Dealing with Frustrating Photo Shoots

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by charliex5, May 16, 2010.

  1. charliex5 macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    My wife and I do wedding photography during the summers to pay the rent and go to a few movies. Yesterday we shot a wedding and when my wife was taking portrait shots this amateur photographer with the entry level Nikon D-whatever (I don't know jack about Nikons, we're Canon all the way!) stood right behind her and took her exact shots and even tried to time them just right to take advantage of our lighting set up. Talk about irritating! It feels almost like copyright infringement as we spend a lot of time metering the light and working with the subjects to get them into an ideal position/expression. On top of that some of the bridesmaids were getting confused and kept looking at him ruining the otherwise good shots we getting.

    So, my question is, does anyone have any tactful ideas on ways to avoid this in the future? Have you run into a similar problem? Any ideas (even ludicrous ones) are welcome!
  2. flosseR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2009
    the cold dark north
    You would be hard pressed to call it copyright infringement however if you are the official and paid wedding photographer I don't see why you could not tell him to please move away as you are WORKING and if he wants to use part of your gear and lighting setup for his own shots he is welcome to rent it.

    I don't do weddings but I have done a couple of outdoor shootings with some quasi celebrities and I have had people come and just walk into the set (in a public park) and take some shots of the people. Telling them off nicely in the beginning did not work. So nowadays I tell them off sternly as I am under contract and they have no permission using my "equipment" or setup nor permission to take these shots unless the model etc. allows them to.

    this might not be the same situation but telling him off would have been the most prudent thing to do. You are the hired photographers, not him.

  3. ComputersaysNo macrumors 6502


    Apr 15, 2010
    I've had that a few times, and so far it went well when i told him/her that i was the one that was getting paid for it, so please step back a little.

    I guess it is the same when the light is really really bad, that i tell the couple that some shots will look crap no matter what.

    It all comes down to communication :)
  4. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Make sure your contract has verbiage about your status as the primary photographer and the right to get other people to move or stop shooting as appropriate.

    Have the one of you who's not shooting stand in the way so they can't get the same shot. Big reflectors help ;)

    Tell them to wait until you've gotten your shots, and always re-pose groups after the good pose, take one shot of a worse pose, then let them at it...

  5. davegregory macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    Burlington, Ontario
    There are some things you can do to get the monkey off your back.
    1) Explain to "uncle bob" that you are the pro. The bride and groom have spent a considerable amount of money to have professional photos taken to remember this momentous occasion. While you can appreciate his enthusiasm about wanting to get great shots, you need to deliver on what you've been paid to do.

    2) If there's time, setup some "ify" shots. Shots you don't actually think will work, let "uncle bob" take his shots while you fire off some, then reposition the correct shot and take your photos.

    Usually if you simply draw attention to the fact that you're being paid and trying to do your work. Most people will back off. If they don't, speak to the best man, father of the bride, maid of honour. Explain to them the situation, especially the father of the bride if you can. When you tell him you can't do the work you're being paid $XXXX for, suddenly magical things start to happen.

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