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5:11 AM
sometimes I hate "professional" photographers
ok, just particular ones
had one very nearly ruin my sister in laws wedding for me and actually now I'm worried I made a serious mistake in not being more active and taking the situation as a warning
I took a few photos from off to the extreme side during the ceremony, being extremely careful (as I always am) to avoid blocking any shots for the professional that was actually working the event. The second shooter was over on my side a little bit, but was forward of my angle using a 70-200, so I knew I was clear of her shots. It seemed like everything went ok until the primary shooter came up to me at the reception and requested that I stay back out of the way to avoid interfering
with their shots and maintaining that I had been in the way of the secondary shooter
I objected to this as my entire reputation as a pro is built up on being invisible and staying out of people's way. I'm exceptionally mindful of where people are, professional or otherwise and staying out of the way and it's what has built me a high recommendation rate
so I obviously objected to this accusation while stating that I was avoiding their shots and would continue to do so, but she kept pushing the issue like she didn't believe me in a very rude manner
later on, when watching the second shooter operate at the reception, I realized a number of cues that she is a new shooter (excessively checking her screen during key events being a prime example), so I realized what probably happened was that she saw I was in the way of a shot she wanted to get and thus didn't even attempt it
(which had she bothered to do, I would have immediately gotten out of the way)
I backed way the heck off anyway to try to avoid issues because I really didn't want to end up going off on the photogs at my sister in law's wedding, but when I got home and checked the site for the photography company they are with, my heart sank a bit
they have quite a few shots in there that I would classify as a two star image at best and, at least from the ones I looked at, none that I would classify as a 5, maybe none I would classify as a 4
and that's the images they decided to make a portfolio out of
so I'm kind of fearful that I made a serious error in backing off to the point that I was sacrificing shot coverage
and shot quality
had I known in advance of the quality of their company's work, I would have flat out told them to take a hike and work around me since I'm a guest and I wasn't unduly in their way.
and not only a guest, but the guest that did their engagement photos
ok, venting over
6:18 AM
ok, I'm back. I just made the mistake of going to the primary shooter's personal site. I made a horrible error
my sister in law is doomed to mediocre photos except for the ones that I happened to have come out by sheer luck under non-ideal conditions
granted, I suppose she'll probably be ok with them anyway since most people don't know the difference as long as the photos are better than they would have taken themselves (which her work is slightly better, but I'd put it at just barely passably professional for the most part)
oh well, in the future I guess I'll make sure to ask my relatives for details on the photog up front so I can secure permission to tell the photographer that it isn't their job to catch a shot I'm grabing from the angle I'm grabbing it
and then just work the shots that are convenient for me while still being there as a guest
10 hours later…
4:41 PM
@EsaPaulasto hey
how's it going
Hi AJ :)
I'm fine thank you, I've been wondering if you are all okay with the baby, now one year old. But it seems you are doing just fine and the baby is not making you sleep deprivated and thus tired :)
During the past year I've been learning about myself, and the conclusion I came to is that I have the Asperger's syndrome. Just a mild case of it, you know, so it took me up to 50 years of age to realize it. :D
hehe, I sometimes wonder if I have a mild version of it as well
Dinner is cooking, but I'll come back here after a while..
I have a lot of signs that seem to indicate it, but I seem to be high enough functioning to avoid diagnosis
but if I look at what they describe and look at my own analysis of what goes on inside my head, it lines up remarkably closely
Aye, the great minds feel lonely and sometimes awkward among "normal" people. I'm not yet definite with my diagnosis, but it sure feels that way :)
4:52 PM
@EsaPaulasto and no, the baby doesn't make me sleep deprived, I do that just fine on my own
5:03 PM
@AJHenderson ahahahah, aye :D
but yeah, between baby and leading a wow guild with about 120 to 150 active members, I'm a bit busy
I still check in to my sites daily and check chat a few times a week, but don't have the time to be on constantly like I used to
@AJHenderson My method was to join the three Finnish language Asperger-groups in Facebook and then read and write a lot in those groups. You know that AS is not so easy to diagnose, but when you relate to people who really do have a diagnosis of AS, then it starts to seem clearer if you are with them or out.
