Guest at a wedding? Learn to take great photo’s

As a professional wedding photographer it can be difficult when you attend a wedding as a guest not to get too involved. I attended a family wedding in Australia recently and for sure I was tempted to pull the bride and groom aside to capture their big day. As a pro, I know all the tricks of the trade and the important shots and locations. It was difficult being a guest because it went against all my natural instinct not to get involved and take some expected shot.

bride and groom

For sure, the bride and groom knew I was a pro, and expected me to take some great shots, however out of respect for the hired photographer I avoided getting too involved. I deliberately left my pro camera at home, and decided just to take a single 70-200mm L lens and my canon 5d mk1. In turned out, that because of the digital revolution, just about every other guest also had their camera, it was like a Canon and Nikon orgy!


Although I would normally use my 70-200mm Lens, this would most often be for capturing guests in an unobtrusive way. In fact, this was an ideal lens because it allowed me to distance myself from the bride and groom and not intervene whatsoever with the hired pro. For sure, the main difference I found being a guest, that most of my images were centred around the bride and groom. It enabled me to capture their expressions between shots with the pro, while they were at their most relaxed. What transpired were fun and relaxed images, with plenty of smiles and laughter, and some great body language.

As a guest at a wedding, that is precisely what you should be. Don’t shadow the pro, this will cause the subject to feel pressured and confused where to look; don’t get out of your seat during the ceremony, and don’t pull the bride and groom aside for personal portraits – they will most likely already have these covered.