Cellphone Dodging For Photographers

Recently, photographer Thomas Stewart posted a photo on his facebook page of a moment spoiled by cellphones.  The photo now has nearly 100,000 likes. We’ve all seen it.  A father walks his daughter down the aisle and three people get in your shot with iPads.  These moments can be really frustrating for the photographers that are trying to produce their best shots for their loving clients.  But even with the trend of unplugged weddings is this probably ever really going to go away?  IS it even a new phenomenon.  For decades now people have been taking their own snapshots at weddings.

I’ve been to a number of family weddings where I’ve even pulled out my own cellphone for a shot or two.  It’s my family, of course I’m going to take a picture.  Not because I think I’ll do better then the pro with the SLR but just because I want to capture the moment for myself.

Sometime as professionals we have to dodge cellphones.  We can’t always do it and certainly a lot of moments will have some phones in them but that’s a sign of the times.  I’m sure twenty years down the road kids will be looking at these photos and saying “whoa look at that vintage iPad!”

The fact of the matter is this.  As much as we are annoyed by all these devices, the technology of the world is not going to disappear.  So how can we still get the shots we want around those unruly guests?

By using the tools in our arsenal.  Long lenses can isolate the subject and crop most aisle offenders.  Going for a low angle during the processional is a big help too.   If a mezzanine is available have your assistant shooting from above for an alternative angle.

A photographer’s worst nightmare is losing their images.  I’ve personally had this happen.  It was the worst moment of my career.  An entire memory card gone.  The only saving grace was that their were lots of guests taking their own photos.  Not for a second did I discourage anyone from doing so.  Thank goodness those photos were available for the bride and groom.  Without that, their would have been no images of the ceremony of that wedding.

Certainly there are some pushy guests that don’t realize that they’re getting in the way of their photographers but in this day and age I don’t know why any of us expect people not to be using their smart phones at weddings.  If everyone has a camera in there pocket it’s only natural that they’ll use them.  We as photographers may not like that but it is the truth.

It’s up to us to adapt to our surroundings or not.  That’s simply a part of evolution.  Luckily our creativity helps with that.

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