Attending A Wedding Soon? Be Sure To Watch This Video

The hot topic for wedding photographers is the guests and their smartphones getting in the way of photos or video during the wedding. The topic has been covered on a number of photography blogs and finally beginning to get mainstream attention as well. Fox40 News out of Sacramento, CA published this video yesterday for their viewers sharing great advice for people attending weddings. Great video to share with Facebook friends and fans.

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Amanda's picture

See, we have had an issue with our photographers and videographers that have taken two weddings I have been in. They must have been drunk, because the pictures and videos were so horrible that the brides and grooms begged for people who had taken photos of the wedding to send them to them! Sometimes its a catch-22

teiboleraputa2040's picture

Kinda hard to believe, probably just cheap inexperienced people Amanda.

Trevor Dayley's picture

I think the video explained it well. It's ok to shoot, but do it from your seat rather than getting in the aisle or standing behind the couple. It's important to recognize that professionals are there to do a job and to help them get the best photos and video of your friends by trying to avoid at all costs getting in their shot.

Marty Bru's picture

i agree somewhat, but again, if you are in your seat taking pictures it's still a distraction and you are not their to celebrate the couple in fact, I would believe it's a violation of the couples wedding because you are not contracted to do so.

survival_princess's picture

thats what happens when people go with the cheapest photographer

joble's picture

That's not a catch-22, it's just a hint that you should put a little effort into researching photographers before hiring them. Get recommendations from previous clients. Ask them to see some of their previous work.

Any schmuck with a camera can be a "wedding photographer", it's the wedding planner's job to make sure the people they hire are competent.

Robert Diffenderfer's picture

Rarely....Sounds to me like she might have went cheap. Pay the price and hire a good photographer and this will never happen

Marty Bru's picture

Their is no Catch 22, and cell phones and disrespectful guess should not be allowed to take pictures and ruin the final image.

Edward Kwong's picture

Maybe those two weddings you've been to just had bad photographers and videographers. You get what you pay for and if you're going to be cheap on pictures/videos then don't expect million dollar shots.

Amanda's picture

I guess I should have explained a little more. I've been to hundreds of weddings, 5 as a bridesmaid and the rest as a guest. The last one I was just in, (and I am just saying that in TWO of the numerous weddings we've had this problem,) was from my little brother and his wife. They had a photographer in mind that had done her sister's wedding. He went into retirement about a year ago, but was a close friend of their family. Marissa paid $3,000 to have him do the wedding and the reception. She sat and cried as she looked over the photos because it was definitely not $3,000 quality.

A Miller Foto-Photography's picture

This is SO GREAT!!!! :) Thank you!

Brady Puryear's picture

BEST VIDEO EVER!!! I now love FOX news :) haha.

Bman34's picture

I film weddings on the side and I see this stuff all the time. I just politely ask the person to move. Most of the time they do. Simple enough.

Robert Diffenderfer's picture

yes they do move but usually not until after they have already walked in front of the camera. Depending on the timing this can be catastrophic to a professionally done video.

Bman34's picture

Oh I know I have plenty of blown shots. They I have to go and explain to the Bride and Groom why I didnt get that shot and their response is "Well arent you a professional and able to get around them?" Where I want to reply go "Go screw yourself it's not as easy as you think. Im not a magician."

Jay L.A. Bastien | NYC Portrai's picture

At this point, it calls for a contract update.
Before they even book, they need to know that you will not be held liable for shots that are ruined due to guests jumping in the shot. Give a scenario or two and they will ensure that their guests receive the memo. ;-)

Bman34's picture

I do add that in my contract. I like to talk to the couple before the date of the wedding just so they understand how the entire day can go. The worst it ever got was I was shooting the vows and just as the couple kissed a lady jumped in front of me to snap a photo! I missed the shot and got the ladies big head in the way. What I did to fix it was after the ceremony I asked the couple to stand at the alter again and from off frame. It was a tight shot. I had them lean in and give a nice romantic kiss. In the editing I just cut it so it looked like I jump cut to that scene.

Chris Giles's picture

Nice to see it put across in a non patronizing way :)

mananetwork's picture

This happens at practically ever wedding we've photographed and video's this year. You'd like an announcement would help before the start of the ceremony but people think they can still shoot off one photo and stay out of your way. I feel before any wedding ceremony, guests should leave their phones/cameras with the MC. It's only 30 minutes people, you'll live!

