There is a common occurrence at weddings these days that baffles all wedding photographer’s minds. The importance of cellphone and instant camera photography during a wedding ceremony. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for supporting picture taking. But the presence of wedding guests with cameras during the ceremony portion of the wedding can be a bit of a problem when it comes to your professional wedding photography. Now, couples, if this kind of thing doesn’t bother you, and you don’t mind peoples’ cameras in your professional wedding photos, by all means, encourage your guests to take as many photos as they like. However, what most couples don’t realize is how it affects the overall experience of not only their other guests, but their creative vendors as well. It is very rare that a wedding guest with a camera will only take one or two photos during a wedding ceremony. And if they do, it’s during the most pivotal parts of the celebration! Those who choose to capture more, may not realize that they are being distracting not only to the people around them, but in the wedding footage as well. I don’t think anyone wants to be remembered as the person leaning out in the center aisle with their cell phone or tablet even! (That happens more than you think.) After all, there is most likely someone sitting right behind you who may not appreciate the glowing screen in front of them. As professional photographers and vendors, we don’t feel it is our place to reprimand guests for behaving this way. Instead, we believe it should be the responsibility and strong suggestion from the bride and groom to encourage their guests to enjoy the wedding without the assistance of their devices. You can accomplish this in many ways. 1.Creative signs reminding guests to put their camera’s away during the ceremony portion of the celebration. 2. A statement in your program. Or 3.You may even request that your officiant politely asks guests to refrain from taking photos during the ceremony portion just before the ceremony begins. One officiant recently even set aside a 30 second time for all the guests to take out their phones and cameras and encouraged them to take their shot at that moment and then directed everyone to put them away after that 30 seconds was over. We were so impressed with how that was handled and didn’t have to shoot around anyone holding up their cameras and blocking our shot during special moments like the first kiss. He even reminded everyone how important it is to make REAL memories of this moment and to stay present. It was touching. Even as a photographer. I make it a point to remember to put my camera down (including my phone) when important life moments are happening. It’s so easy to take photos of what’s happening instead of experiencing it first hand and remembering it. So Brides and Grooms, I encourage you. Go ahead, Unplug. Let us handle it. After all, you’re paying us to!!