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Photo Tips For Wedding Guests

Reprinted with permission from the New York Institute of Photography website at www.nyip.com

Now that June is here, chances are that you will be attending a wedding or two sometime soon. And, chances are, you'll be bringing your camera to the wedding along with a gift or two for the happy couple. Here are some tips from the pros at the New York Institute of Photography, the world's largest photography school, to help you take great pictures of this memorable occasion.

"While most couples hire a professional photographer to photograph the ceremony and reception, there's still plenty of room for you to also capture your perspective of this joyous occasion on film," says Chuck DeLaney, Dean of NYI, America's largest photo school. "There are lots of moments that happen among the guests that will never be captured by the professional wedding photographer," explained DeLaney. "Stay out of the pro's way. He or she has a big job to do. And, never shoot over the pro's shoulder. That won't be appreciated and could interfere with the job."

Instead, DeLaney suggests concentrating on recording the fun that you and your family and friends have at the wedding. Not only will you have a record of the wedding for your own pleasure, but imagine the joy of the happy couple to receive prints of events that the professional photographer did not see or wasn't asked to cover.

For instance, many wedding photographers no longer shoot those "table shots" of the guests because these photos don't usually get purchased by the bride and groom. This is the perfect opportunity for you. But shoot these like a pro: Have some of the people at your table stand up and move behind those still seated and take a group shot. Avoid showing the entire table complete with half-eaten food, instead concentrate on the faces of the guests.

Another photo opportunity exists at your table. Many bridal receptions now include disposable "single use" cameras at every table. You may need to get the show rolling and coax your table mates to start taking pictures. Remember, the bride and groom can't be at every table to take part in the festivities so candid photos from these cameras can show the guests having fun in a way that professional photographers aren't likely to capture.

A couple of hints on wedding photography etiquette. If you want to take photos at a church, synagogue, mosque or chapel, take your cues from the professional photographer hired by the bridal couple. If you see that he or she is not taking photos at the ceremony, chances are it is because the clergy told the photographer not to do so. Respect the tradition and don't take pictures. The same thing holds true for flash photography. Some places of worship will allow it at the ceremony, others will not. If you see that the pro is shooting, then take an aisle seat. It's the best place to get nice close shots of the couple that fill the frame as they leave the church.

One other suggestion on wedding photography is to be respectful of the professional photographer. Don't get in that individual's way. You don't want to ruin the photos that the bride and groom are paying the pro to take, and the pro can do a better job of capturing many parts of the event than you can. As we've indicated, there are plenty of different kinds of shots for you too.

Check out Seven Tips for Great Wedding Photos on this month's New York Institute of Photography website at http://www.nyip.com for more hints on shooting at weddings and some great photos.


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