If you’re attending a loved one’s big day bash soon, make sure your smartphone snaps are up to scratch with these top photography tips from SnapBox.

Be personal

You already have a sure advantage over the professional photographers, you personally know the newlyweds. Use this to your advantage by getting real-life, up close and personal photos.

Make them pull funny faces and do silly poses for the camera – these photos will be more likely to end up in the wedding album! There has been a huge shift in wedding photography over the last few years with couples preferring the candid shots rather than posed, group photographs. Try to capture real emotion when your subject doesn’t know you’re taking the shot.

guests photography chrisbarberphotography

Rule of thirds

You may not be a professional photographer but there is one easy rule to make sure you capture the focus of your subjects effectively.

Imagine that your image is divided into nine equal segments. The ‘rule of thirds’ says that you should position the most important elements in your scene along the lines of these segments, or at the points where they intersect. Doing so will add balance and a clear focus point to your photo – making it automatically more striking.

Print and keep

It’s important to not rely too much on digital devices to store your invaluable wedding photos. In fact, our recent survey revealed that 36 per cent of Brits have lost precious memories due to relying on their digital devices to store them. Why not use the wedding images captured on your devices to create stylish canvas prints for your newlywed friends? This would make a great present for them when they returned from honeymoon!

Edit at home

Apps such as instagram now make it easier to get professional effects on our photos from the comfort of our own home. You can now even edit your photos online when using services such as SnapBox, allowing you to print a perfectly edited wedding image to a canvas.

Have fun

It’s important to have fun! The more fun you’re having, the more fun the pictures will be. And if you’re smiling behind the camera, the chances are the people you’re taking photos of may instantly be lifted too, making for a photo album full of happy wedding memories.

guest pictures robsandersonphotography

Don’t get in the way

Last but not least, it’s great to capture all the intimate moments but don’t stand in the professional photographer’s way. There’s no denying that the guest’s photos are likely to be more personal and fun, but the newlyweds will want some professional images to treasure as well. Why not use this opportunity to your advantage? Try standing at a different angle to the wedding photographer and get some alternative shots for your loved ones to see.

If you’re looking for more tips on how to get the right shot, why not check out our Wedding Photography section today?


  1. Hi,

    I usually take these articles with a pinch of salt but really feel the need to comment on this one.

    “You already have a sure advantage over the professional photographers, you personally know the newlyweds. Use this to your advantage by getting real-life, up close and personal photos.”

    I am sorry but this is a load of rubbish. Professional photographers spend a lot of time and effort prior to the wedding getting to know the couple so that on the wedding day they will be comfortable in front of the camera so we can get these types of shots.

    “Make them pull funny faces and do silly poses for the camera – these photos will be more likely to end up in the wedding album!”

    These will not make the album. Stopping the couple and asking them to pull a funny face contradicts the capturing the true emotion comment you made in the same paragraph.

    “There’s no denying that the guest’s photos are likely to be more personal and fun,”

    Oh please stop planting seeds like this. What research has gone into a such a sweeping statement? Have you asked brides if the photos from guests are more fun and personal?

    Here is some advice for guests from someone who shoots 40 weddings a year…

    1. Don’t use your flash. Using your flash can spoil the professional photographer’s photos.
    2. For parts of the day where the moment will only happen once, for example the bride walking down the aisle with her father then please keep your camera in your pocket and enjoy the moment with your eyes. I have too many photos of the bride coming down the aisle only to have a guests head and phone spoiling the shot. Brides don’t appreciate this.
    3. Don’t shoot over the photographers shoulder during couple and group shots. Most photographers now provide an online gallery where you can get prints and quite often download the photos for free.
    4. Be selective on what you put on social media. Brides have spent a lot of time and money to look fabulous on their wedding day and quite often sites like Facebook will be the first time their friends who couldn’t make the wedding will see them. Make sure if you’re putting a photo on social media that you the photo flatters the bride.
    5. Enjoy the day safe in the knowledge that the bride has spent a lot of time picking her favourite wedding photographer to capture the moments.
    6. Remember that the photographer is shooting for the couple and not him/herself. We’re not spending half an hour getting group shots for us but rather because it is important to the couple. So please don’t see the professional photography part of the day as a chore rather see it as a part of the day that is important to the couple and one that will give them special memories for decades to come.

    I am sorry to have to write this but perhaps next time you’re writing an article about photography then it might be a good idea to get a professional photographer to do a guest post as they experience this week in, week out.

    Best Wishes,


  2. My biggest tip as a professional photographer to a guest would be – enjoy the day! Don’t spend it all behind an iphone. Connect with the other guests and enjoy the day the bride and groom have paid a lot of money for you to share with them! 🙂

  3. Hi Rachel,

    As a professional photographer and bride-to-be myself I have to say, I’m sorely disappointed in this post. It’s pretty ignorant and, quite frankly, one that as an industry publication editor, you should be ashamed of.

