This Wedding Photographer’s Rant About Cell Phones Put The Entire World On Blast, Including Myself

Weddings are the best. A solid excuse to get together with friends and families alike, only to dance the night away to some classic oldies while browning out on the open bar? Sign me up, ten times out of ten. I’ve got a wedding this weekend, and I’m already jacked up for the dance floor and how many likes I’m going to get on the Instagram I post of me in black tie.

But this wedding photographer is trying to ruin all our fun (and more importantly, likes) by shaming all of us into putting our cell phones away throughout the ceremony and reception.

Back in November, Thomas Stewart of the Australian Thomas Stewart Photography went on a hard-hitting Facebook rant about cell phones at weddings, and the rant has recently come to the surface again. For reference, this is the photo he’s talking about.

Right, I've had enough. I want to talk to you all about guests using mobile phones / cameras at weddings. I want to…

Posted by Thomas Stewart Photography on Thursday, November 5, 2015

Enjoy. Oh, and read it in an Aussie accent. More fun that way.

Right, I’ve had enough. I want to talk to you all about guests using mobile phones / cameras at weddings. I want to plead with you, and I’m going to make this very simple: brides and grooms, please have a completely unplugged wedding ceremony.

Look at this photo. This groom had to lean out past the aisle just to see his bride approaching. Why? Because guests with their phones were in the aisle and in his way.

This sucks. And I’m not blaming these guests in particular; I actually take a large amount of responsibility for this occurring. In the past I should have been more specific with my clients in explaining to them why guests should be told no photos. Well, from now on, I’m going to make a pretty big deal about it.

If you’re planning a wedding, please consider these points:

1. Guests with phones, iPads and cameras get right in your photographer’s way. They have no idea how to stay out of our way. They often ruin many of our shots. They will make our photos worse. You’re paying a photographer quite a bit of money; that means you want great photos. We cannot do our best work with people getting in our way.

2. These same guests will get in YOUR way. You will miss moments of your own wedding day because there’ll be an iPad in the way. You will miss seeing your partner’s face in the aisle.

3. The guests’ photos are usually crap. I’m sorry, but it is true. You can’t take great photos with your camera phone by leaning into the aisle of a dark church to photograph a moving subject. Hell, even lots of professionals have trouble with this.

And finally, the most important point:

4. Imagine you’re in the middle of your wedding ceremony. You’re elated. You decide to take a quick glance towards your guests as you’re sure they’re sharing these happy moments with you, possibly even shedding a tear of their own. What do you see? NO FACES AT ALL AS THEY ARE ALL HIDDEN BEHIND PHONES AND CAMERAS! I highly doubt this is the way you want to remember your wedding ceremony.

In your invites, tell everyone you’re having an unplugged ceremony: no technology, please, Write it on a chalkboard which guests can see as they arrive on the day. Tell your celebrant / minister / priest to tell the guests at the start of the ceremony. HIRE A PLANE TO WRITE IT IN THE SKY!

And guests, you’ve been invited to this wedding to share and celebrate the love that two people feel for each other. They didn’t invite you along to take photographs that they probably won’t really look at anyway. They want you there with them in heart and soul, and they want to see your tear-filled eyes as you form part of their wedding ceremony. You are witnesses to their marriage, so for goodness sake, watch them with your eyes and your minds, not your phones.

So guests please, for my sake, and for sake of the two people getting married, leave your cameras at home and put your phones / ipads away (grin emoticon)

Hey Thomas, get off your high horse, dude. If you can’t do your job because people have their cell phones out, either get better at your job or get the fuck out of the kitchen. Your shot angle in the photo you’re scrutinizing? Brutal. Like, the bride is barely in the frame and it’s almost like you intentionally turned your camera to snap a shot of the people on their phones just to make a point. On a scale of worst to best wedding photographers, the list goes as follows:

1. You
2. The dude from Love Actually

Furthermore, this hits closer to home than you’d imagine. Dave recently got his wedding photos back, and guess what? I was one of those assholes on his cell phone.

Image via Caroline Jurgensen Photography

Had this photo not appeared right around the time this rant came across my desk? I’d probably be on Thomas Stewart’s side, just raving about how everyone should unplug during weddings and leave their phones in their pockets. But nope. I’m too prideful. I looked too awesome that night (#TeamNoSocks) to retroactively shame myself for being on my phone during the second most important day of Dave’s life (next to June 12, 2011 when the Mavericks won the NBA Championship).

What was I supposed to do? Not check my likes? I mean, I had just posted a fire photo of me with Grandex Founder and CEO Madison Wickham and Big T-Shirt Matt.


A photo posted by @willdefries on

Besides, all these people on their cell phones that this dude is complaining about? They just allowed him to go viral. Highly doubtful he’d have over 20,000 Facebook likes if it weren’t for his little tangent there. You’re welcome, Thomas.

Image via Facebook

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Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Writer at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram). Email me at

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