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Thread: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

  1. #1

    Default Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    Hi,

    Just want some consensus.

    If you are invited to a friend/colleague Wedding,
    Do you normally ask for permission before hand if you are going to shoot ?

    I'm not referring to instant where you bring all your gears,
    but just a dslr and maybe a speedlight,
    and takes a few dozens of shots.
    (definitely not in the hundreds)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    u definitely need to ask for permission. u probably have no idea how many photogs are going to be there rite? ur friend probably already has one or two.
    i also suggest u read up articles on wedding photography lest u get in the official photog's way and ruin ur friend's wedding photos.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?


  4. #4

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    This is not directed at the thread starter but I think this is a good time for me to share this. (especially after I just got totally worked up because of this annoying Guy With Camera at my wedding shoot yesterday… ARRRRggg !!!!)

    Let me share from the view point of a professional wedding photographer.

    Firstly I would say this, if possible, I prefer that no one else is shooting other than me. Look at it this way, there is no way you can get a better shot or angle than the official photographer. If you do get a good angle, is only explanation is that you had jostled with the main photographer and taking up the position or spot that he needed to shoot from. Furthermore, you'll also be restricting his movements and not to mention resulting in many photos with a GWC appearing in the photo.

    Before you decide to shoot at your friend's wedding, think about this. They took the effort to hire a photographer for their big day, this took place probably 9 months to a year ahead. This is the photographer that they had spent much time and effort in sourcing out as well a paying good money for. So it is very unlikely that a GWC (guy with camera) can just turn out on the wedding day and hit the "winning shot", it is more likely you will ruin the shot for your friend.

    Cue first example...
    I had lined myself up at the front of the church. The couple was saying their vows and I had the rest of the congregation as my background. Then came this guy with a compact camera and he stood directly in the line of view between me and my couple, blocking me. Not only was he blocking me, he also ruining the video during the moment of the vows. The compact camera he was using giving out a red focus assisting light every time he took a shot. The couple's face was lit by the red light for a few times before he was asked to step aside by me. But the damage was done. The eventual video of my couple's vow had this annoying red shining on their face.

    Cue second example...
    This incident just happened yesterday. I was shooting the solemnization of my couple at the Armenian Church. If you have not been inside the church you'll be surprised at how small it is inside, especially with a service going on. Other than me and my videographer, there were 2 other people shooting. One is a friend of the couple, he knew what to do so I didn't have any trouble with this chap. The other is a "friend's friend", let's call this chap, GWC or "Guy With Camera". Now not only did the GWC block my retreating path when I was shooting the marching in of the couple, he was shooting over our shoulders during the vows. The chap also had his auto focus confirmation beep on, and he was "BEEPING" all over the vows. I had to yank him away from the middle of the stage.

    But if you REALLY want to take photos on the wedding day (or the appointed back up photographer), I have these tips for you

    1) Dress properly. Nothing is worst than a photographer turning up on a wedding not properly attired. I can never understand why would people turn up at a wedding dressed as if they are going for a football match (because they are the photographer). Take it this way, no matter what, you will be captured on photos and videos. You will really stand out like a sore thumb dressed informally for such a formal occasion. If you are the 2nd photographer, you will DEFINITELY appear in my shots. If you are dressed formally, you will blend in people won't take notice of you in that shot. I had a 2nd photographer turning up wearing an orange colored polo t-shirt ! No matter how far he stood away from me, he kept "popping" up in the photo due to the striking color.

    2) Turn off your AF confirmation "Beep". It is distracting and it will be picked up by the video camera.

    3) Try to be on the same side as the main photographer. Even if the couple is your friend, they will not appreciated photos of their special day with you in all their shots peering at them through your camera.

    4) Do not use flash. It will be picked up by the video camera. (remind me to show you one GREAT EXAMPLE !! haha )

    5) Do not use AF assist light. It drives me crazy when the key shots of the couple during their vows are peppered with blimps of red light shining on their face.

    6) Do talk to the main photographer and work out a plan.

    7) Do not stand behind the main photographer and shoot over his shoulder. AAArrrrgggg !!!

    Let me sum it up by saying "DO NO HARM", do not do anything that will impede the main photographer from doing his best FOR YOUR FRIEND !

    p.s. hmm… maybe I should just ban GWC from my shoots !
    36frames Wedding Photography - http://www.36frames.com
    rueyloon - http://www.rueyloon.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    show us that example of the flash captured on video leh..haha

  6. #6

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    i agree with rueyloon's comments.....

    better not to take pics together with the paid photogra. he's paid to do it and he has to make sure that every shot is perfect.

    u know, its not just interfering into paid photogra's way... its also distracting the wedding couple's focus, and u are also distracting the main photograf. this adds more stress to him

    I'm just a newbie but i learned this way during my own wedding studio shots. A person's face can show distractions and this will show up in pics.

    if you are there with main photograp, the couple will not always know who to look at for shoots. and wedding events can be quite messy with crowds....

    so dun be kay kia....

  7. #7

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    Thanks for all the inputs.

    Agree that we should let the official photog have the space.
    Was thinking to shoot tele from afar,
    but my small bag couldnt fit my tele,
    and bringing my backpack is too much, i guess.

  8. #8
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    Personally...

    I'd say.. shoot but only candids of the affair... away from the main photog and get some of the bride and groom only when you're able to pull them aside and not when the photog is busy working to do his/her job.

    Be a part of the celebrations and help document the other guests.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  9. #9

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Personally...

    I'd say.. shoot but only candids of the affair... away from the main photog and get some of the bride and groom only when you're able to pull them aside and not when the photog is busy working to do his/her job.

