Forums > Photography Talk > Bad Photographer

Photographer

Neil Snape

Posts: 9473

Paris, Île-de-France, France

Last time I did a wedding it was a big deal. I told my friend, hire a pro that knows exactly the shots needed, that way you're assured. My gift to her was I shot the way I wanted, and the shots I wanted. So with my infrared BW, and high ISO slides, I captured what the other guy didn't. I also didn't have to make excuses for anything.


IF I was a wedding photographer though I most certainly would shoot friends too.

Feb 01 13 03:02 am Link

Photographer

SoCo n Lime

Posts: 3283

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

H A Z E wrote:

+1

there is nothing wrong with bringing your camera and offering some help

there is everything wrong with bringing your camera with the intention of helping out/getting involved

how about respecting the wedding photographer and leave him/her to do their job and enjoy the wedding yourself

OP was asked and knocked back the opportunity for his own reasons. back seat drivers are not welcome anywhere.. let it go

Feb 01 13 03:04 am Link

Photographer

CandiceCampbellPhotog

Posts: 1302

Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Richard Haick wrote:
Here's what you do. (to those who shoot at friends' weddings) Stop being a dick and bringing your camera to the wedding if they hired a photographer. If you're better, fine, shut up and let your ego have the last laugh. I shoot weddings and I look at you like a wanna-be buffoon, no matter how much of a bad-ass you might be. If it were your job, your duty, you'd have been hired and not declined. Do you bring your own guitar to the concert and play with the band? No, sit back and talk shit, but keep off the stage.

this +100000000

Feb 01 13 03:19 am Link

Photographer

Raoul Isidro Images

Posts: 6290

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
Right now I feel that I should just stand back.  This is the photographer my friend has picked and I should respect her choices but at the same time, I feel kind of bad.

^
^
^
That right there is your best advice to yourself.

Just be aware that you're feeling bad will go away... but the ghastly photos will remain, so it's your friend's cargo and not yours.

Be happy with yourself.

.

Feb 01 13 03:29 am Link

Photographer

Renato Alberto

Posts: 902

San Francisco, California, US

Exactly there is nothing wrong with bringing your camera and offering some help if needed,

Here's my $0.02 for what it's worth,
There is noting wrong as a guest bringing a camera to the wedding. Many guests do that. I even see some weddings where the are a couple of cameras at each table for guets to take some pictures. There is something wrong, with going to the "HIRED" wedding photographer and offering some help. It's not your job! The photographer might just take it wrong, and think you are offering help because you feel he does not know what he/she is doing. specially if you walk up and say. "I am a professional photographer, and I am here to help you." specially if you walk in with all your professional gear....smile
I don't do weddings. I have been asked by friends, and have always say NO, but do recommend someone I feel can do a great job. The most I do is to take my little Canon G10, and take some candid shots of friends and guests that we can have fun looking at them later, but let the "HIRED" photographer do his/her job.

Feb 01 13 03:33 am Link

Photographer

Kool Koncepts

Posts: 890

Saint Louis, Michigan, US

Dan Brady wrote:
I don't know if I am going crazy, I checked the dates of the post over and over. But this is so similar to another post it is uncanny. All the responses were the same too.

Is there a glitch in the matrix?

I am glad it was not just me. I remember an almost identical post some months ago!

Edit: I believe this was the thread.

Friend has hired a "pro" photographer ...

Feb 01 13 03:47 am Link

Photographer

Farenell Photography

Posts: 18133

Albany, New York, US

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
I realize we all have to start some where but this person is calling themselves a professional and I want my friends photos to come out and be good.  So my problem is where do I draw the line?  Do I just stand back and let the photographer work?  Do I offer a little help?  Do I just tell the photographer to get out of my way?

When I read your post I'm reminded of the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."

She asks you to shoot her wedding. You tell her to find someone else. The person she does find does not meet your expectations. Now you have nonbuyer's remorse.

*facepalm*

You've already made your bed. Just let it go.

