To Have and to Hold, To Post or Not To Post …
You are making plans to get married
So you are finally getting married! Yayyyy and all that great stuff!
Your plans are underway, venue check, invites – check, dress – check, seating plans – check, wedding photographer -check, car -check … there are so many things you will need to think about, but here is one you may not have… a policy on social media for your wedding.
At this point you may be a little puzzled, wondering exactly what this is, well let me share a few scenarios to fill in the gaps.
We post everything on social media
So many people share EVERYTHING on social media now, we share photos of our food, new purchases, nights out, nights in, birthdays, funerals, parties, and weddings. Literally there is nothing that is immune for a snap, instagram, tweet or Facebook nowadays.
But …what if you don’t want your private wedding put all over the net for everyone to see? If you are fine with this happening, then thats get not a problem, don’t say anything to your guests and you can be sure there will be photos and videos of your wedding before the day is done online somewhere.
However, if you fall into the category of people who do not want this, then you need to explicitly state this somewhere before the wedding and on the day. Leaving it to “my guests would have more respect than that” is a huge chance, because for many people its not a disrespectful thing to do!
For some of you who are fine with everything being on social media and no limits placed on your guests, you may be thinking, why would any wedding couple do this? What is wrong with sharing photos and videos of someones big day? Here are a few reasons why people may not want their wedding day on social media.
Some people are private. For some people you won’t see photos of their food online, you won’t see photos of all their family members, every holiday, their daily walks abouts, what they watch on tv and so on. For some people you may see a post every few months, they may even post every day, but it will be nothing about their personal lives of family. For some people like this, they won’t want their most intimate day online for the world to see. And before someone thinks, “but my profile is private”; yours may be, but what about all of your guests? And even if their’s are too, that is say 70-200 profiles with your intimate moments on, shared with the 500-2000 friends on their profiles too, so potentially your private moments are shared with how many people (head to your phone to do some quick calculations).
If you have had a small private wedding of say 50 people, and purposefully kept it that way because you did not want random family and acquaintances present on your day, some people would say that posting it all over social media defeats that object. What do you think?
A Few Examples
For those people unconvinced, here are a few examples of guests posting on social media where the couple were not best pleased.
1 – A bridesmaid snap chatting the bride in the background before she got to the church on the day of the wedding.
2 – Guests Facebook living at a wedding
3 – Guests face timing a wedding to someone who was not invited, to show how much of a good time THEY were having!
4 – Guests posting unflattering photos where one of the couple had their eyes closed, or strange facial expressions
5 – Guests posting albums of 100’s of photos from every aspect of the wedding, as though they were the wedding photographer
6 – Guests posting videos on paid platforms such as YouTube
7 – Guests posting something to ridicule the couple, such as posting something that went wrong, someone tripping etc.
8 – Guests posting unflattering angles, such as a hall that looked empty, a dancefloor that looked dead, people looking bored etc
Ask yourself if you would be happy for any of these to be posted at your wedding? And keep in mind, that not everyone is aware of this when they are posting, so its not always purposeful! I have seen people post some terrible photos of themselves on social media and be completely unaware, so there is no reason why they would have more awareness when posting photos of others.
What Photographers think
From a photography point of view too, guests can make your job really difficult! I advise couples that IF they are allowing photos to ask guests to stay in seats, because you can never underestimate how much a guest will be unaware of getting in the official photos, in order to get their iPhone (other brands are available too) photo.
There is also now the emergence of iPads and super sized iPads i call them, which are basically like guests holding up tv screens in the way of the photographer and in your pictures on the day. It quite frankly looks stupid.
I have even had a guest ask me to move out of their way, in my capacity as the official photographer, in order to get the photos THEY need!
What Other Brides and Brides to be Think
We asked for some further views from other brides, these were some of the mixed responses we received.
Emma Cumiskey said “I have said to guests you can post pics after the night guests arrive as otherwise they have seen the happy couple before they get there”.
Alexandra Daisy said “I would hate if the live streamed our ceremony and speeches. I’m happy for our guests to take pictures throughout the day but ask them not to post them until after the wedding was over. I would hate to see my guests constantly on their phones during my wedding. Id want them to actually experience and enjoy the day”.
