If a guest at your wedding is a photographer, or is a very keen amateur and offers to bring their camera kit along to ‘help out and give the couple some free images’, can I suggest you politely decline? Odd though it may sound.
This isn’t because I feel threatened or feel that someone might steal my thunder it’s actually simpler than that. You have after all commissioned a professional wedding photographer to cover the day in a style that you prefer and comfortable that he or she will be in the right place at the right time, and at some point, politely corral the family for the formal photographs.
The snag with the enthusiastic guest is more often than not he will try and get the same shots, be that the bride approaching the church with her father, standing before the alter exchanging vows etc. This will necessitate leaning out from the pews and grabbing an oblique shot, at the same time blocking the professional photographer. This continues during the recessional when half a dozen guests lean out towards the aisle to capture the happy moment on their iPhone or worse still a large iPad. Suffice to say, all I can see is a bright sea of screens before a beaming couple walking arm in arm towards me weaving around all the outstretched arms and what could have been one of the singular key shots of the wedding is much, much weaker.
There are often guests with oversized camera kit and so many shots during the reception include photos of the couple with someone within a few feet with their face obscured by a DSLR camera and lens.
Lenses do not improve the dinner tables decorations and central floral displays and fellow guests tire quickly of the guests that keep getting up and wandering off to get more images.
It’s the professional’s job to capture all these moments, he’s not a formal guest so not socially obliged to converse at dinner or keep leaving a bored spouse as a camera widow. He’s there to take photographs and is ready all day, all the time.
Much better to request all these gadgets are left at home or phones remain in their jackets, to enjoy the day undistracted and be able to spend more time in conversation. You will get MUCH better photographs that capture the true character of the day with the undistracted focus on the couple, guests and family, as of course it should be.
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