This past summer I got the opportunity to be a second shooter at a wedding in Savannah Georgia. This was my first time ever photographing at a wedding, and it was a very eye opening experience. I was recruited for the job fairly last minute, and I wasn't prepped on the details until I was in the brides hotel room, in front of the bridal party, being introduced for the first time. Up to this point I had never met anyone or even knew where I was going or what the lighting would be like when I got there. I was FREAKING OUT! Everyone was staring at me like, "Who are you? And why are you here instead of the other photographer?" My first instinct was to run screaming from the room, but I didn't do that. Instead I took a deep breath, said a quick prayer, looked around the room, and began introducing myself to everyone, while trying to hide the shakiness in my voice. It was a struggle, I was SO nervous. I remember Kathleen ( the head photographer I was shooting with ) telling me she was leaving to photograph the Groomsmen, and thinking, "Please don't leave me alone!"
After she left I began immediately reading over the shoot list and started scrambling to get everything together the bride had wanted photographed. I was surprised to find that my creative wheels were still spinning quite nicely. They needed a little WD40 in the beginning, but once I got them going things started coming together. I was particularly proud of the ring shots I managed to get. I'm actually proud of myself for getting ring shots at all. lol I had to jump through some major hoops trying to photograph those rings. Let me see if I can give you the condensed version of the story.
So, the Bride had the Grooms ring and box but not her ring, so I was told to go and get it from the Groom. Of course I have never met the Groom and we were in a very large Hilton hotel several floors up with the only quick way down being an elevator that goes so fast you feel like puking every time it stops. Let me just say if you are nervous you usually already feel like puking, you don't need any further nauseating experiences to encourage the feeling. lol
But after Kathleen showed me a quick photo of the Groom on the back of her camera, off I went like a brave little explorer venturing into the unknown, on a quest to find the one ring to rule them all!.......
So think of me like Frodo, if you will, but instead of having the ring, my mission is to find it first, then bring it to Mordor.... I mean the bridal party room
So first thing I come upon is a Group of Tuxedo wearing men standing in the hallway next to the elevator. I ask them if they know where I can find the one who carries the ring, and they tell me, "The one who bears the ring is on his way, and should be, now, at this very moment, but a floor beneath your very feet." ( So maybe they didn't say it exactly like that, but I like the Lord of the Rings vibe we've got going on here. Humor me ;P)
So I proceeded into the belly of the metal beast ( elevator ) and exited on the floor beneath me.
No one there. I asked a lady in the hall if she had seen any Tux clad men running around, and she said she had just seen them enter a room just down the hall. At the same time, a man walks by and says he has just seen them go downstairs. I decided to listen the hallway maiden first and check the room she had seen them enter. Upon knocking, I was greeted by a very confused looking older women, who, once explained of my presence, told me that the men I sought had gone up to the Brides room with the ring. Back into metal beast I went, Up to where I had began, to find, there is in fact, still no ring.
So back down I went, to the great hall at the base of the mountain ( hotel lobby ) Where, I beheld yet another group of tuxedo clad men. By this time, I am worn, my nerves are gone and I only want one thing, the ring. I boldy approach this group, camera in hand, and a look of shear determination on my face. "Does one of you have the ring perchance?" So beautiful a word has never been spoken as word one uttered to me in that moment. It was the simple word, "yes."
Ring clutched tightly in my hot sweaty palm I ascended once more to the top of the mountain, and brought my hard sought after ring triumphantly to the bridal room to discover..... everyone is leaving for the bridal party photos! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! (End Lord of the Rings Vibe)
Thankfully, it turned out Kathleen didn't need my help with the bridal party photos, so I was able to stay behind and get the shots anyway. But, now there is a special place in my heart for those hard fought for ring photos, and I am very proud that I was able to get them.
All things said and done though the wedding was a great experience, and I learned a lot from it. Honestly I'm excited for what my next wedding will bring. Everybody has to have a first, and they are almost never easy, but I'm grateful for getting the opportunity to do this and grateful to the head photographer Kathleen for asking me to come come along and help.