Even been asked to take portraits of guests at a wedding reception? When I found out that the guest attendance at David & Pricilla’s wedding in Florida last weekend was going to be 400+, I knew I had a job ahead of me!
Here’s some pointers I learned for pulling something like this off:
- Make sure all your studio equipment works before you arrive. Getting started smoothly is a big step toward reaching the finish line. .
- Set up your studio equipment in plenty of time before the appointed time. I gave myself 2 hours, but that wasn’t enough time when I found out that one of my strobes had quite working. If I had set up the night before, I could have had someone who was flying in on the day of the wedding bring another one with them.
- Work with a team. I recruited 3 other guys to help me out. One guy went out and asked guests to move to the studio area, another guy greeted and received the guests (ie. collected their purses, cameras, cups of punch . . .), I set up and shot the portraits, and the last guy handed them a gift with information on how to view and order their pictures online. One guy could never do all this in the short amount of time assigned!
- Write up announcements to be read after the ceremony and during the reception.
- Take one picture of your subject while they hold a sheet of paper with their last name written on it. This way, you can accurately identify who they are later when you are organizing all the pictures on your computer!
- Have plenty of water handy. When telling guests how to pose every two or three minutes for 2 hours, your mouth goes dry pretty often.
- Stay calm and collected. I like to pretend like I’m moving underwater because my natural tendency is to jerk around when I’m under pressure.
- Don’t worry about what other people think about you. Just go about your work as unto the Lord, let His joy flow out of you, and do the best job you can!
Here are a few of my favorite portraits from that incredibly crazy afternoon.