I remember a few years ago I covered a wedding where the mother of the bride was an amateur photographer and spent most of the day looking at her daughters wedding through the viewfinder of her Canon Rebel (usually with the built in flash popped up). I remember how sad I felt for both the mother, and her daughter the bride. See as a professional wedding photographer in Denver I know there is a huge difference between focusing on documenting an event and living in the moment and truly experiencing an event. Through a viewfinder is not the way to view a loved ones wedding, it detaches you from really witnessing it with your heart and soul and just makes you an interested bystander.
So as we come into this wedding season I wanted to share some thoughts with going “unplugged” with couples. The unplugged wedding is simply a wedding where guests are asked to put down their cameras, cell phones, iPads, etc and just be in the moment during the critical moments of the day.
While a few cameras from guests sitting in their seats is never ruins anything other than the experience for that guest, a lot of guests have started going far beyond this. When guests start standing in the isle, standing up on their seats, getting behind the couple, etc so they can get a better shot it can hamper the ability of your hired professional to get the quality shots you’ve paid them for. Professional photographers tend to call those over zealous guests “Uncle Bob”, although it certainly applies to “My Co-Worker Roberta” as well.
Here’s a great article with some shots from Tim Coughlin, I shot Uncle Bob and I liked it.
There’s also a Photographers Guide to being a good wedding guest and I agree with how they look at the motivations for some of these “would be wedding photographers”.
Other thoughts on the idea:
Last fall Offbeat Bride did a wonderful post on the subject and includes free templates for signs and such.
Just food for thought this wedding season.