I'm attending my cousins wedding in a couple of days time as a guest and not the photographer but as I'm going over to Ireland for this I will be taking my photography cameras as I'm also site seeing.
Would it be rude of me to turn up at the wedding with any of my cameras or would you see this as expectable? Has anyone had experience in this happening to them?
Sep 09 13 09:06 am Link
New York, New York, US
I've shown up with my camera at a few family and friends weddings (albeit just with 2 lens and a speedlite with my DSLR) and no one ever had a problem. In fact two of the brides liked my photos more then the guy they paid several thousand dollars to shoot the wedding and used the photos for their wedding albums instead.
I don't consider it impolite to do as people often want to capture as many good memories of the day as possible. If you are still unsure, just ask and most likely she/he will tell you "of course!"
Sep 09 13 09:18 am Link
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, US
i personally would leave everything at home for the wedding, just enjoy the event and the day. i wish i had my camera when i went to Ireland, it's a beautiful country, might be my favorite place on earth.
Sep 09 13 09:23 am Link
Plaistow, New Hampshire, US
I had it happen at my wedding and have even done it at friend's weddings. Only do it if you really want to...Some just choose to enjoy the event. But if you really want to.................
Don't go nuts...Only take pictures at the opportune times as opposed to all the time.
Don't show up with a big fancy rig...Bring a body and a 50mm or something so you still blend in with the crowd.
Always ensure you're nowhere near the photographer they paid or in the line of the photographer they paid. Professional courtesy is everything. I've shot several weddings and there's always an "Uncle Bob" who's got a D3000 and SB600 that thinks he's a pro because he's got an SLR...He's always getting in the way or in the shot. DON'T be that guy.
Otherwise, if you can get some great pictures that they weren't expecting, they'll probably appreciate it.
Sep 09 13 09:25 am Link
Norman, Oklahoma, US
Nothing wrong with taking photos of family and friends, but for Gods sake stay out of the way of the Pro getting paid to do it. Let them do their job.
Sep 09 13 09:27 am Link
Eugene, Oregon, US
As a wedding photographer I've never objected to someone else taking pictures. Just not the ones I compose and light. The reason I don't object is because I already have the contract and money.
Sep 09 13 09:28 am Link
Some great advise and taken on board. I agree I think I'll leave my zoom lens in the bag and maybe pop on the 85mm.....
I agree I love the land and the people
Sep 09 13 09:33 am Link
New York, New York, US
Lot of wedding photographers say they have a clause in contract that says they're the only ones allowed to shoot. But SLRs are so cheap 1 in 8 guests at a wedding have one.
I would say try your best not to get in official photogs way. Like don't be actively trying to position yourself to get portfolio worthy images or shoot over their shoulder when they're doing the group formals, thats annoying.
When I bring my camera I'm mostly shooting other guests, friends/family I haven't seen in awhile etc
Salem, Oregon, US
my stepsister invited us to shoot at her wedding (she had hired someone else) but we left the camera at home.
if you do bring the camera try not to interfere with the paid photographer.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I had a wedding photograher come over to my table to admire my camera once. It was in the early part of 2006 and I had a brand new D200 with me. They were still shooting film.
Sep 09 13 09:44 am Link
Carmel, California, US
If you're invited as a guest, be a guest. Leave the camera home and enjoy the ceremony and reception as a guest.
Sep 09 13 09:55 am Link
Phoenix, Arizona, US
leave the camera at home/hotel, you were invited to be a guest, if you want photos from the wedding, bring a PnS or use the camera on your phone
Sep 09 13 10:01 am Link
El Paso, Texas, US
Yes it's rude. If you take couple of pictures while seated without flash and don't try to shoot the entire wedding, then no it's not rude.
People too often forget they're there to witness the wedding, not record it.
People moving around during the ceremony, using flash and sometimes moving right up to the altar (shaking head) is rude to the ceremony, people getting married and other guests.
It's not so much of a sacred event before god when you have uncle bob standing a few feet away from the altar, blocking other people from seeing, sticking his camera where it doesn't belong. It is funny seeing some people taking pictures at weddings with their Ipads.
I work as a secretary for clergy, all denominations, and see this all the time. It's rude.
