also, i have failed to see any hot heads that their snaps saved the day..... in fact, i am not unconvinced that the official photographer will not miss a shot even if he is unhindered. also, i am unconvinced that an unofficial photographer will not be able to take a photo at any angle that may be better than the official photographer. why are u against another uncle bob who may be able to snap a better picture/different angle from u?
also, maybe these uncle bobs/cousin joes/aunts/fathers/mothers/sisters/brothers actually have the approval to take pictures?
The point are, 1) the official photographer is hired to deliver certain images, 2) the official photographer is solely responsible to make sure agreed on images are delivered, as agreed, 3) uncle bob was not engaged to nor expected to deliver any images to the wedding couple.
The official photographer may be rude, or lacking in social skill, or offensive even to uncle bob, but if uncle bob did not intrude, all these unpleasantnesses will not have happened.
In terms of whether the story is one side or not, it does not matter. If thephotographer failed to deliver the images as agreed, I am sure TS's friend would have passed on another story, "... wedding photographer failed to deliver ..." The photographer must deliver, and if said photographer does not like to work with other people shooting over his shoulder or waiting for some uncle bob to shoot inbetween his sets, then that is the photographer's style and work habits.
Ifyou don't like it, they don't hire this particular photographer. I am sure there are many on CS who "freelances" and do not mind uncle bob shooting over, behind, and and between him. DUH!
You must think from the view of your customer, imagine you are the attending your relatives wedding and you are not the photog but someone else does and you are exactly in the same situation as you mention. What will you think? I am sure you will not recommend this photog to anybody you know. Worst still, in this kind of wedding services, the world is very small and someone else you know told you he is hiring the same photog without knowing his previous assignment has angered his customer and you suggest him to change the photog. This poor photog will have lesser and lesser customer.
So for those photog who provide services out there, "CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT". You only get more assignment when your custmers are happy. Service quality is important. Please remember.
It is best if they not shoot over the photog's shoulder. Like some of the pros have mentioned, uncle bobs should shoot before or after the main photog. Too many photogs shooting at the same time, will quite surely lead to straying eyes (most evident in table shots), or even red tinted faces (courtesy of focus assist light from uncle bob's camera). The latter is easy to resolve, quick check and shoot again. but experienced photogs would probably attest that the former might not be so easy to correct, even if you shout at the top of your lungs to gain attention (which is not very professional too btw).
Why is this so? Because uncle bob's nephew cousin joe is in the table and cousin joe knows very well that he ain't gonna receive the shot the main photog took and it would be much easier to get the almost similar shot from uncle bob instead. So which camera does he look at? I think the answer to that is quite elementary.
We as photographers, understands why the guests want to take snapshots here and there and I personally would never ever ask any of the guests to bugger off. We deal with the extra flashes and hope to get the best possible shot for the couple.
The guests (uncle bobs included) hopefully understands too that the wedding is not only a joyous occasion, it is importantly, a once in a lifetime event for the couple, which most times, are preserved only by the beautiful shots the main photographers delivered.
Understanding from all parties goes a long way.
From most of the responses here, it seems that many of us have forgotten the human aspect of this business. For the couple, it is a once in a lifetime experience, and for their family - they probably get to attend weddings probably a once or twice a year. I know, wedding photographers see and attend weddings week after week, and see it as just a job and are able to identify all the "nuisense" relative cliches, but remember that for these "nuisences", it is their first and only time encountering it - and more importantly, they are attending the wedding of a relative with whom they have shared a bond lasting a lifetime.
I might turn into a pontential flame bait for saying this, but it seems that some photographers speak as if the whole event revolves around them - isn't it supposed to be the special day of the couple - the clients... and by extension, the family? They may be irritating and might do things whick disrupts the work of the photographer, but the photographer must remember that he is first and foremost a service provider. Good PR is just as important as any technical aspect of the business, if not more.
