Derek Pye

Fat Arms, Sweat Patches and the Disabled.

on Sunday, 05 June 2005. Posted in Derek's Tips

The wedding season has really kicked in now. I had three at the weekend, the wife did one and fortunately I had e-mail from an asylum seeker on Friday asking me to help him get work. I threw him straight in at the deep end, leaving me to relax at the flash one in Catford. I had an excellent time - lovely bit of booze on offer, but I messed up by not grabbing a glass as soon as I arrived at the reception. This is really important as once all the guests arrive, the waiters switch to topping up mode and it can be a real pain trying to get a glass. When the meal started I was overjoyed to be seated with... 
some of the bride's close family from Germany. My German is rubbish, and I told them the only phrase I knew was 'Achtung Minen' but it was OK as most of them spoke passable English.

Never let it be said that the krauts don't have a sense of humour! We had a right laugh and most of my jokes went down a treat. They left early and even my gag about them going to put their towels down round the hotel pool got a big laugh. They really were great - not like the Nazis at all.

The bride and groom had opted for my 'Traditional' package so I didn't have that many photos to shoot. The biggest problem I had was that the bride, like most women, had really fat arms and sweated a lot. Now these days you needn't worry about this as you can use Photoshop Elements to reduce the 'double wave' and sweat patches.

One thing I have noticed over the years is that even the best clients will have an elderly relative in a wheelchair. This isn't a problem if you're shooting Reportedge™ as you can get some dramatic action shots using the chair. It´s a different matter with Traditional wedding photography as no one wants an ugly wheelchair in the shots and it messes up the composition, having someone sat down when everyone else is stood up. One solution is to carry a spare wheelchair in the boot and coerce a willing guest to sit in it on the opposite side, to balance things out. Alternatively if the cripple can stand a bit then get them out of the chair and prop them against a nearby wall. You can then set the group up around them.

Under no circumstances should you Photoshop the spastic out of the chair and onto made up legs. You will get complaints if you do this. Trust me!

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Comments (47)

  • Jason

    Jason

    06 February 2013 at 17:49 |
    LMAO

    reply

  • Disgusted

    Disgusted

    06 February 2013 at 17:50 |
    All I can say is I'm grateful that I live in a completely different country. You strike me as a very arrogant, unprofessional, and disgusting man, and you would be the last person I would ever use as a wedding photographer. To some people, wheelchairs are a necessary piece of equipment. A cousin got married last year, and my elderly grandmother (who has since passed away) was lucky enough to be allowed out of hospital for the day as she had just been diagnosed with a hole in her heart, and had become very weak.

    But I have been "googling" weddings and wheelchairs as my partner (the eventual groom at our wedding) is in a wheelchair. Without his wheelchair, he would not be able to go anywhere. It is not something we hide in any of our photos. It is an extension of him.

    I feel very sorry for you. You seem to have very few ethics (I gleam that from your comments about the bride's fat arms and sweat patches) - perhaps you should have sent her the link to these comments.

    "One of the problems of being the UK's most highly sought after husband and wife wedding photography team is the amount of weddings I have to go to."

    Misleading representation of yourself. If everyone in the UK saw your site, trust me, that would soon change! Grow some decency. Quick.

    reply

    • Derek

      Derek

      06 February 2013 at 17:58 |
      Distance isn't a problem. Do you want Reportedge or Mystike?

      reply

  • Fred

    Fred

    06 February 2013 at 17:58 |
    You're fucking hilarious mate, keep it up.

    reply

  • Mr A Tit

    Mr A Tit

    06 February 2013 at 17:59 |
    do you have an agent for the The Derek Pye Cathedral Dome Flash Diffuser!

    reply

  • disgusted2

    disgusted2

    06 February 2013 at 17:59 |
    What an ass! Ever considered that you could be in a wheelchair someday, too? Obviously not, coz if you could think that far, you wouldnt be the sorry piece of filth you are, would you?

    reply

  • Harold Shipman

    Harold Shipman

    06 February 2013 at 18:00 |
    I'm confused Disgusted2, you seem to be implying that if you can think far ahead then you are unlikely to be a sorry piece of filth. Well I'm quite forward thinking and I turned out to be a mass murderer.

    reply

  • Rose West

    Rose West

    06 February 2013 at 18:00 |
    Dear Disgusted2

    I am shocked that you seem to be implying that being in a wheelchair is a bad thing. This is the kind of patronising attitude that many of my disabled friends resent. Have you ever considered that being sat down in a chair that can move is actually something rather lovely. You make me sick!

