As you know I am portfolio building and I am a second shooter for my daughter's wedding photography which means I take pictures of the dress, rings, the cake and whatever my daughter might miss. It also means I schlepp around the equipment, round up the bridal party and family for portraits and make sure the main photographer eats something. Another part of my job is heading the wedding papparazzi off at the pass in the nicest way possible.
What does that mean? It means that I watch for those serial amateurs who will flash their point and shoot 30 or 40 times during the cake cutting sometimes ruining our shots. It means that I watch for those who will get up and stand in front of the photographer to get the shots she has set up. It helps that I am not a small girl like Samantha. I just step in front of them and let them know they can have at it when she is done. :) There is nothing that can be done for those who stand in the aisle to get the bride walking down about 15 feet away from both of us but right in the way of the shot. At my daughter's wedding, a zealous budding photographer stood with the photographer at the altar to get her shots.
I have seen the results of these self professed amazing pictures and I am surprised that they don't see the difference between an amateur with a point and shoot trying to get the shot the trained photographer has set up with professional equipment. Now don't get me wrong, many times the amateurs will catch moments the professional might not get. As friends and family, they know the relationships of most of the people there. The wedding is also part of their memories as well and many will never see the very expensive wedding album so it's an important opportunity for guests to get those pictures of their friends and family all dudied up real purty, smiling and happy where big bucks were spent on them to show up at a pretty place.
I was recently invited to a wedding of a young man who grew up around our kids. The family has recently moved away so I knew we wouldn't get to see the wedding pictures. They also could not invite everyone they would have liked to so many friends wanted to see pictures of the wedding. As a guest, I wanted to capture my own memories but I knew from experience photographing weddings that I wanted to stay out of the photographers way. I brought my midrange dslr with a nice prime lens and another in my handbag. I left my flashes at home, that would just make me look like the wannabe wedding photographer, right? We got there late (due to a Starbucks/Krispy Kreme detour) but that always means a seat in the back where I can see most of the action and stay out of the way of the professionals.
The wedding was at midday outside which is the worst light unless you are an gifted flash ninja cuz' even photoshop isn't going to get the harsh shadows off their faces. I don't mind them so much because my memories of a beaming young man marrying the gorgeous girl of his dreams colors my images with a rosy glow. I did take one photo of the photographers set up about 5 to 7 feet behind her with my 85mm lens. I am sure hers was beautiful because she was countering the harsh glare and shadows with her flash. But I will never see it, it was a beautiful pose - I wish I knew who the photographer was now.
I hope I was not a wedding papparazzi. I didn't take a huge amount of pictures, only enough for my memories to share with other friends of the groom...like this great one of the grooms only nephew dancing with himself.
Note: I've been meaning to write this for awhile now...a post by http://www.digital-photography-school.com/ got me to actually do it. What would be interesting is to hear from the photographer of this wedding. What do you think?