Wedding photographer caused mayhem…

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Glenn
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This seems to me to be something of a distortion of what is typical for weddings, but then I‘m not a wedding photographer or a wedding provider.


IMHO it just shows that there is always a story to write…
 
All these articles on the internet are so cold it makes me think they’re AI generated.
 
This seems to me to be something of a distortion of what is typical for weddings, but then I‘m not a wedding photographer or a wedding provider.


IMHO it just shows that there is always a story to write…

He lies, religious celebrants like him are a huge problem. I don’t believe for one minute any of the things he mentioned actually happened because it just doesn’t.

In 10 years of photographing weddings and over 500 weddings shot, have met lots of difficult religious celebrants that make all sorts of excuses as to why they are going to make work difficult for us.

The truth however is that in most cases they don’t want to be photographed themselves or that they are so far up their own hole they feel that because they are conducting the ceremony they are the most important person there including being more important than the couple. A lot of them are egomaniacs it must go with the job.

The excuses they give for their interference are hilarious and completely ridiculous. Best one is when they say no photography allowed for religious reasons, but then have no answer when you ask where in the Bible does it say that.

The biggest problem for the couple is that they often don’t make them aware that there is no photography or that the photographer will be restricted heavily. So the couple only know when they realize the photographer is not in the room or is stuck down the very back and can’t see anything.
 
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Mostly agree with the above, certainly of all the 'difficult' people I had to deal with at weddings, CofE vicars were by far the majority.

However, for balance I never had a problem with a Methodist or Catholic officiant.
 
I'm not a wedding photographer, but did video a wedding for some friends. I tried to be as discreet and inconspicuous as possible so as not to detract from proceedings, I'm sure most responsible photographers do the same.

They absolutely do!

The service we provide is just as important as the photographs. While of course there maybe the odd lunatic around we are in a service related business and putting clients first is important.
 
Mostly agree with the above, certainly of all the 'difficult' people I had to deal with at weddings, CofE vicars were by far the majority.

However, for balance I never had a problem with a Methodist or Catholic officiant.
My experience is different, although I never had any kind of a problem with RC priests. My problems were usually with the non-conformists, possibly because they are more superstitious religious and take the whole thing seriously.
The worst I ever had was a female methodist minister, shortly before the ceremony she pointed at me and shouted "You, get out, this is Gods house. You can take your pictures outside"

This was very strange, as there were 2 videographers there, set up behind and one side of her, a very obtrusive and professional setup. The couple were very upset, apparently they were members of the church, the ceremony was supposed to be conducted by their usual minister but he was sick and the aggressive, domineering woman was a replacement.

I think that some of these priests just don't seem to understand that it's important for the couple, who have paid a lot of money for the church ceremony. And I note that the retired vicar in the story is still wearing his dog collar, does that say something about him?

I totally get it that there will be bad photographers too, and that we need to be respectful, discreet and silent.
 
My experience is different, although I never had any kind of a problem with RC priests. My problems were usually with the non-conformists, possibly because they are more superstitious religious and take the whole thing seriously.
The worst I ever had was a female methodist minister, shortly before the ceremony she pointed at me and shouted "You, get out, this is Gods house. You can take your pictures outside"

This was very strange, as there were 2 videographers there, set up behind and one side of her, a very obtrusive and professional setup. The couple were very upset, apparently they were members of the church, the ceremony was supposed to be conducted by their usual minister but he was sick and the aggressive, domineering woman was a replacement.

I think that some of these priests just don't seem to understand that it's important for the couple, who have paid a lot of money for the church ceremony. And I note that the retired vicar in the story is still wearing his dog collar, does that say something about him?

I totally get it that there will be bad photographers too, and that we need to be respectful, discreet and silent.
Because I am based in N.I my experience will be different than yours.

For us far and away the most difficult are Church of Ireland Ministers and R.C Priests.

