Wednesday, December 14

Taking wedding pictures from a guest's point of view

For a couple of years now, I've been invited to attend a wedding for around less than five I think. Not that I don't have much friends but rather they may prefer NOT to invite me perhaps XD. 

While browsing through my wall (facebook), I saw this post linked to Digital-Photography-School about how to take wedding pictures from a guest's perspective. Sometimes, I've resisted the temptation to step-in to the paid photographer's shoes just to get a good shot. But after reading this, its not bad taking pictures from a different perspective (yet I'm looking forward to cover a wedding as an official photographer XD). 

Anyway, here is the article by Annie Tao on taking wedding pictures from a guest's point of view

How do we, the aficionado or professional photographer, act when we attend an event, such as a wedding? I want to be the grateful and graceful guest and get great pix. How can I do both during the ceremony? I always try to stay out of the official photographer’s frame, and not distract my fellow guests, but what else might be appropriate?

Let’s be frank. If you were invited to a photography-worthy event, like a wedding, you are most likely good friends with or a relative of someone in the wedding. So bringing a camera – whether a professional-grade camera, compact camera or smart phone – is to be expected.

The one complication is that digital cameras are so affordable nowadays that it seems like everyone owns a camera. Or two. Getting in the way of the hired wedding photographer is an obvious no-no, but can be easy to do when you’re trying to get good shots.



Here are a few tips:

  1. During the ceremony, stay at your seat. Only the wedding party and vendors (ie, the hired photographer and videographer) should be the ones moving around.
  2. Bring a zoom lens or a compact camera that has optical zoom. That way, you can get close without distracting the other guests or photographer.
  3. Accept that you will have a limited variety of shooting points. Instead, get creative with your angles, focal points, and camera settings.
  4. Don’t follow or shadow the wedding photographer. If the photographer is shooting the wedding party or anyone for that matter, go to a different area. Feel free to watch in awe of the beauty that is being captured, but don’t try to squeeze in your own shot. Not only can it be distracting to the hired photographer to have other people photographing her (or his) subjects, but also, it can impact the images! The images could end up with individuals looking in different directions or having more canned smiles, rather than genuine ones, because it takes longer to get the shot when the subjects don’t know who to listen to or look at.
  5. Don’t pull aside the bride and groom to take your own portraits of them. Know that the hired photographer will take those, so take shots that are particular to you (ie, you and your childhood friend, the bride) and do it when the bride and groom aren’t busy with the hired photographer, like during the reception. 


If you are a guest at a wedding, then be just that: a guest!

The images you capture should be from a guest’s point-of-view, which can be a wonderful supplement to the hired photographer’s images.


  1. wow.. those tips are very helpful. it is true that you dont need to level yourself like the hired photographer but only to be the guest of the wedding. that seems more interesting. :)

  2. Good point in not disturbing the official photographer. There will always be a good vantage point even if you are just viewing from a guest's point of view. But one thing's for sure, this will be different from that photos taken by the official photographer...:D

  3. This is so true. Enjoy the wedding first, the photos are just secondary.

  4. I'm no pro but I've always stayed on these tips whenever I take photos during weddings. :) Then again, it's always best to stay as a guest, and to enjoy the blessed union. :)

  5. I might ban the bringing of cameras on my wedding. No children and cameras allowed. Hahaha! I'm just joking.

  6. I like to take pictures and always have my point and shoot with me. These are good tips!

  7. I like taking pictures candidly and you got a helpful tips here, thanks for sharing.

  8. great info! i have been trying to point and shoot as well! and bring my lenses whenever so i can expretimetn! xx

  9. Practical tips, especially #s 1 and 4.

  10. interesting points of view! then I'd really need to invest on a camera with zoom lenses or optical zoom! :)

  11. Grate point of view and tips. A guest should just stay on their sit and let the hired photographer do the shooting. Marami lang mabubwisit pag naita kang hahara hara sa paligid.

  12. nice photos! I have not taken good photos as a guest in a wedding. neither as a paid photographer. I wanted to fully witness the ceremony and the celebration.

    I take prenuptial shoots though.

    Your pics look great!

  13. good points. be a guest when you're one... Yahweh bless.


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