I just had the opportunity of reading this great article on the “Unplugged” wedding – the bride and groom disallowing digital devices. I heartily approve – and I say this as someone who is one of the disturbers of the real-world peace. Now, I’m not as gadget-happy as a lot of photographers and nerds out there today, but I made a decision years ago to stop experiencing absolutely everything from behind the camera and it’s served me well. Here’s a quick quote from that article that sums up the idea quite nicely:
“Philosophically, I don’t like the way digital cameras and camera phones have encouraged the sense that we need to ‘capture’ everything in order for it feel complete. I’d rather people simply watched and clapped and smiled and cried — and really listened and remembered, not from the photos they downloaded onto their computers, but from their own memories.”
Now, I’ve always been obsessed with capturing memories – usually via the blogging medium and photography. And I think ever since people found out that they could, we’ve been obsessed with it, too. I think I can safely cite cave paintings as exactly this sort of thing. Some human thinking, “I want to remember the great leopard chase of the Year of the Good Crops” or something like that. I think that most art is about this kind of capturing, and the new world has made it easier than ever.
I’ve shot at a few weddings where almost nobody was watching the action at all. And really, will you remember the wedding if you don’t put down your camera, iPhone, or other digital playthings?
The big question: Is it worth it? I don’t think so. And I wish people would let me do what I’ve been paid to do so they can sit back and enjoy what they were invited to watch: the bride and groom, not a screen.