A British wedding photographer’s “safety shot” technique gains viral notoriety via a TikTok that splits the internet. Earlier this week, photographer Adam Lowndes shared a video explaining how he always asks friends to step out of the photo. In the video, he called the new group pairing a “safety shot,” which drew a few laughs, including the friend being pulled from the photo. But the video, which has now garnered nearly six million views, has sparked a debate about the etiquette of dealing with unmarried partners in family photos on their wedding day.
The video is from a 360-degree camera worn by the photographer on the wedding day for behind-the-scenes footage. The short clip shows the photographer asking the sister’s boyfriend to step out of the photo, calling it the “safety shot.” The family – including the boyfriend – laugh as he walks out of the shot.
In a subsequent video, Lowndes explains that he always starts with a large group of extended families and then gradually removes people from the group to capture all family shots quickly and efficiently on the wedding day. He says this method doesn’t require his couples to write him a list of group photos and it’s easy to keep track of who’s already been photographed.
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The original video received more than 1,000 comments. Many of these comments agree with the photographer, calling it essential and applauding the photographer, including one with the boyfriend and one without. Several commenters said they wish they had done that at their weddings, while others regretted being in their ex’s family photos. In a later comment, Lowndes added that a bride once called him the day after the wedding to thank him for getting shot without the brother’s girlfriend because they broke up that night. He added that now he always gets one with and one without.
However, other commenters felt it was insensitive to call it the “safety shot,” and some commenters said they would have cried if they had been the person removed from the photo. Others said the photographer could have worded it differently as a “family only shot.” In a later comment, the photographer said that he often doesn’t even name the photo. He used the “safety shot” as a joke for this particular wedding because he knew this particular group would understand and laugh at him, noting that he is good at reading people.
In addition to the photographer’s “safety shot” technique, Lowndes’ TikTok is full of behind-the-scenes videos he captures with a 360-degree camera. Along with tips and tricks, he also shares moments when he stepped in as the only one who knew how to put on a bridal veil.