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Photographing a wedding as a guest

Photographing a wedding as a guest

The big day is finally here and you are attending a wedding party of a friend’s wedding or perhaps a family members wedding, you want be confident that you capture pics of the wedding day like a professional photographer would do. Typical wedding photographers will have extensive lighting setups and use tremendous DSLR cameras to get great photos and videos of the wedding ceremony. So as a guest at a wedding how do you approach getting great first time photos of the new couple? As an amateur photographer attending a wedding and getting your own photos of this special moment in a newlyweds life will leave cherished memories. Share your pics with family members and friends on social media and having them loving the exposures that look like professional photos taken by a paid photographer. So this is a great opportunity using your digital camera to expand your photography skills by taking great wedding photos. And as wedding guests will attest to, attending a fun wedding that they could look back on with fondness with great photos from different angles of the big day makes all the difference. You want the newly married couple to have great photos showing their wedding guests having tremendous enjoyment at their special occasion, photos that you could provide. These will go great with the professional photos taken by the official photographer hired as the couples professional wedding photographer.

So we would like to walk through some tips and tricks to get great photos like any good photographer would of your family members wedding day. In addition, we will explore some fantastic products which will assist you in getting exposures in a photographer’s way that would even impress the hired photographer and photography

Wedding Photography Tips

As a wedding guest and amateur photographer, getting great shots of the big day is going to really put an exclamation point on a great occasion. We can look at some tips that will have your own photos looking like that of a professional wedding photographer.

  1. Prior to the wedding, when attending the bridal party make sure to get great group photos and shots of the gifts.

  2. Get yourself a good DSLR camera from manufacturers like Canon, Nikon and others. Check out our product recommendations below for guidance on digital cameras that will work tremendously for photographing a wedding.

  3. If this is the first wedding you are trying to shoot pics as a guest, try and follow around the hired photographer to get some ideas of how they are photographing the big day. This will give you some more guidance on the types of photos you want to shoot.

  4. Don’t be afraid to use your cell phone like an iPhone to get selfies and group shots of you and your family members and other guests at the wedding. Many of today’s smartphones have advanced camera systems for taking great shots at different angles and distances. Use the Deco Essentials Telescopic Metal 33" Selfie Stick w/ Tripod and Wireless Remote for iOS/Android for even better and easier taking of selfies at the big day.

  5. Take photos of the actual ceremony showing the beautiful bridesmaids and the bride and groom together at the altar. This is the highlight of the big day.

  6. During the wedding, many candid moments will arise that give you the opportunity to get candid shots that the wedding photographer wouldn’t be able to as you are mingling with family members and friends throughout the wedding. The hired photographer will be busy with the pre planned photo ideas that were hashed out with the happy couple prior to the wedding, leaving you as guest to freely roam and get some tremendous photos.

  7. One of the biggest moments during the wedding is the first dance together as married couple. Therefore, taking shots at different angles on the dance floor will show how meaningful the newlyweds are to each other. It will also portray just how much enjoyment the other guests are having at wedding.

  8. Try and have family members of the happy couple get together for some posed shots of family photos. Obviously the professional wedding photographer will be taking formal shots of the family but to have an imbedded wedding guest be able to unique and candid shots of the family and other guests will add to the professional photos.

  9. Make certain to get good close up shots of the cake cutting and first toast as the happy couple celebrate and toast a momentous portion of the wedding. Get some video as well of the best man giving his speech at the wedding party.

  10. Any of these photos would look great in a wedding album for the newlyweds. So when sharing your photos with the bride and groom, they can even chose specific photos to put into a virtual wedding album on social media.


Wedding Guest Photography Products

Below we have compiled a list of some must have products which will improve your photography and videography during the big day.

Starting with a nice DSLR camera like the Sony ZV-1 II Vlog 4K Camera for Content Creators and Vloggers. This wonderful DSLR camera comes in at a nice price point for it’s included features and specs and makes a great digital camera to photograph weddings with. Here are some of the great features of this camera:

  • With a Ultra-wide 18-50mm zoom lens you get the full frame in the photo and the entire scene and subjects/objects in your pics.

  • The Sony Cameras ZV-1 II comes with a Exmor RS CMOS large 1.0-type sensor for more even power and tremendous image quality.