We have had some awful experiences I guess most wedding photographers will have, including one particular guy who is a bit infamous here who while a Minister is a full on pervert and put hands on my missus. We know lots of other photographers who have had similar issues with him.

People are often under the misconception that because the person is a religious celebrant they are good people. While some of course are there are plenty around who while preaching religion live their lives in a completely opposite way from what they preach.
 
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I totally get it that there will be bad photographers too, and that we need to be respectful, discreet and silent.
Agreed.

I think all the people in that article were chosen because their opinions were extreme.
 
I'm afraid my experiences are similar to above, over the loads of weddings I've done I've had just about every difficult BS you could imagine.
As Tommy (F2.8) says, the officials often think they are more important than the bride and groom! Some are akward, some a right PITA, and some... well I cant say on here with children reading, you can guess though!
To be fair there are some great officials, very helpful, who recognise it's the BRIDES SPECIAL DAY, not theirs. But that said I'm sure there are some photographers, who dont have the filter (no pun intended) that normal convention, that most abide too. You know, trying to be unobtrusive, not making a pain of yourself.
I always try and chat to the officials before the wedding if possible, they have some great stories of B+G's, and all too often some dozy photographers ;)
At my local registry office, I'll sometimes arrive and be greeted with, "oh I'm glad it's you, we thought XXXXX might be doing this wedding" with the name of another local tog. He's not banned, be he's not popular with them either..... Wonder why? He takes ages with the signing shots and makes them run late.
 
I used to do wedding photography back in 2013, was busy every weekend around my usual job as an electrician. I was only charging cheap, to try build my portfolio at £500 a day from make up to first dance shots.

I got attacked by a Vicar, punched me in the chest for standing too close to the alter, snapping the bride walking down the aisle.

I was told to leave when I confronted him. The bride then tried to get a full refund. I refused as I was stopped from doing the job I was paid for.

Some would say I was harsh for not refunding, but I gave them the pictures I had already taken
 
Because I am based in N.I my experience will be different than yours.

For us far and away the most difficult are Church of Ireland Ministers and R.C Priests.

We have had some awful experiences I guess most wedding photographers will have, including one particular guy who is a bit infamous here who while a Minister is a full on pervert and put hands on my missus. We know lots of other photographers who have had similar issues with him.

People are often under the misconception that because the person is a religious celebrant they are good people. While some of course are there are plenty around who while preaching religion live their lives in a completely opposite way from what they preach.
I know exactly who you mean ....I could sell my camera gear and probably publish a book on him and retire with my best seller
 
I know exactly who you mean ....I could sell my camera gear and probably publish a book on him and retire with my best seller

We turn away any couples that choose him and have done for a couple of years, keep hoping he will retire but he just keeps carrying on. :)
 
My worst memory was a Bride who was a smartarse lawyer, the groom was a very arrogant Nigerian gentleman who thought that he was wonderful . . .
They told me that it was a register office wedding followed by a reception, but provided no details of the reception, which turned out to be in a marquee, many miles away.

I shot the wedding, no problem, followed by photos in a mock Victorian shopping mall bit round the back, very tatty. I was then told that we were going on to a church wedding, it turned out that the brides' mother was a lay preacher at a chapel and she conducted the service or blessing, whichever it was supposed to be. That went OK, followed by the usual outside photos. I was then told that we were going to a different church that suited the grooms' religion, That was done and I was then told that we were going to the reception in convoy, My car had a satnav (very unusual at that time) but they didn't know the postcode. The lead driver was the best man, driving a sports car at ridiculous speed and quite happy to leave the rest of the convoy, who weren't prepared to drive at dangerous speeds or go through red lights, behind.

Fortunately, I was car number 3 or 4 in the convoy and someone in front of me managed to find the way. By the time we arrived the light was failing. Marquee photos were poor because it was far from elegant. I had agreed to stay until after the first dance, but a fight broke out and I thought it was time to leave.

