Is it rude to bring DSLR to wedding?

Started Sep 24, 2011 | Discussions
chiane Veteran Member • Posts: 4,397
Re: Is it rude to bring DSLR to wedding?

If your chosen career path is to be a wedding photographer, and you get your panties in a wad if Joe public at the wedding chats you up or take pictures with their own equipment, you seriously need to rethink your line of work. Maybe choose something like product photography, or living in a log cabin deep in the woods writing, where you don't have to deal with other humans. People persons, many here are not.

I swear, after spending time in these forums, I am convinced that photographers have to be the grumpiest profession out there.

MusicDoctorDJ Forum Pro • Posts: 12,400
Re: Is it rude to bring DSLR to wedding?

chiane wrote:

I swear, after spending time in these forums, I am convinced that photographers have to be the grumpiest profession out there.

One thing you need to realize about these here chats is that almost EVERYONE here are not and have never been a photographer.

They are just people that own cameras and like to talk about it.

For some reason it seems that many here think that the mere fact of owning one or more cameras suddenly makes them a photographer.

But it does not . . .

Just like owning a car does not make one a race car driver . . .

-- hide signature --

J. D.
Colorado

  • "If your insurance company tells you that you don't need a lawyer . . . hire a lawyer!"

Doug MacMillan Senior Member • Posts: 1,991
Excellent Post Sean

I agree with almost everything you said. Too bad the OP isn't here to avail himself of it.

FWIW, I'm a former pro who has photographed a couple of hundred of weddings. When I attend a wedding now, I don't take any cameras. I go to enjoy the event and celebrate with the couple and their family.

I recently attended a wedding where they hired a professional photographer. There was not one Uncle Bob with his DSLR there! It was heaven! There were also very few P&S cameras. You may not realize it, but a lot of guests are annoyed by Uncle Bobs, especially the more aggressive ones.

Not everything needs to be photographed by everybody. Some events should just be enjoyed. Leave the camera at home. Go enjoy yourself.

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Doug MacMillan Senior Member • Posts: 1,991
Have you ever been a Pro?

chiane wrote:

If your chosen career path is to be a wedding photographer, and you get your panties in a wad if Joe public at the wedding chats you up or take pictures with their own equipment, you seriously need to rethink your line of work. Maybe choose something like product photography, or living in a log cabin deep in the woods writing, where you don't have to deal with other humans. People persons, many here are not.

I swear, after spending time in these forums, I am convinced that photographers have to be the grumpiest profession out there.

Just curious, have you ever been a professional wedding photographer? I have, although it was many moons ago. I didn't mind talking to enthusiasts about photography when there was a slow spot. I did mind them getting in my face and insisting that I teach them everything I know on the spot. I also got annoyed when they followed me around like a puppy dog and disrupting my relationship with my customers and breaking my rhythm.

I didn't mind the enthusiast bringing their cameras and taking photos at the reception. I did mind them trying to shoot over my shoulder during the formals. I had an exclusive clause and I have shut down shooting formals until the jerks were escorted out. Back then, I used light slaves although radio slaves were becoming available. I did it on purpose so I could argue their flashes were ruining my shots. I did mind being shoved out of the way by Uncle Bobs who wanted the prime position for the cake cutting or garter throw. I got very good at throwing elbows and stomping on feet.

95% of the Uncle Bobs and Aunt Sallies I encountered were very nice considerate people. Sadly, from what I observe, it's gotten much worse. My friends who are still wedding photographers abhor the aggresive Uncle Bobs for good reason. I'm glad I don't have to put up with the jackasses and nowadays there seems to be plenty of them.

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chiane Veteran Member • Posts: 4,397
Re: Have you ever been a Pro?

Doug MacMillan wrote:

chiane wrote:

If your chosen career path is to be a wedding photographer, and you get your panties in a wad if Joe public at the wedding chats you up or take pictures with their own equipment, you seriously need to rethink your line of work. Maybe choose something like product photography, or living in a log cabin deep in the woods writing, where you don't have to deal with other humans. People persons, many here are not.