I actually was screened for it as part of trying to determine what my learning disability was that was causing me to get F's in English and As in everything else
@AJHenderson Sounds familiar, as well as I can remember the time with Ella at one year old... Sometimes it seems incredibly hard to remember that time. I was exhausted, but still fully functioning. Only the recollection of happenings afterwards is hard.
problem was, I was high enough functioning that I understood what people were expecting even if it wasn't my natural state, so I answered accordingly on the tests when I was a little kid and didn't really understand what they were for
5:09 PM
@AJHenderson A thumb mark here, if this chat had any :D
it got really weird when they realized I had a verbal IQ upwards of 138 (the reliable limit of the test they had me take)
as it turned out I do also have some physical things combined with some mental things that make writing speed critical for me
@AJHenderson One of the four typical "defence mechanisms" that Tony Attwood talked about in his book "the Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome".
if I don't get my thoughts down fast enough, my train of thought accelearates past my internal buffer, and parts of sentences simply vanish
but I don't realize it
.. back to cooking.. it is past 8 p.m. here and I'm preparing a dinner that needs my attention on and off.. :)
but yeah, when it comes to social skills, they are almost entirely a learned skillset. I model people's mindsets in my head and respond accordingly. It's much more brainy than natural, though I put enough practice and effort and thought in to it that it comes off (presumably) as natural to most people
5:18 PM
@AJHenderson Exactly the same here. And it is kinda sad after all. Which is to say, I knew about this, but I still considered myself a "normal" and that it was all just about having a high IQ.
@AJHenderson That's a good example of having a brain that works in higher frequency than the rest of your body. And that's my definition of high IQ. There is more to high IQ than that, but I'll dwell on that only if asked.
The dish I'm making up for myself is made of cabbage and milled meat. The smell while making it is not the most welcome smell in a house (apartment in my case) but the end product is just so sweet, so good that it makes you forgive all that came before it. :D
If I read this right, they were two female photographers doing the shooting. It is a strong possibility that they were _not_ offended by you being in their way, but that you are a male and you were toting a pro camera in your hands. They were telling you to get the hell out of the place, so that afterwards you would not call your shots above their grade.
- okay, that's just a possibility, but knowing something about females, I think it is a good possibility they (and especially the first shooter) took is like that.
5:35 PM
@EsaPaulasto there may have been some of that. I did notice they took up positions directly across from me to kind of abuse the fact I mentioned that I actively try to avoid my camera being present in shots
so they knew that if they shot opposite me I wouldn't shoot
and they started trying to box my angles. I can't be certain it was intentional
but it felt a little bit more than chance
I'm actually trying to write up a question for the site about it, though I'm not sure that I'll succeed at making it "good subjective" enouhg
I think there was more to it though. I've been to weddings with female official photographers plenty of times and never had an issue before
even being much more aggressive than I was at my sister in law's wedding
I directly dampen my aggressiveness based on how close I am to the couple
because I'm there as a guest first and foremost
and the closer I am to the couple, the more important it is that I be their socially primarily, though I'm also a very social shooter generally, but if I'm close, they want me IN photos too
point being, I'm very good at working with other shooters and not stepping on toes, so I don't really know what was up with these two
I've never had complaints and had multiple requests for business cards
(from the official shooters)
the closest I've had was someone pointing out to me that they wanted to be able to get photos of me too (after seeing me taking photos in the ceremony). I quickly worked out with them the fact that I had every intention of working closely with them to make sure that happened
and that was the end of it and the rest of the night was great. This is the first time I've had a serious issue
5:51 PM
@AJHenderson .. And that's the dilemma. You are A) correct, or B) overanalyzing a difficult situation and you rely on your previous experience in female behaviour.
@AJHenderson Allright, sorry I comment a line before reading the next :D
@AJHenderson another occasion where I'd want to use "the thumb up" stamp that they have in Facebook :)
If and when you write your question, make it a gender question. I know you must hesitate doing that in your home country, but this is an international site, and we do have different approaches to it around the globe.
^ Meant to say, don't limit it to simple "dedicated shooter vs. a guest shooting some photos" kinda question. Make it clear that you are a male photographer with high-end gear, and the dedicated photogaphers were both female.
That should receive some interesting answers ;)
6:09 PM
@EsaPaulasto I think I'll leave gender out of it, at least for the most part. Yes, gender differences do play a roll in dialog, but the core issue is more generalized to looking for general techniques for dealing with that kind of situation in general
not my specific situation exactly
I also think that more comes from confidence level than anything else. I've seen unconfident male shooters that I needed to calm down before too
and the photographer actually did use the term "intimidating" in reference to my rig
(though during the ceremony, I was shooting with a reduced profile rig. I only went full blown at the reception
ie, my flash and diffuser weren't equipped or even out of my bag at the ceremony
though they were by the time the primary shooter pulled me aside when they got to the reception
though the biggest frustration had to be the shots I watched them missing and/or ignoring
Q: As a professional photographer, how can we handle an event photographer being rude or demanding in a way that will compromise overall image quality?

AJ HendersonRecently I was at a wedding (my sister in law's) where the photographer that was officially covering the wedding was rude about me supposedly blocking her second shooter (when I was consciously watching the second shooter the entire time in question and was actively staying out of the way of any ...

@EsaPaulasto I did realize from this that I think I will take a closer look at who the photographers are for any future weddings I attend though and do more dialog with the couple before hand to make sure I'm more informed about the situation and know what the desired behavior is in advance
Q: Has there been a significant uptick in minor edits?

