Meet 'Uncle Bob': The Wedding Photographer's Friendly Terror All Things Considered is asking listeners about trade lingo: words people use in their professions that outsiders may not know. Amy Wurdock explains the wedding photographer's nightmare: "Uncle Bob."

Meet 'Uncle Bob': The Wedding Photographer's Friendly Terror

Meet 'Uncle Bob': The Wedding Photographer's Friendly Terror

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All Things Considered is asking listeners about trade lingo: those words that people use in their professions that outsiders might not know. NPR's Melissa Block speaks with Amy Wurdock about the wedding photographer's nightmare: "Uncle Bob."

In the form below, let us know: What's the "Uncle Bob" in your line of work?


From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Melissa Block with another offering in our occasional series on trade lingo. We asked you to send us your terms of the trade. We want to know what's a bit of slang or colloquial speech that's common in your profession but that nobody on the outside would know. And with today's submission, perfect for a month traditionally filled with weddings, we have listener Amy Wurdock. She's a wedding photographer in Minneapolis. Amy, welcome.

AMY WURDOCK: Thank you.

BLOCK: And you sent us in your bit of trained lingo. It is...

WURDOCK: Uncle Bob.

BLOCK: Uncle Bob. Now who's an Uncle Bob?

WURDOCK: They are people at a wedding who bring in an extraordinary amount of camera equipment, often very expensive. And a lot of times when you have guests that feel like they need to take the pictures, all they're really doing is getting in the way of the photographer who's trying to get a good angle or the right shot. You know, we're trained to do that. And when you have a bystander, that's not always how it works for them.

BLOCK: And that bystander may or may not be named Bob, may or may not be an uncle.

WURDOCK: Well, when they are it makes me so happy. (Laughing).

BLOCK: When their name actually is Bob?

WURDOCK: When their name actually is Bob and/or an uncle. Yeah.

BLOCK: How would you use Uncle Bob in a sentence?

WURDOCK: I was at a wedding the other day and you should have seen Uncle Bob. He was in the middle of the aisle, about two feet away from the couple when they were kissing.

BLOCK: Photographers would not knowingly and say yeah...

WURDOCK: Ah, they would say - ah you should have seen my wedding this weekend. I had three Uncle Bob's.

BLOCK: You know, I would think there are people who would say, you know, you as the wedding photographer, you have to anticipate that. That people love to take pictures and you need to figure out where you can be where nobody will get in your way.

WURDOCK: Yeah. No and there's a lot of ways. Usually if I see a nicer photographer I actually approach them and I talk about where the best place for them to be is so that neither one of us get in each other's shots. But another thing is that a lot of couples now are starting to ask guests to leave the cameras and the cell phones unplugged during the ceremony. Especially now you'll look at a ceremony and you'll just see a sea of iPhones raised up over the crowd and you know that those people are not actually present. So there's a new move to start telling people it's OK, you can turn off your phones. We've hired somebody. We got this. (Laughing).

BLOCK: And that would, theoretically, solve your Uncle Bob problem.

WURDOCK: That would, of course, always solve my Uncle Bob problem.

BLOCK: Well, Amy, thanks for talking to us about your little bit of trade lingo - Uncle Bob. Appreciate it.

WURDOCK: Thank you.

BLOCK: That's wedding photographer Amy Wurdock in Minneapolis. We'd like to hear from you too. If you've got a term of your trade, you can send it to us on Twitter and Facebook. We are @npratc.

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