(Closed) How Wedding Guests Can Destroy Your Pro Pics

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 17
719 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We had some problems with this during our reception. Everyone was really good during the ceremony; they basically kept their cameras/phones away until we signed the papers and our Rev invited everyone to take a picture if they wanted. However, there are a couple of nice pictures with people’s cameras/phones in the background, which is too bad.

The reception was a different story. One person literally joined us on the dance floor during our first dance, stepped on my dress (!) and then stuck her phone in our faces to take a couple of pictures. We good-naturedly said, “We’re enjoying our first dance! Give us a moment!” and her response was, “It’s just me!” Don’t care – I still can’t see thanks to your stupid flash going off in my eyes. She also is in the background of the pictures of the father-daughter dance, phone-in-hand. I know it’s rude to say she “ruined” these pictures (and moments!) but it ticked me off.

Why does everyone with a camera/phone think they’re a photographer now? Geez.

Post # 18
10450 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Ugh this is exactly why I don’t want cameras at our ceremony. I need to sell my fiancé on the idea though, so I will show him this article. 

Post # 19
3765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Our priest had the best solution for guest photo taking. After the procession, while the entire bridal party was up front, the prist made an announcement allowing any guests who wanted to take pictures to come forward. He gave them two minutes to take whatever pictures they wanted, from whatever angle they wanted. After those two minutes, he said, all phones and cameras had to be put away and guests would have to trust the professionals to do their jobs.

Well, it worked beautifully. Guests were so happy that they got their pictures, and I only have one pro photo where I can see someone with their phone out, and it wasn’t even a photo I cared about anyway.

Post # 20
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Honestly, in my circle of friends and family, people tend to not take pictures until after the ceremony, which I’m good with. My biggest worry is my Future Mother-In-Law. She fancies herself a bit of a photographer, and Fiance and I have mentioned a few times that she’ll get full access to our wedding photos and that we just want her to enjoy the day- not worry about getting pictures. Our contract allows unlimited downloading and printing of our high resolution edited pictures, so hopefully she’ll abide.

we do have a note on our website that we welcome photographs, but that we ask that guests avoid “standing in the aisle, using flash, or causing a disruption” while taking photographs. We plan on having out officiant (a close friend) announce something as well (along with a turn reminder to silence cell phones).

Post # 21
7347 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
@rickhurst35:  As a pro photographer myself, I also know how to work around the problem people. Unfortunatly, it’s not always an option. I just had a wedding a few weeks ago where (like many churches) the rules were super strict and I could not come any farther than the last pew at the back of the church. Not a problem, I’m used to that. A guest sitting more than half way up the isle on the end of a pew held his arm out the entire ceremony holding up his iPad into the isle. It’s litterally in every single photo. Even shooting with a 70-200, he was far enough to the front that it’s in every shot. The “church lady” standing next to me refused to go up and tell him to put it down (nor would she let me go), despite seeing the frustraition on my face, because the rules are “you don’t go past the last pew”.

I live and work in a resort area, many of my weddings are on the beach. Because of this, many of our guests feel they have free range to just get up and move around during the ceremony or jump into the isle. Happens at literally every.single.wedding. I know that article has been around a while, but it’s not an exaggeration. I don’t post client images here on the Bee, but I’m happy to show samples to those who would like to PM me. 

Post # 23
4494 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I had an unplugged ceremony, but guests were welcome to take photos during the cocktail hour/reception. We had an evening wedding with professional lighting and flashes could have affected our photographer’s results. I didn’t feel rude asking this of my guests at all. Our ceremony was an intimate moment between my husband and I. My guests were important, but I guess I just don’t feel like its crossing the line to simply ask them to refrain from photos. It wouldn’t offend me at all if someone asked me not to take photos at their wedding. Maybe I’m just not sensitive enough.

We got married at a hotel and we paid for all of our guests to stay in the hotel that night. When the guests checked in they all received a welcome note which included info on the wedding, the brunch for the day after and other local details. At the bottom of the page it mentioned the photography request. It worked out fine, no complaints and not the end of the world.

