One thing I have been really intrigued by, is the passion that Brides, and Grooms, exhibit over pictures being taken at their wedding celebration. But also, when those photos are shared on modern social media, often before the professional wedding photographer has had a chance to even get their shots off their drives and onto the computer for editing.
Many couples have opted, especially in this modern era of smart phones, to have unplugged ceremonies. Sometimes this is focused on not having your guests distracted by their devices during this time, but another reason that is sure to be on the couples minds is that of the professional photographer. These couples don’t want the photographer they have spent a considerable amount of money on, to have to work around a bunch of guests who have their phones stuck out into the aisles, or held up over their heads. Not to mention the unhappy discovery that so many shots might be ruined by one of those cameras/phones in the shot. This is smart, it’s two very good reasons to have an unplugged ceremony.
However, once the ceremony is over, it’s generally fair game. You can’t force people to part ways with their phones for 4, 5, 6+ hours for an evening. People will pull them out to check messages and more and eventually they will take pictures. Pictures of you, pictures of your guests, pictures of the wedding party.
The best you can really hope for is that guests will not ignore your request to not take pictures during the ceremony. After they vows are said, and you have processed out from the ceremony, the photographer knows they are going to be focusing on more controlled shots and then they will be able to get into spots between you and your guests to get things like the first dance, and the cutting of the cake.
But what about those pictures that your guests do take? What about that? Well, they will frequently find their way to Social Media. This isn’t meant to insult you, it might not be your wish, but it’s bound to happen. And you know what, it doesn’t overshadow your professional photography.
When you get your professional photos back, you are going to find them to clearly outshine our guests smart phone shots. But can you still ask that guests not post their own photos? Sure. But can you really expect that to be adhered to? Not really. Accept that some photos, maybe a lot, will get shared on social media. This is a joyful moment, and your guests want to celebrate you and share their love for you and your day with their friends and family.
So how can you better control the quality of photo’s that dominate the internet immediately after your day? Try considering one or two other photographers, people you trust, who will use their smart phone cameras, to capture quick shots from a location that is not in the way of your big money professional. They can get some of the ceremony, some of the reception, and you get to decide which of those shots get posted to the internet same day, even in quick bursts throughout the event. This can be a friend, or family member, but just be sure to let your guests know they are part of the team and that your wishes for an unplugged ceremony will still be expected to be honored. That way other guests don’t feel it’s a free pass for them to ignore your wishes too.