I learned some invaluable tips over the weekend especially when I was working with the Wedding Story team capturing a wedding on Saturday and then later joining Ian on Sunday to shoot another wedding. I really believe that the more I shoot, the more I get to know about the whole industry and how it affects me as a shooter.
Let me try my best to relate as much as I can about what happened over the weekend.
On Saturday, I realised that Bangsar Seafood Garden is a total garden wedding paradise hidden in the midst of urban development. Seriously, the place was awesome and I have to give it to the folks who decorated the place. I will blog more about the wedding on a later date. Makes me want to really consider having a garden wedding for my own wedding.
Secondly, I learned that no matter how nicely you speak to some guest with a camera, they would take that to offense and act extremely hostile towards you. It all happened when the guest started getting into our shots during the ceremony but instead of being completely irritated, I learned that this is a good opportunity for me to think harder on composition. How can I find a good composition without compromising the moment as well.
The third thing I learned also was a result from the same guest. Imagine trying to go table to table with the couple and capturing guests and whilst you are about to capture the shot, this “guest” would suddenly appear behind you with his lens located right next to my ear taking the shot. To make matters worse, the “guest” kept bumping into my camera and pushing me whilst trying to maneuver tables and other guests. Why this was a problem for me was because the people/group I was trying to take kept looking at his camera so there were shots where they were not looking into my camera. Remember, the last thing you want to do is to get angry and cause a whole commotion. Face the fact, the other person is still a “guest” hence he has every right to do what he wanted to do. So logically, we asked if he could take his photos separately, meaning we take turns taking the shot and I wouldn’t mind help set up the group for the shot. Apparently that went as well as hitting your head on a brick wall.
This was when I realised that in order to get the attention from the guests/group that I am taking, I had to be extremely vocal and in constant communication. Here are some of the things I did to gain the attention I needed.
- I directed them on where to stand even though they were already in the right spot.
- I constantly reminded them to look at my camera.
- I smiled, a lot!
- I asked them to smile, a lot!
- I laughed, a lot!
- I invited them to stand as a group
- I always told them thank you for their time
- I waved my hands around to get the attention of kids
- I made funny but yet stupid jokes
To be honest, it was extremely fun interacting with the guests and the couple as well. A valuable lesson indeed.
The last lesson I learned is that usually during meal times (say during the dinner ceremony), the couple might invite you to sit down and eat as well with other guests. Most of the time I might say no because I would rather be going around shooting or have a separately meal prepared so that I don’t waste time waiting for dishes to arrive. Now, when the couple says that they want you to sit down, make sure you ask what the menu is first! Because you never know when they might just serve a whole load of soft shell crabs…..sob…
Okay, the last point might be stretching it a little but hey, I learned it the hard way.