I swear, after spending time in these forums, I am convinced that photographers have to be the grumpiest profession out there.

Just curious, have you ever been a professional wedding photographer? I have, although it was many moons ago. I didn't mind talking to enthusiasts about photography when there was a slow spot. I did mind them getting in my face and insisting that I teach them everything I know on the spot. I also got annoyed when they followed me around like a puppy dog and disrupting my relationship with my customers and breaking my rhythm.

I didn't mind the enthusiast bringing their cameras and taking photos at the reception. I did mind them trying to shoot over my shoulder during the formals. I had an exclusive clause and I have shut down shooting formals until the jerks were escorted out. Back then, I used light slaves although radio slaves were becoming available. I did it on purpose so I could argue their flashes were ruining my shots. I did mind being shoved out of the way by Uncle Bobs who wanted the prime position for the cake cutting or garter throw. I got very good at throwing elbows and stomping on feet.

95% of the Uncle Bobs and Aunt Sallies I encountered were very nice considerate people. Sadly, from what I observe, it's gotten much worse. My friends who are still wedding photographers abhor the aggresive Uncle Bobs for good reason. I'm glad I don't have to put up with the jackasses and nowadays there seems to be plenty of them.

Doug,

Obviously having Uncle Bobs in your space is not ideal, but you have to know that's what you get being a wedding photographer. That's the job! Part of it is working in a public arena. It's like a street shooter complaining that the wrong people keep getting in their shots. If you don't want to deal with that, you should have been shooting super models on a private beach, or got into studio work.

If I am a client getting married, I want the best shots I can get within reason. If it came down to you hip checking my over zealous aunt or getting a worse shot, I can tell you I'd have either canned your azz, or kick it first and then canned it if the photographer I hired was a jack wad to my guests. And btw, every single one of them would outrank you.

I think wedding photographers seem to forget that they are the hired help. Your job is to around the scene, not in spite of it. Sometimes I wonder who is the jackass and who is the one having to put up with it.

VueFinder
OP VueFinder Junior Member • Posts: 32
Went to the wedding!

The replies really took off for this one!! Thank you to everyone who gave their opinions, observations, experiences.

I went to the wedding and brought said DSLR. The last wedding I went to before this one I was asked to be the photographer for the reception only. I took some gorgeous photos and the bride and groom were very happy. I didn't pay much attention to anyone elses camera habits. Therefore, when going to this one as a "guest" I was not sure of the proper etiquette. I have not been to a wedding before these two in maybe 10 years.

So, as I was saying I went to the ceremony with my 7d and non obtrusive 30mm lens. I hid it under my sweater as i was nervous it would be annoying. As the bride came down the hill, I was in the last row and had a wonderful view of her. As I was timid to actually take pics, (i had to bring the camera to the ceremony as I could not leave it anywhere before the reception) i looked to my right and left and TWENTY people had their camera out, even with flash enabled! At this point I realized, big camera or not....EVERYONE else had a camera! I took a few pics and even got a great one of the flower girl.

At the reception, same thing. Everyone had a camera and was NOT shy about using it, even with flash. I guess I was out of touch with weddings!

The pro's hired to do the wedding were amazing, as staying out of their way was a no brainer as I could hardly ever notice them.

And.....did anyone else bring a "big" camera? YES! At least 3 people were there with their camera right around their neck and ready to take any photos they wanted.

moral of the story? STOP WORRYING.

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Doug MacMillan Senior Member • Posts: 1,991
Re: Have you ever been a Pro?

chiane wrote:

Doug,

I think wedding photographers seem to forget that they are the hired help. Your job is to around the scene, not in spite of it. Sometimes I wonder who is the jackass and who is the one having to put up with it.

You didn't answer my question. Have you ever been a professional wedding photographer?

