Sunday, June 29, 2014

Trials and Tribulations of a Wedding Photographer

Last year, I began photographing weddings for a wedding planner, Connie Mills, owner of "All In One Weddings", based in Brunswick, Maine. It is ideal for me, and I appreciate the work. It is not as lucrative as contracting with my own clients, but it is definitely less stressful. Our weddings are usually "destination" weddings, for folks that come to Maine to get married. So far this year, I have shot two small weddings, and am booked for three more in the coming weeks. Hopefully, it will develop into 8 or 9 before the season is over. This leaves room for my Portrait work and my part time job at L.L.Bean.

The first of this year was a very nice ceremony in Cape Elizabeth at the Inn By The Sea on May 21. It had been stormy and raining all week. Fingers were crossed for a break in the weather, or at least a good back up plan.
As luck would have it, the rain gods were listening to our pleas. The clouds parted, the rain ceased, and the son presented itself in all its glory. A beautiful day ensued, with just enough breeze to keep things mild, but not too much to make a nuisance of itself. This was a delightful couple who had come to Maine from Vermont, bringing the entire wedding party with them for a few days.
This was a great way to start the wedding season. The day after the wedding, the storms and rain returned for several more days.

I am sure you have heard the old adage of bring two of everything, you never know when you will need a backup. My next wedding on 26 June proved this to be no exaggeration. The day started out as a normal rainy day to shoot a wedding. I was to meet Connie Mills, and the wedding couple in East Boothbay, Maine at the Wilson Memorial Chapel. That is a great venue for a small wedding. It is a small stone chapel, with an open beamed wood ceiling. The chapel sits looking out over the North Atlantic ocean and several islands and lighthouses.
Ashley and Thomas were a very personable, and might I add, photogenic, couple that came to Boothbay, Maine from Connecticut to get married. They were accompanied by Ashley's son, Conner and their two dogs. Once again, it has been raining and storming for a couple of days, and I was again appealing to the rain gods for mercy. 30 minutes before the ceremony was to begin the rain stopped. I will not go so far as to say the sun came out, but the rain did stop. Unfortunately, the dogs had to miss the ceremony, and the photo ops. Muddy paws and wedding attire do not mix, so Ashley and Thomas left the dogs at the motel.

Here is where the "Trials and Tribulations" come into play. While photographing the ceremony, I was looking through the shutter, and not where I was stepping. My foot became entangled in an Oak chair that just had no give to it, and I went down hard. Bounced off the chair and landed with my camera and lens smashing to the stone floor. Oh well, I guess the old guy has some bounce left in him, as I did not break any bones, just bruised some tissue, as well as my ego. The camera was just fine, but the lens is now in several pieces. I was so embarrassed for interrupting their ceremony, but they were extremely gracious, as was Connie, while I regrouped. I ran to the car, fitted my spare lens to the camera, and tested it out. All was in working order as I returned to the chapel to finish recording the ceremony, limping as little as I could.
The afternoon proceeded with photographs along the coast road with stops at several locations. I was so glad that my fall had not put a damper on the couples spirits and attitude. They were great to spend time with, and hope they feel my photos do them justice.
The moral of the story is to always be prepared for the unexpected. In all the years I have been photographing, this is the first fall I have taken. Of course it could have been worse. I could have broken a bone, or there could have been a chapel full of people to witness my down fall. But, always be prepared to bounce back as fast, and good as you possibly can.

My thanks to Connie Mills for her patience, and faith in my photographic skills.

Photos of these two weddings can be seen at the following links:

 West and Bresett Wedding at Inn By The Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Cusson and White wedding at the Wilson Memorial Chapel in East Boothbay, Maine

Thank you and Keep Shooting!!!

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