Is it rude to bring DSLR to wedding?

Started Sep 24, 2011 | Discussions thread
sean000 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,354
Re: Ask yourself the following questions

VueFinder wrote:

This is a strange question, but wondering if a DSLR is simply to big and pro to bring to a friends wedding? I am a guest.

It depends... one wedding can be so different from another. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the wedding in a place you really want to photograph?

  • Will there be a professional photographer?

  • How many photos do you plan to take, and why? This will likely depend on the answers to the first two questions. No professional photographer? It might make a nice gift for the bride & groom if you can get some better than average photos. They did hire a pro? It's okay to still bring a DSLR if you want to. Most pros don't care as long as you don't get in their way and into their shots. You probably won't be the only one with a DSLR anyway. And if the wedding is in a really special place, you might want to get some photos the professional doesn't have time to get because they need to focus on the B&G.

  • What is your relationship to the B&G? The closer you are, the more understandable it will be that you would want lots of photos of their wedding for your own collection.

  • Will you be attending the wedding with a date or a friend? How will this person feel if you are busy playing photographer the entire time?

In the end if it feels awkward you can always leave your camera bag in your car or set it down nearby where it will be safe. This is where a small camera is ideal, but you probably won't be the only DSLR wielding guest there. If you do take it, and there is a pro:

  • Avoid duplicating the shots the pro is getting. This will help you stay out of his/her way. This is especially true of the formal portraits. It's very annoying to get groups organized for formal portraits when everyone keeps looking at different cameras and flashes keep popping off. The professional needs every subject to stay focused on his/her camera.

  • Look for shots the pro isn't getting... especially at the reception. The pro can't photograph everyone and every detail all at once, so try to compliment rather than duplicate. You might end up with some unique and very special shots that the B&G will appreciate.

  • Ask the B&G if you can bring them anything... drinks or food, etc. They will be so busy that they might be dehydrated and very hungry. They will appreciate the gesture and will be all the more happy to pose for you.

  • Remember that you are there as a guest and that you want to mingle and visit with other guests. Spend more time chatting than shooting, but you can always keep an eye open for a good photo opportunity.

  • Have fun, and if you go with someone make sure that they have fun too.

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