Table Shots

In case you don’t know what “table shots” are: They are the photos of all the guests at their table. They are usually taken at the reception as the bride and groom walk around chatting with each table.

I’ll let you in on a wedding photographer secret: most of us don’t like taking table shots. Seriously.

Partly because it’s not exciting and takes a ton of time, but mostly because we are going around interrupting your guests while they are trying to eat. Plus: if you want all the guests from a table in one shot, then they have to get up and all move around to one side of the table. From your guest’s point of view, it’s a bit intrusive. And then there’s the issue of “Oh, Uncle Bob just went to the bathroom. Can we wait until he comes back?”

But, hey, I understand. You want pictures of all the guests. And sometimes a table will have a group of, say, college friends who haven’t been in the same place at the same time since college (and probably will never be in the same place at the same time ever again). You want to capture that moment.

So while I understand why people want table shots, I also think they are a very inefficient way to get pictures of the guests, and they result in photos that aren’t as good as they could be.

So how do you get pictures of all the guests without taking a bunch of time, without being intrusive to your guests, and getting the best pictures possible?

I have a solution:

Set up a location for portraits of the guests with (or even without) the couple. If the couple has a “sweetheart table” (table with just the couple) at the reception, you can have each table of guests come up to the sweetheart table and pose for a quick photo or two before they get in line for the buffet. No sweetheart table? Pick a spot on the dance floor (or wherever works). Having a sit down dinner? Have each table come up for their photo before they get served dinner. Or before they get served desert. Or whatever works for you timeline.

Doing these shots this way takes much less time, results in much better photos, and is much less intrusive on your guests.

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