How to collect photos from your wedding guests
So your wedding is over and went off without a hitch. In between opening the presents and writing thank you notes there is one other task that may be on your mind. Collecting all the awesome photos and videos taken by your guests at your wedding! Collecting these photos is worth the effort as you will be able to glimpse your wedding from the eyes of your guests and may even find a few brilliant candid moments.
The best approach is to plan ahead and set up a service or method before your event and let guests know how to share before everything begins. This will ensure everyone is aware of your desire to collect photos so they will remember to look for good photo opportunities and also remember to share them using your collection method.
Below we’ve listed the most popular methods people use to collect their wedding guest photos and videos.
Set-up a dedicated wedding photo email address
Use Gmail or another email provider to set up a free email address dedicated to collecting photos for your wedding. Share this email address with all your guests before your wedding, maybe on your wedding invite to ensure they know where to send all their photos and videos.
Ask your guests to upload to a shared cloud folder
Use Google Drive or Dropbox to create a shared folder that your guests can access and upload photos and videos to. The downside of this method is that all your guests need to download a specific app and figure out how to upload their photos, which may be something friends and family who are less IT savvy will struggle with. Still it is a viable option that is essentially free.
Create a Facebook group
Create a private Facebook group for your wedding guests and invite them all. Ask them to upload all their photos to the group. This can work well if all your guests are on Facebook (and you’re friends with everyone!), but it's likely a few aren’t on Facebook or use it regularly. Another downside is you will need to go through each photo and manually download them if you want to use the photos anywhere else.
Create a custom hashtag
Come up with a unique hashtag that hasn’t been used yet and ask your guests to add this to their posts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you have a lot of guests who you're not connected to on these social media platforms, ask them to share posts with the hashtag and visibility set to ‘Public’. This will ensure you can search and find the hash-tagged posts afterwards. Be sure to promote your hashtag in your invite, emails and announcements during the event. The downside of this method is searching for all the shared posts after the event and manually aggregating them from different platforms.
Use PhotoStream.Live to easily collect photos and videos
If you are going to have a projector or large screen at your wedding you can use PhotoStream.Live to host a live stream to collect photos and videos from all of your guests in real time. The best part of a live stream is that guests will have a ton of fun seeing their photos and videos coming up on a screen in real time, encouraging everyone to take even more great snaps! PhotoStream.live also makes it super easy to send photos and videos for your guests. Each event includes a custom email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), dedicated SMS/MMS number and real time monitoring of hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. These channels make it fast and easy to share to the live stream for guests of all ages. Pretty much everyone with a smartphone knows how to send an email or SMS!
The setup is super easy. Just sign-up with your event details. On the day, display the live stream web page we create for you on your projector or screen. That’s it! Your guests will do the rest of the work and have a ton of fun :) Instructions for how to post photos and videos will rotate across the bottom of the screen but you can also promote it through announcements ahead of time as well.
Most wedding couples forget to include a way to collect all the great photos and videos their guests are going to take. But if you do a bit of planning, you can set up a service to help you collect all your amazing guest photos. Be sure to also promote the method you choose to use with easily accessible instructions.
If you would like to use PhotoStream.Live to easily collect wedding guest photos in real time, you can try out our free demo or create a live stream for your event. Be sure to use code FIRST10 for 10% off your first live stream.