THeRe'S An AnGeL On My ShOuLdEr...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

One Perfect Day 

Many, many years ago I used to do wedding photography with my now ex-husband. This was a little venture we embarked on so he could recoup the money he 'borrowed' from me to buy himself a flashy new camera etc.... Nothing but the best - Nikon. We plugged away at this for about 5 years, working in partnership. Initially I would act as his assistant and then do all the post production stuff and assembling of albums. Very time consuming work. Also very expensive as we found that we needed two of everything - in case something stuffed up. We never really made any money and we encountered far more 'Bridezilla's' than sweet blushing brides. Our favorite weddings overall were the last two that we did before calling it a day in 1995. That penultimate wedding was wonderful, despite it being a 40 degree day. The couple were 'older' and professionals (he bride a neurosurgeon). They kept it simple - a ceremony and garden party at the Walkerville home of a friend of theirs. A beautiful old house with wide verandas and large gardens. It was stunning. By this stage of the game, I too was taking photographs, my style being more artistic and candid than those of my (ex)Husband. I took quite a few during this wedding - which was shot entirely in black and white. One of my images was entered into that Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP) Awards. My Ex submitted two images from that wedding - one of which we were never sure which of us shot as it was taken at a time when we were swapping cameras (his a medium format and mine a 35mm). Both that shot and mine won bronze awards. Unfortunately I only have in my possession a couple of images from that wedding as I 'lost custody' of all of the other stuff. Here is the image for which I won the award.

It was a real pleasure shooting that wedding, the couple were lovely and everything was casual and unfussed. Everything ran smoothly as it wasn't choreographed to the enth degree. I always hoped that if I married again, my wedding would be similar - and it was. I'd seen enough weddings to know exactly what I DIDN'T want.

We copped our fair share of crap - like the abusive phonecall from a grooms Mother who complained that there weren't enough photographs of her son. We tried to explain that he REFUSED to be photographed on more than 5 occasions and our hands were really tied as we have to comply with the wishes of the bride & groom, within reason. We suggested she take it up with her son. Then there was the bride who wanted us to make her look like Claudia Schiffer. We tried, but there's only so much you can do. We were photographers, not plastic surgeons. She was a bridezilla. Everything was haphazard and all over the shop. She spent the day screaming at everyone and stressing that things weren't going right. I had to repair her bouquet when that started to fall apart. I carried all sorts of gear, florist wire, florist tape, needles, cotton, safety pins, a battery operated fan, rubber backed fabric for the wedding party to sit on so as not to dirty their outfits - have NEVER known of anyone doing that before. I tried to cover all possibilities - and I had to make use of them regularly. Several girls got dresses from a particular bridal outlet and often the alterations started to fall apart mid-wedding.

And don't even talk to me about grooms and groomsmen! Grrrrrrr............Perhaps another time

Then there was the time we very nearly got completely ripped off. Only an error with our bank saw them honour the cheque we were paid. Nobody else that provided services to this particular wedding, including the Grand Hotel. It was a couple from Queensland. The groom was allegedly a barrister, the brides family, wealthy and from Pasadena. They arranged everything by phone at the last minute and kept stalling payment. We received the cheque the day of the wedding. We had asked for a bank cheque - it wasn't. They had a lovely wedding, gorgeous reception, beautiful dress, great flowers. None of it was paid for I believe. Our cheque bounced, but the bank took too long to bounce it and they had to honour it - so they were out of pocket. Needless to say, they never saw their photos.

It was fun at times, very hectic for the most part, but I got fed up with the Bridezillas and felt I could never meet my own expectations regarding my photography and my ex certainly couldn't and that began to frustrate the hell out of me. I've sometimes thought of doing it again. Perhaps for the Advertiser so you can swoop in & swoop out again without having to deal with all the bullshit.




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