Hi shinken,Yes, I would mind. If theyr'e just taking casual snap shots, I don't. But if they're so much as functioning as a '2nd photog' or 'backup photog', I have a clause in the contract (which I will take my time to explain and justify to my clients) that will release me of my obligations.
Reason no. 1: Most of these '2nd photogs' or 'backup photogs' are enthusiasts and passionate about photography. In all the excitement to put their knowledge into practice, sometimes it is difficult, or even unreasonable to expect them to remember to give priority to the official photographer. A photographer's natural instinct is to get the best position, best angle possible. When these friends or relatives assume these positions, it means one thing - I have lost that position. Many a times the friend/family would show initiative and try not to be too obstrusive. But there are also those confident and swaggering ones who moves into your frame just before you click your shutter. That one moment is lost forever to me. And if it's a significant-enough moment, it's one moment lost forever to the couple -because I will not use any works of photographers other than those hired by my company, in albums produced by my company.
Reason no. 2: I don't like to have photographers in my frames. Friends and family who're taking candid shots, yes. But not those DSLR with grips and mega flashes. Even my own employed assistants are told not to get into my frames. This is one of the very first things I brief my assistants on. This is usually shared by my clients. But when clients express that they don't mind, I will have to explain that it's my artistic preference. If it's intentional of me to capture a friend or relative inside my composition, then of course there's no issue. However, there're also moments whereby a over-zealous friend/family would take the opposite angle and flash into my frame and ruin my exposure. Although I have been indemnified when these happens, that moment is forever lost. Clients have to respect my preference as an artist if they were to decide to go with me. If they see their wedding day photography as a consolidation of snapshots taken by different people from different angles, then they would be using the wrong guy if they were to hire me.
At the end of the day, this is what I try to make clear to my clients. They have decided that my presentation, images in the portfolio, samples and so on justify my worth. When they hire me, they feel that I'm 'worth' hiring. But if there are circumstances that are introduced (which could have been within control) that would interfere with the workflow, then I would not be allowed to do my job in the best way possible.
I'm sure that in this digital age, everyone (family and guests) can be involved in the wedding day more intimately through photography. My illustrations are of course, more extreme ones which most people don't encounter, or don't notice from their perspective. If fellow passionate photographer hobbyists want to be involved, by all means if they don't get into the way. That's the most important thing we're concerned about. Getting in front of the main photographer's frame is getting in the way. Getting into the frame of the photographer's composition (ala, a 2nd photographer style, not 'uncle bob' style) is getting in the way. Doing all the family group shots that the couple wants in the album is getting in the way (groups hate to pose for 2 different photographers for 4 shots. Eats up photographer's coverage time too).
I understand how couples want to allow their friends and family to be involved in terms of photography. My bottomline is, they've paid me to do my job, so as long as I'm allowed to do my job in the best possible way, then - please let me do my job.
Thanks for your very specified explaination
if the AD photog allows me to join in, i will bare the above points you have mentioned embedded into my thick skull and i will check with him the Dos and Don'ts for me =)
i totally agree that he has a job to be done =)