Step Away From The Camera!

Been awhile since I’ve updated around here.

That’s what happens when you get crazy busy. It’s a blessing and a curse. I’m more than a little annoyed that we live in the “future” and I can’t yet clone myself.

Oh well.

What got my fingers fired up today was an excellent article over at the Offbeat Bride. It’s about the disturbing abundance of cameras at wedding ceremonies these days.  You should go read the article yourself. It’s ok.  I’ll wait.

Done?  Good. If not, I’m carrying on as if you did. I don’t want to rehash what was already said so well. Instead, I want to relay my own experience.

I spend a lot of time behind a lens. I know. It’s a shock. Take a deep breath or two. But I love taking photos. It’s true.

If I’m not shooting a wedding, or portraits, or some other paid gig, I’m finding some other excuse to drag out my camera. Bugs. Zombies. Amazing skies. You name it.

Last year I was invited to the wedding of a couple of friends. I shot some Save the Date photos for them. I was not, however, their wedding photographer.  They’d hired someone before they met me.

I looked at it as an opportunity.

I couldn’t remember the last wedding I had been to as a guest. I decided to fully play the part. I wasn’t going to be “that guy.” You know. The one who brings his pro gear. I’m certainly savvy enough to stay out of the hired photographers’ way, but I wanted to embrace the chance to have zero obligation (self-imposed or not) to hide my face behind the camera.

I won’t lie. I won’t try to pretend that I didn’t feel naked most of the night. I won’t hide that I couldn’t help but look for shots. And I certainly won’t deny that I might have spent a minute or two comparing what the hired pro’s were doing to what I would do.

Part of my passion for photography is to always jones for a camera when I see a great opportunity. This is why I love shooting weddings. Many great opportunities, many great moments. My trigger finger was a bit twitchy all night.

Even so. Even without my mechanical security blanket, the night was fantastic.

I felt like I was a part of the event. I wasn’t living it through a viewfinder, or experiencing an LCD instead of a wedding.

I was engaged in the evening.

And it was refreshing.

If you’re a bride and groom reading this, I encourage you to urge your guests, not their cameras, to be present at your wedding. If you’re going to be a guest, I’d remind you that the couple getting married want to see “you” and not “you staring at a screen.”

Getting the photos is what people like me are for.

So step away from the camera. Enjoy the moment.

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