- Wedding guests who take photos on their phones can get in the way of professional photographers doing their jobs.
- Hannah Mbalenhle Stanley of Hannah Way Photography posted a photo on Facebook showing how someone with a phone ruined her shot of the bride walking down the aisle.
- The post urging wedding guests to “let me do my job” went viral.
- “It’s so sad and I wish people would enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime moment and see it with their eyes instead of living through a screen,” Stanley told INSIDER.
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Some wedding etiquette rules are well known. Don’t upstage the bride by wearing white. Don’t RSVP “yes” and then not show up, wasting the cost of an expensive plate. Don’t give a drunk, unplanned speech.
But one wedding photographer wishes that guests would start following another rule: Put your phone away.
Hannah Mbalenhle Stanley of Hannah Way Photography shared a photo she took of a bride walking down the aisle that would have been perfect if not for someone holding their phone in the way of the shot. In a Facebook post, she urged wedding guests to “let me do my job” and enjoy the ceremony instead of taking photos that they won’t use, ruining hers in the process. Her open letter has since been shared 59,000 times.
The full text of her Facebook post reads as follows:
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. But my bride would have printed this photo, looked at it often and reminisced over this moment as her dad walked her down the aisle on her wedding day. But instead, you wanted to take a photo with your phone, blocking my view, and taking a photo that you will not use.
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.
Stanley told INSIDER that she hopes wedding guests make an effort to pay attention to what is actually happening in front of them instead of how they’re going to document it.
“My main focus of that post was to make people aware of how often we rely on our phones when the real world is right in front of us and we are missing special moments like this one,” she said. “This moment cannot be redone, as a lot of moments from the wedding day. It’s so sad and I wish people would enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime moment and see it with their eyes instead of living through a screen.”