Yesterday, I was thinking out loud. With a bit more time to think as I talked with folks in the social-mediasphere, I see there are actually two issues here, both worthy of much discussion. One is the audience: the photos they take, the lines they cross. Two, and more at the core of the problem, the hired photographer’s approach to photographing the wedding. Here, we will discuss only the hired photographer.
What is the problem? Photographers following the couple down the aisle. Walking right up to the couple during the ceremony, not only blocking everybody’s view, but going where only the two being married and the one doing the marrying should go. Walking back and forth behind the couple, providing a distracting backdrop for the whole ceremony.
Now, having seen such behavior, new couples preparing for their weddings are afraid of the photographer, especially those who want that special day to be special…and actually about them instead of the photographer. The minister may say something, but often it is ignored, much like the teacher nobody respects yelling commands as the children run wild. What is at the root of this problem?
Pumping diesel for heavy machinery, sporting a hardhat and safety goggles, using a unique but most likely purposeful grip, and even providing shipping containers for a background: this is the kind of photo I throroughly enjoy finding. I see them a lot more than I have a chance to capture them.
I never could have dreamed this day would come. The only thing that would top an indian (of the American variety) walking into my day in full regalia would be moving out to the reservation and going native myself. I had seen the “Native American Dance” performance slated on the schedule for our school, but for all I know, some dude in blue jeans and a dollar store head dress was going to strut in with his cultural spiel. Just because I would beat myself if it did turn out well and I was not ready, I had to scout a potential portrait location.
An elementary school cafetorium is not exactly the most inspiring backdrop for an American Indian portrait shoot, so I took a little walk behind the school as soon as I arrived that morning. Just two weeks before, I had been day dreaming in that very grassy field, which was much more tall and Great-Plains-wavy then, what it would have been like hundreds of years ago, pre white dudes. The gentle, brown sea sparked the beginning of a (most likley ill-fated) novel idea. Long story short: there is no better, close place for the potential shoot.
Then, into my cafetorium walks Tallbear. I swooned. I recovered, helped hook up the sound system, took a few shots with some tastefully 80s colored backgrounds, pondered the possibility of wrangling them into an impromptu portrait shoot, then swooned again.
“Name a space shuttle.” Silence. I did not really think it was that hard of a question, but when questioning elementary-aged children at a city summer camp on space trivia (we had just been visited by a representative from Space-X which tests their rockets here locally), I finally realized these children have grown up post-Columbia. The have been few shuttles going up and the excitement has been waning for many years. So, these kids know very little. So, when thinking up the week’s project, I decided to do a mini documentary film on the Columbia disaster to help create some shuttle-related memories for them.