    Please write soon

    Rose

    reply

  • disgusted2

    disgusted2

    06 February 2013 at 18:01 |
    Dear rose, i am NOT at all implying that being in a wheelchair is a bad thing! What a thing to say!! I was only trying to make the author of that article realise that the person was not in a wheelchair just to spoil the picture that was being taken, he actually NEEDED it to get around. What i meant was that, if the author came to depend on a wheelchair to get around one day, he'd stop seeing it as an ugly thing that messes up photographs and start seeing it as a tool for mobility.

    I really did not mean to offend those who use wheelchairs; please do not try to read in my message more than i tried to convey in it. I have great respect for everyone, wheelchair user or not, provided that they deserve it. The person who complained about having to take a picture with someone in a wheelchair in it does not deserve it.

    Love,
    Anikka.

    reply

  • disgusted2

    disgusted2

    06 February 2013 at 18:01 |
    Mr Harold Shipman,

    What i meant by "if you could think that far ahead" was "if you could think that one day you might have to use a wheelchair too, then you would not have seen it as an ugly thing that people use just to spoil your pictures", as i explained to rose.

    I did NOT mean that those who can think far ahead are not filth.

    Again, please, do not twist the meaning of whatever i have written. I am not a patronising know-it-all, i was just incensed at someone who had written what i consider to be an arrogant and degrading article and to find people thinking it's hilarious.

    Regards,
    Anikka.

    reply

  • Rose West

    Rose West

    06 February 2013 at 18:01 |
    I think you are patronising and a know it all. You assume that people in wheelchairs have no sense of humour and that everyone should feel sorry for us. It is obvious from your tone that you are just one of those lefty liberal do gooders who probably has no gay disabled friends to speak of. I myself am a disabled lesbian and I thought the article was funny and when I have my photo taken at weddings I hate being wheeled down the front like a small insignificant child while everybody says 'aaaaahh' I prefer to struggle out, despite my lack of a leg, and being propped up at the side is by far the best solution.

    Thank you and goodbye.

    All the best

    Rose

    reply

  • disgusted2

    disgusted2

    06 February 2013 at 18:02 |
    Jeez, and i thought you were alright, Rose! You're welcome to think whatever you like, am not going to stop you voicing out your opinion like you're trying to do to me. I'll just say that there was absolutely no need to jump to conclusions and judge me when you didnt understand the essence of what i was trying to say in my first message.

    And am not even going to try to explain (again) what i meant. You obviously WANT to believe the worst about me!

    If i had to describe you, i'd find many unflattering adjectives that'd do the job, but i'm not going to do it, because there's some difference between me and you, and i'd prefer it remain this way.

    I suppose we do need all kinds to make this world... (sigh)

    Babye, take care!

    reply

  • Harold Shipman

    Harold Shipman

    06 February 2013 at 18:02 |
    Did I mention I was a mass murderer?

    reply

  • Rose West

    Rose West

    06 February 2013 at 18:02 |
    What a cop out - yes there is a difference between us, darling. I'm a crippled lesbian in a wheelchair and you, my dear, are a thought nazi!

    Thank you and goodnight

    All the best

    Rose

    reply

  • Kate

    Kate

    06 February 2013 at 18:03 |
    As a Disabled bride-to-be I am absolutely disgusted by your comments about the bride and even more so by the way you talk about disabled guests!!!!!!!!!!!

    It's fine to have an opinion and you are of course entitled to yours whether I agree or not but I think that posting this on your own website is surely professional suicide. I am in the process of looking for a photographer for my upcoming wedding and after what I have just read I would rather have no pics at all than have someone so disrespectful attending at my wedding. Although I am sure that given you attitude towards the disabled you wouldn't want my business anyway!!!!