James SnellAm I just being overly sensitive or are we starting to see a large uptick in the number of 'minor' edits like fixing typo's on questions that are months old and moving images from imageshack to imgur because they're replacing images with adverts. I don't especially feel it's appropriate to be en...

6:25 PM
because if they aren't sure about the photographer and I see potential issues, I'll ask if they mind me putting foot to rear if needed to basically just tell the photographer off and deal with it if push comes to shove. Cause at the end of the day, what I care most about from the photo side is that the couple get great shots of their wedding and good overall coverage. As a guest, there is no way I can do good overall coverage, but I can ensure good shots exist
but apparently sometimes I may have to be a bit pushy to do so and I really don't want to risk a scene without pre-approval
it's that professionalism coming in again, my primary goal is making great images while not interfering with the wedding, which means if something has to give, I let image quality slip to preserve the actual experience
because what people remember is more important than what people have to remind them of it
they really don't need a reminder of that wedding that the photographer ruined
but they can live without as good of a reminder about how wonderful the wedding was
I suppose I am running out of situations where it will matter though
I have a limited number of family and close friends left to marry off
though I guess in 25 years or so I'll start having a second round
@AJHenderson That is the intelligent way to handle the situation in the future. It fully complies with the way I see your manners overall. The question you posted (I did not read it fully yet) is a lame expression of the situation you were faced with.
@AJHenderson haha, it won't take that long! :D
@AJHenderson The other way around this is that you forget about the couple, and trust the dedicated shooters to cover them. You just go milling with the other guests, and shoot the background action. (sorry, I know there's a better phrase for it, but I forget the word..)
6:46 PM
@EsaPaulasto yeah, but that's explicitly what I don't trust them with unless I've seen them operate before
I am an extremely demanding photographer. I can count, on my fingers, how many photographers I trust
like, really trust, to do an event right
the combination of invisible and yet getting the shots and understanding events and people well enough is exceedingly rare
to make my list, you have to be invisible, while getting great shots, while also making the couple comfortable with your presence and knowing what things are going to happen before they do, even the "unexpected" things
they need to be able to read people and read a room as naturally as breathing
and they need to have similar philosophical views on the craft
@EsaPaulasto not sure what you mean
@AJHenderson Meaning that I was still hoping that you would have made it a gender issue... :D
@AJHenderson Aye, the difficult part here is to trust your sister-in-law (or her hubby-to-be) that they actually did hire the photographer(s) they are comfortable with. When you are a guest, you should relax and be just "a guest". Let them be happy or disappointed with the coverage these hired photographers can provide. After all, it is not your wedding, but theirs. Relax. :)
What I meant with the hint on IQ playing a role, it is the hardly unavoidable thought that "I could do this better". You just have to let that thought pass. Forget it, and enjoy the happenings. :)
I am 50 years old now, and yes, I still find it difficult to "let that thought pass". But I do manage it more often now, than I used to. You will learn to relax and let other people do their own mistakes. Just sit back and enjoy the show. :D
7:26 PM
@EsaPaulasto except it isn't that simple, they also hired the photographer they could afford
and to relax I have to take photos
I'm not relaxed if I don't, because I worry about the shots, because wedding photography truely matters to me
a lot
note that I do also enjoy the show
I'm extremely deliberate about that as well
I make no effort to cover all their bases and I let shots go all the time as a guest
and it doesn't bother me as long as either a) I have confidence in the photog or b) I have atleast a few shots I'm comfortable with. Get my 30 that would make up a typical photo package and then call it in. I don't bother at all with guest shots other than shots I personally want
but I try to get the key shots, rings, vows, dances, toasts, cake
Thanks for the chat AJ, and now I am exhausted and needing a sleep. Time here is almost 10:30 pm. I'm in morningshift this week, which mean my alarm goes off at 5 a.m... :)
and since those are spectator parts anyway, it doesn't matter that I'm using a camera
Good night all.
7:29 PM
night esa
Nightynight :)
7:54 PM
@MichaelClark - I didn't mention it in the comments since it wasn't really relevant to the core question at hand, but in this case I also knew the preferences of my sister in law and her fiance/husband very well from having done their engagement shoot and having see what stylistic choices they prefered. But that's all side issue to the question, which is simply how to deal with it once it goes sideways in a respectful manner.
certainly keeping your cool and staying professional is a big first step
because conflicts rarely do anything but excalate when both parties lose their cool
8:06 PM
you are absolutely right though that it's important to know what the hosts want and it was by luck in this case that I really did. I've never had problems like this in the past, even across some dozen or so weddings I've attended, so I never felt the need to pre-check anything, but I do intend to have a dialog before hand in the future, just to keep things clear
that was one of the first things I noticed about the situation after I calmed down enough to think about it beyond just my personal disdain for the photographers
3 hours later…
11:01 PM
@AJHenderson If they were a "budget" option/choice it could mean their business model is based on the number of prints they sell as well as the appearance fee. In which case they saw your activity as reducing their potential income. If you are really most concerned that the bride/groom get the best quality images possible then offer to give your images to the hired pros to sell along with their own images...
