When it comes to wedding, everyone wants to be a photographer. Let me categorize them for you based on my observation throughout these years.
The wannabe photographers
They bought a new camera and want to test it out at their friend’s wedding. They will bother you with every single question they can get like, what ISO are you using, can I try your lens etc; and they will also block your shots as and when they can.
The Phone enthusiast
These are the ones who can’t stop taking videos and photos on their phones. They will try and get in to all sorts of spaces including the path of the photographer or videographer’s camera. (I had a fair share of these. When I looked through the viewfinder, suddenly an iPhone pops up in front of my camera)
The Uncle and Auntie team (only in Malaysia)
Now these are the ones with those tiny cameras. They will always try and grab a photographer to shoot for them and relatives, even when you’re busy with the bride and groom and their guest. These people will not stop for a moment to complain to the couple how bad you are to turn them down : )
These type of people loves their flash. They will flash whenever they can. And they don’t mind aiming the flash next to your eyes when you’re aiming your shots.
Now back to this photo.
It was at a recent wedding job I had at Muar, Johor. Small reception at a restaurant. I think most professional photographers will agree with me that once in a blue moon, some jerk as such will appear and you have that gut feeling that he/she will be the one that messes up that day.
I wasn’t informed at all that there was another photographer nor was the couple aware of it. The jerk is actually a cousin of them. I’m not sure he’s a professional photographer or not but I had a feeling that he will be THE GUY since he started showing off his gear to his friends and wife. Let’s place him the wannabe photographer category for now.
I have previously spoken to the person who hired me that they have to understand if there’s interference, don’t blame me for it. At the entrance, I have already directed the couple how the shots will be taken and we have established that no one should interfere with the main photographer. And there it is, he just walked past me while I was aiming and took the position right at the place that blocks everyone’s angle. And if you take a look at the 2nd photo, he even took his own sweet time to check on the outcome and stood up slowly. The entire shot spoil but I managed to go for different angles just to get the right outcome.
During the Chinese tea ceremony, the same guy had the guts to shoot directly opposite me every time I’m in position. When I shoot, he shoots at the same time. It was pretty embarrassing for him as I couldn’t take it anymore. I walked up to him and asked him, does he want my job? Was he hired by the couple? Was there something not right that he has to be on my path every time. If he wants my job, I can ask the couple to pay him as well. That made him stop as he finally realize his mistake. I told him stand along side me if he wants but don’t cross my path or across my path.
For photographers out there, yes, we all want to try our new gears or our new lens etc. But you must remember, wedding is once in a lifetime event and we who are paid does not want to screw up the day for the couple. That is why at most wedding reception and church wedding, the MCs will make a note to the attendees.
If you have been asked to assist by the couple, then always communicate with the photographers or videographers before the ceremony start so that you don’t accidentally stand in front of one another. If you see a camera filming down the aisle, try shooting alongside or duck in front of it. You should stay low and out of sight as the main focus is not you but the couple. Use a telephoto lens to shoot further back and always aware of those behind you. If you absolutely do need to get a shot up front, make yourself as small as possible. Take your shot and move quickly. You should not be in the frame.
As photographers, we need to be aware of our surroundings as well as those working the wedding with us so that everyone can produce a quality work for our customer. I hope this image will be a lesson for all of us so that next time, we know what we should do and what we shouldn’t do.
Anyone with similar experience? Perhaps you can comment.