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Exclusive on wedding

sasko1sasko1 Member
edited September 2013 in wedding photography

I would like to ask something on wedding photography. Recently I did one wedding as a main photographer etc... and of course there was a lot of cell phones around and now, after the wedding, images are going online on facebook etc... So there goes my exclusive. :) I understand that it is new age and cell phones are in...but I wonder, do you do something about this on your weddings? Do you "demand" from guests not to use cell phones? Should I "demand" from bride and groom to do something about in contract?

Any idea?

thanks. :)


  • MatrixphotoMatrixphoto Member
    edited September 2013
    Hi Sasko1

    Almost impossible to do.... Contract or No , guest are going to use there cell phones.

    There are a few of things that I do to minimize the distraction

    1. During the ceremony - Get the officiate/priest (who ever is doing the deed ) to make an announcement asking people not to take photos during the proceedings. They carry authority and you don't look like the bad guy.

    2. B&G , formals , Bridal Party only... everyone else head for cocktails. None Negotiable

    3. Family Shots, just ask people to wait until your done. Also if you have a powerful flash turn the photo sensor on,
    there pics will be overexposed and they will soon get frustrated and walk away. And if someone is really distracting you, tell them the B&G have asked for a lot of family shot and that you are on they are on a tight schedule and currently the delays means they won't get all the images they requested.

    4. In your initial consultation tell the explain to the bride and groom - The more people that are interrupting you taking photos , the less images they will get.

    Dont feel bad about putting people on the side line, if they don't get the perfect shot no big deal.
    If you don't get the shot it can be Big, Big trouble .

    You have to stay in charge...

    Lou Recine
    Matrix Photography and Design
  • This a clause in my contract. I remind the couple about this before the wedding in case I ask someone to step aside, they get testy and complain about me - which has yet to happen. It does make a difference during the church formals as they crowd in for shots. The couple and bridal party often tell people that I will do my shots first and then I give people a minute to take a few snaps.

    "The contracted photographer will be the sole photographer at the event. Family and friends can take photographs for personal purposes. The client needs to ensure that guests, etc do not interfere with the job the photographer is trying to do."

    I'd never really want to put the couple on the spot for this during their special day but you never know when the day will come when something does not go well. You still have to be tactful and maintain composure at all times.
  • So far we never had a problem telling people not to take pictures during the formals. We explain to them the reason why and they gladly conform.

    We had one occasion where we told one of the guest that he is not allowed to take pictures, and he said "I am the dad!" and we told him that the bride and groom will be getting the picture CD...fortunately he did not take any pictures and got out of our way.

    I think you just have to say it in a nice way and explain to them why you are not allowing them to take pictures during the formals.

    This is based on our experience...hope this helps!
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited September 2013
    Similar to answers above, I set up shots with family [formals] then I say to the family/friends present if they could just hold off from shooting for a couple of minutes for each group, and once I am finished you can shoot to your hearts' content.

    I simply explain while they are pointing cameras at the groups, it's only natural instinct that 1 or more will invariably look to another camera other than mine, never fails, even when no other cameras are there is someone in a group of 4 or more will be looking at some dorky friend waving, but I just shoot constantly, and from 6-7 frames I am going to get at least 2 keepers.

    Never had a problem yet with someone unhappy, I finish with a group, step back and say 'go for it' to members, then after 15-20 seconds I say ok, time for next group, and so on.

    With the cake cutting a bit different, I tell the people, 'while I am getting my light right go for it' and as they are shooting I am shooting also, then I just tell the couple to concentrate on my lens, ignore the others and I get good shots.

    Other flashes do not bother me, I shoot pretty quick so heaps to choose from in case of blinkers, not looking, another flash over-exposing mine [very rarely does that happen].
  • Thanks for the response. I see now, that I have to be more straight, telling people or the bride&groom to have formal shots in peace and after that let the others take pictures.

    Does any of you makes any kind of agreement for the exclusive pics, so noone can put any picture of the wedding on Facebook until you publish first? Just curious...

  • TrevTrev Moderator
    No, you cannot enforce that from my point of view, I mean they took the pics and the have the right to publish, you just have to make sure your images are not 'facebook quality' as in dark, murky and out of focus that I see a lot of.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    This is a tough one to enforce. Impossible really.

    You could suggest to the bride that she has an "unplugged" wedding.

    As an aside, here's an article I wrote on the topic
  • When you're the exclusive photographer, you're the exclusive professional photographer. You can't, and shouldn't, stop guests from taking photos. This is an important event for everyone and you should not try to prevent them from taking pix, with any type of camera, for sales reasons. This event was not held as a business arrangement for the photographer. Your goal is to capture the event with great photos. If guests do too, I think all you can do is get photos so much better than them that you've rendered their pix a nonissue. High end cameras in the hands of guests who know what they're doing does make your job more difficult yes. But the solution is not to ban cameras (for your benefit). The solution is to get photos that the family and everyone else want regardless of what else is out there from guests. You can also just pre-empt this by charging more upfront and selling photos and albums ahead of time.
  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited October 2013
    Good idea at the end of this. Talk to the couple and agree on an announcement before the wedding. State personal recording devices are acceptable but please remain in your seats and a please do not reach into the isles as you will interfere with the professional photographer. Or just say all personal devices must be shut off like Neil's links. Have a few options in the contract.

  • Thanks for all advices. We will see, what to do in the future. Currently I always inform bride and groom that I'll do what I can, but can't "promise" that all pictures will be without guests "cell phones". Just to be prepared, since sometimes you really can't do anything about it. Sometimes including those phones and guests taking photos can make great image. :)

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