@MichaelClark normally I don't even share my images until after they have the official ones
or if I do, it's a very, very select few
and I'm very particular about avoiding the shots that I see the guys working it getting
it really is a safety net, not something designed to cut in on their income, even as much as I disagree with that particular business model, but I respect them out of courtesy and avoid interfereing
I'm thinking about attempting a rewrite of the question too. Re-reading it tonight, it really doesn't convey what I was trying to ask well and I think that's part of the issue. It was more a question of conflict resolution about not when the photographer is exercising something in their right, but rather when they are being rude about it and getting things back to a positive footing
I was never rude to them at all, but they were very rude.
I didn't want to cause any issues or drama, so I just backed off, but now I'm afraid I may have made the wrong choice because I'm worried that my sister in law will suffer for it
so I'm trying to figure out possible alternatives that could have gotten things back on the rails
things like the suggestion of offering to give them the raws are actually a good suggestion though
that's probably worth adding to your answer and would make it more along the lines of what I was looking for
hope that makes more sense. I know it's kind of a complicated situation and question
11:42 PM
@AJHenderson But when you just show up at their job and start shooting with a pro rig they don't know that.
@MichaelClark yes, but then the professional thing to do is bring up your concern
not go on the offensive, if the first step doesn't go well, by all means treat them as hostile if hostile is what they actually are
rude shouldn't be the opening salvo
though in fairness, I also don't think that it was that they felt threatened, I do kind of believe it was a miscommunication between the second shooter and the primary because of the second shooter's lack of experience
and I think they were worried about an uncle bob as a result
From their point of view the professional thing for the non-hired photog to do is to stop shooting and cutting into their pie. Because that's what they see you doing. And you can say you'll hold the images until later all you want, but they've heard all of that before and have probably been burned by it when the non-hired guy publicly released them the next week!
and that sucks for them, it still isn't a good excuse to bully your client's friends and family. That's normally a tactic reserved for things like the mob
though that starts getting more in to why I hate that business model of upselling people after hooking them. I don't want to get sidetracked on that though as I know it's hard to make a full time living in the field and so I don't actively try to sabotage it despite my moral qualms at the business model
but personally, I do view it as extortionistic
but normally, out of professional courtesy I don't interfere, aside from advising against doing business with such people, with said business model
and sure, it sucks that they may have been burned before, but that doesn't make it ok to be rude or dishonest. I would have even settled for them trying to tell me not to take photos because it would interfere with their revenue
but if that was the case that they were worried about, making up a transparent and insulting bullshit reason is still very much not ok
if that's your business model, be honest about it
if that doesn't sell when you are honest about it, then something is wrong with the moel
Yet they might say hiring a pro to shoot a wedding primarily on spec (print sales) and then inviting professional photographer uncle Bob to also shoot is unethical. If they've been in the game long enough to be using that business model (which when developed was actually a good way for the buyer to be protected from a poor photographer - you don't like the shots then you don't have to buy them.)
@MichaelClark that's fair, but again, be honest about it
11:51 PM
Then they have likely been burned by the "fire insurance" scenario before. If Uncle Bob's pictures come out, then they won't sell anything, no matter how good their work is.
I have no tolerance for photographers who pull the switcheroo after the wedding. But in the past the standard model was a small shooting fee and the vast majority of the money was made by selling print packages. You had to perform to make anything. And you were still taking a chance that the couple (or at least one set of parents) wanted more than just a handfull of 8X10s!
@MichaelClark that's fair. I guess the big thing I don't like is when they get pushy to try to ensure they get sales. Sure, it makes it harder to make a living in the field, but that's capitalism
if they don't have a product worth paying for on it's own, then it isn't worth paying for
but even then, I still grant that it's ok to be upset if someone is second shooting without you knowing about it before hand
but that's where you talk with someone to make sure that isn't what they are doing
which I wasn't. I shot under 500 photos the entire wedding and about 125 of those were of my family or things the photographers wouldn't have been interested in
so I shot around 1/8 to 1/10 of what I would have shot
There are two sides of capitalism: the buyer and the seller. As Milton Freidman pointed out very well years ago, in the long run a transaction must be beneficial to both parties for the system to survive.
had they bothered to pay attention or talk to me, that would have been readily apparent and if someone is willing enough to screw you intentionally and lie to your face about it, then no amount of bullying is going to matter

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