Using Your Digital Camera or Camcorder at a Wedding: Some Etiquette Tips
What better time than the wedding of a relative or friend to break out your digital camera or camcorder and try to capture some of the best moments of the proceedings? An upcoming wedding can also be a great opportunity to buy new digital photographic equipment. There is plenty of choice in the digital camera and camcorder market and lots of excellent deals available these days, especially if you check the online electronics stores.
But before you let your enthusiasm get ahead of you, don’t forget that as a wedding guest you need to observe a few basic rules of etiquette to ensure that everything goes smoothly and you get the best possible shots to remember the day by. Check out these pointers to set you on the right path:
Let the professional do her job
To be somewhat blunt, if you haven’t been hired to photograph the wedding, make sure you don’t get in the way of the person who has. It’s pretty much standard these days for a bride and groom to engage a professional photographer. One of the most common complaints voiced by the pros is that they are constantly distracted by amateur photographers who follow them around and try to copy the exact same shots they have worked so hard to capture. Even worse, you can actually ruin a photo if your dSLR accidentally sets off the pro’s wireless flash, for example. Using your camera’s flash can also distort the light or make the photograph’s subjects blink at the wrong time. So make sure you give the wedding photographer enough space to work undisturbed, and if you really want a particular shot ask if you can buy a print.
Ask the professional for advice
As long as you respect her space, a pro will often be happy to offer tips on how to use your digital camcorder or camera to take some great video and still photos that you and the wedding party will treasure for many years to come. Show her some of the spontaneous moments you’ve captured and ask how you could have improved the shot by adjusting the settings, lining it up differently or changing the lighting, for instance. If you show real interest and some ability, and catch the photographer at a quiet time, you can really learn a lot from her.
Capture those spontaneous shots
A wedding photographer’s job is usually to take photos, and maybe also video footage, of the happy couple, their family and the wedding party during the wedding service, the reception and other organized events surrounding the nuptials. Many of these shots will be posed, although a good photographer will also try to fit in some impromptu pictures of guests enjoying themselves, children clowning around, and so on. Even so, as a guest and perhaps close friend or relative of the bride or groom, you will undoubtedly have opportunities to capture those spontaneous, unstaged moments that the official photographer can’t get access to. That’s why you should concentrate on using your digital camera to record some of the fun at the bachelor or bachelorette party, the wedding rehearsal dinner, the get-togethers with guests from out of town or the bride’s make-up and hair preparations. You could be the only person who can photograph the bride as she leaves for her early-morning run, or the groom playing with his young nieces and nephews before leaving for church.