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Thread: Wedding photography experience...

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmak
    Well, how would u feel if u got the right angle and the moment and just being a bit slow on the finger-work, and then when u all done, the shot is still there, you end up staring at the main photographer's butt? Great isn't it?
    That's what you get when you're a backup photographer. Face it. As a backup one should always be behind the main photographer. This is basic courtesy and cannot call the main photographer snatching your position/shot.

    Just put yourself in the shoes, you have a job to deliver, and truthfully, you'll do ANYTHING to get it delivered, including showing people your butt. And frankly, I have *NO* qualms in doing just that if it's me. Additional unofficial photographers can kiss my butt if I have to get my butt into their frames. I won't do it just for doing it, but one has to know where their stand is.

    As long as you're not official, you have nothing to complain about kissing butts.

    If you think you would have done better, you should have offered your services instead of being a backup. Else you jolly well stand behind and kiss butts.

    I would feel it's right for others to take shots as long as they don't get into the main photographer's way. I've seen unofficial photographers snatching attention and getting the couple to pose right under the official photographer's nose when the main photographer was about to pose the couple.

    How would you feel? Every additional len/camera that points in the same direction as the main photographer, somebody in the group shot is BOUND to get distracted and look away. Let's just be courteous and let this end here. Nobody's right and nobody's wrong.

    If you ever shoot official, let me tag along and I show you how an unofficial photographer can do very irritating things to turn official photographer off to an extent as your teachers' photographer.
    Last edited by espn; 25th October 2004 at 11:28 PM.

  2. #42

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    I am not sure which country you are from but basically, the person who hire the professional photographer should state the rules clearly.

    If you are the backup photographer, then the organiser should know about it and resolve the issues.

    I suspect that the photographer was arranged by the event organiser or the wedding planner. As such, there is contract which you should have check with the wedding planner about such issues.

  3. #43

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    Yah, I think I see catchlights' reasoning. It's a cultural shock thing. Photography is a serious and respectable business in the West. For eg, in the US, the photographer usually dresses well, long sleeve shirt, tie and even smart coat appropriate for the occasion, just like the rest of the guests for a formal event like wedding. Over here, the photographer is often more synonomous with a cheaper label 'cameraman' (sad but true) and people basically don't care much about him or her. In fact the local photographers themselves accept the less than admired status from the numerous weddings I've attended just dressed in T-shirts and jeans! Definitely no-can-do in the US.

    Furthermore, in the US, a photographer has got a heavy responsibility to deliver a good job as promised. So serious that I think I read in some books they are liable to be sued if they screw up the assignment! Over here, I've heard from a friend b4 a photo shoot was done sub-standard and all the couple could say is "Sigh, what to do?" The photographer practically got away scot-free.

    I suppose things are more prim-and-proper for the ang mohs. They have rules and guidelines to follow. A job in professional photography is no exception. For eg, you definitely can't be a 'tuition teacher' in America just because you're a graduate or whatever. There's just no such thing. Everything is based on having the proper license to practice. Again, photography is no exception. Maybe that's why the arts and photography are more happening in the US and elsewhere like Europe. It's a respectable thing. Not some reason like just because I have a mid-range DSLR I want to be an amateur photographer to earn some bucks.

    Much said, I still don't understand why the main photographer in nickmak's teacher's wedding was rude. I guess on her part, she was frustrated with seeing all the laypeople taking pics when it IS her job. That's how serious and proud she viewed it. It's a culture shock to her too. Reminds me of Elton John calling the Taiwanese reporters and photograhers 'Pigs' for being so rude when he arrived there and almost got mobbed. It's a diffierent culture.

    But this issue aside, on the part of the couple, they should also be 'automatic' and know how many people to employ as backup photographers. For eg, if a CS member were to get married and he rounded up say 5 close friends with their 20D's, 1D MII's, D70's etc + prominent white lenses, how do you think the main photographer would feel? Belittling him/her isn't it... But that can indeed happen here.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    I would feel it's right for others to take shots as long as they don't get into the main photographer's way. I've seen unofficial photographers snatching attention and getting the couple to pose right under the official photographer's nose when the main photographer was about to pose the couple.
    Wah Lauuuu.... this is so very typical ugly, no common sense Singaporean attitude. No can do man!!!! Those amateurs who own L's, f/2.8's, D2H and what else... control your testosterone! If you're not the main photographer, back off till it's appropriate! To those ugly attitude people, if you're so enthusiastic, then BE the main phototog, not a hovering pest...

