Now there is an interesting question. We carried out a wedding photography assignment recently in Wanstead, Essex where the bridge and groom had made a conscious decision to stop the guests from taking photographs and videos, not just at the ceremony, but for the entire wedding. This came as a surprise to us as we are used to countless cameras of all shapes, sizes and qualities, shooting copious amounts of images behind us.
The reason for the ban was the couple had been to a friends wedding and seen the photographs and videos which showed the guests getting in front of the professional photographer. There is apparently a growing trend for “Unplugged Weddings” (as it’s called) and the advice is given on the wedding invitation.
The bride and groom explained to us that they didn’t want their photographs of them walking down the aisle with uncle tony standing in front of them to get the shot he wanted. They didn’t want their guests interfering with the professional photographers (us), they also didn’t want their wedding photographs on Youtube, Twitter or Facebook before the days was over, but most importantly, they wanted their guests to enjoy themselves.
As professional photographers we learn to live with a preponderance of cameras shooting around us. Yes, at times guests do get in the way however a polite word will usually solve this. As for the guest getting in the way just as you are about to shoot the bride and groom walking back up the aisle, there really is very little we can. See the image below.
The biggest problem is that the guests who stand behind us tend to distract the couple and this can ruin photographs as the eyes are not looking at my camera. We always take out shots, and then move out of the way and let the guests shoot their photos.
The couple who had the “Unplugged Wedding” received the images they wanted and all their guests had a super time. It was however a very strange feeling when you are used to a lot of people behind you to find they are not there.