You’re recently engaged and in wedding planning mode! In your seemingly endless research you might run across the term “Unplugged Wedding”. You may or may not already be familiar with what exactly an unplugged wedding is from attending a wedding recently or from all of the talk about it lately, but should you do it? As a wedding photographer, I’m pretty mixed on it, but ultimately I’m PRO Unplugged. Here are some of my thoughts and some considerations for you.
AS A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
On the technical side of the wedding photography you spent thousands on, technology can, and often does, ruin many photos during the wedding day, especially the ceremony. I’ve been in situations where I have been set up patiently waiting for a single moment to happen and right when it does, I’m suddenly blocked by an unaware wedding guest trying to get a photo with an iPad causing me to miss the moment. This situation is extremely frustrating for me. Of course, I always try to work around the sea of cell phones and iPads that often fill the ceremony, but it’s not always possible.
Another issue is when I’m trying to capture wide photos to showcase the environment and grandness of the ceremony, there are tons of technological devices littered in the hands of all the guests which I personally feel destroys the look and feel of the wedding ceremony. Plus, in five, ten, or twenty years from the wedding, people will just be making jokes of how old the technology is or ask what it is. Remember those giant VHS video cameras from the 80s. Lol. Moving past cell phones and tablets, comes wedding guests with their cameras. Most times people stay in their seats, but there have definitely been a few instances where they have gotten up, gone behind the couple, right in front of them during the ceremony, in the aisle, and all kinds of other places trying to get the best shot. Here again, this can and does ruin many photos, but also the video when we are shooting for fusion videos. This is also a huge problem, and probably more so, for wedding videographers. With photos, there is some opportunity to get rid of distractions such as people trying to take photos. With video, that’s a different story. Other than just deleting and not using the shot in the final video, the only other real option is to use the clip and watch the guest rudely interrupt the ceremony.
Now moving on to other related issues. Often times wedding guests have no clue how to use their cameras and cell phones other than pointing and shooting. For this reason, their flashes are going off all time. This can cause issues with my photos if their flash fires at the same time I’m taking a photo totally ruining the exposure and the photo altogether. Or, if I’m using off camera lighting set ups, it can cause the same issue. Many cameras also have built in auto focus assist features that cause red or yellow dots to show up on the couple while trying to get the right focus. This doesn’t look good in my photos when they show up on the couple’s face and another photo is trashed.
AS A WEDDING COUPLE
Now, let’s talk about being an actual wedding couple. You spend all morning getting ready and building up to that exciting moment when you will soon see your loving partner for the first time! Imagine this. You hop on Facebook for a minute only to see a bunch of photos and videos of your partner getting ready since overly excited bridal parties or family members have already been posting tons of photos on social media before you can even get the last minute touches finished. Now instead of seeing your partner for the first time during your first look or ceremony, you get Facebook. This has actually happened a couple of times!
AS A WEDDING GUEST
Finally, being a wedding guest. You are not entitled or obligated to get that awesome shot for your Instagram or to Snapchat the whole day. You’re not actually entitled or obligated to anything other than to just enjoy the celebration. You were invited by the happy couple as a guest to take part and participate in their special day. Instead of trying to capture every single moment, relax, unplug, and actually be present and experience the love and excitement of the day. Once the ceremony is over, feel free to capture a few rocking shots.
Overall, I’m all about having unplugged weddings for all the reasons outlined, but ultimately it’s totally up to the couple. It doesn’t matter to me either way what couples choose and I will always work my ass off to get all of the awesome photos. Just be informed of the pros / cons and be happy with the decision you choose.My name is Matt Druin and I’m an Atlanta wedding photographer that specializes in unique, offbeat weddings for all awesome people! Not only do I shoot amazing Atlanta weddings, but I also travel frequently for destination weddings, and weddings all over, with no travel fees in the US for amazing wedding photography. I also shoot Atlanta engagement sessions for newly engaged couples. I’ve even been known to travel, and far, for engagement sessions too!
Contact Atlanta Wedding Photographer Matthew Druin
Address 225 Parkway 575 #66 Woodstock, Georgia 30188