When Camille called and said, “Rob and I are getting married. Would you be our photographer?” I didn’t hesitate for a minute and replied, “Yes!” I think I added something like, “Its about time.” I knew it would be fun, relaxed, unusual, and I was absolutely sure they would be as non-traditional as possible.
These days I shy away from taking on the job of wedding photographer, only making myself available for those weddings that seem fun. I figure I have paid my dues when it comes to wedding photographer. It used to be that by spring I anticipated I’d be pointing my camera at excited couples every weekend till Thanksgiving. Those days are behind me and now I just pick and choose to photograph people I know or people that know people I know.
So I packed two camera bodies, a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm lens with a couple of flashes and set out for their rural farm down-the-road-a-piece from here at Monte Lake. I think they would have held the ceremony on the lake, but finding space between the boats, the trailers, and the campers this time of year is hard.
Rob had set up two large seating areas, one under a very large tarp and the other in an open-sided tent of the type the big stores use when they have a sale on furniture or something large. I said their wedding would be a fun, relaxed, unusual, non-traditional and will add that by the time I arrived the partying guests had spread out across much of the property.
I’ll begin with all the shiny, big, loud-engined, large-tires with fancy rims kind of trucks with floorboards several feet off the ground that just kept rolling in honking and parking anywhere that wasn’t occupied by seemingly out-of-place cars like my little Honda, while at the same time Harley Davidson motorcycles were arriving and arriving. Add to that several very young drivers, zooming back and forth on quads, and little dirt bikes, greeting those guests as they got out of their trucks and off their motorcycles.
And dogs, I had to get around to the dogs. I knew Rob and Camille had four or five, but there were others running around and more waited for their owners to open their truck tailgates so they could join the festivities.
Several young men filled a horse-watering trough with beer, pop, bottled water, and ice. And as they arrived people would take food to tables in the center of a big truck garage. I would expect nothing different as Rob and Camille do like a party and all I had to do was point my camera any direction and watch the fun and enjoyment
As everyone walked though the meadow to rows of white chairs set up for ceremony, low clouds rolled in warning us all to beware of coming events with a sprinkle or two of rain and with the knowledge it was going to get darker, I selected ISO 800 on my camera. I also had an extra handkerchief ready in my pocket to wipe the rain off my camera and flash to keep it dry to prevent shorting the electronic circuits.
Weddings usually start the same. The guests sit in anticipation, with the groom at the front, waiting for the arrival of the bride. Then the bridesmaids come walking in, and the bride enters arm and arm with her father.
In Rob and Camille’s case, the groom was waiting at the front with his dog and the bride walked up with her father flanked by her two very large mastiffs and in the distance some horses and a calf watched. And folks this was unrehearsed. The dogs did what they did on their own.
Guests were capturing the event with their cell phones. I recalled a time when I had the only single lens reflex camera at a wedding. It seems history was repeating itself and technology has marched on and again I had the only SLR.
The wedding ceremony photographs included dogs. The minister; a “new age religion type” tried to keep everything solemn, speaking of love and commitment, but thanks to those very interested in being part of everything dogs, there was a lot of laughing.
I dialed down my flash (Readers know I always use flash.) to balance the diminishing light and shot the ceremony, dogs and all, did the obligatory family photos, and the bridal party leaning on a rail fence pictures. Then a cool breeze wandered in and the rain gods decided it was time to get things wet and opened the floodgates for the rain and the rest of my day was left to making a documentary of their friends at the party eating and getting wet by the bonfire.
The day at Rob and Camille’s was a perfect way to end the week. A great wedding with friendly and enjoyable people, a fun party, big shiny trucks and flashy motorcycles to look at, lots of animals and of course the kind of event any photographer would enjoy.
As always, I really appreciate all comments. Thanks, John
My website is at www.enmanscamera.com