Feb 01 13 05:40 am Link

Photographer

J M

Posts: 372

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Richard Haick wrote:
Actually, it is quite rude to bring your own camera and shoot over the photographer's shoulder, much less shoot from your chairs and so forth. I think some people have forgotten their etiquette. You are a guest, not a vendor. You don't make your own wedding cake to serve. You don't bring your own DJ to play music. Why do you think that you have some right or obligation to bring your gear? If you want to practice your wedding shots, get a gig as an assistant wedding photographer.

All too often, people ruin the hired photographer's shots because of their orange AF assist lights and red grids or their flash is going off at the same time and overexposing the shot because they are trying to get their own shot of a certain moment. Too many uncle Bobs in the aisle or jumping in front of the alter. I once had one of MY weddings blogged by a guest which seriously pissed me off. It's not ruining the photographer's photos. It's ruining the bride's and groom's photos.

Do you let people come into your studio and just shoot while you're shooting?

Definitely, I second shoot to pay my rent and study fees while I'm going through uni, and find this even more so for the second shooter.
I've had people jumping infront of my shots down the aisle while taking the longer shots, or because I'm often fetching a lens for a lens change or something and am young. While letting the photographer and helping her get the family formals before the bridal party shots and after the ceremony, she likes me to capture candids of the formals usually with something like an 85, how many times I have to frame and weave my way through phones or dslrs for this type of shot is atrocious, they seem to think I'm just doing it for fun or something, often she just gets me standing behind her to clear space even.

Feb 01 13 05:52 am Link

Photographer

Anthony J Deffina

Posts: 80

Shingle Springs, California, US

Damianne wrote:
If you wanted to be involved in the quality of the photos, you should be the one getting married or the photographer, otherwise you should probably just stay quiet unless your opinion is asked for.

Enough said.

Feb 01 13 05:54 am Link

Photographer

Mickle Design Werks

Posts: 5949

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
A friend asked me to be her photographer for her wedding out in Cali.  I live in Indiana.  I told her she should find someone else for a number of reasons, but mostly I did not want to mix "business and pleasure".  She is a good friend and I have seen what happens to other photographers when they do that and the friendship ends badly.

So she has found another photographer and this photographer is just bad.  I mean this is the wanna be photographer who's photos are dark, lots of noise, bad editing (where you try to make a black and white photo but only the red roses are in color.  Instead the roses, half the flower and half of the person's arm is in color) 

I realize we all have to start some where but this person is calling themselves a professional and I want my friends photos to come out and be good.  So my problem is where do I draw the line?  Do I just stand back and let the photographer work?  Do I offer a little help?  Do I just tell the photographer to get out of my way? 

Right now I feel that I should just stand back.  This is the photographer my friend has picked and I should respect her choices but at the same time, I feel kind of bad.

If the photography is important to the your friend then they will find a way to afford a budget that will allow them to get a quality Photographer. for me that's got  to be at least $1800-$2000 minimum. 

Stay out of the process as much as you can. Once you inject yourself into any part of her wedding photography she will view you as having some responsibility for it.

Feb 01 13 06:59 am Link

Photographer

afplcc

Posts: 6000

Fairfax, Virginia, US

Instinct Images wrote:
I had a friend that got married recently and she asked me if I was interested in shooting her wedding but I politely declined and explained why then offered to help her choose a photographer. She sent me a couple of ones she was interested in and they were all pretty bad. I sent her a couple of recommendations and she ended up choosing one of them and ended up VERY happy with the photos.

My suggestion: tell her you think she could find a better photographer and offer to help her choose.

If she's getting married in SoCal I can send you a link to the photographer my friend used. I believe she was very reasonably priced.

+1 

Well said and spot on.

Ed

Feb 01 13 07:00 am Link

Photographer

Philip from Scotland

Posts: 203

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Weddings are all different.  What people want in the way of photography differs too.  I'd guess a lot of the time photography is less than 50% of the "wedding photographer's" work on the day, what with organising family groups etc.

As a guest, like most guests, I would take photos at a wedding.  As a photographer I would hope to take some nice photos.... NO not by standing in front of the "wedding photographer" or because my equipment is better, but because I might photograph something no-one else does or in a different way.  Yes I would give any of those photos that came out nice to the couple... NO not to say mine are better, or because the "wedding photographer" missed that moment, but just because that is what friends do.

