See wedding photographer go ninja when mom with phone blocks shot

A photographer's quest for the perfect photo of a first kiss requires quick reflexes when the bride's stepmom gets in the way.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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The moment when a wedding photographer squeezes by to get the shot.

Video screenshot/red rectangle by Amanda Kooser/CNET

It was a battle for the ages. Kentucky wedding photographer Ashley Easterling needed to capture a bride and groom's first kiss. But a stepmom with a smartphone stepped right in front of her camera in the center of the aisle. Easterling then did what she had to do to get the shot. 

Easterling posted a video of the confrontation to YouTube on Wednesday and PetaPixel brought it to our attention. It happened during the wedding of Josh and Lorna Dane Gantt in September.

The professional photographer is already in position when the stepmom deliberately cuts in front of her. Easterling resorts to a smooth around-the-shoulder move to get the crucial first-kiss photo. While she does make contact with the stepmom, it's fleeting and far from a full-on hockey-style body check.   

This wasn't an isolated incident. Easterling posted on Facebook that she had already politely asked the stepmom several times to move so she could do her job. "I'm paid to do a job, and dang it ... this girl is doing her job one way or the other," she wrote.

The bride applauded the photographer's efforts, saying on Facebook that she found the incident funny. "Ashley is a savage," she wrote. She mentions her stepmom wasn't amused. The bride makes sure to say she still loves her stepmom, even though they've fought a lot.

Easterling compared her moves with those of Arya Stark, the speedy, well-trained young fighter from Game of Thrones. No doubt many wedding photographers will sympathize with her situation. It's not easy navigating a world filled with amateur smartphone photographers looking to fill their Instagram feeds.