The other day I was shooting a reception at a Chinese restaurant, where my seat was at the white folks table. Every Chinese wedding is obligated to have one of these tables, usually the coworkers of the bride or groom. Needless to say, these people were freaked out by most of the dishes that came out, sometimes they are daring, and some just refuse to touch it. If I were a guest, I would love to sit at this table because that means nobody is fighting for food and there would be plenty for me.
However this time, I was not the guest and I placed my name card on my dish in front of these folks so they would know this was my seat. I don’t know if these folks were just absolutely mindless, inconsiderate, or blatantly have no respect for photographers, but I thought the worst thing they could have done was to finish all the food and not leave any for me. Oh, I was wrong. They managed to kick it up a few notches.
After about 50 family portraits on the stage, I walked back to my seat but there was not just one seat, but two! Two seats stacked on top of each other as if nobody was supposed to sit there, while my name card was still on my dish. I got rid of the stacked seat and sat down to eat a dish with octopus, seaweed, jellyfish, while listening to these folks joke about the food they dare not eat, with the soda bottles and unwanted glasses all jammed around my space. When the dude next to me receives another bottle of Heineken, he pushes his empty bottle towards me. It doesn’t end there, as if the act me of sitting down and eating still does not click in their minds that this is my seat. I come back after many more courses have already eluded my chopsticks, to find the obnoxious dude embracing my seat with his arm like a lover for his comfort, or more like raped the seat, as one of my chopsticks somehow end up 3 feet from my chair and there was garbage and a white hand towel thrown over my plate. That incident pretty much ended my dinner for the night, and I continued the rest of the night with an anger level slightly less than wanting to punch a man in the face.
This would be the last time I will allow something like this to happen to me. After the wedding, I’ve since removed my wedding site entirely and will not resume any action until I’ve created a new interview process for limited clients only. I don’t sacrifice my weekends so people can treat me like just another service provider.