Becci Faulkner said “I had no phones at church rule and asked people not to post anything until the day after the wedding. After that anything was game”
Molly Freeman said “We’re hoping for an unplugged ceremony (we want to see people’s faces in pictures not iPads and phones). But other than that pretty ok with pictures and videos after that and at the reception as long as I don’t look too bad in them”
Faye Rose Charrington said “We have a sign that says no social media until we have posted! And we probs won’t post for a few days! Just wanna keep it private for a bit! Everything is online now. Doesn’t hurt to keep things to yourself for a wee bit 😃”
Arelene Wheeler was not concerned by any posts “I didn’t mention anything before hand but we had people do both; Snapchat our ceremony and put me on Facebook before the evening guests had even arrived. I was too busy to care st the time but I wouldn’t do it personally. Speeches were also recorded”.
Not to Post
Ellis Willis had a bad experience with social media wedding posts saying “Someone put about 100 photos and the speeches on Facebook the day after my wedding without asking and I was devastated we didn’t want loads on Facebook and we didn’t get to see them before they were put up either. Gutting really… some of them were terrible and edited so badly by a guest, broke my heart”
Sarah Tugwell works in the industry as a wedding planner “I am a wedding planner and no matter how many times a celebrant or registrar say unplugged ceremony there are always people doing it and I have even had a venue and a venue dresser post pictures of the ceremony room Before the ceremony (so basically as they had finished setting up) which I don’t agree with. Alot of my couples say no to social media until the evening. Now, our own personal wedding next year is a tricky one as my fiance doesn’t do social media and hates it so he doesn’t want any pics going to without our approval… how do I manage that one? Personally we happy for some to go up but only when we have seen them and not to be plastered all over social media. We want to keep it private really. Happy for guests to take pics though.xx”
Naomi Lunn said “We aren’t your average young couple. We didn’t post when we got engaged. I haven’t ever posted a picture of my ring, even though it’s spectacular lol. And I’m certainly not doing countdowns or announcing that I’ve bought a house. We are inviting 20 of our closest to see us tie the knot in the most beautiful place in Cumbria. Luckily for us there is no WiFi or signal there so people will have to wait until 2 days after the wedding to post. I’d rather there weren’t any photos on Facebook to be honest but I guess it’s a bit extreme to say no posts at all… I don’t think people will respect that, so I guess there is no point saying it”
Josie Shereston said “I banned social media at my wedding and to be fair my guests respected my wishes…. it was our day… not everyman and his dogs lol”
Laura Kane said “We don’t want anything putting up, we are a very private couple, we don’t put anything up, for example… we didn’t put a post up when we got engaged, we changed our relationship status that’s it. If we don’t tell them personally or are invited then why should they know?
So we are going to ask that guests don’t put anything up, pics of themselves yes but not of the bridal party or any part of the day”.
This is obviously something that couples now have to think about it, whether you agree with it or not. Here is another recent article from news site I Am Birmingham on the same issue
So, as advice from someone in the industry, if you are fine with guests posting everything, or a limited bits, that is fine, or if you prefer them not to post anything, or put on time limit of when they can post, that is fine too … but whatever you choose, please make your guests clearly aware of your wishes. Please add it as another “to do” on your wedding lists!
Warwick House Wedding
Warwick House Wedding
We photographed this lovely couple who had a Warwick House Wedding recently.
We met the bride during a video shoot we were doing for a beauty salon, and we clicked straight away. She asked about our wedding photography and we talked about our Birmingham Wedding Photography, as they were looking for at local photographers in Birmingham we had a wedding photography consultation at our offices and were booked!
A lovely intimate wedding. Although the weather was not kind to us, we still managed to create magic at this Warwickshire Wedding Venue, a lovely Warwickshire venue, tucked away on an unexpected street in Warwickshire.
Our Birmingham Wedding Photography includes a range of styles including both bridal and groom preparations, roaming photography of natural shots of the the emotions as they happen, a couples photoshoot of portraits of just the two of them, and family shots of all of the guests and family.
