I have been a photographer at two weddings. Both marriages have ended in divorce. Most media outlets would take this as enough evidence to indicate a causal link and suggest I should never do it again. However, when she who must be obeyed asked if I would take some photos at a friend’s wedding, I agreed; given that the alternative would be sitting around at the ceremony, making small talk with people I didn’t know, or people I did know but couldn’t be arsed to talk to, or people I knew and actively disliked.
My wife decided she would take photos too, but could not find the little flash that had come with her camera. There were mutterings about me chucking things away as part of my clean-out campaigns, so I counter-muttered by mentioning her habit of carrying her camera gear around in little coloured fancy bags and not returning it to the storage motherhship.
Our dispute was resolved when Rickety@Knees kindly offered the loan of a sodding great Canon flash which dwarfed her camera and emitted sufficient light to confuse passing aircraft.
The ceremony took place in a cramped room with brown walls and small windows, a photography hell. She who must be obeyed stalked around blinding everyone with her mega flash, and produced several well lit (very well lit, eyeball meltingly lit) images, often lighting up a surprised Uncle Somchai while he scratched his balls five metres away in the corner My smaller flash did not have the range, but then I was interested in only illuminating my subjects, not the entire room and surrounding countryside.
“Your photos are a bit dark” she suggested.
“Not as dark as yours would have been had you not lost your tiny flash and been lent a Canon monster instead” I responded. No, of course I didn’t say it; but I thought it, which is pretty damn defiant by my standards.
Here’s a couple of shots, the first is of the groom and his daughter which I deliberately darkened beyond “a bit dark” in the interests of being arty farty. The second shows the bride relishing the fact that she has finally tied down her husband.
After the room of gloom, we moved outside onto the beach where more photos were taken and the light was of course much easier.
The bride was sent out on an SUP and I prayed to the gods of the deep that she would fall in; what a great shot that would have made…
We then did the “chucking the bouquet for all the sad spinsters” routine, a tradition that worries wedding photographers as you have to capture the bouquet in flight. Not a problem with the E-M1 II; just set it on 60 frames a second and record a shitload of shots from which the best images can be selected; providing me with the shot from yesterday’s post, and several more.
After an hour or so of photographing every possible combination of fifty people in the sunlight, we repaired to the restaurant where I declared myself done for the day, leaving my wife to assault the eyeballs of startled diners with her flash, especially those who were not actually guests at the wedding.
Back home we started processing.
The happy couple had already spent their entire photography budget on a pre-wedding shoot. The usual photos had resulted: an unrealistically dressed couple, their skin tones smoothed digitally such that they looked like hermaphroditic teenagers, attempting to gaze lovingly at each other while perched on a rock, with an impossibly vibrant, apocalyptic sunset happening in the background. You know, not exactly a natural look.
My wife declared that Thai people want their photos to look like that and that we should do the same over-processing. I declared that I was not personally doing a sodding thing beyond attempting to produce pleasant looking images, but if she wanted to process them so they looked like freak show characters she was welcome to do so.
“OK, how many photos will I have to work on?”
“OK, maybe I won’t bother.
So last night we gave the couple the photos and they were delighted; or at least they pretended they were. Not sure what Uncle Somchai is going to think when he sees them…