle Bob got in her way of creating good photos, I hear it as an excuse and you are now "legally" justified if you were sued.

My end point was that its still good to communicate these things, but maybe I just hear things differently when they say "its in my contract".



Nov 01, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Ian Ivey
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p.4 #10 · down with bad vendor meals


Prezant wrote: "I have 150 people here and every one of them is more important than you". Well you can argue with me on this point if you want. But I strongly disagree with that catering director.

I would actually agree that the guests, and especially the clients, are "more important" than I am. The real problem here is that the caterer is talking about an irrelevant issue. [Edit: ...and that's at least as irritating as the service failure, in part because, indirectly, the caterer is wrongly and uncharitably accusing you of asserting yourself inappropriately.]

I don't ask to eat early out of some inflated sense of self-importance. If it didn't affect the product the clients paid for, I would expect, and even want, to eat last.

The issue isn't the relative importance of the people involved, but rather is a matter of the vendors working together to be sure the client gets what she wants.

I approach caterers with an attitude of humility, but at the same time with confidence that what I'm asking for will deliver the best value to the client, and will prevent my having to tell the client that another vendor failed to deliver as promised (if I can't eat a meal the client paid for), or obstinately stood in the way of my delivering as promised (if, for example, they take me away at a critical time promising to alert me to activity, and then fail to do so).

If I simply cannot eat the vendor meal, not only am I not embarrassed, but I even feel a moral imperative, to tell the client that the meal she paid for was not available when it could be consumed. I do not want her charged for something not delivered. I don't deliver that news in an angry or arrogant tone, but I do want to be sure she knows to contest that part of the bill, if it's an issue.



Nov 01, 2012 at 04:46 PM
 

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Ian Ivey
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p.4 #11 · down with bad vendor meals


Spencer, if I understand you correctly, the main thrust of your argument is that photographers should have and exercise the ability to deal with adverse circumstances, including uncle bob, and vendors who get underfoot in one way or another. And that it is wrong simply to fall back on a contract element as an excuse for not solving problems.

I agree, yet still urge people to include clauses in their contracts limiting liability for factors such as these, because no one is Superman, and even the best of us will occasionally miss a kiss shot or some other important moment as a result of someone else's jackassitude. If that happens, and if the client is of a mind to abuse the circumstance, it is helpful to have addressed the issue in the agreement to avoid problems.

As for eating, I include a statement in my agreement that the clients understand I need time to eat at some point. The agreement then says I appreciate notice one way or the other about whether the client has arranged a vendor meal. That clause just allows me to explain to the client the best eating strategy, especially regarding timing, but also regarding options other than them paying for a full plating for me. I tell them I don't expect anything, but am grateful if it's available -- I just need to know in order to plan and either bring a sandwich or not. This is an easy conversation to have without sounding entitled or silly.



Nov 01, 2012 at 04:58 PM
aclauson
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p.4 #12 · down with bad vendor meals


To solve this "problem":

1. Include clause in contract requiring that you're fed, per your expectations
2. Educate client on said clause
3. Bring your own food just in case
4. Eat

Also (sorry to be a d**k here), get over yourself. If you care about eating, bring food to be sure you eat.

Regardless if you're right or not, complaining or being a douche about this will not reflect well on you or your business.

Further, spending time on building an entire website to this will not help you book more clients or build your business.

/rant.



Nov 01, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Tradition
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p.4 #13 · down with bad vendor meals


aclauson wrote:
To solve this "problem":

1. Include clause in contract requiring that you're fed, per your expectations
2. Educate client on said clause
3. Bring your own food just in case
4. Eat

Also (sorry to be a d**k here), get over yourself. If you care about eating, bring food to be sure you eat.

Regardless if you're right or not, complaining or being a douche about this will not reflect well on you or your business.

Further, spending time on building an entire website to this will not help you book more clients or build your business.

/rant.



who said that the goal was to book more clients or build business? The goal was to bring to light the issues
that constantly occur over and over again with caterers refusing to acknowledge a simple solution to a serious
problem that plagues photographers across the country. To reward those who recognize and adjust, and to
...not reward... those who continue to be a nuisance and hinderance to their clients.



