As a wedding planner and a part-time photographer, it always amazes me how completely inconsiderate and rude wedding guests can be. I understand that the guests might not know how rude and obnoxious they are, so that’s why I am writing this blogpost. On average the bride and groom might spend anywhere between $2000 and $4000 for their photographer (and depending on where you are in the country, even more). And even when a photographer makes it very clear to the bride and groom when it is “okay” and “not okay” for guest photography, they never really seem to get the message.
Let me explain in more detail. When a couple hires me for their wedding photography, I make it very clear to them when guest photography is not permitted. Perhaps they don’t properly relay the message to their guests, because perhaps they feel that it is rude. But no matter what, it’s rude to the photographer NOT to pass this message along. I usually ask that there is no flash photography during the ceremony, and I don’t mind if guests take photos of the processional and recessional, but I prefer to have the ceremony left to the professionals. Not only is this beneficial to the photographer, but also to the couple and the officiant. Flash photography is not only distracting, but can seriously affect the quality and lighting of certain shots.
Another thing that guests do that ruins photos, is get in the way. I cannot count the number of times oblivious guests step into my view, and completely block me from taking photos! On multiple occasions I’ve had guests step directly in front of me, while the bride is walking down the aisle! Not only have they possibly ruined that photo – but they might have completely prevented me from capturing that moment at all! I would love for that guest to trade places with me, when it comes to telling the couple why I didn’t get any photos of the bride walking down the aisle. I understand that the guests and family want great pictures too, but I am the one that the couple is paying to photograph their wedding. So quit wasting their money!
And lastly the formal photography session after the ceremony is FOR US! NOT YOU! You know those two hours that are scheduled in between the ceremony and the reception. Those two hours are FOR US! NOT YOU! Please guests, do not follow us around, do not take pictures behind me, do not tell me how to take pictures, or “what would be awesome”.
On numerous occasions, I’ve had multiple family members follow us into the park, and take pictures during the scheduled formal photography time. What’s most frustrating is when these guests start to direct the bridal party on how to stand, when to smile etc. Also, when you have a large bridal party and there are multiple camera’s taking photo’s, everyone’s eye’s look everywhere, instead of at me. This equals countless hours of editing, so that I can have one shot where’s everyone is looking at me. Bride/groom please tell your guests/family “NO!”. They can get copies – I promise!
So please, be a good guest. Don’t be intrusive, or rude. And if you really want some of those photos that the professional photographer took, then wait until after the wedding, and ask the bride for a copy. This way you won’t run the risk of ruining the photos of the photographer and you can have a professional photo! It will probably look better than the photo you took with your little point-n-shoot camera anyways!
Thanks, in advance.
Your Disgruntled Photographer