When You’re Not the Wedding Photographer

In the Studio

Saturday was my cousin Ryan’s wedding! We have all been so looking forward to it. They are a fabulous couple and the time our family had together was fantastic.

I have shot weddings before, however, I’m not a wedding photographer. I don’t advertise as one and I’m not planning on becoming one. I think after 21 years in Law Enforcement and being under a ton of high stress all those years kind of ruined me for stressful photography. I’ve shot enough weddings to know people are under stress and knowing the stress of getting everything right, it just isn’t fun for me. Don’t get me wrong, the event is fun but to do it as a career would bring a lot more stress that honestly, is not appealing to me.  I’ve handled foot and vehicle pursuits with Sergeants and Lieutenants standing over me listing to my every word, watching my every move in life and death situations. Somehow, I’m not totally sure I’d feel the same urgency about the mother of the bride’s wrinkles or flower placement. I digress…

Jill and I spoke before the wedding and I assured her I would have my camera and would definitely be shooting away. I could get the pictures of our family having fun behind the scenes. I could also get all the little details while the photographers she had, were taking pictures of her and Ryan. Over the next couple of days I’ll share those images with you. But today my post is for the wedding photographers, but my message is to all us “other” photographers. If you are NOT the wedding photographer, don’t act like you are.

The bride and groom

The bride and groom                                                       

So, here we have the bride and groom at their first dance. We have the DJ with the bubbles going and one of two photographers shooting pictures. What they don’t need is me at the edge of the dance floor with my camera in all of their pictures. Just saying. They also don’t need six people in the back ground with their cell phones up in the air taking videos. How cute would this image be to have all their friends and family standing up and smiling, while watching their first dance. Beautiful! PS I had a long lens and was I behind the crowd.


On the runHere is a perfect example of what not to do. They were right by our table and I ran over to sneak a shot from the side and cute Jill looked at me. She’s used to me taking pictures of her and she looked right at me and smiled, but at that second I realized she wasn’t looking at her photographer anymore! OOPs! I ran away, can you tell? It’s a run away blur picture… I know, it’s so hard to stay on the sidelines. But better for everyone.

I’m not kidding when I say their photographers worked  hard on Saturday. The two of them were working for at least 8 hours and they were “on” the whole time! Climbing on ladders and crawling around to get the shots. The last thing I wanted to do was make their job any harder. Just remember that next time you’re at a wedding with your cell phone or fancy camera that you’re sure you’re going to get that perfect picture with. I say go ahead, get the pic but don’t get IN the pic. A good photographer is aware of their surroundings.

This is when you know you’re not the photographer.  (Two minutes later a lady who was a guest was really mad at me because apparently, I move around too much when I’m taking pictures…)



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Just a girl, on a journey. Thankful for love, thankful for friends and family, and thankful for forgiveness. Full of passion, conviction and hope.

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