4 Tactics Wedding Photographers Can Use to Avoid Being Disruptive
When I photograph weddings, I morph into the invisible woman. I frequently receive feedback from couples that I work with saying they didn’t even notice my presence during their wedding, so they’re surprised by all the little moments that I capture. I love taking relaxed, candid photographs of people as if I were a fly on the wall. They look so much more natural than asking people to stop what they are doing and pose with a forced grin; I have only encountered a handful of people who actually do like having their photo taken, so for me, this is the best approach to get gorgeous and meaningful portraits throughout your wedding day. A real hug from your mother is always better than someone barking directions at you: “OK stand beside mom, smile, *click*” and moving on to the next thing.
Here are a few tips on how I maintain a low profile at weddings, capturing priceless moments without distracting from the main event:
- I look like a wedding guest. I dress like a wedding guest [except in black which may break some unwritten rule, but it helps me hide in shadowy corners]. Sure, I have a camera or two strapped to me, but so do half of the guests. I stash my camera bag in a corner and pretend I’m one of your old friends from college.
- Two camera bodies. I like to carry two camera bodies; it can get heavy, but it has greatly improved the way I photograph weddings. I keep a wider lens on one camera and a longer lens on the other. Because I can switch back and forth easily without changing lenses, I don’t miss any moments or have to worry about dropping them; and I don’t cause a distraction from you or your guests with zipping or Velcro noises.
- Zoom lenses and long prime lenses are my wedding day BFF. I stand way back from the action for the entire day. The only time I step forward is during formal photos when we need to get things done. During the ceremony, I go around the perimeter with my 70-200mm zoom lens to get close up ceremony shots without distracting guests by going up and down the center aisle. For the rest of the day, I switch back and forth between my 50mm and 85mm prime lenses for the zoom benefits without the weight.
- Ambient light. Nothing gives away your position like a flash or a video light. Whenever possible, I use the natural ambient light available so no one knows when I’m lurking around or who/what I am focusing on. During the reception, when it is too dark, I use an off camera flash set up on a stand in the corner of the room – people know I’m taking photos, but they don’t know what the subject is.
Your wedding day is about you and your partner, not your photographer. I have been to weddings that have drill sergeant photographers directing every move; as a major introvert, that is not my style and will never happen when you are working with me. If you are looking for a photographer who will take charge and lead you through your wedding day, I can help you find one. I’m really more of a photojournalist who is friendly enough to let you know that your bra strap is showing or that turning your head a tiny bit more to the right will put you in better light.
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