A Master Class in "Uncle Bob" Wedding Photography

A Master Class in "Uncle Bob" Wedding Photography

If you're a wedding photographer then you're all to familiar with Uncle Bob photographers: people with a camera getting in your way, breathing down your neck asking about settings and gear, and otherwise making your life dificult. This parody instructional video teaches Uncle Bob how to get the best pictures he can at a wedding while also being a huge annoyance to the wedding guests and photographer.

What was your most challenging experience with "Uncle Bob"? How do you typically deal with over-zealous second, third, forth, etc. shooters? Let us know in the comments below.

[Via Hanssie @ SLR LoungeMaster Glass, & The Star]

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20 Comments

Kevin Sutton's picture

Hilarious video. Fortunately I haven't been at a wedding where there was an 'Uncle Bob'.

Austin Rogers's picture

Then you're a lucky guy, Kevin! Here's to hoping you never have to.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

I've had the "first kiss" shot ruined by an Uncle Bob stepping right in front of me before.

Fritz John Asuro's picture

Unless they are the parents of the bride or groom - I go martial law with them. "I'm sorry, the couple hired me to the job - do not interfere with my job.". And luckily until now no one complains :D

Kyle Ford's picture

I'm sure everyones had an uncle bob but what's worse even now is the iPads going up in the pews.

Jason Ranalli's picture

That's just ridiculous. Every time I see someone holding up an iPad to take a picture whether it be at Times Square or a wedding(which is way worse IMO) I just look at them like they're insane. If Apple made something called an iToiletSeat with a camera on it I'm sure these same folks would gladly walk around all day snapping pictures holding a toilet-seat over their head.

Brian Reese's picture

I lost a wedding job because of an Uncle Bob. He was at the consultation "grilling" me with distrust and asking me all these "duh" questions like he was going to stump me. And telling me that my lighting setup was overkill and unnecessary... asking if I were to shoot "journalistic", without lighting would my pricing be cheaper. I literally had no clue how to act and finally the bomb drops. He turns to my bride's parents and goes, "This is all stuff I can do." Right there in front of me. And get this... he was literally sitting at the table with his Canon XTi or whatever and 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 attached. Now, I surely don't consider myself a Lee Morris photographer but dang. Oh well... I guess the worst part of all that was paying for all their dang coffee.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

"And telling me that my lighting setup was overkill and unnecessary... asking if I were to shoot "journalistic", without lighting would my pricing be cheaper."

Sounds like you didn't lose a job so much as dodged a bullet. that sounded like a nightmare waiting to happen.

""This is all stuff I can do." Right there in front of me. And get this... he was literally sitting at the table with his Canon XTi or whatever and 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 attached."

ROFL! Yup ... max ISO 400 (800 is pure garbage on that camera, I own one) and max aperture of f5.6 ... that's perfect for low light conditions! Then we look at the lack of secondary and backup bodies, lack of insurance, lack of proper data backup and storage ... so on, so forth.

Christian Berens's picture

oh geez, it's sad but true.

An Uncle Bob happened to be my client on a recent job. He thought he was very smart making remarks that I should use an on camera flash and never use a wide-angle for portraits.
Worst part, even though the bride and groom are very satisfied, he is now saying the images are overexposed and clipped (they are bright as in life-style genre , but not clipped) and hasn't paid up yet.
Disclaimer : I am a pro-ish amateur, and my main amateur-mistake was going into this job without a written contract. If the client had bothered to check my portfolio and hadn't liked my style or thought I couldn't expose properly he should not gave hired me!
Sorry /rant

Eric Lefebvre's picture

He hasn't paid yet? Has he posted the images anywhere? If so then hit him up for copyright infringement. No contract means he doesn't have a license either.

But yeah ... bad move on not having a contract.

James Nedresky's picture

Even so, there's a few good things about having uncle Bob or aunt whoever be around taking pictures. For one thing, they take a lot of campy shots of friends and family (especially their's) that I would otherwise probably be asked to take. Less guest come up to me, asking me to take pictures. Also, while I'm taking formal shots of the couple's family, they often love to stand somewhere behind me and take pics with their point and shoot. This obviously will make my well-lit shots look even better to the couple.

Kyle Blunt's picture

Hahah brilliant!

when i was taking family formals under a big oak tree this woman who stood behind me and also photographed them kept screaming "come closer, step into the sun, lets get some LIGHT ON YOU". Completely frantic with a crazy voice too. Since she was literally screaming they took her advice and came into the sun. I let her take some pictures and had them step back into shade. Then with the next setup of people she kept doing it again.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

Had something similar happen to me before. I just pulled the maid of honor aside at that point and asked her to deal with the irritating family member.

Steven Lear's picture

Too true! And that last part.....the worst.

Ryan MacKenzie's picture

awesome haha

Scott Wilson's picture

The one good thing about Uncle Bob--his photos assure the bride she was right to hire a professional. :)

hector torres's picture

I see this happen in 2 out of 3 weddings, it makes our job harder and not to mention we run big risk of not getting the shot that "UNLCE BOB" is not getting either because of his lack of experience on the matter hahaha

Alan Golden's picture

Everyone is a photographer nowadays. Or at least has an opinion on how they should be taken. Dealing with it on the day is part of what we do...pity we cant charge extra for it as an option lol Alan from Golden Moments Photography http://www.wedding-photographers-ireland.com