This morning I read a tweet from @apertura_erwin, a fairly well known photographer in the wedding photography industry, saying:
People who get invited to weddings should just enjoy being guests & not be photographers. The B&G invited you for a reason :) Esp during ceremonies.
and somehow it just rubbed me the wrong way.
I love taking pictures at weddings. I love taking pictures just about anywhere I am, ESPECIALLY during special occasions. It just ticks me off that a photographer is suggesting I shouldn’t be taking pictures during those special times. They should understand how important pictures are and to limit people to only having pictures the “pro” took is just selfish. Is it so wrong to want to have our own pictures and not the photographers? We all have a different eye.
The photographer can’t be everywhere at once. They aren’t going to capture every moment from every angle. What if I can get a shot they didn’t? Occasionally film gets ruined and memory cards fail.
I once retouched an event for a photographer in which some of the pictures were wildly over exposed while others were wildly under exposed. I just thought they were a bad photographer. It turns out the processer chip in the camera was faulty and it wasn’t able to read the exposure settings correctly. I managed to save half of the images, but the others weren’t salvageable. Imagine how the bride felt when she was told half of the pictures from her wedding day were gone. Imagine if no one else took pictures because they were busy being guests.
Okay, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he isn’t saying guests shouldn’t take pictures at all, just not as much as a photographer would. So, what constitutes a guest trying to be a photographer? Is it the camera he or she brings, is it the quantity of images they take? Where is that line?
Yes, the bride and groom invited you to be there for a reason. What’s that reason? I always assumed it was because they wanted me to share in their special day, not to exclude taking a couple of pictures. I’ve NEVER had a bride or groom tell me to stop taking pictures at their wedding. In fact every the bride and groom have THANKED me for taking extra pictures.
I do believe that people shouldn’t disrupt the wedding, and especially the ceremony, in pursuit of photography nor should they get in the way of the pro that was hired to document the day. Don’t step in front of the hired photographer to get a shot, don’t stand next to him, don’t direct the couple and their party. The bride and groom hired the photographer because they wanted pictures from them. Do the couple a favor and let that photographer take those pictures.
People bring cameras to a wedding. Most photographers deal with it. I was elbowed – HARD - by a groom’s grandmother as she tried to get me out of the way so she could take a shot. A friend of mine was accidently punched in the face by an enthusiastic dancer at a reception. Stuff like this just comes with the territory.
Seriously, I enjoy a wedding just as much while downing my 5th beer from the open bar as I do when I’m taking a few pictures. Maybe some people don’t know how to enjoy a wedding from behind a camera, but I do. Sorry if I’m cutting into your print sales.