Weddings? who needs them?


gartmore

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 14:17
I've just pulled out of a £2000 (for the photos) wedding at five weeks notice on getting an email from the bride, whose family I have known for many years, where she tells me that the banqueting manager of the hotel told her she doesnt need two photographers for 280 guests, her pal is a photographer who could be second shooter and her dad knows someone who can make the prints and the album. My reply:

Dear ____,

If you have a friend that is capable of doing it then go for that, clearly Gaynor the banqeting manager knows more about wedding photography than I do. This really isnt something that I want to be involved in since I've been photographing weddings since 1976 and I frankly can't be bothered this sort of amatuerish approach.

Best wishes
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

walkeja

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 15:04
You forgot the "See yous Jimmy"
Pentax K1-ii and MZ6
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gartmore

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 15:13
What on earth does that mean?
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

bettyswolloks

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 15:44
I can feel your frustration! As you say, if the family friends are that good you services are no longer needed!

johnriley

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 15:59
I think you can do without the hassle of that Ken.
Best regards, John

Dodge69

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 16:16
LOL - Slam! 'Sorry... We're closed'

6/4 she will be contacting you again after hitting some more brickwalls, either that or her research will take her to a gumtree 'pro'
Pentax pour des images riches en détails!

Don

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 16:48
Yes I shoot weddings. Yes I charge at the high end.
Why? Decades of experience, high end equipment with back up gear. I do full event coverage including both stills and video.
I delver pro results. So why don't I advertise?
Commercial work pays more per hour. Commercial work projects are rarely ever as labour or time consuming as weddings. Commercial clients understand the levels of skill, talent and costs of being in business and don't mind paying fair rates for the jobs. You don't wind up dealing with a lot of anxious, nervous or intoxicated people on a commercial shoot.

Weddings on the other hand… the industry is overflowing with no talent hacks that own one entry level camera and a kit lens that will work for free or table scraps. Consumers that don't know or appreciate the difference between the real pros, and these no talent hacks. So they can't appreciate the costs associated with hiring a pro.

So as far as weddings go, I do weddings, but I'm as choosy about my wedding clients as they are of their photographer, and when the right client comes along, it makes for a great relationship. Great pictures, that a given.

Now-a-days I see somebody with an entry level d-slr with a kit zoom lens, and hear them say "I'm a pro photographer, I've decided to do weddings!"

The first thought that pops into my mind is this guy on his haunches, paws up in the air, panting with excitement while the Bride pulls a bread stick off the table and waves it around saying:
"What a good boy! Who want's the bread stick? You want the bread stick?" followed by "Do I get the digital files AND prints?…
and I just smile and say "Well good luck to you.".

Supply and demand, prices are what the market will bear, and as long as there's guys willing to beg for breadsticks, this industry will continue on it's down hill slide.
My advice to Brides…. Why pay somebody who doesn't know what they're doing $500.00 or less when you can buy a nice camera, hand it to any friend or relative in the vicinity and ask them to snap away?
You're likely to get bad to mediocre pics either ways, but at least you'll own the "files" and own a nice camera at the end of the day.
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Last Edited by Don on 02/12/2013 - 16:50

JohnX

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 17:06
And then there's this....

https://www.wedpics.com/

gartmore

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 17:12
I have a parrallel conversation running on facebook at the moment with some pro pals and heard that this country's foremost theatre photographer, Douglas McBride, The V&A have asked him if they can archive his archive,linkrecently called a client to touch base about an upcoming job to be told 'Don't bother, the janitor has a camera'.

There are eastern Europeans around here advertising their 'pro' wedding packages on Gumtree for £50!

Anyway, as I type this the bride's father has left an abjectly apologetic voicemail. This is a seriously upscale affair link and at least £18,000 for the venue and food before wines. So at the end all that is left will be a second hand dress and everything else will have passed down the toilet.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -
Last Edited by gartmore on 02/12/2013 - 17:17

gartmore

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 17:14
JohnX wrote:
And then there's this....

https://www.wedpics.com/

Brilliant!
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

techno-terminator

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 18:40
I'll bet the Fof B has been apologetic - such incredible discourtesy !

