Clients and Etiquette (rant warning)

I recently wrote a blog about a wedding I photographed in Tennessee on my recent trip. When I provide the clients with the wedding contract there was a place for them to list the contact information and address of the wedding venue. I did this for two reasons.

1. So I can plug this information into my GPS and actually find where the wedding is going to be.

2. To contact the venue regarding the expected etiquette for the photographer.

Chances are the venue has already communicated their expectations to the clients and they can relay that information but on the off chance they didn’t (or they forgot in the madness of planning) you have a way to get in touch with them. Why is this important? Well, let me tell you the story of the Tennessee Wedding.

I received word from the clients that the church there would not allow ANY photograph during the ceremony. I thought for sure that they just meant no flash photography and I certainly could understand that. I spoke to the Minister and he confirmed that they do not allow ANY photography at all during the ceremony. I was surprised but adhered to their request. Prior to the start of the wedding I was able to talk to one of the staff members and she let me know that the reason they do not allow any photography is because of the past photographers. They would dress improperly because they were the “photographer” and would run up and down the isle clicking away completely oblivious to the real “event” taking place. How insensitive can you possibly be?

So, you might be a paid vendor with a job to do but you must consider yourself a guest. You are not the center of attention (that is the bride’s job) and if you are then you are doing something wrong. Portray yourself professionally, dress like a professional, respect the venue, and try to remain unseen until it is your moment to take the stage and direct the formal photos.  Thanks again Conley and Stephanie for inviting me to your wedding!