I saw a recent post on facebook yesterday where a wedding couple had come up with a really nice way to politely ask their guests to refrain from taking photos during certain parts of the wedding. The ceremony, portrait session etc were all times they wanted guests to enjoy, to be a part of and be in the moment with them. I loved it and as a photographer and part of me agrees that ‘unplugged’ weddings could be a great way to go.
The gun slinging, slow ass iphone 3 photographer-parent-event taker in-er in me says, ‘Hell No’. I want a piece of this. I want to capture but a small part of what I’m experiencing. I want to show people what is happening right here, right now. I think if you’ve got wedding guests texting or facebooking as a bride walks down they aisle they ought to be asked to go wait in the car but if you’ve got 150 people standing at attention, climbing over one another (and me) to grab a shot…why not? Could they be any more engaged in what’s happening? I think not.
It takes me weeks/months to get a full wedding collection back to clients but their friends can get a few shots up on facebook before I even get home. Go nuts I say! Part of me thinks we, as photographers, need to just chill out. I love nothing more than talking shop with an Uncle Bob who’s got more kit than we do. I love getting email a few days after a wedding with shots some crazy wedding guests grabbed of me hiding behind a bush at a wedding.
I’ve never once, not one single time, come home from a wedding and said, “God damn that wedding sucked because everyone was taking pictures”. Never. One of my favourite things to do to wedding guests taking photos is tap them on the shoulder with authority and say, “Uh, you can’t take photos here while Im shooting.” The next 1.5 seconds of panic/rage/embarrassment on their face is trumped only by the belly aching laugh we have when I slap them on the back them tell them I’m just kidding.
I’m just a kid from Cape Breton who’s trying to eek out a living shooting weddings. Far be it from me to tell your friends and family they can’t take photos at your wedding. If you’re a wedding guest at a wedding we’re shooting, I challenge you to get a better photo than I do…it’ll keep me sharp. We are far from some hoity toity snot faced photographer who wants everyone to stay out of the way while we work so if you see us, relax, be you and take all the photos you want. If you do happen to get in our way during a really important shot, well, rest assured that when you sit down to eat we’re gonna getcha cramming that buttered roll into your mouth!