Advice for wedding guests from a photographer’s perspective

Last week I wrote a little bit about becoming a wedding photographer. This week I want to talk about being a wedding guest…from a photographer’s perspective.

When you go to a wedding, take a look around and notice the amount of photos being taken there. Sometimes it feels as if every person has a phone, camera or iPad in front of them at all times, especially during the ceremony. Because of this, some couples are now moving towards what is called an “unplugged wedding,” where guests aren’t allowed to take photos at all. While this may seem a bit harsh, as a wedding photographer I understand it. I have seen how these extra cellphones and iPads can ruin a perfectly good shot. However, as a wedding guest I love being able to have my phone with me and capture a shot or 2 throughout the day.
Heritage Museum of Orange County Wedding Photography | Orange County Wedding Photography
So… how can you help the couple and the professional photographer?
My thoughts:
1. Please, please don’t get off of your seat to take photos. It can be distracting and you may also get in the way of the hired photographer. I know some guests mean well by doing this but the couple already spent a large part of their wedding budget on their photographer.
2. PLEASE stay away from the altar/front of the ceremony. If you follow number 1, then you will for sure be following this one.
3. Think of a wedding ceremony as a fun ride so keep your hands and feet inside the chair at all times, especially during the recessional and processional. As wedding photographers, we only have a really small window to capture the bride coming down the aisle, dad giving her away, the first kiss and all that really meaningful stuff that happens during the recessional and processional. I have heard too many sad stories of guests leaning out to take photos and ruining the professional shot. It’s not worth it ­čÖé
4. I love iPads. I do. But please avoid taking photos with them. Those big tablets become a big distraction.
5. Don’t follow the wedding photographer around as they take portraits. Again, you don’t want to be a distraction.
6. Have fun! I mentioned this last week, but it is worth repeating. The couple want you to enjoy yourselves! Take a couple of photos, put the camera/phone away…and enjoy!
San Moritz Lodge Wedding Photography | Arrowhead Wedding Photography
Please know I mean all of this with much love. I definitely want guests having fun! And I also want what is best for my couples. We all do!
Do you have any more advice for wedding guests? Please share it in the comments
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  • Taylor Hunker - July 26, 2013 - 1:35 am

    Thanks so much for posting this–more people need to follow this etiquette! ­čÖéReplyCancel

  • Nancy Rowley - July 26, 2013 - 2:45 am

    Well into the wedding season, this is great advice.ReplyCancel

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