I know last week I said I was going to learn about editing RAW photos, but I changed my mind when I remembered that I had my best friends wedding this weekend. So I thought my efforts would be better focused on learning about how to take great wedding photos (not that they’re relying on me by any means! But you never know, accidents/food poisoning happens to the best of people and I may be drafted in at the last minute to stand in for their official photographer!!).
Keep out the way of the professionals!
The first thing I’ve learnt is not to get in the way of the official photographers. They are the professionals and they’re there for one reason. They’re also probably being paid a lot of money. So keep out of the way and don’t hijack their shots.
Mix it up
A lot of wedding guest photos end up looking the same – the shot of the bride walking down the aisle, the happy couple signing the registry book, the confetti shot, the cake cutting, first dance etc. It’s fine to get these kind of shots, but think about how to make them look a bit more original.
Change your perspective:
- Instead of taking a photo of the bride walking down the aisle, take a shot of the look on the groom’s face when he first sees her.
- Try and take a shot from above when they’re cutting the cake, hold the camera up over your head and see how this looks
- Go low for the first dance shot, or go wide and try and capture the guests mingling round the edge of the dance floor
Ignore the Bride and Groom
The bride and groom will have a lot of attention throughout the day – from both guests and the official photographers. So consider focusing your attention on the other guests and the location. Try and take natural shots of people interacting with each other. There’s nothing better than seeing a photo of people laughing, smiling and talking to each other – in a natural way. These “paparazzi” style shots are much nice than posed photos.
Also think about your surroundings. No doubt the bride and groom will have taken a long time to pick a location and will have spent a lot of time and money getting it to look “just right”. If there are any nice details, like bunting, decorations, flowers, cake/sweet tables, pretty drink decorations etc, focus on those and make sure you capture them in an interesting way.
No one likes a flasher!
And finally, switch your flash off – it’s unlikely to make a difference (most shots in the right light and settings don’t need a flash) and it’ll disturb the happy couple and other guests – especially during the ceremony.
Having said that, I’m a bridesmaid and I don’t think I’ll be allowed to smuggle my camera in under my bouquet, so a lot of the shots will hopefully be taken by my doting husband. But no doubt he’ll just leave my camera on the side and forget about it!!
Have you got any tips on how to take great wedding photos as a guest? Let me know in the comments below.