Take pics at someone's wedding, unasked?

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Kyle
They're decently good friends. They've invited you to their small wedding. They've got a hired guy, but he's shooting solo and doesn't look (forgive me here) especially over-the-top talented. He's shooting nothing but on-camera flash shots, and even if he's Michelangelo reincarnated, he can't be everywhere at once. And you... you have your small, quiet, Fuji X-T1 with the 23 and 56 lenses on your shoulder.

It's not your place to do anything. You CERTAINLY will not be "working" or anything approaching it -- not getting in anyone's way, not assembling shots, not posing people, not standing on any chairs to get up high, etc. Just standing around as you already were... and maybe sneaking a few shots.

Ok, or not? I felt a little guilty, but I couldn't help it. This one especially... he's in the background chimping as they walk towards me down the aisle. I assume he got no shots of them for this? I got 5 as they progressively got closer.

KBRX6203
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX6239
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX6198
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

I feel like if they didn't ask me to shoot pics, I shouldn't shoot pics out of respect, or something. But man, I just felt like I was watching someone drown, and I could help a tiny bit without being spotted. And I sent them a shared folder...
 

Arbib

Regular
Mar 30, 2014
33
As long as you stay out of his way, and don't stay on his background... You are not interfering with his plan.
I guess he did not ask you to stop? He felt unthreatened IMO.

It sounds like he might have been a friend or a friend of a friend who suggested that he does the wedding. When I did weddings (1990-1993),
I used an over lens axis flash bracket and a Quantum High Power Battery pack..

But, it sounds like you did fine, and probably did get some better photos as looking at the few you posted.
That was a nice gesture to share your gallery with the Wedding Party.

Don't feel guilty, there are no exclusive rights for the Hired Photographer... Just respect their space and job.
 

greyelm

All-Pro
Oct 1, 2011
123
London, England
Only a few years ago it was common for disposable film camera to be left on the guests' tables with instructions to take whatever pictures they wanted and then return to the bride & groom. I'm sure many great candid shots were obtained in this way. As long as the guests don't get in the way of the pro I can see nothing wrong with guests taking pictures (as they have done for decades).
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Jul 15, 2010
124
SoCal
Bob
I never bring a camera to weddings, birthdays, graduations or any other functions unless I am a member of the immediate family. Honestly why did you bring the XT1 with two lenses unless you intended to shoot something
 
D

dalethorn

Guest
They're decently good friends. They've invited you to their small wedding. They've got a hired guy, but he's shooting solo and doesn't look (forgive me here) especially over-the-top talented. He's shooting nothing but on-camera flash shots, and even if he's Michelangelo reincarnated, he can't be everywhere at once. And you... you have your small, quiet, Fuji X-T1 with the 23 and 56 lenses on your shoulder.

It's not your place to do anything. You CERTAINLY will not be "working" or anything approaching it -- not getting in anyone's way, not assembling shots, not posing people, not standing on any chairs to get up high, etc. Just standing around as you already were... and maybe sneaking a few shots.

Ok, or not? I felt a little guilty, but I couldn't help it. This one especially... he's in the background chimping as they walk towards me down the aisle. I assume he got no shots of them for this? I got 5 as they progressively got closer.

KBRX6203
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX6239
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX6198
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

I feel like if they didn't ask me to shoot pics, I shouldn't shoot pics out of respect, or something. But man, I just felt like I was watching someone drown, and I could help a tiny bit without being spotted. And I sent them a shared folder...
A small camera and no flash, no bumping into anyone or getting in the way? Should be a dream come true for the newlyweds.
 

davect01

Hall of Famer
Agree with the sentiment, stay out of the proffessional's way. They are getting paid to be there.

That said, everyone takes photos at weddings. If you see opportunities go for it. Then simply share with the couple that you have some images they might like.
 

bassman

Regular
Feb 12, 2014
19
New Jersey, USA
The Bassman
I asked my cousin before her daughter's wedding whether she wanted me to shoot. She gave the ground rules (no shooting during the ceremony, don't get in the pro's way), which I happily agreed with.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
104
Boston Burbs
David
As long as you weren't in his way and he didn't ask you to stop don't worry about it. If that's him in the background of the first shot than he has reasonable flash modifier, it looks like a Demb Flash Products Flip-it. But if it is him then it also seems he's in the wrong position in that shot. Unless there was something back in that direction he was trying to capture.

