A ‘Uncle Bob’ is a term used by professional wedding photographers and videographers to describe an overzealous wedding guest with a camera hobby. It is a internationally known ‘term’ within the wedding circles. An uncle bob could be of any sex or age, auntie jane, brother bob, sister mary, whatever.
He is the person with a camera hobby and exercising his hobby at the wedding, playing ‘wedding photographer’ (or videographer) and generally being obnoxious to the real wedding pros and the wedding couple too, because he kept getting into the way, competing for valuable and often limited shooting position, and frequently at the wrong moments, jumping in at the crucial moments to ruin photos of the professionals.
Very often, he will claim to be a ‘second shooter’ but in reality, real 2nd shooters are professionals hired by the main wedding photographer for a deliberate purpose, uncle bob just want to justify his actions by claiming to be backup photographer, 2nd photographer, 3rd photographer, or 22nd photographer, whatever. He promises not to get in the way, but no matter how he try (if he did try at all) he still got into the way, because space is limited and he does not understand how the real photographers shoot, nor does he understand the wedding flow well enough. A team of main/second photographer and videographer often had worked months together to perfect a work flow and space to compliment each other. Uncle Bob does not understand that work space, nor care.
Most of the time he is clueless and a nice guy who share the passion of photography, but sometimes there are those who are downright selfish and malicious. His intentions is to proof to the wedding couple and everyone else that he can create nice photos and to proof to the couple that they had wasted money in hiring professionals because he could had done a better job for cheaper or free.
Please do not be Uncle Bob, enjoy your photography hobby, but not at your friend’s wedding. When professional photographers attend friends’ weddings, they do not bring along their cameras because they understand the need to respect another artist. When amateur chefs visits a restaurant they do not enter the kitchen to cook either.
If your are really interested in becoming a wedding photographer, there are many professionals on clubsnap who are always in need of helpers. You can start as an assistant first for a few weddings before earning their trust to designate some shooting to you ie non crucial group photos, candids, etc. If you like the work and jobscope, you might eventually gather enough skills and experience to start your own business, or otherwise shoot under the flag of an established house as an associate photographer. But doing your own thing when the couple already hired a professional, is rude and not beneficial to the wedding couple.
Please enjoy this funny video about how a professional videographer is frustrated by an uncle bob photographer:
Very important, must watch it.