Friday, 23 January 2015

Caution power drunk registrar operating in this wedding venue

“Excuse me young man would you mind standing at the back during the ceremony and take no pictures? That’s it, right back, keep walking, now stand still while I apply this nail gun to your shiny shoes and may I have you camera, you’ll get it back at the end if you keep quiet”

One in 10 wedding registrars clearly have proximity issues with wedding photographers. The other month I was pretty chuffed to get booked at a drop dead gorgeous venue in North Yorkshire. But as I leapt into to the ceremony room 1 minute before the Bride made her grand entrance I got a whisper in my ear..

“No pictures during the ceremony, I will stop the ceremony if you take pictures”

The registrar timed the line perfectly, leaving me stunned I starred motionless into the flashing strobes of guest cameras, paralysed by the Gestapo tone of a women who looked like she’d just walked off the set of Schindler's List

The registrar in question didn’t brief me ahead of the ceremony that pictures were not aloud unless of course you were a guest then no problem.

This type of situation is pure stress, you know the couple has asked for pics of the ceremony but the master of the ceremonies has surreptitiously blocked you. You stand flaccid, impotent with a big floppy camera around your neck to the tune of Josh Groban’s you raise me up.

I have since learnt however to ignore registrars from the SS school of photography crowd management with once simple comeback…

Taking inspiration from the Kim Jong-il's book “How to deal with alternative points of view”, I apply a swift Karate chop to the fools Adams apple, it certainly shuts them up.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Videographers make weddings feel their under CCTV

Videographers make weddings feel their under CCTV
"Photographer Verses Videographer, Terminator verses Predator"

Whilst the client will rename nameless for obvious reasons my last wedding photography job
was a fuc#ing nightmare.

Why do brides book photographers & videographers? Do they like cock fighting?

Videographers like the proverbial German  placing his towel on the best pool chair have an inherent desire to slap there Darlek  esque tripods in key positions. Note i say positions plural. My last wedding at Crayke Church North Yorkshire was a classic example. The Videographers  pulled up with a camera crew arsenal big enough to cover an U2 concert and without asking placed three tripods in the church, two at the front & one slap bang in the middle of the  aisle.

When this happens you feel like paparazzi, no longer the official photographer,
desperately fighting for an angle and trying  not to trip over anything, the photography plan you had in your head disappears and is  replaced with fantasy images of you walking up to bride and saying - "Unless you get these student film making gimps out of this Chuch I'm outta here"

But until i get the Hugo Bernard phone call I guess its tough titty, I’ll have to put up 
with the feeling a wedding is under CCTV surveillance every time the videographers rock up with enough tripods to keep the holy ghost  out of  the church.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Royal nightmare - how i blew my biggest photography job ever :-(

Last night i had a genuine wedding photography nightmare and heres what happened.I was booked to be Prince William and Kates wedding photographer but everthing that
could go wrong went wrong, my subconscious dredged up all the worst things that could
happen and it felt so real.

It started with me arriving late and I didnt know what room it was in. When i
eventually found the ceremony room the vows were in full swing. Entering the room i
then found myself standing in the wrong place, and was politely asked to move by Kate

When i did get in the right position I'd forgot my camera and pretended with my
fingers making a frame effect, the royals are dumb yeah everyone knows that. I
realised the chardade of pretending i had my camera wouldnt hold up forevever so i
crept out of the ceremony room and back to the camera bag, grabbing my camera I knew i
could claw it back but when i mounted the flash it feel apart in my fingers.
When i finally got back into the cermony room it was empty, Kate & Prince William were
allready outside on the balcony, i'd blown the biggest wedding photography gig ever

Mercifully i woke up at 5AM this morning with a real feeling of anxiety which has taken half a
day to disappear.

Freud I need help.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

"Google pay per click is no good for wedding photographers"

When you set yourself up as a wedding photographer you need business and you can easily get seduced setting up Google pay per click ads as a silver bullet to your sales woes. But be warned. Your Google ads will get clicked on by your competitors wanting to screw you over, SEO agencies wanting to mange your ads and curiosity clicks from irrelevant sites if your dumb enough not to switch off the Google Adwords content network.

My advice is dont bother, understand how to capture traffic organically by getting your head around Googles  Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide and apply it.

The net is full of SEO experts explaining why there are more SEO gurus per square mile than window cleaners. And dont bother with an off the shelf solution like Mr Site or any other "tie you in find out later waist of time products". Why? They wont support SEO requirements as detailed in the Googles search Engine Optimization Guide.

No doubt some SEO "guru" (Probably aged 12 and thinks all problems can be solved via an app) will reply to this post giving the predictable diatribe that google ads offer positive ROI with clear call to action signals on the landing page blah blah blah. Heard it all before, shut up, just SHUT UP!!!

