Wedding Photographer Sparks Debate After Exposing Work Conditions
Wedding photographer Megan Claire recently shared a video where she says she was forced to eat with her bare hands on the floor because a venue failed to provide her an eating location or utensils, sparking debate into whether or not this is even a problem.
In a TikTok post that has since gone viral and accrued more than a million views, Claire shows herself eating with her bare hands with the caption, “Another wedding I’m eating dinner with my hands cause the vendors forgot utensils for the Photographers.” Her language indicates this has happened to her before.
“The steak made this extra fun.”
@meganmilad The steak made this extra fun #weddingphotographer #weddingstory ♬ Funny Song – Mas Gombal
Wedding photographers might understand Clair’s situation and there are plenty of sympathetic comments attached to the video, but there are a surprising number that argue she somehow was in the wrong.
“You’re not a guest. You’re the help,” one comment reads.
“Your not a guest of the wedding. You’re already being paid big money to be there. Any other job you bring your own lunch for work,” another adds.
“Clearly I’m not posh enough because I was under the impression hired workers would pack a lunch… like I hate when I work… not feed them at $50/plate,” a third commenter echoes.
Of note, while wedding photographers often carry snacks and water, they typically also include the requirement to be supplied with a meal in their contracts since they will be working in excess of eight to 12 hours, if not more. Additionally, given the mobile nature of their work and the fact that they are typically not in a standard office environment with access to refrigeration or even a microwave, bringing food to an event is not as simple as it would be for more “traditional jobs.” In a response video, Claire basically says as much.
@meganmilad Replying to @lil_chikn ♬ original sound – Megan
“Apparently people don’t understand why we get a paid meal at the wedding instead of just bringing our lunch like everyone else. We have no break room, we have nowhere to store our food, we have nowhere to heat it,” she says.
“We have no seats half the time. Sometimes I’m sitting on the ground.”
The wedding day is extremely hectic for photographers to the degree that most don’t feel comfortable taking a break to use the bathroom for multiple hours on end, so getting a few short moments to eat warm food doesn’t seem like a tall ask.
The Debate Continues
If this conversation sounds familiar, that’s because a similar situation came up last September when a wedding photographer who posted a video of himself eating his dinner alone while he was on the job sparked a similar debate.
As Brides reports, it is considered good wedding etiquette to feed key wedding vendors who work long hours at an event, which includes DJs, photographers, wedding planners, and videographers.
It should be noted that the wedding party often has no idea how photographers and other vendors are treated or what the quality of the food or dining experience is. Their day is so busy, they rely on wedding planners or the venue to take care of a lot of the details. Most couples likely assume that if they are paying for a vendor meal, the vendor is being taken care of properly. This, however, is not always the case.
Image credits: Elements of header photo licensed via Depositphotos.