Several week ago I watched a youtube piece on smart phones and their affect on our culture. It's not rocket science, that when we go out, whether with friends or family, phones have become a normal part of our "table time". Watch this youtube video first and then read on.
Having shot several weddings and events this year, I've come to learn how obsessed we are with our phones (All of us, including myself). At one wedding we did this summer, I witnessed a majority of the audience recording the video on their smart phones and ipads and I thought to myself... how often are they going to watch this video? Are they putting together a video for the bridal couple? What happens after they watch it on their phones? Does it get archived with the hundreds if not more videos that stay clumped up on our computers never to be watched again?
As a father AND a photographer, I've caught myself "disconnecting" in very important moments, moments spent recording on my phone that (if i'm really honest about it) I'll never watch again for years, and all the while, what I've come to realize is that my physical presence with my family, my wife, my kids, would be so much more meaningful if my mind were present in the moment. I used to bring my dSLR camera with me whenever my family would go to Disneyland, or just plain adventuring, but now, I've come to realize that not only can my phone take decent enough pictures, but when my kids grow up, I want to be more than a man behind a camera capturing their moments (and at 2 and 1 year old, they've got thousands of memories to relive on file), I want to be involved in what I'm capturing with my eyes.
That being said, If you are planning on going to a couple of weddings this year and next... remember this, if the bridal couple is already shelling out thousands of dollars on photography and videography, try to be present at their wedding by putting the phone down and enjoying the moments that we as professionals don't get to personally experience: (1) the truly candid - moments where a picture just can't sum up the emotions of the moment; (2) the people around you - those that have come from all over to celebrate, make connections with them, share your moments and memories with them, even create new ones! (3) Lastly, let go! - This is a time to have fun with family and friends, celebrate and enjoy being present in the moment.