Unplugged Wedding: A Photographers Perspective
What is an unplugged wedding?
An unplugged wedding is where the couple politely ask their guests to leave the photo taking to the professional photographer and is normally only a strict rule for the ceremony. During the wedding breakfast or event reception, the ‘no photo’ ban is normally relaxed or forgotten about.
Everyone has a camera in their pocket or handbag these days. Considering that the most shared photography content on social media is of cats or food, it’s no wonder that during a real life event, people do all they can to get the perfect sharable image.
I can totally understand why a couple would rather their guests just enjoy the day and be in the moment, rather then be on their phone. I also understand that people like to keep specific details of their big day off of social media until they are ready to reveal all the details. Imagine a picture of the bride in her dress making it’s way onto Facebook before the ceremony.
Sometimes guests ruin wonderful shots!
9 times out of 10, guests taking photos whilst the professional photographer is taking photos doesn’t cause problems. At almost every ceremony i’ve attended – particularly civil ceremonies – guests are invited to come up and take photos of the couple at a strategic moment, most commonly during the signing of the register. Elsewhere, guests can take a moment with the newlyweds to take a selfie or portrait.
However issues can arise for a wedding photographer when guests try to ‘steal’ their shot at crucial moments, sometimes literally getting in your shot to get a ‘perfect photo’ of the happy couple. No-one would intentionally get in the way of capturing a great moment, but it does happen and it can stop the paid professional doing the job they were hired to do.
Going unplugged during group portraits.
An unplugged ceremony is an excellent idea and one I often suggest couples impose. Another time when too many photographers can spoil your photos, is during the posed group portraits. All too often, guests draw attention away from the people people photographed. When this happens the photographer ends up with photos of everyone looking anywhere but into their camera. Rather than saying things like ‘big smile’, ‘say cheese’, everyone smile’ etc, I often end up saying ‘don’t look at them, look at me’, ‘hello, everyone looking at me!’.