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One Photo Sums Up The Problem With Smartphones At Weddings

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 11/11/2015 Lorenzo Ligato
THOMAS STEWART PHOTOGRAPHY © Thomas Stewart Photography THOMAS STEWART PHOTOGRAPHY

Think about the last wedding you attended. How many guests had their smartphones out, immortalizing every second of the special day with their digital cameras? Did they keep getting in the way of the professional photographer hired for the event? Did it look something like this?

Thomas Stewart, a 33-year-old wedding photographer from Sydney, Australia, captured this picture at a recent ceremony. Last week, he posted it on his Facebook page, along with a plead for brides and grooms to have "completely unplugged" ceremonies.

"This groom had to lean out past the aisle just to see his bride approaching," wrote Stewart. "Why? Because guests with their phones were in the aisle and in his way.

This kind of thing is a serious hindrance to his job, he said. Guests often get in the way with their cameras and end up ruining many of his shots. More importantly, technology distracts attendees from the true purpose of the event: celebrating the love that two people feel for each other. 

That said, there are polite ways for guests to keep their phones on them and subtly take pics at weddings.

Ariane Fisher, a blogger for The Huffington Post and the co-founder of a site that creates wedding videos by stitching together footage and photos shot by guests, has a list of tips attendees can follow to snap away without disturbing a ceremony or reception. One piece of advice she shares: Be mindful of the professional photographer. 

"[S]ome photographers sit in the back of the church and use a long lens to capture the ceremony. Make sure you're not blocking their shot!" she writes. 

Since Nov. 5, Stewart's photo has gained more than 105,000 likes, and it's been shared by over 70,000 people on Facebook. He told The Huffington Post he was "pretty amazed" by the attention it's received.

You can check out some of Stewart's professional work on his official website. 

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