Socially awkward

12 Jun

On the weekend, I did something I haven’t done in about 5 years. I was a wedding photographer. Don’t get all scared, I used to have my own photography business, so it’s not like I was some random person with a point and shoot charging some poor unsuspecting couple an arm and a leg to ruin their wedding photos. I do kinda know what I’m doing. Kinda. It’s been a while….And I didn’t charge an arm and a leg either.

The groom of this particular couple is actually the brother of the groom from the very first wedding I ever shot. They contacted me to see if I was still taking photos, and I said no. But that I would be happy to do it anyway. It just felt nice to still be remembered and recommended after all these years.

I got there at 9am. The groom filled me in a bit on how the day was going to go, what would be when, etc.

“So how much flash is too much?” I asked him. “I’m a little bit scared of using it now.” Yes, perfect. Great thing to tell a groom when he is about to get married.

“It’s really not that bad, just don’t flash it in her face a lot.”

The bride has epilepsy. I didn’t really want to be responsible for putting the bride into a fit while she was supposed to be saying I do.

Proceedings were supposed to start at 9:30, with candle lighting and so forth, and then the ceremony was scheduled for 10. In true wedding fashion, nothing happened on time, and after taking some pew decoration shots and the like, I stood around waiting. With all the other people who were doing various jobs. Like the sound guys. And father of the groom, who was also one of the ministers. The other minister was father of the bride.

I heard one of the other standers-around saying he was a photographer. He was talking about how much the company  he worked for charged clients for weddings, but that he got a good rate as the groom was family. I thought he too was a photographer at this wedding.

After taking some photos of father of the groom getting his ear piece microphone adjusted and put on (yeah, this church was high tech. Seriously, it was nuts. It  also had an indoor basketball court. I’m not even joking.), I awkwardly stood there for a bit, not knowing what to say. Then I mumbled something about talking to the other photographer about who will stand where when so we could get everything covered and not miss any good moments.

Father of the groom looked at me very strangely, didn’t really say anything, and then I awkwardly turned and went to speak to dude with camera.

“So you’re taking photos too?” I asked him.

“Kind of. I’ll be a little distracted. I have a newborn baby.”

“So you’re not taking photos of the wedding?”

“Just a little bit.”

“You’re not a photographer too?”

He looked at me weird. “No, no, you’re the only photographer, I won’t get in your way.”

“Oh, I just thought we could figure out who would be where when so they get the best photos.” He clearly thought I was annoyed at his having a camera. And confused by my questions. Sigh.

During the ceremony, my face went all funny from shutting just one eye to look through the viewfinder of my camera. It’s a job hazard you know. After a while, it started getting hard to shut my eye for any length of time. I.e. long enough to compose a photo properly.  Have you ever tried shutting just one eye for any length of time? It’s actually quite hard. My facial muscles are not down with such things.

Half way through the ceremony, I had to start using my other eye. But I’m not used to using that eye for looking through the view finder, so it took a bit of finagling to actually get the viewfinder in the right spot. I’m sure a least one person was watching me and wondering what the heck I was doing holding the camera up to my face and moving it around for a while like I was scratching an itch or something. Or maybe everyone was watching the wedding that happened to be taking place right then. Yes, that’s right, it’s not all about me….

Right after the ceremony, there was a morning tea reception. I took a bunch of posed extended family shots in the church while the guests enjoyed the morning tea, and then the bridal party was introduced and speeches commenced.

By that time, not only was my face twitching, but my wrist was getting quite sore too. Sure, it’s been like 5 months since I broke my wrist, but holding my digital SLR and pushing the shutter release button with that hand was not doing it any favours. I’d have to take some photos, then move my hand around. Take some photos, shake my hand. During speeches. Sigh.

My pants were a mile too long and too wide for me as well. But they were all I had. I haven’t needed business-y pants in over 3 years.

A few days ago, I clipped the nails on my left foot. They were getting way too long and annoying. But Daniel noticed me clipping my nails and he came over to see what was happening. He tried to steal the clippers, and then found my little pile of toenails (are you pulling a disgusted face right now? Yeah, I would be too, but you gotta put them somewhere while you’re clipping. Whatever.). I was only just fast enough to grab that little pile and dispose of it before he could get his chubby little fingers on them and then certainly try to eat them. He’s cheeky like that.