    I truly hope that you never find yourself disabled for any reason as from reading your comments I honestly don't think you would ever have the strength of character to pick up the pieces of your life and cope with it.

    reply

  • pixie bum

    pixie bum

    06 February 2013 at 18:19 |
    Your attempts at personalising disability in the context of aesthetics emphasise your weaknesses as a photographer. As someone who provides a service which relies on creative ability, you fall short as an artist, of course too as a person in general but this is obvious and worthless to mull over as people like yourself who self-proclaim themselves as 'photographers', are really just people who have bought a camera know how to use some of the buttons, but completely lack anything else that is required of a photographer. I am sure your photographs are usually unimpressive cliché's mimicking corporate companies who offer mundane moments which celebrate banality, which for you is all you can hope to amount too.

    reply

  • pixie bum

    pixie bum

    06 February 2013 at 18:19 |
    oh my goodness, i have just seen dereck's photos and i am baffled, i can't believe i wasted my time writing here, you are a little mischief maker and that is all... serves me right for reading the article and only the article before i went on a little rant.. my apologies, you can go back to sleep now..

    reply

    • Derek

      Derek

      06 February 2013 at 18:19 |
      I do in fact have a disabled badge for the car and I resent the implication that I myself am not in fact disabled. The social agreed that the footage of me running to the Job Centre was inadmissible in court on the grounds that it could in fact have been speeded up using clever digital enhancement editing techniques.

      All the best

      Derek

      reply

  • Paul Davies

    Paul Davies

    06 February 2013 at 18:20 |
    Derek, I find your suggestion about using a spare wheelchair to balance up group shots very unhelpful. Being the UK's top husband and wife wedding photographers you may be able to afford these items but not all of us can. I suggest encouraging the bride and groom to invite wheelchair users in twos so that this problem is avoided altogether. As for the rest of your advice, well it has been enlightening and my photography is going from strength to strength.

    reply

    • Derek

      Derek

      06 February 2013 at 18:20 |
      Paul, Paul, Paul - There is no need to purchase a wheelchair. Your local hospital will have plenty available just lying around awaiting collection. Tip: take an elderly relative with you. Get them to sit in it and wheel them home. Works every time.

      reply

  • Zec

    Zec

    06 February 2013 at 18:20 |
    Dick head, people in wheelchairs struggle with wondering if people are looking at them differently and then YOU say things like that!
    lets hope you dont get to witness life from a wheelchair, or maybe you should just to change your views!

    reply

  • Magickdiva

    Magickdiva

    06 February 2013 at 18:21 |
    Oh my word! Nobody has a sense of humour anymore - what is happening to us? Please - get a life all you mother grundies - and learn to laugh!!!

    reply

  • Shocked!

    Shocked!

    06 February 2013 at 18:21 |
    I am disabled, yes in a wheelchair, and I am a professional photographer with a degree and an MA in the subject and I cannot believe what a rude and offensive twat you are. Your really make me feel sick and tbh I hope your business fails. You insufferable little twerp!!!!!!!!

    reply

  • Bing Crosby

    Bing Crosby

    06 February 2013 at 18:21 |
    I hardly think it's acceptabe for a professional photographer to call someone else a 'twat', although given you have a degree and an MA you'll know all the implications of the word. Probably

    reply

  • Christine DerekPyeFanGirl	 ,

    Christine DerekPyeFanGirl ,

    06 February 2013 at 18:22 |
    If you have an MA you should really know that 7 exclamation marks are unnecessary. I'm not sure if it's possible for Derek to go out of business.

    reply

  • Nick Wedding Photographer

    Nick Wedding Photographer

    06 February 2013 at 18:22 |
    As a follower of yours for many years, I thank you for your thoughtful advice on how not to let the odd spaz spoil a perfectly good photo. I wonder. would you have any useful information in how to deal with mentally ill guests? My current tactic is to tell them there's free ice cream round the back of the church, and take the photos quickly while they are gone, but sometimes the church is very small and they manage to get all the way round in 20 minutes.

    reply

  • Hating your web site and your ideas on disability

    Hating your web site and your ideas on disability

    06 February 2013 at 18:23 |
    Im getting married in a year my groom is in a wheelchair and so is my best man. your idea off balancing off the photos is the most stupidd idea ever. wedding photos are suposed to represent the couple not the chair . so balancing the photo is crap . i have been in touch with other photographers and they have giving me great ideas. and taking chairs from hospitals is a horrible idea - have you ever been hospital and need wheelchairs and people like you taking them is cruel and horrible and mean.

