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Wedding Photographer versus Wedding Guests

I like these comments by U.K. Wedding Photographer Jeff Ascough and I must admit that I do completely agree with him.

“I posted a link to the BBC website yesterday which contained a small piece of film about a photographer who was complaining how smartphones were ruining weddings, particularly in the hands of the guests.

I’m still a little perplexed by the photographer’s stance on this and just wanted to put a point of view across that I think is just as valid. A counter argument if you like.

We all know that couples spend weeks, months or even years preparing for their wedding day. It is an event that brings families together and guests from all over the world.

Now here is the thing – the guests are far more important to the couple than the photographer is.

That’s it. Period. End of argument.

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If we look at any wedding day, it has usually been organised around the guests. The pomp and ceremony is as much for the guests as it is for the couple. Most of the budget and time will be spent on the guests. The guests are far more important to the couple than the photographer is!!

So…if the guests want to take pictures – that is part of the wedding day. If the guests want to stand in the aisle and video the wedding – that is part of the wedding day. If the guests want to take the bride and groom aside to take unlimited selfies – that is part of the wedding day. I believe we should embrace that, not get heated about it, or demand that the guests leave their phones at home. We certainly should not get so precious about our job as photographers.

If a couple don’t want their guests to take pictures, then they will tell them. I know this because I have experienced it on many an occasion. A lot of my clients actually encourage guests to take pictures and upload them to Instagram. Some have asked the guests to video everything for them on their phones so they can produce a completely different type of wedding video. It is not a problem to me as a photographer – nor do I make it part of an excuse if I can’t get the pictures I want.

The craze for watching everything from the back of a phone is part of life in the 21st century and it may get worse or it may disappear altogether, but for right now, guests are glued to the back of their phones for parts of the day. Embrace what happens and document it in context because it will eventually become part of our social history.

As an aside, this past week we had an order for three 16×12″ panoramic albums from one of our clients. They were for the bride and groom and both sets of parents. They all chose different pictures to go into their respective albums but each album had this particular photograph in it…so much for guests with smartphones ruining the wedding day”.

Photography Business Coach Bernie Griffiths

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