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The Dress That Didn't Fit
Complete Article: The Dress That Didn't Fit - Wedding Photography Follies. One wedding photographer's story of "on-the-fly" problem solving. This happened about fifteen years ago at a large church in Olympia, WA.
We had arranged to take posed photographs of the bride and groom before the wedding, along with their attendants and families, planning to photograph the bride first, followed by the groom, and to conclude with the couple. I thought we had budgeted ample time so that we could work steadily, without having to rush, but at weddings things have a way of diverging from the plan, and this occasion was about to offer some challenges.
were supposed to start with the bride, but when I inquired if she
was ready word came from her dressing room that there were
“technical difficulties” with the dress, and that the dressmaker had
Such messages are never good news, but under the circumstances there was nothing I could do but accept the delay. With a little prodding I was able to convince the gentlemen to go first and we did all of the photos we’d planned on, getting them done in three quarters of an hour.
During this time, I would occasionally send an emissary to the bride’s dressing room, and at different times got I different responses--not all of them encouraging--but at last word came that the dressmaker had arrived and was working on the problem.
When we finished with the guys I went to see how things were progressing with the bride. I was permitted to enter and found her stressed to the max, while an intent young woman literally sewed her into her wedding gown. I assured her I would do everything in my power to get her wonderful pictures, photographed the dressmaker as she worked, and tried to be a calming influence.
Half an hour later we went into the sanctuary to do forty-five minutes worth of photos in the fifteen minutes available. (I knew the wedding coordinator for the church to be quite strict about time, and that we wouldn’t be allowed to run over, so the pressure to work quickly was on). For the next fifteen minutes we clicked through our list of photos, and although I was calm on the outside, on the inside my heart was racing as I did what I later came to call “aerobics with optics.” We worked nonstop, barely finishing in time, and although the bride was prepared to to pass up some of her shots, somehow we managed to get them all. When I announced that we were done she was surprised and relieved!
Later, when I delivered the finished photographs, she was delighted with them, including the ones we had done so quickly. Not only did she send me a nice thank you card, she also made many referrals to me over the years, and eventually I photographed the dressmaker’s wedding, too.
Dan Kapsner Photography, Olympia, WA www.dankapsner.com/
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