login info join!
Forums > Photography Talk > just did a free wedding shoot... help!! Search   Reply
12345last
Photographer
SugarSharai photography
Posts: 387
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


OK, so i agreed to a free wedding shoot, on a mountain top, helicopter flight paid for, and a ride home, unknowingly for a WHOLE disc of EVERY single photo i took.. I felt uncomfortable about this, and explained this once I got to meet the husband (the one who proclaims he wants EVERY photo), on the day of. The husband told me after I agreed to shooting (I told them the photo turn out is usually 40 SOLID stellar shots) and he then proceeded to inform me he wanted EVERY shot, and I told him I can give him a larger majority, but I am sorry, some of them WILL be useless, due to testing shots, and of course uncle bobs!


By the way this whole event was intended to be small scale, 2 friends, (witnesses) and B and G, pastor, photographer, and pilot.  It wasn't something I wanted to ruin the enjoyment of the mountain top, so I can get people posed and positioned, (we already intended on prior agreed "set" positions and poses that we DID achieve), so I was not about to tell everyone what to do how to do it, and where to look for the whole hour we were up on the mountain.


UPDATE*******
I uploaded 2 sneak peek shots, on Facebook, and the bride and groom are satisfied, so as it stands I have decided to take a major majority of the photos, and upload, the photos that I however messed up on, due to technical reasons (weather, cropping, shadows, exposure), I will delete.  (Did I mention its hard to see the viewfinder on a mountain top of snow?!)   


As for the photo turn out, I should have mentioned they turned out decent, I got the photos necessary to satisfy the agreed upon necessities of the shoot, and that being said, I would say I did not "FAIL" in any way shape or form, as I have said the bride and groom are satisfied with the sneak peeks, and now, I just am not comfortable with giving out that many free shots, that I was not aware I was going to have to do the moment I said "yes" to shooting this wedding. That ALSO being said, I am almost positive, that 200 shots on a disc is enough to satisfy, and I can GARANTEE 200, decent technically taken shots, that are just of people falling in the snow, laughing, drinking wine, and standing around the ceremony type shots.   They just want to see the photos for memories.
Jan 20 13 02:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,550
Seattle, Washington, US


lesson learned. move on.
Jan 20 13 02:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
my_other_profile
Posts: 666
Ankeny, Iowa, US


...I'm a little lost.
Jan 20 13 02:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Abdul Sharif
Posts: 175
Louisville, Kentucky, US


You're the photographer or did you pose as a bride?
Jan 20 13 02:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leighthenubian
Posts: 2,792
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Sounds dumb.

Someone asks you do to something you aren't comfortable with and you don't know how to say no?

I say you get whatever comes your way as a result. Hope that helps.
Jan 20 13 02:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PhillipM
Posts: 6,422
Martin, Tennessee, US


I.b.t.l.

You made your bed.......as the saying goes...

Well you got a free ride on the heli....smile

A deal is a deal.
Jan 20 13 02:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SugarSharai photography
Posts: 387
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


my_other_profile wrote:
...I'm a little lost.

they want al 546 shots.

i said please no, they said yes, i am still uncomfortable with it, i do not want to give them all of these shots.

my only other option would be to delete every single shot thats useless and makes me look bad, and say they never existed?

and im not sure how to feel about not being "Allowed" to post my own photos until they recieve the CD.

I had thought I had 100 percent rights to my photos, including posting and selling rights,   however we signed no contract so i feel those rights are more in my hands then hers?

Jan 20 13 02:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SugarSharai photography
Posts: 387
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


PhillipM wrote:
I.b.t.l.

You made your bed.......as the saying goes...

A deal is a deal.

I was not aware that I had no CHOICE on whether or not to give them all of the shots, the bride brought it up like a suggestion rather, but the groom made it seem like this was the only option for a shoot.

and i was unaware of this until they picked me up, to head to the helicopter.

Jan 20 13 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Instinct Images
Posts: 22,507
San Diego, California, US


Give them all the shots and be done.

It's simple.

It doesn't sound like you have a reputation to ruin.
Jan 20 13 02:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SPierce Photography
Posts: 19,666
Amherst, Massachusetts, US


This.... should be been specified in a wedding contract, before the wedding took place. Never, EVER shoot with without a contract. Imagine what had happened if your memory card had gone bad, etc? It helps you with liability. Pull out the bad photos, process the others. unless you told them how many pics you took, it'll never make them a difference.

