You’re going to invest a big portion of your wedding budget in your wedding photographs. So, how do you make sure they are everything you want them to be? How do you have your perfect wedding photos? With more than 10 years of experience, photographing well over 200 weddings and elopements, I’ve learned a few things that will make your wedding photography dreams come true.
let me see those faces!
I love technology. It’s the very reason I am able to share today’s tip with you and all the apps like Instagram and Tik Tok provide an excellent way for couples to capture some of the behind scenes of their wedding day. But (oh, there is a but!!)…
If there ever is a day to ask friends and family to unplug as much as possible from technology and be wholly present with you, it’s your wedding day.
let me paint you a picture
A Bride has just stepped into her dress, feeling beautiful as the clock inches closer to when she’ll be walking down the aisle toward her soon-to-be spouse. She is having a moment, feeling all the feels as she finally gets to wear this beautiful gown she chose almost one-year earlier. She turns around ready to have her maid of honour button things up and share this time with her, only to see her friend is distracted by something on her phone. Knife to the heart.
It’s painful to witness this so I can only imagine how that Bride would feel. 💔
I cannot tell you how many times a really beautiful and intimate moment has been ruined by a smartphone in someone's hand.
unplugged the whole day
We (people who love weddings) talk a lot about the importance of having unplugged ceremonies – even Huffpost wrote about it. But really, in my most humble opinion, I think all parts of the wedding day could use a little less technology and a little more presence.
As your wedding photographer, I want you to receive photographs of the people you love, fully engaged with you. And fully present to the things you are experiencing together throughout the key parts of your wedding day—getting ready, your ceremony, reception speeches, and even dancing.
I am not suggesting that you ask everyone to put their phones down for the whole day (even though I did take this approach—yup, phones were not welcome at my wedding). I am suggesting that you ask those present with you during the more intimate parts of your day, like when you're getting ready, and those whose faces will be at the forefront of everything going on, like your parents and wedding party, to put down their phones.
Your wedding is one of the rare occasions when all your favourite people are together in one place. Asking for a mostly unplugged day will ensure that you all maximize this time to be present together.
Because, after all, no one needs a photographic memory of what model of iPhone was trending when you got married.
my own wedding
We had an unplugged wedding and we communicated this in our invitations. We told our guests that their full presence was important to us and we had a photographer that would document all the moments we wanted to be preserved. And I have zero regrets.
I still remember looking out at all our guests and seeing their faces. At no time during the day was I met with a device instead of the smile of my parents and others. And there is not one photo in my gallery where someone is on their phone (even in the background). Moreover, the first photos I saw from my day were not from someone's shitty iPhone photo posted to social media. The first (and only) photos we saw were the photos we trusted out wedding photographer Tara to make for us. She sent them to us five days after our wedding it was worth the wait!
no other way
Having an unplugged wedding day was so important to me after photographing so many weddings and seeing so many guests over the years disengaged from the events of the day and consumed by their phones.
And, how many times have I runed to photograph a parent's reaction to their child's thank you speech only to see the mom holding up her phone recording the speech rather than soaking in the words and allowing me to document that moment for the couple.
Or how many times bridesmaids have been consumed with taking the perfect selfie while their Bride needs support and is experiencing some of the most magical moments as she gets ready to marry the love of her life.
The other reason we chose to have an unplugged wedding is that we had hired an incredible photographer and only wanted the photos she made for us to represent our day.
We simply would not have things any other way.
unplugged weddings in times of covid
You can still have an unplugged wedding during Covid while intentionally including technology.
For couples who plan to broadcast their wedding to friends and family via ZOOM or a live video in a Facebook group, I recommend designating one or two people to be tasked with this—whether you hire someone specifically for this, have your brother look after it or simply set up a phone on a tripod.
Either way, there is no need for every person to video your ceremony.
And if you’re still looking for a wedding photographer I’d love to hear from you! Visit my website and use the contact form to get in touch.