We live in a world where people are increasingly more interested in capturing the moment than experiencing the moment. One Fort Worth-based professional photographer’s viral Facebook post recently captured in words what has been frustrating wedding photographers for years now after an otherwise perfect photo of a bride and her father was ruined by an attendee’s cell phone.
Hannah Stanley, of HannahWayPhotography.com turned to Facebook after the debacle, penning an open letter on behalf of all wedding photographers everywhere:
“Not only did you ruin my shot, but you took this moment away from the groom, father of the bride, and the bride. What exactly do you plan on doing with that photo? Honestly. Are you going to print it out? Save it? Look at it everyday? No. You’re not. But my bride would have printed this photo, looked at it often and reminisced over this moment as her dad walked her down the aisle on her wedding day. But instead, you wanted to take a photo with your phone, blocking my view, and taking a photo that you will not use.
“Guests, please stop viewing weddings you attend through a screen but instead turn OFF your phone, and enjoy the ceremony. You are important to the bride and groom, you would not be attending the wedding otherwise. So please, let me do my job, and you just sit back, relax and enjoy this once in a lifetime moment.”
As of the time of this writing, her Facebook post has been shared almost 200,000 times.
To the girl with the iPhone…Not only did you ruin my shot, but you took this moment away from the groom, father of…
We reached out to Hannah after coming across her viral post and had a conversation with her about the incident. She told us this type of thing happens in pretty much every wedding she has shot, even in weddings where the bride asked the officiant to ask attendees to turn off their cell phones before the ceremony begins.
She said the massive response to her post has been overwhelming at times, and that not all feedback has been positive or supporting. While she did say she’s had future brides message her, letting her know that her post inspired them to ask for an “unplugged ceremony”, she said that others have messaged her with “a different opinion”.
Overall, the experience has been a positive one for her, with many brides who experienced similar photo bombs during their own weddings reaching out and offering their own stories and support for her post.
Photographers, have you ever had a photo ruined by another’s cell phone? Future brides, if you are planning a wedding, would you consider asking attendees to leave the photography to the professionals? What do you think of Hannah’s open letter? Let us know in the comments section below!