Since I almost always have a camera on me, I’ve become the default family event photographer. This is often a neat position to have but it gets risky when people start assuming that I’ll get the shot.
For general events and parties, this isn’t an issue. There’s never an incident around which the entire event hinges. But some events happen to be based around specific moments which are important to capture. Though I’m at the event to be at the event, not just record it, it’s become my responsibility to get the important shots.
I’ve been both lucky and good so far. In two baptisms I’ve gotten the important shot by waving a camera in auto-everything mode above my head. I’ve also been confident (or stupid) enough to take my digital SLR and its dodgy focus-confirmation system with fully-manual lenses to a number of can’t-miss events such as graduations or even my son’s birth.
I’m much more comfortable just taking candids of friends or family members at an event than I am having to take the photograph. At the same time, I have to admit that I’m probably the most-skilled person for the job so, if I don’t do it, there’s a good chance it doesn’t get done well, if at all. Just don’t ask me to do any weddings…