the blog of Seldom Seen Photography

A Long Engagement

Since coming back from Spain, I’ve been catching up on things, so I haven’t had much time to blog. Last Saturday, I did have a chance to do some photography – a wedding. This wedding reminded me of why I am not fond of doing weddings.

Though asking for a couple weeks, I didn’t learn any details of the ceremony or reception until two days before. The wedding was scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m., and I arrived at the church about 70 minutes beforehand. I was introduced to the pastor, who laid out the rules, number one of which was no flash allowed during the ceremony.

I had been told that I could have the couple for pictures for only 15 minutes – between 2:15 and 2:30. Yet when the couple arrived (right at 2:15), the pastor immediately gathered wedding party and ran through the ceremony. Finally, I was allowed to work with the couple and the wedding party at about 2:35. I rushed, and got about 15 minutes of photos in. Of course, people were filing in this whole time, and the couple spent more time looking at their friends than at the camera.

The ceremony ended up started on time and I started snapping. Of course, the pastor didn’t allow me in the center aisle, or anywhere up front. Plus the crowd was big, further limiting my vantage points. To make matters worse, my auto focus had real problems in the dim light, particularly against the couple’s dark clothes. You guessed it, thanks to a high ISO setting, slow shutter speed, and large aperture, most of the shots are bad. real bad. Yes, as far as I was concerned, the whole thing was a photographer’s nightmare.

Yet I was happy I was there. You see, it was a bit of a historic wedding. See the couple has been together for 54 years, waiting the whole time to get married. It wasn’t until the election last month, when Washington State approved gay marriage, that the couple was able to be married. They weren’t the first gay couple in Tacoma to get married (the first marriage was several days before), but they certainly had been waiting the longest time. The mayor actually performed the ceremony (the pastor assisted), and half the city council and several state politicians attended. And the local newspaper covered the event.  I volunteered my services for the event (as did everyone else involved), and everyone attending had a great time.

And though the photos aren’t my best, I think the couple – John and Rudy – will be happy with results. After all, their sight isn’t so good anymore.

The Happy Couple

The happy couple, John and Rudy, walking (and riding) down the aisle after the ceremony.

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4 responses

  1. hmunro

    Yikes! I can’t imagine anything worse than being hired to do a job — and then being prevented from doing it properly at every turn. But congratulations to you on getting some wonderful images anyway.

    December 18, 2012 at 7:13 am

  2. elviajeroaustral

    Congratulations for the so nice picture of the happy -and patient- couple! I have had to work as a photographer in a number of family weddings and as you say it’s a real nightmare at least until the formal ceremony ends.

    December 19, 2012 at 11:00 am

  3. Mary Myslik

    what a beautiful time to capture on film. congrats to the couple and the photographer
    NanaMary

    January 28, 2013 at 6:13 am

    • Thanks! It was a very special moment, I was very happy I could contribute in my small way.

      January 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm

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