Chapter 12: Jazzing Up the Reception


After all the ceremony and formal pictures are done, you can breathe a deep sigh of relief. You've captured almost all the “must have” shots and you finally have time to sit down and grab a bite to eat, sip a glass of wine, and prepare for the fun part of the job.

During the hours that follow, you have only a few responsibilities. Most couples want shots of the food, the first dance, the cake cutting, the garter and bouquet tosses, the guests dancing, and perhaps their grand exit. Other than that, you have free reign to photograph whatever else you find interesting. You may discover a unique portrait opportunity that you can talk the bride and groom into doing, or you might spend your time wandering the dance floor trying to capture that elusive perfect dance shot. Whatever you find yourself photographing during the reception, it's almost certain to be one of the most enjoyable parts of the average wedding day.

Must-Have Reception Shots

In this first section I focus on the specific “must have” shots you're expected to get during the reception. These “must-haves” are similar to the “must-haves” from the ceremony in that they are entirely predictable. You know almost exactly when and where each event will happen. This knowledge enables you to get your camera set up properly and beat the crowd of spectators armed with phone cameras who will also ...

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