1. Before the festivities begin, casually take some pictures while people are relaxed. This breaks the ice, because you can show them your results immediately with a digital camera, and have a few laughs along with your subjects. Is my mother about to take a sip of her cola, or tooting a few notes in a strange musical key?
2. (We’re placing grey blobs over some of the subjects’ faces, to respect privacy from the wedding I attended.) The eyes have it, and that’s not good. Woman on left has camera red-eye, easily fixed using iPhoto or Adobe Photoshop Elements. Man on right has eye partially closed, potentially opened using Photoshop’s or Elements’ Liquefy Filter. See Ten Point Tutorial #5 for instructions on the latter technique.
3. Captions are sometimes necessary. Is my brother sobbing, or laughing so hard while being roasted that he can’t compose himself? My wife says I do the same thing when I’m convulsed with laughter.
4. Be prepared !! for the moment of the BIG KISS, because it happens very quickly. Be focused in advance, and allow for any shutter lag. With practice and luck you’ll capture the most important photo of the day.
5. When the happy couple enters the reception area, if you’re less lucky this time, you’ll catch the bride’s bouquet in front of her face. Don’t delete this photo, because it’s amusing and totally unconventional. One day everybody will enjoy your goof more than if you hit a home run with precision.
6. Here’s what your well-timed picture will look like. You only have one chance for either bride+groom or bridesmaids+groomsmen, so get into position with batteries charged and camera framed.
7. When formal pix are being taken, position yourself to the side of the official paid photographer, and one or twice per event you’ll be situated perfectly for an unscripted shot.
8. Remember to have a reliable person take your photo !! wearing your best outfit. A local identification of some sort pays dividends with future generations, once you are long gone.
9. When you come upon a restaurant that has the same name as you do, pick up a couple of menus and pose in front of its sign. If the picture is poorly framed, you can crop it easily using Adobe or Apple image editing software.
10. Get the photo no one else thinks of, while guests are dancing and drinking. Then organize your personal collection of pictures into an iPhoto book, that can be delivered to the couple and their families weeks ahead of the official photographer’s proof sheets and DVD samplers.