Brides, Weddings, and Mobile Technology

The other day I was in my car listening to my favorite classic rock station. You know how the DJ will occasionally give some miscellaneous fact, generally relevent to new news, strange incidence, rock OR general history, or in the case of Alice Cooper’s night show- any topic under the sun. This fact didn’t come from Alice Cooper though.

Anyway, the DJ started in by talking about how fall was becoming a very popular time for weddings because of the cooler weather and more colorful atmosphere. Then he started talking about weddings and mobile technology. He told us that brides are starting to approach the issue of mobile technology in two completely different and ingenious ways. First of all, he mentioned the fact that brides can utilize social media as a means to spread guest-taken photos of their big day, encouraging them to use certain hashtags for instagram and utilizing other social media sites. I though this approach was pretty cool because I’ve always loved a variety of points-of-view. My husband often teases me about my tendency to read the entire comment section of any give article, video, or opinion I may come across while browsing. I just find it intriguing to see the different perspectives that result from many contributors to one event. This is why I enjoyed the photography shoot out i attended (back when it was still a bit chilly but I forget exactly when). I was able to create my own interpretation at the time, and also see many other photographers’ interpretations of the exact same shoot throught social media. It was so inspiring to see each photographers’ individual styles.

Anyway, that was a bit of a (usual) rabbit trail.. The next approach mentioned was a wireless-free wedding. In this, the bride requires that attendees leave their wireless devices at home or in the car during the event. I loved this approach for two reasons: first of all, because one of my biggest pet peeves is when actual, physical interaction is interrupted by a phone call or text message. I may be a bit old fashioned, but an interruption in a conversation is about the same to me as far as etiquette goes, it’s just whether the physical third person is the interruptor by walking up and talking over an already speaking person, or if the second (listening) person in a conversation is willing to interrupt someone when they’re speaking to check and reply to a message. I guess I think phone calls are a bit of a different story (depending on importance of the call versus the situation) in casual or spontaneous situations- not formal, planned, and very important such as weddings! He even mentioned that as a reason why this is becoming popular trend.

The other reason he mentioned that brides are adopting this approach is that they are paying a professional photographer for a reason. Especially during party and formal poses, having several guests around snapping photos with their point-and-shoots and iphones, calling attention and stepping in front of the photographer to get a shot can both slow down the professional (paid) shots, therefore delaying the rest of the day, and also make it difficult for the photographer to get the shots they need due to subjects looking in different directions, having less attention paid to what the instructions the photographer gives thus creating confusion (and sub-par photos in the long run), having guests accidentally “photo bomb” a professional shot that could have been a winner while trying to get a shot on their phone or point-and-shoot, and the need to hold a pose much longer so everyone can get a shot. This one really struck a chord with me, because I have at this point personally encountered this problem, and was quite frustrated with it, but am too timid to really put my foot down and say something about it. I’d decided to add to my wedding contract that I am to be the sole photographer, but I didn’t think about putting “no attendee photos during formal photo time” into it- but I certainly will be. I don’t so much mind candids during the ceremony or reception, as long as I’m not trying to get the shots that will ultimately go into their wedding collection set. It takes a LONG time to sort, choose, and edit photos to get properly exposed, properly composed, and all around “acceptable” photos from a wedding to begin with, and adding in blink shots, looking away shots, and shots where attention is being taken away from the shooter adds to that post processing time, yet I don’t get paid any more for the extra work. Interestingly enough, this has been a semi-reoccuring topic for me recently.

Last Saturday, I got to go to my wonderful cousin Hannah’s baby shower. Hannah of Hannah Grace Photography located in northern Indiana is the daughter of my dad’s younger brother and the photographic genius who did our wedding photos, and I’ve ALWAYS looked up to her skill and artistic eye. I actually cried when we were on our honeymoon and I saw the first few shots she’d posted, and I cried again when she sent our final disc. She does such beautiful work, and I was so touched when I walked into her shower with our Grandma and Grandpa (it’s a few hours’ drive to her neck of the woods, so I rode along with them), and she stopped opening her gifts, came over and greeted us, and then proceeded to talk to me about my photography for several minutes until she realized she should probably get back to being the center of attention 🙂 congratulating me, asking me about my experiences with it, and offering numerous bits of advice that she’s picked up along the way during her past few years of photography as a business (little side note: This girl is AMAZING. When she was only in high school, she homeschooled herself for her last year so that she could focus on her business, and had a successful photography business all set up before she even graduated! Talk about an inspirational, hard working and driven kid who set herself up for great success in her early adulthood- she’s only 19 now! I actually have another post tickling the back of my brain in which I’ll probably boast of Hannah’s skill, so more on that later.. can you tell that she’s MY favorite photographer?? haha). Anyway, back to my point: Hannah mentioned this exact topic to me when she was giving me advice, and again, it rang so true to me.

Anyway, this little two minute bit of info from the radio was a small highligh of my day, and I even made note of it on my phone to remember to blog about it. Since weddings are so on my mind lately, I thought it was pretty interesting to hear the different ways in which brides are approaching the digital age and the use/lack of use of mobile devices on their big days!

What do you think about it? Which method do you prefer, from a bride or photographer standpoint?

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