The bride then threatened to sue me because I hadn't stayed for the dancing, and also complained that my proof photos were blurry when printed and were watermarked . . .

We have had some awful experiences I guess most wedding photographers will have, including one particular guy who is a bit infamous here who while a Minister is a full on pervert and put hands on my missus. We know lots of other photographers who have had similar issues with him.

People are often under the misconception that because the person is a religious celebrant they are good people. While some of course are there are plenty around who while preaching religion live their lives in a completely opposite way from what they preach.
It's strange isn't it? If a politician sends an inappropriate text, he's finished. If a priest rapes women and children for years, nobody cares and complaints are ignored.
 
I get along with most people to be fair, but I have been known to turn down a couple my gut feeling are going to be trouble. It's not often, but I'm not making my job harder by dealing with... twits!
It's bad enough with dicky vicars, reception venues copying the black hole of Calcutta and wedding planners trying to get the bunfight moved forward (so they can save money on the waiting staff) and DJ who haven't figured out a wedding party want to talk as most havent seen each other for years.
If the couple look dodgy as well time to walk away! I've still got one wedding album, from about 1990 ish, the couple split up just after the wedding and never came back for the album.
 
I'm not a wedding photographer, but did video a wedding for some friends. I tried to be as discreet and inconspicuous as possible so as not to detract from proceedings, I'm sure most responsible photographers do the same.
I went to my niece's wedding. The photographer was very nice, but she had thick clunky boots and jangly bracelets - so everyone heard every step she took!
 
In 10 years of photographing weddings and over 500 weddings shot, have met lots of difficult religious celebrants that make all sorts of excuses as to why they are going to make work difficult for us.
...The excuses they give for their interference are hilarious and completely ridiculous. Best one is when they say no photography allowed for religious reasons, but then have no answer when you ask where in the Bible does it say that.

The biggest problem for the couple is that they often don’t make them aware that there is no photography or that the photographer will be restricted heavily. So the couple only know when they realize the photographer is not in the room or is stuck down the very back and can’t see anything.
From my experience in wedding coverage, it seems that the 'difficult' celebrants seem to more often be Protestant clergy, while the more flexible celebrants have tended to be Roman Catholic...I have no idea why that seems to be the pattern.
"No photography during the ceremony" is the admonition only to the hired photographer, even in spite of assurances of being unobtrusive in shooting, while the guests are all snapping away madly during the ceremony because nothing is said to those in attendance. :headbang:

Yet, in being a guest at the weddings of children of longtime friends, I have observed my share of huh?! moments witnessing the antics of the hired photographer(s)
 
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From my experience in wedding coverage, it seems that the 'difficult' celebrants seem to more often be Protestant clergy, while the more flexible celebrants have tended to be Roman Catholic...I have no idea why that seems to be the pattern.
"No photography during the ceremony" is the admonition only to the hired photographer, even in spite of assurances of being unobtrusive in shooting, while the guests are all snapping away madly during the ceremony because nothing is said to those in attendance. :headbang:

Yet, in being a guest at the weddings of children of longtime friends, I have observed my share of huh?! moments witnessing the antics of the hired photographer(s)
I would guess it depends where you are based. In Northern Ireland they take religion quite seriously here. :p
 
As a slight aside, I discovered an unexpected benefit of doing the old-style, group wedding photos.

I learned, very quickly, how to manage large groups of people and hold their interest. This paid off handsomely when I changed careers and eventually had to give long technical presentations, eapecially to audiences with varying levels of previous knowledge.

Nikon F 1991 59-12.jpg
 
All these stories make me glad I ignore religion, and stay away from wedding ceremonies, quite happy to attend the bun fight later though.
 
The biggest problem for the couple is that they often don’t make them aware that there is no photography or that the photographer will be restricted heavily. So the couple only know when they realize the photographer is not in the room or is stuck down the very back and can’t see anything.

