Facebook Encourages Brides to Ditch Having a Professional Wedding Photographer

Facebook Encourages Brides to Ditch Having a Professional Wedding Photographer

Facebook recently put out a video with the message "Why have one photographer when you can have a hundred?" The video consists of a collage of images from a wedding with the impression that they were shot by multiple people who attended. This is NOT something the wedding scene is happy about.

The images shown seem to be taken by someone with a decent piece of equipment. Actually, only a few of them seem that way. In the official video, we can see how some of the images were shot with flash bounced into the ceiling (tent?) and even some decent natural light photos. We also see a lot of shots with large amounts of depth of field. Does that technically mean a professional camera was used? NO, but just by the look, composition, and style of the images, I would think Grandma was not the one behind the camera.

Facebook's Official Video Post:

Now, not every image was one that gave me the "professional photog" feeling. Alongside the good images were a slew of TERRIBLE shots. Lighting with direct flash, blurry and out of focus, poor processing, and more. The shots go by so fast it's hard to notice these but below is my favorite bad example of a shot (just in case you missed it).


One photographer made a parody video that shows what he thinks such a wedding would actually look like.

What are your thoughts on Facebook's new video?

Personally, I think it is ridiculous. Not only is it encouraging brides to give up on hiring someone who's strict job is to be there to take amazing photographs (and much more), but they are also encouraging attendees to almost give up on living in the moment. The day I get married, I don't want anyone invited to be holding a camera or phone up for pictures. I want them to be there and enjoy what is going on and take in the reality and feelings around them.

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John White is a photographer from Northwest Indiana. He specializes in individual portraiture. Outside of photography, John enjoys building websites for fun, doing graphic design, and creating videos. Also, he really loves Iron Man. Follow him on his social media profiles to keep up to date with what he has going on!

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Did you watch the video until the end?

Which, the Youtube one or the Facebook one? Because I watched both, and the Facebook one is still insulting. The YouTube one is a parody.

Ah ok, that wasn't clear. My apologies!

You get what you pay for don't you?
I thought that majority weddings these days were shot for $100 by a house wife with a Rebel DSLR anyway. I think there will always be a market for people looking for quality. As a pro you have to stick to your price or find another line of work. There will always be someone doing whatever you do cheaper.

A "house wife with a Rebel"? I think the term you're searching for is
"amateur". No need to make women the objects of derision in your point
about a saturated market. There are all kinds of people saturating the

@Mueller, I'm way too far along to worry at all about political correctness, but yes, your point is well taken.
I don't/won't shoot weddings, my observation was based on the last several weddings I have been to.

Chopingman, I agree with you both in your first point and your follow up as far as the topic. The side note is that I wish people would stop using terms that are insulting to women whenever they are pointing out something negative, e.g. "soccer mom" is typically used to insult. Just a pet peeve of mine. Thanks for your response.

Google+ time.

I think some people just want to be rubbed the wrong way. The copy is "Why have one photographer when you could have 100?" Where does it say that a pro hired photographer isn't part of those 100 people? Your couple shares some of your great pictures on Facebook next to crummy iPhone pics with friends of a similar age and live in the same region. Tell me how that's bad for business?

If this video is any kind of threat to your business, you're doing it wrong.

When your 54 years old aunt walks in front of the photographer and ruin the "You make kiss the bride" moment for ever... You,ll understand why camera phones shouldn't be allowed in a wedding!

Or iPads! A few weeks ago I had a guest step into the aisle in front of me as the bride and groom were walking down it ...it's getting crazy out there!

Unless the bride and groom have specifically told people to not get in your way when you shoot, she has JUST as much right to be there taking a photograph as you do. Because you're getting paid and have professional equipment does not mean you have first right to any spot.

I act professionally when I shoot, and if a situation like this occurs, I reposition myself. You have to realize that the people at the wedding are close relatives and friends of the bride and groom. They want their own memories to cherish. Long after we're gone, they'll still be looking at the photos they took. Again, if you're so worried about grandma getting in front of you, come up with a plan with the bride and groom. Otherwise, be a professional and adapt. You think I've made a career out of this by word of mouth advertising by getting upset at people being in my way? No, it's by being courteous and finding joy in the fact that other people are creating memories they'll be able to look at for the rest of their life.