Chalk it up to a lesson learned, unfortunately.

Also, unless you're 100% confident about shooting a wedding- NEVER EVER shoot a wedding. Theyre the most stressful thing on the planet (I shoot weddings, small ones, and also baptisms- it was chaos!). Assist first, learn, then give it an old college try.

Also, since you are going to have to deal with this- don't beg (as it sounds like you were). Deal with confidently, and then try to move on.
Jan 20 13 02:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Orcatek Photography
Posts: 1,686
Tempe, Arizona, US


First of all, never tell them how many you take.  Then delete the crap, re-name and re-number them all (takes 10 seconds tops in bridge or lightroom).  Then give them all those files.  Problem would have been solved.
Jan 20 13 02:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chicchowmein
Posts: 14,395
Palm Beach, Florida, US


Sugar Sharai wrote:

I was not aware that I had no CHOICE on whether or not to give them all of the shots, the bride brought it up like a suggestion rather, but the groom made it seem like this was the only option for a shoot.

and i was unaware of this until they picked me up, to head to the helicopter.

Shoulda coulda woulda

Why did you agree to it. It was free -- you could have just stood your ground and what would they have done?

I think you have to turn over the photos since you agreed to it.

Jan 20 13 02:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chicchowmein
Posts: 14,395
Palm Beach, Florida, US


Instinct Images wrote:
Give them all the shots and be done.

It's simple.

It doesn't sound like you have a reputation to ruin.

And there is that

Jan 20 13 02:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EdwardKristopher
Posts: 3,375
Tempe, Arizona, US


I'm confused.  You AGREED to do this "Free" shoot and told them that they would get a copy of "ALL" of the shots you took.  They let you do the shoot, fulfilling their requirement, so now it's time to fulfill your obligation and give them what you said you would, a copy of ALL of the 546 shots you took.

Wrap this one up and move on, hopefully learning a lesson for the future.

Kindest regards,
Edward
Jan 20 13 03:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GER Photography
Posts: 7,756
Imperial, California, US


I always go through a shoots pics and toss the OOF's, blowout's... If they don't like it F'em!!
Jan 20 13 03:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
jonaswahlin
Posts: 1,158
Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden


Put your big girl pants on.
Jan 20 13 03:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,550
Seattle, Washington, US


jonaswahlin wrote:
Put your big girl pants on.

oh stop.

Jan 20 13 03:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Brian T Rickey
Posts: 4,007
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Wow, weddings, those must be tough.
Jan 20 13 03:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Parsons
Posts: 972
Quincy, Massachusetts, US


Sugar Sharai wrote:
OK, so i agreed to a free wedding shoot, on a mountain top, helicopter flight paid for, and a ride home, for a WHOLE disc of EVERY single photo i took.. I felt uncomfortable about this, and explained this once I got to meet the husband (the one who proclaims he wants EVERY photo), on the day of.

I, being new to it, and realizing this is my first gig, and the bride KNEW this as she worked with me as a model on the FIRST day i received my camera.

So, I figured being as I am only 18, the bride is the same, I didnt want to make a contract, so instead discussed over the phone in great detail as to what shots she wanted to include for sure. I got those shots no problem, however a lot of the photos i took were ruined due to lighting test shots, and over/under exposed photos.

i took 546 shots in an hour.   due to "uncle bobs" constantly in the background, NO one paying attention to being photographed, (causing squinty eyes on the snowy mountain top, bad shadows, and bad expressions, and lack of an organizational ceremony. ) and so the photos i got that were decent would probably consist of 30-40 shots worth salvaging..

however did i mention this was free, and I tried to tell the groom I was not comfortable giving all of the bad shots, he said he didnt care.

my concern is between making myself look bad, if they decide to alter, or  upload bad examples of my work. and I am also concerned of now having unsatisfied clients.

he said he wanted all of them for memories, however he doesnt realize how much those memories are worth to my reputation as a photographer, and as money out of my pocket, and hours spent editing those 546 shots so they dont embarrass me.

anyone have any suggestions?

also, they just decided to tell me NOT to upload my photos, or tag them on facebook, UNTIL they have recieved every single photo..

