We have all seen the exuberant guest standing next to the official wedding photographer during the formal shots at the alter. Sometime it looks like the guest is getting in the way and distracting the attention of the family and wedding party, and sometimes they do. It is true the official wedding photographer is typically short on time for the formal alter shots and is under pressure to get great shots quickly and get on to the rest of the day.
I always have a detailed shot list that the couple and I have build before the wedding. It is also true that that list seldom goes as planned, Uncle Joe is out having a smoke or Aunt Sally wants to get a shot of her kids with the bride. The photographer has got to be prepared for distractions and interruptions. That is where the guest comes in. Many guest don’t know the couple may get all the images from the photographer, or the want them quicker to share with family. In my opinion they have as much right as the photographer to be there.
A photographer working with a plan, competent at what they are doing should be able to make time for others to photograph the couple. The photographer can politely ask the guest photographer(s) to wait until they have finished with a certain setup and then direct the couple’s attention to the guest. After a bit of time the photographer can then take back the attention of the couple and move on. If time is critical and the guest is delaying shooting, the photographer or couple should request the guest to stop until there is adequate time.
In almost every alter or formal situation the photographer uses additional off camera powerful lighting. The guest photographer with their point and shoot or DSLR with a pop up flash can rarely match the image quality. Let guest photographers shoot as long as it does not set your schedule back. Make it fun.