Google pay per click ads are no good for sole trading wedding photographers but if your not convinced give it a go and help the Google gravy train run faster in Mountain View, California.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Psycho Bride Deserves An ASBO

"More real life stories of woe and injustice from an anonymous wedding photographer"

The below is the original eMail i received from a bride in response to
her cheque bouncing (Ive replaced real names with pseudonyms). Now I'm man enough to know when a bollocking is deserved but when the Brides cheque bounces and its my fault! I fear for the man who has married this woman...

I am emailing rather than phoning you as I fear I may not be able to keep my temper in check if I actually talk to you.

I am astounded and quite frankly appalled that a "professional" photographer would wait six weeks (at least) to cash a cheque! When my sister gave you the payment there were sufficient funds available to cover the amount. If you had not delayed in attempting to cash the cheque this deplorable occurrence could have been avoided. But to wait such a length of time before depositing the cheque is both careless and inconsiderate! Mrs McDrevit has incurred a charge for the rebounded cheque, a result that, again, could have been avoided if you had acted in an appropriate, timely manner!

Having said all that, I accept that you are still awaiting payment for your services. I'm afraid, however, that you will now have to wait until the end of the month until payment can be made. Obviously you cannot be trusted with another cheque, so please advise if you have a means of receiving payments electronically or over the phone? Mrs McDrevit has agreed that you may pick up a cash payment from her house if that is the only available option.

Please advise the best way to proceed.



Saturday, 22 October 2011

Caution amateur wedding videographer standing in the way at all bloody times

If you can’t afford a professional wedding photographer don’t ask your best mate to do it.

“Advice from an anonymous York wedding photographer”

Wedding videographers give my bum a headache but there is a class of videographer that boils my piss more than the standard 21 yr old media grad and that’s the amateur videographer, typically that’s the Father / Uncle of the bride who is intent on standing in front of the photographer at key times.
They’re dangerous too, not only due to lack of awareness but they’re a bridal party VIP so you cant taser them when they get in the way and registrants allow them to wander wherever they want whilst reading the riot act to the wedding photographer.

This year I shot a wedding at the Black Swan Helmsley. The registrant pounced on me and barked in a perfect Gestapo dialect:

“Stay at the back and no pictures during the ceremony!”

I wanted pull her tongue out and stick my fully charged studio battery contacts on it. But I had my reputation to uphold so I resisted the urge.

When the ceremony started the Father of the Groom stood right next to the newly weds and filmed the whole ceremony permanently in the frame of my camera, douche bag! So there’s me chained at the back being paid to get the shots and the Stanley Kubrick wannabee in the frame of every pic.

When the ceremony finished I marched up to the registrant and asked why I was chained at the back of the ceremony whilst Uncle Bob could wander wherever the wild potential of his handicam took him. The Gestapo officer, sorry I mean the  registrant countered with “We don’t  Like flash” But I don’t use flash I explained. But I wasn’t getting through, her eyes were drained of humanity maybe bleached colourless from years of flash photography, either way she wasn’t listening and marched off with her reptilian assistant trying to keep up.

But this is a serious point; too many registrants are instructing the photographer to stand at the back and giving the amateur videographer a free reign. If its fear of the flash then the registrant should say no use of flash and all is good.

So if your booking a videographer and he’s your best mate tell him not to stand in the way unless you want a wedding album with a camera man in every shot.

And my final bit of advice from the angry pulpit of disempowered wedding photographers is make sure you tell the registrant that you want the photographer to take pics at the front of the ceremony and chaining them at the back wont be necessary ;-)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Wedding photographers beware of the reluctant Best man & Maid of Honour...

So far I would say 50% of maid of honours can’t be arsed to help out with facilitating the photographer during group shots. When it comes to the basic of responsibilities like adjusting the Brides dress or lifting the veil over mucky ground they are nowhere to be seen. 

And then there’s the neglectful best man. After the third time of shouting "Can all the Brides Uni friends please organise themselves for a group shot" you turn to the best man for help and he's pis*ed off to the Hotel Bar. If he does turn up and I quote this from an actual best man you'll get a caustic - "I thought I was here to have a good time not help you out mate".

In the past I’ve done all manner of things to make contingency for the reluctant Maid of Honour and Best Man, from printing out wedding plans on an easel to de briefing the Best man over the phone well in advance but little seams to defend against the malaise of the carefree.

Take a leaf out of the 50% that do help the photographer, here's what they do:

1. They ask me if they can be of any help
2. They get a copy of the plan and organise group shots.
3. The Maid of honour is always on hand making sure the Bride gets a drink when she wants one, tidy's up the dress diligently for each photograph and never buggers off.
5. When over keen photographer wannabees start organising there own shots they step in reminding guests that they can take all the shots they want when the photographer has finished.

Now I'm off to buy an electric cattle prod, if Argos is out of stock then I'll have to check out the going rate of hiring an assistant, oh God I see more cost coming my way :-(

Author: the anonymous York wedding photographer