    I think personal myself that you are a horible man. We all have imperfection . I also see that you have no photo of yourself up on your web site what are you the elephant man. YOU SHOULD NEVER DISCRIMATE AGANIST GROUP .

    reply

  • mj

    mj

    06 February 2013 at 18:23 |
    thank you thank you thank you. just been stressing about how on earth to plan wedding (my fiance is in a wheelchair),and this site has just brought me back to reality in true hilarious fashion. i may not have got any further with the wedding plans this evening, but i haven't laughed this hard in ages!

    reply

  • mj

    mj

    06 February 2013 at 18:23 |
    and the people taking you seriously have made me laugh the most!

    reply

  • Disgusted2

    Disgusted2

    06 February 2013 at 18:24 |
    Ok.. So I'm a disabled woman and I was wondering whether I could actually ever get married and have a traditional wedding because of my wheelchair, so I thought I'd google to see what others do and how for example their photographs turn out. I came onto your article and I'm disgusted at your use of the word cripple, do you realise how offensive that can be to someone who is paralysed. Quite a lot of disabled people see it as a derogatory term, just like the N word is to black people and the F word is to gay people. So a word of warning if you ever come across a disabled person or are writing about them. Choose your fucking words wisely.

    reply

  • Derek

    Derek

    06 February 2013 at 18:24 |
    Thank you for your interest in booking Derek Pye Wedding Photography for your upcoming wedding. Could you let me know some more details before we proceed.

    All the best

    Derek

    reply

  • Ivor Biggen

    Ivor Biggen

    06 February 2013 at 18:24 |
    Dear Derek,

    I am so pleased to have found your site. Unfortunately, I am due to marry a Crip in January, it's not something I ever imagined I'd be doing but she is from an exceptionally wealthy family and life will be so much easier for me once we're married.

    It does have it's advantages though, once we've taken her upstairs for the evening, she can't sneak back downstairs and catch me doing her nurse - Try doing that with an able bodied girlfriend or wife!!!

    Anyway as much as the last thing on earth I want are photo's of the event, she's insisting and well, to be fair, she is paying for it - Your site has given me some great ideas for propping her up between me and said nurse (22, size 8 and 32C) - Should be much better than having Crippy Crip Crip stuck in a chair with me looking all glum as I can now be smiling knowing that rather than being with her alone in the pics I can actually be groping the nurse!

    Thanks Derek,
    Ivor.

    reply

  • Mister Groping

    Mister Groping

    08 February 2013 at 18:53 |
    Can you get them to sit on Space Hoppers instead of wheelchairs?

    It could result in some great action shots.

    Loving your work Derek.

    reply

  • Colin & Linda

    Colin & Linda

    08 February 2013 at 19:23 |
    Hi Derek

    Tried to call you, but there was no reply.

    Re our wedding tomorrow, our dealer has let us down and consequently we'll be short of GHB for the disco. Can you bring some with you? We'll settle up tomorrow.

    Cheers

    reply

  • Adolf Schucklrgruber

    Adolf Schucklrgruber

    08 February 2013 at 21:06 |
    I am also wedding photographer of distinction,
    having had liitle luck selling watercolours of late.

    I have no advice regarding wheelchairs,
    but i have found that when photographing a group
    in which someone has a walking stick
    a simple solution is to
    quickly whip their stick away
    give them a gentle push to the chest

    they always fall backwards

    I then leg it back to my tripod
    the group closes ranks

    and I get my picture
    with no crip in it

    affectionately yours

    A.H.

    reply

  • Martin Bormann

    Martin Bormann

    08 February 2013 at 21:24 |
    I also am award winning wedding photographer
    having won I.C. with oak leaves for my picture
    Adlerhorst with reclining bride, shot on a mauser camera

    my solution for the crip in a wheelchair dilemma
    is to always photograph your formal groups on a slope,
    then all you have to do is position the disabled person at one side
    of the group,

    make sure that everyone is tidy, no chewing gum or hands in nostrils etc

    then walk up to the wheelchair

    release the brake

    and leg it back to the tripod
    quickly taking the picture
    before the screams from the wheelchair pilot
    are heard as they plummet down the slope backwards

    yours truly

    Marty Bormann
    (Argentinas most surprising wedding photographer)

    reply

  • Albert Kesselring

    Albert Kesselring

    08 February 2013 at 21:32 |
    I have found the disabled problem to be one of balance

    if one person in a group either has a limp or a walking stick

    I simply note which is their bad foot

    say it is their left foot

    I then run quickly along the line of wedding guests
    stamping hard on all of their left feet

    everyone then leans or falls toward the same direction
    that the crip is leaning

