So it’s now made the rounds that Apple released information about the new Iphone 5S, which is suppose to have all this fancy camera quality, ect… I decided to take a moment to discuss this just because I only had to read one sentence from the statement before I was immediately off on this:
First of all, I don’t see a chance that anyone, any time soon, will be hiring someone that says they ‘shoot with an Iphone’. Do you know how ridiculous I would feel trying to market myself as a professional photographer using a cell phone as their camera? I would hope anyone else would feel the same. But lately the trend of ‘phonetography’ has been rising. One of the sites I use for marketing the other day had a statement on it that said “You can find a photographer for any budget, from the iphone user to the DSLR…” It was something like that, needless to say I was a little disappointed.
Personally I encourage people to have what is called an ‘unplugged’ wedding. Which essentially means at the beginning you request your guests stay seated, put away their phones and point&shoots and just relax, because you hired a professional for a reason.
Some of these points are starting to be included in contracts used by photographers because there are only so many times you can have someone step in front of you with a phone before you have to make it clear to clients in the future- this is a problem. For me there is really very little more frustrating then trying to get a picture for something you were hired to do/ have a prior agreement for, and someone steps right in front of you. Sometimes it’s unknown, sometimes they look directly at you and go right ahead.
What do we do in these situations? Keep our mouths shut and scoot to the side. And maybe be a little irritated later. But do you let the client know, or anyone that’s related to the people/situation? No. No, no, no and MORE no. Weddings and events are about getting people together, some of these people haven’t seen each other in years. So you try to understand that it’s important to everyone whose there.
There is also another point you need to take into consideration…
When you are doing the posed pictures with your new wedded-partner, family and friends, this is NOT a time for anyone to try to shoot over the photographers shoulder.
Keep in mind this is a job just like anyone else and if you don’t like someone interrupting you or hovering over your shoulder, neither do we.
If you need help suggesting an ‘unplugged wedding’, here are a few points that ring VERY clear to a bride:
1. First, tell her that unplugged weddings are getting to be very common. It is helpful for you and them as it helps the day run smoother in general when people aren’t up moving around when they shouldn’t be. (Which is where asking them to remain seated comes in handy.)
2. Tell her that although, they may have thought having an Instagram hashtag was a good idea, wouldn’t it be so much better if the first pictures everyone got to see were the beautiful professional pictures you paid good money and worked hard for?
3. You should let them know that although this doesn’t necessarily need to include the reception, but for the first dance, father daughter dance, these are things you intend to capture as well, so having someone so close can interfere with how emotional and ‘in the moment’ the pictures appear. Everyone wants that picture of just them and their fiance in their own little world, enjoying their first dance as a married couple. Or that dance you share with your father? That moment is about just you two, not Aunt Amy standing two feet from you trying to record with her cell phone.
4. If it comes down to it, pull out all stops and show the photos that tell them exactly what happens when someone jumps in the aisle. Oh you wanted a professional picture of your first kiss? Well, maybe you should ask your cousin with her point and shoot who stood up into the aisle right in front of your photographer, who due to location reasons, wasn’t allowed further into the venue. Or due to the officiant you used, said they wanted them a minimum of ‘# of rows back’ to avoid disrupting and interfering, when a photographers job is to document your day without drawing any attention to themselves.
Hopefully we get back to a day when the photographer is able to do their job without dodging family, and the word ‘phonetographer’ does not even exist.