If photos are really the most important thing about a wedding day think again WHY ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED, perhaps what the couple need is a photo shoot NOT a wedding wink

Feb 01 13 07:21 am Link

Photographer

H A Z E

Posts: 82

London, England, United Kingdom

RenatoJr - RJ wrote:
Here's my $0.02 for what it's worth,
There is noting wrong as a guest bringing a camera to the wedding. Many guests do that. I even see some weddings where the are a couple of cameras at each table for guets to take some pictures. There is something wrong, with going to the "HIRED" wedding photographer and offering some help. It's not your job! The photographer might just take it wrong, and think you are offering help because you feel he does not know what he/she is doing. specially if you walk up and say. "I am a professional photographer, and I am here to help you." specially if you walk in with all your professional gear....smile
I don't do weddings. I have been asked by friends, and have always say NO, but do recommend someone I feel can do a great job. The most I do is to take my little Canon G10, and take some candid shots of friends and guests that we can have fun looking at them later, but let the "HIRED" photographer do his/her job.

I totally agree, there is no need to offer help to a hired photographer as it is their job and if they needed help they would have brought an assistant along. That wasn't really the type of help I was implying but still I think there is nothing wrong with getting a few shots for a friend at their wedding, as long as you don't get in the way of the wedding photographer.

Feb 01 13 07:45 am Link

Photographer

Andrew Thomas Evans

Posts: 24078

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

Thomas Sellberg wrote:
Take your camera and shoot some photos too. You asked to not be their photographer for a good reason. If this individual fails it is their issue.

I have several times taken my camera to friends weddings and out shot their photographer from my seat. I just edit and give them the images and don't say a word about their guy/gal until asked. I professionally shot my uncle's wedding, only because they begged me. The photos came out great and they were happy. I on the other hand was not. And will probably not do aother wedding as I felt so stressed about the entire thing and it was just family as a client instead of someone else that it just turned me off to that type of photography. However I will continue to take my gear to other weddings...

Michael Pandolfo wrote:
That might be the worst advice I have ever heard in the forums. That doesn't sound like a professional, it sounds like an Uncle Bob who is shooting to satisfy their own ego.

Sounds like you want the accolades without the pressure of having to deliver. As a photographer, I would think you would be sensitive to the job of the actual hired photographer and not try to best them to make yourself feel better.

+1




Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Feb 01 13 07:53 am Link

Photographer

Andrew Thomas Evans

Posts: 24078

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

SoCo n Lime wrote:
there is everything wrong with bringing your camera with the intention of helping out/getting involved

how about respecting the wedding photographer and leave him/her to do their job and enjoy the wedding yourself

OP was asked and knocked back the opportunity for his own reasons. back seat drivers are not welcome anywhere.. let it go

Hey now! I wouldn't think twice about taking my T4 point and shoot to a wedding! Or my camera phone...



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Feb 01 13 07:55 am Link

Photographer

Richard Haick

Posts: 355

Richmond, California, US

As a wedding photographer, I also hate when a guest has the cool new gear I haven't bought yet. On the other hand, it's not so bad when they ask me how it works.

Feb 01 13 08:06 am Link

Photographer

Ezhini

Posts: 1601

Wichita, Kansas, US

Richard Haick wrote:
Here's what you do. (to those who shoot at friends' weddings) Stop being a dick and bringing your camera to the wedding if they hired a photographer. If you're better, fine, shut up and let your ego have the last laugh. I shoot weddings and I look at you like a wanna-be buffoon, no matter how much of a bad-ass you might be. If it were your job, your duty, you'd have been hired and not declined. Do you bring your own guitar to the concert and play with the band? No, sit back and talk shit, but keep off the stage.

The right thing to do is help steer your loved ones to someone who is worth a damn. You know the value of a photo. You have a better eye for it. You should know that a wedding is not a model shoot, so there's going to be some variation from what you see here. They should value that opinion, especially if they asked you to shoot.

