dear wedding guests and family members of future wedding couples,

this blog is for you. 

pretty much everyone *thinks* they are a photographer with their advanced smart phones with capable cameras. there is still a HUGE difference between cell phone quality and professional quality photos. have you tried printing your cell phone photos any bigger than an 8x10? 

every single wedding i come across a guest getting in the way with their smartphone or tablet. whether it's during the ceremony, family formals, first dance or the cake cutting.... i always have to cut in front of someone to get the shots i need to make my couple happy. 

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it's not just at the ceremony. it's all day long, starting in the getting ready rooms. instead of stopping family, friends, guests and even other vendors from doing their thing, i just document it.

so if my client wonders why i missed a moment, i have a photo of their friend or family member inserting themselves into the image to get their own shot. 

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at the ketuba signing... i mean honestly, do you see the photo he's taking? is it worth having? is it worth ruining the shot the photographer was better equipped to take? 

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i tend to poke fun of the selfies by taking photos of selfies in progress. they can be fun but when you have twenty plus images just like this in your wedding gallery, it gets old. but this is life now. cell phones are attached to our hands and everyone is now documenting weddings with them.

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many couples ask nicely for an unplugged ceremony. keep your phones in your pockets and purses so guests can be present. EVEN AT THE UNPLUGGED CEREMONIES I SEE CELL PHONE PHOTOGRAPHERS. people are addicted to their devices and can't help themselves. is it worth ruining your friend or family members wedding photos to get your crappy cell phone version?

stop the madness, wedding guests!!! put your phones down and enjoy the wedding.

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i'm hoping at some point weddings have a "phone check" (like a coat check) where you drop your phone off until the reception. it's that ridiculous these days. can't we go an afternoon or evening without touching our phones?!?!? 

so if you want to avoid your guests getting in your photographer's way, make sure you have your officiant make an announcement to turn off all phones before the ceremony begins. you can prepare your guests by updating your wedding website with a note about your unplugged wedding or include signage at the ceremony. 

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you've spent so much time, effort and money on your wedding day, so it should be important to have your family and friends PRESENT and IN THE MOMENT instead of fumbling around with their smart phones. 

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during family formals the wedding photographer is WORKING HARD to get stellar portraits for their wedding couple. having multiple friends and family members beside, behind and IN FRONT OF the photographer is NOT helpful. not only are they in my way when i back up, but the people in the portrait are going to look at the wrong camera, 100% of the time, thus ruining the portrait. 

new rule. no cell phone photos at family formals. 

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can't we just enjoy the parent dances and let the photographer and videographer do their jobs? i get that you want the instant gratification of posting the video on social media for all to enjoy, but why not savor the moment with your eyes instead of on your screen and wait for the professional version (with amazing lighting) to appear via the happy couple? i just don't get it. 

i guess for many wedding and event photographers it's just wishful thinking to have a cell phone free wedding day. 

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