During the years I came across many photographers… Some were nice, polite and easy to get along with, while others – not so much.
In this post I want to talk about a very recent experience that I had with the type of Photographer that I call “The Football Player”.
Because his main concern seemed to be – pushing me out of the way when I wasn’t even in his way, instead of adjusting himself to the environment and focusing on doing his job better.
I was hired to do a Bar Mitzva. It was a beautiful venue – I honestly fell in love with the decorations 🙂
I have photographed other events for the same family so I was familiar with most of the guests and workers there. This time however there was another addition to the photographer’s team.
It was one photographer that I am familiar with since I’ve met him at several other local events. I din’t know much about him apart from the fact that he looks exactly like the stereotypical photographer – old dude with huge gut, bulky camera, telephoto lens, speedlite and a microphone ( why on earth did he need all of that, attached at all times for this event was beyond me )
I also remember that on few occasions he took a photo of me, promised to send me the photo but never did… even though I asked several times.
I said ‘Hello’ and was chatting nicely with everyone and we were checking each other’s gear, they asked me what I’m using so I said that I am using my usual DSLR and I also started brought a mirrorless camera.
The rugby player immediately started hating on mirrrorless camera’s – he was saying that they are not professional and they are pointless and so on… I don’t like people that are sooo stuck in the past and unwilling to give something new a chance but I didn’t argue with him…
It turned out that he brought his brother along… so now it’s four photographers – which is way too many, yes the venue was big but… come on – four…
At the beginning we were all in the entrance room waiting for the guests to arrive and for all the preparations to be done.
I was doing my usual – taking wide and tight shots, trying to capture as much as I can. At some point I heard the photographer in question say to me – “Please make sure that you stay out of my frame and don’t block my shot”…
Now the place wasn’t tiny – there was plenty of space for me and for him and for everyone else to wonder about freely and I never stood in front of him so him saying that was very odd. Also it’s not like he is stuck to the ground and cannot move a little bit to get the shot he wants.
When I am photographing an event – I move, I find spaces in between people, I go under, over and around the things that I don’t want to include in my frame.
I didn’t respond to him the first time he said that. Later on he placed himself deliberately right in front of me exactly when I was about to take my shot. I decided to ignore that too and moved so I can still get my shot.
Sadly this sort of behavior kept repeating, a lot. At one point I was getting ready to take a shot and then I heard him speaking from somewhere behind me saying “I believe I asked you not to block my shot” and then he just pushed me, aggressively to the side.
I couldn’t have known that he placed himself right behind me – he wasn’t there before and I have no eyes at the back of my head… also it is not my responsibility to always look around and check where he is right before I take a shot.
He also sent his brother to talk to me a lot – as if his attitude wasn’t distracting enough. The whole idea was to interfere and not let me do my work, he had to take all the photos.
I had a busy busy week leading up to this event and I was not feeling great so dealing with that situation was too much for me.
I didn’t wanted to make a fuss about this – it was such a happy event, so I just told the people that hired me that I am not feeling well and I must go home.
I did tell them what happened the next day but I don’t think they cared much about it… and I get it from their point of view, they just wanted more photographers to cover more angles, which shouldn’t have been so difficult.
To be honest I don’t understand why the football player tried so hard to get me out of the way – there was no reason to be competing, especially with nasty tricks like that – we were all there hired for the same job.
I thought about the situation afterwards… asking myself whether I did the right thing, maybe I should have stayed and protected my job better… or even tried some of the same tactics on him… but that’s just not who I am…
All I can hope for is that he didn’t steal the next event for me, cos what the client saw is him staying and me leaving… they probably won’t bother to see anything beyond that and I wouldn’t blame them.
Share your thoughts in comments – have you been in a similar situation ? What would you do, or what did you do ?
Thank you for stopping by, Estee.