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2
    Yah, I think I see catchlights' reasoning. It's a cultural shock thing. Photography is a serious and respectable business in the West. For eg, in the US, the photographer usually dresses well, long sleeve shirt, tie and even smart coat appropriate for the occasion, just like the rest of the guests for a formal event like wedding. Over here, the photographer is often more synonomous with a cheaper label 'cameraman' (sad but true) and people basically don't care much about him or her. In fact the local photographers themselves accept the less than admired status from the numerous weddings I've attended just dressed in T-shirts and jeans! Definitely no-can-do in the US.
    Well for one thing it's easier to move around in T-shirt and jeans but depending on the type of client/location one has to be smarter to dress appropriately

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2
    Furthermore, in the US, a photographer has got a heavy responsibility to deliver a good job as promised. So serious that I think I read in some books they are liable to be sued if they screw up the assignment! Over here, I've heard from a friend b4 a photo shoot was done sub-standard and all the couple could say is "Sigh, what to do?" The photographer practically got away scot-free.
    I believe this is known as "Pay peanuts, you get monkeys".

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2
    I suppose things are more prim-and-proper for the ang mohs. They have rules and guidelines to follow. A job in professional photography is no exception. For eg, you definitely can't be a 'tuition teacher' in America just because you're a graduate or whatever. There's just no such thing. Everything is based on having the proper license to practice. Again, photography is no exception. Maybe that's why the arts and photography are more happening in the US and elsewhere like Europe. It's a respectable thing. Not some reason like just because I have a mid-range DSLR I want to be an amateur photographer to earn some bucks.
    That's what most wedding photographers wannabe do... tag as uninvited backup/additional photographer and complain they don't get to shoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2
    Much said, I still don't understand why the main photographer in nickmak's teacher's wedding was rude. I guess on her part, she was frustrated with seeing all the laypeople taking pics when it IS her job. That's how serious and proud she viewed it. It's a culture shock to her too. Reminds me of Elton John calling the Taiwanese reporters and photograhers 'Pigs' for being so rude when he arrived there and almost got mobbed. It's a diffierent culture.
    Me neither but she should have acted more professional

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2
    But this issue aside, on the part of the couple, they should also be 'automatic' and know how many people to employ as backup photographers. For eg, if a CS member were to get married and he rounded up say 5 close friends with their 20D's, 1D MII's, D70's etc + prominent white lenses, how do you think the main photographer would feel? Belittling him/her isn't it... But that can indeed happen here.
    I would say it's called being what you're invited to do. You were invited as a brother/sister or guest, be one. You can bring a little small camera to take moment/candid/group shots. But not a huge setup (no, the main photographer's not afraid) to take shots to 'outshine' the main photographer. It's not the insecurity, it's the respect one should at least have the decency for.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmak
    Well, how would u feel if u got the right angle and the moment and just being a bit slow on the finger-work, and then when u all done, the shot is still there, you end up staring at the main photographer's butt? Great isn't it? That's the frustration I'm having... I know I'm a bit slow when setting myself up, but really, if she could also let me have the liberty of getting my own shots too... I didn't get in her way at all, she was munching away at the food (Sorry have to repeat myself). She would do all her finger-work right AFTER she got in front of me... My teacher had asked me to shoot and was willing to pay me. I said I wanted to experience how wedding photography works, but I guess I started experiencing wedding photography on the wrong foot!

    Regards,
    Nick
    Hey Nick,
    Sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience being the back-up photographer man. *sigh* i think the lady's just too caught up in trying to act professional and be professional. But i think what catchlight said earlier was right lah, that these ang moh people work differently and you know how picky they can be right.

    But that's the thing about being paid to do a stranger's wedding and not being paid at all to do a friend's wedding. As a stranger, you're only looking for good shots and the typical cliche shots that people take a weddings. Couple holding hands. Smooch smooch kiss kiss. And tada! Your wedding album. But as a friend, you understand the elements and you appreciate the union more. You tend to capture things that will not only catch your eye but the things you catch will also catch the couple's eye. The pictures you take are sincere and from the heart, because you want to capture that whole day to give your friends and yourself, something they can treasure for the rest of their lives. And maybe that's why all the angles and shots you saw, she could not have seen it, because in a way, she is an outsider! So hey! Well done!

    And yar, i think as a back-up photographer, you played your part too. You didn't get in the main photographer's way (ok lah, maybe because she didn't even let you lah), you were careful not to spoil any moments for the main photographer, & you were considerate and understanding. So sometimes as a back up phoographer, you really are just the spare tire, and people may treat you like the spare tire. But if you keep focus and sharp, i bet you even the main photographer will slack off (like what that lady did. *tsk* *tsk* eating on the job) and then that's when you come in and wham!! SOLID SHOTS.

    Now all you have to do is work real quick on that shutter button and no one will ever be able to stop ya! So, have a kit-kat and forget about the lady yar? At least now you know how not to act when you turn pro.

