Wedding photographers get a bad rap for sometimes being a bit grumpy when it comes to guest bringing out their cameras, but I promise – we really don’t mean to be that way! It isn’t the camera we normally have a problem with (well, I don’t) — it is the flash.
The above photo is an example of one where the flash going off while I was taking photos was ok. Plus I took several more, so the whole event of Javad’s shoes being taken at Farhana’s Mendhi was well documented – and pretty hysterical too! Poor Javad – he had to pay to get his & his brother’s shoes back!
But it doesn’t always work out so well. Most cameras have a red-eye reduction beam that they emit when you go to use your flash. This is great if you want to reduce red-eye in a photo, but not so great when your red light is shining on the couple. I see this the most when couples go to cut the cake. As the professional photographer that the couple hired to capture their wedding, it can ruin my shots. It isn’t something that I can easily “Photoshop” out of the image either – it takes a lot of time, is hard to make perfect (if it can be made perfect at all) and in the end it costs me – and ultimately the couple – to do the extra work. Sometimes it keeps us from getting *the* shot.
The flash itself can be an issue too – and this one goes both ways. Our flashes are so powerful, your photos probably won’t come out. If they do, they will be really washed out because of all the extra light. Your flash can do the same thing to us, but not normally to the same extent. Unless you show up with a big ol’ 580 EXII or the Nikon equivalent!
I understand the need for instant gratification. I have been a photographer for 20 years, but I wasn’t always a wedding photographer. I used to take my camera around at weddings and get lots of photos of everything too. It was fun for me (I do, in fact, have the BEST job in the world!) and it gave me the joy of having photos when I went home afterwards. I just never realized that it could effect the professional photographer’s images too. Fortunately, I usually turned my flash off, and my camera didn’t have a red beam, so it probably wasn’t too bad. You can see now though why the photographer that the couple hired might not be too happy when 10-20 people pull out their cameras at the same time to photograph something they are trying to capture too.
Photography is an awesome wonderful thing, and I truly embrace every photographer out there, no matter what level you are at. Sometimes though, especially during the key events of the wedding day, it is best to just set down the camera and enjoy the moment. Don’t worry – the professional photographer they hired will capture everything! If you really want to take photos, take a moment to ask. That way, the photographer can guide you as to what they need – you’ll get the photo you want, and the couple will get the ones they hired us for as well!