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CONTEMPORARY COURTESIES

Some things to consider before taking pictures at weddings

Friday, September 13, 2013 - 10:22 am

Q. Karen, I am a professional photographer and shoot a lot of weddings. Over the years, with so many people having small cameras and cameras on their phones, the other guests taking pictures really get in the way of my shots. The people in the photos are being distracted and don't know were to look with everyone telling them to look their way. So many of the shots I have set up are no good because of where the wedding party is looking. Would it be rude of me to ask people to wait until I have my shots before they start taking their pictures?

A. It wouldn't be rude at all for you to ask people to hold their picture taking until you have finished your shots. You have been hired to capture the day and should have priority in taking pictures. And the other guests should stay out of your way so you can do your job efficiently.

Some other things to keep in mind regarding taking photos at weddings are:

Stay in the moment as a guest. So many people are so busy taking pictures, texting and tweeting that they miss the firsthand experience of being there. Don't allow your phone to become your social crutch. It is OK to put it away for the duration. Send those texts and tweets after the reception.

Don't take flash photos during the ceremony, especially, if it is in a church. It takes away from the solemnity of the service and is very distracting to everyone else. Professional photographers are usually adept at staying inconspicuous while shooting in a church. However, some churches ask that no one, even the professionals, take photos during the ceremony.

Do ask a family friend who is good at taking photos to snap candid shots.

There are a lot of candid moments a professional photographer can't get due to time constraints. This is where someone shooting candid shots, especially if this person knows many of the guests and their relationship to the bride and groom, can get some great shots. However, it is important for them to stay out of the way of the professionals.

Get permission from the bride and groom, or their family, before sharing your photos on social media. You don't want to steal their thunder. Remember, it is their day, not yours. Professional photographers should get permission before posting photos on their websites, too.

Karen Hickman is a local certified etiquette/protocol consultant and owner of Professional Courtesy. Do you have a question for her? Email features@news- sentinel.com, and we'll forward it to her.