It's not just about getting paid and having professional equipment. It's about getting paid BY THE COUPLE to make beautiful memories of their day. If a guest has even the slightest regard for the couple they are supposed be honoring they would try not to ruin it for them. Since when has consideration for others become and option? The photos taken with the phone not going to end up any place of significance. Most will never be looked at. Some people are such a nuisance that even attempts to adapt to their behavior can be difficult, ruining critical shots for the bride and groom.

I don't know how I gave you the impression that I was upset or worried or unprofessional in how I handled the situation - I certainly wasn't. I merely noted that recently a guest had stepped into the aisle in front of me with an iPad and began backing up as the couple walked down the aisle towards me.

Don't worry, I got the shot in a courteous manner. Can't say I found too much joy in the guest capturing the moment on their ipad though.

Seriously. The sense of entitlement some photographers have is ridiculous. A wedding day is one of the MOST IMPORTANT DAYS of someone's life (hopefully), and you are there to record it, but you are NOT there to be THE SHOW. Get off your high horse, and do what you need to do to get your job, without disrupting the friends and family the bride and groom have invited to share the day with them. You are an important part of the event, for sure, but not THAT important.

Just as important as the celebrant I would argue. It's not about entitlement, it's about achieving the goal that you've been engaged to do - capture the activities of the day for the couple, at the best quality that you can. If you don't understand that then you are clearly not a wedding photographer, or you shouldn't be. The importance of what you do doesn't require you to be 'the show' nor does it require rudeness, or unprofessional behaviour. But it does require a commitment to getting those vital, brisf images that capture the day.

Not many couples are going to be happy to have Uncle Bob in the background of every pic waving his big flappy iPad & case I shouldn't think.

It's not about being part of the show or a sense of entitlement. It's about being able to do the job you were hired for. Imagine how upset a bride would be if you missed a very important moment in the ceremony because 10 family members have jumped in front of your shot. You can say all you want that a wedding photographer needs to just shut up & do their job but it's not always that simple. One person jumps in front of your shot & you can typically move to the side a bit to still capture it but with smart phones & iPads in today's world, ceremonies are becoming mobbed by family & friends all wanting to jump out there together to get the shot. There are some circumstances that cannot be overcome no matter how good of a photographer you are. And if a bride is perfectly fine with having a bunch of snapshots from her guests, she would t have hired a professional photographer to begin with.

Congratulations, RonT and Manda9! You two have inspired me to blog about this! Obviously this won't change your minds since I don't know what I'm talking about and you two know everything and are superior wedding photographers, but what the hell!


Oh, and the lead image is totally legit--that's what most of the weddings I photograph look like!

I agree with Louis ;)


Zuckerberg didn't rely on 100 "photographers". Why should anyone else?


John, great write up as always... I gotta agree with you 100%... What in the hell?!

Thanks Thierry. Yah it's definitely a head scratcher.

Zuckerberg didn't rely on 100" photographers. Why should anyone else?

I think this may be focused on those couples who price shop and only want to spend $500 or even the craigslist ads quoting how great it would be for your portfolio… If you want to compete with that then be insulted.

Overall - not insulted and not worried

I agree with Randy. If your clients are price shoppers then maybe be worried. But Like him I'm not insulted or worried. Look, no matter how we feel as photogs, photography is just not that important to some people, even of their wedding.
Also in this day and age of people shooting everything the do with smart phones you are not going to stop your guests from taking pictures, its all part of their fun now like it or not.

C'mon Facebook. Really?

This isn't really threatening so much as it is just propagating a view that devalues a craft. Compare the images above to what you see produced by professionals producing artful and elegant work.






I could keep going…

Perhaps this little piece was put together by someone who probably posts their own selfless everyday... and loves them.

I suppose that ultimately, the bride that would prefer a cache of amateur cell phone pics posted to Facebook, over skillfully composed images wouldn't be my client anyway.

Why not just have 101 and make everyone happy.

"Why have 800 great photos when you can have 5000 crappy ones?"

There has always be 5 & 10 shoppers, and then Macy's, and
finally Neiman Marcus.. You'll find a shopper for every price point.