Sep 09 13 10:08 am Link
New York, New York, US
If it's my family, I'm bringing my camera. I would stay out of the hired photographer's way of course and always have. I have family all over the states I don't get to see them all the time so I shoot them when I can. I wouldn't go crazy with lots of gear and all though. I would keep it simple with a flash and a 24-105 or something similar. The best thing to do is to just to stay out of the way and let them do their thing...
Sep 09 13 10:13 am Link
Los Angeles, California, US
This is why I don't own a Wedding Camera.
Sep 09 13 10:17 am Link
Buena Park, California, US
New York, New York, US
Why the hell would you want to?
I won't photograph a wedding for pay, why in God's name anyone would want to do this for free is beyond me....
Go, have a good time, get drunk and put a twinkle in a bridesmaid's eye.
Seattle, Washington, US
Giacomo Cirrincioni wrote:
Sep 09 13 10:24 am Link
Plano, Texas, US
leave the camera bag at the hotel or in the trunk of your car too . If you take your camera and a 85mm assuming its a f/1f.8 or lower ... you won't need a flash and you won't have to be intrusive to get some great shots.
Sep 09 13 10:27 am Link
Chicago, Illinois, US
I sometimes do bring a camera to friends weddings, sometimes not. I agree with everybody who says if you do bring a camera, don't move around during the ceremony, stay out of the way of the photographer. Your mind set should be what images do you want for yourself and your friends. I have a had time being "present" when I have my camera with me, but invariably I will see one thing that I wish I could take a picture of that won't work with my iPhone.
Sep 09 13 10:31 am Link
Belmont, California, US
My bride was from Dublin, and, although we married in the USA I've been to enough weddings in Ireland to presume to know proper etiquette there too. I'd say your plan to take your DSLR and one lens wouldn't put anyone's nose out of joint. I myself wouldn't plan to capture every nuance of the event, but that's just me.
Sep 09 13 10:42 am Link
Lexington, Kentucky, US
I'm not sure how things are over the pond but state side its kind of common these days to see so many cameras. As a wedding photog I find it both annoying and beneficial to have them at the wedding playing Pro for the day.
Why its annoying? When there are a bunch of cameras popping off and people saying over here then you get group shots with people looking in all different directions. That's why no cameras allowed until after I finish getting my group shots, then they can go crazy. I also ban flash photography because as everyone knows if you are going for an ambient shot and someone pops a flash that image is forever lost. Others mentioned the getting in the way issue. I'm always trying to be respectful of the guest myself and not block their view of the days events. However uncle bob walks right up and blocks everyone including me because "I knew her/him since they were in diapers so i'll do what I want!" My last reason for it being annoying is that before the night ends there are about a million images from the night already up on facebook, twitter ect ect. It becomes over kill to those who didn't go or weren't invited so by the time I get mine up most won't even bother to look.
How is it beneficial? The biggest benefit is the uncle bobs help me to sell more product. I've told this story once before so i'll not make it long as I'm already long in this post. One wedding an annoying uncle bob kept bragging about his new D4 and how awesome he was. Even gave the couple a free (and cheap) wedding album of all his awesome images. The couple ended up ordering 3 albums from after seeing my images (mom albums and their own), thanks uncle bob. The other benefit is I have been known to put the uncle bobs to work for me. One night I had a second shooter leave early because of family emergency and I was left to shoot a large reception alone. No big deal just was going to miss out on some neat angles I had lined out for the second shooter. Well I caught an uncle bob rolling around playing pro so I asked if he wanted to help. To short it up i walked him through what settings to enter and even gave him a Pocket wizard to use. He did pretty decent even nailed a super cool shot that the couple loved. I let the couple have those images edited on a disk for free as a way to make up for my second shooter bouncing early plus a 10% discount on prints. I still made more than i would have lost.
Sep 09 13 11:33 am Link
Pembroke Pines, Florida, US
L A U B E N H E I M E R wrote:
Sep 09 13 11:53 am Link
Las Vegas, Nevada, US
Why would you want to unless you're trying to pick up some free experience as a wedding photographer.
Sep 09 13 12:01 pm Link
Norwich, England, United Kingdom
Personally I don't shoot during the ceremony or get involved in the formal shots, but get loads of candids at the reception (especially good if you're friends with the bride, because you know who she's properly close to instead of just related to, as it's more likely to be the latter on the official photographer's list of people to shoot, but the former she appreciates the shots more of afterwards!).