Wash your hands of the situation and give them all the pictures.  Never use the pictures for anything, in fact delete the pictures when they've received the disc.

Sugar Sharai wrote:
now i am very weary on what to do!!

Look back and learn from every thing that you did wrong in this situation and don't do those things again.  Don't work for free.  Don't work without a contract.  Don't promise all pictures.  Don't tell them how many pictures you took.  Be firm on your deliverables.  Don't let clients push you around.  Do learn to listen to your gut and learn to say no.

Jan 20 13 03:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Simplexity
Posts: 705
Houston, Texas, US


If you didn't tell them how many shots there are, delete the worst ones and keep the ones that aren't as bad. I would assume they wouldn't expect more than say 200 in one hour.

As for the posting the pictures, they are yours to do with what you want. But if I was asked not to post them until they see them, I probably wouldn't.
Jan 20 13 03:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
rcaz
Posts: 33
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, US


You own the images... you get to decide.

Ouch!
Jan 20 13 03:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D M E C K E R T
Posts: 4,786
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


lesson learned? maybe?

there's just so much wtf going on it's hard to dissect.

there's no excuse for any of this. exposure should be fine, you're using a modern camera. managing people is entirely your job. bad lighting, also you...figure out how to make the best of it. did you research shooting weddings? assist? talk to a pro?

at this point i'm not sure it matters what you do. there's no paperwork to bind anyone to anything. do you have enough material that the b&g have decent pics of their wedding? do you think there's ANY chance you'll be getting referrals from them? do you care about their ridiculous satisfaction vs your desire not to have your rejects out of your control?
Jan 20 13 03:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Drew T
Posts: 134
London, England, United Kingdom


give them your best selection and offer them a full refund....smile
Jan 20 13 03:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D M E C K E R T
Posts: 4,786
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Drew Tommons wrote:
give them your best selection and offer them a full refund....smile

lol. best solution. big_smile

Jan 20 13 03:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SPierce Photography
Posts: 19,666
Amherst, Massachusetts, US


Sugar Sharai wrote:
and im not sure how to feel about not being "Allowed" to post my own photos until they recieve the CD.

I had thought I had 100 percent rights to my photos, including posting and selling rights,   however we signed no contract so i feel those rights are more in my hands then hers?

I'm just now noticing this, so thought I would address it.

With that sort of attitude (whether you are legally in the right or wrong) just give up on photography and stop right now.

These photos are NOT for you. These photos are for your CLIENT- the bride and groom. It's extremely rude, and in bad taste, to post photos of them on your page, etc. before they have seen them. This is their wedding day, the most important day of their life.

Also, why in the world would you want to sell photos of them? It sounds like you're majorly in over your head. You have a LOT of learning to do.

Without a contract and a signed release from the bride and groom, you have no proper authorization to sell the photos, so you can rule that out until you get something signed from them. That is why you see photographers using model releases all the time.

Sorry to sound harsh, but, really, you do need to do quite a bit of learning before trying this again.

Jan 20 13 03:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Drew Tommons wrote:
give them your best selection and offer them a full refund....smile

a lot of really nasty responses in this thread, but this one made me LOL

Jan 20 13 03:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


D M E C K E R T wrote:
lesson learned? maybe?

there's just so much wtf going on it's hard to dissect.

there's no excuse for any of this. exposure should be fine, you're using a modern camera. managing people is entirely your job. bad lighting, also you...figure out how to make the best of it. did you research shooting weddings? assist? talk to a pro?

at this point i'm not sure it matters what you do. there's no paperwork to bind anyone to anything. do you have enough material that the b&g have decent pics of their wedding? do you think there's ANY chance you'll be getting referrals from them? do you care about their ridiculous satisfaction vs your desire not to have your rejects out of your control?

a bit harsh?  its not a church wedding that you can go scout first. its not even a beach wedding. its on a mountain top a heli ride away.  modern camera or not you are at the mercy of the choice of location. you arent gonna tell everyone "OK the whole wedding party needs to be over there almost falling off the edge because where you are it will be too contrasty".  exposure should be fine? thats a good one. I've turned down mountain top weddings (really hill top because we dont have real mountains) for just that reason. "what was that?" "oh that was my assistant holding the scrim" "your assistant does hang gliding?" "well now...I guess they do?"
also...this emphasis on paperwork seems unwise. it would be difficult to claim there was no contract since she got the heli ride and stuff. what were the details of the contract? perhaps difficult for the other side to prove but are you doing the OP any favours by suggesting she is not bound at all?  small claims court in Alberta can be the wild wild west.

