Lessons in What Not to Do: Tying Knots



Wow oh, wow.  Where to begin? 


Meet Holly and Don.  They got married a ten days ago and for some reason decided to hire me to be their “photographer”.  Holy Cow….  I literally cried when her sister, Mrs. B sent me the email.  Seriously?  Really?  Really, REALLY?  Are you sure?  Wow.  To say I was dumb-smacked would be an understatement.  This was either the best compliment yet or a big, heaping bunch of crazy.  No offense M, but I’m leaning towards crazy on this one.   This is me were talking about here; just a girl, her camera and lofty aspirations anchored in concrete shoes.  Gulp.  I said yes.


Homework, lots of homework.  I have a few really good amateur and pro-photog blogs I visit.  Each one has a different style and a unique eye that I would love to have a fraction of.  I got the chance to meet the bride and groom about a month before the big day to get an idea of what they wanted, what I could possibly do, and all the particulars.  I wouldn’t recommend going into any event blind.  Lesson learned;  the more homework the better.


Nightmares and vomit.  Yep.  You’d think I was the one getting hitched.     I was pushing the recommended dosage the so-called experts slapped on the Alka-Seltzer warning label.  Being the optimist that  I am, all the “what if’s” nearly killed me.   What if I under or over expose everything to the point of no return?  What if I fall on the bride and groom.  What if I lose all my shots?  What if I drop my camera or lenses?  What if my computer exploded?  What if a meteorite hits the house?  What if….   Lesson learned; don’t eat anything spicy the week before and pop a couple of valium.  Just kidding on the valium.


So the big day arrives and those knots in my stomach tighten to the breaking point.  There was another “girl with a camera” – a very big, grown-up camera (D700) - that left me feeling that much more under-qualified for the task ahead.  Sure, it’s not the size that counts, but it sure does help.  I watched her work her bride and groom plus family and tried to follow suit.  Unfortunately, high noon doesn’t allow for oodles of open shade to stuff a large group under so we had to wait until they were done before our party could move in.  Lesson learned;  don’t size up the competition, just the group shots.


Phew!  Family temple-side shots in the can as they say and the temperature keeps rising.  I believe it was reaching 100* and everyone was melting, myself included.  Luckily the luncheon was right next door at the meetinghouse so family and friends could find quick relief.  The bride and groom on the other hand were at my mercy.  Having done my homework, I had a series of poses to work through.  A photography road map of sorts to get from point A, B, C and back again without radical changes or crisscrossing the grounds.  Unfortunately, the lawns were soaking wet, muddy and in a few places, underwater.  Mental note to nix the grass pictures and readjust.  Can you smell the smoke?  It’s my map (and my noodle) going up in flames.  Or is it down if flames?  Take your pick, either one will do.  Lesson learned;  adapt and try your darnedest not to spontaneously combust. 


Receptions equal lots of pictures of everything.  The centerpieces, entry tables, cake, punchbowls and pretzels – I mean everything.  All those little things that with everything else going on throughout the day seem to slip through those memory cracks.  To add to the excitement, the fire alarm was pulled and with it came all the sirens, bells, and whistles with a fire truck to boot.  It was pretty funny.  Definitely memorable.  Talk about burning love….  Lesson learned:  take advantage of the chaos and turn it into something worthwhile. 


With the bride and groom happily off on their honeymoon, I was off to start part two – editing.  I’m trying really hard to have a soft hand, the barely there effect that adds just enough snap, crackle, and pop to make it hum.  Anyway…. here’s where another hundred lessons are learned. 


For now a peek.  Holly and Don haven’t seen these yet.  (Just for you, M!)



A Exp Holly Don Temple 9 monogram


A Holly Don Temple 11_9 


A Holly Temple Family 6_1


  1. Connie said...

    Couldn't have done better myself, sugar!! Miss Bronwyn looks like a fairy princess in that pix. Adorable......

  2. Holly said...

    Oh My Gosh!!!I love theses ones!I can't wait for more!!You did awesome, thanks for putting up with all of us!! It was a crazy crazy day.

  3. mandbrid said...

    AWESOME!!!! I LOVE the second picture - with the bouquet and shoes. So cool. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I can't wait to see more.

  4. The Gooch Family said...

    Beautiful! Would love to see more!

  5. The Wright's said...

    Wow Stacey!! That first is beautiful!! You need to give yourself more credit! I haven't seen a bad picture yet!!