Good morning folks… I return once more to my morning posts and am doing so in an extremely groggy fashion. Before I went to bed last night I took some Motrin PM… and while the box says you should be prepared to sleep 6 to 8 hours… it seems as though my body wanted more like 10 to 12 hours. As a result my thoughts are not entirely cogent, and I am spending a good deal of time just staring off in random directions searching for some purpose. I just finished probably the worst sausage roll I have ever had, and now it is time to make words happen.
Yesterday one of our oldest and dearest friends got married… and since for the most part they were trying to do the wedding on the cheap and quickly… I got tagged to take the wedding photos. If you read any of the posts leading up to yesterday, you could tell I was extremely nervous about the prospect of being responsible for recording a once in a lifetime type event for a good friend. I would have simply hired one of my friends to do it… but I wanted to make sure that the family had full access to all of the photos without having to worry about re-ordering through someone else. Ultimately I will write up a letter saying it is okay to reprint the photos and then they can take them literally anywhere to get larger photos made.
At this point… my everything hurts… literally. Yesterday was a lovely day more or less, but an extremely hot and humid one. The wedding was slotted to be outdoors and in an area without much shade. Our friends decided to get married at her parents house… and they set up a nice makeshift altar… and were planning on having people seated on straw bales. Again I have a massive problem with the concept of straw poking me in the ass when I am attending a wedding, but I understand the idea since straw is relatively cheap. To make it a little bit more palatable they covered the bales with various vintage bed sheets. As the photographer however I was literally on my feet from roughly 10 am until 1:30 pm or so when we took the final photos.
Respect Thy Father
After yesterday, I have a brand new respect for my father. Essentially all of my life I have been attending weddings as my father shot a fair number of them each year as I grew up. When I got into high school, I would attend them as his assistant, manning a camera from the balcony or some other stationary position getting long ranged shots of the key members of the ceremony. So I grew up having the big moments of the ceremony ingrained in my head. The only problem is… I am not my father… I just don’t enjoy taking pictures of people, nor do I really know the first thing about how to light them properly.
However even more than that… I simply do not have the juggling skills he always did. The photos you take before and during the wedding are the easy part. Sure I had to spend a lot of time running around to get the right angle at the right time and kneeling a lot to get the right shot… but this was all like riding an amusement park ride since the flow of the ceremony dictated a certain time frame. Getting people to cooperate after the wedding was finished… that was the pure hell. Everyone wants to derail the proceedings… and as a photographer all you care about is trying to get everyone to stand together in the right number of groups for the correct pictures.
While they don’t seem to care about getting the right shots… they most certainly care about them when you are done with the pictures and months later they realize they were left out of the pictures. The key problem yesterday was the extreme heat and total lack of shade where the altar had been set up. Everyone wanted to sneak away and get out of the wedding clothes. It was 94* with pretty high humidity and next to no cloud cover to speak of… as a result everyone was having to combat the heat while wearing stuffy clothes. Ultimately after making it through the family shots, and the brides family it was decided we all needed to take a break and since most of the grooms family was already eating… we would ultimately have to wait until after they finished.
In part the “waiting for them to finish” was a call I made because quite frankly I myself was in pretty bad shape. I opted to wear a black shirt… since the inevitable sweat would not show on it… but in the heat that just made everything worse. I allowed myself to get rather dehydrated over the course of the day, and at one point while taking pictures I kept bordering on blacking out from what I can only assume were the beginning stages of heat stroke. My vision would go completely blank for a moment then recover… to say blacking out would be a misnomer I guess… since my field of view went completely white as thought I had just seem a huge explosion. There was a wheel barrow full of water, and I downed three of them to try and catch up on my water consumption… but quite frankly it scared me more than a little bit.
Like I said above… I have a new found respect for my father because he always made this look so easy. He would expertly juggle the distractions of the family members and burn through the photos in what felt like record time each time. All the while doing this wearing a suit, even when the photos were taken outdoors in the heat. I guess a huge difference is that my dad always had my mom there as the manipulator in chief… lining up the shots and making sure the right people were standing by waiting. My wife was taking her own photos, but since neither of us are really good at dealing with human beings… we lacked that role of someone greasing the wheels and making sure everything was rolling along smoothly.
Ultimately I have a lot of respect towards both my parents and their ability to make the process of photographing a wedding appear effortless. Ultimately we got the job done… and got all of the shots I thought we needed to make the family ultimately happy when they go through them later. Now begins the hard process of culling down 1038 shots I took yesterday into a narrative that tells the tale of the wedding. Encountering some technical difficulties this morning, as I realize that a Google album has a maximum of 1000 photos. Essentially my normal process involves uploading everything to Google and then deleting out the photos I don’t view as “keepers” until I have a nice visual story to work with.
The order of business for today is to recover… and right now I am planning on planting my ass on this comfy couch for most of it. I will be spending my time in a mixture of Rift and FFXIV and trying to do as little as humanly possible that actually “matters”. I walked away yesterday with a pretty decent sunburn and I am hoping as the day goes on the pain fades. Right now it is manageable and I can ignore it more or less. Hoping you all have a great rest of the weekend… and you too can do as little as humanly possible that actually matters.