  7. #47
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    My teacher had contacted the photographer directly... I'm a S'porean by the way... My teacher had organised this rather small wedding privately without any third party... The only other person who clearly was involved in the wedding was the groom's father... Who was actually the 'priest'!

    I already told my teacher (the groom) that I will remain in the background, more or less like a shadow behind the events, hence me using the long lens to get back as far away as possible. I told the photographer herself that I'm a backup who is shooting because my teacher had ASKED ME TO DO IT and will not get in her way. I know she's the main photographer and she has the right to the best angles. The problem that I, as well as the fellow official videographer had was that when we positioned ourselves for a shot, she WILL walk into our viewfinders and take the photos. Finding the right moment took time, and during that time while observing what was happening, guess what we have on the DV tapes, the photographer helping herself to magaritas and deserts! I clearly saw she was on the watch for US, not the events, because she knew that whereever we were, she knew that we had something in our viewfinders. Is that a photographer doing her job or an opportunist with a camera (no, not 1, but 5...) I had planned to take the shots of the preparations of the family shots, and the main photographer would take the family portraits, but NO! she did not allow that even! I mean, even while the bride was dabbing her nose with tissues preparing herself for a shot, NO! I was not allowed that too! Luckily I managed to steal some shots far away at 200mm... That's all that I had... And also the videographer too, he was told off not to shoot too! Come on woman! I mean he and I were so far away from all the action and were shooting in and amongst the crowd not being shot, and we are still not allowed to shoot? EVEN A CAMERA PHONE???!!!! I had told everyone that not to notice me also, what more can I do?

    espn, I did not in anyway intimidate or do anything that would make the official photographer loose focus on her subjects and also I did not make the subjects loose their focus on the official camera too... I was standing so far back as well, and not next to her mind you... I clearly DID NOT in any way do anything that WILL and WOULD HAVE intimidated the main photographer.

    What I had just said is probably the feeling of frustration that the bride and groom's family and friends would have said because they were having the same complaints as me!

    Regards,
    Nick
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

  8. #48
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    During my cousin's wedding day, I shoot with my F100 with 28-70 f2.8. The main photographer even ask me to shoot and not stand there waiting for pictures to drop from the sky.

    So I think you have a bad experience.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmak
    espn, I did not in anyway intimidate or do anything that would make the official photographer loose focus on her subjects and also I did not make the subjects loose their focus on the official camera too... I was standing so far back as well, and not next to her mind you... I clearly DID NOT in any way do anything that WILL and WOULD HAVE intimidated the main photographer.
    Heck, no I didn't say you were intimidating her. If she felt intimidated she shouldn't be shooting then. Equipment are just tools why intimidated. Think her handling of your shooting was not properly handled.

    I'm not bullshitting.. but even if you're about 2-3m away from the shots being taken, surely, there will be one or two distracted by other things going on in the background or where there happens to be a camera. It happens.

  10. #50
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    That's what most wedding photographers wannabe do... tag as uninvited backup/additional photographer and complain they don't get to shoot.
    Dear espn,

    I was an invited guest and I even had my name on the dining list. If I was an univited guest, do you think I'd have driven for 3 hours, sat on a ferry for 30 mins, taken a bloody back-breaking pickup ride to the resort? NO! I would have been somewhere else doing something you know... Koh Samet in Thailand is NOT like Sentosa where its a short drive alright... I know when I'm invited and when I'm not and please don't comment about me having a culture shock. I've been around ang mohs for a good 7 nearing 8 years of my 18 years of existence on this planet and I think I jolly well know what their culture is.

    My teacher had got one main photographer - her, and one backup photographer - me. The rest were family and friends who all had cameras with them.

    Nick
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    Heck, no I didn't say you were intimidating her. If she felt intimidated she shouldn't be shooting then. Equipment are just tools why intimidated. Think her handling of your shooting was not properly handled.

    I'm not bullshitting.. but even if you're about 2-3m away from the shots being taken, surely, there will be one or two distracted by other things going on in the background or where there happens to be a camera. It happens.
    Ai yah... then if its like that, what's the backup for then? Doesn't it defeat the purpose and the existence of a backup photographer? I took all comments onboard when I asked about being a backup photographer on a thread some 2-3 weeks ago... and I put those to use. I think you did write something there too... took your advice too...

    The others were frustrated by not being able to shoot the family portraits. That I fully comprehend, because it will steal attention from the main photographer. But the events Before and After the family portrait should be a free-for-all right?
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

  12. #52
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    yawn.......

