If, as a couple, you find that your wedding budget has no room for the services of a professional photographer, the situation does have a remedy. Even though you are not able to take advantage of the creativity and experience of a professional you can still put together a beautiful wedding photo album that is unique and memorable.
You probably know someone in your circle of friends or family members who is an accomplished photographer or at least has a strong interest in photography. Don’t be ashamed to put the word out that you need some help in documenting your special day. The individuals you approach will probably be flattered that you have asked for their help. Some might be a little nervous about taking on this responsibility so it will be up to you to put them at ease and make it clear that there is no pressure.
It is important once you have agreed to work with your photographer that you meet and discuss your vision and expectations of the wedding photos. Please remember though, that this individual is really doing you a favor so treat them with respect and sensitivity and not as an employed professional. Ask your photographer for their ideas and input and work together on the process of planning the wedding day’s photo documentation.
Here are a few quick ideas that you can share with your photographer to get him or her started on the planning process.
1. If your wedding is being held indoors, select a scenic outdoor location in advance where you can stop after the ceremony and prior to the reception to get some photos in natural light, preferably with a park or flower garden background.
2. When taking photos at the reception, try getting candid photos at the tables and on the dance floor. Many amateur photographers alert the subjects and the results look far too stiff and posed. More interesting shots are natural photos of people having fun and interacting naturally.
3. Every photo need not have a full view of a person included as much of the story can be told by small vignette type photos, such as a close up shot of a guest’s hand signing the guest book or just the bride and groom’s hands intertwined showing the rings. Photographs such as these add great interest when interspersed in the album with the people photos.
4. Stand on a chair or kneel down when taking some shots to get differing interest perspectives.
5. Load a separate camera with black and white film as many of these shots have a nice artistic appeal.
6. If necessary, when photographing the wedding cake, move it to a location free of background distractions.
7. If you are taking a series of group shots, make sure that you move to different locations as several photos with identical backdrops will get monotonous when viewed concurrently in an album.
My experience has been that having a friend or family member take the photos, often produces a more intimate result because he or she knows the people involved and often captures more meaningful shots.
Don’t forget that in all likelihood, many more people will be taking photos of their own of which some will be keepers so let your guests know that you would be interested in getting copies of their best shots.
While it’s a nice luxury to employ a professional, you can get wonderful results using a friend as your wedding photographer.