Excuse me, I'm a photographer...

We have, I am sure, all seen the article/blog written by a wedding photographer concerning guests at weddings overuse of their camera phones/personal cameras at weddings and that it is having a significant impact on the day. 


Written as to correct their behaviour and shine light on a social faux pas that is apparently not only unheard of but in no way referenced almost daily. (Ironically usually on Facebook, Twitter etc.)

As a card carrying wedding photographer and as a married man, here's my take;

If, and I really mean IF, the intention of the article and the intention of every self referential photographer sharing it is to try and heighten the enjoyment and limit the inconvenience of the Bride, Groom and their family and friends by illuminating the need for it to be an experience to be enjoyed and not interrupted by some peoples constant need to "break the story" first, fine. I would agree that is generally a good thing.

However, I do not believe that is the case for a majority of people (FB photographers), whom are actually using the social narrative as a couple of rather narrow minded and cynical power moves. I believe, and have read comments to support, that some photographers firstly don't like the competition. They don't like not being the only person with the ability to document the day and are almost viewing anyone else with an iPhone etc. as "another photographer". Or that they are finding they have to work slightly harder to manoeuvre the many devices and control certain "Uncle Bobs" whom are causing them an inconvenience. 

In the case of my first assumption, I think this is the most likely. I think a decent percentage of the people who call themselves photographers because they own a camera believe that the money they threw at their gear somehow entitles them to be seen as a higher priority of life form than lowly peasants with but a mere £600 phone or point and shoot. These people are desperately using the article as a two pronged attack on anything that questions their validity in todays society. Firstly, they want to remind you that they own a camera and take pictures and do edits and have gear and know stuff and things etc. etc. etc. It's simply a recall device to remind you of something you don't give a shit about because its either not true or not relevant to the majority of the people who know they sell insurance/are plumbers Monday to Friday. Nothing wrong with selling insurance, or plumbing, or any job really. But they want you to forget that they aren't in a position to work off of what they constantly tell you is their avenue of success and right to preach. Secondly is on the odd occasion they do shoot something that has any demand for a decent end product and therefore, responsibility on them, that if they mess up, it was the androids fault! It was Nana with her bastard samsung point and shoot, it was the drunk mate with his go pro or it was that one relative who always arrives with more camera stuff than the photographer. They use other people as condom-like protection from the responsibility that they didn't get the job done.

Or, the second type of photographer. The actual working ones whom, like myself, are at times fighting an uphill battle to deliver a high standard of product on a regular basis. Trying  to hold attention through group shots and meander through what can be like a minefield of phones and the like. It can be defeating at times and it can wind you up the wrong way, but the fact is, if you are worth all the bullshit you spout about being a photographer and being able to deliver high standard photos, you persevere. You don't say "I didn't because", "I couldn't because", "It was his fault", "it was her fault." You get the job done! You adapt, you develop ways of talking to people to keep them on your side and work for you and you get the job done!

To those who genuinely have seen the camera phone/point and shoot thing get so out of hand (and I have) at a wedding that it is actually causing the people that really matter, Bride & Groom and their guests, to actually lose out on such an important day. You are 100% right. Don't get annoyed at the above as it doesn't reference you. You care about the thing that really matters and that makes you a big fat slice of decent! 

My main gripe that things like this reignite is the idea that you choosing to be a photographer, be it amateur or professional, somehow means you are so damned important that life should adapt to you, not vice versa...