What does it mean?

What does it mean to be the only professional photographer at a wedding?

I just wanted to bring your attention to a small part of a photographer’s contract that sometimes is misunderstood, and when overlooked it can actually lead to a very uncomfortable situation.

Most photographers’ contract state that the person you hired is to be the only professional photographer at the wedding and I wanted to explain exactly what that means.

I had a situation at a wedding – another wedding vendor (a DJ) was using professional photography equipment and taking photos, getting in my way quite a bit and causing me to miss some important shots. Also, he acted in an unprofessional way and some of the guests thought that he was a member of my staff, which reflected badly on me. I have heard of this happening to more and more photographers so I thought it is a good time to “make it public” so to speak.

The wedding day, of course, is not the time or place to enforce my contract or bother the bride and groom or make any kind of an unpleasant situation for anyone. The best way to deal with this would be to adress this with everyone before your weddings, so that it can be prevented altogether.

Of course photographers don’t mind if your guests and family members are taking photos!

However, absolutely NO other wedding vendor (DJ, Videographer, Florist, Planner, Caterer, anyone else hired) is permitted to take photos during the wedding.

Please remind your other vendors about this if you have any doubts that they may be inclined to take professional photos at the wedding. If any other vendor wants photos for their site, blog, slideshow, CD cover – etc – I will be more than happy to provide them with photos at no charge as a professional courtesy!

After speaking with a few other photographers some have said:

A florist works wth flowers, the hall is a great place and the caterer makes great food, the photographer takes the photos and DJ/Band plays the music. Why would you want a photog playing music or a DJ taking photos or the officiant making the bouquets? Just does not make sense.

Also, by including photography/video with a DJ or band, you lower your budget for a better trained photographer. Let the DJ do what he does best and get a better photographer with the money that you would have spent with the DJ.

The problem also arises, that guests that we are trying photograph both candidly & with their attention, have sometimes been bombarded by 2 or 3 photographers shooting them & are getting a little agitated with the paparazzi all around. Sometimes I am regrettably the last photographer to get to them & they are just totally smiled out. The whole problem is that by the time the primary photographer gets over to a guest, they may have just gotten their photo taken, and want us to get out of their face!

Good stuff. Very true. Everyone should do what they were hired to do!

Please feel free to ask any questions! Photographers, please feel free to repost this especially if it has ever happened to you!