Why Are You Here?
Before you take pictures at a special event, pause a moment to think about why everyone has gathered. Sometimes it is easy to forget that the most important issue for the people involved is not necessarily to have nice photos in an album, but nice memories of the event, as well.
Be truly mindful that the people gathered together at the event are commemorating a tradition that links all the people in the room, a tradition that connects them to their ancestors and to their great-grandchildren, who will perhaps do the same rituals someday. These events acknowledge connection and joy, and so does good photography performed by a very respectful photographer.
Don't interfere with the moment; try to anticipate the flow of movement and emotion. What is the purpose of the photograph you are about to take? Is it just a snapshot? Or does it capture a special interaction? Are you taking the photos for your own pleasure or for the honored couple? Who will your audience be? Think about what your viewers will want to see, and what their point of view is, to produce photos that will capture the spirit of the occasion for all.
FIGURE 18-1 This group at a dedication ceremony was engaged with the event photographer when this photo was snapped. Some people are looking at him rather than into my camera lens.