Post # 1
So I have seen so many pro photos that have been messed up by people leaning into the aisle to get photos of the ceremony, watching the dances through their cameras/phones etc. I would really love our guests to just enjoy the day and let the photographer do her job. Would it be rude to request no guest photos? If not, what would be the best way to let them know about this? If it is rude to ask this, should I just ask the photographer to do her best to avoid the amatuer paparazzi in the crowd shots?
Post # 3
I think it’s fine to put a note in the program, something along the lines of “Please no photos in the church” or whatever. As for the reception – forget it; that’s a total losing battle. Talk to your photographer about it and ask how they avoid the amateur photogs in the group.
Post # 4
Honestly, I’m playing the waiting game for my pro pics right now and I don’t know what I’d do without all of the amazing guest pics that are trickling in. Photographers know how to do their jobs and they are able to work around your guests. At one of my friends weddings – the photographer made it very clear where guests could and couldn’t stand, asked them to move, asked them to turn off their flashes, etc. I have to imagine that the same happened at my wedding (though I don’t know as the day was a blur!!). If you’re anything like me, you’ll be thankful to see all the wonderful non-pro pics from the day!
Post # 5
Our DJ made an announcement before the bridal party started walking in asking people to not take flash photography until after the “I do’s” (The theatre we got married in was pretty dark, so if it wasn’t flash photography it wasn’t going to be a good picture). Everyone seemed to cooperate and no one complained. I can’t wait to get my pro pics back =)
Post # 6
@MsMindle: Agreed. I already have my pro pics(got them in a week after the wedding!) but I still love some of the photos my guests got. My brother got some amazing shots with his camera. Granted…one group shot the photographer took, my brother is looking down at his camera, but I’m not really upset about it really. More of something to laugh and tease him about.
I think, when it comes to receptions and weddings, when you try to impose too many rules on your guests, things go wrong anyways. I realize you want your day to be perfect, but reality…it will not be. Something will go wrong(whether a major or minor detail) but on that day, you are gonna just be so happy that honestly, all the minor glitches you likely won’t even care about. I laughed off most of mine.
Another pro to letting your guests take pics, they may get shots your photographer didn’t. Candid shots of other guests, etc.
Post # 7
@TheFutureMrsNguyen: The concern I would have there is that so many people taking pictures at a wedding usually means that you dont have to provide pics for them. Think off all those family members and friends that will not be taking their own pics and will be asking you for some. If you have unlimited funds and dont mind doing that, then I would say as long as you find a proper way to word it, there isn’t a problem.
Post # 8
If you search back in the forum there is a recent article written by a photographer that was linked where there was a lot of discussion. http://tiffinbox.org/the-new-wedding-guest/
@MsMindle: “Photographers know how to do their jobs and they are able to work around your guests.” An experienced photographer will make every effort to take their photos without distracting elements in the shot, but more and more the odds are increasingly stacked against us by the entitlement of guests. The wedding I am working on now features:
– a guest who jumped up and followed the flower girls down the aisle about a foot behind them with his iPhone
– the wide angle shots of the ceremony have at least 10 guests with devices in their hands, some are attempting to take photos, some look like they are playing Angry Birds…
– the couple kisses, the crowd cheers, a guy with an iPhone jumps up in front of the aisle to get his shot (luckily I had gotten mine, but these things happen in fractions of seconds)
The ceremony is really the thing to control, but there are definitely moments throughout weddings that I feel really get compromised by over zealous guests. We recommend unplugged ceremonies, and simple things like not having your DJ suggest to the guests to all bring their cameras for the cake cutting (forward firing flash can ruin our exposures). And sometimes you may have a particular guests whose behavior you can anticipate as being potentially interferring with the photographers you’ve hired. That uncle with the photography hobby who is going to bring more gear to your wedding than the photographer. We suggest you give him a task, like doing tableshots or something that might not be what you want your photographers focusing on.
Not all weddings this is even a problem… we still shoot weddings where guests are respectful of where we are and even some where we don’t really see many cameras. It’s really not our job as photographers to tell these people what to do. We will do what we need to do to get our photos, but most of it is outside of our control… and also not fair to us to assume we have to police the crowd. If you don’t want photos of your guests all with smart devices in their hands go unplugged!
