Heehee– I don’t know a better way to describe it. I promise we’re not kicking back shots on the tables at weddings! But we do strive to take photos of the guests at each wedding, time permitting. For photographers, this is one of the least favorite parts of a wedding day because there’s very little creativity involved. There’s not much time, and we’re yelling over loud music for granny to scoot closer to Aunt Samantha and so they awkwardly shuffle for an entire minute while we smile and pretend it’s exhilarating. Once granny finally gets in place, she stares off into space or blinks for every photo. It’s not granny’s fault– she’s just trying to enjoy the wedding. And the DJ is playing loud music because it’s his job. And poor Aunt Samantha is super annoyed because she would have rather not scooted her chair halfway around a table for a random picture.
It’s honestly kind of a hassle, but we like to do it, and here are a few reasons:
1. It’s nice to see your guests. Your wedding day is insane, and greeting all your guests isn’t always possible, especially with larger weddings. So it’s nice to scroll through your wedding photos and see that smiling face of Cousin Jo and her newborn baby that had to leave right after the first dance.
2. Not everyone is on the dance floor. One grandma may dance all night long, and the other doesn’t leave her seat, but both are important to you.
3. It’s nice to have a good picture of yourself. This is more for your guests. When your closest gal pal gets all dolled up for your wedding, then take a few selfies, it’s a good day. But then when she sees your professional wedding pictures and there’s a great picture of her with her husband, it’s instantly her profile picture. It’s nice to have a picture that wasn’t taken on a cell phone!
4. On that same note… This isn’t so much for the couple, but we’ve actually booked several weddings and family sessions this way. Couples get a picture of themselves and think, “Oh man, I look great!” Instantly, they trust my photography skills. And they’ve seen me in action. What better way to book a wedding photographer than to meet her and see her work her butt off all day, then see the final pictures? It’s literally a test run for their wedding
5. You never know the future. It’s tragic, but sometimes loved ones pass away soon after a wedding. It’s almost like they’re holding on for that special day. Or even if it’s a year later, often pictures from a wedding will be used because it was the last time they looked their best and had a professional picture taken.
But we do need to manage expectations:
1. We can’t always cover it. Most of the time, we get plenty of shots of the guests at their tables, but we can’t guarantee it. In looking back over our 2015 weddings, the only ones where we didn’t get dedicated table shots, it’s because just about everyone jumped on the dance floor and stayed there all night long! In those cases we have a ton more dancing photos than normal.
2. People hide from us. Sometimes we make a little joke about it and they’ll let us take a picture. Sometimes they seriously will hide and beg us not to take one.
3. If they leave quickly, we may never see them. There’s not a perfect time to take table shots at a reception. If we can, we get it done before dinner when everyone is looking their freshest, but it’s often not possible. Sometimes the reception moves so fast that we don’t get to do table shots until near the end! And sometimes it takes forever to do these pictures because Uncle John wants to ask 50 questions about our camera gear. We do our best, but it’s never a perfect science to photograph moving targets
4. There’s no guarantee. Because every wedding day is different and random things happen unexpectedly, we can never guarantee that we’ll get a perfect shot of Aunt Nancy. Our #1 goal on a wedding day is to capture your wedding in all it’s amazingness. We can always get a picture of Aunt Nancy later, but re-creating your first dance or cake cutting isn’t so simple, and our priorities stay with you. Want to see what a full wedding gallery looks like? Check out our recent weddings here!