“When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts?” (Isaiah 1:12)
|Conrad & Felistas on 2nd January 1988|
Those days are long gone and the age of digital photography is now upon us. It costs nothing to take photos today because you simply download them on your computer and do with them whatsoever you please. Also, the prices of cameras have drastically reduced. Everyone and anyone can now own a camera—especially the point-and-shoot versions. Add to this the fact that even cell phones now have camera functionality, then you can well understand why digital photography is everyone’s business today. It is photography galore!
Sadly, what ought to be a blessing has become a curse—especially at weddings. When photography was expensive business, there would be one or at the most two individuals hanging around the couple saying their wedding vows, capturing every precious moment. Today, the “altar” is swarmed with so many camera men and women that those in the pews can hardly see the couple getting married. I mean, it is ridiculous! Even little boys and girls get cell phones from their parents and clog the front as they try their hand at amateur photography. Surely, this is not right!
|Typical scenes today with the pulpit area swarmed by unofficial photographers|
To begin with, everyone who has come for the wedding is entitled to see what is happening in front as the couple exchange their wedding vows and their rings. So, why should some people become “more equal than others” and obstruct other invitees from viewing the proceedings because they have taken on themselves a role no one has given them? Let everyone stay in the pews and enjoy the same privilege. It is only fair.
Having too many photographers also makes life difficult for the official photographer. There are very few positions for that perfect shot. And often the moment for the perfect shot passes very quickly. When everyone is clamouring for such positions at just the right moment you find that no one really gets that perfect shot, which is very unfair for the couple getting married. They have paid the official photographer a lot of money but they are not getting the quality of photos they are paying for simply because of the obstruction of those who have no business being in front in the first place. As one newly married couple complained, “At least if they sent you the photos they take, you would not mind. But you never see their photos!”
|The perfect moment that must not be missed|
Whereas I think it is impossible to prohibit the smuggling of cameras into the venues where the wedding ceremony is taking place, I think that we the invitees should respect the weddings of others and not go to the front—to the “altar” or pulpit area—unless we are part of the wedding procession. As God challenged the Israelites in Isaiah 1:12 to think hard about what they were going to do in the Temple (lest their going there becomes a curse instead of a blessing) we too need to give careful thought to what is required of us when we go for other people's weddings. If we want to take photos, let us not trample everywhere and spoil the event for others. Let us take photos from the pews. Instead of pushing one another for the perfect shot and thus obstructing others who have come for the wedding and frustrate even the official photographer, let us go early for the wedding ceremony and position ourselves in those pews that will give us the best vantage point when it comes to taking photos.
|A perfect opportunity to take a photo--outside after the wedding|
If you are late and the front pews are already taken up by others, there are three other chances which you cannot miss, even if you are seated towards the back. The first is at the start of the wedding as the bride is being brought in by her father, the second is at the end of the wedding when she is being taken out by her new husband, and the third is when the entire bridal party is lined up outside greeting friends and relatives before disappearing in their “just married” vehicles. For any unofficial photographer, surely that should be enough. After all, what you need is just a photo or two to prove that you were an eye-witness of the wonderful event!