Post # 24
2296 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

to pps who say they’d be offended to be asked not to take photos – would it change your mind if it was clear that the couple would make 5 or 10 professional photos available for download?(i’d print them for non tech savvy guests)


i feel like that’s the best of both worlds – i went to a wedding this summer where a woman literally stood three feet into the aisle during the bride’s walk down to aisle – it was ridiculous! every since then, i’ve decided to do the ‘no photos during the ceremony’ thing

Post # 25
3415 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Lodge

@PassionatePhotoLady:  Thanks for sharing.  I take pictures at weddings (as a guest) but I rarely have my flash on because usually the church is lit enough to not need one.  I also make sure I’m BEHIND the photographer.  That should be a no brainer, but I guess there are guests out there who don’t care that the bride and groom paid good money for a PROFESSIONAL to take pictures of their big day.  It makes me sad.  And the article inspired me to make sure that our ceremony and the first dances at the reception are unplugged.  I don’t want my pictures to be ruined.

Post # 26
9800 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I didn’t read the article but I’ve read similar ones.

I didn’t have an unplugged ceremony but I considered it.  Honestly…my pictures were great and I didn’t even notice other people taking pictures during the ceremony or reception. So I didn’t have a problem.

I did get kind of annoyed when we were doing our formal family pictures because I had two different people who kept trying to take pictures in between when the photographer was.  That was annoying to have all these flashes going off.  They didn’t take them at the same time as my photographer otherwise I would have told them to cut it out but I still don’t know why they thought these were important to take.  One was MIL’s husband.  I mean, I was sending them the link to download any pictures they wanted afterwards so not sure why they felt they needed to take them themselves.

Post # 27
1667 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

My church doesn’t allow cell phones or photography (besides pro in the back – and no flash from them) so thank goodness I will not have to deal with this. 

Also it just depends on the rudeness level of the guests. I was at a wedding recently when something happened that I have NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

Usually at weddings in my circle, when the bride and groom cut the cake, everyone sort of remains seated or maybe stands up at their table and takes a picture. The bride and groom cut the cake on their own, everyone has a clear view, people clap, maybe everyone raises their glasses in a toast.

At this wedding, as soon as the couple approached the cake, the brides side leapt to their feet like they were vultures and the last bit of carrion EVER was at stake. They were standing in a tight circle around the bride and groom, taking pictures and elbowing each other. It was the most bizarre thing I have ever seen. Like, everyone was on TOP of them while they cut the cake.  NO telling what kind of images the photographer was able to get of that feeding frenzy. Also, unless you were willing to join the stampede, you didn’t get to see any of it.

Post # 28
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I do think it’s a an issue, but I think a lot of articles gather up the most extreme cases. I for the last few years I attended multiple weddings a year, and I can think of twice were people were major hinderence to the photographer. One was an annoying person who thought themselves to be a great photographer. The other wasn’t actually person competeing with the photographer. It was a kid who wasn’t being properly supervised and ruined moments by intrupting or standing by bride and groom.

I by the way had an unplugged ceremony, because I do hate that flashes are going off, and people are recording the whole freaking time at nearly every wedding I attended. We let people take pictures right before, and right after the ceremony we stuck around for 30mins taking pictures for our guest.

As far as I know the reception was fine. And people were respectful of out photographer.



Post # 29
518 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I have been to a wedding where guests have wanted pictures and ruined the professional ones the couple paid for. 

The group photo was a disaster because there were a lot of people behind the phographer trying to get that perfect shot – it resulted in a bunch of people looking at different cameras during every shot! Some people were even yelling names to get people to look at them instead of looking at the photographer the couple actually paid for. 

I remember how upset the bride was afterwards when she got the pictures back and not everyone was looking at the camera, heads were turned looking away… 

She also noticed later that the few people who did use flash as they were walking down the aisle (both ways) caused her to squint in the sudden light which ruined the pictures the photographer had snapped. 

The photographer did feel pretty bad for her though and gave her a discount on the prints since he couldn’t edit out the squinty eyes and distracted gazes.

I’ve actually gone to her for planning advice and she told me it would be a good idea to inform guests to be mindfull of the photographer and that if they want pictures we can send them digitial copies!

Post # 30
44 posts
  • Wedding: April 2014

We are going to have an unplugged wedding. You can’t please everyone, and I’d rather piss off a few people than have butts and screens in the aisle.

We’ll make it clear that we’ll share photos afterwards. We already plan to give some framed shots and albums to family as gifts.

Post # 31
5950 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

Meh…the cell phone thing is a strange phenomenon to me…if your at a wedding, don’t you want to look at it, listen to it, actually BE in the moment?  Instead of just staring at it through your cell phone screen?

The unplugged wedding concept is a good one, but you know that the people who would happily turn them off aren’t the problem, its the people who literally cannot disconnect from the thing that will ignore it and use them anyway….and how do you enforce it?  Is there going to be a Techno Police Man patrolling your ceremony?  And if they don’t comply…what?  You toss them out?

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