November 27, 2011

The Importance of Being Earnest

Honesty is the Best Policy

Actors on Stage in Play

Image courtesy of commons.wikipedia

Many new wedding photographers (and some established ones) miss out on opportunities by letting their professionalism slip on occasion. Some established, and busy photographers tend to rest on their laurels. They think that the steady flow of work coming in is a given, that it is guaranteed! (They're not Being Ernest with themselves ; )

This is not always the case, especially in these competitive times.

I was shooting the reception of a wedding on Friday night and the theme was "Las Vegas". They had organised for a couple of casino tables to be placed in the main area with play money. This was for the guests to enjoy and for a photographer like myself to revel in and look forward to shooting.

However, a stern look from one of the ladies organising the event told me otherwise. Which was followed 10 minutes later by a request not to (under any circumstances) photograph the tables. It took me 20 minutes of hassling her for her to finally explain.

She said that around 10 or more previous photographers has promised to give them a set of images. But only if they gave the wedding photographer free rein to shoot all manner of funky shots including chips being thrown in the air and creating havoc with their set up.

Not one of them was courteous enough to actually hand over the images.

Being Ernest and True to Your Word!

Eventually, the organisers saw that I knew a few people at the wedding, including some of the guests and caterers. They saw how professionally I worked (using pro grade video gear to film the speeches as well as photographing the same event). I was allowed to shoot the tables freely. The organisers were even polite enough to move out of my way as I shot so of course, I promised to send a selection to them and will keep that promise!

Why is this important?

This company are incredibly professional. They are neat, quick at setting up, they use pro tables, they most certainly look the part and they know their stuff. They are busy all the time and attend weddings and functions all over the country.

Surely it is in my interest to not only take great images of their set up but also to allow them to use these on their website. Plus using them for their promotional material (with the couples permission) is a given. After all, there is some mutual promotion of businesses to be had between us here.

No matter what you are told and no matter how much it grates to be told it...accept what is asked of you at a wedding. Remain polite and professional at all times. It could just lead to a lot more business.

Being Ernest
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