A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cheap Wedding Photographer


Blogger Laura said...

it's SAD when the judge knows more about photography than the "professional."

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Chuck said...

Ok, I've got mixed emotions about this one. I'm a "Professional" Photographer due to the fact that I advertise, and accept payment for my services. I use "entry Level" equipment for some of my shots. Cannon XTI being one of the cameras used, along with an aging 10d. I don't feel that the equipment defines the photographer. As he said, he could take a brownie and get a good shot. You get a certain quality with cheap equipment that differs from "professional" equipment. Yea we'd all like a mark 1 but, I like to eat too. Skill, knowledge, and artistic ability figure into it too. I've seen some really lousy work from professionals who had top of the line equipment. Anyway I think the judge was off base on a lot of what he said, but I also think that the photographer was pretty entry level. She seemed ignorant of the equipment, and the settings used. I think we have lost a lot of the knowledge because the cameras do all the work for us.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what a disaster! OK, folks, lesson learned? A Canon Rebel + Walmart developing is NOT worth $1300! (And, Judge knows a little about photography!)

10:43 AM  
Blogger partestres said...

Well, Judge Brown is not a show that I would normally watch, but that there was pretty funny. Just goes to show what can happen when the judge actually knows more about the subject matter than the defendant.

11:06 AM  
Blogger George said...

Here goes ...

Don't piss off the judge.
Don't insinuate that the judge is too old and out of date.
Don't piss off the judge.
Don't use cheap equipment and materials and call it professional.
Don't piss off the judge.

I imagine that applies to more than Judge Brown.

Lots of lessons, here, X.


5:30 PM  
Blogger stbaguley said...

So if it is "a poor workman who blames his tools". Apparently there is now some judicial precedent for that poor workman. I don't know about you but I would hire by artistry, not gear bag. Poor Def, never got a word in edgewise. I wonder if she had a valid defense?!? Good bet those negatives are now burned.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was over the second they didn't know their lens. I know that my Canon S70 (a point/shoot) had a 28-100mm f2.8-5.x lens 3 years after it was stolen.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous TJP said...

Judge Brown is the typical camera equipment hobbyist. He's got all the marketing material front-to-back, but since he makes his living behind the bench, there's really no proof at all that he's a "photographer".

At least one sane opinion has prevailed:


To our host, I apologize for this bit of negativity, but there's a pervasive cliquishness in the camera hobbyist community, where purchasing the "right" equipment indicates your status in the group.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

That's kind of what I was thinking. We all seem to enjoy watching a smack down, but heck, I use not one, but TWO obsolete Nikon D200s. I shoot with other obsolete equipment, albeit the equipment was top of the line in it's day. I'm a firm believer that equipment doesn't matter, that good equipment just gets out of your way. However, judging by the few shots I saw on the video, I'm thinking a relative of the couple could have done as well. The problem was not lack of equipment, it was lack of vision. Still, I have to agree with the article you cited.

That's why I don't and won't shoot weddings, Bar Mitzvahs or senior portraits for pay. I simply don't feel I can please those who ask.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Windy Wilson said...

I have my Uncle as a good bad example of this. He used daylight flash bulbs and tungsten film for my parent's wedding and my mother remembered this and held it against him for 50 years. She came out darker than an American Indian in Summer, and she has a coloration something like Kate Jackson!
That's why I refused to run the video camera for my friend at his wedding. Besides, I already paid some good money for a nice gift.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Zenmervolt said...

While I agree that you should hire the photographer and not the gear, any photographer who responds with, "I don't know," when asked about the speed of their lens simply isn't a competent professional. I can't help but find myself questioning the ethics (or, if we want to be more charitable, the self-awareness) of someone who advertises as a professional wedding photographer with only kit lenses. Without an f/2.8 option you're up one hell of a creek if the minister forbids flash (and many do). Sure you can push the ISO to 3200 or beyond and you might get passable 8x10s if you don't need to make any exposure adjustments, but it's ridiculously limiting.

More importantly, however, is that _none of that matters at all_. From a purely legal standpoint, this seems like an open and shut case of caveat emptor and the "judge's" ranting was unwarranted. In any real courtroom the question would simply have been whether the photos of this particular wedding were of comparable quality to the photos offered by the photographer as a portfolio prior to being hired for the wedding. Frankly, I sincerely doubt that the photos in question were any worse than the photos seen by the plaintiff prior to hiring the photographer. For this reason, the "judge's" ruling was, strictly speaking, legally incorrect.

The fact that the ruling is legally incorrect takes us into an important tangential area though: "Judge" Joe Brown is not an acting judge. While Joe Brown does hold a law degree and was formerly a judge, he is not currently a judge and the show does not depict a courtroom. The show is actually a form of binding arbitration in which both the defendant and plaintiff waive their right to pursue the matter in actual courts and agree to abide by the "judge's" ruling. As with other shows of this ilk (e.g. Judge Judy), the "award" is paid out of the show's budget (except in cases where disputed property is under consideration, in which case the disputed property must be returned).

Because of this, the show is effectively a "risk-free" venue for defendants; even if they "lose" the "case", the monetary judgment is not coming out of their own pockets. On top of this, both parties typically receive a small payment (~$100) and a per-diem along with having travel and hotel expenses paid by the show as well. Mr. Brown knows this, and is therefore free to play to the gallery and ignore reasoned argument for the sake of ratings without worrying about unduly burdening a defendant though his choice of theatrically-harsh judgments.

1:21 AM  

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