We created so many beautiful images on this day, here are a selection of a few.
Jago / Jaago Ceremony Photography – Sikh Punjabi Wedding Tradition
As a Female Wedding Photographer in Birmingham, who also covers Asian Weddings, even though I am not Asian, I often have anxious photographer colleagues who are covering their first Asian Wedding approach me for advice and information; knowing that as I too shoot Weddings from Culture’s and Religion’s different to my own, I would have at some point been in the same position.
After having to have done this a few times, it made sense to write a few blog posts on aspects of Asian Wedding and Asian Wedding Photography.
Jago / Jaago Ceremony Photography – Sikh Punjabi Wedding Tradition
This is a ceremony that happens before the main wedding, often part of a pre wedding party. Often held in a hall, but lower key than the main wedding.
Jaago means “wake up”. Before the days of Wedding Invites and Interactive Wedding Invites relative of the Bride and Groom used to go around their village the night before the wedding days carrying candle lit pots – before the days of electricity on their heads singing songs as a way of telling everyone that a wedding would be taking place the following day and as an open invitation to attend.
The traditional folk song is “jaago”, so they would encourage people to wake-up and join in the festivities.
The modern day conversation of this will see the family gather at a venue before the wedding, for a pre wedding party. At some point during the evening the main family members will disappear to another room and re enter the main room carrying Jaagos (pots with decorated lights) and Jaago sticks (decorated sticks) , which will be passed from person to person, who will carry them for a little while.
Traditional songs will be sung …and then …its time to PARTY! During the Jago / Jaago – Sikh Punjabi Wedding Tradition people will also share a meal, but then hit the dance floor (and also bar) hard. It is a reason to celebrate and people will do. As a Wedding Photographer, photographing a pre-wedding party, you will be expected to capture
- Guest entering and being greeted by the family
- Group shots of as many people at the event as possible
- Roaming shots of what is going on
- Venue Shots
- The procession coming into the main room for the Jago, close ups of the pots and sticks
- Shots of each person that has the Jago on their head
- Shots of all the close family members (siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents)
- Then Party Shots, stopping people on the dance floor periodically to get a shot of them posing for the camera.
Photographing a Wedding or Pre Wedding Party or event such as a Jago / Jaago from Cultures and Religions different to what you are familiar with does not need to be daunting, its simply about the familiarity. There are no restrictions on photography, after having done a few you will look back and wonder what al the anxiety was about!
If you are looking for a Wedding Photographer in Birmingham to cover your Wedding or Pre Wedding Party such as your Mendhi, Maiyan or Jago, contact us for a quote
No Photos in Church Please – Wedding Photography
“No Photos in Church Please” – Wedding Photography
As a wedding photographer this may seem like a crazy statement to see or hear, Wedding Photography is all about taking photos in Church or a Gudwara or any other religious place, but this has literally been what we have ben told in some churches when covering some weddings “No Photos in Church Please”.
You may be reading this with a puzzled look on your face, I certainly thought that the first time I was told this by a Minister.
Some churches (and I find this is common in churches of a certain denomination – naming no names, I have never had this in any other religious ceremony) and I cover all kinds of Weddings in Birmingham and beyond, from Muslim Weddings to Sikh Weddings to Christian Weddings to Hindu Weddings.
This seems to have been a topic in many forums, with wedding photographers firm on each side.
There are photographers who believe that the Minister’s wishes for his / her church are paramount, and will happily sit at the back of a church for the whole ceremony, and only get shots when he bride is walking in, walking out and signing the register, which is what is allowed by that Minister.
There are other photographers who believe that their clients (the Bride and Groom) wishes are paramount, and if they want images of their ceremony, even if that means going against the Minsters wishes, so be it
I genuinely find that many couples do not know that some churches do not allow Wedding Photography or are not friendly to Wedding Photography at their venue. I photograph a lot of Asian Weddings where it is common for at least 4 photographers and cinematographers to be at one wedding, but not uncommon for their to be as many as 8 staff capturing the day.
