I’ve been asked by several brides to re-share some information and ideas for an “unplugged” wedding.
As a photographer, a bride and groom hire me to capture special moments from the most important day of their life and they invite family and friends to share intimate moments with them. While some guests think it so important they take photos from their iphones, camera’s even iPads, for most part they are obstructing the real photographer from doing what we’ve been paid to do.
You’d be surprised the amount of weddings where the groom finally sees his bride for the first time walking down the isle, starting to tear up and all of a sudden, dad walks right in front of him with his new camera and starts snapping with his full flash at 5 frames a second. Then uncle bob decides that he wants a memorable shot also, so dad, uncle bob along with a dozen guests step out into the isle and holding their iphones and ipads high in the air or in front of the bride as she has to dodge the paparazzi. I’ve even seen children with their nintendos and tablets interrupting the ceremony by trying to take photos.
With the introduction of digital cameras and high quality sensors in phones and tablets, this ‘photo frenzy’ has escalated into a common occurrence and has all sorts of problems as a result. Most guests don’t realize the impact however, here are just a few:
- Firstly, the professional photographer (you know, the one you paid lots of money to capture moments from your day) is so restricted by the plethora of cameras and people in the shot. It’s NOT flattering to see a beautiful moment full of phones and cameras in every shot. I’m often asked to ‘photoshop’ uncle bob and his camera out of the otherwise beautiful image – however this is not my mistake to fix.
- Secondly, the couple has asked their guests and family to be at their wedding because they want you to be a part of their day, not looking at the back of your phone
- Thirdly, there is a certain etiquette that goes with wedding photography. Breaking some of these ‘rules’ can be rude and disruptive. I have witnessed the celebrant having to stop the entire ceremony because of a wedding guest, snapping constantly in front of family who were trying to see the actual wedding
- Forth, many of the iphone photos are instantly added to facebook and other social media sites. These photos aren’t the best quality, edited or even flattering. I talked to a bride once where the very first picture the entire world saw of the most important day of her life (before the ceremony was even over), was a candid moment of a lovely used tissue stuck in her nose AND because she was blinking at the time, her eyes were half closed and rolled back into the back of her head. Great work Uncle Bob, very flattering!!!!
- Fifth, you’ve just missed the moment. How upsetting is it for a bride when she turns to a family member for reassurance or support, only to have they’re faces buried in the back of their phones, looking at the photo they just snapped. You’ve just missed the moment and missed the entire point of being a part of the wedding day.
Obviously, as a professional I fully understand and appreciate there can be circumstances where a guest may want to also capture moments from the day. For example, when family and friends are overseas or interstate and cannot attend the wedding, it’s good to have designated paparazzi. I often recommend that they follow me around to be able to capture some great shots without disrupting the couple, guests and me. However, when the entire guest list is snapping in a photo frenzy, it’s not the ideal look and feel to your wedding.
There are many horror stories and some very concerning photos of guests behaving poorly with no respect for the couple or others around them but there is a simple way to attack this problem.
Some couples ask the celebrant to add when asking to make sure you mobile phones are turned off or switched to silent, to also refrain from taking photos during the ceremony. Some place signs outside of the ceremony saying, “Welcome to our UNPLUGGED wedding”. It is also common to add to the invitations “We have asked you to be a part of our day and to view our wedding though your eyes, not the back of your camera”.
There are many blogs and ideas about Unplugged Weddings on the internet & I do encourage any couples tying the knot to do some research. I’m certainly not saying that cameras should be banned from weddings, but if nothing else brings awareness to the snap happy guest. I will often ask guests if they want to take some photos after I have finished with the signing and most are happy with this. My job ultimately is to capture your day as it happens, so I don’t mind either way, it’s purely a decision based on how you want your wedding photos to look.
Go to Studio Belle’s Facebook page at: Studio Belle Facebook for more ideas for your wedding day.
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Canberra wedding photography & ACT wedding photography, by Studio Belle Photography offering wedding photography in the ACT and Country NSW.
Studio Belle Photography is anything but your average Canberra wedding photographer. Each wedding is treated with care and creativity & your wedding day is carefully crafted to offer one of a kind unique photography in the Canberra Country NSW / ACT area.
Studio Belle Photography is an international photographer based in the Canberra region, offering wedding coverage in ACT, Canberra, Cowra, Wyangala, Yass, Goulburn, Parkes, Forbes, Orange, Gunning, Gundaroo, Fiji, Pacific Islands. This studio is highly acclaimed for its fine art wedding photography and based right here in the Canberra region.
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