Eeerm isn't talking to the person doing the ceremony somehting thats done well before the event.. thus you would relay any restrictions to the B & G and they would know why your not taking the pics they wanted ?

Yes I am a non wedding photogrpaher.. but isnt that how its done though ?
 
Eeerm isn't talking to the person doing the ceremony somehting thats done well before the event.. thus you would relay any restrictions to the B & G and they would know why your not taking the pics they wanted ?

Yes I am a non wedding photogrpaher.. but isnt that how its done though ?
No it’s not.

The b&g talk to them well in advance, photographers don’t usually meet them till the day.

And the ‘difficult’ priests will avoid discussions about photography, and only state their position when asked very specific questions.

Bluntly; they know they’re unreasonable but will do everything short of lying to be upfront about it.
 
Eeerm isn't talking to the person doing the ceremony somehting thats done well before the event.. thus you would relay any restrictions to the B & G and they would know why your not taking the pics they wanted ?

Yes I am a non wedding photogrpaher.. but isnt that how it’s done though ?

No it’s rare that there is an opportunity to speak to them before.
 
Yes I am a non wedding photogrpaher.. but isnt that how it’s done though ?
The analogy I’d give you is that you turn up at a football game, the ref smiles for your picture with the captains and sponsors, and as the crowd dissipates he grabs your arm and quietly tells you that you can only take pictures from the media box.

When you try to calmly explain that’s unreasonable he points out that if he sees you pitch side he’ll stop the game to have you removed.

And despite the fact there’s hundreds of other referees that are perfectly reasonable, it dawns on you that this guy is in charge and no matter how much of a nob, he’s gonna get his own way.
 
Eeerm isn't talking to the person doing the ceremony somehting thats done well before the event.. thus you would relay any restrictions to the B & G and they would know why your not taking the pics they wanted ?

Yes I am a non wedding photogrpaher.. but isnt that how its done though ?
The couple will meet the vicar (whatever) well in advance but photography often isnt mentioned, even when it is it's supprising how often the vicar doing the actual service isnt the vicar they saw when making the booking. The one doing the service theymight only see first during the rehearsal, often the day before the wedding. At this point photography probably wont be mentioned as they are sorting out the roles and last minute details.
The first they find out theres no photos is when the photographer tells them after chatting to the vicar on arrival at church, and being told to not shoot.
I've seen a videographer actually thrown out of a church for ignoring this.
 
I am a Christian and if I heard my pastor talk like that to a photographer I would complain to him and possibly look for a new church.
Although I don't think our pastor would and our church is ugly so no one gets married there.

It is a long time (I hope) before I organize another wedding but this has all been very interesting.
I certainly would never want to work as a wedding photographer partly because it seems very difficult but also because of the story below.

I went to a friend's wedding in Spain a couple of years ago and outside there were some wasps that I had never seen before. I asked my wife if I could take photos of them but she said no.
I think any interesting insects could distract me.
(I have never seen them since so I think I should have ignored her).
 
Times have changed, and human behaviour has changed with the times.

Go back to ancient history, when I started wedding photography, 62 years ago . . .

Almost everyone got married and the vast majority were married in their local church, and a fairly large % attended that church on a regular basis.

The vicar would usually know the couple, and would always know the photographer, who would be a local full-time professional, there would be a relationship. The churches performed a public service.

Very few photos were taken at weddings back then, and the only indoor one would be the mock signing of the register, using flash. Photos during the ceremony just didn’t happen, and pretty much couldn’t because, for decent image, quality we had to use 100 ISO film, and there wasn’t enough light.

That’s all now changed beyond recognition.

Some of those changes have been driven by digital photography, which now allows high ISO settings, which means that there is always enough light – we may say that we’ve had digital since about 1990, but the early DSLR cameras performed very badly above 100 ISO, so the changes started to happen a bit later.

