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Table Shots: Brides Love ‘Em. Photographers Avoid ‘Em.

July 29, 2011 | By | One Comment

In my experience, most photographers eschew them, while most Brides & Grooms love ’em. I’m referring to table shots– posed shots of family & guests usually with the B&G as they walk from table to table.

And why wouldn’t a B&G love table shots? The bride & groom are hosting probably the biggest party they’ve ever thrown. People from all places and moments in the b&g’s lives have come from far and wide to celebrate and support them on one of their most important days ever. Of course they want photos of themselves with everyone!

So why do so few photographers show table shots on their blog & in their portfolio? I think there are a few reasons. If you can think of others, please speak up in the comments 😉

Some elite photographers and photojournalistic purists eschew table shots because they say they are too “cheesy”, posed and un-real.

I LOVE photojournalism, and give my b&g’s lots of it.

But I disagree with the purists who eschew table shots for reasons of authenticity, because I actually find the emotions and group interactions in table shots to be some of the most genuine and fun there are. People let their guard down when joking around among friends.

Table shots can be difficult to shoot well. At root they are portraits. But, unlike in-studio portraits, they draw the b&g (& photographer) through a wide variety of lighting & background conditions. Sometimes the light overhead is too bright. Sometimes it’s too dark. Some shots are tight – just the b&g and two other people. Other shots are very wide, with dozens of people piling in. The backgrounds are also almost completely random and difficult to control.I suspect that some other photographers avoid taking or showing table shots because they neither possess nor know how to use the off-camera lighting necessary to create good photos in such difficult conditions. Because most b&g couples are going to want table shots at some point during the reception, I always bring multiple kinds and sets of off-camera lighting, and a trained lighting assistant. That way I’m prepared for anything. And I can deliver very clear, well-lit, fun table shots to the people who want them – brides & grooms!

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