Unplugged Weddings by Lexington Wedding Photographer Brandi Potter
I’ve photographed quite a few weddings now, and I feel like I’ve seen it all when it comes to people trying to get photos during ceremonies/events. I’ve had people step in front of me with small point and shoot cameras, and even witnessed someone taking photos with a Nintendo 3DS. I’ve also had people stand on things behind me to get shots, because they wanted to get into photography. Even unplugged ceremonies aren’t completely safe. All of the unplugged weddings I’ve had in 2016 still had someone running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to get photos.
Thankfully, I’ve never missed a shot, but I have had to take countless people out of them. I have had better luck with this than some of my friends though, and none of the examples I’m showing are even *that* terrible. So far the issue (for me at least) has just been a small nuisance. However, it does feel like it’s getting worst as time goes on and more and more people have become obsessed with sharing on social media. I get it, I do, but you really aren’t doing the couple or the photographer any favors.
Yes, it feels like every photographer has a post like this, but it feels necessary. I want my clients or people that stumble across my site to read this, and to listen to my advice. Even though the thought of having even more photos from your wedding may excite you, how serious are you going to be about printing your great Aunt Jolene’s flip phone photo that was destined for facebook as soon as it was taken?
The Reasoning Behind Going Unplugged
- The same thing everyone says, but it’s true: We are literally getting paid thousands to be there to photograph this wedding. Trust me when I say a “free gift” of your poorly exposed photos isn’t going to make them excited. No matter how good the intentions are it still does nothing to erase the fact that you’d rather take a photo with your ipad than pay attention to this special moment in time you were invited to attend!
- If you’re a guest at a wedding you should be enjoying the moment, soaking in the emotions and PAYING ATTENTION. There have been scientific studies on whether or not taking photos makes you remember less of the moment, and guess what? It does. As a guest do you want to be able to say you were at the wedding and tag photos on facebook or do you actually want to remember what happened? I know it’s a hard choice, but myself and many other photographers, have zero problem with guests having access to the photos if the couple allows it.
- Guests can literally be blocking the bride and grooms view of one another when the bride is coming down the aisle. Recently, a photographer posted about his experience at a wedding, and how the groom had to lean around a hoard of people with their phones out just to see his bride. I imagine that wasn’t a good feeling for either of them, and how would you like it if your face and phone went viral because YOU WERE IN THE WAY!
- In tight enclosed spaces a guests flash can ruin my photos, especially if I’m not using a flash. There’s really nothing I can do to fix completely washed out photos from a flash gone bad. Don’t pretend you’re a pro and use a pop up flash. Just don’t.
- Sometimes well meaning guests will post photos of the bride/groom before they even get a chance to see one another. I’ve seen them with their noses in their phones posting photos from a ceremony that’s still in progress. Neither of these things are acceptable. I personally don’t even think it’s acceptable to post the photos that day at all, even during the reception.
- As a bride and groom you don’t want to look out during the ceremony/reception/any point in the day and just see the phones in your guests faces. It also looks horrible in the photos that we have to give back to our clients. No one want’s that, and no one is dishing out the cash to a pro to get a sea of phones back in their photos.
- My last point, which is a little selfish on my part, is that I shouldn’t constantly have to have someone over my shoulder while I’m working. It makes me uncomfortable and I won’t be able to concentrate if someone is there. I don’t go into other peoples work and stand over their shoulder and do the exact same thing, and I expect the same courtesy when I’m working.
At the end of the day, it isn’t up to me though, and I can pretty much work around anyone in my way and get some form of acceptable shot. There is the slight chance that one day someone will take it to far and completely ruin an important moment though. I don’t want that to happen, but I would at least like my clients to consider going unplugged.