TROUBLING ENCOUNTERS



TROUBLING ENCOUNTERS
There will be lots more on this subject, including mother-in-laws, ex-husbands and wives etc.  But briefly a few points. Just a short sample of what we will discuss and how fast you can get in trouble. 

The problem is with new guys is that they don’t have a learning curve for previous disasters so they don’t see them coming.  The most common is rambunctious behavior by the grooms friends and invited guests who think a wedding is a good place to act like the stern end of a donkey.  Prenuptial booze consumption and a weed go a long way in disrupting things.   We call it out of control wilding.  

One problem rare but I have seen it twice is when some of the participants and even members of a band or DJ  get too involved with the wedding party.  Maybe it was the wine or some other accelerant, and possibly edged on by some of the bridesmaids who found the groomsmen boring.  Emotions run high and stupid things get said, accelerated by liquid refreshments.

And you won’t see it till it happens and it will be too late.  Overconfidence.  They are so hyped up with their newfound toys and minor successes they have nothing to fall back on.  When I learned to shoot weddings I went out with a pro for almost four months, actually four different guys to observe, grasp and learn to gain something from each of them.  They each had a style and other than the required shooting for the albums did things differently.  But more important was learning the signs when things were about to get crazy.


LESS BRAINS MORE BRAVADO
For some reason they will be persistent and think they can pull it off.  And cameras are notorious for shutters failing, batteries coming apart; strobes failing or have runaway problems. Even the pro stuff. It’s happened to me several times and I am a nut about preparation.  

Trained as a pilot my backups are on standby and ready to go.  But the killer is usually when someone has a lack of experience and how to react when things do go bad.  Stepping into an elaborate wedding problem is like a snow bunny skiing K2 at hunter Mountain.  I skied it once, well, snowplowed it a lot, and side stepped down and never went back. 

PRE-INSTRUCTION
For the new photographer learning about weddings read as much as you can, and it couldn’t be easier than going to the web. Here are some sources for your browser.  Look under Wedding planning, wedding photographers, wedding murders and death groups.
Another source of Wedding consulting stems from the bloggers who habit a group like www.etiquettehell.com more like a conglomeration of Dear Abby enthusiasts but usually they hit the nail on the head when it concerns human and in-human behavior.


TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS, LUNACY!
Many traditions, customs, and other acts appearing to be totally irrelevant (bordering stupidity) to you are very important and critical for the impression the Bride wants to make on her day. 

This is a huge and emotional time with extensive preparation and tasking for anyone to bear. 

Brides spend sometimes a few hundred dollars on their day getting everything perfect and in some cases lots of time in preparation.  

I have a friend who has videoed myriads of weddings and wrote a piece entitled the Seven Signs of Marital Disasters.  
One of his pet signs is the celebration of the sharing of cake.  I can tell you, the groom picked the wrong time to act like a kid. He thought it was cool, she didn't.  Nothing more needs to be said. This was not staged and the shots speak for themselves. She advised him not to do this and he did. He got more than he bargained for. And less for longer than he thought.


WEDDING WEBSITES and RESIDENT SCREWED UP ADVISORS
So to get a feel for this apparent idiocy you will find humor at many wedding sites and vendors but similar ever changing locations.  After reading some of these hard wrenching stories of emotion trauma, your Bride will seem normal.  Even if she comes complete with tears and a few borderline major breakdowns. At times these groups are funnier than anything you will ever read. 

Definitively speaking, getting serious, the "Professional Brides” are reliving their own affair at many of the Bridal Forums are in need of some serious help.  Too harsh, no, I call them “professionals” because being married four plus years ago and trying to stop time means they are not living in the “ now”.  

Better they should be paying attention to their new found legal friend.  The battle cry should be bang your husband, not the keyboard.  Here as a public service are the most commonly used letter codes in the Newsgroup Bridal Pages. We broke the codes into groups and these folks were texting letter codes way before some of the texters knew what texting was.


ON THE GROOMS SIDE 
G = Groom
GWR = Groom With Regrets
BM = Best ManBM1 = Best Man who had banged her just before the Wedding.
FH = Future Husband
FIL = Father-in-Law
FFIL = Future Father-in-Law

ON THE BRIDES SIDE
B = Bride
BB= Bitchey Bride or Ball Buster
DAARB = Dumb As A Rock Bride
MIL = Mother-in-Law
BMD = Bridesmaid
FG = Flower Girl
MOH = Maid/Matron of Honor 
PNODL = Phone Number of Divorce Lawyer


THE REAL BROADS SIDE
MOB = Mother Of the Bride
MOBITCH =  Mother of the Bride You wished were Dead
MIL = Future Mother-in-Law
FSIL = Future Sister/Son-in-Law
TLOTH = The Lady Of The Hour
SLOTH = Tree Climbing South AmericanAnimal aka MOB


The BACKSIDE
HC = The Happy Couple
UHC = Unhappy Couple
SO = Significant Other 
SOL = Significant Other’s Lover see BM1
SOLW/OB = Significant Other Lover Without Balls ( By Female Only)
BRIDEZILLA = Devil in a White Dress



THE PAPARAZZI CLUB
I have found by being nice to guests and giving them a moment after my work is done and even a few tips has made me a friend rather than competitor.  When I have to do my formals I would ask them out loud to refrain from shooting and as soon as I was done I would pose the group for them and they could shoot till they ran out of disc, film or battery.  As long as they respected that, I had no problem.

After each sequence I would tell my tell my Official Helpers, Ok, ready, now all on three. Then count it out, two, three. Thats insured the ten folks with cell phones and point and shoot all got the same exact shot, period!  They literally just signed a no competition clause and usually all the flashes interfere with each other, and I had closed the discreet circuit to my portable studio lights. My big lights did not go off.

Then after that moment,  I’ll say something like “The Paparazzi will meet outside the church by the steps after they come out and you see me set up”. It has worked every time. It’s also a great time for card giving and you would be surprised at the referrals you get. They love you for this.

OFFICIAL PAPARAZZI
I have business cards that are printed “Official Paparazzi” and when we do the informal shots at cake, and limo and tosses, I tell them all to hold and AFTER I shoot, I yell Paparazzi time and they all come forward and let them have a good time. 

What do I care if they shoot a set, you think the point and shoot at fifteen feet and eight people wide is competition to my speed lights and perfection brackets with their width and extra power.  They can do what a studio Norman with 400 watt seconds can do.

Half of those point and shoots won’t even work at the distance they are at so I push them closer so they do come out.   Sometimes I have taken an advanced amateur who got in the way and made him hold the lights so that took him out of the picture but he learned something and appreciated it. 

SMART MOVE
Why the Official Paparazzi cards? They are my business cards on the other side and you wish you had a dollar for everyone that found me a wedding. Most of the snappers are friends or members of the wedding party and they get married too. What a time to make friends and future clients, not enemies. 


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