A WORD ON GUESTS USING SMARTPHONES DURING A WEDDING CEREMONY



Even with the ever-growing rise of smartphones, I can’t remember the last time I saw a professional photographer using an iPhone to shoot a industrial commission or one in the hands of a wedding photographer. Clearly there are thousands more smartphones around and in use than DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras, but we must remember that abundance does not signal superiority. 

No matter how amazing technology gets, there are some fundamental limitations that will more or less always be in the way of smart phones. In particular, the laws of physics are notoriously difficult to bypass. This is about sensor size.

Larger sensors are, in general, better sensors. They can gather more light and offer more depth of field control. The sensors in Studio Eye cameras are exactly 50 times bigger than that in an iPhone. We can regularly shoot between ISO 1,600 and 6,400; an iPhone maxes out at ISO 800 and in all honesty that is not acceptable. That large sensor allows gain of images that are physically impossible with any smartphone. 

On top of that, if you’ve ever tried focusing an iPhone in a situation so dark that it requires ISO 6,400, I’m sure you’ve found it to be about as easy as nailing a jelly to a tree. So don’t waste your time, or your jelly. It can be an endless argument regarding whether or not guests should have the right to take photos as they please at weddings etc., but when it comes down to it, if the happy couple can't experience their special day without a guest interfering, haven't we gone too far?

However this is representative of so many issues in modern culture. First of all, did you know that you won't remember an event as well if you're focussed on taking pictures of it? Why do people feel this overwhelming need to capture mediocre photos of an event knowing full well that a hired professional is there to capture skilled and accomplished photographs of it? 

There is nothing wrong with snapping a quick shot as a memento from your seat and promptly putting your phone away - but this present-day method of guests standing in the aisle clutching smartphones while the bride proceeds towards her groom is surely disrespectful at best. 

Such photographs are almost always mediocre – as one can’t take great photos with a camera phone by leaning into the aisle of a dark church to photograph a moving subject – a situation which is awkward even for the most flexible of professional photographers.

Studio Eye will, if requested, include a clause in any contract giving our professional photographer permission to act on the bride and groom's behalf in politely telling people to please put their phones away, a clause that is explained fully to the couple before the wedding and one that will always meet with enthusiastic agreement from the couple. This doesn't mean we will play Phone Police with every guest, but it does allow leeway to address the most egregious offenders. The fact of the matter is that the couple will hopefully have hired Studio Eye as their Wedding Photographer to professionally create the best possible images for them. If guests wish to take photos for their personal memories, then as long as it is done quickly and without exceeding the limits of basic etiquette, then that is an acceptable compromise.

Studio Eye’s allegiance is to the couple and the couple only. They will have granted us an incredible privilege to witness a deeply personal event and we should never forget that. We are all there as witnesses, not actors. When you step into the aisle and block the groom's view of the bride, you become an actor. If someone chooses to share such an intimate and special occasion with us, we owe them the requisite respect to at least not interfere with it. No one would wish the memory of a bride walking down the aisle to also include ten people hanging in the aisle with their phones. They may well miss the looks of joy on their friends' faces because there are phones in front of them. 

A wedding should be a beautiful event - shared with the people close to the couple – and that is why                  STUDIO EYE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY should be your choice : we are people who are really good at making images and just as importantly, we will allow everyone attending the opportunity to experience the event without distractions.

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