You’ve probably heard about unplugged weddings by now, but if not, let me enlighten you. An unplugged wedding is when the bride and groom request their guests stay OFF their phones. That means no photos, videos, or live streaming of the events.
Because guests are now actually keeping wedding photographers from being able to do their jobs! While the photographer tries to capture the blushing bride walking down the aisle, she’s foiled by great aunt Charlotte who is holding her iPad out so she can record it for herself. (Who do you think is going to get better results? The photographer the bride hired or great aunt Charlotte?)
It’s hard to believe, but a similar problem is starting to pop up at births I shoot too.
That’s why I’m strongly encouraging all you mamas-to-be to consider planning an unplugged birth. Why?
1. You and your family should be in the moment.
Now, this usually isn’t a problem for you moms. You’re kind of busy that day, right? And dads are usually right in it with you. No one needs to tell you to put down your phone and focus on your baby. But someone does need to tell your family.
I know the new grandparents are overjoyed and filled with excitement. But all too often they come in the room after baby is born and instead of living in the moment they are reaching for their cell phones. It’s only natural they want to take a picture of your beautiful baby, but this is their first time laying eyes on him, and they’re doing it through a lens. Ask them to keep the phones in their pockets and just soak in the amazing new life in the room.
2. You don’t want others to share your news.
Social media has caused many family squabbles, thanks to family members sharing news that isn’t theirs. While some moms don’t mind Aunt Alice telling all her Facebook friends that she’s about to have another niece, most moms would prefer to make the announcement themselves.
There are also some moms who would prefer their child not appear on social media within minutes of being born! Implementing a strict “no social media posts until we give the ok” rule is a good way to avoid having your good news shared without your permission.
3. Birth photography isn’t easy.
This one is a little selfish on my part, but it’s true. Birth photography can be tricky to master. There is a lot going on in a small space, whether you are giving birth at home or in a hospital. There’s also a lot of things you may not want captured forever (which is why a lot of my birth photographs are in black and white). People hire me for my experience, and I do my best at every birth to capture the experience from start to finish. But my job can be even more difficult if family members try to crowd in with their phones.
Of course, your birth is all about you and your new family! If you want to have family members take photos or live tweet your birth, go for it. The important thing is that it is your choice, not one that is being made for you.