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Weddings – 5 Ways you can be a Working Guest

Weddings - 5 Ways you can be a Working GuestWe all know the reasons why doing a friend or family wedding would stink. One of them being that you’re essentially being asked {or requesting to be} a working guest. Although, there are some reasons you might want to do a wedding you’ve been invited to like:

  • Practice
  • Exposure {pun intended!}
  • A gift for the couple

So how can you manage being a working guest and still feel that you enjoyed the wedding? Consider these 5 things:

  1. Write the vision and make it plain. Get everything down in writing. Discuss how you’d like to shoot each section of the wedding, from what vantage point you’d like to be shooting and, of course, what the end product will be {a disk? A book?}
  2. Getting ready. Will you be there when he/she is getting ready? Consider when/how you will also get ready and whether this will be feasible for you. As a woman, you could even book into the hair and makeup they have going on and get a little help yourself!
  3. The ceremony. You could request to be seated near the front. So you can sit as a guest {with your date} and still get her coming down the aisle as well as pop into the aisle for a couple shots from behind during the ceremony.
  4. The reception. I’d get there a tad early, shoot the venue without any people, get the details and then relax as a guest. Hire a great low-light zoom lens so you can sit at the table and still get shots all around the room from the comfort of your seat.
  5. After hours. If you plan on partying into the night, consider telling them when you plan on ending the gig as the photographer. If people will be drinking, dancing and the lights will be low, you don’t want to leave your camera around while you’re off having fun. Lock it safely away and go have a much deserved party!

Your ability to shoot a wedding as a guest will depend greatly on your own personality. I have a fear of missing something and so I just can’t relax and turn off my brain if I’m meant to be shooting. Which doesn’t make me a good candidate to be both a lovely date for my husband and a photographer for the wedding. My poor husband wouldn’t even get more than two words out of me if I were meant to be shooting a wedding as a guest! Being able to pull it off will also depend on your ability to stop shooting. Know when you got the shot needed and then sit down and have a great time!

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Elizabeth Halford

Elizabeth Halford is a photographer and advertising creative producer in Orlando, FL. She wrote her first article for dPS in 2010. Her most popular one racked up over 100k shares!

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