Wedding guest can be inconsiderate to the photographer sometimes. But most often than not, they are too considerate. I frequently find myself getting next to a guest and trying to include him in my picture only to have the guest step out from me, from my frame, from my view. And I always tell them they “are fine”, “don’t move”, “its okay, stay here”.  Dear wedding guest you are not in my way.

You are part of the story

When I come next to you it is because I want to use you. Photographically I mean. Being a guest you mean something for the bride and groom. You presence in the picture in not only logical it is also required. Whatever you do don’t stop for me. Just do your stuff. By having you in my picture it participate to my story telling.

guests and family are part of the story

Before the first kiss I made sure mom would not move thinking she is in my way. I wanted to include her.

You are an element of context

When I decide to include you it is to give part of the context of the action or show the reaction of guests to something. It is not only about the bride and groom, it is also about the dynamic in a group. The guests are as important as the bride and groom and I want you in my pictures to give meaning and context.

the bride watch a video from the groom

The subject here is the groom on a video he did for the bride. But I needed to include her as well to make it obvious and also show how she react to it.

You are a compositional element

To make a frame within a frame is a commonly used composition technique. I use people to make a frame of my center of interest. It allows for more story element inside a picture. Sometimes I use the “over the shoulder” as in the picture above, which is the same take you see when you have dialogue in a movie. The camera is place above the shoulder of one of the character to show his point of view. In order to do this I need to place myself behind you or at your side. I do this intentionally so I prefer you stay here rather than moved away apologetic. You are not in my way. Far from it. You are an essential to my composition.

guests as story telling

Framing with people is a classic compositional technique

guest as composition element

The bridesmaids make a nice frame for the bride. I can show their presence at their friend’s most important day

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