Wedding Photographer Shoves Stepmom With Phone out of the Way to Shoot First Kiss

Wedding photography is not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination, and it comes with its own unique set of challenges, not the least of which is guests with smartphones jockeying for position to take snapshots. One wedding photographer was having none of it when a guest stepped in front of her, shoving the offending guest aside to get the shot.

Guests with their phones are a common problem for wedding photographers, but photographer Ashley Easterling seemed to have a particularly bad case on her hands recently. The incident happened at the wedding of Josh and Lorna Dane Gantt, when the bride's stepmom stepped directly in front of Easterling during the first kiss. Easterling immediately moved around her and shoved her aside to get the shot (which she did). It turns out the stepmom had been a problem for her throughout the wedding, and this was the last straw, particularly when it came at one of the most pivotal moments of the day. Though some are saying she went too far, personally, I think Easterling handled it perfectly, as this was a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and there simply wasn't time for a polite request to move (and it's clear the stepmom knew exactly what she was doing). The bride thought so too, heaping loads of praise on the photographer for her actions and images.

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34 Comments

Mark James's picture

Weddings have turned into a paparazzi free for all. I have no problem with what she did, but she could have done it more discreetly.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Discreetly? She had TWO SECONDS to get that woman out of the way.

Jorge Garcia's picture

With the stepmom having given the photographer problems throughout the ceremony, I can certainly understand why she resorted to a shove. I have no problem with what she did, either. Despite that, she's extremely lucky that the bride sided with her over the stepmom. It was a risky move and based on the fact that the bride even shared the video on her Facebook profile, I'm given the impression that the relationship between the bride and stepmom was fractured before this even happened.

Aaron B.'s picture

I'm siding with the photographer on this one. That was a blatant, rude, and extremely disrespectful maneuver by the step-mother

Robert Nurse's picture

I'm not a wedding photographer. But, people have to be aware that the photographer has first priority. You're free to get your shots AFTER they get their's. After all, the couple is paying for this and not your snapshots. Perhaps an announcement beforehand or in the invitations: "Please do not interfere with the photographer...". I've been to weddings where this announcement was made prior.

Thomas Campbell's picture

If the bride and groom didn't ask you to take pictures, they don't want you to take pictures. Sit down respectfully and enjoy the ceremony. Why is that so difficult?

Tom Jensen's picture

That's why it's good to have a clause, in your wedding contract, about not being responsible for ignorant pricks that insist on stepping into the shot.
P.S. Don't word it quite like that!!

I was going to post something similar. I have my clients carefully read each paragraph and then initial it. My paragraph on guest interference (getting in the way, cell phones, flashes, etc) is very clear, and I won’t be held liable for missing a shot due to such interference. That said, I try to be very cordial to such guests, but can understand this woman’s breaking point. There is zero room for “missed shots” during the ceremony. Reception is a different story, especially if you are taking redundant shots. I occasionally like to capture a close up of someone’s cell phone capturing the softened subject (usually the couple or someone offering a toast) beyond, but only during the reception, never the actual ceremony.

Crystal Johnson's picture

What's even funnier, is reading the bride's post about it on Facebook. She obviously does not care for her step mother, and judging by the way the step mother dances off after the shove, she doesn't care for the step daughter either. I'm not a wedding photographer, but I've been frustrated like that, and I can see why she shoved her.

Tony Clark's picture

That's not going to get her a lot of new bookings.

Christopher Hill's picture

I bet she gets a lot of bookings because of this. If you are a bride who is concerned with having your special moments captured, you're going to want a photographer who you are confident will do what they have to to get the shot; especially if you know you have parents who are bold with their photo taking. She proved she's clutch in the moment. Bravo to her.

This might get her more bookings. It would definitely get her more bookings then if she missed the shot. Personally, if my photog had a problem with my step mother, my step mother would be asked to leave. Respect the vendors.

Leigh Miller's picture

So the photographer assaulted a guest?

lmao you must come from a soft background if you think THAT is assault lol My cop friends would laugh at that lol

Leigh Miller's picture

What would give you that impression?

Oh my youngest sister, uncle and 2 cousins might say otherwise...after decades of policing under their belts...

I've shot weddings for a good long while..don't recall ever putting my hands on a guest without permission and never to move them out of the way.

stir photos's picture

haha... what a hilarious situation. the woman (who got moved out of the way) was cheesing on her way back to her talble. i'm convinced there's ppl in wedding audiences that try to punk 2nd shooters tho. it's always hilarious to see groups of ppl come together who clearly never hang out with each other in every day life.

Luke Adams's picture

That move by the step-mom was obviously an intentional action either to try and ruin her daughter’s photo or to aggravate the photographer. Definitely not an honest mistake, which would make the shove a bit more controversial.

Jonathan Brady's picture

I read the content of the article and the comments prior to watching the video. Having mentally consumed all of the words prior to the video left me with the impression that the photographer used her hands to shove the stepmother or at the very least, body checked her in a way which could potentially earn her a contract with an NHL team. Having been stepped in front of during wedding ceremonies on numerous occasions I was quite looking forward to a little retribution by the home team! Imagine my disappointment when I watched the video! That was absolutely NOT a shove! Not even close to it. She basically sidestepped her in an extremely efficient and impressive manner. Using the word "shove" is overselling it.

Alex Cooke's picture

I mean, she didn’t just sidestep her; she used her right elbow and shoulder to move the stepmom or at the very least, send a strong physical signal to get out of the way. I’d call that a shove, but your mileage may vary.

Bodkin's Best's picture

Kinda what I was thinking. People who labeled this as a shove have clearly never seen, delivered or experienced an actual shove.

more like a "nudge" if anything lol

It always pays to tell the bride and groom to request of their relatives the days prior to the wedding to be aware of the photographer that they are paying good money for and not hinder him/her in any way. Having said that there might be other cell-phone paparazzi taking photos on the day. If, like in this situation, it was something happening throughout the day, I would politely approach her and tell her what she is doing to the couples photos (show her on my camera display even). If she persisted... I would do the same.

Eric Salas's picture

That’s why it’s in my contract that your guests will move or will be moved out of the way of the shot I need or want.
I get paid to accomplish the job and nobody will stop me from doing what I’m there for. Call it brash if you want but my career is on the line at every wedding.

steve E's picture

If I got married these days ALL guests would be asked to Yondr their phones during the ceremony

Walid Azami's picture

I'm really trying to feel bad for the stepmom but yeah....no sympathy. The photographer has the contract and she must deliver the images.

Frank Withers's picture

I've had to do this myself on occasion. The worst are the guests with the ipads. Get the F**K out of the way; I will ask politely just once. Bride & groom are always on my side.

I dont understand why photographers are so pretentious and self righteous that they agree with violent actions. She probably got a crappy shot any ways since she didn't have time to frame it. This was less about getting the shot and more abour ego. She just used "photography" as the excuse.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Totally misguided comment. The pro is OBLIGATED to fulfill a contract. The ego issues are on the other side, folks who think that because they have a (phone) camera, they have the right to ruin the couple's photos and interfere with a working professional.

The bride posted the video on her FB page with the photographers image and the shit iphone shot. "framing" an image is second nature to wedding and event photographers. All we ever have is seconds if even to work with on every vital moment which is why the step mom was out of line as even the bride and all wedding guests took the photographers side. the shot came out beautiful BTW lol

Jacques Cornell's picture

I'd call that a "nudge", not a shove. And, the way the step-mom maneuvered IN FRONT of the photog rather than shooting BESIDE her makes it look like she was consciously causing mischief.

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