Yes strictly speaking we're the hired help. Luckily, I only worked for one client that treated me that way. The rest of my customers regarded our relationship as a partnership. This is a very special day for them there's few people with whom they'll spend more time than with the photographer. Because of their viewpoint, wedding photography for me was an overwhelmingly positive experience. I've had numerous couples who, after praising me for the photography, remarked how easy it was to work with me and that my calm demeanor had done a lot to help them relax and enjoy the day.

You seem interested in putting "mere" wedding photographers in their place. I'm sure you feel superior to them. I have a different approach. I treat those with whom I come in contact with decency and respect, whether they be my plumber, the teenage girl behind the Chik-Fil-A counter or the custodian at the county garbage dump. It's a treat to see their eyes light up when it is apparent I acknowledge there's actually a feeling human being with whom I'm relating. If I can leave just one person feeling a little better, then I've had a successful day.

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Doug MacMillan Senior Member • Posts: 1,991
Re: Went to the wedding!

VueFinder wrote:

I went to the wedding and brought said DSLR.

Glad you had a good experience and got some good shots. Outdoor weddings are nice, it's easier to shoot without being a distraction.

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chiane Veteran Member • Posts: 4,397
Re: Have you ever been a Pro?

Doug MacMillan wrote:

chiane wrote:

Doug,

I think wedding photographers seem to forget that they are the hired help. Your job is to around the scene, not in spite of it. Sometimes I wonder who is the jackass and who is the one having to put up with it.

You didn't answer my question. Have you ever been a professional wedding photographer?

I treat those with whom I come in contact with decency and respect, whether they be my plumber, the teenage girl behind the Chik-Fil-A counter or the custodian at the county garbage dump. It's a treat to see their eyes light up when it is apparent I acknowledge there's actually a feeling human being with whom I'm relating. If I can leave just one person feeling a little better, then I've had a successful day.

Did you hip check any of them? Probably because they weren't at a weeding you were shooting. :-)You sound like a different person in this post, almost saintly. And no, not a wedding photographer.

Kenneth Sloan Regular Member • Posts: 384
Re: Is it rude to bring DSLR to wedding?

It's not rude to bring a camera to a wedding.

It is rude to use your photography as an excuse to disrupt the proceedings and make yourself the center of attention.

This applies both to guests AND to the pro hired to shoot the wedding.

A wedding is NOT a "photoshoot". Not for the guests, and not for the official videographer (I mean....who wants still photographs anymore?)

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-Kenneth Sloan

VueFinder
OP VueFinder Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Is it rude to bring DSLR to wedding?

Kenneth Sloan wrote:

It's not rude to bring a camera to a wedding.

It is rude to use your photography as an excuse to disrupt the proceedings and make yourself the center of attention.

This applies both to guests AND to the pro hired to shoot the wedding.

A wedding is NOT a "photoshoot". Not for the guests, and not for the official videographer (I mean....who wants still photographs anymore?)

-- hide signature --

-Kenneth Sloan

Well said!

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Doug MacMillan Senior Member • Posts: 1,991
Re: Have you ever been a Pro?

chiane wrote:

You sound like a different person in this post, almost saintly. And no, not a wedding photographer.

Jekyll and Hyde. Mostly Dr. Jekyll, but you push me out of the way when I'm trying to get the money shot I was paid to get, I'll stand my ground. I can think of only a few instances where I showed my dark side, I'm certainly not a bad a* .

I was mostly a commercial/industrial photographer, weddings were more of a side job. Maybe that's why I had good experiences, I didn't accept every customer who showed up for a consult. Early in my career I learned that certain customers were hard to work with and ultimately unprofitable.

Wedding photography is a hard way to make a living. I ultimately went back to school and got a second degree and changed professions. I get paid well enough that I can pursue my interests in photography at a purely amateur level.

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Mr Roygbiv rainbow Senior Member • Posts: 1,891
Re: Is it rude to bring DSLR to wedding?

