Yesterday, a video showing a photographer shoved a bride’s stepmom to get the shots went viral. You can read the full story and other people’s comments on the Daily Mail.
If you were the bride, would you see the photographer’s action as a heroic or an unprofessional move?
Being professional wedding photographers, we’ve been at many weddings where guests/family members tried so hard to get the shots that they blocked us many times. Although we sympathize with the photographer, we don’t agree with her action. We think it was a poor decision and unnecessary. Instead of professionally dealing with the situation, we believe she took that quite personally after what the stepmom had been in her way many times.
Technically speaking, we see that the photographer had enough time to take the shot before the stepmom stepped in. So, the shove was unnecessary.
However, at the same time, technically speaking, the backlit lighting situation could be really difficult for the photographer to focus and get the shot. So we assume that she didn’t get the shot before the stepmom stepped in and she must take action. There are three options we can think of: shove the stepmom, stand next to the stepmom, step in front of the stepmom. Let’s see which option would give the best overall result as well as which can lead to the worst consequence.
1/ Step in front of the stepmom
This gives the photographer center position to get a perfect composition shot. However, it doesn’t guarantee she will get the shot either because this position is not much different than her previous one, but at least she has another chance.
What if the stepmom steps in front again? Well, the worst thing is that she will miss the shot. And it’s not her to be blamed. She can just explain the situation to the couple.
2/ Stand next to the stepmom
Although this doesn’t give the photographer the center position for a perfect composition shot, the stepmom wouldn’t block her again and both people can get the shot. However, it doesn’t guarantee she will get the shot either for the same reason as above.
The only difference is if she gets the shot, it wouldn’t be as perfectly center as the other. Keep in mind it’s just a few inches off center!
3/ Shove the stepmom
Similar to the 1st option, this gives the photographer center position to get a perfect composition shot. However, again, it doesn’t guarantee she will get the shot because of the same reason.
What if the stepmom retaliates? What if the father gets angry? What if the stepmom’s close friends get upset? Will the issue escalates to a fight? Or what if the stepmom falls and gets injured? We don’t know. But fortunately, the situation didn’t get messy.
We agree with the comment of a guest: “Remember they’ve been paid to do a job, not us.” However, just because we are paid to get the shot, it doesn’t mean we should shove someone to get the job done. If we were the photographer, we would never shove anyone to get the shot. It’s not worth it to trade one shot for a possible fight at a wedding. As we explained, if successful, all three options have the similar result. However, the last option could potentially lead to far worse consequences.
Consider an alternative scenario
Another aspect of this story why we think people praise the photographer’s action is because she is the stepmom. Maybe no one (except the dad) likes her. What if she is the bride’s REAL mom (who happens to love taking photos) and everyone loves her? Is the action still right? If the action is right, it is still right regardless who receives it. Or is this action only right to a stepmom?
We’re interested in knowing your opinions from your perspective. Would you encourage such decision of the photographer in that particular scenario?