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Old April 4th, 2006, 09:09 PM   #1
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My photographer horror story

I am fairly new to the wedding video business, having started just this year. However I have done a few weddings now and am feeling comfortable with it, and so far my customers have been quite satisfied. Recently I had a very negative experience with a photographer, so I thought I would share. Also, in my own defense I would like to say this is the first negative experience I have had with a photographer. All the other weddings I've done I have been able to work great together with the photographer.

First you should know there wasn't just a single photographer. This photography company had seven photographers at the wedding. I only had two cameras and two camera people. I set up one camera in the back of the church in the center. The bride specifically asked me to set up a camera at this location, and I had it okayed with the wedding planner. However, one of the photographers threw a fit. He said that my camera was obtrusive at that location, would distract the guests, and generally ruin the entire wedding. I told him that this location was requested by the bride and okayed by the wedding planner. He then went off to talk to the wedding planner. I'm not sure what he said to her, but I could see him throwing his hands up in the air and it looked like she was yelling at him. This was on the other side of the church though, so I did not hear what was said- he didn't come back and talk to me though.

Durring the ceremony, the same photogapher who tried telling me i had to move my camera, walked right in front of me, and set down his camera and tripod just barely two feet infront of my camera! This was durring the middle of the ceremony! He turned around, like he wanted to make sure he was right in front of me, then turned back to his camera and stayed there. I had to move my camera durring the ceremony so I could continue to shoot.

After the ceremony, durring the recieving line, another one of the photographers walked up to me. He said that his photographers had been complaining that I was getting in their way. He went on to explain the bride was paying his firm alot of money to do these pictures and he wasn't going to let some video guy ruin them. I wanted to hit him, but i managed to restrain myself and walk away.

Durring the reception the photographers continued to constantly step in front of my cameras, and durring the dance one photographer asked me if i would mind moving because he wanted a shot of the couple dancing framed against a window. The same exact shot I was trying to get- he wanted me to move so he could get it.

Two days after the wedding the bride called me very concerned. The photogapher had apparently told her she shouldn't have paid me a deposit to lock in the date because I could just disapear and keep her money without ever deliving her video. I had to assure her that I would indeed finish her video and that it would be the best possible quality.

Several weeks later the bride called me again. She wanted me to print freeze frames from the video for her. She was making a wedding scrapbook and there were several shots the photographers (all seven of them) missed- such as cutting the cake, a close up of the rings on their hands, or leaving the church after the ceremony, and arriving at the reception.

Anyway, that is my photographer horror story. Like I said, this is the first time I have ever had a problem with a photographer, I just wanted to share.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 10:27 PM   #2
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Whatever you do, don't let this incident get you down or prompt you to say something you'll regret to the couple. Just finish the video and move on, and hope you don't have to work with those bozos again in the future. Also, go out and find someone you can work with to offer photography services to go with your video, so you can get hired to do both and not have to deal with things like this for those events.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 05:00 AM   #3
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See now this is why I personally would request of the B&G who is doing the photography and actually arrange a meeting with them. If they have that sort of attitude, it should be nothing more than a simple call to the wedding planner and have him/her draw up a clause in their (the photographers) contract that any unprofessional behaviour (i.e. standing infront of the camera; being general abusive to the videographer(s) would result in loss of earnings to the photographer.

Sure it might lose you a couple of weddings but once the B&G start getting irritated that they can't get any videographers to work with a photog who refuses to sign i'm sure they'll change photog and not not use a videographer.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 06:15 AM   #4
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You know, you have a weapon at your disposal - your video camera. I don't mean hit them with it either. Film their bad behavior and use when necessary/justified.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 06:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Michael
You know, you have a weapon at your disposal - your video camera. I don't mean hit them with it either. Film their bad behavior and use when necessary/justified.
Or even better, distrubute a 'free' copy to each videographer in your area...
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Old April 5th, 2006, 07:16 AM   #6
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Adam, I had a photographer that would follow me to each spot I found for a shot and then get in front of me. It's pretty clear from the video. At one point she even turns around and glares at me, that's on video too. I apologized to the bride and groom and said there was nothing I could do about it. I later saw the photgraphs from that photgrapher, and I use that label loosley, the images were crap. I could have done better with my 500.00 fuji.

So the lesson I learned was roll with it, do the best you can, and sometimes people will get what they deserve. It's my understanding that the bride went on a rampage in that area in not referering that photgrapher.

I learned a whole lot that day.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 07:50 AM   #7
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I guess if you tape enough wedddings you'll eventually run into photographers who are legends in their own minds. Your particular experience would have infuriated me and I would have had to be restrained.

Most photogs have been good partners, even sometimes helpful. I've seen some bad behavior but nothing like yours. If I did, I would videotape their behavior and inform them at the end of the evening that the tape will be published on the internet.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 08:00 AM   #8
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I always try an meet with the photographer far before the wedding to discuss where we are setting up, and how we will try and organize ourselves to keep out of each others shots.

I think a lot of photographers are intimidated by video guys coming in on what they think is "their" turf.

Ryan
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Old April 5th, 2006, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan DesRoches
I always try an meet with the photographer far before the wedding to discuss where we are setting up, and how we will try and organize ourselves to keep out of each others shots.

I think a lot of photographers are intimidated by video guys coming in on what they think is "their" turf.

