Ditte of First Light Weddings is one of my favourite photographers, and I’m delighted that she’s found the time to contribute this heartfelt story to my blog.
Seeing with your head and heart – why you should have an unplugged wedding ceremony
I often lament the fact that we forget to look with our eyes and heart, but rather observe the big and small moments in our lives through a lens or screen.
But then I can hardly talk, my trigger finger itches when I see nice light or my beautiful children and I don’t have a camera to hand. I’m slowly learning to see, hear, smell and live the moments rather than capturing them.
Except when I’m working, of course.
It is estimated that over a TRILLION photos will be taken in 2017. About half of those are taken as newlyweds make their way down the aisle. Ok, that last part may not be true, but it can sometimes feel that way when we battle against iPhones, iPads and other booby traps to capture wedding ceremonies.
Much as I love to capture big and small moments on my phone, I’m a fierce advocate for unplugged wedding ceremonies.
I remember walking down the aisle at my own wedding nine-and-a-bit years ago – All the well-known faces of friends and family smiling at me, whispering hellos and good-luck wishes as I passed. I remember it so keenly, each look and smile filling me with love and happiness as I approached my husband-to-be.
We had asked guests not to take photographs during the service, so instead of a sea of phones and cameras, I saw the eyes and faces of our loved ones. I will always be grateful for that.
As a wedding photographer, it can be frustrating when our photographs looking up the aisle are full of screens, detracting attention from the main point of focus: the couple. The bolder guests will sometime step out into the middle of the aisle to capture the best shot of the wedding ceremony, completely blocking our view – which in turn restricts the couple’s memories of the day, as we are there for them, to document their day for them.
I don’t begrudge guests wanting to take photos on a wedding day – it’s a big day for them too, one they’ll want to remember.
But during the ceremony, you have a responsibility to the couple – to play your part: To be there, be present, to bear witness to the joining together of two people in marriage. Not via a screen, but with your eyes, minds, hearts.
So please: for just 45 minutes, put your phone away. Look up, into the eyes of your friend/ relative as they walk up the aisle. They (and we!) will be eternally grateful.
Ditte is the owner and primary photographer of First Light Photography A wedding and portrait photographer, her photographic style is light and natural, seeking to capture the beauty and personality of whatever or whoever is in front of her lens.
Originally from Denmark, Ditte lives in Edinburgh with her husband and two kids. When not behind a camera or in front of the computer, she can be found travelling around Scotland and further afield (usually with a camera in her hand…)