This image (and rant) by wedding photographer Thomas Stuart went viral recently and raised some important and relevant issues for professional Wedding Photographers and couples alike. I wanted to share my thoughts on guest photography at weddings which, since my first wedding 5 years ago, has grown evermore popular. With some couples even choosing to create a wedding hashtag, which is a great way of recording the day from the guests perspectives.
As a wedding photographer I always work guests taking photographs into my coverage, afterall they’re taking photos because they love you. Not to mention it creates really natural and fun wedding photography for your album.
However there is a downside to guest photography at weddings, especially during the key moments of the ceremony. As shown Stuart’s wedding photograph the guests, although well meaning and loving, can obstruct the view of the groom and the professional wedding photographer that you’ve carefully selected and invested in to capture your day. However for me the biggest consideration would be that your guests when using their cameras are not fully present in the experience of the day and are viewing the wedding and ceremony on tiny screens making your wedding a secondary experience.
As a wedding photographer I know how much care and consideration is taken into choosing the right wedding photographer and the importance of your investment into the work they create for you. Opting to go off grid with your wedding is a great way to ensure your guests are truly present to enjoy the day with you both. That’s why my advice is to ask guests to only use their mobiles and cameras before the ceremony and during the evening reception. That way when your wedding photographer captures your guests their faces aren’t hidden behind cameras, but are instead lit up with the happiness of love of the day. But let’s be honest, a wedding wouldn’t be complete without the evening’s drunken selfies!