Our Petition for “Unplugged” Weddings

We’ve finally reached a boiling point. And I’m reminded of a that song…

Don’t push me, ’cause I am close to the edge…I’m trying not to rip my own head off if I see you take out your cell phone during our wedding ceremony…did I just say that out loud?

As I think about our upcoming nuptials, this boiling point couldn’t have come at a better time.

Listen to this post:

The boiling point my friends, is the dreaded phone/ tablet ceremony. The guests that only see your wedding through the lens of their mobile device, which are getting bigger and bigger, I might add.

All the more to block your face with as you try to see your wife walk down the aisle. Or worst yet, where’s my husband’s face in the sea on cell phones and iPads?

Whoops, moment lost.

As photographers we’ve seen so much of this over the years. It demonstrates our society’s obsession with our phones and our own selfishness. We’re all guilty of it.

We’re connected like never before, and yet completely disconnected from the point of all this instant interaction.

To have a real human connection through our own eyes and ears is losing the battle.

Well no more!

Nothing would make me more angry, yes angry, not annoyed, not frustrated, not get over it later; if a guest was in the aisle with a phone trying to take a picture ruining our memories.

We have so many photos of grooms leaning past guests trying to snag their shot, it’s maddening.

I’m so happy that articles like this and this and this, understand our frustration. After all, we already feel uneasy bringing up this subject because it sounds like we’re whining or complaining.

However, with the images shown in those articles and the ones I graciously will not show here, the proof is in the ruined photographs. And no, you can’t just “photoshop” them out.

So why am I writing this? Just to fuel the fire?

Well yea. How else do you think we’re going to evoke change in the industry?

It’s become a standard that snuck under the radar as we digitized everything. We’ve only seen one “unplugged” wedding in our years of photographing.

And while the photographers suffer in silence, we can’t produce the work that you paid us for. And sure we could shrug our shoulders and say “it’s not my fault a guest is blocking your face, I’m just here to document what happened”. But we can’t.

We simply can’t.

Even though I retired from shooting, I know how a photographer thinks and acts. We always want to produce the best work and art we can in every single wedding we shoot.

We take enormous pride and concern about our jobs to document a wedding the way we and our clients want it.

Why else would we subject ourselves to 8-16 hour days without breaks, rain or shine on our $10,000+ equipment, coordinating the day, emailing back and forth with vendors, clients, venues and so much more beyond just shooting.

It’s a hard job, that most think is point and shoot. But we love it because of the moments that should be uninterrupted by cell phones, tablets and our learned social media selfishness.

We have the chance to appreciate what’s right in front of us and for a moment, be present with the people we invited into that sacred ceremony of unselfishness and support.

And yes, our wedding will be “unplugged” and hopefully after we’ve woken up from our digital addiction, wedding ceremonies will go back to being wedding ceremonies and the word “unplugged” will be the new norm.