Yep, there it is. Glad you got it. I doubt it was better than the one I could have gotten with a $5000 camera/lens but hey you can at least Instagram it, right?
I'm very glad it wasn’t the bride and groom on that shot but many have seen examples just like that picture. If you are a wedding photographer reading this, urge your clients to kindly persuade their guests to put the cameras away and enjoy the day. Sure, you may not get to cover everything but for Pete’s sake, enough is enough when people interfere with the job that you are trying to do. When I first started, there were a couple of occasions I should have asked OPWC (other people with cameras) to please not interfere but I really didn’t want to offend the bride and groom or start a scuffle. On one occasion, I had the bride ask me if the OPWC (other Person with a camera) if they were bothering me because I think it was bothering her. If you are a bride/groom or both reading this, please adhere to the advice that I’m giving to the wedding photographers that may talk with you.
So how does a photographer deal with guests who have their cameras out during a highly crucial time of shooting? Some of whom may be toting something similar or even nicer than what you have? Here are some simple but easy steps (unless you are completely passive and shy) you could take when noticing someone who may be blocking your shot or looks like they may interfere:
Discuss what you see or notice right away with the couple who have hired you and remind them what’s in your contract and that you will be talking to the OPWC.
Introduce yourself right away to the OPWC and kindly explain to them that you are the main shooter and if they would mind refraining from using flash or interfering by blocking angles or getting too close. (Literally just had this happen last week...to a kid!) He was sporting his parent's Rebel and his flash was going off while I was shooting down the isle. I quickly walked up to him and asked politely if he could turn it off and his parents immediately told him to quit.
Ask the bride/groom or both to address the OPWC personally if there may be some real conflict. I hate going this route because I’d like to think that grown adults can behave as such but you’d be surprised.
At a wedding I shot earlier this year, I was pleased to see that the couple had posted signs around the church asking folks to put their cameras away. Although some may disagree with it, I do provide my clients access to an online gallery for people to purchase prints rather than doing in home sales. For me that’s too time consuming and cumbersome especially for when someone’s uncle Ricky who wants a 4x6 picture of him with the groom doing a tequila shot. What also should be discussed is something before the wedding day even comes.
Protect yourself in your contract or look in a contract if you are a bride/groom to see what clause there is for non-compete/interference. Chances are, an experienced photographer is going to have it in there. Wedding photographers need to discuss this topic with their clients in consultations and often before the wedding to ensure that things are well understood. I have started showing examples of what my clients don’t want at their wedding as well so they can put a little more context into what I’m saying.
In parting, towards the end of this post I started thinking about me attending weddings and I think I'll have the hardest time putting the camera down at my own kids' weddings someday. But if I truly trust the photographer (and I will) I will have nothing to worry about.
If you are a wedding photographer or had someone at your wedding block a great shot for the photographer, please share your story below!
That’s it for now but please take care and stay tuned for another blog post soon!