Get some good shots of the Brides Mother as she assualts you , She payed for the Pro , and she won't want you getting in the way !
--
Roygbiv

jedinstvo
jedinstvo Senior Member • Posts: 1,914
You'll need something to shoot those drunken bridesmaids

As they skinny dip in the pool.

Neous Regular Member • Posts: 191
Re: Is it rude to bring DSLR to wedding?

MusicDoctorDJ wrote:

For some reason it seems that many here think that the mere fact of owning one or more cameras suddenly makes them a photographer.

Warning
I'm about to hijack this thread

It might not make you a race car driver but owning/driving a car makes you a driver.

What makes one a photographer? doesn't it start by owning a camera

I think that anyone willing to invest time in learning the craft is by definition a photographer.

of course this is all subjective as I don't call myself a photographer because I don't even consider myself an amateur.
I tell people that I do photography.

chiane Veteran Member • Posts: 4,397
Re: Is it rude to bring DSLR to wedding?

The good doctor should also realize that getting paid to take a picture doesnt mean your any good.

Neous wrote:

MusicDoctorDJ wrote:

For some reason it seems that many here think that the mere fact of owning one or more cameras suddenly makes them a photographer.

Warning
I'm about to hijack this thread

It might not make you a race car driver but owning/driving a car makes you a driver.

What makes one a photographer? doesn't it start by owning a camera

I think that anyone willing to invest time in learning the craft is by definition a photographer.

of course this is all subjective as I don't call myself a photographer because I don't even consider myself an amateur.
I tell people that I do photography.

MusicDoctorDJ Forum Pro • Posts: 12,400
Re: Is it rude to bring DSLR to wedding?

chiane wrote:

The good doctor should also realize that getting paid to take a picture doesnt mean your any good.

I do realize this.

I don't consider someone who sold one image for $100 a photographer . . .

I do consider someone who makes their entire living with their cameras a photographer!

Big difference between the two . . .

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J. D.
Colorado

  • "If your insurance company tells you that you don't need a lawyer . . . hire a lawyer!"

Greenville Senior Member • Posts: 2,237
Why would you want to?

My reply is not meant to say you should not, but more of trying to understand the motivation of lugging a camera around a wedding. For weddings of every day friends and family that you see all the time I don't see the point. Plus if you want to use the event as a "chance to practice" I also don't see the point. A wedding is a special event for young couple, not a staged event for people to practice taking betting pictures.

On the other hand, if the wedding is one where many people are gathering from long distances, you will see friends and family that don't get together too often then bringing a camera can be a fun way to capture some fun moments - but I think a nice P&S would be easier to use and make the wedding more enjoyable.

The last situation maybe where you are close to the wedding party and they don't have plans for a photographer and they want friends and family to take images to help capture the event. This may shock some pros, but many people get married every day on limited budgets that can't afford big fancy weddings. If you are going to a budget wedding you can ask the B&G before hand if they want some photos and they say yes then bring a camera.

Personally I would not bring a DSLR to a wedding unless I was very close to the B&G and I was asked to bring my camera. Main reason - I think weddings generally are dreadfully dull and would hate to take the time taking pictures.

Ed

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Kenneth Sloan Regular Member • Posts: 384
Re: Is it rude to bring DSLR to wedding?

You bring your SLR because of moments like this:

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-Kenneth Sloan

Jim Radcliffe
Jim Radcliffe Forum Pro • Posts: 11,646
No, but what would be rude...

VueFinder wrote:

This is a strange question, but wondering if a DSLR is simply to big and pro to bring to a friends wedding? I am a guest.

It would be rude to bring the ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend of the groom or bride..

Bringing a DSLR is not rude at all. If you have doubts, ask the bride or groom.

Trust me, share your photos with the happy couple.. you may even get some the pro did not. I've done this and the happy couple really appreciated the extra photos.

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Jim Radcliffe
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The ability to 'see' the shot is more important than the gear used to capture it.

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