My love/hate relationship with weddings!
Wedding photographers will resonate with this. Brides (and their grooms) will understand we go through at weddings. Aspiring wedding photographers will know to stay away!
0734 hrs: Wedding day. Wake up, bath, eat a solid breakfast. Next time I’m going to eat is probably in 8 hours. Double check all equipment…batteries charged, check! Memory cards cleared and formatted, check! Packed some water and an apple or two, check!
0847 hrs: Got a call from a panicking bride…frantic…she’s asking why I’m not ‘here’. “Your wedding starts at 2pm, you’ll probably begin preparations around 1130, if I come their now, my time starts ticking, your 8 hours will be over before the wedding peaks”…I tell her calmly. I’ve got calls like this more times than I can count.
1012 hrs: The transport guy calls to find out where he’s picking me. “I’ll be there just now, wait for me outside” he says.
1145 hrs: I’m still waiting. Maybe I should have just organised my own transport. #frustratedfordays! I’m thinking to myself…I should really write that article about my wedding experiences.
1158 hrs: Finally…he’s here. Apparently he decided he could also see about the drinks while he was at it. Tired already from standing and wedding hasn’t even begun.
1235 hrs: Brides house. She hasn’t even started dressing. I think to myself…If I’d come in earlier….I’d be bored dead right now. Camera out…basa ratanga. Shoot every interesting thing you see…even before everyone is looking glamorous. They’ll love these photos. There’s the bride in her night dress. Click! Click! Click! Those look like her uncles. Click! Click! Bridesmaids frantic about their hair and makeup, Click! Click!
1242 hrs: “Ko mava kutotitora mapicture tisina kuchinja? Chimbomirai titange tageza”. Click! Click! Click! I smile at them.
1312 hrs: “Where’s the guy who takes photos? The bride is almost finished preparing”. Huh? But didn’t I tell you to let me know as soon as she starts dressing? I walk into the room…pretty small…most space is covered by the bed. The eight aunties in there don’t make it any better. I try to find the best angle to take photos of the bride. “Ndiri kudawo kutora muchati maphoto, ndinokumbirawo mubude panze.” She reluctantly walks out….and comes back in again less than 5 minutes later.
1318 hrs: Click! Click! Click! Lighting in small rooms can be tricky. Pull out the speedlight and bounce light off the ceiling. Much better!
1345 hrs: Leaving for the ceremony venue. Where’s my transport guy???!!! Already left? Agghhh…but didn’t I ask for someone dedicated to just me? This is the last time I’m negotiating about transport. “Hanti imimi vemaphoto munoda mota yakavhurika kumashure?” NO! I don’t take photos while the convoy is moving. And I don’t like the back of open trucks! Aagghh!
1427 hrs: Ceremony Venue. Click! Click! Click! Those women in those funky hats must be close relatives of the groom. Click! Hey…the page boy looks neat. Click!
1452 hrs: Ceremony. It’s almost time for the kissing. I hate this time. Tablets, smartphones, point and shoot cameras…everyone’s the photographer these days. They are distracting my focus. I ask the MC to make an announcement that only the official photographer shoot be standing…everyone to return to their seats. Much better.
1502 hrs: Ceremony’s done. I’m beginning to get hungry. WHERE’S Y TRANSPORT GUY???!!! Aaagghhh!!! Damn! Tava kuenda kumaphoto.
1534 hrs: I wish the ciouple had consulted me before they chose this park for their photos. I hate shooting in parks. It’s so cliché. Let me survey the place for spots that are…ummhh…different. Ok…we could do something in that driveway. And that bridge. We could probably also get some good shots by the tool shed…they are probably going to think I’m crazy.
1544 hrs: WHERE ARE THE RELATIVES? I NEED TO START WITH THEM FIRST!!!
1558 hrs: “Inini ndinoda kutorwa yangu ndega nevachati”…..”Aihwa sekuru…regai tiite ne order”…”aaah kana…ndiri kutoda yangu ndega.” Ok chimirai apa…Click!
“Watora here…sei ndisina kuona flash?”
AAGGGHH! That’s how it feels inside….
1624 hrs: Done with everyone. Whew! Finally. Now it’s time for the bride and groom’s shots. I enjoy this part the most…this whole day is about them.
For some reason we were cultured to pull a smile and pose awkwardly to the camera. It takes a couple of minutes to loosen the couple and get them relaxed. That’s much better. I love the shots we’re getting.
1634 hrs: The time keeper’s on my case…giving me three minutes to wrap up. I tell him…this is their day…let me get them the best shots. People at the venue can wait. He says ”Ok, five minutes then.” I ignore.
1659 hrs: Done. Great shoot! This is why I keep doing this!
1720 hrs: At the reception venue now. Everyone’s had lunch. I’m so hungry!
Food’s finished. “Kwasara chevachati!”
Remind me again why I keep shooting weddings when I experience this ALL the time???
“The food’s finished, kwasara chenyu, I’m going out to get some food for an hour.”
My contract has a clause that states if I’m not provided with food I can go out and get my own for an hour.
The bride panics…call the caterers and orders them to get me food immediately! The caterer lady…who had told me there’s no food for me earlier….looks at me funny.
1745 hrs: Back on the job. The bridal train is on the dance floor. LOL! The ‘steps coaches’ always..and I mean ALWAYS…want to out-dance the rest of the bridal train and steal the show. The guys are born of the same mother.
1956 hrs: I’ve been on my feet for close to ten hours now. My legs are on fire.
2132 hrs: Wedding’s almost done. Vote of thanks. I’m counting the minutes. Need to sit down somewhere…my wife calls “What time are you coming home? Hamusati mapedza?” Ding ding, visa expired.
2150 hrs: WHERE’S MY TRANSPORT GUY???!!!
Back to the bride and groom. “Guys, we said you’ll take care of my transport…where’s my ride home?”
“Aahh mira tikutsvagire munhu ari kuenda kutown.”
Yap...this is definitely the last time I’m letting the couple organise my transport! Defintely the last time!
2240 hrs: Back home! I need to put these photos on the hard drive so I can start editing them from tomorrow.
Can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when they see their photos.
I guess this is why I love weddings and I keep doing it over and over again!