Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/05/14

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Subject: [Leica] Other photographers at the wedding
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 11:18:03 -0700
References: <> <> <p05100302b9059d9f5164@[]>

- --On Monday, May 13, 2002 10:30 PM +0200 Christer Almqvist 
<> wrote:

>>A friend of mine gave every guest a 12 pictures throw away camera at his
>>daughter's wedding and collected the cameras afterwards. Each guest got
>>the photos he had taken. My friend had a copy of each and every photo
>>taken. Among them some of the funniest and nicest and most relaxed
>>wedding photos you ever saw. And there was no photographer to blame for
>>all those photos that were not, shall we say, up to expectations.

A lot of photographers get upset about other people photographing at the 
wedding. I think it is most wonderful. If you stop and think about it, it 
makes perfect sense.

Most wedding attendees who happen to have a camera, are amateurs. At best, 
they will take ordinary and ancillary photographs. The wedding photographer 
cannot be all places all of the time. These "other" photographers will 
simply catch distant views of the wedding party and pictures of folks at 
their table. Most of these will never make it to the bride anyway.

And having a disposable camera at every table is a most wonderful idea. I 
cannot figure out why all weddings don't have this. The reason for the 
camera is simple. The camera is laying on the table. That's one camera for 
every roughly eight guests. The guests at the table pick it up and shoot 
pictures of each other at the table. Something the wedding photographer can 
barely do. And the bride now has photographs of the folks at every table 
while they are at the table, talking, eating, laughing, etc. The 
bride/groom can even have a note with the camera saying to use the camera 
to photograph the folks at the table. And please leave the camera on the 
table when the film is finished. What a great way to get a plethora of candids.

Neither disposable cameras nor guests with real cameras should be any 
threat to the "professional" photographer. If they are a threat, the 
photographer is in the wrong business. Maybe take-up auto mechanics instead.

Two stories.

I was photographing a wedding many many many years ago (at least 30) and 
after one photograph, my camera locked-up. An Olympus OM-1. I had no spare. 
Young and naive. The groom asked a friend, who was attending and had a 
Nikon F(something), if I could use the camera to photograph the wedding. He 
had two zoom lenses, a short (35-70 I think) and a long (70-210 I think.) 
he said yes and I used this to photograph the entire wedding. The amateur 
who brought his camera saved the day.

A friend of mine, Judy Wilson, who has won many many awards for her 
weddings and formal portraits over the years, photographed an upscale 
wedding in a snooty country club in Marin county (above San Francisco.) 
This was a high priced gig. She has been using the same pro lab in Oregon 
for twenty years and knew the people intimately. She shipped her film to 
the lab and a few days later got a call. "The first time this has ever 
happened in the lab's history. All of our film during our morning run fell 
from the processor into the bottom of the tank, where it sat for 20 minutes 
before anyone discovered the problem. All of the film can now be used for 
viewing the sun eclipse." The lab, of course, said that they would do 
whatever it took, short of stopping the earth's rotation, to salvage the job.

My friend was mortified to say the least. She discussed it with the wedding 
party and the solution was... The wedding party send out a distress call to 
everyone in attendance to please send their film (processed or not) to the 
photographer. My friend got somewhere around 24 rolls of film, all shot by 
the wedding guests. The lab in Oregon made professional grade proofs from 
all of the film, my friend went through them, and selected a series of 
photographs that represented the day's festivities. The lab then printed 
"professional" grade prints from these and my friend was able to piece 
together a very decent wedding album, out of the guest's film. The lab went 
w-a-y out of their way to accommodate my friend. Obviously! With the right 
cropping, color balancing, dodging, and burning, the prints were really 
quite good. They truly made the silk purse out of the sow's ear! The lab's 
reputation was on the line as well. This was a Herculean effort by all. And 
it worked.

Thank heavens she wasn't one of those snooty photographers who banned other 
photography at the wedding. Day saved! And she got paid in full!


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In reply to: Message from John Collier <> (Re: [Leica] Lenses For Wedding)
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Message from Christer Almqvist <> (Re: [Leica] Lenses For Wedding)