Ok, let me start off with a confession…. since I started out as a wedding photographer, I’ve always set out to avoid being one of those photographers who will control what happens in front of the camera, either by directing or re-staging moments, it’s never sat quite right with me. I’m a firm believer that a photographer should be there to document a day as it happens and any interference would result in making the images feel false. Apart from group shots or hanging the dress up somewhere nice, my input to directing the day is almost non-existent. So here’s the confession; at Verity and Joe’s wedding a few weeks back, and for the first time in 3 years as a wedding photographer, I went against that philosophy.
Now, before you jump the gun and lambaste me for this, let me explain what I did and why.
As I’m sure you’ve figured from the title of this post, it regards a mobile phone. Now, I don’t have issues with mobile phones at weddings as such. Certainly not in the way that most photographers do. I get that guests want to take pictures, and that’s cool with me, so they absolutely should. But in this instance, I stepped in, and I hope/think I was right to do so.
It was about 30 minutes before the ceremony, Verity was just finishing off getting into her dress and preparing to walk downstairs. Before she did, I went to find Dad ready for the big reveal. It’s always a moment I look forward to, especially as a dad to a little girl, I can only imagine how they must be feeling when they see their little girl walking towards them in a wedding dress for the first time. Now, I must stress, Verity’s dad is a top fella, and this article is by no means meant to cause any offence, he was merely doing what most of us would do. When I found him, he was ready for the big reveal, but with a mobile phone held up ready to film the arrival of his little girl. As the photographer, a huge moral dilemma for me ensued. For a minute, I stuck to my philosophy and said nothing. But after this minute had passed, I couldn’t help but find myself thinking of Betsy walking down the stairs, all excited at the day ahead, waiting to see my reaction, and instead, seeing a mobile phone. I couldn’t let that happen. So, and I hope Dad didn’t mind, but I suggested (with a huge cheeky grin on my face!) that he give the mobile phone to someone else.
He did, and the rest is, well, documented below.
It certainly got me thinking about the whole mobile phones at wedding issue, and I suppose, just because we all now have the ability to record a moment, it doesn’t mean we always should. Sometimes, you just have to live them!