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I was recently at a friend’s wedding and took photographs as a guest. I admit, there were times it was difficult to resist laying down in the aisle, climbing up on something, and pulling the bride and groom aside to get “the shot”. It went against my instincts as a photographer to see a shot and not take it. How did I do it? I created some rules for myself to tame the [photography] beast within, so I could be respectful to the hired photographer.
Then one of my blog readers submitted some questions that positioned this topic perfectly:
How do we, the aficionado or professional photographer, act when we attend an event, such as a wedding? I want to be the grateful and graceful guest and get great pix. How can I do both during the ceremony? I always try to stay out of the official photographer’s frame, and not distract my fellow guests, but what else might be appropriate?
Let’s be frank. If you were invited to a photography-worthy event, like a wedding, you are most likely good friends with or a relative of someone in the wedding. So bringing a camera – whether a professional-grade camera, compact camera or smart phone – is to be expected.
The one complication is that digital cameras are so affordable nowadays that it seems like everyone owns a camera. Or two. Getting in the way of the hired wedding photographer is an obvious no-no, but can be easy to do when you’re trying to get good shots.
If you are a guest at a wedding, then be just that: a guest!
The images you capture should be from a guest’s point-of-view, which can be a wonderful supplement to the hired photographer’s images.
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