Just know that grabbing crap from 100 people... You're going to have 100 X crap. Not those flowing beautiful books you see on coffee tables nation wide that look like they were made especially for you.

"The day I get married, I don’t want anyone invited to be holding a
camera or phone up for pictures. I want them to be there and enjoy what
is going on and take in the reality and feelings around them."

John, that's a very good point indeed

You get what you pay for. Nothing wrong with having more coverage BUT there does seem to be a total virus of smartphones everywhere and everyone has seen how these amateur clickers ruin the job for the pro. It's typical of FB to disregard the rights and skills of those who get paid to take pictures.

Yeah and they will all be tripping over yeah other and in each others way and a ton of shots will not even happen unless someone makes them happen. So wrong and disastrous.

If Facebook had their way, this is what brides would see when walking down the aisle.

HAH! That's awesome. Nice post Matt

Can I attend with GoPro's all over my body?

Just because FB proposes it does not mean that the B&G would do it. Let's keep in mind, after all it's their wedding, and if they choose to follow that path, it's really their decision.

Not saying that Lee and Patrick and friends don't do great work, but seriously asking, what are you supposed to do, then, when you pay the big money, and your quality is still poor? "

Irrelevant comment. That's why a smart bride should ask to see an entire delivered set.

The client has a big part of the responsibility to get what she wants.

Just the latest item in a long list of ways FB has given us all the middle finger.

Eff you, Señor Zuckerberg.

This won't impact my business at all, but the fact that they went to the trouble of making it really pisses me off.

That kind of message inspires a bunch of people to wind up interfering with the photographer trying to do his job.

If nothing more, from having overexposed images from everyone's flash units going off simultaneously, and some of those will be overexposing part of the scene because they're be out of sync. They'll probably be sticking themselves into critical moments as well.

People are already enough of a problem at a wedding once they start drinking.

I'm at a loss however as to what facebook was trying to accomplish with this video.

Wedding photographers have my up-most respect. You guys have one of the most challenging assignments in all of photography.

Facebook is slowly but surely loosing me...

Can't wait for the day when some bride actually decides to try this and ends up suing Facebook.. now that would be fun! :)

Incredible. I bet the bride can't wait to bug and pester 100 guests in an attempt to collect 5000 crappy photographs. Facebook, you're a joke. It's like you're operated and owned by young, inexperienced, spoiled rotten ideologists who have no clue how so much power can destroy so many good things. You're like a three year old with a match book. Grow up already. There are consequences to not thinking these things through. What an embarrassment it is becoming to be a citizen of this modern day United States - and I'm still young and feel this way.

It depends on what sort of photograph do you want for your wedding. That can be like those photos posted on fb or an album you almost feel like you are wedding again.

As Bob Dylan would say, "the times they are changing". Myself a professional photographer, thinks this is a "good thing" for couples getting married. What I predict will result in flushing out a hoard of would be wedding photographer, who are really "bad" shooters. 2nd, The cost of weddings is so expensive, and a lot wedding photographers are way too costly for a lot of folks. For the high end market, nothing will change, but for a guy like me, this will help me. My price for certain size wedding are very modest in cost to my clients. Its sort of a season of flushing, I think in photography. With the advancement of technology in digital market, some new realities are coming to the photography world and it will be painful. A reinvention of our craft is coming. I think if am not willing to bend a lot, I will break apart. Ken

In the video, the answer to the question "Why hire 1 photographer when you could have 100?" is "Because is a wedding is so important. Hire a pro!". To me this, coupled with the mostly awful photographs, is pointing out the need for a pro photographer, not encouraging brides against one. Am I the only one who saw this?

Yes Bob, but that one is the parody, not the facebook ad :)

Oh my gosh I'm such an idiot! HAHAHAHA!

OMG I feel so proud right now xD My first appearance in an Fstoppers publication!!! xD Thank you guys! I made that video Just after watching that facebook ad, I left all my clients editing and other works just to do it because it felt just right to do, although I uploaded it to a new account because of the fear of copyright infrigment or facebook taking down my business facebook page xD I'm not that aware of parody limitations and stuff, but yeah, facebook ad is just wrong.

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