Sep 09 13 12:03 pm Link
New York, New York, US
I will clarify my comment at the top as well. I'm not an uncle Bob and the two weddings I did take my camera to I took at best 75 frames and concentrated heavily on the reception after all the group/portrait shots were finished and the paid photog left after his contracted time. All of the advice in this thread is good. It's not rude if you're not spending the entire time shooting or getting in the way of the person paid to do it.
Sep 09 13 12:08 pm Link
San Francisco, California, US
As a full time wedding photographer I would say leave it at home. Your iphone is perfectly fine. You take away from the bride and groom who paid the professional to shoot when you are squeezing in there trying to get your own shot.
Be part of the moment. Don't view it through a lens. It's so rare I get to be at a wedding as a guest, so I would leave it all at home and just be present in the moment.
Plus the iphone has a pretty sick camera now.
Sep 09 13 12:20 pm Link
Spanaway, Washington, US
Try to be invisible to the "paid" photographer. Bt that being said- look around... EVERYONE has a camera! Mybe not a 7D w/ a 70-200 f2.8, but never the less. Again- I think the key is being inconspicuous- as someone else said- dont be "uncle Bob".. :-)
Sep 09 13 12:32 pm Link
Yes I can see both sides of the coin and yes I wouldn't be taking photos during the ceremony, I was thinking while the bride and groom are away having their photos taken I'll capture some of the family and this way I won't tread on any toes..... Don't worry I'm not going to be taken a lot of shots as I'm in Ireland and it would be rude of me not having my shots up at the bar!!
Sep 09 13 12:39 pm Link
Hillsboro, Oregon, US
I've yet to be at a wedding where the couple, or any of the guests cared that I brought a camera. The wedding photographers have been 50/50. Some don't care, others have glared at me every time I raised my camera.
I guess just keep in mind that you may be causing stress between the couple and their hired photographer. If it really means a lot to you to get pics of the wedding then go with what many other here have said. Stay out of the hired photogs way and don't bring attention to yourself trying to get good pics. Otherwise just leave the camera at the hotel and go have fun.
Sep 09 13 12:45 pm Link
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, US
I only shoot at the reception after the pro has his "set pieces" and only when I know the bride or groom & one or both asks me to bring my camera. I would never try to shoot the ceremony. I never use flash, just my 24-70 VR f2.8 with 800-1600 ISO. Several times the bride has put one of my candids on the cover of her book.
Sep 09 13 01:09 pm Link
Newark, Delaware, US
Just don't tell the wedding photographer, your camera is bigger than his or her. LOL
Sep 09 13 01:57 pm Link
Las Vegas, Nevada, US
Leo Howard wrote:
These right here.
Sep 09 13 03:46 pm Link
Powhatan, Virginia, US
Sure I take my camera. I will take more pictures of family that I have not seen in a while and their kids. We will have candids and some posed shots. I have shot weddings and the bride and groom and family are the center. They get some candids and I will let that go to the second shooter but I will take pictures of my family who are there and extended family. Sure I will get a few of the bride and groom too. Usually with a 70 200 so I do not bother them. They have the photographer taking their shots. NOw if i am going to a friends wedding, I take my point and shoot and grab a couple shots of the day for my records. Not a big deal. Sometimes I will take shots of my table and their antics.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Have you got a small profile one? It would make you chic and cool.
Portland, Oregon, US
"I" would ask the bride.
Sep 09 13 04:34 pm Link
Olympia, Washington, US
I wouldn't do it unless I was asked to and paid to shoot the event. But that's just me. I'd rather spend time with my friends and family and I'd also rather let the hired pro do their job.
Sep 09 13 08:28 pm Link
Fresno, California, US
The camera is not the issue. What you do with it is. As the saying goes no one likes a backseat driver. Interfering, hanging over the shoulder is the issue. Now getting shots of family and friends is not a problem.
Sep 09 13 09:16 pm Link
Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
Yes my zoom lens might be a little bit much unless I was shooting the whole wedding. I also have a 450D, which isn't too large, I guess if I put my prime lens or if I use my 24-70 without a flash I won't stand out too much..
I did ask the bride and she didn't seem to mind, I was more thinking of the photographer as I didn't want to piss him/her off.
Sep 10 13 12:05 am Link
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
I always show up with a camera, my 24-70 and a flash, sometimes I'll bring a 70-200 f2.8 as well. I also make certain I don't interfere with the hired photog.
Sep 10 13 03:37 am Link