JPG photography is going to always work with our couples to document their day and overcome any obstacles that may present. However, the fewer obstacles, the better. In the past we’ve talked about “unplugging” — the request for guests to set down their cameras and cell phones to better enjoy themselves and be more present with their loved ones as proceedings unfold, especially during the ceremony. I recognize both the importance for guests to remember the day and the difficulty that comes with shutting our devices down for periods of time, but sometimes it’s for the best.
One of my worst stories of a plugged-in guest happened at Duke University Chapel in North Carolina. My boundaries as the official photographer were severely hampered by long-standing rules. I was not permitted to photograph past a certain point. I had planned a stunning shot of the bride processing down the long aisle and just as she reached her guests, a gentleman stood in the center of the aisle with his camera, blocking my shot completely. With so many restrictions the one incredible shot I could get was ruined for me. You can imagine my searing frustration.
Mel and Eugene’s wedding was outstanding but as Mel walked down the aisle I found myself in a faceoff with seven cell phones drawn like blazing pistols in an old western film. The result: a beautiful shot of Mel walking down the aisle with seven LCD screens and hands forcing themselves into the shot. Nobody can argue I faked it.
Weddings are a celebration to be savored and enjoyed. I’m all about guests documenting the day in their own way. At the reception go crazy! But I ask you to consider reminding your guests to savor your day, be 100% present, and not…definitely not…take out those phones and cameras then. We got it.