A wedding photographer’s rant about guests obnoxiously ruining shots with smartphones has gone viral.
Hannah Mbalenhle Stanley of Hanna Way Photography recently took to social media to share what would have been a beautiful picture of the bride and her father—except someone’s phone is blocking the shot.
“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.”
Mbalenhle Stanley went on to advise potential wedding guests on what they should and should not do: enjoy the ceremony and put down the phone.
“Guests, 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.”
Mbalenhle Stanley’s admonition has racked up 158,000 shares and over 1,000 comments, with social media users mixed on how they feel about telling guests they can’t take their own photos. Some users could understand how guests might be swept up in the moment and want to take a picture, while others wish they would be more attentive to the professionals who are being paid to get the clearest shots.
“Amen, there is nothing worse than you trying to do your job and get that perfect shot for the bride and there are 10 cell phones in your way. It’s infuriating,” one frustrated user wrote.
“They are paying you to do a job that guests won’t let you do. Then who’s at fault, you can’t be rude to the guests !?!?”
One user explained how she embraced all the photos taken at her wedding:
“I paid a lot of money for my professional photographer. But the pictures my guests took had their own value as well. I was more worried about having a good day celebrating my marriage with those in my life that I loved, rather than getting ‘perfect’ pictures. In fact, half of the pictures hanging on my walls in my home were taken by guests, and all of them are in scrap books.”
While others blamed Mbalenhle Stanley for being so consumed with the errant wedding guest that she botched the shot instead of working around the obstacle:
“As a wedding photographer, it’s our job to work around the obstacles. You spent time to actually take focus different and take TWO photos just to make a point when instead you could have moved and adjusted to avoid her and the phone completely. The guests are there to enjoy and remember this time as well,” wrote one user.
“Taking two steps to the left would have resolved this,” argued another.