Vicars etc are now far less likely to know the couple, so they are less likely to care about upsetting them if they don’t allow photography. For churches, weddings are now a major source of income

Photographers are now far less likely to be full-time professionals who only work in their own local area, and some of them don’t care about upsetting the vicar, there’s no relationship to protect, and some of them are just ignorant, unprofessional and rude anyway. And photographers may get p***ed off by the behaviour of guests, who will take photos all through the service even if the vicar has announced that no photography is allowed, so the photographer may decide to ignore the vicar and take photos anyway, which just makes the situation worse for future weddings.

I think that the answer is for the photographer to have a quiet word with the vicar just before the ceremony and ask what is and what is not allowed, many vicars will allow a pro photographer to take photos from one fixed position, if asked, but some won’t and so some photographers won’t ask and will actively keep out of sight of the vicar. This makes sense from
the photographer and the couples' viewpoint, but makes things worse for future weddings.
 
I think that the answer is for the photographer to have a quiet word with the vicar just before the ceremony and ask what is and what is not allowed,

We always do that but they have already made their mind up before then. We also tell every couple to ask about photography restrictions during the ceremony when they speak to the Minister/Priest etc.

When couples ask they often say we will talk to the photographer before the ceremony, then we rock up, seek them out and get told that photography isn't allowed. :D

I had huge respect for Minister/Priests etc. before becoming a wedding photographer, not any more.

In all honesty some of the most horrible people I have met since becoming a wedding photographer have been religious celebrants. So much so it has changed how I see religion and my own beliefs. It seems to be a job that attracts a certain type of person and while of course there are some good ones as well, they are often completely up their own hole, in regards to their perception of how important they are.

It probably sounds silly to those that haven't shot lots of weddings but as part of the job we build a relationship with the couple we become almost protective of them. Some of the comments I have overheard or have been said directly to me by religious celebrants about the couples have been honestly disgusting and in some cases absolutely obscene. They are often very critical when out of their earshot. In all honesty religious celebrants an awful lot of the time are creepy and have often got every dislikeable personality trait you can imagine.

Like I said already above it seems to be a job that attracts a certain type of person.

There are a few around who are very good genuine people but those are in the minority.
 
For Peter and Suzanne Heron, who got married in Newton Abbot, Devon, in 1973, the problem was the other way around.
A scene-stealing photographer treated the ceremony like a photoshoot.

Absolute junk article referencing weddings that were 50 years ago.
 
We always do that but they have already made their mind up before then. We also tell every couple to ask about photography restrictions during the ceremony when they speak to the Minister/Priest etc.

When couples ask they often say we will talk to the photographer before the ceremony, then we rock up, seek them out and get told that photography isn't allowed. :D

I had huge respect for Minister/Priests etc. before becoming a wedding photographer, not any more.

In all honesty some of the most horrible people I have met since becoming a wedding photographer have been religious celebrants. So much so it has changed how I see religion and my own beliefs. It seems to be a job that attracts a certain type of person and while of course there are some good ones as well, they are often completely up their own hole, in regards to their perception of how important they are.

It probably sounds silly to those that haven't shot lots of weddings but as part of the job we build a relationship with the couple we become almost protective of them. Some of the comments I have overheard or have been said directly to me by religious celebrants about the couples have been honestly disgusting and in some cases absolutely obscene. They are often very critical when out of their earshot. In all honesty religious celebrants an awful lot of the time are creepy and have often got every dislikeable personality trait you can imagine.

Like I said already above it seems to be a job that attracts a certain type of person.

