Capturing the Moment — Digital Memories or the heart of memories

Photographers are so good at capturing the moment — many of them — of your wedding. Most photographers are very conscious of positioning themselves inconspicuously. Others make me wonder if they are really bi-locating – being in two places at once. One minute our camera wielding professional is in the back of the room, the next, he or she is crouched before the front row, waiting for the father and the bride to arrive. Super-dedicated photographers will lay on the floor to get the right angle and light, even if it looks like they may trip the maid of honor!

I have worked with very talented photographers in my 24 years of performing wedding ceremonies.  I have found most of them are generous, creative and dedicated to their craft. Some of them are listed on my Resources Page > Your Wedding is a Team Effort. Occasionally I run into a photographer who is so uninhibited that he or she  intrusive. I hope the memories they provide the couple are worth it because their presence steels attention away from the couple’s ceremony itself by having to look out for them. In those instances, capturing the moment is of the photographer, not the bride and groom. Once or twice I’ve had to scoot photographers away, so the ceremony could continue without the photographers bouncing around with their Nikon or Canon camera, clicking away, oblivious to the energy of the moment being interrupted by their setting up the scene.

Huffington Post Bridal Guide

A Pinterest fan posted an article from the Huffington Posts’s Bridal Guide. Professional photographer Corey Ann presented a perspective I hadn’t considered, though I’d noticed her subject matter happening more frequently. In her blog post entitled, Why You Might Want to Consider an Unplugged Wedding, she talks about the phenomenon of just about everyone with a cell phone taking pictures throughout the ceremony. It’s true — the world is full of amateur photographers now that we can carry a high quality camera embedded in our cell phone.  Her point was how we can get in the way of the professionals, standing in between the photographer and the subject without even looking. In our fervor to be capturing the moment, we ruin shots that might have been that “one” that truly captures a special moment. Of course we have good intentions, but that hardly matters when the moment has been interrupted.

Camera Toys

We’ve had our camera toys for a while now. Now is the time for us to learn to use our powerful modern technology responsibly. I’m even considering NOT getting a smart phone because I don’t know if I WANT the world at my fingertips 24/7. That little contraption has more distractions and miracles in one small package than just about anything I have ever had access to. The advice is – be aware of the moment, pay attention with your heart and not your next Facebook post or Tweet. Not everything has to be shared or documented, not all answers have to be obtained immediately. A wedding is a time when the connection between two people is honored and sanctified. Let’s return it to is rightful stature as a sacred event. Let’s take Corey’s advice and “capture how [the wedding] feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology.” No one can take from you what you hold in your heart. Put down your cameras and cell phones. The world won’t stop turning, You will see what your are meant to see, plus you’ll record those memories in your heart long before you find the time to sort through all your digitals.

Look Around — Reality is a must

Instead, take this challenge. Look around you. If you are in someone’s way, especially the “official” photographer, ask, “Am I in your way?” or ask when it’d be okay to take the photo you want to get. Photographers are also on a schedule, and your friends who are getting married are paying for that schedule to be adhered to. Sure you want to show others what you have experienced at the wedding. But nothing can compete with being totally present in the moment. Enjoy your friend walking down the aisle. Take in the sweetness of the groom crying when he shares his vows without having to photograph it. Be inspired by the poetry being shared. Be available to the commitment your friends are making on their wedding day. Let it be their day, without interruption. Capture the moment — with your heart, not just a camera.