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Archive 2013 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment
  
 
wishdiver
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


So on Friday I was shooting a wedding for a client. I had a second shooter, my assistant and one of our videographers with me. First let me say this was a very stressful day as the bride wanted to do a first viewing and the field photographer before the ceremony. Usually this would not be a big deal but the bride arrived almost two hours past the scheduled start time. Of course once she arrived she found out that her MOH was not even there yet and the hotel did not have a room ready for her to start getting ready in. Trying to be the nice guy I asked her to stay in the lobby as I would talk to the GM (I shoot there all the time and know him personally). Of course he tells me that no one informed him of a guest suite for her but he would open one immediately. I go back to get the bride and she is gone. My assistant tells me she took off downstairs crying. I do find her in the sales office crying and yelling at the Sales manager about how nothing is ready for her. Immediately I try to calm her down and take her to the room I have ready. Of course she still is crying and upset as no one else is there but me, my assistant and a bunch of kids that will be in the wedding party. So I take her to the reception room and show her first hand how great it looks and try to get her to calm down. Well it worked and I had two members of my team tracking down her mother and other bridesmaids during this time so we could get this party going.

Well we were able to get her ready and pull off a first viewing but no field photography due to all the delays. At this point I was just happy that my bride was calm and starting to smile. I radioed to my team to get in position as we were about to start the precessional into the room the hotel had setup for the ceremony. Everyone was set and ready to go. I was going to be in the back capturing them entering and going down the aisle. We were 20 minutes late to start but based on how everything was going I was happy with that (Hey its their day and not mine right?). As the wedding party started going down we had guests arriving late and trying to walk down with the wedding couples! I stopped a group of them and asked them to go over to an area that they would not be in the photos that were being taken and that we would let them in once the wedding party was completely inside. Most of them understood but one uncle decided he needed to walk in and stand right next to the aisle with his ipad. My assistant was close to him so I radioed over and had them ask him to move. Well he did just to the other side of the aisle so he was still in every shot.

Now that we have the wedding couple in and I am working the back this uncle is constantly trying to get in front of me with his iPad. I had to ask him 5 times if he could move or if he would like to go to another area that we would not be in and he just mumbled to me. The good news is that he did finally move!!!! The bad news is he walked right up the center of the aisle in front of the first row of chairs and held his iPad up about 4-5 feet in the air!

Immediately my videography radios to me that he is blocking two of the three video cameras we have set up. The second shooter is radioing to me that the brightness of the ipad compared to the darkness where the couple is standing is throwing off his shots. I can get a shot from the back because this guy is right in the middle holding it high. 

I started seeing guests getting upset and I am there to do a job (client paid almost $5K for me to be there) so I get down low and go up to him and tap his shoulder “Sir I am really sorry but with you here we can not get any pictures of the ceremony” he responds “This is my niece and I have every dam right to be here” I immediately back off and go to the back of the room. Several guests were looking at me like “What just happened?” and I had to radio to the team telling them “Just do your best but if he is in the shot so be it”.

Once the ceremony was over the MOH came up to me an said “I don't believe he did that! I just wanted to hit him! I just went off on him in the back room about how rude that was” I told her I appreciated it but was going to need to talk with the couple before we do any portraits privately.

I pulled the couple aside and shared with them what happened and told them that the only reason I am telling them this now is that I would rather discuss it while it is fresh in their minds vs. two weeks from now when they may not remember everything. To say that my bride was upset is an understatement and wanted to know who it was. I told her not to worry about who it was and that we just need to enjoy the rest of the day. I was able to get her over it really fast but she was clearly disappointed that someone did this and this person was going to be in almost every photo and the video of the ceremony.

So here is my question, Do you think I did the right thing confronting the uncle? How about letting them know about the problem it created while it is fresh in their minds?



Sep 23, 2013 at 03:33 AM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


While I understand wanting to talk to the bride right away, she was in a fairly fragile mindset already... not sure she was ready for anything bad at that point in time.


Sep 23, 2013 at 03:41 AM
jcolman
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


Wow! All I can think of at the moment is that this whole wedding had the makings of a complete cluster f#*k! Props to you for trying to make the best of it.


And yes, you did right to tell the uncle Bob to put down the iPad. But I would not have mentioned it to the bride at that point.



Sep 23, 2013 at 03:43 AM
DavidM5
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


What an inconsiderate a** of an uncle to ruin the couple's photo / video!

Yes you did right by confronting him.
It's bad enough with guests shooting with iphones and huge android phones but the ipad is so distracting!



Sep 23, 2013 at 03:52 AM
myam203
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


What an idiot. I just want to say to these people "NO ONE GIVES A SH*T ABOUT YOUR SH*TTY IPAD PHOTOS!!!" Seriously, what is the end goal? You should've traded his iPad for a sign that said "I'm an a**hole" with an arrow pointing straight down.

Anyway, you definitely did the right thing by confronting him, and I think you made the right choice with the couple as well. I'm sure it was a tough call, but since you were shooting video as well (much harder to work around him I'd imagine), you did the right thing and covered yourself.

I posted this before, but I'll do it again: http://thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=padhole

Edited on Sep 23, 2013 at 02:13 PM · View previous versions



Sep 23, 2013 at 04:07 AM
markd61
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


This is a story of disaster from the word go.
Why was there no planner or venue coordinator ensuring that the event was going smoothly and on schedule?
What kind of hobos get married with late-arriving guests walking down the aisle during the processional?

All the details of this event tells me that it was doomed from the day they decided to have a wedding.
I am glad they chose to pay you a good sum to photograph their wedding but they sure skimped on everything else.



