Joshua Manocherian – Taking Pictures at Your Best Friend’s Wedding
Your best friend is getting married, and even though the couple has hired the hottest professional wedding photographer in town to take pictures on the big day, you will probably want to take pictures of your own. In addition to the formal book of photos that the professional photographer will supply, your friends will certainly cherish photos taken by a close friend, and you don’t need to be a professional like Joshua Manocherian to capture the best moments of the day. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
DO Scope Out the Venue
The secret to great photography is great planning. Having a sense of where all the elements of lighting, texture and interest will combine to provide a stunning backdrop for your subjects takes a lot of the guess work out of taking pictures. If you are able to identify a few locations in the wedding venue where you expect beautiful moments to unfold, you can be on the lookout for the perfect opportunity. If you can, try to visit the venue at the same time and in the same weather conditions as the actual event so you aren’t surprised when the sun comes through the window at a blinding angle, or when natural light in the garden disappears altogether.
DON’T Interfere With Unscripted Moments
Some of the best moments are the spontaneous ones – the look of surprise on the couple’s face when an old friend appears, the laughter when a squirrel appears on the dancefloor, or the unplanned group hug among the bridesmaids. Maybe you captured this moment, but maybe you just missed it. If you didn’t catch it, no matter how great a picture it would have made, resist the temptation to try to recreate it for a photo. It won’t feel genuine the second time around. If you do happen to catch it as it is happening, consider yourself a lucky observer – don’t try to manage the photo by asking people to shift or change their position. Capture it for what it is, and it will be worth it!
DO Anticipate Emotion
At a wedding, it is fairly easy to anticipate the emotional highlights – the first kiss as a married couple, the first dance, the proud parents watching their children start a new life. Don’t let these moments catch you by surprise! Be sure that you have thought about the vantage point that you will take to capture these moments, and try to find a different perspective from the professional photographer who will certainly be anticipating these very same moments.
DON’T Invade Private Moments
Chances are that you will stumble across private moments – you may observe tender moments, and perhaps you can capture them from a distance, but resist the urge to impose on them. This applies also to tense moments, which are not uncommon at weddings. Remember that above all you are a friend of the couple, and respect that friendship as you choose your subjects.