Camera Wedding Favors: Presentation And Tips

Make the most of one time use cameras at your wedding reception by giving your guests the opportunity to photograph what the professionals miss. Read on for tips and instructions.

They're a terrific idea - those one time use cameras that many people put on the tables at their wedding reception. Why are they such a fantastic idea? While the professional photographer is busy doing his job of photographing the bride and groom's first dance, the cutting of the cake, the throwing of the garter and many other traditions, there are many interesting things going on with the guests that the photographer never gets to shoot. Providing the guests with cameras gives them the opportunity to help you preserve the unique memories of everything that went on at your reception, things that the photographer often misses.

While some professional photographers take candid photographs during the reception, the majority of their time is spent on the bride and groom. Also, since they are paid for a specific number of hours, many photographers leave before the reception is over and never have the opportunity to photograph all that happens towards the end. It has become popular to place a one time use camera (some couples place two) on each table so that they don't miss out on some of the pictures that the photographer doesn't have a chance to shoot.

There are many places to purchase these cameras and it is worth your time to do a little comparison shopping to get the best deal. Warehouse stores, party stores, and many online stores carry them in bulk. They are available in a variety of styles. You can purchase plain white cameras if your wedding is very elegant, ones with floral patterns in different colors to match the color scheme of your wedding, cameras with beach themes if your reception is outdoor and casual, or even ones that are personalized with your names and the date of the wedding (although these are more expensive). Cameras with 27 exposures seem to be the most popular choice, but they can also be found with 12 or 15 exposures per camera.


There are a couple of things you should watch out for before you purchase your cameras. Make sure they have a film speed of 400. The majority of them do have this speed, but double check. A lower speed, especially when used indoors, will result in underexposed photos. Also, make sure you are ordering ones with a flash if your reception is indoors or in the evening. Ones without a flash are less expensive, but they will only provide good photos if your reception is outside in good sunlight.

When placing the camera(s) on the tables there are a few guidelines to follow. It is a good idea to place an instruction card along with each camera. Some stores sell pre-printed instruction cards that tell the guests that these are for their use during the reception to have fun with and to please leave them on the table when they are done with them. You might want to print up your own cards with more specific instructions, though.

At minimum your instruction cards should let your guests know why the cameras are on the table and what to do with them when they are finished. You might also want to include a reminder to always make sure the flash is ready before they shoot and a suggestion to stand about four feet away from whatever they are shooting. These types of one time use cameras usually do not focus well any closer than that.

Specific assignments for each table are a really great suggestion to include with your instructions. You might ask one or more tables to please make sure to focus on any children at the reception. You can ask other tables to focus on the bride's family or the groom's family. The bridesmaids, the groomsmen and the dance floor are all categories you can ask specific tables to focus in on. This way, you're likely to get the biggest variety of photos. Make sure that the tables know that if something really fantastic is happening outside of their assignment, they are, of course, free to take pictures of that, also. Spend some time thinking about all the people and happenings you want to make sure get photographed and assign them all to tables.

Ask someone you trust to collect all of the cameras at the end of the reception (make sure they know exactly how many there are) and have them take the cameras for you to be developed while you are on your honeymoon. When you get home, they will be ready for you to pick up.

In addition to having the film developed and prints made, you might want to consider having picture cd's made also. This usually costs about $3 extra per roll of film, but there are so many things you can do with the cd's. You can post the photos on a web site for everyone to enjoy. You can make an online wedding album to share with your friends and family. You can also use an online service to crop the prints, turn them into black and whites, and easily order extra prints. These types of services also allow you to e-mail the pictures to people at no cost to you, and they can order prints if they choose to do so.

Although placing these one time use cameras is an idea that has only been around for about a decade or so, it is quickly becoming common at most weddings. It may be an added expense to your wedding budget, but the wonderful surprises you will get as you look through your pictures when you get home from your honeymoon will be well worth the money. And considering that it may be weeks, sometimes even months, before you get to see your professional photographer's prints, the immediate satisfaction you get makes your money even more well spent.

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