Turns out we’ve been ruining our friends’ weddings for years. And we had no idea.
A frustrated photographer has posted an online rant about wedding guests using phones to take photos during wedding ceremony — and his words are dividing the online bridal community.
New South Wales photographer Thomas Stewart, who shoots around 70 weddings a year, took to Facebook to plead with wedding guests to leave their electronic devices at home when invited to a wedding.
“Right, I’ve had enough. I want to talk to you all about guests using mobile phones / cameras at weddings,” he wrote.
He went on to refer to a photo he’d taken of a wedding, in which the groom can be seen peering around a sea of guests’ phones.
“Look at this photo. This groom had to lean out past the aisle just to see his bride approaching. Why? Because guests with their phones were in the aisle and in his way,” he wrote.
He then listed a series of factors future brides and grooms should consider when planning a wedding.
He pointed out that guests with phones and iPads get in wedding photographers’ way; that the guests get in the bride and groom’s way; and that the guests’ photos are rarely good, anyway.
“I’m sorry, but it is true,” he said of the last point. “You can’t take great photos with your camera phone by leaning into the aisle of a dark church to photograph a moving subject. Hell, even lots of professionals have trouble with this.”
His final argument was an emotional appeal to brides and grooms to imagine the devastation of looking up to your guests, only to see a sea of iPhones.
“Imagine you’re in the middle of your wedding ceremony,” he wrote. “You decide to take a quick glance towards your guests as you’re sure they’re sharing these happy moments with you, possibly even shedding a tear of their own.
“What do you see? NO FACES AT ALL AS THEY ARE ALL HIDDEN BEHIND PHONES AND CAMERAS! I highly doubt this is the way you want to remember your wedding ceremony.”
Related content: Here’s a bride checking her phone during a wedding ceremony (post continues after video):
He ended his rant by pleading with guests to remember that they weren’t invited along to the event to take photos.
“They want you there with them in heart and soul, and they want to see your tear-filled eyes as you form part of their wedding ceremony,” he wrote.
“You are witnesses to their marriage, so for goodness sake, watch them with your eyes and your minds, not your phones.”
The Facebook post has been liked more than 26,000 times and shared thousands of times — including by a number of wedding photographers, who obviously feel the same way.
But other commenters are suspicious of Stewart’s message, and some say his rant is going to far.
“A nice way for you to make more money by forcing the family to buy the only pics of the wedding from you?,” asks Jeff Yates.
“He makes a valid point but this photo is Photoshopped. He put some of these people in the way. The lady in black has a very square and pointy right shoulder when you zoom in,” Kristin Spooner says of the photo shared by Stewart alongside his rant.
One former bride advices against others taking Stewarts’ advice.
“DON’T do this,” Ash S Inu Sipua Leausa commented. “The best pics at my wedding were captured from phone cameras and not from the photographer who took boring unnatural pictures.”
Do you agree with Thomas Stewart ? Would you consider an “unplugged wedding” or do you think his rant went too far?