I’ve been asked several times by brides, “Do you want us to tell everyone they can’t take photos during the wedding?” The first time I heard it, I was so confused why someone would ask me that question. Why wouldn’t I want other people to take pictures? So, I did a little research, and apparently a lot of photographers prefer that people don’t use their cameras during weddings for concern of “getting in the photographer’s way.” Some photographers go so far as to put in their contract that the bride and groom have to tell everyone to refrain from taking photos (for example, by putting it in the ceremony schedules handed out to guests). So, I guess this is a thing, to tell your friends and family, who have spent time, energy, and money (you know that Crock-Pot wasn’t cheap) that they are forbidden to take photos of one of the most important days of your life.
A wedding is one of life’s biggest events, and as a wedding photographer, I’m responsible to capture everything of that day, from the bride’s excitement as she puts on her dress, to the last hurrah as the bride and groom drive away for the evening. And as a photographer, there are a lot of variables that can inevitably go wrong. For example, what if my equipment malfunctioned, or a guest spilled their drink on my camera and memory cards, or my car got broken into and my equipment and photos were stolen? Granted, the likelihood of these things happening is low, seeing all the backups and secondary measures I have in place. However, what if? What if I was the only person taking photos the whole day because I had made the bride and groom tell everyone to keep their cameras down? What if something crazy happened and all their photos were lost? Honestly, I don’t think I could bear to face them knowing that at that point, they probably have no other photos of one of the most important days of their lives.
Not to mention, a wedding is not about the photography. A wedding is a celebration with friends and family of two people in love pledging their lives together. If they happen to get amazing pictures out of the deal, well then all sorts of awesome. But I am a firm believer that your guests are there to celebrate with you, and if that means whipping out their Iphone at that first kiss, then yay, celebrate away! I encourage you, as a bride/groom to be, to encourage your guests to record the day however they want, and let them celebrate with you while I document it all quietly in the background. In fact, one of my favorite weddings was when the couple first got up to the altar, I kid you not, at least 3/4 of the congregation of 250 took out their phones/cameras and started taking photos. From my vantage point in the back of the church, it was almost comical. But what a unique moment to be surrounded by so many people that love you so much they want to document your day just as much as you do. I mean, think about it, these 200 people or so were willing to give up however many kilobytes on their phone just to have a memory of their friend/cousin/niece/brother’s-best friend’s-sister getting married. They must have been a pretty special couple.
So please, celebrate with your special couple and shoot away…
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