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3 Great Tips For Cherished Wedding Photos

Jun 2, 2008
Wedding season is upon us, and that means a record number of photographs will be snapped in the coming weeks and months.

Of course, most brides have figured out who their photographer will be - whether it's a professional or a talented family member or friend. If you're a shutterbug and plan on taking pictures at the wedding, that doesn't mean you can't get in on the fun!

After all, a wedding is a big day for the invited guests too. So whether you're a favorite aunt, a close cousin, or a life long friend, here are three tips for taking wedding photos you'll be proud to share with the bride and groom, and everyone else for that matter!

Tip #1. Be discreet, but don't be afraid to get the shot. Of course, a wedding is for the bride and groom, and you don't want to do anything to call attention to yourself. So during the ceremony, it would be best if you kept your camera in the bag. Leave the tender ceremonial photos to the person the bride has designated as her photographer. Unless, of course, she has sought you out prior and specifically asked you to take photos. And no, it's not OK for you to ask her if you can take photos of the "You may kiss the bride" moment.

Of course, taking photos before the ceremony begins is perfectly acceptable. Just be careful not to get in the way of the professional photographer or the wedding party. And after the ceremony, everyone lightens up quite a bit, so as long as you're being polite and discreet, you shouldn't have any problem getting great photos.

Tip #2. Look for photos in the crowd. The professional photographer will have the bride and groom covered. If fact, aside from a couple quick shots, you may not even want to take their picture, as they will both likely be very nervous. The rest of the wedding party and the other invited guests are another story, however.

Oftentimes the bridesmaids and groomsmen are overlooked once the formal wedding photos are taken. Try to get both casual and posed pictures of people in the wedding party. Again, you'll need to be discreet as they do have a formal function and you don't want to interfere. But if you can get a candid picture of a bridesmaid holding a young ring bearer, that may just become one of the most memorable shots of the day.

What's more, the professional photographer won't know all the guests. So you can take the opportunity to get candid and posed shots of guests you know are important to the bride and groom. Maybe it's an old friend from high school, or a cousin from out of town. The bride and groom will certainly appreciate your thoughtfulness if you get pictures the professional photographer is likely to miss.

Tip #3. Have a telephoto lens handy, or use your zoom. If you are fortunate enough to have a Single Lens Reflex camera and multiple lenses, then you will want to rely primarily on a lens with multiple focal lengths - a 70 mm to 200 mm works best. This way, you can get both close in shots and shots from further away. Also, have your standard 50 mm handy for some of the posed shots you are sure to take.

If you have a simple point and shoot camera, that's OK too. Simply rely on your zoom feature when you're trying to get a candid shot. You can also use the zoom as a cropping tool as you are framing your picture, zooming in on your subject and eliminating unwanted backgrounds.

Just by following these three simple tips, you're sure to get a lot of really great photos that you'll be happy and proud to share with the bride and groom, and everyone else at the wedding.

You'll become more than a bystander and observer - you'll become someone who helps the happy couple remember all the special moments from the most special day of their lives!
About the Author
Sara Charles writes for a variety of clients, including Hoorray, a photo sharing website that offers a free online photo album to new members and is the easiest place to create a digital photo album, calendar, and more.
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