Guests with Cameras At Weddings

Big Cameras, Tablets, Cell Phones…Oh My!

How to be Good Guest with a Camera at a Wedding

There’s no denying we live in a digital age. Nearly everyone comes to a wedding with a camera of some sort. Whether you’re an extreme enthusiast with a dSLR and multiple lenses or have the latest iPhone in your purse or pocket, it’s nearly expected that numerous people will be photographing parts of the day. While this seems like it would be a good thing, oftentimes it really isn’t. This has gotten so intrusive in some cases that couples have opted for “unplugged” weddings. That is certainly one solution. Another solution is to embrace the social and digital times and make the very best of it and even having a specific hashtag for the day. #katieandmarksbigday

Helping Without Hindering

By embracing some helpful instructions you can be part of the photographic team, rather than a hindrance to the professional the bride and groom have hired.  (Yep, I said hindrance!) Which, I am certain is NOT the goal you have when you pull out your camera or cell phone. J

There is a big difference between the hobbyist and the hired pro for the day. Although I must say I have seen some incredible shots taken with a smart phone! Remember though, the couple has invested considerable time and money into having professionally captured wedding images. Do you really want to be the reason that some of those don’t turn out? What do I mean…”don’t turn out”?  Well, in their enthusiasm to capture the day, guests often either get in the way of the hired professional or interfere with the work he/she is doing.

Photo by Joel H Garcia

Photo by Joel H Garcia -

Real Talk About Getting In The Way

  • As the bride comes down the aisle or as the moment of the “first kiss” of the newly married couple is about to happen, you place your arm out into the aisle to capture that moment without anyone’s head in the shot. What you may not realize is that the professional is likely behind you with a long lens (so as not to be intrusive) and you have just placed your arm in their field of view! Even if you are standing at the back of the aisle to capture the bride as she goes down the aisle, you often end up in the photograph of the professional…standing out in the scene because everyone else is seated.
  • You also may get so very excited that you get up and move around during the ceremony to get the shot you want. Remember, there is already a pro doing this. Do you really want to be an extra distraction to the ceremony?
  • Another way you may inadvertently hinder the professional’s work is by hanging out behind or near the photographer when the formal portraits are being taken. “Why?” you ask. You certainly aren’t in the field of view if you’re behind the photographer, right? While this is true, you are in the field of view of every single person in the bridal party or family grouping. Naturally, you know what they’re going to do? They are going to look at you! I have discarded numerous bridal party and family photos because not everyone was looking in the right direction. It’s bad enough trying to get everyone without blinking, but adding in their eyes looking in another direction can make a whole series of photos useless to the bride and groom.Guest with arm in aisle

Don’t Be Discouraged, Though!

But don’t be discouraged! You certainly can still take photos at weddings, photos that will add to the memories for the couple. Look for what others are missing and capture that memory. I encourage you to capture grandparents and little people. Capture photos of tables of friends gathering together to celebrate the day. There are lots of things to capture on the big day. Join my team and we’ll capture some awesome memories for your loved ones together, but in different ways and from different perspectives!

Brides and Grooms, Share this post with your family and friends, then print this free download pdf and place in your wedding programs to help your guests become of your photography team!





Be confident that your memories will be captured perfectly


Fine Art Wedding Photography