We live in a world where no matter where you look everyone around you is plugged into the online universe. Whether it be scrolling through social media, reading a blog, listening to podcasts, or playing a game, the online world often seems like a better reality than the one we’re actually living in.
Which leads me into this weeks topic of conversation and HOT TAKE!!
Cell Phone/Cameras during the Ceremony! Necessary or Completely Rude?
There’s a couple ways to approach this, but I’m going to take it on from the perspective of a wedding photographer who edits their own photo gallerys and give you, the people of the internet, my Hot Take.
PUT YOUR GOD DAMN PHONES AND CAMERAS AWAY!!
Personally, I think that if the Bride and Groom shelled out hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars for a professional team to come in and capture their big day, all guests should respect the wishes of the Bride, Groom, and their families.
No moment on your phone is more important than the Brides walk down the isle with her father, no photo is worth blocking the professional shot with your arm and hardware while risking the contract the Bride and Groom created with their chosen photographer, and no cell phone is going to get a better photo than the thousands of dollars worth of photo equipment no matter what the spec sheet of your iPhone XR says.
Brides and Grooms shouldn’t have to ask their guests to put their phones down and be present at the ceremony, but if they do happen to ask you as a guest FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST DO IT.
Now that you know my opinion, I’m going to tell you a little story that lead me there.
Recently, my husband and I we’re hired to shoot a wedding, a wedding where all of the guests we’re told by the family multiple times that they should unplug and be present at the ceremony. Even posting signs like the one below all around the wedding venue:
My husband and I actually really appreciated this ask, we’ve had trouble in the past in the editing stage where there were constant phones ruining the shot, or people leaning into the isle blocking it entirely making it hard to deliver a shot that didn’t require hours of photo shop to fix.
Seemed like a simple enough request, guest put your phones down, the professional ones will be shared with you once they are delivered, which wasn’t too long after the wedding if I might add.
However, this request couldn’t be respected. They’re not my guests, so its not my place to say anything, but it made delivering the images from the wedding a slower process seeing as we had to turn images similar to the one below where the bride was walking with her father, into images that we’re acceptable to deliver.
Amongst my editing process, as more and more of these photos came up, I decided to send a pre-edit shot to the Mother of the Groom, whom I had dealt with most of the process leading up to the wedding, and who I was sure would have her own opinion of the shot. She sent me back the image below, of which she blasted to the guest on Facebook. I was happy that the family still had our back, but just upset I couldn’t get the photos to them sooner due to the extra time it would take to erase all the digital evidence.
So whether you’re a guest or the bride and groom, for the love of all that is holy PUT YOUR DAMN PHONES DOWN. Enjoy the ceremony, and then capture all the fun of the reception. You can handle a 30 min detox from the digital world, I promise.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding Photographer