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Photographer has stern message for guests who take photos during wedding ceremonies


Yes, phones are extremely beneficial and help make life a lot easier, but they can also be an annoyance.

Hannah Stanley, a wedding and lifestyle photographer, recently shared two photos she took during a wedding ceremony. The images, which she posted on Facebook have gone viral and caused many to ask, should guests take photos during the ceremony?

Hannah, 25, has her own photography business in Fort Worth, Texas, and she recently came across something that many photographers encounter at least once in their career–someone getting in the way of the perfect shot.

She was taking photos of a bride and her father walking down the aisle when someone in attendance stuck their arm and iPhone right in front of Hannah’s camera.

Two of the shots Hannah captured included the woman’s arm and phone.

Hannah shared the photos and an open letter to the guest on Facebook. It has since gone viral.

“Dear 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,” she wrote.

She continued by asking the guest what they planned to do with their photo.

“Honestly. Are you going to print it out? Save it? Look at it everyday? No. You’re not.”

Despite the unfortunate images, Hannah told TODAY Style she was able to get the “perfect shot,” but that’s not the point.

“Me along with photographers across the world, work very hard to serve our couples and not let a guest’s phone prevent us from getting the best photo,” she said in an email. “What we as photographers want guests to understand is these specific moments are not posed, they are in real time, giving us seconds to capture it.”

Hannah ended her open letter by asking wedding guests to keep their phones out of sight during the ceremony.

“Guests, please stop viewing weddings you attend through a screen but instead turn OFF your phone, and enjoy the ceremony. So please, let me do my job, and you just sit back, relax and enjoy this once in a lifetime moment.”

To the girl with the iPhone…Not only did you ruin my shot, but you took this moment away from the groom, father of…

Posted by Hannah Mbalenhle Stanley on Thursday, 11 July 2019

Reaction to Hannah’s letter has been mixed. Some have agreed with her Facebook post, while others disagree and believe she should have done more to avoid the unfortunate photo situation.

“As the photographer you should be controlling the scene. Use your voice and say please stay out of frame of the wedding photos thank you! I’ve seen photographers do this and it works,” one Facebook user wrote on her post. “I’ve also seen the ones who just stand and do nothing about it. You have options. Facebook announcements likely won’t change anything.”

“The bride and groom hire the photographer because THEY want those pictures. You are there to witness a wedding, not document it for your own social media purposes. It’s not about you. Let the professionals do their job they were hired to do,” someone else wrote in response.

So, what do you think?

Is Hannah right? Should wedding guests put their phones down during the ceremony and enjoy the moment while photographers take photos of the bride and the groom?

Or should guests be allowed to take as many photos as they please during the ceremony?

Share this post and let us know!