Infringe With Caution – A Personal Blog
I was recently lucky enough to attend the beautiful wedding, of some good friends, in Key West, Florida.
Around the table at the reception a few photographers and I got to talking about the impact that cameraphones, iPads & budget SLRs are having on the events of the day and ‘our time’ in general.
I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of my thoughts and opinions.
Key West is an idyllic location for a beach wedding. You have the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, near continuous sunshine and secluded beaches that seem to go on for miles. An extremely appealing setting for romantic iconography.
And it’s understandable that everyone wants to capture the scene and take full advantage of all of those aspects but let’s consider the setting.
It’s a wedding, the happy couple want to make the most of their special day. They are surrounded by friends & family, who all want to focus on what’s happening. Usually there’s already a professional photographer (or assigned family member acting as photographer) charged with securing the best possible photographs.
Do you really need to infringe on any of their experiences or work further?
One of the questions discussed around the table later in the evening was, “What will you do with those images?”
The usual responses were elicited by some, “Facebook/family/friends”, we even had someone who insists on printing out photographs for their home (a practice that I wholly support) but most were simple taking photos “for themselves”.
In my eyes the negative impact of this is two-fold.
Firstly, you will in some way have infringed on the happy couple, or others in attendance, in your choice of position, leaning in, stretching arms and expanding yourself in all of the traditional ways.
Secondly, you will not be in the moment yourself. All too often people now choose to view an event via a screen than with their own eyes, ears and senses.
Step out of your phone for one moment, see the entire scene and smell the sea air. Share your enjoyment this way instead of thinking about how you’ll “share” it later.
And if you really want a memory of the day then ask the happy couple for a copy of one of theirs…
For fear of boring you all I shan’t discuss the first dance scenario except to say, unless you are incredibly experienced and talented photographers just don’t.
Dance floor lighting and atmosphere are incredibly hard to capture with the right equipment.
The above guidelines can be applied at concerts, festivals and other public events.
Las Vegas holds some of the most spectacular displays and events in the world, included amongst which is the Mirage volcano.
This half-hourly display pulls in droves to watch fire dance around the lagoon. What this means is that the resultant audience end up several rows deep on the sidewalk to watch the show.
If you happen to see this spectacle or indeed something similar, please don’t insist on holding your iPad above your head, blocking the view of anyone standing behind you (we’ve all been there right?) or even worse using your selfie stick as a boom.
It’s not often that we at TakenPlace will ask you to take less photographs and this is actually not one of those times! All I ask is that you consider why you’re taking that photograph and how your actions are impacting those around you enjoying the moment and of course your own enjoyment.