Thoughts on Photography at Weddings

I attended a wedding this past Saturday, and I had a couple thoughts. Now, keep in mind, this wedding was in Thailand, so this is not completely applicable to all weddings…as if it could be even if it were in the United States, because weddings are all so wildly different these days.

My thoughts were not just about wedding photography, as in the professional hired to photograph the event, but also all the photography which takes place in a wedding. Really, I took a couple snapshots which could say quite a bit in and of themselves.

the photographer's clothing at a wedding
Choice of Clothing

Ok, this is the actual paid photographer. As you can see, he has his own staff drummer and follows that drummer’s beat quite religiously. Summing up my thoughts, so that I do not judge him too harshly with my detailed thoughts, I think the shirt is probably outside the lines of “professionally safe” clothing choices. During the ceremony, he wore a black jacket, to his credit. I just wish people thought a bit more these days about blending in.

And speaking of not drawing attention to yourself, the cameras themselves say much. Even if the photographer was not all over the stage and blocking the view of the couple, I still ponder the potential need for a more quiet camera. Things are different with all that clickety racket going on: there is a loss of reverence, maybe a loss of concentration, and the attention can move to the photographer instead of the couple. For that very reason, I am thinking more and more of slinging an old film rangefinder around my neck for weddings instead of some disquietous SLR.

Here is another thought:

everybody has a camera
Cameras Gone Wild

And there are plenty of cameras you cannot see in this photo. None of those are the official photographer. My thoughts are so abundant, I think I need a bullet list.

  • “Who invited all these machines to our wedding? I want to see my friends’ faces.”
  • “There are so many people jumping into the isle for their own shot, I have to walk at a snail’s pace.”
  • “Great, I paid a photographer, but all these bozos are blocking his shots.”
  • Can we not just experience a moment any more without feeling a need to post it online?
  • Maybe photographers need to provide downloadable, quality, 4×6-sized shots online and give the address to the folks at the wedding…and let them know before hand so they will just stay out of the way!

It has really gone too far, I feel, when the photography and video recorded at the wedding takes importance over the actual moments of our lives we spend at the wedding. I would much prefer the wedding be a wedding and I skulk around catching those memories. The wedding is not about the photography, but the photographer should know how to document the feel of that day.

Cooper Strange Written by:

3 Comments

  1. Shaula
    2011-07-11
    Reply

    I agree totally but these casual photographers aren’t the only problem. I recently attended a wedding where the official photographer followed the couple down the aisle. From that point forward the only view I had was that of the photographers back.
    At another wedding the photographer walked back and forth across the front of the sanctuary. While I understand the desire to capture the moment, it was a distraction.
    Another professional photographer wove in and out of the choir loft to get a better perspective… which left the friends and family with the photographer in the background of the entire wedding.

  2. 2011-07-11
    Reply

    Oh, bad news. I talked to my wife after writing this and she said the minister did say something beforehand, to the effect of, “Please respect this ceremony and this couple: photography is fine, but please remain in your seats.” It was said, but clearly broken.

    I wonder how much the free-roaming (I feel, disrespectful) attitude of the main photographer gives the sense to all those camera-toting audience members that there is no respect of the ceremony being practiced, and you should feel free to shoot at will?

  3. 2011-07-12
    Reply

    I was about to reply to that, Shaula, but it just turned into a new post. Read my next one about distracting photographers.

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