Let me tell you about the time that my wonderful friends Sandra and Jimmy got married at House on the Hill in west Austin. The night before, I had shot my first wedding as a second shooter and I was absolutely electrified. Months earlier, Sandra told me a friend had offered to shoot their wedding as their wedding gift. They reassured me he was a professional so I was put at ease! After arriving, I scoured the venue for this photographer and didn’t see him. I saw some amateurs standing around with point-and-shoot cameras and I got nervous. I had brought my camera and one lens but the battery was dying from the wedding the previous night. I purposely did this so I wouldn’t be tempted to take pictures the entire time! Well, the ceremony began and there did not appear to be a photographer. I got out of my seat once but otherwise snapped from my aisle seat. It was beautiful and traditional, and Jimmy’s dad officiated. Sandra looked so beautiful and her dress was so her!
After the ceremony, I hugged her and congratulated her…and asked where her photographer was. She said she didn’t know. I asked her if they had a budget for wedding photographer, and she sort of answered. I wish I hadn’t even asked that question, because a few minutes later it was so clear to me that I needed to go home and get my gear. All our friends were asking me to take the formal group shots, and I just had to look at them and say “My battery just died. I’m so sorry!” So I left. 25 minutes later I was back with my comfy Mary Janes, my flash, all my lenses, and tons of batteries. The sun had set and the meal had begun under a small tin-roof structure.
Those 2-3 hours I realized how perfect it was that I had happened to shoot a wedding the night before and I had some idea what I was doing 🙂 One of the groomsmen passed a hat around to collect money to pay for my services, which was like a dream to me…all of Sandra and Jimmy’s friends and family contributing to pay for something that Jimmy and Sandra especially, as a film photographer, would sincerely cherish forever. And I felt honored, for so many reasons. So here it is, my second wedding that I never expected to shoot. I adore Jimmy and Sandra and they have thanked me, acknowledged me, and organized my 27th birthday party in which they presented me with a beautiful, hand-made piece of wall art talking about how awesome I am, and one of those giant checks that our friends contributed to to support my budding business. I was so moved. They are true friends, and I am so grateful I was there and able to give them the gift of wedding photos.
For those of you that are wondering, their photographer friend had a medical emergency in the family and left the house immediately, forgetting their cell phone. Things happen and it’s a good exercise in giving people the benefit of the doubt!