Hire a wedding photographer who cares about you more than promoting himself at your event

Last night’s wedding was something more (Warning: possible moralistic spiel to follow) when they hired me to DJ for a wonderful couple and I had a great time with them. They decided to hire a non-us wedding photographer for the photography service, and that’s fine; our services are available independently and without obligation to third parties.

However, I think when the sales process is done, and all the office and accounting paperwork is done, and it’s time to deliver real performance (aka “execution”), it’s time to quit marketing. aside.

That’s where this particular photographer clearly had a very different philosophy than ours. Having worked on another event in another capacity with them previously and recently, I immediately noticed a trend similar to the one above. From the moment they arrived at the event venue, she and her assistant (for the purpose of ranting and without naming names, I’ll just write “she” and “he”, etc.) began to methodically sell themselves to each and every one of the they could, looking to get paid for their next event. Woof.

Seriously, at one point I saw her snuggle up and compose a reply to a Gmail message, something hard to miss, while her back was turned to the action unfolding and ending without her participation.

At another point, I let him know, as event DJs are known to do, that something special was about to happen. I was very surprised when he told me to hang on because he had something more important to do right now. It turned out that she wanted to rush to her car and get some marketing materials to drop off with the Director of Catering so she could work on her to become the preferred salesperson on the premises. He had felt an opening and was like a bloody shark.

Then there was his partner. This guy …

As before, he announced himself loudly at his entrance and proclaimed his glory to all on earth. He made sure everyone knew his name and the fact that even though he was “just the second shooter,” he ran his own photography company and would be happy to let them know. He spent a lot of time talking out loud (at very inappropriate times, like, say, the wedding ceremony!) And “babbling,” which basically means praising his virtues. During installation, I was faced with a particularly difficult technical situation involving poor Wi-Fi access on site and was feverishly working to fix it. He felt this was the appropriate time to question me about my business practices, starting with “how I was hired for this job” and so on. Both of them had previously quizzed me on my rates, marketing strategies, bookings, and more. I was wondering if they were going to ask me for my social security number and my mother’s maiden name!

However, things really changed this time, when I had the audacity to ask the associate to stop talking and focus on the task at hand. You know, the bride and groom?

For the rest of the night, he pouted around me, which was fine because he certainly didn’t need his flippant distraction. Unfortunately, she couldn’t hold back and wait until all the guests had left when she exploded with a “I didn’t like what you told me!” And he wouldn’t stop until he’d worked on the script for the old Jerry Springer show in front of everyone. Funny for TV, but incredibly inappropriate at someone’s wedding.

Sales and marketing are critical to the success of any business. But there is a line that should not be crossed, when it turns into blatant and relentless self-promotion at the expense of the customer. A wedding photographer has a particular obligation to his client, often now his friend, to give him their undivided attention during this most important time in their lives. Please choose one who wants his heart and soul in his.

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