With the increasing popularity of modern recording and photographic devices like smartphones, tablets, point and shoot cameras and even consumer DSLRs – more wedding guests are plugging in and snapping away throughout the wedding day! And although having the capability to capture special memories is exciting, many wonder whether this technological obsession is taking away from experiencing the events of the day!
Just over a year ago, one of my favorite wedding blogs, Offbeat Bride, featured an article about Unplugged Weddings that brought this issue to the forefront! As I am preparing for my own wedding… I felt like it was time to bring back this discourse and see what Chesapeake area brides and photographers think about the dilemma at hand!
What’s the problem with guests using their smart phones and cameras to take pictures?
Today, we’re going to discuss concern from brides and photographers to discover a modern dilemma that’s gaining attention across the country!
Ten years ago, when the bride walked down the aisle photographers captured the smiling faces of her friends and family, emotion stirring behind their eyes! Now, it’s quite likely for the majority of wedding guests to hide behind their smart phones or point and shoot cameras as they try to capture the perfect picture for a quick upload to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
What breaks the hearts of couples and photographers alike – are the countless wedding galleries that are more filled with the screens of iPhones and point and shoot cameras than they are with the smiling faces of wedding guests and family members!
Recent bride and talented wedding photographer Marcella Treybig encourages brides to consider unplugged weddings – as she did when she married her husband!
“I would absolutely suggest making it an unplugged wedding, I did for my wedding! I know it’s hard for people to put the phone or camera down, but think about how liberating it is… and you definitely enjoy yourself and the moment so much more. That’s what I wanted my guests to feel.. not on facebook posting the photo they just took of me walking down the aisle. I want to see their expressions and make eye contact with them and share in my joy.”
Another reader and bride to be, Sarah Kane explained her feelings after seeing an image like the one above! “I was just looking at my photographer’s blog of a recent wedding he shot. He took what would have been a beautiful photo from the alter area of the bride walking down the aisle and I was completely distracted by all of the iPhones and and digital camera screens.”
She also adds, “I know that the guests are just trying to enjoy the day but sometimes they can be so caught up at capturing the moments on camera, they end up in pictures holding up a phone or camera or getting in the photographer’s way.”
Photographers know all too well that in that split second before the kiss, hands dart into the aisle to capture the perfect iPhone picture – leaving the professional to do his or her best to dodge around the amateur devices in order to get the timeless shot! There are also concerns about multiple flashes going off at the same time, flooding the venue with a rapid abundance of light and leading to blown out images that would have been picture perfect!
There is a term used around the photography industry for individuals who try to play the role of the wedding photographer – the familiar “Uncle Bob”. But today it seems that Uncle Bob has been replaced by a multitude of his younger and more tech savvy counterparts with devices galore.
With advances in technology and the spread of smart phones, just about everyone has the ability to play the role of photographer… And far too often, it’s these innocent attempts to use these devices that can ruin the professional photographs, distract from the importance of the event, and keep guests farther removed from the moment.
Local wedding photographer, Abby Grace reiterates this important point, ”The bride and groom invite you, the guest, to their wedding because they want you to share in their joy and witness the biggest commitment they’ve ever made. Watching the wedding through an LCD screen isn’t the same as seeing it with your eyes, and you’re so concentrated on getting your photos that you miss the experience.”
And while most brides and photographers agree that guests should be able to carry their cameras and take snapshots throughout the day – it’s the big emotional moments that are becoming increasingly lost amidst the shuffle of devices and focus on picture taking rather than truly enjoying.
Do you think that guests should consider unplugging for the wedding day? Whether you’re a bride, photographer, future wedding guest, or general reader – We would love to know your thoughts on the issue!