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Old August 5th, 2014, 04:19 AM   #1
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Parking dilemma - what would you have done

So Saturday's wedding - A 90 minute drive so i didn't go to the rehearsal but had already met the couple and chatted to the vicar over the phone - was told ample parking all over the town and around the church - nice!

I looked at the map on Google earth and saw loads of pay and display bays around the church so was happy. On arrival most of these were empty and when I pulled into one I noticed the pay and display sign - 'Max 2 hours - no return within 2 hours' my heart sank and and then sank even further when I saw 2 (count 'em 2) parking wardens writing down people's numbers - after a few expletives to myself I set off towards the town centre to find somewhere else - the only place to park was a shopping complex but again - max 3 hours - This was 10am and the wedding was at 12 so still not long enough (plus it would have been a 5 minute walk with my gear - twice as it takes 2 trips)

I drove back to the church with a mild sense of panic and was prepared to simply dump my car in a pay and display bay and suck up the £60 fine, when I noticed a small courtyard across from the church with a sign 'private resident's parking only'. Well I'm afraid to say that's where my car ended up - it's not something I'd normally do as if it was my car park it would pi** me off if someone did it, but I justified it by saying to myself 'the show must go on'.

I came back to my car and found a flyer on my window - 'this is private parking please do not park here again'

I felt bad but what would you have done?
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Old August 5th, 2014, 05:09 AM   #2
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

Hi Peter,

You could have spoken to the traffic Wardens. Explained your situation and asked for their advice on where to park. They must know the parking in the area and who knows, they may have taken pity on you and let you stay for more than 2 hours. Doesn't hurt to ask.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 05:10 AM   #3
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

Hi Pete

You already have said it all ..the show must go on!! I don't think you had much option. I normally check the parking situation at the rehearsal but like you I wouldn't drive 90 minutes to a rehearsal!

I simply think you did what had to be done!! If I have really tricky situations I get my wife to drop me off and then phone her when I'm done (I'm doing a on-board boat wedding next month and no parking there so wifey will drop me) Obviously not practical on a 90 minute drive!!

Weddings a long way out where you have never been before can be tricky!!

Simply don't worry about your social booboo ..you got the wedding right???

Chris
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Old August 5th, 2014, 05:22 AM   #4
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

An added complication was that the church was not due to be open until at the earliest 10:30 so even if I found somewhere to park at a distance, I couldn't have dropped my gear off, parked up and gone back. I would have had to make 2 trips (takes me 2 loads with my gear)
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Old August 5th, 2014, 06:18 AM   #5
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

I have ran into situations where there was hardly any parking space, that often happens when I have to shoot in Antwerp, a very busy city with expensive underground parkings. I always expect that the couple arranges special parking permits for me, if that is not possible I simply cannot guarantee I will be in time on location. Any parking costs I have to pay I charge to the couple afterwards.

Here you always have a legal part in the town hall and right after that the ceremony in a church, it happens that I have virtually no setup time, so drive away at the townhall to the church, try to find a parking space, run to the church and while I set up my camera the couple is waiting to enter the church.

Sometimes when I park the car you have to go to a parking meter and if there are other people in line to pay you have to wait while you see the couples limo drive towards the church in which case you miss that moment.

I absolutely hate shooting weddings in large city centers.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 09:37 AM   #6
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

One time i had to be at a photoshoot on a city centre footbridge. There were no spaces and i was in danger of missing the photoshoot. Had to take the risk. Abandoned the car where there was no space. Came back in 20 minutes to a ticket. My friends said to bill the couple. I didn’t like the idea of that what with referrals etc… I took the hit. That wedding earned me £30 less than the others.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 10:16 AM   #7
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

Not sure I'd like to try and bill my clients for a parking ticket :/ I envy togs in this instance because the gear they have is minimal - usually a rucksack, so they could park a distance away no porblem - having to make 2 trips (in my case) to the car with heavy gear and also having to leave lots of other stuff in the car (slider/steadicam/spare stands etc) makes it much harder for us!
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Old August 5th, 2014, 10:49 AM   #8
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

The nightmare of all videographers ...

Arriving early, thinking you'll get all the shots you need prior to the event starting. Only to realise there is a traffic jam, some ones had an accident on the motorway or you can't find parking ! ! !

I would of done the same as you though.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 12:25 PM   #9
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

Where did all the guests park ? I usually park the same place they park and as most ceremonies don't last more than an hour or so, I would have ample time before the ceremony begins, like 15-20 minutes to set up and do a few establishing shots. 2 hours is plenty to get the job done, unless you want to arrive very early to do some slider stuff and such. I carry as minimal gear as possible like just the camera on a shoulder bracket that all weighs less than 5 lbs. I never got a ticket as my total duration for the churches is typically 80 minutes or less.
If you arrived at 10am and it did not start till 12. just wait around till 11:30 somewhere like a restaurant or McDonald's ann kill off some time.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 12:44 PM   #10
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

You did the right thing as far as I can tell. It was right because you didn't get fined, you were close to the church, got your job done.

You were under pressure, made a snap decision and it worked out. What options did you have?

A flyer on the window is nothing and the resident will get over it. You're fortunate because here in Cincinnati your car could have been towed being parked in a private spot.

You can't second guess this situation too much; your options were severely limited and you chose what appears to be the best course of action you could from a selection of bad choices.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 01:18 PM   #11
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

Reminds me of a photog I was working with last year in New York city when his car was towed and impounded for just being 10 minutes late after his parking meter expired. That fiasco costed him over $400 by the time he got his wheels back the following day.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 07:02 PM   #12
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

Brides often never think about the guests and where they will park not only at the ceremony but at the reception as well. The poor guests not only have to pay to park at the ceremony but also at the reception too sometimes .. Poor planning on the bride's part ..I wonder if they actually think "Gosh, it's a nice Church but I'm having 100 guests ...where will they park?" If it's really a crazy parking situation then as long as you know in advance, you can surcharge the bride and even pay for a hire car/driver for the day to run you around.

We are lucky here as we have quite a few dedicated "wedding reception centres" that have everything in one spot from bridal prep accommodation right thru to ceremony and reception ...and LOT'S of free parking ..what a pleasure to park your car just once and do the entire wedding!!!

Chris
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Old August 5th, 2014, 07:23 PM   #13
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

happened me in my home town once - quick interior photo job! in and out, like five or six minutes tops, parking ticket when i cam back to the car! got good shots but didn't earn too much that day.

On another occasion i was supposed to video a wedding photo shoot in Kilkenny Castle (public grounds onsite) as i attempted to abandon my car in the chaos of buses and cars around the castle, I was moved on by the cops and never got to the shoot! felt bad for the couple but they were understanding and didn't complain about it.
Parking is always a bit of hit and miss here too.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 02:40 AM   #14
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Re: Parking dilemma - what would you have done

Back in the 80's my neighbour used to work for Marconi defence systems and one day he woke up to find a car parked in his drive. He called the police and they found it registered to an address in Northern Ireland. They called the bomb squad who were about to smash the window to gain access to check it over, when the owner arrived and said he had to park there because he was short of time to collect an important prescription form the doctors, who's car park was full, sadly, he'd had to wait to see the doctor, hence the 90 mins instead of 10.

I can understand leaving the car in the car park and risking a fine, but it would NEVER park on private property. I trust you stuck a fiver through the letter box for perhaps making them pay and display?

I would have stuck the notice on with gooey gaffer tape that would have taken a lot of effort to get off, or blocked you in and not answered the door for a few hours.
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