Should you ban mobile devices from your wedding?

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Yes. I know I really do need to learn to form an opinion but that really is the short answer! I don’t necessarily mean that you need to completely ban mobile devices for the whole day, as the guests obviously will want to take selfies when they are looking gorgeous, and tablets are genius for keeping the small ones entertained at certain points of the day, but I am finding more and more frequently that not only are they intrusive and annoying, but it is completely unnecessary to have 12 mobile phones pointing at you when you are walking down the aisle, after you have paid a professional photographer a tidy sum of money to capture that shot for you….and not only that, the mobile phones ruin the photograph! I would much rather see your family and friends clapping and cheering or smiling proudly at you, rather than having their faces hidden by a piece of metal and plastic! Only last week I was photographing a wedding and one of the guests decided to video the whole thing from her tablet, from the back of the room. There were big windows in front of the bride and groom so I’m sure the exposure must have been terrible, and she was so far away that I don’t see how any audio could have been picked up at all, but she did have a big dog tablet cover and that dog was held high, right inbetween the bride and groom whilst I was taking photographs. Now, there are certain tricks I can employ with regards to shutter speed to make the ambient light at the back of the room seem darker, but this is not always possible (depending on the available light in the room) and more likely, I will have to spend hours on photoshop, which will be extremely difficult, trying to replace a plastic 12” dog with a real woman’s face!! I couldn’t ask the lady to move as the ceremony had already begun and of course I would never interrupt proceedings, and I would have been more than happy to share my space with a video camera if the bride and groom wanted the ceremony to be filmed, but I really don’t think you will receive much benefit from having your photograph taken multiple times on a mobile device, many of which you probably will never even see!

Now then, rant over, there is a simple solution which I have seen recently, which just involves a small sign outside the ceremony room asking guests (in a friendly fashion) to put their devices away and leave the photography to the professional. One sign said something like “we want to see your faces, not your devices (and our photographer is happy to share her photos)”. I have just googled “wedding sign no devices” and there are so many options in the images section and it seems that this is an actual thing called an “unplugged wedding” (so I’m not the only one with this opinion!). You could even request this just for the ceremony and your guests will be less inclined to be constantly pointing their devices at you all day, which I promise will be better for them, and more importantly, for you.

One Response

  1. Andrew Beaumont.

    As a photographer myself I agree completely.
    The problem I find on a lot of occasions is the likes of iPhone etc have people convinced they can produce work at the very least equal to that of a pro photographer.
    Doing a registry office shoot only a few weeks ago I was challenged by a half a dozen rowdy wedding guests armed with iPhones that wedding photographers should be a thing of the past.
    Granted that was the most extreme instance I’ve experienced but I have heard of cases where no photographer has been commissioned to work because they wanted people to take their own shots with phones.
    Their choice and in my opinion one I fear they would regret.
    I would most definitely encourage the bride and groom to advise guests not to allow mobile pictures during the traditional photographers time.
    I think the signs are a friendly, gentle reminder that there are professionals working.