So what are the reasons for this, these have been ‘reasons’ we have been given:
1. Some cite over zealous previous photographers, rolling on the floor etc to take photos, I have never personally seen this, or know any photographers that have personally seen this at a wedding, and I have a lot of photographers in my circles. I have however seen these clips on YouTube
2. The couple need to concentrate on the vows they are making before God. You have to question if having pictures taken make them think any less about what they are undertaking.
3. It distracts the guests / couple. Wedding Photography and Cinematography are now such a normal part of a Wedding Day, again I would question who it distracts. I know that when I photograph weddings, I wear soft loafer shoes (as do my other staff), and dress in all black, a ninja would be hard pressed to be more slight than me. I find guests phones pinging, children crying in church, and guest photographers with iPhones and iPads that need to go right up to the Bride and Groom to get a shot, much more distractive.
4. The couple will remember it better if they concentrate on what is happening. I find that for many brides especially the day goes by in whirlwind, they have been planning their wedding day for years, and before they know it, their wedding day is over. So what do they have to remember their wedding day by? Their Wedding Photography and Wedding Cinematography.
5. It is Gods House and it is disrespectful for be snapping away or moving about the place. Some churches stream church services, some churches have no problem with wedding photography, so it makes you question what is it about the churches that do not see it in this way? We live in a world documented by images, and sharing so many parts of our lives. Imagine one of …if not the biggest day of your life, and whole chunks of it are missing, because the minister was not happy with it? In fact you have more photos from your works trip to Nandos than you do of your wedding ceremony?
6. Data Protection (especially when signing the register). Is the data that is being protected the data of the Bride and Groom whose wedding you are photographing for them? of them signing a register that later becomes a publicly available document that can be looked up in any library or obtained online for a few pounds? This month we photographed a Wedding at the fantastic New Testament Church of God (George Street Church whose Minister suggested a shot where the Bride and Groom hold up their register towards the camera to get a shot.
7. We simply do not allow it! No Photography in Church please! The couple have paid for a photographer to deliver a service. The couple have paid to have their wedding at a church and a Minster deliver a service. If one obstructs the other and stops them delivering that service, are they doing the best for their customer? The Bride and Groom. The guests on the other hand, can snap away at any point, and more than a few with have DSLR cameras …. for all of us at Lensi, the Wedding is always about the Bride and Groom, we will advise so that they get the best from their day, and always do our best for them.
Now this is not meant to sound like a moan about churches, we have worked with some fantastic Ministers and Churches, in fact most of them have been, but just a short post for you to consider when choosing a church for your Wedding Day. It is something most Brides and Grooms do not know, so its useful information. This has genuinely only happened at weddings I have photographed a few times, but when it has happened the Bride and Groom were not made aware of this rule about wedding photography.
Their photographer has either had to ignore the Minsters wishes, much to their disdain. Debate with the Minster, again also much to their disdain, or not get any pictures during their ceremony, only images of them coming into church, walking back up the aisle, and signing the register! And thats it!
So when you are looking at a venue for your Wedding Photography, consider all the things you normally would for your wedding day. The sentimental links that church may have to your family, its location, how beautiful it looks, if it can hold all of your weddings guests, how far it is for you to travel….and also if they have problems with photography!
If you are happy with limited images during your ceremony, none of the guests or mom and dad smiling or crying during the service, no close ups of the special moment when a ring is placed on a finger, none of the bride looking into the yes of the groom or vice versa, this is fine.
If not think about asking the question on their approach to photographers in the ceremony! And decide if you want photography or not, it may be such an issue where you have to consider changing your venue (if you want Wedding Photography!)
We are a Photography and Cinematography Company in Birmingham, lead by a Birmingham Female Photographer. We cover a range of genres of Photography. Contact us for a quote if you are getting married and are looking first for a Female Photographer in Birmingham, a Photographer in Birmingham or Photography in other parts of the UK! (We travel!!)
To see some of the weddings that we have been able to photograph freely, creating lasting memories for the Bride and Groom, see our Weddings Gallery, when we meet of a consultation we will also take you though a whole days coverage of our Wedding Photography.
DJ – Lensi
UK Based Destination Wedding Photographer
If you are looking for UK based Destination Wedding Photographer, to travel to cover your wedding internationally, then look no further than Lensi Photography.