  13. #53

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    Aiyah, mak....this is just one small hiccup lar. If you have the experience, i am sure you will be able to move faster than her. (somemore you were/should be shooting in quite an open space with ample room for maneuveur). Maybe i see what i can do for you since you like to shoot so much. Why don't you start with fashion shows first, if you can get 80 shots out of 100 in focus, your first step is there. (and it doesn't mean banking too much on your predictive focus + 8fps). I think you mentioned that quite a number of shots were OOF with your last outing at sbwr right? Step-by-step lar.

    When are you coming back to SG? The birds are waiting for your machine.....

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    Hi people,

    No offend, I think you guys miss out something, the way ang moh photographers do things are different from here, especially the high-end one. Mostly they ask for exclusive right and be the only photographer of the event, some will ask the couple to sign a contract, in the event if any other photographer present at the sametime, they can ask this other photographer to leave the venue, or else this professional will stop photographing the event.
    Not just for high-end photographers... This clause appears in all the wedding contract/agreement that the couples have to sign before they pay the deposit to hire me as their wedding day photographer. Ever covered those TCS celebrity weddings b4? Things do turn quite ugly between the 7-8 photographers all wanting to get the best angle/shot...

    The thing is, I don't mind relatives shooting with their Nokia or Polaroid even so long they don't get in the way...

    Sometimes with them getting in a way does make a good picture as well, hehe

  15. #55
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    Cool it guys. It's over. Move forward to take greater pics to prove to her that Asians are better.
    Kind Regards
    My Picture Website

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmak
    The others were frustrated by not being able to shoot the family portraits. That I fully comprehend, because it will steal attention from the main photographer. But the events Before and After the family portrait should be a free-for-all right?
    Sigh although I think I am talking to a wall here. The job description was to cover a wedding - that means every freaking thing that happens there falls into the realm of the job.

    I can see you are really really sorry that you could not show your mojo. Please note that even when you tried to when you thought the ang mo female photog (amfp) was other wise pre occupied, you found that she could see the moment before you and get the shot. You should thank her for teaching you about some of your weak points and learn from her how to spot the moment and be there when it happens. Its not about equipment, its about the skills to use the equipment.

    I have been to weddings where I am a guest and had brought my camera to take a few shots - at some of them I eventually do not shoot. Why some official photogs are very demanding about maximising the chances to get the shots in, some time I know the guy shooting..... At all times I do not compete with the main photog because I know that no client accepts any excuse for not getting the shots in - even if you have equipment failure its **** hitting the fan. Been in the saddle as main photog, its not easy if you are dealing with strangers with 101 things to keep in view, follow the flow of the show , avoiding seeing the but of some one else blocking the shot or having shots ruined by some dear friend or relative with a camera shooting "loook here smile smile" here would always have to the other side.

  17. #57

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    It would be a good learning experience for you to see the shots she had taken. For those shots you saw that she had 'stolen'...you can evaluate if you would have done a better job, same, or worse. She was faster, and she moved in closer...what were her results?

    As a backup photographer...it's not just about getting the pictures, it's also about learning what you can from the main photographer (good things only) so that you can do better the next time.

    It's not every day that a 1500 pounds lesson come by for free.

    cheers!

  18. #58
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    Thatís how the way they work, like it or not, you still have to fellow.
    Maybe other wedding photographers you met donít impose this kind of things, but today she is the photographer of your teachersí wedding, she call the shot.
    As for how your teacher told you, I donít want make any assumption, but the female photographer massage is clear enough.
    I donít mind anyone shoot next to me during a wedding, as long they donít get into my way, or slow down the process, I have some tricks to deal with this kind of situation and people when I get irritated. But most of the time I just keep quiet, feel sorry for the couple, because they couldnít get the best out of me.

  19. #59

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    Hi nickmak
    I notice you have a "big smile" point at Life in your signature!
    You should try to do just that.
    always the Light, .... always.

  20. #60

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    Hi Nick,

    Not going to comment on your experience with the female photog as it's been extensively discussed and debated on. After reading through the entire post, just wanna mention some observations.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickmak
    I don't know if she was intimidated by my setup but I knew my setup was rather big..1DMKII, 70-200mm f2.8L, 550EX, 300D, 17-40L on both shoulders...
    You did mention that you were the backup and will not be in the way of the main photog, so you probably should be using a long lens and not a wide angle. Did you say you weren't using a flash in some of your posts?

    Quote Originally Posted by nickmak
    Well, how would u feel if u got the right angle and the moment and just being a bit slow on the finger-work, and then when u all done, the shot is still there, you end up staring at the main photographer's butt? Great isn't it? That's the frustration I'm having... I know I'm a bit slow when setting myself up, but really, if she could also let me have the liberty of getting my own shots too...
    You also mentioned that you were "just being a bit slow on the finger-work" and ended up not getting the shot. Could it be that you were slowed down by having too much equipment hanging on your body?

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