Capturing the sacred moments of your marriage ceremony is an art. Being unobtrusive and getting the shot. Keeping the shot clear of lots of gear. Standing back and letting the beauty & sentiment of the moment be absorbed by your family and friends.
I am a lover of the printed image. A big, beautiful piece of art, with you as the subject, hanging on your wall. Unless you’re going to be making a moving wall portrait like the ones in Harry Potter, still photography should be your focus.
I recently shot quite a few weddings back to back and one thing I noticed that is very popular with couples is getting more, more, more in the way of pictures and video. I understand the need to capture everything, I really do. But I am also a BIG believer in quality vs. quantity.
Two photographers, three videographers with tripods and lighting, every single guest with their smartphone video rolling and their own cameras and video equipment in tow. Not one guest actually watching with their eyes, unobstructed, but looking instead at the video on their phone and popping out of the isle blocking my shot. In every one of my images, no matter what position or angle I attempted (and I’m pretty brave in that area) there is a person with a camera behind my couple, right in their space and in my beautiful shot. I’m not sure if the guest paid more attention to their cameras and camera crew or to the ceremony. This made me sad and frustrated. Here are a few examples I grabbed from the net… see what I mean?!
Here is the solution.
If you want beautiful art that you will cherish for a lifetime and beyond, I recommend these two things.
ONE~ If you’ve hired a professional photographer, PLEASE have “Uncle Bob” and all your family and friends save their photo skills for the cocktail hour and reception after the ceremony. Place a card in the invite stating this and a reminder board at the ceremony entrance. This will liberate your guests and your photographer!!
TWO~ Allow one camera person to come close to the ceremony at any given time. You absolutely do not need 2-4 people documenting from 2 feet away. There is no way any of these people will get a good shot without crew in the background in this situation and you’ll be getting a whole load of “eh” photos. Talk to your photographer about this and come up with a strategy before your wedding day.
ONE, TWO… EASY!
I am done with my rant for the day. I hope all of you engaged couples out there who want gorgeous photos take this advice. Free your guests to be in the moment, keep distractions to a minimum. Your photographer will thank you. I thank you! You will thank yourself when you get your beautiful, unobstructed, professional images back!