And lastly I want to say everyone’s idea of a good photo is different. I have yet to see in my 7 years of doing weddings a guest photo that I thought was good. I see our clients tagged in Facebook with the photos guests take and the angles are bad, the lighting is bad, and generally the expressions are not that flattering. But it’s not really for me to say what merits a good photo. I personally wouldn’t want to look at myself like that, but it also really makes our work standout. So there are two sides to it.
Post # 9
@continuumphotography: Thanks for this! I have one uncle in mind just as you were talking about. Thanks for the suggestion on giving him a task!
I’m really thinking about a camera ban for the ceremony and then allow them to got nuts at the reception.
Post # 10
@continuumphotography: “I have yet to see in my 7 years of doing weddings a guest photo that I thought was good.”
Wow, that is quite a statement. We have an amazing photographer, but we also already have a bunch of great guest pictures. Not everything is about flattering angles – I would rather have a double chin in a picture that is filled with emotion than not have that picture at all. In fact, I have a few pictures like that 🙂 And I absolutely love them!
@TheFutureMrsNguyen: If you want to do it, I’d say limit the no photos rule to the ceremony. I can’t imagine not being able to take pictures at all during a wedding!
Post # 11
i plan to have our officant ask guests to refrain from taking pics during the ceremony. This will be the working i am using….
” The bride and groom have asked that guests refrain from taking photos during the ceremony, processional, and recessional. They want you share in their wedding fully and not through the lens of a camera or cell phone. They are looking forward to being able to see your faces in all of their photos and not having any cameras blocking any of the angles that the professionals may be shooting. ______ and _____ have hired an amazing wedding photographer who will be capturing the way the wedding looks and will be happy to share professional photos via email after the wedding. They are respectfully asking that everyone leaving all cameras and cell phones off. Thank you for respecting their wishes. “
Hopefully i dont offend anyone, but i dont want people’s hands with camera’s sticking up in my pro pics. I may sounds bossy, but we will be spending several thousand dollars on pics and i feel like my guests should respect my wishes.
Post # 12
@sarahbabs: I see what gets posted on Facebook that my clients whom I’m friends with are tagged in, and it’s not pretty. That being said I know my standards and expectations for photography are much higher than most. One of the first steps in being a good photographer in my opinion is knowing how to select what you show and what you don’t. Most non-photographers or people just starting out post anything and everything. I also did not state that everything was just about angles.
Post # 13
@continuumphotography: My guests got some of my favorite shots of the day. a photographer can only be in one place at a time, and we would have missed some really great shots if we didn’t have guests take pictures. You must be pretty hard to please if you have NEVER seen a good guest picture.
Post # 14
As a guest, I do personally believe it is rude to invite guests to celebrate the most important day in your life, and also an important day in their lives (assuming you’re inviting loved ones!), and then tell them they aren’t allowed to photograph. I believe my guests are adults and will trust them to act appropriately, which means taking photos as they deem fit.
Post # 15
@abbie017: This more or less boils down to whether or not it bothers you to see photos of guests with devices in their hands, or if you care if an important photo gets blocked by a guest being in the way of the photographer that you hired. There are plenty of instances when something happens so fast that you do not have time to move the guest out of the way. If none of that bothers you, then this thread doesn’t really apply for you.
But ultimately I do not think it’s rude to request guests put their devices away and pay attention during a ceremony. This is a day that the couple has spent a lot of money on, it’s their day, and if they don’t want that distracting element present I think it’s their prerogative. I don’t think many people are suggesting that guests should be banned from photographing the wedding for the entire day.
Kudos to you for having guests that you trust will act appropriately. Trust me when I say I have had multiple clients of ours tell us they wished they had done the unplugged ceremony afterwards, and that they were surprised at how bold some of their guests had been. Then they end up apologizing for the guests, but really it’s their photos that suffer. The photographers may be dumbfounded that people go to the lengths that they do for their Instagram shot, but we have better things to do than be offended by guest photographers.
@ieatunicorns: I do this for a living, so my standards are going to be higher than most. But let me just say that I have yet to see a photo that a guest took that essentially interfered with our own shot that was better or equal to what we would have gotten. And remember I am mostly talking about ceremony photos… we understand that it is not realistic to expect people to put their cameras away throughout the wedding.
Post # 16
@continuumphotography: True, you did not state everything is about angles – but the overarcing thrust of your post was that pictures are bad to you because they are not flattering or well composed. That is your opinion.
My opinion is that I’d rather have an poorly lit, bad angle, unflattering picture of a great moment than to not have it at all. And I think guest pictures can return some gems, in addition to the professional shots.