A wedding photographer's viral post calling out guests' iPhone photography habits has sparked an online debate about wedding etiquette in the age of the smartphone.
Hannah Stanley, owner of Hannah Way Photography in Fort Worth, Texas, shared a post on Facebook on July 11 shaming wedding attendees who take photos during wedding ceremonies and receptions. She posted a photo in which a guest hung an iPhone in front of newlyweds emerging from behind a door and said the the act ruined her carefully planned shot.
She addressed the post "To the girl with the iPhone..." and signed it as "Wedding Photographers." Stanley said that iPhones have become an obstacle for photographers around the world.
"What exactly do you plan on doing with that photo? Honestly. Are you going to print it out? Save it? Look at it everyday? No. You're not," the post reads.
Stanley, who shot her first wedding at age 16, told USA TODAY that her job is to capture one of the most important days in a couple's life together.
"As a photographer, I want guests to understand these specific moments are not posed, they are in real time, giving me seconds to capture it," she said.
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While she is often able to work around people's phones, it makes her job a lot more difficult.
Her post asks future wedding guests to stop watching through a screen and to switch off their phones.
"The ceremony is where two people are becoming one, and they have asked you to witness one of the greatest moments of their life," said Stanley. "I believe you should be fully present, and let the hired professionals capture it."
Her post has garnered a massive audience resulting in hundreds of thousands of shares and likes, along with over 1,000 comments.
The response, Stanley said, has been mixed. Some people agree with her – mostly past brides and other photographers have voiced their support.
But there are many who don't think there is a problem. Some have commented that guests' smartphones can capture beautiful moments, too, while other have argued that wedding photographers' jobs includes working around obstacles, including guests' phones.
Stanley has said she did get the shot after some maneuvering, but that wasn't the point of her post.
"I understand we live in a social media first generation where our phones are an extension of our hand," said Stanley. "We have to realize that this isn’t a social event, like a concert. It is a once in a lifetime occasion."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Wedding photographer begs guests to stop snapping photos on phones