There is a lot of stuff racing through my head, there is a lot of stuff stuck in my head, and there is a lot of stuff that falls out of my head. I’m not guaranteeing the quality, but sometimes the stuff keeps popping up enough times that either through encouragement from my real live friends and colleagues, or through the imaginary friends in my head, I think I need to share it with you. Hence, my new (maybe somewhat regular) feature called Stuff in My Head.
This piece is written by Karin Melberg Schwier as told by me. The photos in this blog post are not from the wedding described in this story.
A Moment This Dad Can’t Get Back
There was this Dad. Frank, Father of the bride. (Frank’s not his real name but I used to date a guy named Frank – Francois actually – whom I always thought would make a great father of the bride, so I stole his name for this story). Warm, welcoming family, great people. I ran into Frank about eight months after his daughter Lisa’s (not her real name either) summer wedding. We talked about how wonderful it was and Frank remembered how beautiful his daughter had been.
Then he said, “I wish she had taken your advice.”
I have suggestions for every bride to help the day run smoothly and get the best out of her photography. One of the things I tell every bride to consider is unplugging the ceremony. That is, ask guests to turn off cell phones, iPhones, and digital cameras. It was that piece of advice Frank wished Lisa had followed. Now this isn’t new, but I asked him why. Frank’s reason for wishing this was new to me.
“It’s not for the reason you probably think,” he said. He went on to say proud he had been to be with his daughter on this special day. The first of so many best days for her. Frank told me that as he stood with her at the back of the hall, he couldn’t wait to share that first moment. The moment he could share that pride and love with all the family and friends gathered to witness. As the doors opened, he gave his girl a squeeze and he looked up into what he knew would be a sea of welcoming, joyful faces.
Instead, he was assaulted by a wall of technology. All he saw was row upon row of cell phones, iPhones, digital cameras and video recorders. Where happy faces should have been, all Frank saw were electronic devices. All eyes were down, missing this precious moment – one of his proudest moments as a father – instead seeing it second hand through their machines. Eyes were peering into little boxes instead of really being there to see the real thing.
“I didn’t get to share my moment with anyone there. I felt robbed.” Frank’s story just broke my heart.
Photographers discuss this all the time but this was the first time I had considered it from a family member’s point of view. So the next time you attend a wedding – or have one – maybe go unplugged, at least for the ceremony. I’m not telling you this story just so I can do the job I was hired to do, although I appreciate not getting hip checked into the nearest pew (has happened)! Hey, it’s okay to just show up and see a wedding through your own eyes! If you do, make sure you catch the eye of the father-of-the-bride for me 😉