I know I sound like a complete a-hole. But, I speak from experience.

I dont know about complete, but you surely sound like a reasonable a-hole smile

OP, Richard says it clearly. Do the good work you do. If you dont want to do it, then stay out of the way - whatever the level of work that someone else is doing.

Feb 01 13 08:17 am Link

Photographer

Mark Salo

Posts: 8387

Olney, Maryland, US

Thomas Sellberg wrote:
Take your camera and shoot some photos too. You asked to not be their photographer for a good reason.

No!

[don't] Take your camera... You asked to not be their photographer for a good reason.

Feb 01 13 08:28 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

photo212grapher wrote:
If you do not want to shoot the wedding, don't. Simple. If you think they are looking at poor photographers, it is probably because it is all they can afford.

Long ago, back when I took weddings, I did take some for friends, and even my brother's wedding. Each time, I tried to convince them to find someone else, but they wanted to include me in the wedding. It became my wedding gift to them. If I was asked today, I'd decline on being out of practice, but I might consider paying for a good photographer as the wedding present. (Family, yes. Real close friends, yes. Others? Might donate towards the cause of getting a good photographer to do the honors.)

And for friends and family, bring a point and shoot along, and capture some moments before the wedding (that they never saw as they prepared) and after the wedding at the reception of mutual friends. These do not have to works of art ready to enlarge on five foot canvas frames. These are the snapshots to bring a laugh or smile. Something you as a friend would see that even an experienced professional photographer might not ever notice.

What a wonderful post and mentality. Absolutely Ego-Free.

Feb 01 13 08:30 am Link

Photographer

RKD Photographic

Posts: 3265

Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Mike Collins wrote:
If I'm invited to a wedding that I am not shooting, I never bring my camera(s).  They invited me as a friend and guest and I enjoy it just as that.  But that's just me.

No - it's me too.

I recently went to a joint birthday party at a friend's house (his and my birthday).
His wife looked at me as I took off my coat and said in all seriousness:
"Rob, where's your camera?"...
To which I replied: "Are you paying me to be here?"

Feb 01 13 10:10 am Link

Photographer

Dan Brady

Posts: 610

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Kool Koncepts wrote:

I am glad it was not just me. I remember an almost identical post some months ago!

Edit: I believe this was the thread.

Friend has hired a "pro" photographer ...

ahahah fantastic. nothing is ever new.

Feb 01 13 10:40 am Link

Photographer

Raoul Isidro Images

Posts: 6290

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

These days, almost everyone would have a camera in a wedding.

Everyone.

From cell phones to Lytro.

The couple should be aware that half of the pictures that will be snapped in their wedding will be the food...

.

Feb 01 13 01:20 pm Link

Photographer

AVD AlphaDuctions

Posts: 10558

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
These days, almost everyone would have a camera in a wedding.

Everyone.

From cell phones to Lytro.

The couple should be aware that half of the pictures that will be snapped in their wedding will be the food...

.

the Zuck has to justify spending all that $$$ on Instagram.  be happy you are just viewing the bleach bypass shrimp and not actually eating them

Feb 01 13 01:30 pm Link

Photographer

Raoul Isidro Images

Posts: 6290

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:

the Zuck has to justify spending all that $$$ on Instagram.  be happy you are just viewing the bleach bypass shrimp and not actually eating them

Part of the food trip photos is actually torturing their "friends" who are on "strict" diets.

It's great to be a cheeky temptation sometimes...  borat

.

Feb 01 13 01:57 pm Link

Photographer

Pictures of Life

Posts: 376

Rathdrum, Idaho, US

#1 his Friend asked for his help. #2 The photographer they selected is NOT a 'wedding photographer'.
    Tell your friend why you think they should get a different/better photographer.  How will your Friend feel about your non-help after the wedding when they have crap photos and you admit that you knew beforehand it was going to be a bunch of failure. How would you feel if your experienced, Plastic surgeon friend stood back and let you get butchered by someone they knew was a fumbling wanna-be surgeon, after you specifically asked them for help.
     Have an honest conversation with your friend. If they make an informed decision, even if it is a decision that you don't agree with, that's OK. But if they're making an uninformed decision, that you could have helped with, and they regret the end result, you may wear some of that.

