Upload & Sell: Off
| p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Anyone had this happen to them and how did you handle it? |
mental note: never shoot near glort or suffer a minefield of booby traps setup to make my lens explode =)
Seriously that post really made my day. I doubt I would ever try any of that but I was visualizing most of it happening and laughing hysterically at the computer. I have experienced the zoo atmosphere of the formals and I will be avoiding that next year or hosting somewhere parents are getting in front of me so they can take a picture with their iPad...
Zoo atmosphere is a spot on description! The parents go into a Photo feeding frenzy!
And Ipad photographers..... I don't need a gun or a knife, my bare hands will just do fine to deal with these infuraiting pests! You can even tie one behind my back. The outcome will be the same and still not good for the padographer!
Sure I'm an arsehole but that's because these people make me like that. What burns me is these people wouldn't go to a mechanic and expect to use their garage and tools to work on their car so they didn't have to pay for the repairs. They wouldn't bring their own food to a reception venue to get out of the costs of hiring it.
The fact they think they should be able to use my equipment for their own photos and try to get them in a sneaky, underhanded manner not have to buy mine I find insulting and of a level of being cheapskates that sends me off the deep end in a split second.
But if you are having trouble with the over the shoulder shooters at your T&I gigs, you need to look uber professional and get those Light stands all around and just tie some bright orange Poly rope around them so the kids know where you want them to enter and exit the shooting area. At least thats the excuse you use when you get the compalints or requests to move them because they are in the way.
And the best defense is shoot fast. I made myself a posing platform and outlined my kids feet at a 45o angle in thick marker. Before I start a team, I show the kids that I want them to put their feet on the outlines, twist to face me, how to hold the ball/ bat and smile. I can pump 3-5 shots of each kid out all day long in 5 seconds flat which again upsets the snipers who are still fumbling around before they realise the kid is finished and another one has taken their place. When I hear the parents complainng I took the pics too fast , it's music to my ears.
Sometimes for the real nasty sounding ones, I'll turn around and with a big smile say " What? I got 5 shots, your child has a great smile and they are so easy to photograph. Why aren't all kids walk up and do it like that?" What can they say to a compliment of their child?
Being organised and able to pump the kids through before the snipers can get their shot is not only a good defence, but great for efficency and getting on side with the clubs officialdom for running to time and not keeping the players waitingor games held up.
I'll say for my self I am as nice a guy if you are on my good side as I am an arsehole if you get on my bad side.
I love maiking people laugh by doing things like screaming at the bridal party outside the church when I do weddings and making out I'm very serious with them to get back into formation for a picture. I'll get the whole crowd of guests in hushed silence looking wondering what the hell is going on. I'll ask the bridal party if they are ready now and say in a soft animated tone, good because you moved away before this nice young lady here with the grey hair and the walking frame got her instamatic out of her handbag and took her shot. Then I'll say something like, " have you found it now sweetheart or can I help you by holding that crank handle for a model T and your personal invitation to the 1908 Olympic games.....got it? That shovel and hurricane lantern in there did come in handy didn't they?"
I'll put my arm around granny, bring her to the front of the crowd and then snarl at the bridal party to smile or else.
When I check she got the pic in a kindly, sweet voice I'll tell someone nearby in a loud voice, " She had one picture left on that roll of film and shes just been dying to finish it up so she can see how the pictures of the brides mother getting her first barbie doll at Christmas in 1973 turned out and now the film is used up she can take them to the chemist and get them processed." I'll look at her and say "Now don't you listen to what any of these people with these new fangled phone cameras say darling, Black and white is every bit as good as Colour and it's coming back into fashion now anyway".
Everyone cracks up and the grandmother/aunt whoever usually gives me a friendly slap on the arm then I get a kiss on the cheek.
That's fun and makes the gigs worthwhile and enjoyable.
Having people shooting over your shoulders with a mean spirited attitude is not. If people ask me humbly if they can take a pic, 99% of the time where its practical I'll let them and even turn off the sabotage lights or set their camera up for them so the pictures don't turn out whiter than their loungeroom Ceiling.
The thing is, people hardly ever ask like this, they just treat you like the enemy and have an attitude of trying to win by screwing you over.
At these school formals. 99.9% of people are like ruthless vultures all trying to get a one up on you. they then go and boast to their friends about having got their own pic and not needing to buy the photographers now.
In my repeated experience in many markets, the people that ask you politely if they can take a pic and you help, not only buy your pics anyway, they are frequently your best customers!
When I did sports frequently I would be standing next to a father that easily had gear the equivelent of my own coaching him how to get the best pics of his kids as we were both shooting them together.
That guy literally bought $300+ worth of pictures more than he spent $200 at every single event.
Every time I have helped someone with their cameras when they have asked me about them they have always come and bought my pics.
The back door snake in the grass snipers however take pride in NOT buying your pics because they sneaked their own and feel very smart and pleased with themselves for doing so.
I remember one old guy coming up to me at a high school formal I was the official sucker....errr, shooter for and asking if he paid me for the value of the photos now, could he take some on his own camera because he wanted to be able to take them home with him so he could use them for a slide show and get a big print made for the grandsons 18th birthday party the next day. I said that was fine, would you like to do them yourself or would you like me to take them for you? He was Very happy for me to shoot them so I shot the kid well and truly, brought in the parents, 2 brothers and sister, the grandparents and then the whole family like a full on speed dating portrait session.
I handed the camera back to him and he was thanking me profusely and asked how much and did he pay me or my wife doing the crowd wrangling? I said Oh dear, I have some bad news, I don't have my credit card machine with me and I only take Mongolian tugrik as cash currency because I don't trust those dodgy dollars. I said Tell you what, you name your next born after me, especially if it's a girl, and we'll call it even, Hows that?
The old guy was stunned and when he figured out my satire, insisted on paying. I said forget it, go enjoy yourself with your hot young girlfriend there ( motioning to his elderly wife) before I leave you here to do all the pictures and I race her off myself.
After the formalities the kids mother came to me and asked if I was busy for a moment and could come out to the foyer . I said sure thinking she may want some more pics. The old fella was there and said he couldn't leave without thanking me again and then proceded to tell a whole load of lies about what a decent bloke I was for helping out an old codger that most people didn't have the time of day for and other complimentary untruths about my charachter.
I'll never forget that because it was so unexpected and it was such a small thing that I realised was such a big deal to him.
That's the ONLY time I ever had anyone consider my time, effort, investment and the fact thats how I earnt my living and offer me any compensation. There was no way I was going to take money off the old fella, his consideration and thoughtfullness was more than payment enough.
I can get money out of anyone, very few people pay me that sort of respect.
People who do will get a lot out of me, those that go the other way will see just how big a mongeral bastard I can be.