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The Rise of The Photo Dump and How to Do One for Your Wedding

Couple in their wedding day

Once upon a time, there was a starry-eyed couple of wondered whether or not their guests would stage a coop if they were asked to keep their phones in their pockets and purses, and enjoy the ceremony and reception without taking a single picture of the happy couple. In other words, to hand back control to the professional wedding photographer.

First off, the starry-eyed couple heard plenty of stories from recently married friends who, despite attempting the exact same approach, still wound up with fifty photographers for the price of one.

But it wasn’t all negative. Why? Because the upshot of having so many photographers – many equipped with some pretty high quality phone cameras – was that they wound up with hundreds upon hundreds of extra shots of the big day, from all different angles. While the professional was working through the stages shots, their guests were snapping candids – some of which turned out to be favorites from the day.

Plenty of couples start out worrying about their expensive shots will turn out to be a sea of smartphones held high overhead, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A good wedding photographer will know how to get the right angle, and even a mediocre smartphone photographer will get a few memorable shots.

But how do you organize them all?

The Photo Dump

Believe it or not, Instagram initially introduced its carousels way back in 2015 – although it’s still pretty underutilized by many of its users. It’s the feature that allows you to place up to ten photos within a single post, which means no one has to agonize over whether this shot is marginally better than that shot, or vice versa.

It’s also ideal for events like weddings since your guests can post plenty of their favorite shots from the day without drowning their own feeds in post after post dedicated to someone else’s special day.

Think about it this way. If you invite 100 guests, and just half of them post 10 shots to social media via Instagram in a carousel post, that’s 500 unique shots – more than you might get from your professional photographer. Sure, they won’t all be worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, but they’ll be authentic and full of life and memories.

How To ‘Photo Dump’ Your Wedding

As useful as the photo dump is, you don’t want to spend your entire honeymoon stalking every single one of your wedding guests’ Instagram feeds, waiting for them to put up their own carousel.

Instead, you want to get organized. First of all, by simply letting them know that that will be the best way for you to collect together all the smartphone shots from the day. It could be as simple as adding a note in your invitations or the order of service.

Next, you want to make it as easy as possible for you to find them after the big day, and for that we’d recommend that you embrace the wedding hashtag – the cherry on top of the Instagram photo dump experience.

Creating a wedding hashtag is easy – just make sure it’s not a common word of phrase. You want to pick something unique, so that searching for it only yields the results applicable to you.

Consider something that includes your surname and the date of the wedding – for instance, #SmithWeddingNYC2021. Make sure it’s written down for your guests to see and make a note of and, that way, they’ll be able to tag every single photo they post using your wedding hashtag.

This will stop you from having to hunt them all down individually, and ensure all your photos are collected together in one place.

What Do You With the Photo Dump

The last thing you want is for your guests to upload some incredible shots, only for you to save them to your camera roll and lose them amid the endless stream of photos. This is one of the reasons why cellphone shots don’t get enough praise at weddings – brides, grooms, and even some guests will find it all too easy to lose sight of them after the final toss of confetti has settled.

The good thing about getting your wedding on social media is that it makes it incredibly easy for you to create a wedding photo book online, direct from Instagram. Unlike your professional albums, your wedding day memory book one will comprise all those laugh-out-loud, slightly-blurry-but-still perfect shots from your nearest and dearest, and truly make the most of one of the greatest benefits of a Cellphones Permitted Wedding: the memories.


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