From personal experience 'doing' even a small wedding isn't easy . I was lucky - on the day I was introduced to the Pro - and he couldn't have been nicer with me - was actually highly amused at some of my pics showing him shooting the bride - I gather that's not happened to him before We swapped the complete shots we took [ I got some from him that were not seen by others ] and he has used some of mine taken [ at the dance after the meal ] when he had gone home . I enjoyed it -- well I would the Bride was my younger daughter - but do it for real as a paid job - NOT ON YOUR LIFE.

Strikes me, Ken , you are well out of that one - you found the Bridezilla and the Banqueting Manager who knows it all .
let the education continue

proud owner of a couple of cameras and a few bits and bobs

Gravelrash

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 18:45
I bet it's that peterjohnweddingphotography that's nicked your gig Ken. It's an advert on the right of this thread screen on my computer £495

Doh
Steve

Sometimes I'm serious and sometimes not, but I consider sarcasm an artform. Which is it today?

cabstar

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 20:19
I'm getting hassled from a wedding fayre for me to book a stand. I asked how many photographers exhibiting and he said 14 so far!

i get brides messaging every week and all they want to,know is the price

thankfully my business degree has taught me not to compete on price and find other niches
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

Stuey

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 20:52
I appreciate your frustration Ken but believe I can see both sides on this one - I think

The bride is either blinded by saving money, has no idea about photography or there is something else that has not been revealed or many other options

Perhaps, sometimes it is easier to tell a lie than to admit that they have overcommitted financially and need to cut corners

Personally, I have covered only three weddings, not out of choice to be honest - the first was my sisters, the original tog was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour but sent a friend to cover it (more than reasonable given the circumstances) - on speaking with the replacement he stated that he was only supplying the unedited originals on a disc - I asked if he could supply the raw files only to discover he had only taken jpegs.

As far as I am aware only my shots exist - I have never been shown or heard mention of the others

The second wedding was as a result of friends requesting that I take the pictures - of course I am happy to help friends but agreed with one proviso that being that no money changed hands - it seemed to go well.

The third wedding was one for my girlfriends son's wedding, the request probably based on two things the results from the first two and the chance of a free tog again it went well, especially as with two days to go I got a second tog involved(another family friend, his first wedding and he coped admirably) and really helped

I see the professionals frustration at people like myself carrying on as mentioned above but also see it from the side of those who are firstly scared of the cost and some of the wedding tog horror stories and as such there is always two sides to it

I do not post any of my wedding shots (except some of the band on one occasion) as firstly I prefer the pics to be for use of the bride and groom and secondly as I really, really hate wedding photography and prefer to avoid it.

Despite this, and whilst I have applied a lot of thought, idea theft, improvisation, photoshop corrections etc and got results I am happy with and others are complimentary of - thankfully - avoidance is my preferred technique

However, my advice when asked by anyone is as follows;

1. Pay for a decent professional, one by recommendation if possible (I am not one)
2. Get someone else to pay for the above if possible
3. Have two togs present if possible, working together not separately.

That said, I have offered my services to friends and colleagues as a back up should their tog let them down, ie call me the night before or in the morning if you must but only if the pro tog has dropped out, I suppose it provides some confidence that at least someone will be clicking.

I suppose the old saying that 'you get what you pay for' still stands true and every wedding tog has to start somewhere so I suppose the question is, 'is the serious amateur who takes a pride in what they do having applied lots of thought etc really such a bad thing?' especially if the truth of the matter is you don't have the £2,000 the tog would earn (oh yeah, I truly believe they earn it given the hassle etc)

I am open to the very real fact that I could be wrong and stand to be corrected
K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link
Last Edited by Stuey on 02/12/2013 - 20:55

Gravelrash

Link Posted 02/12/2013 - 22:51
You make valid arguments Stuey but if I were Ken I would feel undervalued and insulted by what appears to be BS of one sort or another.

Steve
Steve

Sometimes I'm serious and sometimes not, but I consider sarcasm an artform. Which is it today?
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