Underwood Photography's picture

We've been seeing the "unplugged weddings" more and more and cannot thank the bride and groom enough for doing this. Believe me, if you spend the time and effort (and goes without saying, the money) to get a great photographer or videographer then you won't miss a thing.

Justin Haugen's picture

I'm having a nice chat with the officiant for the wedding I am shooting this month. I need him and the couple on board with this because it is seriously wrecking wide shot and aisle shots. iPads take terrible video, why do people insist on recording with them????

Louis Rafael's picture

show them this video and they just might be on board.

Marius Godeanu's picture

I shoot mostly without flash, and inside a church, the greatest problem BY FAR represent the af lamps from P&S cameras rather than people that stay in my way. I simply ask them to move or I simply move real fast and get my shot. You have to anticipate stuff and knowing the key elements for a wedding and a ceremony, it's not that big of a deal to deal with the people in your way. But the illuminators are simply awful, there are red ones, green ones depending on camera models, even bright white ones from cell phones - it's absolutely madness sometime and they can really ruin your shot especially when shooting in available light. And the worse part is that they come from all over the place, not just close to you... people from their seats throw them all over the place on some key moments :) Not to mention the cake shot later in the night ... it's like the freaking Oscar's on the red carpet there. I mostly shoot semi-burst ( I take a lot of doubles/triples by fast pressing the shutter button all the way after focusing ).
The excuse that SOMEONE got better photographs from the guests is not excuse for YOU ( as a bride ) to not ask them to leave their cameras/phones turned off. Also it's not an excuse for you because YOU are the ONLY ONE to blame for choosing a bad/cheap/unprepared photographer/videographer.

Ustas Art-Photographer's picture

communications center

Ustas Art-Photographer's picture

Center of photo and video shooting and communication neutralized

Guest's picture

Center of photo and video shooting and communication ...


Patrick Flynn's picture

Is it bad that all I saw was the crazy-intense interlaced footage?

Taschja Hattingh's picture

Love it!!!!!!

Dave's picture

The only problem with this video is that its so true, but as photographers what can we do other then work around it.

Sandie Besso's picture

the worst moment is when Ipad owners irrupt just in front of you ! damn (am a pro wedding photographer)

Edward Kwong's picture

SERIOUSLY! First of all, who the crap brings an iPad to a WEDDING! That just screams, "I'm bored and I don't want to be here, this iPad will entertain me." On top of that, they use it to take a picture! Serious? I want to just slap some of those people.

Sandie Besso's picture

I'am really serious yes ! the new thing is to record and/or photography all the wedding with huge Ipad, the screen is so large that the owner can't manage to frame and press the button at the same time, so they are mostly filming wich is ever the worst for me as it's much longer than a simple photo (the rumours say retina bullshit thing it's great ! lol) during my last week wedding 3 guests came with their Ipad, without mentioning the regular guests with smartphones and cameras... cherry on the top, while I was eating during the dinner between 2 activities, one guest came to proudly show me how good he managed his images and saying "be careful am your rival now hahaha"

Sandie Besso's picture

recording not "filming" (sorry if my english is not perfect am french :) )

Edward Kwong's picture

If someone came up to me and said that, I'd just tell them that they have beginner's luck. It doesn't diminish that they may have a good picture but at the same time reaffirms I'm the professional who can do this consistently.

Cindie Wilding's picture

As a wedding officiant, (and I appear in a couple of the shots in this video), I always ask my couples if they would like me to do the "unplugged speech" at the beginning of the ceremony. At the very least I request they turn off their cell phones, but if they are on board, I'll also directly request no cameras, or electronic devices. Put them away and let the excellent photographers the couple has hired do their job. It certainly makes everyone more present to the ceremony.

Yang W.'s picture

I work for a Toronto based wedding video company | and I have seen and experience everything.

To be honest, if the couple ask the guests to take their seats and have a unplugged wedding, that would be the best and ideal situation.

But honestly, how often do you have the perfect shooting day? So we honestly try to be more laid back, do the best we can. I would seriously recommend every professional videographer/photographer to take it easy, be more laid back, do the best you can. Your mental health is also very important and is not worth it to be getting angry everyday at your job.