I'm still thinking about this one. I'm not sure I will have any useful advice to give. I think the OP already knows they went in over their head.

Jan 20 13 03:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D M E C K E R T
Posts: 4,786
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Sugar Sharai wrote:
my concern is between making myself look bad, if they decide to alter, or  upload bad examples of my work. and I am also concerned of now having unsatisfied clients.

he said he wanted all of them for memories, however he doesnt realize how much those memories are worth to my reputation as a photographer, and as money out of my pocket, and hours spent editing those 546 shots so they dont embarrass me.

anyone have any suggestions?


also, they just decided to tell me NOT to upload my photos, or tag them on facebook, UNTIL they have recieved every single photo..

now i am very weary on what to do!!

why not try to come to some sort of agreement? like...they get them all for memories, on the condition they only show the ones you approve of in public? i can't imagine people purposely putting up shitty photos of themselves, but people are strange. there has to be a middle ground someplace. even if they sound like they're being a little childish.

Jan 20 13 03:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ArtGlo
Posts: 506
Peru, Illinois, US


why is a model photographing a wedding!? and calling others uncle bobs?
Jan 20 13 03:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shades Of Gray
Posts: 1,052
Colorado Springs, Colorado, US


This is actually a good thing.  You learned so many great lessons at 18.

1) Always get it in writing
2) Weddings are harder than they look. 
3) Never agree to provide all of the images.
4) Never agree to provide all of the images.
5) Did I mention to never agree to provide all the images? 
6) Charge for weddings and until you are good at it, bring a backup photographer along. You will get more candid shots that way anyhow, it's good insurance and not a bad idea even after you are good at it. Bring a backup camera too.   
It sounds like you're stuck on giving them the images. The husband is going to badmouth you anyway so you are pretty well screwed on this one. Like others have said, best to move on.  just remember what you have learned.

As for the Bride and groom.  They learned that you get what you pay for. With any luck, the uncle Bob shots are just as bad or worse and you will look good in comparison. You might be able to salvage some of the lost shots to some degree in post. Next time around you will be better for all of this unpleasantness. I'm sure that nervousness played a roll in the blown shots.  Confidence comes with experience. Get out and shoot under bad conditions and learn how to tame them. Read about reflectors and fill light.

EDIT:
Just noticed that you're a model. Unless you are embarking on a career as a photographer, you're an Uncle Bob too. smile Nothing to worry about.
Jan 20 13 03:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,550
Seattle, Washington, US


ArtGlo wrote:
why is a model photographing a wedding!? and calling others uncle bobs?

because model's can be photographers too.  duh.

Jan 20 13 03:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


I think the "making yourself look bad" part went out the window when you agreed to shoot a wedding (any wedding, for any reason) for free, and was only compounded when you agreed to do it without any written agreement.

At this point, there's no reason to suddenly worry about professionalism. Just give them all the images and let them sort through the disasters...and walk away.

The irony is that you spoke ill of "Uncle Bob's" at the wedding. But, in reality, isn't that what you were? Somebody shooting the wedding as a spectactor, receiving no compensation?
Jan 20 13 03:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chris Teel
Posts: 486
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Give them the CD without your name on it, no watermark, make sure your info isn't imbedded in the images, etc.  Don't use your copies for any promotion, delete them.  Consider the free helicopter ride your payment and walk away from the whole thing. 

Good learning experience, no one needs to know you took those shots.
Jan 20 13 03:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


D M E C K E R T wrote:

why not try to come to some sort of agreement? like...they get them all for memories, on the condition they only show the ones you approve of in public? i can't imagine people purposely putting up shitty photos of themselves, but people are strange. there has to be a middle ground someplace. even if they sound like they're being a little childish.

people are strange. and then there is Facebook.  Many of my friends (that I refused to shoot or deliberately overbid) post stuff I can't believe are their 'wedding memories part III'
In this instance I would bet on it.  I like your compromise idea though.

