Thomas Stewart, an Australian wedding photographer, caused a stir in the wedding industry and beyond when his rant about guests at weddings and their cameras, phones and iPads went viral.
It is an issue all modern wedding photographers have to face. Here is a recent photograph from one of my weddings.
If you haven’t already read it, here is Thomas’ full rant.
You can see the photo he mentions on his Facebook page here.
While I don’t agree with everything Thomas writes about, I do think it does raise some points which are worth discussing.
My own opinion is that the requirements of the couple are paramount and everyone else should respect that; the guests and the wedding photographer.
If you are planning your own wedding, think about what YOU want and let everyone know. If you are happy with your family and friends to take photos and share them on social media, and you are happy to have some of your photos include them taking the photographs, by all means go for it! Your wedding photographer should be professional enough to work around it.
It is NOT up to the wedding photographer to dictate the day.
There are a number of ways to ensure you get good photographs as the wedding photographer despite the guests trying to take their own photographs.
- Put a wide-ish angle prime on your camera and get in close to the couple, in front of all the guests.
- Don’t go for the obvious, cliched shot. Move to a different part of the room and get something unique and more creative.
- Build up a relationship with the guests and ask them to move out of the way if you really need the shot.
- Understand that the day is not all about you - it is the couples’ big day. If they are happy not have an unplugged wedding, don’t worry about it at all. You are capturing the day as it happened.
- Don’t be threatened by the iPhone photos going up on Facebook. Most of them will be rubbish anyway. Your photos should be much better.
However, if you as a couple don’t want guests in shot with their iPads, then tell everyone that you want an unplugged wedding ceremony. Tell them to leave their phones in their pocket and experience the day as it unfolds. Trust that the professional wedding photographer will get the important moments that you will treasure for years to come.
At the end of the day the best advice I can give to couples is think about what YOU want from the day in advance, what sort of photographs you want, and then let your guests and photographer know accordingly.
I’d love to hear some other opinions on this. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.