Feb 01 13 08:41 pm Link

Photographer

AVD AlphaDuctions

Posts: 10558

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

Pictures of Life wrote:
#1 his Friend asked for his help. #2 The photographer they selected is NOT a 'wedding photographer'.
    Tell your friend why you think they should get a different/better photographer.  How will your Friend feel about your non-help after the wedding when they have crap photos and you admit that you knew beforehand it was going to be a bunch of failure. How would you feel if your experienced, Plastic surgeon friend stood back and let you get butchered by someone they knew was a fumbling wanna-be surgeon, after you specifically asked them for help.
     Have an honest conversation with your friend. If they make an informed decision, even if it is a decision that you don't agree with, that's OK. But if they're making an uninformed decision, that you could have helped with, and they regret the end result, you may wear some of that.

there is zero need to "admit" anything.  The scenario is irrelevant since that conversation should not happen.  There is a need to 'shut up'.  once the job is turned down, distance is required.  as many have explained in several posts already.

Feb 01 13 09:13 pm Link

Photographer

Thomas Sellberg

Posts: 140

Bloomington, Illinois, US

Michael Pandolfo wrote:

That might be the worst advice I have ever heard in the forums. That doesn't sound like a professional, it sounds like an Uncle Bob who is shooting to satisfy their own ego.

Sounds like you want the accolades without the pressure of having to deliver. As a photographer, I would think you would be sensitive to the job of the actual hired photographer and not try to best them to make yourself feel better.

It isn't about trying to best them, it is just a fact that I have on several occasions out shot their photographer. Honestly what is the difference in me having my camera and the 30 other people using point and shoots and flashing the hell out of the ceremony because they don't know how to shoot without flash. My equipment allows me to do that, not the mention the fact I don't even own a point and shoot. I enjoy taking photos everywhere, the key is to stay out of the hired photographers way. If I don't want the stress of shooting a wedding but question their choice in photographer, I make sure to pick up the slack without interfering. I don't say anything about it, just hand over a disk to the couple. If they realize at that point how bad their person was, so be it. But I don't tell them they sucked and I got shots of moments that their guy/gal should have, it isn't my place or intent.

Feb 02 13 09:53 pm Link

Photographer

1k-words-photograpy

Posts: 354

Leesburg, Virginia, US

I think at this point you are in no man's land. You should not interfere, but if asked you can help. Your friend may even be slightly hurt that you declined.

There are a bunch of wedding photographers responding who are like "don't bring your camera and stay out of the way" and I poo poo that idea to put it kindly. Look you are a professional shooter, and you seem to have wedding experience, so I'm guessing you have the gear to shoot unobtrusively and get some select photos that you want. I'm not talking a full set of Einstiens and backdrops and such, but your camera and a couple of lenses should not be a problem if you are willing to shoot on ambient.

I don't know where most of you are at in your business that most likely started as a hobby but I personally still take my camera almost everywhere. I take it on business trips if the weather allows and I think I'll get time to shoot. If I'm going to a friends wedding I take my camera unless I am in the wedding.

As an aside for the wedding photographers that responded that way I know that all the people at weddings trying to shoot get in the way and sometimes spoil or ruin shots. I myself shot about 6-8 weddings a year and every cake cut and first kiss that I shoot is flooded with flash that isn't mine these days so I feel your pain. But you have to occasionally experience someone who is there, shooting pictures and not in your way. The OP can be that person at this wedding.

Feb 03 13 08:06 am Link

Photographer

Herman Surkis

Posts: 8872

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Mike Collins wrote:
Ya gotta love all the white knight wedding shooters out there.  I wonder if they also go to restaurants and bring food for the guests just in case the chef screws up. 

If I'm invited to a wedding that I am not shooting, I never bring my camera(s).  They invited me as a friend and guest and I enjoy it just as that.  But that's just me.

As somebody who shot more weddings then I care to remember ...
I agree with you.

Feb 03 13 08:10 pm Link