Ryan
I tried that approach and usually had unreturned phone calls and E-mails. I now try to introduce myself to them before the wedding and advise them to just let me know if I get in the way of their shots. To date, not one photographer has introduced themselves nor offered to try to stay out of our camera view. More often than not, they will follow the B&G down the aisle during the recessional and be in almost every frame. But that's just something they are accountable for to the B&G.

I think you are right-on about weddings being "their turf". I'm sure many think that video is an intrusion in their space and a threat to their incomes.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 11:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Also, go out and find someone you can work with to offer photography services to go with your video, so you can get hired to do both and not have to deal with things like this for those events.
If you can work something like this I'd highly recommend it. I do video and my cousin does photography. He actually used to do videography as well but then 'outsourced' it to me as he didn't have time for it. Working with someone who already knows the value of video and who is also looking for good shots that should be in the video is EXTREMELY helpful. Finding a working situation like this will be somewhat rare, but if you can even team up with a photographer that you like you'll have an easier time.

One thing I've often wondered is how photographers talk about 'us' in their professional forums. I mean, this is a REAL name message board where all of us put our reputations on the line to discuss things with our colleagues. I've read many posts (more frequently lately than before) of troublesome photographers. I wonder if the 'favor' is returned on their boards. Just something I thought about.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 12:37 PM   #11
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The last wedding I shot I was fortunate that the still photog. was an absolute PLEASURE to work with. We totally clicked the whole day. I made sure I wasn't in her way and she made sure she wasn't in mine. We gave each other room to do our thing... and the TIME!

It was awesome.

I hope I can work with her again.

The wedding I shot before that?

I wanted to CHOKE the living daylights out of this moron. Not only was he in the way, he was VERY loud, very directing, etc. WAY UNPROFESSIONAL. If I could do it all over again I would have asked him to pipe down (yeah, he was that LOUD) and to let the couple enjoy their day. Instead, he was moving them like they were cattle.

'Alright Skip, let's go! Over here! Stand there!'

No please. No thank-you's. Not even in a nice, soft tone.

I was embarrassed at how he was acting.

The kicker was that as soon as the wedding was over, he took them down to the reception area to get them cutting their cake... before ANYONE was there to watch! I missed the video and every last guest missed them doing it as well.

Ok, strike that. If I had to do it all over again, I'd **tch-slap him. Twice.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 02:40 PM   #12
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I don;t do weddings, but as a former TV news guy had to deal with Print Photographers, some who were quite the story.. anyway.

All i wanted to say to Colby, was contact that photog you "clicked" with and do what was suggested previously, partner up and offer joint services.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 03:00 PM   #13
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This seems to an on going problem. My partner and I work really hard to be "unobrtusive and descreet" when shooting with overly aggressive photographers, this can make being descreet/unobtrusive a real challenge.

Always make attempt to have a little pow wow before the day so you can discuss how you/they work.....try to have a game plan. most of the photographers we have worked with have been really cool and cooperative, we treat them with respect and it usually comes back in return.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 04:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Oveson
One thing I've often wondered is how photographers talk about 'us' in their professional forums... I've read many posts (more frequently lately than before) of troublesome photographers. I wonder if the 'favor' is returned on their boards. Just something I thought about.
I've seen discussions about videographers on photography boards which were less than kind, but being familiar with both disciplines I'd say their complaints are less grounded. The basic problem for us is that we can't move around as freely and may need to show continuous coverage at a time when a photographer walks into our shot. The basic problem for photographers is that they no longer have free rein in what they can do while we're around, but the ones who are true professionals could learn to work with that. They can shoot around us a lot more easily than we can shoot around them, so it's ultimately incumbent on them to take an active role in making things work.

If this is going to be a turf battle then the only way it will get settled is when most couples hire one company to do both photography and videography, at which point such companies will find that combining the two is better for everyone than having it be a competition. I'm buying digital still cameras and taking photography classes, so I'm doing my part to put an end to this conflict...by eliminating it.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 05:13 PM   #15
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Good points here- making clients aware of these potential issues could also be key. photographers only need a fraction of time to get there shot where we as videographers need non stop running time to accomplish stellar results.

photographers are not the enemy and i enjoy working with most of them. im a photogarpher too and i know what they can get usuing the right gear ie. long lenses, etc., these things help in staying out of frame. not all photographers are well disciplned and the same goes for videographers. its challenging shooting in wedding environments and sweating bullets because a photographer gets in a "crucial" shot only stifles your creativity in the end.

even if we had a photography wing of our company, it wouldn;t help because almost all of our clients are referrals and thet tend to have a photographer booked prior to video.....so having your own photo co. wouldn;t help with exception the few who haven't booked photo yet.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
I've seen discussions about videographers on photography boards which were less than kind, but being familiar with both disciplines I'd say their complaints are less grounded. The basic problem for us is that we can't move around as freely and may need to show continuous coverage at a time when a photographer walks into our shot. The basic problem for photographers is that they no longer have free rein in what they can do while we're around, but the ones who are true professionals could learn to work with that. They can shoot around us a lot more easily than we can shoot around them, so it's ultimately incumbent on them to take an active role in making things work.

If this is going to be a turf battle then the only way it will get settled is when most couples hire one company to do both photography and videography, at which point such companies will find that combining the two is better for everyone than having it be a competition. I'm buying digital still cameras and taking photography classes, so I'm doing my part to put an end to this conflict...by eliminating it.
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