Should I let guests take photos at my wedding?
I’ve read numerous conflicting opinions on what people (by people I mean photo professionals – aka photographers) think about guests taking photos, so I thought I’d weigh in.
Should you let guests take pictures at your wedding? Of course you bloody should!
There are photographers out there who blast couples for allowing clients to have their guests “get in the way” of the shots they ‘need’ to take. Well I have some advice for them: deal with it! In fact, in most occasions it can be incorporated into shots… that’s what happened on the day after all!?
And that, ladies and gentlemen is why you pay for a wedding photographer…
That’s not to say there aren’t reasons to ask guests not to – the absence of constant flashes is one, but my main gripe is social media. Gone are the days when you have to wait two weeks to get pictures developed and invite people to your humble abode for tea, while you gather around random pieces of furniture looking at your 6×9’s.
Nowadays, open Facebook on a Saturday and some unlucky schmuck is all over the feed as if their A-Lister bridesmaid just got caught having an affair with the groom. That’s fine if you’re happy with any old photo being broadcast to the world in almost live time – but not everyone, myself included, would be particularly happy about it.
Banning your guests taking photos is pretty impossible, and as soon as one flash goes off it’s open season. But (and this does depend on how forceful you are) you can ask them not to upload to social media sites. I’ve seen it happen and highly recommend it!
In fact, there are actually dedicated apps that guests can download, which allow uploading of all their pictures to one central point. Check out WeddPics (no affiliation) – it allows you to create an album, to which guests can upload anything they take on the day.
From a professional perspective, anyone who moans and whines about people’s guests, either just doesn’t ‘get it’, has been influenced by something they’ve read or are somehow living in the past. Camera phones are here to stay – will they replace DSLR’s? Maybe!
But here’s the thing: your guests (even if some are pros in their own right) aren’t going to capture all of the day’s nuances in the way a hired individual(s) could. And that, ladies and gentlemen is why you pay for a wedding photographer – not because they have better kit, not because they are better photographers, but simply to step back and do a job that your guests can’t… or won’t.