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 Great Photo Tip 9

Weddings - How to capture one of the most important life moments.

While most couples hire a professional photographer to photograph the ceremony and reception, you can still play a BIG role in capturing this important event. Not only will you have a record of the wedding for your own pleasure, but imagine the joy of the happy couple receiving well taken photos of the event that the professional photographer did not see or could not cover.

Who was there again??
The professional photographer has their hands full with all the planned and staged shots. Additionally, many wedding photographers no longer shoot the "table shots" of the guests because the bride and groom don't end up buying them after they get photographer sticker shock. This is where you can be a big help. Try to capture each couple and/or each complete family at the wedding. Avoid showing the entire table complete with half-eaten food; instead concentrate on the faces of the guests. Have people stand up and move behind those still seated to take a group shot.

Location, Location, Location
Sit in an aisle seat at the ceremony. From there you will be able to photograph everyone who has been asked to walk the aisle. Additionally, your best shots will be when they come back up the aisle AFTER the ceremony. Why? The bride and the groom come down the aisle separately before the ceremony and you will have the back of the church as the background. Also, don't bother to take pictures after they pass you. You want to capture the expressions on their faces, not the back of their heads. You definitely want to capture them coming up the aisle after the ceremony. This is where you get their joyful expressions (or their look of sheer terror :) and you'll have the altar as your background. Also the Happy Couple will undoubtedly look less nervous and more radiant after the "I do's".

Capture the reaction versus the action
While you may want to capture those "scripted" moments like the toasts, the cake cutting, and the bouquet-tossing, you may be better off turning away from the action and capturing "reaction" shots of the faces of guests. During these "scripted" moments you have two choices: You can, if you like, try to capture them with your camera, but your pictures are likely to be duplicates of what the pro captures. A better idea might be to concentrate on the faces of family members and friends during these important moments. Aim to capture "reaction shots," that is, candid portrait photos of people feeling strong emotion as they watch their loved ones at this important moment. Again, the pro is not going to get these shots. He's concentrating on the action. Here's a perfect opportunity for you to capture some great shots he or she can't get!

Be a cheerleader!
Many wedding receptions now include disposable "single use" cameras at every table. You may need to get the show rolling and cheer on different tables to start taking pictures. MANY times though these pictures don't come out so still take the initiative to capture as many candid photos of the guests having fun at the reception.

Wedding photography etiquette
If you want to take photos at a church, synagogue, mosque or chapel, take your cues from the professional photographer hired by the bridal couple. If you see that he or she is not taking photos at the ceremony, chances are it is because the clergy told the photographer not to do so. Respect the tradition and don't take pictures. The same thing holds true for flash photography. Some places of worship will allow it at the ceremony, others will not. If you see that the pro is shooting, then take an aisle seat. It's the best place to get nice close shots of the couple that fill the frame as they leave the church. One other suggestion on wedding photography is to be respectful of the professional photographer. Don't get in that individual's way. You don't want to ruin the photos that the bride and groom are paying the pro to take. As we've discussed your photos focused on other parts of the occasion will be cherished as well.

Keep the Love Alive
So how do you distribute the hard work and wonderful memories you captured to 50, 200 or 500 people? It is as easy as 1 - 2 - 3:

1) Get a FREE DropShots account. Click Photo Sharing or Video Sharing and share your beautiful wedding photos with everyone.

2) Order prints of your memorable photos online - click Photo Printing.

3) Create fast, beautiful, and personalized Photo Books that will document the Big Day in sentimental fashion! Give a photo book to the the bride and groom - a memorable and perfect gift. Click Photo Books.

Please feel free to forward these family photo tips with anyone with a family and a camera

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