There are a few around who are very good genuine people but those are in the minority.
I agree ....away from my photography job I am into death/black metal ....well actually any heavy metal and I can say hand on heart the most judgemental,bitter and bitchy people can be found in a church and the most accepting, friendly and open people can be found covered in tattoos, hair to their waist with every piece of loose skin they have pierced head banging in the middle of a mosh pit . Any time I have anyone speak to me out of turn or in a nasty way at a wedding will 90% of the time be in "a place of the Lord"
 
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I agree ....away from my photography job I am into death/black metal ....well actually any heavy metal and I can say hand on heart the most judgemental,bitter and bitchy people can be found in a church and the most accepting, friendly and open people can be found covered in tattoos, hair to their waist with every piece of loose skin they have pierced head banging in the middle of a mosh pit . Any time I have anyone speak to me out of turn or in a nasty way at a wedding will 90% of the time be in "a place of the Lord"
Agree we are into rock and alternative/goth and the people at gigs and festivals are always so nice
Last summer I took my camera to a local festival for world music everyone was so nice and didn’t mind if I nipped to the front to take a few shots
 
Agree we are into rock and alternative/goth and the people at gigs and festivals are always so nice
Last summer I took my camera to a local festival for world music everyone was so nice and didn’t mind if I nipped to the front to take a few shots
Indeed and they would be the very people the church would tell us to avoid at all costs unless we were happy to be condemned to eternal hell fire
 
My daughter is head of wedding planning at a popular Scottish hotel, she has tame photographers that work there, couples get the ceremony shots they want and all manner of pre/post ceremony shots they can think of, good cooperation between all parties means recommendations and more business.
 
Times have changed, and human behaviour has changed with the times.

Go back to ancient history, when I started wedding photography, 62 years ago . . .

Almost everyone got married and the vast majority were married in their local church, and a fairly large % attended that church on a regular basis.

The vicar would usually know the couple, and would always know the photographer, who would be a local full-time professional, there would be a relationship. The churches performed a public service.

Very few photos were taken at weddings back then, and the only indoor one would be the mock signing of the register, using flash. Photos during the ceremony just didn’t happen, and pretty much couldn’t because, for decent image, quality we had to use 100 ISO film, and there wasn’t enough light.

That’s all now changed beyond recognition.

Some of those changes have been driven by digital photography, which now allows high ISO settings, which means that there is always enough light – we may say that we’ve had digital since about 1990, but the early DSLR cameras performed very badly above 100 ISO, so the changes started to happen a bit later.

Vicars etc are now far less likely to know the couple, so they are less likely to care about upsetting them if they don’t allow photography. For churches, weddings are now a major source of income

Photographers are now far less likely to be full-time professionals who only work in their own local area, and some of them don’t care about upsetting the vicar, there’s no relationship to protect, and some of them are just ignorant, unprofessional and rude anyway. And photographers may get p***ed off by the behaviour of guests, who will take photos all through the service even if the vicar has announced that no photography is allowed, so the photographer may decide to ignore the vicar and take photos anyway, which just makes the situation worse for future weddings.

I think that the answer is for the photographer to have a quiet word with the vicar just before the ceremony and ask what is and what is not allowed, many vicars will allow a pro photographer to take photos from one fixed position, if asked, but some won’t and so some photographers won’t ask and will actively keep out of sight of the vicar. This makes sense from
the photographer and the couples' viewpoint, but makes things worse for future weddings.
You make some good points there Garry (y)
 
I went to a wedding in Cyprus a few years ago, and the Greek Orthodox celebrant(s!) were very laid back about photography. The videographers were more like a film crew, with lights etc, around the couple during the vows. And then they put a drone up, inside the church. The congregation were all milling around, I had been worried that it was going to be difficult to keep my 18-month-old son quiet and still, but it didn't seem to matter.
 
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Went to a Greek wedding 25 or so years ago and the priests took it in turns to go outside for a cigarette and one of them took a mobile phone call half way through the proceedings.
 
When I turn up, the first thing I do is go to the priest and introduce myself, then I ask if he has any rules and I will just stick to it.

There have been a couple of occasions that rather than the priest having a problem, there is someone else who works at the church who sits in the back come and tell me to move.

The time when I shot at St Paul's, they sent me a PDF ahead of time telling me where I can go, when I can take photos, where I can't. I couldn't actually enter the room (the Chapel) where the ceremony was held....completely off limits.
 
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