Point is, I only got one foot done. And then I never found the time to do the other one. The only shoes I had that were remotely reasonable to wear to a wedding were my black boots. The ones that are a bit too narrow for my duck feet (Thanks mom for those duck feet…). My feet were all squished up in there.

By the time speeches were taking place, my overgrown toe nails on one foot had started digging into the adjacent toes and making sores and blisters. The nail on my big toe was pressed up against the side of the boot and was getting quite painful.

So picture this: twitching face, camera moving all around my left eye as I tried to locate the viewfinder, flapping hand to relieve wrist pain, pant legs unfolding and going over my boots making me look ridiculous, pants falling down revealing my butt crack, half limping due to ridiculous toe nails and duck feet shoved into boots, AND tense body due to holding in a fart because I ate way too much of the junk food that was on offer for morning tea and I got a bit bloated. Sigh.

Ad: One Roll of Wedding Print Toilet Paper

After the formalities, I took photos of the food, people talking, etc. But the morning tea lasted ages, and I ran out of things and people to shoot. I sat there on a bench all by myself, staring into space with my ridiculous foot, twitching face, too long pants, held in fart, and exposed butt-crack.

I had nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one to talk to. Awkward.

A woman came up to me and asked me if I had everything I needed. I think she felt sorry for me. Or maybe she noticed my tense holding-in-a-fart face. She chatted for a bit and then made some excuses to skedaddle.

Then it was off to take the formal shots. I didn’t want to get lost, so I told the bride and groom I’d follow them. All was going well until about 100 meters after we got out of the parking lot. I had to wait for some cars to go by before I could get out. My GPS told me to turn. I couldn’t see the car I was supposed to be following until I got in the turn lane. There it was, not in the turn lane. Sigh. I couldn’t get back over, it was a really busy road and I was already past the line of cars waiting in the non-turn lane. Stupid GPS.

I got there eventually. After getting lost twice more. Luckily I decided (fine, my GPS did) to take an expensive toll road, which shaved some time off and I ended up pulling in just after the bridal party got out of their cars.

By that time we only had about 45 minutes of daylight left. Yes, I had 45 minutes to take all the formal shots which included 3 groomsmen, a junior groomsman, a 17-month old pageboy, 3 brides maids, a junior bridesmaid, and a flower girl. And the light was fading and I couldn’t use very much flash. Not to mention my foot and wrist issues.

“Say MONKEYS!!” I said all enthusiastically to the kids in vain attempt to induce smiling.

It didn’t work. I tried a few times. I didn’t have any toys to wave, or anything else to do. I didn’t have time to set up my tripod for every shot, attach a shutter release cable, and then do my crazy kid antics to get smiles.

So I said “Say monkeys!” many times.

“I don’t think they like saying monkeys.” Someone told me. Sigh.

The bride was fretting a bit. The train of her dress was starting to get a bit dirty. There were a few brownish-black marks on it.

“It’s ok, it happens to all brides. It’s just part of the day.” I told her. Seriously, it does.

I don’t think it helped.

I arranged the train of her dress for a photo.

“I think it’s poop on your dress. Yeah, it’s definitely bird poop.  Now it’s on my hand.” The bride gave me a horrified look.

Why did I say that? Yes, just what every bride wants to hear. Sigh. I’m so awkward.

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Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

9 Responses to “Socially awkward”

  1. arieloser June 13, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    This reminds me of something I have been trying to pretend never happened for so long… Last time I was at a wedding I was dancing with some random old man (somehow that always happens to me) and he stepped on my skirt and totally pantsed (sp?) me! I wasn’t even wearing undies…

    So I got all red in the face remembering that while reading this story, thanks.

    • Mommy Adventures June 13, 2012 at 7:13 am #

      HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! That’s hilarious! Hopefully it was after everyone was already drunk and wouldn’t remember. Or not.

      • arieloser June 13, 2012 at 9:04 am #

        Idk. Luckily it was just my dads friends wedding and I never had to see them again.

  2. Kristen June 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    This is one of those times that I wish I could find the blog of the other person in the story, like the bride’s blog. I’m dying to know what she thought of her twitchy photographer.

  3. LBcruiseshipblogger June 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Hahaha, that was totally hilarious. A lot of missed options for your great cartoons though. By the way, your auntie says holding in farts is what caused her food allergies.

    • Mommy Adventures June 18, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      Yeah, I know. I wanted to draw something, but getting the time these days is really hard! It takes a while to draw stuff…. Although I just got an iPad stylus pen the other day, so now it might be a bit faster.


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