  • With the ZV-1 II, you can record everything from personal selfies, to group shot selfies that appear in the viewfinder on the camera. Using the vari-angle LCD touch screen, selfies are a breeze and it will automatically check for proper framing of the image.

  • With the vast amount of detailed pixels able to be captured on this camera with still images having approx. 20.1 megapixels and videos 16.8 megapixels max. Capturing the detail, vibrancy and clarity of these many megapixels will get you a top notch image.

  • Thanks to the previously mentioned 1.0-type image sensor, this DSLR camera can shoot footage in XAVC S format up to in 4K HDR at 30 FPS, and in Full HD (1920x1080p) at up to 120 FPS for up to 5x slow motion. This gives you the advantage as a wedding guest to get wonderful high quality images.

  • The Soft Skin Effect on this camera can enhance face appeal for still images and videos. This is an especially crucial when photographing the happy couple up close saying their vows at the altar.

  • Autofocusing can be accomplished via the Fast Hybrid AF (auto focus) setting on Sony ZV 1.

  • Real-time Tracking will follow a subject that you desire to capture images or videos of. This is great for getting fantastic photos and videos of the couple during their first dance on the dance floor. The Sony ZV1 uses facial information obtained in the real time tracking mode, so you can focus on getting the best angles in these conditions.

  • Active mode image stabilization unit which is built in, helps eliminate shaky footage which is often associated with handheld photographing or videoing. This will make your wedding day photos appear clear and sharp and ready for viewing on social media or in a wedding album.

  • Connect with the content creator app from Sony for further post image processing and editing. Pair your smartphone, tablet or compatible device with the included Bluetooth 4.2 to use the app as a remote control for the camera.
    Sony ZV-1 II Vlog

Another great mid-tier DSLR camera which can come into great use when photographing weddings is the Canon EOS R10 Mirrorless APS-C Camera with RF-S 18-45MM F4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens. This camera comes with many of the features of the Sony ZV1 II, with several higher end specs. One of those being the fact that this camera can capture 24.2 megapixels on the cropped APS-C sized CMOS sensor. Here are more appealing features of this DSLR camera:

  • This is an extremely lightweight and compact camera making it perfect to carry around with you to photograph weddings. It’s weight with the included 18-45mm lens is only 13.48 oz.

  • Take some wonderful videos with framerates up to 4K 24P/30P without a crop with the option of 4K fine (6K oversampling), 4K 60P with crop, or FHD (Full HD) 1080P at 120 FPS.

  • The included lens mounts onto Canon’s proprietary RF mounting system.

  • However as this is an interchangeable lens camera, it is backwards compatible with older Canon mounting systems. If you are looking to get a different lens such as a zoom lens, or telephoto lens from a different manufacturer than a mounting adapter will be required.

  • With a high-speed shooting with the 15 FPS mechanical shutter this digital camera can capture great fast paced movements of your subject. So you can photograph the packed dance floor as the wedding guests revel in joy dancing to some great tunes being pumped out by the wedding band.

  • Use the gorgeous OLED color electronic viewfinder which has approximately 2.36 million dots of screen resolution to ensure that the entire frame of your shot will appear in the final exposure. In addition, having such a great EVF allows you as the photographer to more easily concentrate on getting the best shot from different angles without you having to look away from the screen which may impede your concentration.

  • Thanks to this DSLR camera’s storage availability you can place an SD card compatible with UHS-II to get a top notch MicroSD card from manufacturers like Sandisk or Lexar. With the UHS-II compatibility you get really good read/write speeds which significantly enhance your photography experience.

  • With it’s Dual Pixel CMOS AutoFocus II you can be confident even as an amateur photographer you will get high quality images without having to go deep into the manual settings like a hired photographer might. This makes the photographing and videoing of such as auspicious occasion much easier. That being said, if you feel comfortable in your photography abilities, shooting in manual mode will open you up to tweak the camera settings exactly the way you want them for each type of lighting condition.

A great pocket sized item like the DJI Osmo Pocket 3 4K 120fps Handheld 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer is perfect to carry around with you as a wedding guest without having to worry about bulk. The DJI OSMO Pocket 3 is a great unique gadget camera to photograph occasions like this.

  • Packed with a powerful 1 inch CMOS sensor to allows for each pixel to shine through with vibrant sharp color.

