Exhibitor etiquette with photographers?-MH

I didn’t understand this question so I answered it many different ways, then I re-read it and whoops...at least I answered the question in here too!

My etiquette, as a Photographer?
I must always ask for permission to enter the judges ring. I must be quick, and concise. I must NEVER put a judge behind, or in a "bad spot in anyway." It is helpful if I know which judges run behind or ahead. If they want to walk to a podium, or prefer to stay in the ring. I should be conscious of judges that are not feeling well, that need to get to lunch (first because it’s part of their pay, second because they deserve to eat, and finally, because some of them need to for health reasons!) I must also be conscious of the group order, who is judging what, and how far along the groups are.

Photographers etiquette to the club? 
Clubs hire us, but they do not pay us; the exhibitor does. Having said that, however, it's the judge that controls whether or not we are allowed in the ring. So we are between the club, and the judge who we must please first, then the exhibitor. Our responsibility to our clubs vary depending on the type of club. All breeds, our job is to be quick, never hold up a ring, or judge, to know where we are needed next, and to be on time!. Stay out of the superintendent’s way, and do our job without being noticed! If you notice the photographer, they have done something wrong. 

Specialties? Here it is more about the judges and exhibitors. The clubs might pay a small fee to help offset our costs, because, sadly, we truly do not make money at most specialties, even Nationals. IF we are lucky, we might break even at larger specialties. (Honestly, even all breeds under 700 dogs become “we are lucky to break even” events) We must be aware that at most specialties judges have been judging for anywhere from 2 to 8 hrs. They are tired, hungry, and probably need a "bathroom break". Standing for upwards of 3 hrs of photos is truly not the highlight of their day! (The longest stint of photos I have ever done, was a Whippet National where we took picture for 7 hours straight. We were still film then, it was a marathon after being there all day, to say the least!). So, the photographer must be ever aware of our judges needs, as we try to do the best we can, getting a win photo, what is normally a 30 second time frame. Making a judge angry means you get noticed and again, being noticed or a problem is not a good thing! 

Exhibitors etiquette to us, the photographer? 
Be on time at your ring (to show and to get your picture taken) and please realize the person carrying the camera is probably the photographer!! I hate to tell you how many times I am at a ring, chatting with the judge, no one is there; I go to the next ring, only to be called back, now you have to wait because I am already doing photos in that next ring. This also risks putting the judge behind which makes them want me to rush. It also moved the judge who should have been my "third stop" into fourth place though no fault of their own. Have your ribbons, brushes, combs ready, and know what you want on the sign (yes, it can be digitally changed but it shouldn’t have to be). Be ready to get this done! We all have less than 30 seconds to "make that perfect picture".

It is also helpful if your dog is trained. This means if it is a table dog it should be used to standing on a table. Free stacking breeds need to be used to hand stacking for the best possible photo. A judge can move to you, a camera can only do so much/go so far; especially at an outdoor show, where we are fighting sun, hills, and backgrounds. 

Remember, what you wear does matter! Black with that black dog? Usually not a good choice! Own a table breed and wearing a breed related top or tie? What do you think you will notice in that picture? The three-headed dog from that top or tie being melded into your dog! When the three dimensions of real life are transferred into a one dimensional image, it changes things!

Exhibitor etiquette to everyone?
Stand in line, politely, wait your turn, if you have more than one dog, and no one to help, get a pic done, then let someone else go, while you get your next dog, ribbons, grooming set up for the second. If you have help, and want to get them all done at the same time, have your help ready, with appropriate dog, and ribbons. Allow for all table dogs then all ground dogs (or vice versa) don’t expect the judge and photographer to move tables, signs, and setup tripods back and forth, it is time consuming, disjointed, and, by the last day, exhausting! 

Exhibitor etiquette to the judge? 
Be polite to the judge! He/she just put you up, AND let you in the ring on HIS/HER personal time for this photo! Remember that! This is their bathroom break, lunch break, check on spouse break, grab a snack and check sugar break, Blow one’s nose break, or even just sit a minute and get off their bad knees/feet/back break. Remember, most of our judges are aging just like us! They showed, or handled before becoming a judge! Breaks are sometimes a must! 

Realize, some judges have bad days, they hurt, they don't feel good, they were iffy when they left but did not want to put the club in a jam so came anyway only to get worse on the flight! I had a photo returned one time because the judge looked like "death." Well, hello!! They went to the hospital right after that round of photos! They felt like death!! 

Be polite in general. Treat others the way you wish to be treated and realize that we all have “jobs” to do on the day of the show. Please wait until I am out of a ring to ask questions, and if I say I have to get to another ring understand I am trying to make sure everyone gets the best photo possible in the time allowed by making sure there is time allowed! 

Have questions? Ask them photosbylennah@gmail.com. Follow us on Facebook for more information https://www.facebook.com/pblennah/. Interested in having us photograph your show? Contact us at either location!


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