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Christopher Walrath

My Baby Brother Saves the Day and Chris's Photographic Rule No. 7

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by , 10-19-2008 at 09:47 PM (1279 Views)
As of 6:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, Octoboer 18, 2008, I am officially retired as a wedding photographer. My Mom and I had our last go 'round with the bouquette and the garter. Our last mad rush through the relatives and attendants. Our final cake mashing to John Williams 'Jaws Theme'. Our last hurrah. And it could not have been a better final curtain.

I showed up at 2:30 for the 4PM wedding of my baby brother Ron and his fiance Lyn with my wife's camera. She has FM and was in the midst of a huge flare up so she sadly could not join us. I missed her. Apologies. I digress. I don't have anything but a Zeiss Ikon Contiva III and a homemade Alleta 4x5. Neither conducive to wedding photography. Nikon N65 on the way but that wasn't gonna help me any today. Borrowed an sr-T101 I had given to a friend but the hot shoe has no electronic contacts and my Promatic has nowhere in which to plug a sync chord. Lyn (my new sister in law)'s X-370 has a hot shoe that is so loose that a mounted flash looked like my daughter's tooth that she STILL doesn't want to be pulled. So it was down to my wife's EOS630 which I had used once upon a time before my mother gave it to her a couple of years ago.

Having not been to the rehearsal beforehand, as I did not know about it until about an hour afterwards with a call at work that asked me 'Where were you?'. Lemme tell ya, compared to my last minute wedding (or so it seemed) mine was divine and this was a train wreck. But it did turn out OK. I'll get to that. I digress. Yet again.

I take some shots of the guys getting ready. Trademark 'groom-running-for-it-everyone-hold-him-back' with a nephew clinging to each leg and the step son headlock wrapped around his neck from his back and assorted others clutching him tightly. Went outside for a few 'The Guys' shots in the zoot suits. I have taken 17 exposures on a 24 exp roll. I'm gonna rewind and change before the ceremony.

Chris's Photographic Rule No. 7

If the film hasn't been rewound, it might get fogged if you open the camera back.

Engage brain before opening camera back before rewinding. Oops. Slapped it right back shut, retook the last five shots and prayed the light didn't make it that far in. What am I gonna do at this point. ENGAGE BRAIN, IDIOT!

Then between sometime after they start walking down the aisle and the first part of post portraits the flash on my EOS is not firing. What da hell! Well I grab Mom's Elan7 that is working right and get through as best as I can. When I get a spare moment I slip into another room and figure out the EOS and get it working. All told I took seven rolls of film. Pretty good by what I used to take in the past.

I ended up announcing the bridal party because A. no one else was doing it, B. I announce football games in the fall and C. I had been to quite a few weddings and figured I could do this. Then the benediction falls upon me as both the minister and our preaching Uncle have left the building. Then I get to help cut the cake and serve it after getting the best cake pictures I have ever had. Mr. Behind-The-Scenes, that's me.

But it is the small things you take away from such a beautiful union between two people. The only picture Mom was to take during the ceremony was a photograph of Ron's face the INSTANT he saw Lyn coming down the aisle. I got her and Stephen and turned to Mom and asked 'Did you get Ron?' She replied yes and I looked at him and I saw the grin. The one I know I had when I was married in 2004. The first bridesmaid smiled at me and I blacked out until I saw my bride and I started bawling like a baby. I almost picked up right where I left off. But I remember that my face was quasi-frozen in smile mode for a week after that moment. And it was there on my Baby Brother's face and it was then that I knew all was right with the world.

So now I am offically the fat guest that has a second and third piece of cake against the behest of medical professionals. I am the relative that knows how to take amazing photographs but only brings along his new used Nikon SLR point and shoot. I get to eat drink and be merry and not have to time my smoking related disappearances with lulls in the official activities. I get to dance with MY wife. I get to have our song played. But I have had many fantastic experiences over the years. It wasn't all bad. It was probably more good. And I guess that's what I will take from my experience in wedding photography. And, in the future, just one more piece . . .

Updated 09-27-2009 at 06:13 PM by Christopher Walrath





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