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The Other Side of Capturing an Unplugged Wedding

January 13, 2016
Rachel Avery Conley

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The other side of capturing an unplugged wedding, and how a blog post can help.

I attended a beautiful wedding this fall. It was a designer’s dream – outside ceremony, barn background, even twinkly fairy lights, and I was excited to learn that the bride and groom had decided to have an unplugged wedding.

As a photographer, I love the concept of unplugged weddings. I love the suggestion of asking your guests to put their cellphones and cameras away, and really enjoy the moment. I love that the only representation of the event is the photographer’s images. I love the fact that the guests with the cell phones aren’t in any of the pictures. I love it… in theory.

After having attended this unplugged wedding on a weekend, on the following Monday morning, all I wanted were images. There were so many moments I wanted to relive, and I was a guest! I could only imagine what the Bride and Groom were feeling. I quickly realized that the downside of not having any cell phone images or guest images is that unless the photographer releases some the next day, the next week, the next month, there really are NO images.

Now, I am still a proponent of unplugged weddings, I just realized that there is another side to it. As a photographer to an unplugged wedding, you have an extra responsibility in returning images, at least for social media, very quickly. It can be as “simple” as a sneak peek blog post or Facebook post within a week of shooting the wedding, preferably within 3 days.

I say “simple” knowing that that is a really short turnaround for editing images, and I know how backed up you may already be, especially if the wedding in the middle of the busy season, but I strongly believe you have to capture that momentum of social media. Because you are asking the bride and groom to trust you. You are asking them to put away all of their immediacy, yes those awful grainy cellphone images, but those are the ones that can be instantly accessible unless you provide it. (Need help with the client communication? Our friends at Pencil & Lens have an Unplugged Wedding toolkit.) 

An unplugged ceremony, not a cell phone in site. ©Joe Gonzalez-Dufresne

An unplugged ceremony, not a cell phone in sight. © Joe Gonzalez-Dufresne

In this case, the images were so worth waiting for. The bride and groom were ecstatic with every image and their social media was flooded when they finally released them. The bride had been experiencing some post-wedding blues, and the full gallery of images brought her back to a really happy place. The unplugged wedding was a success.

But I firmly believe that you, as the photographer, have the accountability of getting those images, at least your favorite images, out on social media as soon as possible. I think that that is the most important thing you can do for an unplugged wedding.

The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. Need help planning out your blog strategy? We can help!