Wedding Photographer Shared Stories From His Career. Some of Them Are Ready-Made Scripts for Comedies
The internet is full of photos with happy newlyweds in beautiful natural settings and friendly families in beautiful surroundings. But only a few people know what hides behind these perfect photos. And only when you get into the same situation, can you truly understand what it feels like.
We at iBuzz became really interested in finding out more about the difficult profession of a wedding photographer. Today, we will reveal some of the secrets by sharing real stories with you from Alexander Fayruzov’s career.
Clients that pushed it to the limit
I was “requested” for a wedding by a couple but I noticed immediately that the entire organization process was under the bride’s control. During our meeting, the guy just nodded silently and his future wife said that almost the entire day was free for the photoshoot. Before going to the Marriage Registry Office, we had about 6 hours for a walk. I said that it was too much, 3 hours would be more than enough but all my attempts to cut down the time ended with her words “I want a lot of photos.” There was no video camera at the wedding, so the bride said that she expected me to take at least 2,000 photos.
Wedding day, we’re driving around the places we had discussed. After 3 hours, everyone started to get really nervous and the fiancé suggested that we pause the photoshoot to have a snack at a cafe. Everyone agreed, but the bride had her objections. So we continued to drive. One hour later, the fiancé wasn’t really posing anymore and didn’t want to be in the photos at all. And it was also really hot outside. When the guy was reluctant to pose the next time, the bride went mad, “Why are you so slow? Who did I organize this for? You don’t want to have beautiful photos? Why did we have to pay so much money to the photographer if you don’t care anyway?” All of this livened up the fiancé.
On the next to last stop, the guy said he wouldn’t pose for any more photos. The bride got hysterical again. But it didn’t work this time. They had a short conversation that went like this:
Bride: “You don’t want to take more photos?”
Bride: “You sure?”
Fiancé: “Yes, I’m tired.”
Bride: “Maybe we shouldn’t go to the registry office then? You’re tired.”
Fiancé: “Okay, let’s not go.”
The guy turned his back and just left! A friend of the bride there and the best man were also there. The best man chased the guy and we haven’t seen either of them since. The bride was saying that he probably just walked to the registry office on foot, but he never showed up for the registration. Or for the party afterward. All the attempts to reach him by phone didn’t turn up any results. The family lied to the guests and said that the fiancé didn’t feel well, but everyone understood that he had left the wedding. The party wasn’t canceled. At first, it felt more like a funeral, but the host and the alcohol made it more fun. The bride and her fiancé never became husband and wife. She tried to get me to refund her money, but I gave her more than 2,000 photos, as requested.
I’ll say it right here: it is hard to offend me, but it’s possible. This happened during one of the meetings with my potential clients. I realize what I look like. I often call myself fat and I often laugh about it. You know, fat guys have the right to laugh at other fat guys. Just so you understand, this story is about my extra weight.
It all started with a regular call, “We like the photos, we want you to shoot our wedding, the prices seem reasonable, let’s meet.” One day later, we were sitting in a cafe and I was discussing the photoshoot and at the end, I told them they could ask me questions. The girl hesitated a lot, but then she went, “I like everything but I have a request. Can you please lose some weight before the wedding?” I looked at her guy (he was hiding his eyes because he was ashamed, I tried to laugh it off. I said something like, “You must be a fitness coach, so maybe you can pay me with some lessons.” Her face didn’t change, and she said again, “Fit people will come to our wedding, we don’t want to see someone this overweight.” I packed my stuff, told her she should find a fit photographer and left.
Several minutes, her guy called me, asked me to come back, they discussed it and they were okay with the photo quality, the price, and my weight. He apologized for the situation. I told him I would do the photoshoot for his wedding, but only on one condition: if he changed the bride. I hung up the phone and added both of them to my blacklist.
The most unusual clients
I was asked to do a family photoshoot. The clients lived in the countryside and warned me that it would be their first photoshoot ever. They were mother and son, I tried to give them some advice on the poses and stuff, but I was told that nothing could help them. They transferred the money to my bank account, so on the day we agreed, I went to the place they told me to. It was a quick drive to the place — about 25 miles. There were some really good locations for the shoot everywhere around.
When I got there, a man met me and told me that the family was waiting for me in the field. Okay, so we got into their big car and drove out there. When we arrived, there was nobody, except a herd of cows. I asked the man where the mother and son were and he took me to one of the cows and her calf. I asked the guy why he needed a photographer for this. He could just use a regular camera or a phone. The guy told me that he needed the photos for a promotion campaign, but for some reason, photographers either refused to do it when they heard the word “cow” or they asked for a lot of money when they heard the word “commercial.” The guy had a small business, he was in debt and he didn’t have a lot of money, so he decided to trick me.
I didn’t refuse, I took the photos and the guy even gave me some food. The farmers really loved the result. After that, I worked with them several more times. But since then, I have always asked my clients if I’m going to work with people or with animals. This question usually startles everyone.
The photographer that turned into a free expert
On a beautiful summer day, a lady called me and said that my relative had recommended me to her and she asked me to do a photoshoot of her wedding. I’m always happy when someone recommends me, I asked her the date (I was free) and told her the price with a small, but a nice discount. The girl was shocked and said, “Didn’t you hear me? Your beloved aunt sent me to you, what money are we talking about?” Now, I was shocked and asked her what my relative had promised her. The girl said that the relative guaranteed a completely free photoshoot because I was a good boy and so on!
It was hard for the girl to digest my refusal. An hour later, my mother called me and told me that my aunt had called her and asked, “Your Alex takes photos for money? How can he do that? He disappointed my colleague’s daughter.” My mother said something like, “My son is not a charity.” Since then, my mother and I are not very popular in the family.
