Here at Always You Photography, we often get asked by the couples we meet if we would prefer their wedding to be ‘unplugged’ - whereby couples ask their guests to keep their phones/iPads and other picture-taking devices away from the ceremony so that they can sit back and enjoy the day.
We think this question is backwards – the question from us is always ‘would you prefer an unplugged wedding?’
Sure, for us as photographers, having guests take the photos can seem counter-productive. We love to devote our full attention to you and your day, and when guests hold up phones (or even worse full-sized iPads!) this can be a hindrance to doing that for you – but we would never tell you to ban cameras, iphones and social media just because we have to work around them!
Having your guests take photos can be a great complement to our professional photography – and we ourselves love a good selfie as much as the next person! These are the shots where you get to see the embarrassing drunk-face, the ‘I’ve eaten too much cake’ pouts and the general fun and frolics of your guests captured in a very personal, intimate way.
There are also some great apps out there to help you capture your guest’s personal photos of your day – WedPics being just one of many examples. Telling your guests not to have fun by taking pictures can also seem a bit daunting and formal – under the right circumstances, these sort of pictures can be really fun and complement your professional photos! You can also consider having a dedicated hashtag to help you track all your pictures over different social media platforms. – a great online record of your special day.
The key thing we ask you to consider is do you want people to concentrate on taking their next Facebook profile picture, or do you want them focusing on enjoying the day and seeing you celebrate the best day of your lives? If the latter, you may wish to consider some controls here – like politely asking guests not to take pictures during the ceremony itself, or waiting until the evening party gets going before taking pouty duck-face party pictures. This sort of approach can give you the best of both worlds, as selfies and guest photos basically become a more cost-effective photobooth and then your professional photographer is free to do his or her thing without fear of an errant iPad emerging from the crowd to block that one perfect couple shot!
The other thing to consider is whether or not you want these ‘informal’ pictures of your day emerging online before your professional photos come through – the beauty and curse of social media is its instant nature. You just know that when Uncle Fred posts that picture of you tripping on your dress on Facebook, that is going to be the first photo of your day that friends and family get to see online. While that is an extreme example, think about the instant-nature of social media and whether or not you want the ‘fun’ photos to be the first web-presence of your day or your professional ones.
If you do decide to go for a full-on unplugged day – we salute you! We would be lying if we said it didn’t make our lives that little bit easier – but we would never tell you that’s what you should do it as we completely agree that there are massive benefits to having these kind of shots and having social media updates. As always, we want to work with what makes you the most happy and relaxed on your day.
Whichever route you go for, don’t just think about us – think about what you want, and does going unplugged support you in achieving that?
Once you have that question answered, the rest of the answers will follow quite naturally.