I’m at that age where everyone is becoming a grown-up. It seems like a week doesn’t pass without yet another friend announcing a big life change: engagement, marriage, pregnancy, birth. The story inevitably plays out, as everything does nowadays, across multiple social media channels. I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to flooding Facebook with positive points of my life and I love being able to look through the figurative window and see what is happening with others’ lives but when does the sharing get too much? Is anything deemed special enough to be kept private?
Whilst I regularly hear of photographers having their wedding gigs made harder by a sea of smartphones obscuring the view as they try to achieve beautiful shots of the happy couple; I’m beginning to witness more and more couples embrace the amateur photography and actually encourage the congregation to become actively involved in the capturing and sharing of memories. I have seen brides and grooms set up dedicated Instagram accounts for the big day and come up with hashtags for their guests to use when posting across social networks in order for everything online that is associated with the wedding to be found with one simple search. I have mixed feelings on this trend; it could be a chance to make your loved ones feel even more included in the events or it might, later down the line, begin to feel like an intrusion of privacy.
I can see it from both sides. Guests are likely to take and post photos regardless of whether permission has been explicitly given so why not have them all in one place. It can sometimes be the most unexpected moment and angle that frames a stunning surprise shot so it isn’t too improbable that an Insta photo snapped by a guest ends up becoming a firm favourite you have framed. However, there is no going back once the decision has been made to hold a social media friendly wedding; once those images and opinions are out there on the internet they can’t be taken back – even by deletion. What started off as a way to allow more people to be involved may end up feeling like a big mistake and you may end up wishing you took the traditional route by allowing only the professionals to capture the precious moments. After all; there is something magical about looking through a well finished wedding album.
What do you think? Should weddings be a social media affair or kept private?