Sep 23, 2013 at 05:47 AM
WNStudio
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


S..t happens... This happens all the time- people taking photos of the couple on their way to the altar, on their outgo from the church. If someone is really intrusive and I can smell the problems, what I do is I take a photo of him/her in front of a B&G and show it to Bobs. It works in most cases- they understand, but sometimes people are just being ass....s.

I wouldn't tell about it to the bride on a spot in this scenario.



Sep 23, 2013 at 06:43 AM
dhp_sf
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


i recently shot a wedding where a very cavalier UB was taking photos right BEHIND the officiant and B&G. I was waving my arms like a crazy person to get his attention and tell him to move (i couldn't move because they were wrapping up the last bits of the ceremony and the kiss was FAST approaching). Fortunately for all, he noticed my crazy gesticulating and moved out of the way in time for the kiss shot...WHEW.


Sep 23, 2013 at 06:48 AM
vraspa
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


I would have gotten the father or mother of the bride, took them into the aisle so that they could see first hand what the photos were going to look like. I have to beleive they would have taken care of it since they were most likely paying your bill.


Sep 23, 2013 at 01:51 PM
joosay
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


If someone said something like that to me I would definitely say something to someone. The only thing I would have done differently would be to tell maid of honor/best man or sibling from that side of the family or MOB/MOG instead of the couple. If that doesn't help then I'd probably tell the couple.


Sep 23, 2013 at 01:58 PM
 

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Nikon_14
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


What is a field photographer?


wishdiver wrote:
the bride wanted to do a first viewing and the field photographer before the ceremony.




Sep 23, 2013 at 02:25 PM
mirrorrim
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


You did all you could. Personally, and I havent done this before, (and I know things were running behind schedule) but if he was really blocking a lot of key shots, I would have asked for a quick reenactment of a few things just to get a photo.

This weekend I had the father of the groom walk down the aisle while recording with his cell phone, a mini tripod, and battery charger. I saw him holding it before he stepped out and I figured I could "help" him by putting all the gadget stuff at his seat so I could at least get a photo of him without all this stuff in his hands. When I offered, he abruptly said "no, I'll carry it," and proceeded to focus his gaze on the tiny back of the screen throughout the whole ceremony instead of witnessing his son get married! Sigh. And, you know, every picture shows him holding up a bright orange cell phone.



Sep 23, 2013 at 02:35 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


Nikon_14 wrote:
What is a field photographer?



I wondered that myself.

Yes on the Uncle Bob confrontation, no on the bride. Brides are stressed enough as it is, and it seems yours was especially so. What was done was done, no point in laying it heavy on the bride.

By the way, your description of that whole day is just bizarre to me. Whoever planned that wedding...



Sep 23, 2013 at 03:29 PM
wishdiver
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


Actually Mom and Dad were not paying the bill and after the ceremony ran off to the reception. I had to send my assistant to get them back for the portraits.


Sep 23, 2013 at 03:36 PM
wishdiver
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


Nikon_14 wrote:
What is a field photographer?



I am sorry I meant field photography. This is where we go to a 3rd party location for some outdoor shots and more creative photography.



Sep 23, 2013 at 03:38 PM
wishdiver
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


friscoron wrote:
I wondered that myself.

Yes on the Uncle Bob confrontation, no on the bride. Brides are stressed enough as it is, and it seems yours was especially so. What was done was done, no point in laying it heavy on the bride.

By the way, your description of that whole day is just bizarre to me. Whoever planned that wedding...



My concern as I have seen it in the past is that when I deliver their images two weeks later all they remember is the good parts and I am left to blame because of the guests interfering or people leaving and not getting their photos done.

Last year I had a bride yell at me because when she got her photos she was upset that I did not get a formal portrait at the church after the wedding with her and her MOH. I had to remind her that all of her bridesmaids decided to leave and go on the party bus and start drinking instead of being there for her and she allowed it.

I will say in the case I listed above the bride did get over it very quick and we had a great time at the reception. At the end of the night she gave me a big hug and thank you and then handed me a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label as a gift and then went to each of my team and tipped them $150 each before we left.



Sep 23, 2013 at 03:45 PM
GCasey
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


When a friend married a couple of years ago he and his bride prepared a program that was given to each person as they came in. It provided information about the reception, a follow-up party, and asked that no one take photos during the ceremony at all. Everyone cooperated. I shot from the back -- long lens, no flash. They wanted everyone to focus on the event.


Sep 23, 2013 at 03:47 PM
ricardovaste
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


Wow. I'm sending you some loving thoughts... time for a vacation, I think.


Sep 23, 2013 at 03:57 PM
wishdiver
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


GCasey wrote:
When a friend married a couple of years ago he and his bride prepared a program that was given to each person as they came in. It provided information about the reception, a follow-up party, and asked that no one take photos during the ceremony at all. Everyone cooperated. I shot from the back -- long lens, no flash. They wanted everyone to focus on the event.



I ask every couple if they would like to go unplugged from their ceremony for there guests during our final consultation. She said no it would be fine and everyone would respect the ceremony.

I personally never use flash during a ceremony and if needed will pull my Nikon 200-400 to make sure we are very discreet. I believe this should be about the couple and not the photography and I want to capture the emotion of the event.

Thank god my weddings this upcoming weekend are unplugged and actually have wedding coordinators.



Sep 23, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Nikon_14
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · The worlds worst Uncle Bob Moment


Great idea. No Unca Bobs to deal with, less people giving "advice", reminding the couple that they've "taken too much time" (i.e., more than 4 minutes) for portraits, etc. All the problems are out of sight, out of mind.



wishdiver wrote:
I am sorry I meant field photography. This is where we go to a 3rd party location for some outdoor shots and more creative photography.




Sep 23, 2013 at 04:38 PM
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