It’s a bit tiresome (for me) when people assume that anyone with a nice camera is a professional photographer.
On a similar note, it’s exasperating (for me) when people armed with nothing BUT a nice camera assume they are professional photographers.
Our wedding photographer sucked. SUCKED. And while I can sort of blame him for sucking, I also have to blame myself for choosing him. (His portfolio was really good! Then again, of course it was! He’s not going to showcase crappy photos, right?)
Because tomorrow is our anniversary, this morning I pulled out our monster wedding album to show the girls what we looked like on our wedding day. As expected, they loved my dress and laughed at how much younger we looked back then. (It was eight years ago. Did we really look that much younger?!) While flipping through the album, one of the first questions Meredith asked was, “Why weren’t you smiling?”
I’ll tell you why I wasn’t smiling. I wasn’t smiling because the photographer told me not to smile. After taking a few photos, he came up to me and whispered, “I’m going to have to ask you to not smile in your photos today. Your braces are giving my flash a ding.” And because I’m spineless, every wedding photo finds me portraying an awkward combination of Smug and Your Angry Mother.
Get this. Within thirty minutes of the start of the wedding, the pastor told us that the photographer is not allowed to take photos of the ceremony as it’s taking place, and that includes photos of the wedding party walking down the aisle. (What?! Thanks for leaving THAT out until the last minute!) The photographer scratched his head and came up with the brilliant idea of us PRETENDING to walk down the aisle. Yes. I now have photos of my family standing still in a big room but posing As If They Were Walking Down An Aisle. Ridiculous.
One of the requests I made of the photographer when we signed our contract was “Don’t use any filters.” (We didn’t want sparkles or rainbows to appear where there were no sparkles or rainbows. We are ADULTS, you know.) Anyway, because he wasn’t allowed in the church during the ceremony, the photographer decided to stand outside of the church, open the doors, and take photos of the ceremony taking place from behind. Those photos were filled with pews and backs of heads, and to add insult to injury, he used a filter to make everything look smoky—as if the church was on fire. (Sadly, we didn’t purchase any of the Church on Fire photos, and he didn’t let us keep the proofs.)
Finally, as we were eating our dinner at the reception, the photographer approached us and said, “Look. I need to get out of here. Can you take a break from eating so we can do the first dance and the cake?” Because we were basically trick monkeys at this point, we took a break. And we danced. And we ate cake. And when we got the photos back, there was no evidence of us dancing or eating cake. However, there’s a really awesome shot of us toasting to a long life. And in that photo, a headless German boy is dancing on Jeff’s head.