I had finally fit all of the bridal party into a position including all seven groomsmen and all seven bridesmaids, with three flower girls and two ring bearers, for a group picture at the ceremony site. It had certainly taken some wrangling and finagling. I stepped back to finally take the shot with my camera, and suddenly I was surrounded. A horde of people stepped up and brought out their phones and iPads, snapping away a billion pictures before I could even bring my camera up to my eye. Um hey, there's a photographer here!
I let everyone snap their photos before kindly asking them all to step back for me to snap mine. But this brings up an issue that I'd just like to share with everyone. Consider this an open letter to all family members and guests of the wedding. Please take a moment. This won't be too uncomfortable.
I get that we're in an age of Instagram. I too love to capture moments. But there comes a time when looking through a phone screen just cannot compare to living in the moment. There are a lot of times, especially if I'm at my friend's wedding, where I do not bring a camera. Nor do I pull out my phone to take photos. (GASP! A photographer not taking pictures!) It's because without that distraction, I can actually enjoy the special occasion before me. I know I'll be able to see the photos that the photographer will provide later. There's a reason the Bride and Groom hired a professional photographer. And if you keep getting in that photographer's way, how does that reflect on the investment the couple has put forth for this day?
I know you want to get instant photos. I simply ask that maybe you wait for the reception, when things are a little less crazy. I ask for the respect that should be shown to the Bride and Groom on their day, that they will receive the professional photos they want, without "Uncle Bob" lurking in the picture as he tries to take the same pictures with his camera. I promise you will see the photos. Please be a part of the moment, not a hindrance. I'd rather you exist in the photos with them or at least share in the emotion, without trying to see everything through a screen.
So step back. Put your phone and tablets away. Don't bring your DSLR. Be happy. Enjoy the moment with the couple, and know that they are grateful you are there sharing in their union. I'll take care of the rest! ;)