Nov 01, 2012 at 08:15 PM
TRReichman
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p.4 #14 · down with bad vendor meals


Boxed sandwich = plague



Hard to believe some of us are still alive and photographing, what with all the serious problems that plague us.

On a different note, it is heartwarming to see people put effort into causes that really make a difference.

- trr



Nov 01, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Ian Ivey
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p.4 #15 · down with bad vendor meals


Tradition, I think this is likely to be a counter-productive approach to achieving your goal. I predict it will look like a small group of whining photographers, and I don't expect these vendors to be in any way concerned about it. Indeed, if anything, I would expect the most entrenched among them to use it as validation of their misinterpretation of the issue -- they'll say, "Look, these entitled brats think they should be fed before your guests!" They won't say, "Oh, how reasonable."

To the extent that anyone wants to address this issue, it's probably got to be addressed on an individual basis, by photographers (and perceptive wedding planners) who can explain how it benefits the bride and groom to allow the photographer to eat at the same time.

Trying to shame people over this issue is a losing proposition.



Nov 01, 2012 at 08:32 PM
nolaguy
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p.4 #16 · down with bad vendor meals


Wow.

Tradition wrote:
…If I'm being served a meal, then I don't want to be served last…
…But for me, I want to feel welcome…
…And packing my own lunch makes me feel like crap…
…As does being served last and stuck into a different room…
…how many of you can dispute that getting served earlier rather than later would make your job easier?...
…(Those of you that bring your own lunch like you're in elementary school because your clients don't care enough to feed you, this question doesn't apply to you obviously.)…
…who said that the goal was to book more clients or build business?...


Tradition, it seems – and this is only a stab in the dark – that you might have just a wee issue with working in a service industry.

The stomping feet of your inner child suggest you might be more content selling your art prints in galleries for large sums of money and public acclaim.


Tradition wrote:
The goal was to bring to light the issues that constantly occur over and over again with caterers refusing to acknowledge a simple solution to a serious problem that plagues photographers across the country.


Out of curiosity, what country are you referring to?



I applaud the reason that many have brought to this thread. At the same time I’m genuinely astounded at the amount of concern that’s been expressed over the varied timing or quality of the energy-providing-sustenance equivalent of a Snicker’s bar or three.

I've rarely shot weddings. I do primarily studio work (and provide food and drink for my clients – again, I’m in the service business). But when I do shoot events, the last thing I want is to be expected to sit with guests and eat a meal (someone has paid good money for) when I could (and I think, should) be taking photographs.

Just my two candy bars.



Nov 03, 2012 at 03:30 AM
jmraso
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p.4 #17 · down with bad vendor meals


But when I do shoot events, the last thing I want is to be expected to sit with guests and eat a meal (someone has paid good money for) when I could (and I think, should) be taking photographs.



+1



Nov 03, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Manzelle
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p.4 #18 · down with bad vendor meals


Never rely on someone else to feed you. Unless of course, you're an infant. I suppose there is a fine line between actually being an infant and having an infant's mentality.


Nov 03, 2012 at 05:24 PM
SparkleDogtoo
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p.4 #19 · down with bad vendor meals


I have no idea why most of you have problem with vendors.

I haven't had many issues with being fed at weddings. Usually the bride and groom are pushing us to eat. The one time the caterer was shitty and wouldn't feed us until after the guests ate, we just skipped it and ate after we were done with the wedding. ETA: I think we also had backup food that day. But I wasn't going to get in a fight with a vendor at a wedding (especially when I'd already seen a demonstration of his volatile temper) nor would I go whine to a bride on her wedding day that the caterer wouldn't feed me. My husband/shooting partner is vegan, which just isn't something we expect people to accommodate. Occasionally there is food he can eat. Mostly we act like the other 99% of people in the work world and feed ourselves. Toffee Buzz Clif Bars are our friends.


Edited on Nov 04, 2012 at 03:20 AM · View previous versions



Nov 04, 2012 at 02:17 AM
D. Diggler
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p.4 #20 · down with bad vendor meals


Manzelle wrote:
Never rely on someone else to feed you.


Most of the plated dinners aren't cheap: 50 to $100+ a plate. No one here looks at a fine meal as part of your compensation package?



Nov 04, 2012 at 02:39 AM
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