Smartphone use at weddings is a delicate etiquette issue for most couples — is it more polite to allow your guests to snap their own photos, or tell them to leave the phones out of sight?
Now, a wedding photographer is speaking out once and for all to tell his clients that he’s “had enough” with snap-happy guests ruining his photos.
Australian snapper Thomas Stewart of Thomas Stewart Photography wrote a diatribe on Facebook expressing his annoyance at wedding guests with phones and its now going viral with 67,000 shares.
“Right, I’ve had enough,” he writes. “I want to plead with you, and I’m going to make this very simple: brides and grooms, please have a completely unplugged wedding ceremony.”
Stewart posted the below photo alongside his rant.
“Look at this photo,” he wrote. “The 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.”
Stewart is going to “make a pretty big deal about” guests using their phones to take pictures at his clients’ weddings from now on, he said. He’s asking anyone planning a wedding to “consider these points:”
1. Guests with phones, iPads and cameras get right in your photographer’s way. They have no idea how to stay out of our way. They often ruin many of our shots. They will make our photos worse. You’re paying a photographer quite a bit of money; that means you want great photos. We cannot do our best work with people getting in our way.
2. These same guests will get in YOUR way. You will miss moments of your own wedding day because there’ll be an iPad in the way. You will miss seeing your partner’s face in the aisle.
3. The guests’ photos are usually crap. I’m sorry, but it is true. 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.
And finally, the most important point:
4. Imagine you’re in the middle of your wedding ceremony. You’re elated. 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.
He urges couples to tell their guests in their invitations and at the ceremony not to use phones. “HIRE A PLANE TO WRITE IT IN THE SKY!” he implores them.
The screed has almost 20,000 comments right now, mostly from people who wholeheartedly agree with Stewart.
And on Instagram, if you check the hashtag #unpluggedwedding, you’ll see plenty of Pinterest-friendly chalkboard signs politely asking guests to turn their phones off.
Memes expressing frustration at the sea of iPhones that frequently greets married couples are also making the rounds online now.
It seems like plenty of people are on the same page with this. But that begs the question: if this many people are really that upset about phone use at weddings, who are the ones that keep on doing it?
Get THE MID-YEAR SMARTPHONE MARKET REPORT now! A comprehensive look at the global smartphone market from BI Intelligence by platform, vendor, country and more. Insights into the power struggles between the biggest platforms and the underdogs. Get the Report Here »