Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. This week, we’re talking about taking pictures during the wedding.

 

Question: For Christmas, I got a new digital camera with all of the bells and whistles, including a flash. My cousin is getting married in a few weeks and I want to try out my new equipment. I already bought a gift from the registry, but was thinking of rounding up the best pictures of the day and making an artistic photo collage to give to the couple when they get back from their honeymoon. Can I take pictures during the wedding?

Answer: Your heart is certainly in the right place, but there are a few things to consider. Your cousin and her spouse-to-be likely spent a pretty penny employing a professional wedding photographer to capture their special day. That doesn’t mean you can’t take photos, but be mindful of the job the photographer was hired to do. The No. 1, non-negotiable rule is leaving the flash at home. The only person using a flash at the wedding should be the photographer. Also, be sure to stay out of his or her way. This means don’t detain the couple or other guests in any way when the photographer is trying to capture a moment, this could come in the form of offering unsolicited art direction, taking a long time with your own photos and literally getting in the photographer’s space and blocking his or her shots. There will likely be a few moments you are privy to that the photographer isn’t, so capitalize on those opportunities. Another option is forgo the idea of a project based on the Big Day, offering instead to do a fun photo session with the couple before the wedding or when they get home from their trip.