The subtleties of the relationship with the wedding clerk
Once, when I was taking pictures of a marriage registration process, I accidentally tripped over a curtain. I have to say this: it was a traditionally long curtain that not only covered all the windows, but also lied on the floor. I wasn’t allowed to even touch it. If someone stepped on the curtain, the ceremony was stopped and the offender got reprimanded. I was walking backward during the shoot and tripped and the curtain fell off some of the hooks. The marriage registry clerk said, “Be careful,” I apologized and when the ceremony was over I said I would come back on Tuesday and put the curtain back where it was. After this working Saturday, the office would only be open on next Tuesday. I did everything as I had promised.
One month later, I had another wedding in the same office. We walked into the room, and the same lady met us. When she saw me, she said I was supposed to leave the ceremony because I had a history with an incident or the registration wouldn’t happen. I explained the situation but nothing helped. The lady insisted.
The guests and the couple heard my version and were completely on my side. It was only when the manager of the Marriage Registry Office intervened, that the ceremony was able to continue. We could hear the people talking behind the door. The clerk said, “He should be prohibited to be here.” And the boss said, “Do you realize that we are breaking the law?” Of course, we lost some time and the mood was a little spoiled, but the people later joked that they were being photographed by a hardened criminal. I worked with this lady several more times after that. She deliberately didn’t say a word to me and always paused the ceremony, if I started to move, until I went back to the corner where “I was supposed to be.”
How to travel straight to Paris
Everyone dreams of traveling for free. I even wrote in my price list that I could do a free photoshoot in Paris, Rome, Vienna, New York, or any other famous city if the client would cover all the expenses regarding transportation and accommodations. I put it on the price list as a joke, but it actually worked once.
A girl called me and told me that they would be having a wedding in Paris. They were ready to pay for the trip because my price list said that the photoshoot would be free. We agreed and set up a time to meet each other. I was really happy because I could already see myself adding photos of the French capital to my portfolio, which would attract new clients. I also had a valid visa, all I had to do was pack a bag. The day of the meeting came, I told the clients they wouldn’t have to spend any money on the visa. The client didn’t have any idea what I was talking about. “What visa? It’s a 200-mile drive! We’ll pay for the gas, and you will stay at our relatives’ place.”
This was when I realized that the wedding would not be taking place in Paris, but in a village that had the same name where these people came from. I couldn’t refuse — I was the one that wrote Paris on my price list, I didn’t specify which Paris. And there is a village with this name in the region where I live. I asked the people to pay for a hotel in the nearest town. The wedding went great and the people finally admitted they understood which Paris I meant but they wanted to try their luck and get a free photoshoot. And, well, they got it.
How the invisible photos appeared
A girl asked me to work at her friend’s wedding. In the phone conversation, she told me that the couple would be unusual. We agreed to meet and when I got to the cafe, I saw 2 guys at the table. I went up to them, said hello, and realized that the 2 of them couldn’t see me. Then, the second girl (the one who called me) told me that the future newlyweds were her friends and that they were blind. I was quiet for a long time, I just didn’t know what to say. It was my first ever experience working with blind people.
The awkward silence was broken by the bride. She introduced herself and the fiancé, and said that their friend chose me. They needed the photos for their children who would see the wedding of their mom and dad and also for their relatives and friends. They trusted their friend and she chose some photographers. They only doubted if I could efficiently work with blind people and also they didn’t want me to publish their photos in my portfolio. They didn’t want any publicity and most photographers charge extra for this service. At the end, the bride even made a joke and said that even if everything went wrong, they wouldn’t see the photos anyway.
We spent more than 2 hours talking and the couple was okay with my conditions, so we signed a contract. It was really hard to work at the wedding. Every photo took much longer than usual but I received a huge amount of experience in explaining to people what I wanted from them. Of course, I made some mistakes too. When I work with couples, I often ask them to look at each other, or somewhere else, and I said something like this to them. I started to apologize immediately, but the couple was so cool and they made jokes that they could look at anything at all, but that they wouldn’t see it anyway. I was very worried about the results. Their parents and their friend actually checked my work. The friend helped with the shooting a lot. They liked everything and the newlyweds called the pictures “invisible photos.” We worked together several more times. They have a great daughter and a happy family.
An unusual birthday gift
A boy once asked me for my services, I did a photoshoot of an event for his school class and he remembered me. He asked me what my price was, and he was shocked by the price and really disappointed. It turned out that his mother’s birthday was going to be soon and he had dreamed about family photos. He thought about a photoshoot as a gift, but he didn’t have enough money. I asked him how much he could pay to be and he told me that he only had $30. I was moved by the kid’s idea, so I agreed to come and take photos. I asked him for his mother’s phone number, but the client asked me not to tell her anything. He wanted it to be a surprise.
On the day, I came to the address, called the boy, and he ran to open the door for me. I entered the apartment and immediately saw that the family wasn’t very rich. The family and relatives were sitting at a big table, and everyone was looking at me and the boy. It must have looked really weird. The boy said that I was a gift for his mother. The family got even more worried. I think the kid’s father was the most worried person in the room. Fortunately, the boy explained that his mother had been dreaming about a photoshoot, so he decided to give it to her as a gift.
The woman was moved and everyone started praising the boy. After that, we decided that we would go to a park near their house where I took pictures of the entire family. The boy kept his word: at the end, he gave me the money. I didn’t take it though, and the family even asked me to charge them the regular price. I told the boy to use it to go buy flowers for his mother. There aren’t many stories where kids want their mothers’ dreams to come true, so I don’t care if I had to spend several hours of my life on something like this.
Who do you think is it harder for — the ones posing for the shot or the one who is taking the pictures? Share your opinions in the comment section below.
Preview photo credit fayruzov / pikabu