Post # 1
So this may seem a bit silly, but I was wondering about placement of the photographer at the reception. We will have two photographers for 8 hours in total on the day.
Are we expected to seat them at a table during the time that they are at the reception? Do they stand off to the side? What’s the normal?
Any advice would be great!
Post # 3
During my reception the photographer was off somewhere eating his meal. Not in the main area with everyone else.
Post # 4
Yeah, the photographer is usually seated away from guests…meaning when they aren’t shooting, they are eating their meal in a different area. My photographer is a friend of my FI though so her and her husband will be seated with the other guests.
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
My photographers (and DJ) ate in the kitchen area both times I got married. I’ve never been to a wedding where they had a seat at a table. They eat quick and one at a time so that the otehr shooter is out in the room taking photos.
Post # 6
From a photographers perspective: We usually eat in the kitchen/serving prep area or a designated “out of sight” spot… basically close enough to be aware of whats going on, but away from the guests. Please don’t sit your photographers (or any other vendor) at a table with your guests (unless they are friends/family or something). This is the most awkward situation possible, in my opinion…. the guests tend to look at us like we are “slacking” by eating and not taking picutures. Not to mention all of our gear, as I usually use this time to also reorganize and resituate, not very fun for your guests to have to look at all of my gear sprawled across the table, lol.
Post # 7
Some photographers will have specific preferences about this, my biggest suggestion to you is if you have anything going on during your meal services to avoid putting them a distance away from your reception. They should be able to hear (and ideally) see what’s going on in the main room. A number of weddings we’ve shot have had surprise things happen during the reception that we were not informed about. So if the caterer (and caterers love to do this) sits us so far away that we cannot respond, no photos will be taken.
Some weddings we get seated at a guest table, or there is a table reserved for vendors. I think I most prefer to have the table reserved for vendors in the maing dining area scenario. Typically our clients treat us like part of the family, so I realize this may not be the norm for weddings.
This is usually the only break a photographer gets to take at a wedding that sometimes can be 10+ hours on their feet, so I’m often surprised at stuff I read in forums where the photographers are treated like the eye-sore that needs to be hidden away. Feed the photographers at the same time as the wedding party, let them rest for 15 or 20 minutes, and they will love you for the rest of the night. And please don’t make them stand!
Post # 8
I’m more than happy to give my photographer a seat among the guests. He normally brings his wife along to his events, but she can’t make it to our wedding. So we’re giving him a seat at a table with my FI’s boss and a few other outgoing and friendly folk. We’ve really taken a liking to our photographer, and think he’d make a great guest as well as vendor. We’d like to make him as comfortable as possible during his time at our wedding. Hopefully the pictures will reflect that.
Post # 9
This is all very helpful! Thanks everyone for your advice! We have our engagement shoot next week with them next week 🙂
One more thing…Alot of you have mentioned that photographers will eat in another area or in the kitchen. Does this mean that you ordered a meal for them ahead of time?
This is all new to me and I want to make sure I do the right thing.
Thanks for helping me out!
Post # 10
Yes, your venue should have vendor pricing for their meals.
Post # 11
It varies for me. At weddings where I’m provided a seat, it’s usually at a table with other vendors – the wedding coordinators, DJ, etc. That’s nice because it gives me the opportunity to eat while still keep my eye on things in case I need to jump up. Like @continuumphotography: mentioned, if we’re off somewhere eating and something happens, you can’t get upset if it’s not photographed. That being said, we don’t always get a table an in those cases we do find a quiet spot at the venue to go eat.
The biggest thing, and I can’t stress this enough, is that your photographer/videographers (and also band/DJ) should be eating at the same time as you and your wedding party. This is because as soon as you are done eating, generally the couple is up greeting guests and such, which most people want photographed. We need to be done at the same time you are, so we aren’t missing out on the “moments” and interaction.
We have one venue local that will not let the “help” eat until after every guest has been served. It’s their rule and they won’t budge. Unfortunately for the couple, that means I’m just getting to eat right as the guests finish and the party is starting, and there is generally a delay in my photographing the start of the “party” part of the reception.
Post # 12
@MrsJV2be: Yes, depending on the location. Most of my couples include us in the head count and we eat the same thing as everyone else – be it from the buffet or a place provided. Most caterers provide a discounted rate for vendors as we aren’t utilizing the cocktail hour, servers, or bar. Some venues provide a boxed lunch for vendors, and in that case you need so see what your venue offers. One of our local venus does a boxed lunch for vendors, but the couple can upgrade their vendor to the regular meal – which is what my last bride at that place did.
Post # 13
Thanks everyone for your helpful posts! I feel much better now
Post # 14
We sat our photog’s at a table with our guests…it was perfect! I even made them seating cards so they fit right in! This also helped as they were able to eat while eveyone else was eating but not miss a beat if something was happening. The table they sat at loved having them there as well.
Post # 15
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Make sure they eat when you eat and that they have a safe place to keep their gear. When I was a wedding photographer’s assistant we never knew how accommodating the bride and groom or the venue were going to be until the day of the wedding. Obviously, some venues are better than others about working with vendors and yes we played favorites and gave deals to brides using our preferred venues.
My favorite wedding was that of a former Broncos player and his gorgeous blonde bombshell of a bride. They had caviar and lamb shanks for the cocktail hour which they invited us to sample back in the room where the bridal party retired after the ceremony. They then had our meals boxed and placed in a discreet corner of the reception space where we could also safely store our gear; that way we could grab bites in between pictures. Finally, the bride made sure to send us home with packaged slices of the wedding cake (my favorite part of all weddings).
Post # 16
Our vendors are sprawled in with our guests. With only 45 guests + the wedding party, it seemed silly to have some tables of 5 or 6 or 7 and then create a vendors table for four. Just more dance floor being taken up! One of our vendors insisted on eating at a table (coordinator), our DJ said table/DJ area was fine (but we figured, what the hey, might as well sit him at a table), one is also a guest at our wedding and friend (officient), and the two photographers likely will want to sit, since one is pregnant and one gave birth just over a month ago.
I’m hoping it works out!