  • The gimbal on the DJI Osmo Pocket 3 gives the user the ability to track a subject, and gives automated panning effects. This is wonderful for panning the camera around the seated wedding guests during the wedding ceremony.

  • The companion DJI Mimo app gives the you powerful editing tools to enhance your exposures. It comes with features like HD live view during recording and intelligent recording modes. The DJI Mimo app can be found on your smartphones app store like the app store on an iPhone or the Google Play Store on Android phones.

  • The rotatable touchscreen allows for vertical format streaming or “Shorts” posted to social media sites. Using advanced microphones for advanced sound quality as you live broadcast on the go. This is great for family members or friends who were unable to attend the wedding. They can tune into your social media site of choice and enjoy a livestream of the happy occasion.

  • A USB-C port is available for connectivity and charging at the bottom of the device. You can also attach a mini tripod that has compatibility for the Osmo Pocket 3 or an external digital USB-C microphone that you may want to use.

  • Get wonderful exposures from different angles even when attaching wide angle mirrorless lens to the Osmo Pocket 3. Its magnetic design which allows for quick, and easy attachment and detachment of a lens.

  • There is a gorgeous OLED screen that will have your display show video in even in 4k 60FPS HDR (and 4K 120 FPS in slow motion shooting). So you get tremendous quality photos and videos high dynamic range. These will show up great on a 4K HDR monitor or even large screen TV.

  • The 950mAh Battery Handle can surpass the standard 166 minutes of battery life. The device and battery grip can both take a fast charge, so get up to 80% of juice in a matter of approximately 16 minutes when attached to a fast charger via the USB-C port.

  • This video camera can also act as a front facing webcam for selfies thanks to it’s gimbal. Get great group shots from many different angles as well due to the gimbal movement.

  • Face auto-detect and dynamic framing assist the you in tracking faces of your photography subjects while still having the stabilization needed to get a great blur free exposure. With a three-axis mechanical stabilization, the camera view remains extremely stable even during fast action scenes like the wedding guests partying on the dance floor.

  • The Osmo Pocket 3 has both a Wi-Fi & Bluetooth module. The Osmo Pocket 3 can directly connect to two DJI Mic 2 Transmitters, so you can record multiple subject voices. This works great for the loud, crowded noisy environment of a wedding party.

  • Don’t worry about image and video storage capability as the DJI OSMO Pocket 3 has a MicroSD card slot at the bottom of the rated to handle MicroSD cards up to 512 GB of storage capacity.

    osmo pocket

Another unique great camera that will make quite an impression during the big day is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 Instant Camera. This quite the wonderful pocket sized retro film camera, perfect for carrying around in your purse or suit jacket pocket at a wedding. Here are some of the things we love about this camera:

  • The Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 are instant cameras or film cameras. These come with the design, look and feel of those retro instant cameras.

  • Taking selfies with family members at the wedding ceremony with this camera can be an enjoyable and happy experience while creating instant exposures that make for lasting memories.

  • This amazing unique camera automatically adjusts to ambient light or natural light, the shutter speed, flash brightness and other settings are all done for you. So even if you are an amateur photographer allowing the camera to capture that high quality image will make your exposures that much better.

  • Extremely simplistic to use. Twist the lens to turn on the camera and then twist again for close up mode. Depress the shutter button for a quick release, capturing those images quickly.

  • The Instax Up app from Fuji when connected you can scan your prints so they can be tagged and edited for sharing with your family members and other wedding guests, even on social media. The app can also be used for post processing editing.

  • With Instax instant Film, your instant image printing can make for exposures which will look great in a wedding album. Just take the printed image on the camera film paper and place it into a nice wedding album that would compliment your coffee table for guests in your home.

  • With Just two AA batteries which provide the battery life that this camera needs, you don’t have to worry about looking for a charging brick or outlet receptacle during the wedding ceremony when you want to be focusing on the bride, groom and family members.

    fuijifilm instax


If you are attending a wedding for a family member or friend and want to make sure you get fantastic photos, check out our tips for wedding photography. In addition, getting one or more of the recommended cameras will ensure that you can photograph such a milestone occasion with confidence, high quality and ease. Whether this is the first time you are taking photos or videos during a wedding day or you are looking to improve on your photography abilities at the next wedding you attend, these tips and products should be good guide to taking photos and videos rivaling that of many hired photographers. Enjoy the memorable occasion!!

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