Along with the professional photographer who documents your own, a relative or friend's wedding, you can help create a memorable photographic record with images that come from the wedding party and guests. Whether you organize parts of the photo gallery yourself or enlist others' assistance, you can incorporate interesting images from amateurs who happen to be in the right place at the right time, either by coincidence or because you helped put them there.
To add an interesting location in which to capture the members of the wedding party, build a custom backdrop large enough to cover the entire background behind a photo. Choose materials that form an interesting pattern but don't constitute a sprouting-out-of-the-head distraction that clutters photos taken in front of it. You can use crepe paper, ribbons or fabric; turn a piece of drywall into a temporary chalkboard with special paint and allow guests to draw and write on it; spray-paint an informal mural on cardboard; or create a balloon grouping that covers a wall. Where you set it up depends on whether the event takes place in a private home setting or at a rented venue, and the types of setups venue allows. The ideal location places the backdrop where you easily can intercept and pose everyone.
If you're the amateur photo "captain" and editor for a wedding, capture at least one image of everyone in the wedding in front of a plain background such as an unornamented white wall. You can open all the images on your notebook or desktop computer and build a wide banner that encompasses all the shots arranged side by side. The results of your work make great output to display on a tablet or to have printed in banner form. Send each member of the wedding party a copy of the banner image, either in digital form or in a mailing tube, as a lasting keepsake.
From smartphone shutterbugs to relatives who bring digital cameras to the festivities, you can accumulate a collection of images that depict individual moments from diverse viewpoints. If the bride and groom agree, plan strategic photo opportunities before, during and after the ceremony that allow everyone with a camera to snap away. You can maintain a photo collection station at the reception—a media-card reader attached to a computer, for example—have everyone email you images or ask them to upload them to a social media page. Once you acquire all the photos, you can build a set of montages or simply allow everyone to browse online photo groupings that show multiple viewpoints of the same part of the event.
Many couples accumulate a list of moments they want to capture, including classics such as the entrance of the flower girl or ring bearer, the ring exchange, the first kiss and dance, and the getaway. If you give digital cameras to a range of relatives at the reception, outside the wedding venue and in other strategic locations in which the wedding party prepares, you can capture priceless unexpected poses, moments and interactions that complement posed and professional images, with the spice of happy surprise. Choose a range of family members from camera buffs to newbies and deputize them to snap away in select venues, excluding the ceremony itself, which you won't want distracted by flash pops and shutter noise.
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