Many pros do have a sole pro photographer clause in their contract, so it might have been a good idea to just go say hello.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I don't think most people would mind and many would be thrilled. That said, I don't think I'd do it without asking first, just because you never know - people can be really on edge about weddings and anything slightly away from the carefully planned blueprint might ruffle feathers. But since you already did it, I'm guessing nobody was bothered by it if they didn't say anything and I'm sure they'll love the shots you offer them. And what the hell - I always subscribe to "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission" as a guiding philosophy, so you did it right by that metric!

-Ray
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Kyle
I never bring a camera to weddings, birthdays, graduations or any other functions unless I am a member of the immediate family. Honestly why did you bring the XT1 with two lenses unless you intended to shoot something
This was the first of 3 events my wife and I went to in one night. We had babysitting, and decided to go for all 3. So I had the camera and 2 lenses with me for the same reason I always do -- I bring a camera more or less everywhere. As to the wedding in particular, I knew the were doing it on a serious budget, and part of me wondered if they could even hire anyone. So that was probably a little bit more of a nudge for me in the back of my mind... "just in case it helps." But I take a camera to walk the dog around the block.
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Kyle
I went back through it, and all I did was mill around with my wife, like everyone else, and occasionally take a photo from where I was standing. I feel like you'd have to really be digging to find that offensive, but then, as Ray says, weddings come with a pinch of crazy to them.

Thanks folks.
 

pniev

Student for life
May 13, 2013
123
don't bother. You've got some nice photos. And probably many people used their phones or the cameras in their glasses. ;-)
 

davect01

Hall of Famer
I went back through it, and all I did was mill around with my wife, like everyone else, and occasionally take a photo from where I was standing. I feel like you'd have to really be digging to find that offensive, but then, as Ray says, weddings come with a pinch of crazy to them.

Thanks folks.
Does not seem like you did anything crazy. Offer to share, I am sure they would appreciate it.
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Jul 15, 2010
124
SoCal
Bob
This was the first of 3 events my wife and I went to in one night. We had babysitting, and decided to go for all 3. So I had the camera and 2 lenses with me for the same reason I always do -- I bring a camera more or less everywhere. As to the wedding in particular, I knew the were doing it on a serious budget, and part of me wondered if they could even hire anyone. So that was probably a little bit more of a nudge for me in the back of my mind... "just in case it helps." But I take a camera to walk the dog around the block.

I understand completely, and please I am not referring to your story at all.

I also take a camera with me most everywhere, except events like weddings.

I have divided feelings by two major issues, 1st I make my living as a photographer, so when I am not working, I shoot only because it is fun and weddings are rarely fun for me. I will not at this point shoot for free for most anybody and nobody should ask someone to do so. There are certain professions where some people feel they can ask for a favor, for nothing other than that they know you and photography is one.

2ND these forums are full of people criticizing wedding photographers claiming they as amateurs or “pro/ams” could do a much better job cheaper, something they would never apply to their own professions. If one needs photos of their wedding, budget accordingly and hire some local professional wedding photographer.
 
Feb 6, 2015
124
Central Ohio, USA
Andrew
People are going to do what they want. I've shot enough weddings to know that. I explain to the couple at the consultation that I cannot control how their guests are going to behave. I'm not liable for missing shots when "uncle bob" jumps into the isle or up in his seat to grab a shot just as I am trying to get my first kiss or exchanging of the rings.

Don't be an "uncle bob"and everything should be fine. :D

At the last wedding I shot, during the formals afterwards...I had some family relative shooting over my back with his point and shoot. I didn't care until he started trying to direct the wedding party where to stand.

Some have no clue whatsoever.
 

davect01

Hall of Famer
I understand completely, and please I am not referring to your story at all.

I also take a camera with me most everywhere, except events like weddings.

I have divided feelings by two major issues, 1st I make my living as a photographer, so when I am not working, I shoot only because it is fun and weddings are rarely fun for me. I will not at this point shoot for free for most anybody and nobody should ask someone to do so. There are certain professions where some people feel they can ask for a favor, for nothing other than that they know you and photography is one.

2ND these forums are full of people criticizing wedding photographers claiming they as amateurs or “pro/ams” could do a much better job cheaper, something they would never apply to their own professions. If one needs photos of their wedding, budget accordingly and hire some local professional wedding photographer.
More reasons I would never want to take my fun hobby into a profession.
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Kyle
Bob that makes sense, completely. I'm still in that period where I'm not being paid for it (except for an event last night... woo hoo!) and it's still more than just "fun," it's almost a compulsion. It's difficult for me to miss an opportunity to learn something, and I learn every time I shoot something new. I'm also very conscious of the cheapening of photography, and I'm not excited about ever being a part of it. At some point, I'll feel "good" enough to feel ok asking for payment, or not doing the job. That time may have arrived.
 

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