How to Encourage Wedding Guests to Share Candid Shots

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As the bride and groom, you’ll be swept up in the emotion and excitement of your wedding day that you simply won’t be able to enjoy every moment that your guests experience.

In the 1990’s, brides tried to capture more moments in a trend that swept through wedding reception sites across the country. Brides in search of a way to capture more casual photos of their guests enjoying the wedding reception began setting a disposable camera at each table, collected the cameras after the ceremony, and hoped for the best when they footed the hefty bill to have the film in each camera developed and printed.

Times have changed, and with more people than ever using digital cameras instead of film, brides can take advantage of digital technology in several ways.

TABLE CAMERAS

Buying a digital camera to place at each table during the reception – reminiscent of the 1990’s trend – could easily put a major dent in the wedding budget. There are several services online that rent digital cameras, ship them to you, and then you ship the cameras back when you’re finished with them. A quick search online will turn up several options.

GUESTS’ PHOTOS

Encourage your guests to bring digital cameras and take plenty of candid’s during the reception. Many of your guests will likely take their cameras to your event anyway, and if you let several know how much you would appreciate their roving photographer skills, you’ll have an even bigger selection of photos to help you remember all of your guests and how much fun everyone had.

PARTY PIX

Is there a “party pix” type business where you live? Many photography studios have launched an offshoot of their main business, with a stable of photographers who are hired to attend social events and snap photos as possible for the hosts.

Some services are offered per photographer and per hour of attendance, while others are offered with packages including a set number of photographers who will attend and a total number of photos the host will be provided with.

PHOTO BOOTH

Photo booths are becoming more and more popular to have at wedding receptions.  They are often offered as a separate service from photography companies and even some mobile DJ services.  Take a look in your area to see who hires them out.  Some photo booths will automatically upload to an online service for all of your guests to access or may even offer a printed photo on site (or both).  Some offer an array of silly props to encourage your guests’ creativity

RECEPTION LAPTOP

To encourage guests to upload their digital photos while they’re still fresh on their minds, set up a workstation at the reception. Designate someone to be in charge and bring a laptop, a mouse and USB cord.

Make sure your designated person is able to stay close to the workstation during the reception to help guests as needed. Also encourage your techie person to ask guests to copy their photos from their camera to the computer without deleting them from the camera. That way, the guest still has his or her images on the camera.

Another advantage to having someone designated to stay near the workstation is the fact that this will protect the computer from disappearing. Although we like to think that everyone at our event will be honest, there is always the possibility of a guest inviting someone that you don’t know and you may not have any idea about that person’s trustworthiness.

ONLINE UPLOADS

There are many online services that let you set up your own account to upload and share digital photos. Many of these options allow you to do so at no charge.

Be sure to let your guests know what’s going on, and then remind them again.

Make a cute tent card to place at each table, alerting guests to the fact that you have set up an online photo sharing site and how easy it is for them to upload their photos to share.

Prepare an attractive card in advance and place it at each place setting at the reception.

Include the information in your wedding program and, once again, when you mail your thank-you notes.

Flicker.com,  Shutterfly.com, and Picasa.com are just a few easy-to-use sites.

Whether your guests upload their photos at the reception, upload them to a file sharing site, or simply email the best shots directly to you, the memories that they’re able to capture and share beyond the posed photos by your professional photographer will bring you joy for years to come.