Jan 20 13 03:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Halcyon 7174 NYC
Posts: 20,109
New York, New York, US


I don't do weddings. I might shoot portraits on another day, but I don't do weddings.
Jan 20 13 03:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Chris Teel wrote:
Give them the CD without your name on it, no watermark, make sure your info isn't imbedded in the images, etc.  Don't use your copies for any promotion, delete them.  Consider the free helicopter ride your payment and walk away from the whole thing. 

Good learning experience, no one needs to know you took those shots.

except everyone who was at the wedding? and everyone who they told about the conflict? OP is in a smallish town.  its not like LA or Toronto where the memories disappear.

Jan 20 13 03:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D M E C K E R T
Posts: 4,786
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:
a bit harsh?  its not a church wedding that you can go scout first. its not even a beach wedding. its on a mountain top a heli ride away.  modern camera or not you are at the mercy of the choice of location. you arent gonna tell everyone "OK the whole wedding party needs to be over there almost falling off the edge because where you are it will be too contrasty".  exposure should be fine? thats a good one. I've turned down mountain top weddings (really hill top because we dont have real mountains) for just that reason. "what was that?" "oh that was my assistant holding the scrim" "your assistant does hang gliding?" "well now...I guess they do?"
also...this emphasis on paperwork seems unwise. it would be difficult to claim there was no contract since she got the heli ride and stuff. what were the details of the contract? perhaps difficult for the other side to prove but are you doing the OP any favours by suggesting she is not bound at all?  small claims court in Alberta can be the wild wild west.

I'm still thinking about this one. I'm not sure I will have any useful advice to give. I think the OP already knows they went in over their head.

i don't think it's too harsh at all. i could've actually been pretty scathing. this is like taking a job as an IT consultant because you bought a laptop at the apple store.

i'm positive, regardless of location, that it's possible to have some sort of consistency in exposure. and while it's a mountain top, it can be managed. there's always a way...if you can hold a wedding, you can take reasonable pictures of it. award winners? maybe not. but reasonable, sure. (a separate thought...people understand context...and perhaps that's something to discuss with the b

Jan 20 13 03:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D M E C K E R T
Posts: 4,786
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:

people are strange. and then there is Facebook.  Many of my friends (that I refused to shoot or deliberately overbid) post stuff I can't believe are their 'wedding memories part III'
In this instance I would bet on it.  I like your compromise idea though.

lol. this is exactly what i was thinking. it's like you were in my head! facebook. ayayay.

Jan 20 13 03:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marciofs
Posts: 1,954
Freiburg, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany


Op, this is your 1rs wedding. You did it just too see how it is like. You don't have any reputation to be worried about.

It is like my first shoot with a model. I don't have in my portfolio of course, but I show to people to tell them how bad was my first shoot. It is the past and part of the learning curve. Keep improving and you will not be ashamed of it.

My first wedding wasn't great but since it was my first time I knew the photos could not be good. And I told it to the couple who hired me. We mad a deal, they did't had money to pay a professional and I didn't have the experience, so we agree to give what we could give to each other.

It is normal to make mistakes when we are doing things for the 1rs time. I don't know eny photographer who started shooting like a experienced pro without ruining something or the intire shoot.
Jan 20 13 04:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fred Gerhart
Posts: 736
San Antonio, Texas, US


Enjoy sleeping in your bed of thorns for the next week or so while you edit all the images to the best of your ability.

It does not matter what type of photography is being done - always have a contract. I don't care if you are photographing cute puppies, flower arrangements, etc... a contract is always needed to protect the photographer.

And while I am ranting one should not even think of shooting anything without the necessary liability insurance to cover their butts. The op could be eating ramen noodles for three meals per day for a very long time if this goes the wrong way for them.

Good Luck

Edit - btw ... that many shots in one hour is pure spraying and praying. Next time slow down and pretend you are shooting film. Make each shutter click count and get it right in camera. Then you laugh later because the only post production needed will be crop, resize, basic color correction, and burn to cd..
Jan 20 13 04:07 pm  Link  Quote 
12345last   Search   Reply



main | browse | casting/travel | forums | shout box | help | advertising | contests | share | join the mayhem

more modelmayhem on: | | | edu

©2006-2014 ModelMayhem.com. All Rights Reserved.
MODEL MAYHEM is a registered trademark.
Toggle Worksafe Mode: Off | On
Terms | Privacy | Careers