Why Cell Phone Wedding Photos are as Important as Professional Photos

Sunday, April 17th, 2022



The way we remember things.

As 80’s and 90’s kids, the iconic disposable cameras became the way we remembered things. Things images have nostalgia baked into them, simply because their presence was ubiquitous and over time, became a staple in how we visually remembered things.

For so many of us now, cell phone photos are the same. We have iconic images of our favorite people, pets, places on our phones and the appearance of these images is a modern and commonplace thing.

But the cell phone photos taken at a wedding won’t be for right now. They’re for 10, 20 years from now when photo technically for consumers has again shifted so dramatically that cell phone photos from iPhone 12’s are nostalgic.

Taking these images, whether by you or family/friends, is really securing that feeling for you in the future.

Joy and Mitch celebrate their marriage license having just been signed.

Professional photos are for your legacy. They’re high quality, often artistic, and bring back all the feelings of the day in a polished way.

But not only can your photographer not capture every moment, but the images taken by your family/friends are extra special, simply for the fact that they were taken by them. It’s the way they view you.

My documentary approach to weddings is often described as “feeling like you were there”. But there’s no amount of stealth that can turn me into your sibling, parent, family. These images, taken by these people, on these devices that remind you of your own images you’ve taken over time, create a sense of time and place.

So before you hop on the trend of unplugged anything, truly analyze why you want these things to be unplugged. Do you value people being present, and away from their screen? Then it’s probably for you. But if you realize you’re not really sure why you want it to be unplugged, think about the results you could get from the other side. Imagine an image from a grandparent – imperfect sure, but taken by them, somebody who loves you.

Imagine the way you could feel knowing these people cherish you enough to photograph you.

What an incredible experience to live.


Hey! I'm Makayla, a wedding photojournalist based in Duluth, MN and Saint Paul, MN. 

I believe that stories are best told untouched, undirected, and with intentionality and meaning.

This blog is a space to share advice for couples about weddings, advice for photographers about witnessing events with intention, and steps to create decisions based on your values and what matters most to you.

Grab your favorite beverage, pull up a chair, and let's get to know each other.


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