Weddings

A wedding photographer has sparked heated debate after urging wedding guests to put away their phones

''Not only did you ruin my shot, but you took this moment away from the groom, father of the bride, and the bride," said wedding photographer Hannah Mbalenhle Stanley.

Many of us would be guilty of pulling out our phones at weddings and taking snaps. But should we be taking photos at all when we run the risk of getting in the way of the wedding photographer and sabotaging priceless in-the-moment shots that can't be recreated?
A wedding photographer has sparked global debate after penning an open letter urging wedding guests to put their phones away after a snap-happy guest blocked her view and ruined her shot of the bride and her father walking down the aisle.
Professional wedding photographer Hannah Mbalenhle Stanley took to Facebook to air her frustration, writing, "To the girl with the iPhone..."
"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."
Hannah went on to urge guests to "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," she wrote.
The post has attracted attention from all around the world and sparked heated debate:
"She's just worried that with increased camera quality in phones and the ability to instantly send, edit and post pics that eventually she won't get hired as much," commented one.
This was met with the reply, "Nope not at all. People are asses. Phone quality is great, but trust me they can't do what a great wedding photographer can... Like she said she's legit worried about moments like this happening. If you pay $3,000 plus for your photos would you want things like this happening? Oh and people lean and stand in the aisle blocking the photographer to get photos and ruin the kiss photo as well. It's a legit problem."
Some felt the photographer was being "extremely harsh to the poor person simply trying to capture a moment".
Another said, "I actually agree with the photographer....because every time I go to a school event I can NEVER see my daughter perform because there is always someone in front of me holding their phone up and capturing the show on video. It happens at concerts and it happens at even church!!! I am so sick of rude people turning their phones on and videoing everything and sticking the phone right in my face!!! Put your phone away! You can purchase the video of the show or let the professionals do the job!!!"
A number of wedding photographers joined the conversation and their comments ranged from showing little sympathy for Hannah to complete empathy: "It's our job to step up and say 'excuse me you're blocking the view'," said one.
"I get nearly 100 shots of this moment ALONE! If this wedding photographer failed at her duty to capture the correct image, that's on her not the guest."
Another photographer defended Hannah: "I've shot hundreds of weddings and I've posted many, many times about this same thing!!"
The debate shows that even when wedding guests are asked by the bride and groom to keep their phones in their pockets, the phones still come out and wedding photographers are largely expected to work around the problem. Is it a problem they should have to work around, though? Perhaps the best people to ask are the brides and grooms who spend thousands of dollars paying wedding photographers to capture all the priceless moments from their big day.
And of course this also begs the next question: Is it okay to post the pictures you've taken on social media before the newly-weds have even had a chance to look at their official wedding images?
The smartphone sure has presented a whole new set of dilemmas for brides and grooms.