10 Ways to be a Better Wedding Guest (and make a photographer happy)

Nov 8, 2015

Mezame Shashin-ka

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

10 Ways to be a Better Wedding Guest (and make a photographer happy)

Nov 8, 2015

Mezame Shashin-ka

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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I was scrolling through my Facebook feeds and came across an article featuring a wedding photographer’s rant on disruptive guests who get in the way of wedding photographers who are just doing their job.

Good to note that the photographer who was featured in the article did his best to get good shots by getting around guests and other obstacles.

Well, since some of my Mezfans are into wedding photography, I’ve decided to compile a list that may help you.

Oh wait. Maybe the issue isn’t the photographer but the guests themselves after all!

Here’s a helpful list for anyone on how to be a better wedding guest!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a wedding photographer. I specialise in themed concept portrait photography. These are my (tongue-in-cheek) opinions.

If you would like to contribute a tip or a suggestion, feel free to leave a comment below.

“10 Ways to be a Better Wedding Guest (and make the wedding photographer happier)”

1. There’s a professional photographer hired by the bride and groom; let him or her do his or her job

2. There’s a professional videographer hired by the bride and groom; let him or her do his or her job

3. Put that tablet away – it won’t take good photos or footages and tend to get in the way of the hired personnel

4. Put that mobile phone away – enjoy the wedding ceremony; leave the photography and videography to the paid professionals

5. Keep that GoPro and selfie stick – you’re not going skiing

6. Just because you have a DSLR does not mean you should get in the way of the hired personnel – you might be destroying important moments

7. Do not touch a professional’s equipment – sliders and tripods could be placed in strategic spots for good reasons

8. Try not to distract photographers or videographers with small talk – they could be really, really busy

9. Do not, under any circumstances, push away photographers or videographers; it’s not a nice thing to do and they could miss their shots or lose their focus (literally)

10. Do not judge a photographer or a videographer based on his or her equipment, and make life miserable for him or her with open snide remarks – it’s not helpful or constructive and they probably know better

About The Author

Mezame Shashin-ka is a Cinematic Photography Director based in Singapore who combines fantasy and reality to tell a story. You can follow his crazy adventures on his portfolioblog and Facebook page.

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7 responses to “10 Ways to be a Better Wedding Guest (and make a photographer happy)”

  1. HyperJ Avatar
    HyperJ

    Har har… Maybe some common courtesy BOTH ways would be useful. Those people “in the way” are invited guests after all. Unless the bride and groom explicitly let people know in the invitation that they should leave their cameras and cell phones at home, you can expect that they will be taking photos, lots of them. Either complain or work around the problem in some creative way.

  2. Alex S Avatar
    Alex S

    Here’re some additional guidelines:
    11. Ask the photographer if you can help him or her make his or her life easier – you can be a walking light stand or hold a few lenses handy
    12. When in the church, try to hide between the benches, so you’re not in the official pictures. Most ppl aren’t very good looking – think about how much post-processing time you could be saving, by not making the photographer photoshop you out from the otherwise perfect picture of another bridesmaid entering the building…
    13. Don’t dance at the wedding – you might be in photographer’s way
    14. Don’t drink at the open-bar reception – you’re making bartender’s life very difficult with your constant requests (and most ppl tip very little…)
    15. Do not sing either – what do you the professional DJ is for???
    16. Be mindful of the catering personal – don’t get in their ways, just sit quietly at your table and wait for the food to arrive; or maybe ask them if you can bring your meals yourself from the kitchen
    17. Maybe see if you can stay and help clean up after the wedding?

    1. Chris Hutcheson Avatar
      Chris Hutcheson

      Do you photograph weddings? Neither do I (I shoot theatrical performances and events), but I also wouldn’t want to be the hired photographer who has to (legitimately) explain why, for the fee he/she charged, he/she was unable to get great wedding shots because of iPhones, pads, etc. I don’t think it hurts to ask guests to put the iThings away and let the pro do their job. Nor does it hurt for the pro photographer to be courteous with guests. It’s certainly something we cover off with attendees at the events I shoot.

  3. Michael Goolsby Avatar
    Michael Goolsby

    Boo frigging who. It’s a live event. Deal with it. Yes, some guests can be pains. But they are the couples’ guests. They were invited. Photographers are hired. Council them beforehand about possibilitis in advance and then either deal with your difficulties or work someplace else.

    1. Sean Avatar
      Sean

      Obviously you are not a wedding photographer since you are so freaking clueless. Do you think the bride will go after the guests when a picture is ruined by their ignorance? Hell, no…they will tear the photographer a new one for something they had no control off. The advent of smart phones that take 12mp shots make everyone think they have a right to jump in to the aisle to take a shot, crowd up to the cake cutting to get that close up, etc. I just attended an wedding over the weekend with 185 guests (as a guest) and was shocked to see people with selfie sticks…I actually made a comment to a couple of them about it. The wedding cost over $600 a plate (yes…tad pricey but hey..not my money) and had 4 professional photographers. Do you think that YOU as a guest have the right to interfere with the people hired to do a job just because you are getting a free meal and drinks? Brides expect specific shots and if they don’t get them they do not care why, just that they did not get them.

      1. Michael Goolsby Avatar
        Michael Goolsby

        Since it is so “obvious” to you that I am “not a wedding photographer”, then perhaps you would reconsider your view of my comments after I tell you that I am, in fact, full-time wedding photographer, and have been for 22 years. (I am currently sitting in the Atlanta airport awaiting a return flight home after traveling for the weekend for a rather large wedding, something I do rather frequently.) Furthermore, I assisted my father as a youth, himself a wedding photographer for many years. Over these years, I learned how to be a problem solver rather than merely a whiner.

        Our business is now 100% word of mouth. We spend zero dollars in print or Internet advertising. We receive high marks from our venues and great referrals from our clients. (We just booked a fourth generation referral for next year.) We see all the same things that have been talked about here; iPhones, selfie-sticks, etc. And yet we get the shots and our brides are happy, again and again.

        Perhaps, when one is so wrong about the “obvious”, as you were, a change of perspective — and maybe a bit more open-mindedness — is warranted.

  4. Mino Avatar
    Mino

    I was wondering if it is OK to get into other photographers’ way. Can’t you give some extra 15 hints on that?