Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What is the proper etiquette when posting wedding pictures on Facebook?

Let's say you go to a friend's wedding and you take some pictures with your camera or phone.  Do you post them on Facebook the next day?  Should you?

First, a little history..

As a professional wedding photographer, I see a ton of wedding pictures online.  Every wedding that I shoot will be well documented on Facebook by friends and family long before I ever post an image myself.  As a rule, I don't post any images online until the couple have been to their viewing.  I think that the couple should have the honor of seeing everything in my viewing room before they go out to the world.  I don't want my client to come home from their honeymoon and discover that everyone has seen their wedding images except them.

That doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of pictures on Facebook the day after the wedding because everyone has a camera and everyone posts on Facebook.

That's okay, it doesn't bother me.  Well.... that's not completely true.  I'll admit that I 'sigh' a little when someone posts a dark, fuzzy picture of the wedding and I know that I have much better images waiting in the wings.  A little part of me is sad that Facebook friends will see the wedding through the eyes of a civilian with a camera phone before seeing the professional images that the couple will post after their viewing.

But, that's life.  You can't have everything.  People are excited after a wedding so of course they are going to post pictures.  It's one of those, "In a perfect world.." kind of things, like sugar-free Oreo cookies.

So, I was surprised to discover that Emily Post, the etiquette people, actually address this very issue when discussing wedding "do's and don'ts."

According to Emily Post, you should not post images on social media of a wedding before the bride does.  Here's the quote:

"While the barrage of day-after wedding photo postings are inevitable, Post explains that brides are very sensitive about their image. It’s best to wait until either the bride or the groom have publicly posted pictures before you post your own. Otherwise, said Post, "You’re kind of Facebook scooping them … on their own big day."

What do you think?  Is this an idea that's time has come?  If you were a bride, would you want people to wait until you posted your images before posting theirs so that you don't get "Facebook Scooped?"  As a guest, do you think it's unrealistic to ask that of you?  Again, I can't imagine the idea ever catching on in our instant/24-hour digital world but I am curious what other people think about it...

Booray Perry is a Tampa Bay Wedding and Portrait Photographer