    I then leg it back to my
    ME109e Manfrotto Tripod

    get a totally balanced picture

    and the crip usually thanks me
    dor making them feel the same as everyone else

    yours

    (smiling) Albert Kesselring

    reply

  • Erwin R.

    Erwin R.

    08 February 2013 at 21:46 |
    Ah. the problem with the wheelchairs
    is often worse when they are motorised
    as when they run out of fuel
    they just stand about immobile,
    like big static things in a kind of desert

    anyway, I digress

    my solution is tactically brilliant,
    ( even though I say it myself!)

    place the wheelchair wherever you wish in the group

    just before you take the picture

    simply wander over with a few handfuls of leaves
    and a tree branch or two

    yes. you guessed it.

    camouflage.

    totally covered in vegetation

    the person in the wheelchair will be lucky if their eyeballs are visible


    result. everyone happy.

    E.Rommel.

    reply

  • Mabel McElhennery

    Mabel McElhennery

    08 February 2013 at 22:03 |
    Dear Mr Erwin

    you should be ashamed of yourself using that camouflage trick on a wedding guest in a wheelchair.

    I only hope that you get your come uppance one day,
    like the wedding photographer who camouflaged
    my aunty Mabels wheelchair at my sisters wedding last year.

    anyway, his trick worked
    and he forgot all about it

    until later that day, he was standing about,
    minding his own business

    when a mulberry bush swung a leg out at him and kicked him in the testicles

    it was aunty Mabel.

    serves him right too.

    his pictures were crap as well

    Mabel McE

    reply

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson

    Henri Cartier-Bresson

    09 February 2013 at 10:59 |
    Del

    Can you send me some more Monster Munch over (Pickled Onion flavour) . Still can't get them here, I'm afraid.

    Thanks

    HCB
    x

    reply

  • Benito

    Benito

    09 February 2013 at 13:24 |
    You lot are just a bunch of fascists

    my solution is much more simple

    I wear flamboyant clothing with lots of braid and ribbons

    I strut about grinning at all the ladies in the group

    I taka da pitcha, like the wheelchair is'a no problem to me

    I taka da money

    I retreat . . I donta care eefa da pitch has a wheelchair innit

    the pitcha probably won't come out anyway


    yours posthumously

    Benito

    reply

  • Clara

    Clara

    09 February 2013 at 13:26 |
    I am wondering what sort of underwear is good for a boudoir shoot.

    C.Pettacci.

    reply

  • Eva B.

    Eva B.

    09 February 2013 at 13:34 |
    Hi Clara

    My man always liked red with white bits and some detail in black

    E.B.

    reply

  • Clara

    Clara

    09 February 2013 at 13:41 |
    Thanks Eva,

    my man has recently rebranded his photography business
    he's struggling with to find a name that sounds classier than
    Blackshirtpics and I wondered if I could cheer him up with a naughty boudoir shoot

    tried some little Italian bird in London, but she seemed to like the ladies too much for my liking.

    do you think that HCB feller on this message board would do a shoot for me ?

    C. Pettacci

    reply

  • Magda Goebbels

    Magda Goebbels

    09 February 2013 at 21:38 |
    I find the simplest and kindest solution
    to the wheelchair problem
    is to announce that
    we are doing the group pictures
    at the top of a staircase

    if by any chance
    the wheelchair user finds a lift
    and appears, smiling, at the top of the stairs

    a little push will find them hurtling to the bottom again

    Magda G.

    reply

  • Oscar Pistorius

    Oscar Pistorius

    14 February 2013 at 19:27 |
    Never mess with disableds

    reply

  • Richard P Walton

    Richard P Walton

    16 June 2015 at 10:59 |
    Del Boy me old mukka, think you've had one to many again. I've got those pills you asked about a while back. Can we work a deal out on the cathedral dome?

    reply

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