    Be a part of the celebrations and help document the other guests.
    a very sensible recommendation

  10. #10

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    Just bring a small DC like sony T-serise if you really really feels that as a photography, you can not just sit down there and enjoy the food.
    Bokelicious Photography : www.bokelicious.net --- Facebook.com/bokelicious

  11. #11

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    Quote Originally Posted by redwine View Post

    If you are invited to a friend/colleague Wedding,
    Do you normally ask for permission before hand if you are going to shoot ?

    I'm not referring to instant where you bring all your gears,
    but just a dslr and maybe a speedlight,
    and takes a few dozens of shots.
    (definitely not in the hundreds)
    of course, it is only polite and basic courtesy, unless you are only taking personal shots from your seat.

  12. #12
    Deregistered shaoken's Avatar
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    Clementi/West Coast
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    2,115

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    I think better not step in too much when you're not a paid photographer.

    I was a back-up photographer for my cousin's wedding sometime back.
    It is very difficult as there will be a main photographer and most of the time he will be the one requiring attention.

    If you and the some of the couple friends end up fighting with the photographer for shots of the couple, it will be a mess.
    I suggest you take shots from a different perspective from the main photographer..

  13. #13

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    Just go there and enjoy your friend/colleague's big day la. Why lug all those gears there (perspire and all) and attempt to capture those shots and cause all those inconveniences. If you really want, a compact will do, just take from wherever you are seated or when you are able to shoot together with your friend/colleague. Let those who are paid do their job while you enjoy yourself la. of course the food too
    Licence to shoot.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    Buy 70-300 VR and don't get in the way

    On a serious note, I am a GWC or Uncle Bob at my friends' weddings, but I make sure I'm never in the way of the photographer, that's why my pics suck big time...haha. I basically just bring the camera to shoot them during times when the photog isn't around and also take 'spare' shots from different angles/distances.

    I think most people/photographers are "zi-dong" when it comes to these situations but there are always haughty photographers and really unreasonable GWCs. But as the professional, the photog has to understand this is an occupational hazard and has to deal with it professionally. Perhaps he/she can mention it to the couple early on (before the wedding) so that they can gently inform their friends/relatives to be mindful of getting in his way.

    Or if the couple doesn't really mind, then at least the photog has made a disclaimer. He can also tell people around nicely like "Paiseh ah, you don't mind, let me take a few shots first..." then also get the couple's attention "Over here first! Thanks!", whereafter he can help to direct the shoot for the rest as well.

    Of course, some situations like the solemnisation ceremony, can't be as controlled as a posed shot. This is where the photographers experience comes in for wrestling to get the best shot and his people skills for convincing others to "siam a bit".

    A wedding being an event, there is limited control over the number of photographers present, much like other big events like car shows etc... I still see tons of nice (and bad) photos from these events. I guess the photographer's experience really counts. Knowledge of equipment, composition and lighting etc.. is only part of the equation. If it was so easy, any Tom, Dick or Harry can be a wedding photographer.

    I've attended so many of my friend's weddings (arrgh, my angpao $$...haha) and seen so many different photographers, and the ones that shine are not those who take good photos (this is a standard requirement!), but those with good people skills, experience in handling situations and also knowing the flow, traditions and customs, which adds value to the entire process.
    Last edited by CryogeniC; 30th November 2009 at 07:01 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    If use DSLR and if you are not a official photographer, do use prime lens. Don't use flash or AF assist and dont cut your way just like that. Look at the main photographer and the videographer 1st before you try anything which ruin their pictures for your friend.

    Best if you really want to take your friend's wedding all by yourself, talk to your friend that you doing a portfolio and if they mind to have another day or at the end of the day shoot by you. I believe if he/she is your close friend, they would allowed you to do that. Why not, to help you in career in the future. And maybe you can give their images too for making their time for you.

    So once you got your portfolio, who knows if your friend are happy with your shoot, you might be a freelance wedding photographer. Meaning shooting for the rest of your friends or anyone that they might recommend you to (words of mouth). And thats when you can earn some money too.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by afipuffy; 30th November 2009 at 07:26 PM.
    Shoot and shoot and shoot
    Every shoot is a puzzle to the world of photography...

  16. #16

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    36frames Wedding Photography - http://www.36frames.com
    rueyloon - http://www.rueyloon.com

  17. #17

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    yeah, i agree. Recently i just attend my friend wedding as a brother, so i followed him around. I brought my DSLR along, btw i am very noob I just took my 18-55 kit and a 50mm prime, i only shoot candid shot and also shoot when the official photographer is somewhere else shooting, e.g. photographer at brides room taking the makeup, but some guest arrive early, so i just help him shoot the guest and some candid shot, 80% of the shots are candid type as i know the Official photographer will cover the shots.
    Sony a330 | 18-250 f/3.5-6.3 | 50 f/1.8 | M 28-80 f/4-5.6 | M 80-200 f/4.5-5.6

  18. #18

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    For those wedding photographers who experienced inconsiderate official videographers, you should understand the pain also
    You'll only live once. Just once.
    Portfolio | Tangshooters

  19. #19

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    As a wedding photographer I dun like to have too many photographers around. Usually i prefer Doing it alone unless necessary. Usually friends and relatives who bring their camera will tend to follow and take similar scene which sometime quite distracting.

    I suggest those that are interested to take wedding photos to ask for permission and It is really good to take a different style of photography from the paid photographer.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Permission needed to shoot Wedding as Guest ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rueyloon View Post

    so if photographer is not to use flash,
    what would u suggest then?

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