Be a great wedding guest!

Wedding season is about to jump into high gear now that winter is over. I love spring, it's the unofficial new beginning for the year. New wedding clients, new adventures, and with this comes new challenges. I am never one to stray away from a good challenge, in fact, I usually search for one each week, even daily. Wedding photography poses many challenges, which is why I really enjoy capturing weddings. They incorporate so many disciplines of photography that can pose a big challenge for any photographer not practicing their craft. However, what can become the biggest challenge are the wedding guests.

Weddings are great, they are meant to be one of the best parties you ever go to! That is one reason why I love to photograph them. But there is always that one person in the crowd that poses a challenge during the day. It came to mind as I am getting ready to attend a friends wedding next week. I wont be the photographer, and I shouldn't be. Maybe it's just me, but I would rather attend the party and celebrate the most important day of their life as a friend. This should be an obvious answer, but in reality it seems to be posing the biggest burden when certain guests take it upon themselves to start capturing photos. Here are a few things that need to stop while attending a wedding.

Put your phone away

Believe me when I say this; they hired a wedding photographer to capture and document their special day for a reason. When the bride is walking down the aisle, don't lean out with your cell phone to get the "perfect" shot. Believe me it's not, and I mean that in the most polite way, I promise. Aside from the simple fact that your phone doesn't have the dynamic range, the composition will also be horrible. But what's worse, you could be (very likely) blocking the photographer(s) who've carefully composed the shot down the aisle. I've had this happen while shooting a clients wedding myself. It's not to say we are going to miss the shot. A quick recovery and some adjustments can typically solve the issue. Why should this even have to happen? There is a time and a place to pull your phone out and take some snapshots of the day. During the ceremony would not be one of those moments. 

Leave your "pro" camera at home

This one seriously bugs me deep down. I've never had this happen to me, but I've seen it happen to other photographers. There seems to be the one person that always shows up with a decent DSLR with the obviously upgraded lens they read about in Digital Photographer Magazine. I won't go into details because it gets me rattled up.

I witnessed a guy following around the photographer with his camera and because he had a "big lens" apparently assumed he was cool. Contrary to your belief, you will get in the way, and no one cares about your JPEG images that are terribly under exposed, or worse over exposed. Just stop. 

It's all really simple, just show up and enjoy the day with your friends/family. The couple has hired a photographer for the artistic style they enjoy, and to be around all day. I understand that everyone wants to have their own personal photos of the day, but be mindful and respectful to the couple as well. If you interfere with the photographer, you are costing the newly weds money well spent for a hired professional. Not to mention you'll most likely end up with some nice photos of yourself if you're a good guest.