    Have you no idea how bad the shift in guests spending too much time photographing and not enough time actually experiencing weddings has been in recent times?

    Have you not spotted that more people watch their nearest and dearest’s weddings through a viewfinder as opposed to with their own naked eye and are therefore slightly removed from what’s actually happening in front of them?

    And do you really believe that this is something Brides & Grooms want to encourage? Especially when they’ve spent hours, maybe days and months trawling online to find their absolute perfect photographer to cover their day as it unfolds & as they celebrate WITH their family and friends, not just IN VIEW of them.

    Please may I ask what research you carried out before writing this? And why haven’t you referenced it when writing?

    Have you actually spoken with any real brides who have said they preferred their guests’ photographs over those taken by their hired pro? And if they did, what investment did they actually make in the right photographer?

    All of this is a direct hit against a vast sector of the Wedding market. One within which there is great talent and skill. Friendly, personable, creative, intelligent, subtle, hard-working, genuine photographers work tirelessly to ensure couples have photographs that move them, capture their day perfectly and showcase all the joy, fun and emotion within it.

    These are photographers who have been carefully selected by those brides and grooms to do so and this article is a direct insult to photographer’s and newlyweds alike.

    It goes against everything that Wedding Photography is about today and encourages guests to experience their loved ones weddings through the back of an iPhone, iPad screen or viewfinder instead of actually being present in the most special moments that the Bride and Groom have invited them there to witness.

    It’s not about getting ‘the best photographs you can get’ it’s about taking the odd shot for your own family album and getting on with enjoying the celebrations themselves.

    It really is best when guests simply leave the capturing of the day as a whole and all it’s beautiful details up to the person who has been trained to do so and hired to be there to do it.



  4. Good advice – unless of course your uncle doesnt mess it up. Or get drunk. Or doesnt get the images sharp. But like you say dont get in the way – after all its someone job and PROFESSION to guarantee that the bride and groom get great images – and lets face it anyone can take a snap but noy everyone can make a photograph !!

  5. After reading this article I thought it would only be fair to comment on it from a groom-to-be’s point of view.

    When you sit down with the one person that you want to spend the rest of your life with and miraculously they have said yes to doing the same, you start to plan your day. You generally start at the top with the most important things such like Venue, Guests, etc.

    One of the most important points you address is of course Photography. I would say that the type of photographer that you as a couple choose, reflects the type of person/couple you are. For example the ‘posed, group photographs’ are deemed today as old fashioned and stiff but the more natural real photographs are seen to be more modern and as such preferred by most. You therefore look for the type of photographer that guarantees that these types of shots that the couple want are caught on your big day.

    I would like to say, which I’m sure my fiancé would agree with, that the most important thing for our day is that we want all of our guests to enjoy it.

    As much as I see where the main theme of this article is coming from – that guests at a wedding would of course want to take photographs and here are a few helpful tips…. It does seem to miss the most important point. If the couple have chosen for a photographer then please do not turn up as a guest and watch the wedding day through the lense/screen. The couple are not getting married to have the most important day of their lives replicate what it would be like to be followed by paparazzi!

    From my point of view I would prefer guests to only take photographs when the professional isn’t. The last thing I would want is to speak to our chosen professional photographer after the wedding to hear that guests flashes have gone off on their DSLR cameras during important moments or shots have been ruined by a guests head or phone or camera.

    The article does give good advice over how to compose shots, but I would point out that if the couple have chosen a professional photographer and have expressed a wish that you don’t take photographs at any time then please out of respect for the couple follow what they ask. This is their day and respecting their wishes is the most important view a guest should have – NOT who can get the best photograph. Just relax and enjoy the day.


  6. Hi everyone, wow that post certainly got you all talking! This feature was based on a press release from SnapBox, and as several of you have pointed out, it was a fun article about how to get the best shots you can at a friend or relative’s wedding.

    AT NO POINT did we suggest that these shots would or should replace a professional photographer’s pictures – in fact, the majority of the features in our planning section suggest that hiring a professional photographer is an essential part of the day and one that brides shouldn’t scrimp on.

    This feature was intended to help guests take cool, candid shots of the day, for their own personal use – no one wants to take blurred, out of focus pictures, even if they are doing it on a phone!

    You can’t escape the fact that people will use their phones to take and share pictures on the day, but of course the main thing for a guest is to relax and enjoy the celebrations and let the professionals get on with their job and get the best results possible for the couple.

    Some of you have given brilliant photography tips here – if you’d like to contribute to any further photography features, please do let us know.
    Email me directly at rachelm@weddingideasmag.com



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