I'm not directing my above comments at anyone in this thread in particular, it's just that I had a bad experience at my sister's wedding last year. It was bad enough that the photographer was barking orders and directing everyone, but when I passed my phone to my sis to show her a congratutory sms from an overseas family friend, the photographer snapped at me and said he was in the middle of something (which I was unaware of and would have apologised for if I wasn't rudely snapped at). I just smiled at him and said in a half joking manner: "Oh hi! I'm the bride's brother and I changed her diapers and bathed her when she was little. And who the **** are you?" The guests around us just laughed out loud, albeit a little nervously, and the photographer chuckled sheepishly, but his face turned an even darker shade of black for the rest of the day.
Thumbs up for albinosage for telling off the rude fella hahah
I don't rig scenes or get couple or anyone to repeat something for the sake of getting that shot. So if Uncle Bob messes it up, that's too bad really. If customer don't accept this, which is fundamentally what my photography style is they can look for another photographer.
For instance, guests passes you a camera, ask you to shoot for them, would you say yes? I won't because there's already enough cameras for me to handle, plus, what happens if you drops or spoil the camera, or suay suay erase the images in the camera?
Yes, customer is always right. If a customer decides to engage your professional service, there has to be certain terms and boundaries that they have to accept as well, not everything also can.
I use the analogy of dress code, if a customer chooses to go to a 5-star fine dining restaurant, he/she can't simply appear in t-shirt and jeans and flipflops, because the management will show you to the door. Now you can't tell them, "I'm the customer and I'm always right!" The same goes to customer who wants a certain photographer's style that is different from your average Joe's photos, then you can be dead sure that they are going to be some terms that deviate from the norm.
if you read my post properly, I stand for understanding on all sides (namely Couple, photographer and the guests)
I never believe anyone should make any unnecessary comments / remarks which would make anybody else feel bad / unhappy.
Ultimately, the most important customer is still the Couple (which i highlighted in my previous post) and nobody (photographer or guests) should jeopardize their day. While i fully agree that photographers must always have good PR, guests (close relatives included) scorning the photographer for whatever reason, may not be a good move too, as it might have an adverse effect on some photographers, which ultimately affects their work and the in turn the end products which the Couple receives.
That's why i called for understanding and for all parties to work hand in hand to really make it a day for the couple to remember.
For couples who are hiring the top end pros, I don't think they are expecting pictures to look like Uncle Bob's. Even if the angles (and in some cases, cameras) are similar, the finishing and editing work is going to be different from Uncle Bob's, if not I don't see how they can command a premium price.
It looks like the thread has evolved from talking about how to react a photographer asking friends and family to stop copying his invented poses to other matters close to everybody's hearts But there are many good informative and educative posts, so kudos and thanks.
I just wanted to play contrarian and say that any "invented pose" that attracts friends and family to copy probably isn't unique enough.
And then, isn't copying a sincere form of flattery?
On the matter of group shots, one method I have tried is to have direct eye contact with the subjects after composing the shot in the viewfinder. Of course, you have to be sure that your composition doesn't move too much after taking your eye from the viewfinder. No, I don't bring a tripod around I won't vouch that it works for you, but the idea is to have a presence larger than hiding your face behind a camera.
I have seen a Tatler photographer getting posed shots by getting the attention of the subject quickly and then making snap shots - the camera is placed right next to his face. Then again, the groups are small and the guests have their hands full with champagne flutes rather than cameras
This is very bad. You should not hesitate to advise your friend and his/her relatives to file a police report. Engage a QC to fight it to gain back their dignities.
I pity them as they have invested in their camera gears and who know could have study the art and technique of photography for years, and to be told by someone to stop shooting beside me. This amount to insult of its worse kind to any well respected digital camera owners.
I hope they have ate and able to digest their shark fin and abalone. Did they finished the desert? So sad for them if they lost their appetite.
anyway, if someone asking me to help to snap using their PnS, I smile and help them, when returning the camera, I tell them first shot is FREE, second shot onward is $20 per shot..... strangely, no one will ask me to help again...heheheh