Has Social Media Raised the Bar for Wedding Photographers?

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Has social media changed the way we think about wedding photos?In the era of Facebook and Instagram, wedding photos are no longer just for friends and family, and couples and photographers with the most impressive or entertaining photos can become celebrities overnight. While this may seem jarring to some people, it’s not a trend that’s going away any time soon.A strange marriage of wedding photography and natural disaster occured when an wildfire interrupted a wedding in Oregon.Rather than panic, the enterprising couple and their wedding photographer Josh Newton hurried down to the road to snap some stunning pictures in front of the blaze.

The photos are something between a surrealist dream and a summer blockbuster poster, with a generous touch of Midwestern Americana. The photos went viral, gaining the attention of Good Morning America and a large chunk of the internet

A Canadian couple got a similar moment in the spotlight when their photographer Colleen Niska snapped a photo of them walking down the road followed by a powerful tornado. The photos themselves are stunning, featuring the happy couple posing casually on a dirt road while the twister tears through the field behind them.

The photos blew up online, receiving more than 42 thousand likes on facebook and at least 17 thousand shares, accompanied by humorous requests for Niska to recreate the photos for other couples.

Neither disaster event caused any casualties, and both photographers admit it’s going to be hard to top their incredible photos, especially since natural disasters have trouble with punctuality. Still, an io9 writer speculated on what natural disaster could be next for social media savvy photographers.

The trend that proceeded this one featured couples and their bridal parties running hilariously from T-Rexes, AT-AT walkers from Star Wars, and hastily photo-shopped giant sharks.

In the age of social media and massive sharing, wedding photos that go viral can be a huge advantage to both the couple and the photographer. Newlyweds Jennifer and Jeff Salvage got a book deal out of their One Dress, One Woman, One World photo blog, which featured stunning photos of the bride in her wedding dress all over the world, and both disaster photographers have been featured on major news outlets.

“A lot of brides and grooms can get annoyed from their pictures being posted to social media sites before the event is even complete,” says Robyn Mangrum of Weddings Magazine. “We believe that proper etiquette should be followed and to that to wait until the bride and groom get to see their professional pictures before posting to Facebook or other social media sites unless given prior permission from the bride and groom.”

With the rise of viral internet photography, social media-savvy photographers who are willing to go the extra mile for their clients will be in high demand. Do you think wedding photos should stay private, or are you enjoying the fun images emerging from this trend? Sound off in the comments!

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