While mobile photography has inspired many people to document every aspect of their lives, it may be getting in the way of professionals. Photojournalists on breaking news assignments may have to push through a crowd of amateur mobile photographers to get to the scene. In the case of wedding photography, guests can crowd the newlyweds with smartphone cameras during special must-have shots like the cake cutting.
CNET discussed the impact of smartphones on wedding photography in a recent article:
We have always wanted to participate in a wedding by taking a photograph of the happy couple, but an increasing number of guests are using their own equipment — whether that's a smartphone or an actual camera — to document the day in a more extreme manner. Does this scene look familiar to you?
[…]"The worst I ever saw it was one guest who had come in late to the ceremony and promptly kneeled at the front of the couple in the aisle and just off to the side. She stayed there for over five minutes with her iPhone taking video, and I could see the stressed looks on the bride and groom's faces. I have also had guests literally shoot over my shoulder, and another who moved an unmanned camera on a tripod to get his shot," [Geoff] Schatzel said.
Certainly, there are benefits of going "unplugged", which include your guests experiencing the event with their own senses rather than mediated through technology. But it's also to help control what the outside world sees. Managing social-media profiles is becoming increasingly important for anyone with an online presence. A blurry, unflattering shot uploaded to Facebook and tagged within seconds by a well-meaning friend can ruin the controlled illusion that many seek to propagate.
While some couples prefer their guests to be focused on the wedding rather than their smartphones, others utilize social media to document their special day. Courtney and Jared Dahl—a couple who met on Instagram—used a special Instagram hashtag so their friends could share their shots on the photographic social network.
Wedding photographers: how has mobile photography changed the way you approach assignments?