We have covered weddings, pre and post wedding shoots in many countries with the furthest away being 6,500 miles away in Rwanda, Africa. If you are marrying abroad or living outside the UK we can still photograph your wedding.
This is a short blog about being a UK Based Destination Wedding Photographer covering a Destination Wedding in Africa.
So you are looking for that special wedding photographer to photograph your wedding, but they are based in another country from you, is this a problem? For most photographers this is not problem, as it wasn’t for us. It may cost you a bit more, but you will be getting exactly the people you want to document your wedding and create the images you want to remember your day by.
How to choose you wedding photographer
see our blog post on this Choosing your wedding photographer
For the photographer – What to bring?
You will have to travel a bit lighter than when you are covering a wedding at home, but travelling with a good airline will allow for a decent baggage allowance. Put anything you need, can be broken easily and cannot do without in your hand luggage. You have to allow for your baggage not arriving, and IF it does not, what do you deliver to your client? Not all countries have easily available shops that equipment can be rented from. This is exactly what happened to us (but that story is for later). Between the first and second photographer we bought, four bodies, 8 lenses, a range of flashes, umbrella, batteries, video lights, boom arm, and reflectors. For a wedding in the same country would carry Quadra Ranger Packs and Ice Lights (but as all of these looks could be replicated with other lights) we opted not to carry these.
Preparation – before the wedding
Being a UK based destination wedding photographer, all the normal pre planning is required, and possibly meetings over Skype. In addition to this you may have to get additional jabs that you may need to factor into your wedding expenses. We had to get Yellow Fever vaccination at £70 so not cheap.
Some countries will need you to state that you are going there to work, which may cause some extra administration and incur extra money and problems. some countries also do not allow you to do jobs as a foreign person that can be delivered by their own citizens, such as Canada. This is all worth checking out before you travel.
Plan B, C and D
As you are UK based working in another destination will mean that you do not have easy access to your usual back ups should something go wrong, so have a plan B, C and D. Ours was to travel with four bodies, in hand luggage, and only to have reflectors and stands on the main suitcases. Very lucky considering as the lead photographer, my cases did not arrive! And did not arrive until the day we were returning home, I literally went to the airport collected them from arrivals, walked to the other part of the airport and checked them back in to come home. But due to pre planning our client we still able to receive a quality product. Hiring Equipment in Rwanda is impossible, equipment is expensive so very precious to local photographers, and has to come all the way from South Africa or further afield. We needed to borrow a reflector, and ended up hiring one from a local studio twice the price of the cost of buying one in the UK.
Leading Up To The Wedding
Rwanda and Kigali was not what we expected, but getting to know the area a little before the wedding, gave us time to plan for pre / post wedding shoots should there be time. Our couple were extremely busy people, and this was always only a possibility even though we are in the country for a week. It is a beautiful country, although most people still (20 years later) only associate it with the Rwanda Genocide.
I had the opportunity to go Gorilla Trekking with Wild Gorilla’s (6 feet away from a wild silverback and its family Gorilla in the Wild by Lensi Photography visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre and got to experience a side of Africa that we are rarely shown in the Western World, beautiful homes, trendy wine bars, posh restaurants, thriving town city centres, with sky scraper buildings, and lets not forget the motorbike taxi’s….which were scary for a car driver, but very economical!
On the Day of the Wedding
Rwanda Weddings are very similar to Indian Weddings in many respects. Much of the ceremony involved the families, gifts are exchanged between families, outfits are very similar, there are even ceremonies involving milk. As in any other wedding ensure everything is charged up and your back ups at hand in cars / rooms nearby if possible.
As our luggage did not arrive, we were not dressed as appropriately as we could be… however the most important thing was creating the images we had been hired to create!
After the Wedding
The issue of how to get your products to your couple. We use online viewing platforms for the images, and biased via Skype and whatsapp. Postage of our album would cost about £50 but our couple travel so frequently that we were able to meet them in Birmingham and hand their album to them in person.
If you are looking for a UK based Photographer to cover your destination wedding, look no further than Lensi Photography.